VA Disability Benefit Increase: People Who Can Help

It is possible for a veteran receiving benefits to increase the amount of their compensation. It usually happens when the veteran’s disability worsens. However, there are many other ways one can do it. One of them is the process of reporting a new disability. You can also go for secondary service-related ones.

Finally, if the law changes and your current disability condition deserves a higher rating now, you can file a supplemental claim. But whichever path you take, there will be many people you may need to get help from. The first name that comes will be VA itself. But there are more.

Let’s explore all the helping hands you can get and must rely on in your quest for an increase in VA benefits.

Possible Ways to Increase Your VA Disability Benefit

If you wish to increase your VA benefits, your VA rating should increase first. Chances are that you have a disability rating lower than what you deserve. In that case, filing for an increase in compensation will help. Here are different ways you can increase the VA compensations-

  • Filing a Claim for an Increase in Compensation Amount: If your service-connected conditions worsened, file a claim to the VA, reporting it. They will examine your health and, if applicable, increase your rating. However, it comes with a risk. If the result of the examination shows that your disability has improved, the VA will decrease the rating instead.
  • Filing a Claim for a New Disability: If you have a service-connected disability that you haven’t informed the VA about or if it just developed, you can file a claim for an original disability. In that case, the process may go just like how you filed your first compensation claim.
  • Filing a Claim for a Secondary Service-Connected Disability: If one of your service-related conditions caused or aggravated another one, then the latter is a secondary service-connected disability. You can report it to the VA to get VA ratings and compensation for it.
  • Filing a Supplemental Claim: If the VA previously denied a claim of yours, but you have new evidence now to back it up, or the law changed in favor of your statement, you can go for a supplemental claim. It may help you increase your rating if you succeed.
  • Applying for the TDIU Benefit: If you can’t get a job because of your service-connected disability, you can opt for the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefit. But your disability rating must be at least 60% if you have one condition and at least 70% (with one having at least 40%) if you have multiple.

What Evidence Do You Usually Need When Filing a Claim to VA

The pieces of evidence you must collect to back up a claim depend on the claim itself. But there are always some documents in common. They are-

  • A medical report from a private doctor.
  • Any MRI or X-ray report, if necessary.
  • Evidence of any event, treatment, exposure to hazards, injury, or illness you experienced during your service. It helps establish a connection between your service and your condition. VA usually collects these documents themselves, but you can also gather and upload them to quicken the process.
  • Supporting letters from friends or family.
  • Buddy letter from a fellow veteran.
  • Nexus letter from your private doctor.

Who Can Help You Increase Your VA Disability Claim?

There are people and organizations you may need to contact or visit while collecting evidence or submitting a claim related to your conditions. Even after you submit it, you may still need some helping hands. So, let’s introduce them here-

Department of Veteran Affairs

Yes, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is obviously the first help you will get since they are the ones who arrange your compensation for you. When filing claims for a new disability compensation or increased payment, you need to head to their website. This site will also help you learn and research lots of information.

Your Private Doctor

A private doctor is one of the most important people you will need to visit for help, no matter which file you are claiming. There are many ways they can assist you while increasing your VA benefits. For example-

Performing Health Checkups and Creating Medical Reports

Any claim you are filing to the VA related to your service-connected disability will require you to submit a medical report with it. It must be up-to-date and mention your condition in detail. Moreover, it will also come in handy when going for other VA benefits, like Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

Writing Your Nexus Letter

A nexus letter from your private doctor usually mentions two things. They are-

  • The possible connection between your condition and any event during your service.
  • The possible connection between any of your service-connected disability and another condition. Here, the second one will be secondary service-related.

You usually need to inform the doctor about any injury, illness, hazard exposure, or treatment you got during your service. It will help them write the nexus letter accurately.

Filling Up Your VA Medical Report Form

You can hire your private doctor to fill out your VA medical report form. VA hands it to you during the Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam. This form can be tricky to complete for you since you may not know the intricacies of your condition.

But you are allowed to get your physician to do that task for you. They know about your disability and will greatly help provide accurate details about it.

Your Family

Yes, your family can help you increase your VA disability compensation as well. There are two ways they can do it.

Writing Supporting Letters

A supporting letter is essential to prove the severity of your disability and its symptoms. Sometimes, it can get tricky to ensure the frequency or severity of specific conditions during a health checkup because of the characteristics of that disability. This is especially true for mental illnesses.

That is when the supporting letters come in handy. Your family interacts with you on a daily basis. So, they can notice any changes in behavior, sudden mood changes, and any illness acting up inconsistently that your doctor may fail to notice.

A supporting letter may include details about these. It should be short and mention any vital information, such as how the disability may have caused the veteran to lose their job.

Being Your Dependents

You can add your dependents to your VA account on their website. In doing so, VA will be providing you additional monthly compensation based on which dependent you added and their number. The amount will also be based on your VA rating. Overall, it is an extra money that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Your Friend

Like your family, your friend can also write supporting letters for you. They have to state their relationship with you correctly and should add how often you two interact.

Fellow Veteran Who Served with You

Again, someone who served with you can write a supporting letter. It is also known as a buddy letter. It may include how a particular event during your condition has caused your current disabilities to develop or worsen. It also may add any other vital information or back up existing details in your favor.

Overall, a buddy letter often works like a nexus letter. However, while the latter is more scientifically accurate data on your health condition, the former works more like a statement from a witness.

National Archives

You will need your military records to submit with any claim about any new disability, an increased claim, or when reporting a secondary service-connected disability. The National Archives is the place where you may find that record.

There are three ways to request them for your military records. You can print and fill out Form SF 180, fill it out online, or send a requesting letter to the proper address. You can find more information by visiting their official website.

A VA-Accredited Lawyer or VSO

There are moments when you may need to hire an attorney to help you through the process of increasing your claim. It is not too rare for veterans to disagree with VA’s decision. You may need to file a court appeal if the VA doesn’t give you the rating you deserve despite you having all the proper proof.

An attorney may also assist you while filing a claim, including the form fillup, collecting evidence, and C&P exam. However, before you hire one, make sure they are VA-accredited.


When you are going for an increase in your claim, it is better to be sure whether you qualify. An eligibility review from us, VA Disability Coach, can inform you of the benefits you are eligible for before you start the entire task.


You may need to see some faces when you are filing for an increased claim. They can provide you with different assistance. Get your medical report and nexus letter from your doctor, supporting and buddy letters from your friends and family, and military information from the National Archive. Hire a VSO or attorney if necessary.