The 100% disability rating is the highest level of disability the VA offers, providing monthly payments along with full medical care for service-related conditions. Other benefits and compensation are also available. This rating can be reached in a number of ways.
If you have an extremely severe service-connected condition that makes you unable to work and, in some cases, unable to provide yourself with personal care without help, this condition may be rated as 100% disabled.
The 100% disability rating is usually for veterans who have had two or more limbs amputated or paralyzed. It can also be for very serious service-related illnesses, such as active cases of tuberculosis or cancer. The 100% rating for illness will be revoked if the veteran goes into remission or is healed, but will be reinstated if the condition becomes active again.
If you have several service-connected conditions, none of which are rated 100% disability, it is possible that together they may create a 100% rating. However, it’s not simple math: a 60% disability and a 40% disability does not equal a 100% disability in the VA calculations. Multiple conditions that tend to have higher ratings, such as PTSD, heart or lung conditions, and severe limb damage, generally will reach a 100% disability rating.
If you can demonstrate that one or more service-related disabilities prevent you from maintaining substantially gainful employment, you may be able to receive TDIU status – Total Disability Individual Unemployability – even if your actual rating is below 100%. TDIU entitles you to 100% disability pay rates.
Increasing a high rate
If you already have a fairly high disability rating, such as 80% or 90%, you may be able to increase it to 100% if your condition worsens. You may also be able to increase the rating by completing the right DBQ Form (Disability Benefits Questionnaire). Many veterans fail to complete this form, but VA raters are authorized to increase a VA rating based on the DBQ form.
Temporary 100% rating
Hospitalization or convalescence will give you a temporary 100% rating if the hospital stay or convalescence is for a qualified VA disability. If a veteran’s disability is medically unlikely to improve, it may be declared Permanent and Total (P&T). This could also lead to a 100% rating. The P&T rating will dispense you from the periodic VA medical exams.
Additional benefits or compensation
How much money you’ll receive monthly depends on whether or not you have dependents. You may also be eligible for additional benefits or Special Monthly Compensation. Additional benefits may include dental care, access to commissaries and exchanges, housing benefits, vehicle modification payments, and more.
Special Monthly Compensation is given to particularly severe disabilities or combinations. Some of these conditions include amputations or loss of use of limbs, blindness or hearing loss, regular need for assistance with personal hygiene and care, being permanently bedridden or house-bound, physical loss of or use of a reproductive organ, loss of ability to speak or voice control, loss of 25% or more of breast tissue.
If you’ve been denied or think you deserve more
If you’ve been denied eligibility, or if you believe you’re eligible for a higher rating or additional compensation, contact us at the Law Office of Robert B. Goss, Veterans’ Attorney. As disabled veterans ourselves, we are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your service to our country. Call us from anywhere in the world at 877-425-4VET (4838) so we can help you.