Why does 10 plus 10 not equal 20? If you are like me and are a Veteran with multiple disabilities this is something you probably have asked yourself. I logged onto my Ebenifits account one day to notice that I was rated a 10% disability rating for migraines related to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I received on my second deployment. I was so excited! I did what I thought was a simple math equation and came up with how much back pay I was going to receive from the VA.
I did my figuring and by my calculations the VA owed me a back pay of over $10,000. There was only one problem with that. I didn’t know, at that time, that The Department of Veterans Affairs has their own way of doing math. For those who are not familiar with VA Math, this is the term that refers to the way in which The Department of Veterans Affairs combines multiple disability ratings.
What? The VA doesn’t just simply combine up all of a veteran’s disabilities to get their overall disability rating? I wish they did, but VA actually has this table that they use to figure out a veteran’s overall disability rating when the veteran has multiple disabilities.
So for example let’s say a veteran has been rated by the VA for PTSD at 30%, TBI 20%, hearing loss 10%, and knee pain 10%. Simple addition would say the veteran’s overall disability would be:
WRONG! Not with the lovely VA Math!
Now let’s take this same example and use The Department of Veteran’s Affairs rating table for veterans with multiple disabilities. I have included this VA Math table in this blog.
Same scenario with VA Math:
Veteran has been rated by the VA for 30% PTSD, TBI 20%, hearing loss 10%, and knee pain 10%.
At the top of the table find 30%...find 20% on the left and find the box where 30 and 20 meet.
Now find where 44 on the left of the table intersects with 10…that gives you 50
Last find where 50 on the table intersects with 10…that give you 55
So to put the VA Math into perspective for you.
30 %( PTSD) + 20 %( TBI) + 10 %( hearing loss) + 10 %( knee pain)…..does not actually equal a combined disability rating of 70%
30 %( PTSD) + 20 %( TBI) + 10 %( hearing loss) + 10 %( knee pain)…..with the VA Math equals a combined rating of 55%
The VA will round to the nearest tenth so the veteran in this example will get paid by the VA for a 60% disability rating.
I called and spoke with a Department of Veterans Affairs customer service representative to try and get an answer as to why the VA calculates disabilities this way. The VA rep to his credit tried to explain it to me the best he could. When it comes down to it a veteran is penalized by the VA Math when they have multiple disabilities.