I was looking up the percentage for compensation for 50% today and noticed something that got me thinking. 100% is $2673.00/mo. for a single Vet. Now look at 90%.
The problem is glaring. A Vet totally disabled is just that, but a Vet 90% disabled ( and unarguably on the cusp of 100%) is given what can best be described as a nonlinear payment. There’s a $1o69.00 difference. We do know from looking at the Diagnostic Codes and rating percentages for diseases in Part 4 that very few, if any, have a linear progression. The norm is 0, 10, 20, 40, 60 and 100 %. Alternately, we see 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100%. There are many that only rate as high as 60. Tinnitus offers 10% maximum. So one can logically assume that a 90% rating encompasses some of these other, smaller percentages.
Utilizing the tables in 38 CFR § 4.25, we see the difficulty and futility of attaining all these smaller ratings when it will require large ones to attain 80 or 90%.
Personally, I think this is asinine and inhuman. You can have a plethora of ills, none of which is completely debilitating, but when taken as a whole, render you incapacitated. Relying solely on TDIU is your ticket, but you are still not technically 100% on paper. The IU will get you the $2673 eventually, but it seems like VA is demeaning you to get it.
The sheer effrontery in offering $1604.oo/mo. for 90% with $2673.00 being assigned for a mere 10% more beggars the imagination. Just who was the compensation scientist that assembled this construct? Perhaps we could examine his copious notes on how he arrived at this. Is he the same one who figured out the pay scales for all the rest of the VA employees?
We often hear tales of woe from civic types in our universities and school systems that we cannot attract proper talent if we do not remunerate them appropriately. Hence the phenomenon of University presidents and their higher echelon cohorts getting mid 6-digit salaries with untold percs. Politicians are especially fond of this. I’m sure this argument is polished prodigiously every spring when the budgets are being assembled. VA seems to be similarly infected. I agree. I don’t want some $45,000/year bozo doing my claim in a hurry. I feel much more secure in the knowledge that several 89K/year seasoned professionals are going to take lots of time and perform due diligence in correctly deciding the claim. They’re better in touch with their inner self and know true worth. They can sense credibility and honesty just like my goat.
I find it odd to see 90% anyway. Almost anyone worth his salt will apply for IU the moment he crosses over 70%. In case he forgets, VA is now required to ascertain if he is indeed eligible anyway! They might as well retire the 80 and 90 percentiles as they have done with the DC ratings. They can probably find a way to draw a graph showing how they can save money if they adopt this method. Just remember, you heard it here first.
What a wonderful illustration of “Screw the Vet”. As I love to point out, numbers tell us so much. Often they reveal more than they were ever intended to by their authors. Loyal makes a brilliant correlation here that escaped me. Viewing it in his light shows even more the disparity of the VA disability ratings system. I strive to help Vets attain service connection, but it appears they are still deprived once they succeed. 38 USC has an interesting facet few know. Congress intended ratings to be staggered at 10% intervals yet the VA has chosen to ignore this and jump in increments of 20% and even 40%. I wonder how long it will be before someone arrives at the Court with petition in hand for an 80% rating for Hep. And why is Congress not stepping in and putting their foot down over this tomfoolery?
As Nod pointed out, 10% of 2673 is $267.30 and NOT $123 like the VA would have us believe. Rounded to 2 digits, here are your “real” disability ratings, not the VA math.
The so called “10% disability rating” amounts to 4.6%.
The so called “20% disability rating” amounts to 9.1%
The so called “30% disability rating” amounts to 14%
The so called “40% disability rating” amounts to 20%
The so called “50% disability rating” amounts to 29%
The so called “60% disability rating” amounts to 36%
The so called “70% disability rating” amounts to 46%
The so called “80% disability rating” amounts to 53%
The so called “90% disability rating” amounts to 60%.
These are for a single Vet, with no children, and are a result of dividing the amount the VA says you should get by 2673 (the rate for a 100% Vet). Each year these numbers get worse, because the VA rounds down any amounts less than a dollar. If you are a 4.6% disabled Vet, fetching $123 per month and the VA “rounds down” your Cola, assuming it were 99 cents, that is almost 1%. However, if you are a 100% disabled Vet, “rounding down” the same 99 cents only costs you about 4 Thousandths of 1%. Over many years this “rounding down to the lower dollar” has effectively cut disability payments in half for many Vets as this chart shows.