The VA awards disability ratings from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. While a 0% rating might seem disappointing at first glance, it actually offers several key benefits. <

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What a 0% Rating Means

A 0% rating is also referred to as a non-compensable VA rating. It means, the VA recognizes you have a service-connected disability, but your current condition isn’t severe enough to qualify for monthly cash benefits.

Even though it doesn’t include monetary compensation, a 0% rating comes with several benefits, including:

  • Access to free medical treatment for your condition at the VA, if income requirements are met
  • Access to free prescription drugs necessary for your condition, if income requirements are met
  • A higher priority for healthcare eligibility
  • Reimbursement for travel costs related to seeking care from a VA medical facility or a VA authorized care provider
  • The right to apply for life insurance through the Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance Program (S-DVI)
  • A 10-point veterans preference while applying for federal employment
  • Use of both online and in-person commissaries, exchanges, and morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) retail facilities

Options After Receiving a 0% Rating

When submitting a VA disability claim, establishing a service connection is half the battle. Since you’ve already accomplished this, don’t give up hope. You can file an appeal if you believe your disability should have been rated at a higher percentage. An experienced veterans benefits attorney can help you determine what medical evidence will be most helpful in supporting your case.

If you choose not to file an appeal and your condition later worsens, you can file for an increased rating for your condition. It is common for many types of disabilities to worsen over time, and having already established the service connection will make your application easier to process.

Multiple Non-Compensable Ratings Affect Your Claim

Many veterans have multiple service-connected disabilities. If you have two or more non-compensable disabilities, 38 C.F.R. 3.324 says the VA is supposed to apply a 10% rating if these conditions together can interfere with your employability.

Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?

If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.

 

David Ashe
Helping Virginia area residents gain their Social Security Disability coverage and with Disability Law claims.