How to Get Total and Permanent Disability VA Benefits

A total and permanent disability VA rating is vital to a veteran’s dependency and indemnity compensation benefits eligibility. However, many veterans fear that the VA can reduce their ratings VA in the future.

What is a Permanent Disability?

A permanent disability rating covers injuries or illnesses that are not expected to improve over time, such as amputations and traumatic brain injury. While it may be possible to recover from some long-term disabilities, the VA will only award a100 permanent and total benefits for conditions that are considered irreversible.

A P&T rating is challenging to achieve for a single disability. However, some veterans are awarded a P&T rating for multiple impairments. These ratings are based on your medical condition, current limitations, and how your injuries will impact your ability to function and maintain a life.

If you are eligible for a P & T rating, you should work with your doctors to gather evidence that your injury/illness is not expected to improve. You should also ensure consistent medical treatment and up-to-date records to support your claim. Then, you can ask your regional office to find you P&T. This will enable you to receive benefits.

How Do I Get a Permanent Disability Rating?

Getting a permanent disability rating is all about the medical evidence, including treatment records and doctor’s opinions that your condition will not improve. In many cases, this will be obvious, such as with an amputation or blindness, but in other cases, it may be more challenging to prove that your conditions are not expected to improve.

To get a permanent and total disability (P&T) rating, veterans need to show that it is reasonably certain that their disabilities are not expected to improve, or will not improve significantly, for the rest of their lives. This also protects the rating from future reevaluations, which can reduce ratings.

It is not possible to get a P&T rating without first being service-connected for a disability and then having that service-connected disability rated as either schedular or extraschedular TDIU. TDIU stands for totally disabled, individual unemployable. Having this rating entitles you to the highest compensation rate available from VA.

Can I Get a Permanent Disability Rating With a 100 Percent Combined Rating?

The first step is to get your medical records in order. It is also helpful to have a private doctor write you a letter explaining how your disabilities are total, permanent, and unlikely to improve.

The second step is to have a VA examiner tell you that your conditions are so severe that they prevent you from maintaining gainful employment. This is called a TDIU rating. Veterans rated at a 100% P&T rating are considered disabled and will receive the highest rate of compensation in the VA schedule.

However, a 100% disability rating is not permanent. It is subject to review and can be reduced if new evidence shows your condition improves. This is very common with conditions like PTSD or TBI that are not static. If a 100% disability rating is awarded, you can pursue additional benefits besides monthly compensation, such as healthcare and life insurance. You will need to submit a separate claim for these benefits.

Can I Get a Permanent Disability Rating if I Have a TDIU Rating?

To be awarded a permanent disability rating, you must meet all of the regular requirements for P&T disability and have a condition rated 100%, not expected to improve, and prevent you from sustaining substantially gainful employment. Obtaining this rating involves filing a standard disability claim, extra forms, and medical evaluations. The process can be confusing, and seeking the guidance of a VA disability lawyer is a good idea.

The qualifications for schedular TDIU are slightly different from those for P&T disability. To qualify for schedular TDIU, you must have at least one service-connected disability rated at 70 percent or higher and be prevented from working by your disabilities. It would help if you also had a non-honorable discharge from military service or a diagnosis of chronic mental illness that prevents you from working. The language of your rating decision will tell you whether you are approved for schedular TDIU. Look for language like “permanent and total” or no scheduled future exams, indicating permanence.


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