The difference between a 100% rating and permanent and total (P&T) disability is that the VA may schedule a reexamination for a veteran with a 100% service connection to see if the condition has improved, whereas a vet who is P&T is not expected to improve and not scheduled for further evaluation.
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You have a significant emotional or physical injury associated with your military service. You think you may qualify for 100% or permanent and total disability, but you don’t understand the difference between the two ratings. Essentially, the difference is whether the VA believes your condition may improve. This post explains more.
What does a 100% VA rating mean?
A 100% or “total” VA rating means you receive the VA’s highest rating for a service-connected condition on the Schedule of Ratings. In other words, this rating means that you are disabled at the highest level related to your disability. And therefore, you get the most benefit available within the rating schedule.
A 100% rating is not easy to receive for a single disability, so if you have 100% it likely means that the condition you’re experiencing is severe. But you also can receive a combined rating of 100% for multiple disabilities.
Despite the difficulty of receiving a 100% rating, more than a million veterans rated at this level in 2021.
Total ratings are not automatically permanent. The VA can reduce a 100% rating if they can prove that your condition has “shown material improvement,” which means that there has been a significant change in your ability to function in daily life. Therefore, 100% ratings require ongoing follow-up medical appointments, and the VA can lower a rating.
What is a VA permanent rating?
The VA gives a permanent rating for a condition that isn’t expected to improve or change within the veteran’s lifetime. The VA applies this rating to conditions like losing a limb or a long-term illness. It means there’s no need for the VA to re-evaluate the condition because it won’t change. Because the condition won’t change, the rating and payment also remain the same for the veteran’s life.
You don’t apply for a permanent rating. The VA makes the determination. If the decision doesn’t say it’s permanent, but no future exams are scheduled, it is possibly a permanent rating. The VA doesn’t view the rating as permanent if future exams are scheduled.
What is a VA permanent and total rating?
A VA rating of permanent and total (P&T) disability is when a single condition is rated 100% and isn’t expected to improve over time. Veterans with a P&T rating aren’t re-evaluated and receive monthly benefits at 100% for the remainder of their lives. The rating does not change, and the payment isn’t reduced.
Conditions that qualify for P&T include:
- Injuries that are unlikely to improve with treatment
- A totally incapacitating, long-standing disease
- Permanent loss or loss of use of both hands, both feet, one hand or foot, or eyesight
What is the difference between 100% and P&T?
The key difference between a 100% schedular rating and a P&T rating is the ongoing evaluation because of anticipated changes in the condition.
A 100% rating is likely to include follow-up medical appointments because the veteran’s condition may improve. If the condition improves, the VA can drop the rating and the payment amount.
P&T ratings are not expected to change, therefore they are paid at 100%, but without medical re-evaluation. The condition is not expected to improve or change for the remainder of the veteran’s life.
Can I work with P&T VA disability?
The VA doesn’t prohibit you from working with P&T disability. But your medical condition possibly does. A 100% rating for a single condition is given on the basis of the condition being totally disabling which would prevent the average person from working.
How to get VA disability benefits
For the VA to consider disability benefits, you must file a claim. The VA will usually request a compensation and pension exam. The examining physician will examine your condition and ask you questions about your service. If the VA schedules an exam, you need to complete the exam to avoid denial of your claim.
You also can use a Disability Benefits Questionnaire to help your claim. A DBQ allows you to address symptoms, severity, possible causes, and how the condition may be related to other disabilities. A private physician can complete the form for you.
Once the VA processes your claim for benefits, you will receive a rating decision that informs you of what the VA decided. If the VA denies your benefits, you may want to file an appeal. If you win your appeal, you should receive monthly compensation plus any back compensation owed.
They did good by me. I am sick and the VA was stalling. They got me 100 percent permanent and total.
How do veterans know if they have a 100% permanent and total rating?
Your regional VA office issues a rating decision that explains the issues, discusses the relevant law, lists and discusses the evidence, and provides the decision and an explanation for it.
To determine whether you have a 100% P&T rating, look at your most recent rating decision letter. It will state whether you received 100% and permanent total disability ratings. Look to see if the rating decision has a checked box that’s permanent and total. The rating decision doesn’t always make this easy to determine. If the letter states that no future exams will be scheduled, that is an indication your rating is possibly permanent.
Woods and Woods can help
If you are severely injured — physically or emotionally — due to your military service, you deserve VA disability compensation. Contact Woods and Woods to file an initial claim or appeal a rating decision. You only pay us if we win.
Talk to Us About Your Claim: (866) 232-5777
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The VA re-evaluates a 100% disability rating to see if it improves over time. If it does, the rating percentage and payment amount may decline if the VA reduces the benefit. The VA doesn’t re-evaluate P&T because it’s unlikely to change.
The VA does not prohibit you from working with this rating if you can.