In February 2022, VA published several proposed updates to Veterans’ disability ratings in the Federal Register for public comment. Some of these include:
- Updating the way VA evaluates and classifies mental illness, to include a “multi-dimensional” approach that goes beyond assigning ratings based on symptoms, and instead focusing more on the individual Veteran’s ability to function in a work setting. Read More.
- Acknowledging the mental health stressors that the wars and conflicts since 9/11 have placed and continue to place on Veterans today, which often contribute to PTSD, depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorder, and updating the way VA diagnoses mental health conditions to recognize and quantify these stressors. Read More.
- Increasing the compensation for mental health ratings to more accurately offset the Veteran’s earnings loss, including a more “multi-dimensional” approach to evaluating the Veteran’s ability to function, recognizing that not all symptoms are “visible or subject to a laboratory test.” Read More.
- Stopping the practice of combining co-existing respiratory disabilities (except for sleep apnea), as well as updating the way VA rates respiratory conditions and ear, nose, and throat conditions. Read more.
The public has 60 days to comment on VA’s proposed changes to Veterans’ disability ratings, and the comment period closes on April 18, 2022. You may comment on the two documents that outline the proposed rule changes here and here.