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VA Disability Rating Revisions: What You Need to Know.

Applying for a disability rating increase for service-connected conditions that have worsened.

Understanding the Importance of Quality Documentation for a Strong Claim

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability rating system is used to assess the impact of a Veteran’s disability on their daily life and to determine the amount of benefits they are entitled to receive. To increase a VA disability rating, Veterans need to provide proper documentation that accurately represents their worsening condition. REE Medical works with a network of doctors nationwide who believe that Veterans deserve the very best our country has to offer, including our respect, compassion, and help in any way we can offer it. We are passionate about helping Veterans receive the examinations and accurate documentation that they deserve.

Veteran with his daughter and wife receiving va disability benefits for his dependents

What is a VA Disability Rating?

A VA disability rating is a determination made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on the severity of a Veteran’s disability, measuring the impact of a Veteran’s disability on their daily life. The VA disability rating system is based on a percentage scale, with 100% being the most severe total disability rating and 0% being the least severe. A VA disability rating can have a significant impact on a Veteran’s financial situation. Veterans who are rated at 100% disability are entitled to receive the maximum amount of benefits, including a tax-free monetary allowance and access to healthcare and other VA programs.

VA Medical Exam

Disability Rating Appeals & Reconsiderations

It is important to note that VA disability ratings are not permanent and can change over time. If a Veteran’s condition worsens or they develop a new disability, they may be eligible for reconsideration. Putting together the proper documentation and keeping updated records is crucial to Veterans who seek an increase in their disability rating or in filing a disability rating appeal. To receive a VA disability rating increase, a Veteran must submit an application for a rating review and provide evidence of their worsening disability, such as medical records and treatment notes. Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) and detailed Nexus letters, which are evidence-based documents prepared by qualified and credible medical experts, are essential components of a Veteran’s claim. The Department of Veterans Affairs ultimately makes the final decision on all claims submitted.

veteran meeting with his doctor to discuss his nexus letter for increased va disability benefits

Working with REE Is Simple

Free Consultation

Our team takes the time to assess and discuss your options with you before you pay anything.

Evidence For Your Claim

You’ll receive a DBQ that documents the severity of all your service-connected disabilities to support your VA Increase claim.

Access Our Expertise

We know how to build an accurate Disability Benefit Questionnaire (DBQ) and will connect you with our nationwide network of experienced physicians.

Submit Your DBQ

Pursue disability benefits confidently with medical evidence that conforms to the VA’s published guidelines.

Gather Your Supporting Veterans Disability Documentation

If you believe you may be eligible for an increased VA disability rating, you will need to start by providing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with certain documentation to support your claim. The specific documentation that is required will depend on the nature of your disability and the circumstances for your rating review claim. Here are some types of documentation that you may need to provide in order to apply for a VA disability rating increase:

  1. Medical records: You will need to provide the VA with copies of your medical records, including treatment notes and test results. These records should be current and provide evidence of the worsening of your rated condition.
  2. Nexus letters – Statements from your treating physician: It is helpful to have a statement from your treating physician explaining the current severity of your disability and how it impacts your daily life. This can provide valuable information to the VA when determining your service connection or in reviewing an assigned rating that may underrepresent how it affects your daily living.
  3. Military records: If your disability is related to your military service, you should provide the VA with copies of your military records, including any awards, performance evaluations, and separation papers.
  4. Other supporting documentation: Depending on your specific situation, you may need to provide other types of documentation to support your rating increase request. This could include statements from family members or friends, school records, or employment records.

It is important to be thorough and to include all relevant documentation in your rating increase request. Accurate medical documentation does not guarantee a Veteran’s desired outcome, but it is an essential step in the claim filing process as it provides strong and stable support for a Veteran’s claim.

Applying for a VA Disability Rating Increase

If you are a Veteran who is receiving disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you may be eligible to have your disability rating increased if your condition has worsened or was not accurately rated initially. Here are the key steps for how to apply for a VA disability rating increase.

1. Determine if you are eligible

The first step in applying for an increased VA disability rating is to determine if you are eligible for a rating increase. You may be eligible if your disability has worsened or if you were originally given a lower disability rating due to an error or injustice. To be eligible, you must be able to provide evidence that your condition has changed since the original rating was granted. It’s important to note that this process only applies to those with service-connected conditions that have already received a disability rating (even if that rating is 0%). If you have developed a new disability that you believe to be service-connected, you will need to file an initial claim with the VA. REE Medical does not currently provide services related to initial claims documentation.

2. Gather supporting documentation

In order to have your rating increased, you will need to provide the VA with supporting documentation. This includes medical records, treatment notes, and statements from your treating physician that show that your condition has worsened or that you have developed a new disability. You should also include any other documentation that may be relevant, such as military records, awards, and performance evaluations. To ensure your claim is processed by the VA as quickly as possible, it’s important that you provide all of the evidence they will need to evaluate your claim (referred to as a fully developed claim).

