Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

Call Today for a Consultation

Toll Free: 800-495-9153     Local: 321-426-1848

Striving to Protect the people 
you love, the assets you own,
and the dreams you hold dear

What is the Bilateral disability rating?

Disabled vets who suffer from injury or illness that impacts their ability to use their arms or legs on the right and left sides of their bodies may file for disability benefits. Disability is one of the many benefit aid programs veterans may require to improve their standard of living. One criterion the Veteran’s Administration uses is a rating system (VA Service-Connected Disability) to determine compensation amounts for certain disability benefit claims. 

Those who wish to claim bilateral status must prove their condition is bilateral in the sense that their service-related injury or disease impairs either their upper or lower extremities on both sides and that both impairments combined decrease their efficiency to perform work. 

Calculating the Bilateral disability factor 

The VA does not use regular math to determine VA benefit payments. Instead, it uses its own guidelines to calculate benefit amounts. VA math is complex, and many veterans find it confusing, especially when trying to understand how much they qualify for in benefit payments and, in some cases, to determine if they are receiving the proper amount of benefits they deserve. 

The VA assigns a numerical value to disabilities and uses it to calculate the percentage disability rate. The disability rate is based on your efficiency and how your impairments affect your ability to work. Veterans who are not disabled receive a rating of 100%. The rating decreases by increments of 10, or each injury or illness is given its own value. In cases where there is bilateral impairment, the VA uses the bilateral factor, which is an additional 10% to the combined disability rating for each side’s rating. 

Veterans who are eligible for the bilateral rating do not have to suffer from the same type of impairment on both sides. They can have different disabilities in each arm, such as an impairment in the right wrist and left shoulder that affects their ability to work.