After you have completed your application for VA disability benefits, presented your medical evidence, and likely submitted to a Compensation and Pension Exam, you will receive a rating decision from the VA. You will also get a packet of information that outlines the VA disability claims decision. But, your packet may be missing one key form—the VA Rating Code Sheet. This form is often left out by the VA, because they consider it “work product”. As VA Disability Attorneys, it seems odd to us that this form is often omitted, because a Rating Code Sheet will always be completed before the VA issues a rating decision on a veteran’s claim.
What Information is Found on the Rating Code Sheet?
It will typically include:
- The VA file number
- The name of your attorney or representative on file with the VA, if any
- The dates of your military service the VA has on file (including the character of your discharge)
- The diagnostic code used to assign the disability rating for each service connected condition
The diagnostic codes may be the most important part of the VA rating code sheet. In its Schedule for Rating Disabilities, the VA groups conditions affecting different parts of the body. Sections include, for example, the Digestive System, the Respiratory System, and the Cardiovascular System. Within each group is a list of diseases or disabilities, each with a unique diagnostic code which specifies the symptoms required for each level of disability rating—expressed as a percentage between 0% and 100% in 10% increments.
- What claimed conditions are service-connected and what claimed conditions were denied service-connection.
- A list of the disability rating percentage (from 0% to 100%) for each service-connected condition
- Your overall combined rating to include your bilateral factor percentage
- Information about the effective date of both past and current individual and combined ratings
- A list of all conditions which a veteran may be receiving non-service connected pension and the associated rating for each of those conditions
- Any entitlements to special monthly compensation
- A list of prior claims that were denied
- Whether a future re-examination will be required
How to Get Your Rating Code Sheet
The road to winning VA disability benefits is long and difficult to navigate and the Rating Code Sheet is like a roadmap to understanding how the VA has evaluated your claim and your eligibility for disability compensation. It contains a wealth of information about how the VA evaluates your disability; therefore, you should immediately request a copy of the code sheet. You can do so in person by going to your assigned regional office or you may also request a copy in writing under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552(a)).
And When You Get Your Rating Code Sheet
Study it carefully to be sure all the information is correct. It will help you to have a better understanding of the claims process and where your claim stands with the VA. Save your Rating Code Sheet with all of your most important documents.
We Have Your Six
If the VA has denied your disability claim, or assigned you a low rating decision which you disagree with, the VA Disability Attorneys at Cuddigan Law are here to fight for your rights. Call us at (402) 933-5405 or send us and email to arrange a free evaluation of your case.