Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings can protect veterans from rating reductions. If your service-connected injuries are not expected to improve, you may be eligible for a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating. This article will cover the basics of Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. If you have more questions after watching our video and reading this article, feel free to reach out to Woods & Woods for a free VA disability claim evaluation.
Introduction to Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings
Just because you’re found disabled does not mean the VA is saying it’s permanent and does not mean that later on they won’t try and reduce your rating.
Total disability is good, but Permanent and Total disability is even better. Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) can be considered temporary, but Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings get protection from any future reductions.
The VA deems a disability permanent when it is reasonably certain the veteran’s condition won’t improve. Age is an important factor, if you’re 75 years old, it’s not reasonable to believe that your spine injury is going to get better and you’re going to be able to return to work. However, that same person, if they were only 35 years old, might be considered temporary because they’re young enough to improve.
How do you tell if your rating has found you to be Permanent and Total? Look at your Rating Decision. The exact language used in Rating Decisions will vary from Regional Office to Regional Office and each state has their own Regional Office but understanding what to look for can help you figure it out.
- Does the Rating Decision say there are no future exams are going to be scheduled?
- Does the Rating Decision have a box that’s Permanent and Total and it’s checked?
- Have you actually read why the VA ruled the way it did? Frequently you can read the Rating Decision itself, and it’s pretty clear one way or the other what they’ve done.
Rating Reductions Can Happen Without Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings
Reductions can be a real problem; the VA can lower your rating from the $3000 a month you’re getting to only $500 a month. Even though you can win those reductions, it can be pretty scary sometimes. Protection from these reductions is another reason why Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings are better than Totally Disabled. There are even advantages that can transfer over to surviving spouses.
For example, if a spouse is married to a veteran that is rated Permanent and Total for at least 10 years, when the veteran dies, the benefits will stop. But if the veteran was rated Permanent and Total for at least 10 years, the widow automatically qualifies for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). That’s worth about $1300 a month in addition to Social Security Disability, and they’ll get those benefits even if the reason he died is unrelated to his time in service. If you have questions you can always reach out to our DIC veterans widows benefits attorneys for help.
How do Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings Work?
If you are approved for VA Benefits, the Veterans Administration is going to give you a disability rating. If the Veterans Administration finds that your mental and physical conditions have no way of improving, they will give you a permanent rating. If you do not have a permanent rating, the VA has the ability to review your rating from time-to-time and could possibly lower your rating.
However, just because you don’t have the “permanent” rating, doesn’t mean the VA will automatically review your VA Disability rating – the VA is inconsistent. That probably doesn’t come as a shock to you.
Definitions of Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings
Total: All service-connected impairments will be given a disability rating of 0-100%. The rating you will receive for a service-connected impairment is based upon how much that impairment affects your ability to function at work and in your personal life. A 100% VA disability rating means that your impairment is “totally” disabling.
Permanent: The VA will find a disability permanent when based upon all the medical evidence, it is reasonably certain the impairment will not improve over the veteran’s life. The VA is also going to consider the veteran’s age. Older veterans are much more likely to obtain a permanent rating because of this factor.
Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings Requirements
- Evidence of Service-Connected Disability: Veterans wishing to obtain Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings will first need to prove their service-connected disability.
- Proof Your Conditions Will Not Improve: This is the key to obtaining Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. Many veterans will use medical reports from doctors, psychologists, cardiologists, oncologists, and many other medical professionals to win their Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. These reports can detail why the veteran’s condition is not expected to improve.
TDIU Benefits Permanent and Total Disability Ratings
Lots of veterans cannot work from service-connected disabilities – you are not alone. Veterans who have both mental and physical conditions from service are particularly unemployable. The combination of both mental and physical conditions can prevent you from obtaining meaningful employment. Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) Benefits are specifically designed to help veterans who can no longer work.
TDIU benefits allow veterans to be paid at the 100% VA rating compensation rate. But veterans who obtain TDIU benefits are not required to obtain a 100% rating. TDIU benefits are not paid to veterans on top of a 100% rating. In other words, if you already have a 100% rating, there is no reason to try to obtain TDIU benefits because your compensation rate will not increase.
