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Overhaul Rating Schedule?: The Institute of Medicine, by request of the Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission, has issued a report recommending improvements for medical evaluations and ratings of veterans for VA benefits. The report “A 21st Century System for Evaluating Veterans for Disability Benefits,” recommends that the VA “comprehensively update the entire rating schedule.” It also recommends that the VA dedicate staff to maintain the rating schedule, and re-establish an external advisory committee of experts to help with the updating process. The institute also believes that VA must expand the current statutory purpose of the program, which is simply to “compensate for average loss of earning capacity.” Instead the report states the VA should also consider “nonwork disability and loss of quality of life” and acknowledges that such action “would be difficult and costly.” (You can read it online free or purchase a copy here.)