If the VA recognizes that your military service left you with conditions rated at 100% (called total disability), you’re eligible for disability benefits. But you also may qualify for various other benefits. This post explains more.
Talk to Us About Your Claim:
If the VA rated your disability 100%, you are entitled to full disability compensation, but you’re likely eligible for other benefits as well. These benefits, which can include healthcare coverage and free travel, are available to make daily life easier and improve your quality of life with your service-related injury or illness. This post reviews some of the benefits available to veterans with a 100% disability rating.
In this article about what veterans get with a 100% rating:
- What does it mean to be rated 100% by the VA?
- Healthcare benefits for veterans with a 100% rating
- Life insurance for veterans
- Long-term care for veterans with a 100% rating
- Student loan forgiveness
- State benefits for 100% disabled veterans
- Additional benefits
- Benefits for veterans with a permanent and total rating
- Our VA disability lawyers can help
What does it mean to be rated 100% by the VA?
A 100% rating for a single disability means you receive the VA’s highest rating for a service-connected condition on the Schedule of Ratings. In other words, you’re disabled at the highest level in your disability category and get the most compensation available for that condition ($3,621.95 a month for a veteran with no dependents).
A single 100% rating means that the condition you’re experiencing is severe and totally disabling.
A combined rating of 100% is not a total disability because a person may be able to maintain substantially gainful employment with a combined 100%.
More than a million veterans receive benefits at the 100% rate.
In addition to receiving the highest possible disability payment, these veterans qualify for additional benefits if their 100% rating is permanent.
Healthcare benefits for veterans with a 100% rating
Many veterans can choose to receive free healthcare from the VA. But only some veterans are eligible for added benefits like dental care and low- or no-cost premiums.
Whether a veteran qualifies for these additional healthcare benefits depends on their assigned priority group. Veterans with a 100% disability rating should be in priority group one, which means they’ll receive reduced copays for office visits and no copays on medications.
Veterans with a one or more disabilities rated at 100% also qualify for free dental care, but only if their 100% rating is stable and not tied to a temporary illness or injury.
Life insurance for veterans
Veterans with service-connected disabilities are eligible for low cost life insurance called Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) through the VA.
This program replaced the VA’s Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI), which stopped taking new applications Dec. 31, 2022. Although S-DVI offered a waiver for veterans who were totally disabled, the new program, VALife, does not offer premium waivers for any reason.
Long-term care for veterans with a 100% rating
Veterans receiving 100% compensation for one or more conditions also may receive free short- and long-term care, including full residential care, from the VA.
Veterans who need this type of care are encouraged to enroll in the VA health care system.
Either way, veterans who have a combined disability rating of 70% or more receive mandatory eligibility for care. This care is provided through VA community living centers, state veterans’ homes, and partnerships with nursing homes in the community.
Student loan forgiveness
Veterans found to be totally disabled by the VA may qualify for the U.S. Department of Education’s Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program. It provides relief from repaying federal student loans to veterans who either have a service-connected condition that is 100% disabling or are receiving total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU).
State benefits for 100% disabled veterans
While they vary from state to state, most states offer benefits to residents who are disabled veterans. Some examples of state benefits include:
- Vehicle Registration. Veterans with disabilities in some states are eligible for a reduction or waiver of vehicle registration fees. They may also be eligible for special license plates for their vehicles.
- Property Tax. Some states reduce property tax rates or waive property taxes for disabled veterans.
- Fishing and Hunting Licenses. Veterans with disabilities may be able to obtain free or discounted fishing and hunting licenses in some states.
- Educational or Vocational Programs. States often offer free or discounted educational or vocational programs to disabled veterans
Since these programs are state-specific, you should consult your state’s veteran’s affairs department for a list of programs, eligibility requirements, and application procedures.
Other benefits may be available to veterans who are 100% disabled. This list likely isn’t comprehensive. Your regional VA office can tell you more about the benefits available in your area. They may include:
- Automobile Allowances. Automobile allowances allow veterans with certain disabilities to buy or adapt a vehicle to accommodate their needs. You must apply for the allowance, which is paid directly to the vehicle seller.
- Clothing Allowances. Veterans who wear a prosthetic or use an orthopedic device can get an annual clothing allowance. This allowance also applies to those with skin conditions who use skin medication that damages clothing. The VA administers and pays these allowances to approved veterans.
- National Park Passes. Veterans–with or without disabilities–are now eligible for free entry to National Parks. The Military Lifetime Pass allows a veteran (including those who served in the National Guard and Reserves) and guests in the same vehicle to enter any U.S. National Park without payment of any entry fees. The Access Pass also includes discounts or waivers of user fees at U.S. National Parks for camping, swimming, boat launching, and paid tours. The pass can either be ordered through the USGS store (for a $10 processing fee) or in person at sites that issue passes. You will need to present one of the following documents:
- Unexpired Department of Defense IDCard (DD Form 2, DD Form 2765, or Next Generation USID replacement OR
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) OR
- Veteran ID Card OR
- Veterans designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or ID card
Benefits for veterans with a permanent and total rating
A veteran with a 100% disability rating also may seek permanent and total disability rating if their disability is not expected to improve.
When you are granted a permanent and total disability rating, the VA will forgo scheduling medical reexaminations that can result in a loss or reduction of your VA disability benefits, Read this post to better understand the difference between 100% and P&T VA ratings.
Here are some of the benefits available to veterans with P&T ratings.
Dependents and survivors
Spouses and children of veterans with P&T ratings can receive the following VA benefits:
- Healthcare. Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) Benefits cover some healthcare services and supplies for dependent or surviving spouses or children of a veteran with a P&T rating.
- Education Assistance. Survivors’ And Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) provides help paying for school or job training for children of P&T-rated veterans.
Space Available travel is a program through the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) available to veterans who are service connected for a permanent and total disability.
Using Space-A travel can be a bit more complicated than booking a commercial airline ticket. It’s only available from certain airbases and limited airports.
To fly Space-A, you must register with an AMC Form 140, Space-Available Travel Request form. Disabled veterans are classified with priority group VI on the form.
On the day of the flight, you check in at the terminal and wait for your name to be called. There is no guarantee that you will get a seat on the flight even if you have registered. Seats are assigned based on priority group and once seats are filled no one else–even if they are on the registration list–can board the flight. But, if your name is called, you will travel for free.
Space-A travel isn’t allowed for dependents, so you’ll need to travel alone or book a ticket for your loved one.
“They did good by me. I am sick, and the VA was stalling. They got me 100% permanent and total.“
Our VA disability lawyers can help
If you have a 100% VA rating because of your military service, you deserve VA disability compensation and all of the additional benefits available to you. Contact Woods and Woods to file a claim or if you think you were denied benefits owed to you. You only pay us if we win.
Talk to Us About Your Claim:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes. Not only do veterans with a 100% rating qualify for full disability benefits, they also may qualify for various other healthcare, dental care, long-term care, housing, and travel benefits. Veterans have to apply for each of these benefits individually.
Technically, yes. You must apply for each benefit beyond your disability payment individually. The VA has a specific set of criteria for qualification of each benefit. However, a 100% disability rating alone may qualify you for many additional benefits.