3. Submit Your Request

There are several ways to submit a request for a rating increase. You can do so online through the VA’s eBenefits portal, by mail, or in person at a VA regional office. When submitting your request, be sure to include all of the supporting documentation that you have gathered. You should also include a brief statement explaining why you believe you merit an increase.

4. Wait for a decisionAfter you have submitted your request, the VA will review your case and make a decision. This process can take several months, so it is important to be patient. The VA reports that the average time to complete disability-related claims is 110 days (as of December 2022). If your request is approved, your disability rating will be increased and your benefits will be adjusted accordingly. If your request is denied, you can appeal the decision by following the appeals process outlined by the VA, including obtaining a Nexus Letter from a board-certified physician that specializes in your condition.

5. Keep your VA disability and medical records up to date

It is important to keep your records up to date in order to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. This includes notifying the VA of any changes to your contact information or medical condition and submitting any additional documentation that may be required. Remember to be patient and stay in touch with the VA throughout the process.

REE Medical Can Match You With a Doctor for Your DBQ (Disability Benefits Questionnaires)

Disability Benefits Questionnaires (DBQs) are completed by a licensed medical provider and provide a standardized way for the VA to assess the Veteran’s condition, including physical disabilities, mental health conditions, and diseases. The DBQ also includes questions about how the Veteran’s disability affects their daily life and ability to work. They are used to determine the Veteran’s eligibility for benefits. At REE Medical, we help our Veterans obtain accurate, detailed, and strong documentation to be used as evidence for VA claims. We’ll connect you with the leading third-party professionals who will take the time necessary to complete a thorough examination of your condition and draft a DBQ that accurately reflects your unique symptoms. When you receive your finalized DBQ, you’ll be able to submit it to the VA with confidence knowing that it accurately represents the severity of your condition.

Cheerful attractive young african american woman doctor touching unrecognizable eastern man patient shoulder, general practitioner happy with results of treatment, supporting her patient, closeup

What is a Nexus Letter and Why is it Important When Appealing Your Disability Ratings?

A Nexus letter is a solution for Veterans who are appealing their VA disability rating for a previously denied disability rating claim. Written by a medical professional, it provides evidence that a Veteran’s disability is related to their military service. When a Veteran applies for a VA disability rating appeal, they must provide evidence that their condition was caused by or worsened by their military service. When medical records, treatment notes, or statements from treating physicians are not sufficient, a Nexus letter may be needed. The letter should provide detailed information about the Veteran’s military history, the severity of their current medical condition, and, most importantly, the connection between the two. REE Medical works with a network of experienced medical professionals who understand the claims process and the requirements for strong documentation.

Medical exam with a Veteran and his doctor going over his chart

Disability Rating Increase Claims and Appeal Process

As a neutral third-party, REE Medical connects Veterans with neutral third-party physicians for thorough medical exams and strong documentation to support their claim. If a disability increase claim is approved, a Veteran may receive back pay or retroactive benefits. However, this is ultimately up to the VA . We do not offer legal services, and, while we always want to hear our clients report that they received a fair rating, we do not have a direct interest in the outcome of our client’s claims. We do not profit from any adjusted compensation or back pay owed to our clients. Rather, we ensure Veterans have quality medical documentation to reflect their disability accurately. All Disability Benefits Questionnaires must be completed and signed by a licensed medical provider. An accredited agent or attorney cannot give medical advice or sign DBQs. Here are some ways that REE Medical supports you in your VA disability rating review claim and appeal process:

  1. Provide a complimentary consultation: After submitting your online inquiry at, one of our Benefits Consultants will call you directly. We will review your current disability breakdown one-on-one with you and discuss each disability that you aim to increase. This is a great time to ask any questions about our process and let us know how your conditions have worsened. We will then determine if our service is the right fit for you or suggest other methods that may better suit your needs. If you are inquiring about a Nexus letter, we will review your case and records to determine if a Nexus letter is appropriate.
  2. DBQ (Disability Benefits Questionnaire) process: If you elect to use our service, you will work with your REE Medical Benefits Consultant to collect any existing documentation on your rated disability. You will then be scheduled for an in-person examination with a medical provider near you who will perform a thorough medical examination based on your current service-related conditions and complete all of your Disability Benefits Questionnaires.
  3. Prepare you for the claims process: While REE Medical cannot advise Veterans on the claims process itself, the rest of our highly trained staff will ensure you feel confident that your supporting documentation accurately details your disability and service connection.

  At REE Medical, we are passionate about taking care of Veterans and our number one priority is delivering quality service. Our entire staff is highly trained and fully dedicated to serving those who served. Please contact one of our Benefits Consultants to learn more about our resources and services.