Increase VA Disability Rating to 100% from 80%: How Far Can You Raise It?

Increasing one’s VA rating is something that is happening a lot. Not to mention, it also decreases if the VA finds any improvement in the condition. When a veteran is 80% disabling, chances are that they either have a single disability with a high severity or multiple ones with slightly less severity.

But still, if you have an 80% rating, it is not too hard to get it to 100%. The difficulty of the process depends on which method you choose. If you cannot work due to your disability, a TDIU benefit is good for you. If your disease worsens, an increased claim is suitable.

Let’s explore the different ideas and what is the best optimal option for you to increase your VA rating from 80 to 100.

How Much Can You Raise Your VA Rating from 80%?

How much you may raise your VA rating from 80% depends on any changes in your condition or your eligibility for getting the TDIU benefit. If you get the latter, there is no need to take any other path because you will already be at your destination, which is the 100% rating.

But if you go for an increased claim, whether you can raise your rating from 80% to 100% will be based on whether your disability has worsened to that level. Because of how VA calculates their combined rating, it is rare and more challenging to get than many think. But objectively, it is possible to get from an 80% disability rating to a 100%.

How Much More Compensation Will You Get by Going from 80% to 100%?

VA’s monthly compensation amount in 2023 for a veteran alone with an 80% rating is $1,933.15. Meanwhile, the amount for a 100% rating is $3,621.95. So, if you manage to go from 80% to 100%, the difference in monthly benefits will be $1,688.80.

That is an amount worth trying for, especially if you are eligible for it. So, let’s check how you can get it without further ado.

How to Increase VA Disability from 80 to 100?

There are so many options available, each of which has the potential to get your VA rating from 80 to 100. However, before you choose one, you must research and learn about it well. So, let’s give you a quick rundown of the different methods.

The TDIU Benefit and How You Can Get It

The first option you should think about is getting the TDIU benefit. VA arranged it for disabled veterans who can’t get gainful employment due to their service-connected conditions. The monthly payment for this is the equivalent of a 100% rating. So, once you get it, you won’t get any higher rating, no matter if you get new disabilities or your existing ones worsen.

You need to meet all the following factors for this benefit-

  • You are unable to get a proper job to financially support yourself and your family because of your service-connected disabilities. It must be a job that is usual in your workplace (so, no odd jobs) and provide you with an annual income that tops the federal poverty threshold. The work must also not be in any protected environment.
  • If you have only one service-related disability, your VA rating must be at least 60% or more. If you have more than one such disability, your combined rating must be at least 70% or more, and at least one or more conditions must have a least rating of 40% or more.

As you can see, you can be eligible for this benefit if you meet the above criteria. The application process may go as follows-

  • Collect and fill out the VA Form 21-8940 (unemployability application) and VA Form 21-4192 (Requesting Employment Details Regarding Disability Benefit Claims). You can get them from your local VA office or online. The online portal is way quicker and better, giving you more features, such as telling you what information and evidence to provide.
  • Submit the form online (or if you are filling the physical copy out, then mail it or transfer it in person to the VA office).
  • Wait for the VA to inform you of their verdict.

Filing a Claim for an Increased Compensation

The most common way people increase their disability rating is by filing an increased compensation claim. If you notice that your disability has worsened, it is high time to report that to the VA. The process should go as follows-

  • Visit the VA’s site and look for the option that says “File for a VA Disability Increase.” If you go through the online portal, it will guide you through the process smoothly. Alternatively, you can go to your local VA’s office and ask the people there to help you.
  • Log in with your account to the VA site if you are applying online, which will give you the feature of saving your progress as you are filling out the form. Thus, you can get a one-year time to complete the form.
  • Gather any necessary information and documents to submit with the form. Some of them are your up-to-date medical report, Nexus letter, supporting and buddy letters, and any MRI or X-ray results, if applicable.
  • Once you have uploaded all the evidence and documents necessary, submit the form and wait for VA to respond. They may ask you for specific information if anything needs to be included. Then, they will likely schedule a C&P exam to check your health.

If everything goes alright and your disability has worsened, VA may increase your rating from 80% to 90% or 100%. But to get the latter, your combined disability rating must be at least 95%. If you are unsure whether you will get that or not, get an eligibility review from VA Disability Coach.

Filing a Claim for a Secondary Service-Connected Disability

If you have a service-related disability that caused or worsened another disability, the second one is secondary service-connected. In that case, you deserve compensation for that one also.

  • Head to VA’s site, and you will find the increase in compensation radio button. Click it.
  • There, you will find another button saying that your disability worsened or you are filing for a new disability. Click it.
  • Then, you will notice a radio button saying that your disability was caused or aggravated by another service-connected disability. Select it.
  • Then, fill out the form. The process may be similar to an original claim. But, the evidence must include a Nexus letter, where a doctor confirms and explains the connection between your primary service-connected disability and your secondary one.
  • Please submit the form once you have filled it out and uploaded all the documents and pieces of evidence.
  • Wait for the VA to schedule the C&P exam for you, and afterward, wait for the result.

Final Note

Going from 80% to 100% can be complex, but the process is worth it if you succeed. The difference in disability compensation is pretty high. So, get the TDIU benefit if you are eligible, or go for an increased claim. Be sure whether your disability worsened before you opt for the increased compensation claim. It is so because if the C&P result shows that your disability has improved by any chance, then the VA will not only reject your claim but also reduce your rating accordingly.