Receiving a 0% rating for a claimed condition on a VA is often the source of confusion and aggravation. After waiting many months for approval on a VA claim, the VA is admitting that there is a disability and that such is service connected, but is not awarding benefits.

What is a 0% VA Disability Rating?

A 0% rating occurs when the evidence of the symptoms of a condition does not rise to the level needed for the VA to provide benefits.

VA regulations provide a percentage rating for various medical conditions. The worse the symptoms of a given condition, the higher the rating that is awarded. Each condition has different symptoms that must be present for a given percentage rating to be awarded, For some, but not all, conditions the lowest rating that can be awarded is 0%. A 0% rating is the VA admitting that there is a current disability and such disability is connected to service, but saying that the degree of symptoms does not justify benefits.

The award of 0% is not entirely a bad things, as it represents the VA conceding two elements of a VA claim: the presence of a current disability and service connection. This means the only thing remaining to receive benefits is to prove that the symptoms of the condition are more severe than the VA has stated in the decision. There are certain conditions in which the VA chronically underrates by giving a 0% rating.

Migraine headaches is one of such conditions that the VA consistently underrates by providing a rating of 0%. The regulations award a 0% rating where migraine headaches occur very infrequently and a 50% rating when migraines are constant and prevent employment. All too often, on a C&P examination, a medical provided, working as contracted with the VA, will check the box saying that there are only occasional migraine headaches and a 0% rating for such condition will be awarded. Several times we have been successful at increasing such rating percentage by providing lay statements from friends and family members showing that the migraine headaches are constant and impede the ability to engage in employment. This fairly simple evidence increases the rating from 0% to 50% and often results in the payment of a significant amount of retroactive benefits.

Another condition in which a 0% rating is common is bilateral hearing loss. Receiving a rating of over 0% for hearing loss is difficult, as the VA has a high threshold requirement for compensation for hearing loss. Unlike migraines, the rating regulations for hearing loss are based on standards for a professional examination. Examination by a certified audiologist is required for a rating to be determined. To combat a )% rating for hearing loss, a veteran usually needs to obtain an examination from a qualified private audiologist. The results of such examination can be used to show that either: the examination by the VA underreported the hearing loss or that the hearing loss has worsened since the last examination.

They key takeaway is that the awarding of a 0% is not the end of the road for VA benefits and often signals that VA benefits can be obtained merely by proving current symptoms of the condition.

Rest Easy Knowing Your VA Disability Claim Has Been Pursued to the Fullest Extent Possible

Contact us for a free, no obligation case review.