A pre requisite to filing a claim for an increase in disability rating, is that the veteran already has a established rating. A disability can worsen over time. The rating that was previously established may not reflect the individual's current condition. .The VA must tell the veteran what is generally necessary to substantiate a claim for increased rating.Once the veteran files an original claim for an increase the VA is required by law to assist in fully developing the claim. The VA is required to conduct a medical examination.

However the veteran should not rely on the VA but rather obtain a statement from their treating physician or a private doctor to show the severity of their service connected condition. It is helpful to provide the doctor a complete copy of the medical records and the rating schedule. 

If the VA approves the increase in rating a question may arise as to the effective date of the increase in rating. The general rule fixing the effective date is the date the VA receives the claim or the date the disability increased in severity whichever is later. The effective date for the increased rating may be date back one year prior to claim if it can be proved that an increase in disability had occurred.

If your claim for an increase in your rating has been denied, a skilled veterans' attorney can  help you. Contact Cuddigan Law at (402) 933-5405 for assistance in your request for a rating increase or download a free copy of our book, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims, for more information.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska