VA disability ratings are usually temporary. At any time, the VA can review your condition, and if they find it has changed, your disability ratings will change as well. But sometimes, the VA will assign you total and permanent ratings if the injuries you sustained while serving aren’t expected to improve. In the article below, learn more about permanent and total disability.
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What Is Permanent and Total Disability?
A permanent disability means an impairment is likely to last throughout your life. On the other hand, a total disability is a body or mind impairment that makes it impossible for an average veteran to function at work or in life. The VA rates disabilities at levels. A 100% percent rating, which is the highest, indicates that your impairment is disabling.
How Do You Get Permanent and Total Disability From the VA
Most veterans wonder how to get permanent and total disability from the VA. You qualify for VA benefits if you served in the U.S. military and sustained a disabling injury while on duty. These benefits are paid monthly and are tax-free. You’ll have to meet some requirements to get these benefits, as highlighted below.
- You served in the military
- You have a disability caused by your service in the military
- You have an injury that worsened because of serving in the military
A vet may be assigned a 100% disability rating for a condition that isn’t categorized as a permanent disability. On the other hand, a vet may have a permanent disability that isn’t rated 100% disabling. The benefits of total and permanent disability come into play when the condition is considered permanent and total. The common injuries that are deemed total and permanent include paralysis or amputation of the following.
- Both feet or both hands
- One foot and one hand
- Losing sight in both eyes
- Becoming permanently bedridden or helpless
Can a Permanent and Total Rating Reduce?
Veterans are often concerned about the VA reducing their rating. But if you have been assigned a total and permanent disability, you’re protected from VA reevaluations, meaning your VA ratings won’t change for the rest of your life. The only reason VA would reduce your rating is if they discover the initial rating was based on fraud. In Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) cases, surviving spouses will only receive permanent and total rate benefits if they had been married for ten years before the vet’s death.
What Are VA’s Permanent and Total Disability Benefits?
You can receive these benefits if you have been approved for a permanent and total disability rating.
- Heath benefits such as dental care, primary care, nursing home placement, and preventative care.
- Tax waivers
- Benefits for your dependents such as dental care, healthcare, etc
- Monthly financial compensation
If you’re hoping the VA will assign permanent and total disability ratings, go for medical care regularly. For example, say you have a spinal cord injury. If your medical records show that you have been undergoing regular care, but your condition isn’t improving, you increase the chances of receiving a total and permanent disability rating.
Requesting the VA to Make Your Rating Total and Permanent
If you want the VA to make your rating permanent and total, send a request letter to the VA regional office explaining your condition. Include the necessary medical records as evidence to qualify for permanent and total disability benefits.
It’s common to receive an inaccurate rating from the VA. Since errors are possible, consider hiring a legal team with experience in VA claims. They can file the necessary documentation to help get the benefits you should.