As many veterans in Indiana know, medical records are an essential part of applying for veterans disability benefits. If a condition improves or worsens, the VA could reevaluate the rating upon request, then raise or lower it. No applicant has a promise of a higher disability rating, and the decision to ask for a new rating varies by case.

The VA Disability Rating determines how much in benefits the recipient receives, and the higher the rating means more benefits. The rating gets rounded to the next highest percentage in increments of 10, such as 20% or 30%. A 100% rating means the veteran is not able to work, and 10% or 0% means the condition does not impact the applicant’s ability to work.

Reviewing the handbook, 38 CFR Book C, can help the applicant make an informed decision. Some conditions do not meet the requirements for the higher percentages. For example, tinnitus only gets a maximum rating of 10%. Tinnitus is a hearing condition that causes ringing noises in the ear, and military people are constantly exposed to loud noises. Even if the condition gets worse, the applicant will not get an increase in benefits unless the VA revises rules.

If the veteran feels the condition has worsened, and he or she has read the guidelines, the review could be justified. The veteran will need to present evidence the condition has changed, so initial medical records won’t suffice. He or she may be required to visit a non-associated VA doctor, who can make a clear diagnosis.

The steps to filing a claim for reevaluation can be complex, and legitimate claims frequently get denied, even with strong evidence. If the applicant feels that he or she should not have been denied veterans disability, a lawyer may be able to look further into the case.