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VA Disability Compensation: Disability Ratings May Not Reflect Veterans' Economic Losses

HEHS-97-9 Published: Jan 07, 1997. Publicly Released: Jan 07, 1997.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information that would enable the subcommittee to assess the need for a comprehensive study of the economic validity of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) disability rating schedule, focusing on: (1) the basis for the disability ratings assigned to conditions in the current schedule; (2) socioeconomic changes that have occurred since the original version of the schedule was developed that may have influenced the earning capacity of disabled veterans; (3) the results of a previous study that examined the validity of ratings in the schedule; (4) VA's efforts to help ensure that the ratings do reflect disabled veterans' average impairment in earning capacity; and (5) the advantage of basing ratings in the schedule on actual loss in earnings, and approaches that could be used to estimate this loss.


Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress may wish to consider directing VA to determine whether the ratings for conditions in the schedule correspond to veterans' average loss in earnings due to these conditions and adjust disability ratings accordingly.
Closed – Not Implemented
Congress has not proposed any legislation regarding the rating schedule and has not yet directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct an evaluation of its disability-rating schedule.

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