Temporary Total (Convalescent) Rating for VA Benefits

Applying for disability benefits can be a confusing, overwhelming process. Veterans in need of disability benefits do not typically understand the jargon the VA uses and are left wondering what exactly they are entitled to. In this blog we are going to cover one instance where VA jargon is confusing, when a Veteran is assigned a convalescent rating.

What is a Convalescent Rating?

To understand a convalescent rating, you must first know what convalescence means. Convalescence is the time spent recovering from an illness or medical treatment.

A convalescent rating is a temporary total disability (100%) rating that is used by the VA whenever a service-connected disability requires in-patient treatment or outpatient surgery. The total rating lasts for the duration of hospital admission or outpatient release (in the case of outpatient surgery) and lasts for up to three months following the first day of the month after discharge.

For instance, if you are approved for three months of convalescent rating, and were discharged from the hospital on January 10, February 1 would be the first day that would count towards your 3 month total. This means that your convalescent rating would last until April 30.

What Does a Convalescent Rating Cover?

Regulations allow for convalescent ratings if a service-connected disability results in:

  • Surgery necessitating at least one month of convalescence.
  • Surgery with severe postoperative residuals such as incompletely healed surgical wounds, stumps of recent amputations, therapeutic immobilization of one major joint or more, application of a body cast, or the necessity for house confinement, or the necessity for continued use of a wheelchair or crutches (regular weight-bearing prohibited).
  • Immobilization by cast, without surgery, of one major joint or more.

Once your convalescent rating is finished, the VA will make a new determination regarding the evaluation of your service-connected disability. Sometimes this may require a new examination, known as a C&P examination.

How Do I Obtain a Convalescent Rating?

Per regulation, once you receive the treatment listed above and get discharge instructions showing a need for convalescence, those discharge instructions should be submitted to the VA. Once submitted, the VA will make a decision on your entitlement to a convalescent rating.

Veterans Appeals Lawyers

At Berry Law, we are dedicated to fighting the VA on behalf of fellow Veterans. Having helped Veterans in their fight for disability compensation for over 40 years, we understand the ins and outs of the bureaucracy that is the VA. If you need assistance appealing an unfavorable VA decision, contact one of the skilled Veterans disability attorneys on our team today to schedule a free case evaluation and see how we can help.