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How To Increase Your Veteran Disability Compensation

You’re eligible for an increased disability rating if you’ve suffered a disability as a veteran and the condition worsens over time. In this case, you should also consider several factors to increase your disability compensation from the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read on to learn more. 

When can you seek an increase for your veteran disability compensation?

You can seek an increase for your veteran disability compensation when the disability starts to worsen. For instance, if you’re experiencing more pain, have a new symptom, or find that your current disability is causing another issue, you may be eligible for increased compensation. 

Veterans usually follow the same procedure as the initial compensation filing process while seeking an increase in compensation. The VA will review your disability rating to determine whether you’re eligible for increased compensation. You need to present enough supporting documents to prove your worsening condition. 

How do you increase your VA disability rating? 

You can use the following options to increase your VA disability rating:

  • Filing an appeal with VA
  • Filing a new claim with an increased rating 
  • Filing for Total Disability Individual Unemployability, or TDIU
  • Filing for a secondary service connection 

Filling an appeal 

When filing for a VA appeal, you will ask Veterans Affairs to assign a new VA rating based on your experience. If the VA grants your decision, their rating decision will include an effective date for your new disability rating. This effective date factors into how much compensation you’ll receive. 

Filing a new claim 

You may consider filing a new claim if VA disagrees with your appeal for a new disability rating. You can submit any supporting evidence for your worsened service-connected disability. VA treats this as a new claim and will issue a new disability rating in response. 

You may need to undergo a Compensation and Pension exam once you file your new claim. You must attend this exam or risk a denial of your claim. You can also submit private exam results to support your claim. You will use VA Form 21-526EZ to make your new claim. 

Filing for a total disability based on individual unemployability or TDIU 

TDIU, or Total Disability Individual Unemployability, allows veterans receive disability compensation equal to having a 100 percent disability rating even when their combined disability rating doesn’t match 100 percent. You may be eligible for this increase if you cannot work due to a service-related disability. You should fill out VA Form 21-8940 to apply for this benefit. 

Filing for a secondary service connection 

A secondary service connection is not technically an increase for the initial disability rating. It refers to a secondary disability overlooked during the initial assessment for which a veteran can seek compensation.