VA Rating and Essential Tremor

August 14, 2018

The VA is the department of Veterans Affairs and is a federal cabinet-level agency that provides healthcare services to eligible military veterans at VA medical centers and outpatient centers. They also offer non-healthcare benefits like disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, and life insurance. It also provides memorial and burial benefits to families of eligible veterans. Veterans have benefited since the revolutionary war, but the VA was not officially established until 1930. The VA employs 377,805 people and costs about $273 billion. The agency is led by the secretary of veterans affairs, who is appointed by the president who gets advice and consent from the senate. 

The VA rates disability from 0 percent to 100 percent in 10 percent increments. The VA uses this disability rating to determine how much benefit pay you get from them. Veterans quality for different amounts of benefits depending on their situations, so this is a tool used to determine how much those with disability get. Without this scale, it would be virtually impossible to measure someone's need level based on their disability and current situation. The scale provides a measured approach to determining the financial need of veterans who qualify. 

VA makes a determination about the severity of the disability you have based on the evidence you submit when you submit a claim to them, or what they obtain from your military records. If it is found that the veteran in question has multiple disabilities, the VA uses the combined ratings table to calculate a combined disability rating. If a veteran has a 50 percent disability and a 30 percent disability, the combined value will be 65 percent, but then bumped up to 70 since they go in 10 percent increments. 

The VA is supposed to compensate for work lost from a disability. So tremors, while doing work are the primary concern when looking at essential tremor on the VA rating scale. Using different diagnoses, they are able to score based on the bilateral tremor, where the tremor is, how often it happens, and how often it manifests itself. 

The two approaches that are taken when looking into each individual situation. One is what might happen, and one that looks at what is currently happening. If someone is concerned about losing a job later on and applying for compensation in that situation as opposed to someone who is currently out of work, the situation will be scored and treated much differently. The disability code for essential tremor is 8515

The VA rating is a great tool for providing a numerical chart in measuring financial need among veterans who qualify. Information for this article was retrieved from We encourage you to visit this website for more information about the VA and disability. If you are a veteran who may qualify, there are resources on this site with information about taking the first steps towards disability compensation and medical assistance. Please take advantage of this wonderful program to help your essential tremor.