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How To Increase VA Disability From 80 To 100 Percent

Last updated: December 13, 2023

It's crucial to compile all relevant medical records, including diagnoses and treatments, and obtain 'buddy statements' and vocational evidence to demonstrate the impact of disabilities on daily life.

Veterans should accurately complete and submit VA Form 526 and be prepared for Compensation & Pension exams to verify their eligibility.[1]

Engaging with veterans service organizations like the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans can provide invaluable guidance and representation throughout the claim process.[2]

Veterans with an 80% rating should consider applying for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits if they're unable to maintain substantial employment due to their service-connected disabilities.

If you're a veteran seeking to maximize your benefits, understanding how to increase VA disability from 80% to 100% is crucial. This detailed guide will provide you with insider tips and practical steps to help you navigate the process successfully. By making a strong connection between your service-connected conditions and their impact on your daily life, you can effectively present a compelling case for an increased rating. 

Steps to Increase Your 80% VA Disability Rating to 100%

Gather All Relevant Medical Documentation

One of the first and most critical steps is to gather all relevant medical documentation. This includes detailed medical records, highlighting diagnoses, treatments, and the progression of conditions since the last evaluation. Alongside these, 'buddy statements' from friends and family provide personal insights into how disabilities impact daily life. For those whose disabilities affect work, vocational evidence, such as employer letters or vocational specialist reports, is crucial. Independent medical opinions from specialists also add significant weight, offering an expert perspective on the severity of the disabilities.

Filing for a Higher Rating

Filing for a higher rating begins with the accurate completion and submission of VA Form 526. This form should be accompanied by all gathered evidence. The Veterans Affairs may also schedule Compensation & Pension (C&P) exams to assess current conditions.[1] Preparation for these exams involves having a thorough understanding of one's medical history and being ready to discuss any recent deterioration in health. If the initial request is denied, an appeal can be filed with the Board of Veterans' Appeals. This stage often necessitates legal representation to navigate the complexities of VA disability law effectively.

Fast Facts

Veterans should be ready to appeal with legal support if the initial request is denied.

Utilizing Support Networks

Navigating the VA system can be daunting, which is where veterans service organizations come into play. Groups like the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans offer invaluable guidance and may provide free representation.[2] Additionally, VA's own disability benefits advisors are available to offer advice and assistance throughout the claims process, ensuring veterans understand their rights and the intricacies of filing and appealing claims.

Exploring TDIU for 80% Rating Holders

Veterans with an 80% disability rating should consider the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. TDIU compensates at the 100% rate for veterans unable to maintain substantial employment due to their service-connected disabilities. Qualifying for TDIU requires proof of inability to engage in gainful employment, a criterion often met by those with an 80% rating. Applying for TDIU involves submitting a detailed application with strong supportive evidence, including medical records and employment-related documentation.

Choosing Between New or Supplemental Claims

Fast Facts

Depending on changes in their condition, veterans should decide between filing a new claim or a supplemental claim to strengthen their case for a higher disability rating.

Veterans can either file a new claim or submit a supplemental claim. A new claim is appropriate if there are significant changes in the veteran's condition, necessitating a fresh evaluation of the entire case with new evidence. In contrast, a supplemental claim is best suited for adding new evidence to an existing claim, strengthening the existing case without starting from scratch.

Navigating the Path to Increase VA Disability From 80% to 100%

Achieving an increase in VA disability rating from 80% to 100% is a process that demands patience, thorough documentation, and a deep understanding of VA procedures. Veterans should harness available support systems, prepare meticulously for assessments, and explore all options, including TDIU, to improve their chances of a favorable decision. Remember, the key to successfully navigating how to increase VA disability from 80% to 100% lies in patience, thorough preparation, and persistence. Veterans who approach the process with diligence and informed strategy stand a stronger chance of achieving the desired outcome.

Curious about the status of your VA claim? Click here to learn how to easily check your VA claim status and stay informed about your benefits!

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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