Skip to main content
Adjust Font Size:
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144

Can You Receive VA Disability Benefits for Life?

va disability benefits for life

Yes, it is possible to receive VA disability benefits for life. However, you are not guaranteed VA disability benefits for life.

How Long You Are Entitled to Veterans Disability Benefits?

You can receive VA disability benefits for as long as your service-connected injury or illness is assigned a compensable rating.

When Are VA Disability Benefits Permanent?

There are a few situations in which VA disability benefits are permanent.

Permanent and Total Disability

Permanent and total disability, or P&T, refers to veterans whose disabilities are total (rated 100% disabling by VA) and permanent (zero or close to zero chance of improvement). If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has deemed your condition permanent and total, you are entitled to lifetime benefits as P&T ratings are protected from being re-evaluated or reduced.

You Have Had the Same Rating for 20 Years

Once you have had the same disability rating for 20 years, VA cannot reduce your rating below the lowest rating you received over the last 20 years. For example, you have received monthly compensation for your major depressive disorder for 20 years. You have consistently received a rating of at least 50 percent throughout that time. As a result, your disability rating is protected and cannot be reduced below 50 percent going forward.

How Often You Can Expect Reexamination

VA can reduce your disability benefits if it deems your condition has improved. To ensure your disability rating accurately reflects your current condition, VA may reexamine you periodically. The frequency of reexamination depends on whether VA thinks your condition is likely to improve.

VA will typically reexamine two to five years after your initial examination. This reexamination will determine if your service-connected condition still warrants the same disability rating. If VA believes your condition is “static” (i.e., unlikely to improve) it is unlikely you will be reexamined.

TDIU Is Usually Not Permanent

Each year, you must fill out VA Form 21-4140 stating that you have not secured or maintained substantially gainful employment for at least 12 months, and you are thereby staying within VA’s eligibility requirements for receiving TDIU.

Note: After you have filled out VA Form 21-4140, Employment Questionnaire, for 20 years, or after you have turned 70 years old, you will no longer need to do so. At that time, your TDIU benefits become “permanent.”

VA Must Notify You Before It Reduces or Takes Away Your Disability Benefits

If VA sees fit to reduce or sever your benefits, it must first provide you with notice and time to submit arguments or evidence as to why your rating should not be reduced or severed. If VA fails to issue you this notice before reducing or taking away your benefits, you can argue the reduction or severance was improper.

Call 800-544-9144 to Speak with Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today

The team of veterans lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD is committed to helping veterans throughout the VA disability claims process. Call today to discuss your case with a member of our team: 800-544-9144. We offer a free case evaluation.