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What Does It Mean to Be 100% Disabled by the VA?

To be 100% disabled by VA standards means that you are totally disabled.  Veterans awarded disability at this level receive the maximum in scheduler monthly compensation. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has stringent criteria veterans must meet in order to receive this rating.

What Are VA Disability Ratings?

The VA uses disability ratings to quantify the severity of your condition. They range from 0 to 100%. At a 0%rating, the VA generally believes your limitations are minimal and thus do not warrant disability compensation. On the other end of the spectrum, a 100% rating signifies a condition so severe as to be totally limiting of one’s ability to work.

A 0% rating offers no monthly monetary compensation, but it might make you eligible for ancillary benefits, such as health care. A 100% rating provides the maximum scheduler benefit in monthly compensation. For ratings between 0 and 100%, the monthly benefit increases incrementally with each higher rating.

As of 2020, the VA’s schedule of disability benefits by rating is as follows:

  • 0 percent disability rating: $0.00 per month
  • 10 percent disability rating: $142.29 per month
  • 20 percent disability rating: $281.27 per month
  • 30 percent disability rating: $435.69 per month
  • 40 percent disability rating: $627.61 per month
  • 50 percent disability rating: $893.43 per month
  • 60 percent disability rating: $1,131.68 per month
  • 70 percent disability rating: $1,426.17 per month
  • 80 percent disability rating: $1,657.80 per month
  • 90 percent disability rating: $1,862.96 per month
  • 100 percent disability rating: $3,106.04 per month

How Can I Qualify for a 100 Percent Rating?

There are three ways to do this. They are as follows:

Demonstrate a 100% Schedular Rating

The VA’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) provides a list of conditions and diseases that qualify for disability. It is hundreds of pages long and difficult to get through, but it is helpful enough to break the qualifying conditions down by different bodily systems.

If the list includes your condition, it should describe the criteria you must meet for each disability rating in terms of your symptoms. Some conditions top out at a rating less than 100, while others do not.  To receive a 100% schedular rating, you must meet the criteria for that rating listed under your condition.

Demonstrate Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

By demonstrating TDIU, you can receive the monthly disability compensation amount of 100%, while your total rating is actually less than 100%. Here is how it works: First, we must provide strong evidence to the VA that you are unemployable due to your condition. Next, your service-connected condition must meet the schedular criteria in the CFR for at least a 60% rating. Alternatively, if you have more than one service-related condition, they must total at least a 70% combined rating, with at least one condition rated at 40% disabling.

The VA also makes allowances for those who can demonstrate total unemployability but do not have conditions that meet the schedular criteria listed above. However, this can be a difficult claim to get granted, and you must have a unique and extreme set of circumstances that prove you are a special case. The following are types of evidence that could bolster your argument that your circumstance is worthy of extraschedular consideration:

  • You receive Social Security disability.
  • Your education and work history do not qualify you for any jobs you might be capable of doing with your disability.
  • You experience frequent hospitalizations for your condition.

You Have a Temporary Total Disability Due to Hospitalizations

The VA might award a temporary 100% rating when a veteran is hospitalized due to their service-related condition.

To keep your 100% rating after expiration, we must show evidence that you qualify for total disability based on one or more of the other criteria above.

Get Help Winning a 100% Disability Rating

As you can see, the criteria to receive a 100% disability rating from the VA is complex and confusing. Even if you think you have a strong case, the VA might argue otherwise. Once the VA makes a decision, it is tough to appeal and get a reversal.

That is why you need a top VA disability lawyer to fight for your benefits. The attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD have a strong track record getting our clients VA disability. We know how to fight cases the VA, and we can put our tools and resources to work for you.

We offer a free consultation during which you can speak to someone in our office about your situation. We may be able to help.  Ready to get started? Call our office today: 401-331-6300.