How the VA calculates disability ratings and how much Camp Lejeune veterans can receive

Michael Bartlett

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on June 19th, 2023

The VA assigns a disability rating to veterans injured by toxic water at Camp Lejeune, depending on the severity of their disease. It expresses this rating as a percentage, representing how much the veteran's disability impacts their health. The disability rating is used to calculate how much compensation the veteran is entitled to.

Most Camp Lejeune veterans injured by drinking contaminated water at the military base are eligible for VA disability compensation if they came to struggle with a disease. However, before awarding a veteran compensation, the VA assigns them a disability rating that will determine how much money they will obtain. They assign veterans a disability rating based on the severity of their condition. Afterward, they use the disability rating to calculate how much compensation the veteran will receive every month. The disability rating is also important when determining eligibility for other VA benefits, such as Special Monthly Compensation, which veterans whose condition is so debilitating that they need the assistance of another person to perform simple tasks can apply for.

If a veteran has multiple disability ratings, the VA uses them to calculate their combined VA disability rating. Keep in mind that calculating your combined disability rating if you are a Camp Lejeune veteran involves more than adding up your individual ratings. For this reason, your combined rating might be different from the sum of your individual ratings. The VA bases disability ratings on the following:

  • the evidence the veteran provides, such as a doctor's report or medical test results
  • the results of their VA claim exam, also known as compensation and pension exam
  • other information the VA may get from other sources, including federal agencies

For veterans who struggle with more than one disease as a result of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune, the VA uses a method known as the "whole person theory" to determine what their combined disability rating will be. This disability rating cannot exceed 100%. VA Math is used to combine the Military Disability Ratings of multiple disabilities to give a veteran a single overall rating. To put it differently, if a veteran has more than one condition rated for Military Disability, then each of the ratings is combined. While each condition is a percentage of the disability of the service member, when combined, each percentage is not a percentage of the entire veteran but a percentage of what is left after other percentages have been subtracted.

If you have one disability and the VA approves your claim, the compensation you will receive monthly will be the following, depending on your rating:

  • 10% disability rating: $165
  • 20% disability rating: $327
  • 30% disability rating: $508 to $664
  • 40% disability rating: $731 to $939
  • 50% disability rating: $1,041 to $1,303
  • 60% disability rating: $1,319 to $1,634
  • 70% disability rating: $1,663 to $2,030
  • 80% disability rating: $1,933 to $2,353
  • 90% disability rating: $2,172 to $2,643
  • 100% disability rating: $3,621 to $4,148

If veterans have a 10% to 20% disability rating, they will not receive a higher rate even if they have a dependent spouse, parent, or child. Still, veterans with higher disability ratings can obtain more compensation if they have a dependent. Filing a VA disability claim is a challenging, daunting, and complex endeavor, and if you choose to file on your own, your claim will most likely be rejected. This is because there are many documents that must accompany it, and, most importantly, you must prove the connection between toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune and your diagnosis unless you have a presumptive condition. For this reason, it is best to work with a toxic exposure attorney if you intend to apply for VA disability compensation.

Our diligent attorneys can help you file your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim

Since 1990, we have been dedicated to pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, and many of our clients are veterans in your situation. If you spent time at Camp Lejeune while the drinking water was toxic, either as a veteran or family member of one, and now struggle with a disease, we encourage you to contact our resourceful attorneys, as you might be eligible to file a claim. As a veteran, you will only have to provide our legal team with your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records to have your case evaluated.

Family members who want to file a claim will need to submit evidence of their stay at Camp Lejeune in addition to their medical records. After a comprehensive assessment of your case, we will let you know if you are entitled to financial compensation. Eligible individuals will promptly have their claims filed, as we prioritize veterans and family members, especially if they suffer from cancer. Eventually, if our efforts are fruitful, you will receive the compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. We work on a contingency fee basis.