Veterans are allowed to get both TDIU benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time. You will need to submit your application for TDIU benefits to the VA and your SSDI application to the SSA. Each disability benefit has its own requirements. Some veterans are approved for one and denied the other. The VA benefits lawyers at Woods & Woods can help veterans with both their TDIU benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time.
Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Pay Some Veterans Over $2,900 a Month
Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings pay lots of veterans over $2,900 a month. If you receive Permanent and Total disability VA benefits you may also be able to get monthly compensation for dependent children and parents.
If you have been told by a worker at the VA you are not eligible, you should still apply. If you have been denied, you can file a TDIU Benefit appeal. If you deserve a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating, don’t give up. Many veterans are denied or wrongly told they don’t deserve Permanent and Total disability VA benefits.
Many veterans also receive back pay when their claim is approved. This is the money the VA should have been paying you – which dates back to your effective date. That is not necessarily the date you applied. Many veterans find their effective dates were years before they ever applied.
FAQ: Permanent and Total Disability VA Benefits Ratings
If I don’t have a Permanent and Total rating, will I be re-evaluated in the future?
Maybe. If you did not obtain Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings for your conditions, the VA can re-evaluate your ratings at a later date. The VA can lower your rating upon review. The VA is fairly inconsistent in re-evaluating veteran’s VA disability ratings. Some veterans will be re-evaluated while other veteran’s ratings will not.
How do vets know if they are considered Permanent and Total?
If Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings are awarded, it will be listed on your Rating Decision letter. If you no longer have your letter, you can log into your eBenefits account to review your current VA disability ratings.
Are TDIU benefits automatically Permanent and Total?
TDIU benefits do not automatically qualify for Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. However, the VA will only reduce TDIU ratings if actual employability is established by clear and convincing evidence. Veterans with TDIU benefits can receive a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating if their impairments and employability are not expected to improve.
Can you request the VA to make your rating Permanent and Total?
Yes. Veterans who wish to obtain a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating can send a request into their VA Regional Office. Your letter should explain why your conditions are not likely to improve. Veterans should include any relevant medical documentation and other evidence that helps prove their service-connected disabilities are not likely to improve.
Can a 100% VA disability rating be Permanent and Total?
Yes. Some veterans that obtain a 100% rating will also be eligible for Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings. 100% VA disability ratings are not automatically considered Permanent and Total. Many veterans with a 100% rating are eligible for Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings because their conditions have progressed to a point where they are not going to improve with time.
Is PTSD a permanent disability?
Not all the time. Veterans regularly contact our office and tell us they are trying to obtain a 100% P&T PTSD rating. We always have to explain how hard it can be to get a Permanent and Total disability VA benefits rating for PTSD because the VA expects many mental conditions to improve. The VA acts as though through treatment that mental conditions will improve over time. Unfortunately, our experience is that many client’s mental conditions become worse over time.
If I have SSDI and IU benefits, are the automatically permanent?
No. For some reason lots of veterans believe if you have IU benefits and SSDI benefits, that Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings are automatic. This is not true. The fact that you are receiving SSDI benefits has no bearing upon your chances of obtaining Permanent and Total disability VA benefits ratings.
Talk to Our VA Disability Lawyers for Free
Since 1985, Woods & Woods has fought for injured and disabled people. Our VA disability compensation lawyers have successfully represented thousands of veterans against the VA.
We offer free legal consultations to any veteran, family member, or caretaker of a veteran. The staff at Woods & Woods veterans disability benefits lawyers can answer your questions and discuss your claim. We never charge for phone calls. Our staff will examine your claim and will help you decide what is the next step you should take for your VA claim.
We offer free help with your application if you haven’t already applied. The VA-accredited disability lawyers at Woods & Woods only charge a fee if you hire us for your appeal and we win. If your appeal is successful, our fee is a percentage of back pay and case expenses. If your appeal is not successful, you pay our lawyers nothing – not even a penny. The VA benefits appeals lawyers at Woods & Woods will never charge clients if we don’t win your VA claim.
Woods & Woods is a nationwide law firm that can help veterans wherever they live. We have built a large legal network of VA disability law firms that each help veterans with specific types of cases. Sometimes, we recommend partner law firms to veterans if we know a lawyer that focuses on their type of VA disability claim. Our goal isn’t to sign up every case that comes through the door, our mission is to help as many veterans as possible and do what is best for the client.