Understanding Recent Changes to the VA’s Rating of Musculoskeletal Disabilities (VSO)

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Presenter: Rick Spataro

Length: 107 minutes

Recorded: April 2021


Webinar Description:

Vast numbers of veterans have service-connected musculoskeletal disabilities, from degenerative arthritis of the spine, to a knee ligament tear, to an amputated arm. In February 2021, the VA implemented major changes to the way it evaluates such disabilities. The VA revised its schedule for rating disabilities of the musculoskeletal system and muscle injuries by adding 4 new diagnostic codes, removing 3 diagnostic codes, and modifying 31 diagnostic codes. These changes affect the amount of service-connected disability benefits to which many veterans are entitled.

It is important that advocates know about these changes to the VA’s rating schedule and how the changes impact the veterans they represent. Without a clear understanding of these changes, you will not be able to properly assess whether a veteran should file a claim for an increased rating or whether to appeal the VA’s assignment of a rating. This webinar will give you the tools to ensure that the VA properly evaluates veterans’ musculoskeletal disabilities under the new rating criteria.

This webinar will cover:
• A comprehensive review of the changes to the VA’s schedule of ratings of the musculoskeletal system and muscle injuries, with side-by-side comparisons of the old and new rating criteria
• How the changes affect current disability ratings, pending claims for service connection and increased ratings, and new claims for increased ratings
• Why the VA made certain changes to the rating schedule, but not others
• Identification of diagnostic codes that have not changed
• Changes to certain disability benefits questionnaires
• And more!