When it comes to the Veterans Affairs 100 percent disability ratings, things can be confusing. Veterans can find it difficult to determine whether or not they can work if they are rated at 100%. To better understand which 100 % rating is best for you, let’s consider the types of 100 percent disability ratings that the VA uses to determine if a Veteran can return to work or not.
Types of 100 Percent Disability Ratings
Service Connected Disabilities – This is when a Veteran’s a single service connected disability or alternatively, the Veteran’s combined service connected disabilities total to 100 percent. Once the Veteran reaches 100 percent service connected disability this way, he or she can work full time.
Total Disability/Individual Unemployability (TDIU or IU) – This type of disability rating is a bit more complicated than regular service connected disability and is considered when a Veteran’s claim is made which requests that he or she be paid the full 100 percent rate even though his or her disabilities fail to combine to 100 percent. A Veteran may make a claim for the rating when he or she is unable to maintain what the VA considers “gainful employment” because the service connected disability keeps them from doing so. Veterans granted 100% disability under IU are not allowed to work full-time due to the nature of his or her service connected disabilities.
In order to qualify for TDIU or IU, the Veteran must have one disability rated at 60 percent or one at 40 percent with enough additional disabilities that create a rating of 70 percent or above. Even though the basic criteria for IU are met, this does not mean that 100 percent disability rating will be awarded. The Veteran must provide medical evidence which shows that he or she is unable to work in both physical and sedentary settings. Though the qualifications may seem stringent, IU can still be awarded to those Veterans who do not meet the percentage criteria if the disabilities present a distinctive hindrance to gainful employment.
Receiving an IU 100 percent rating does not create a bar to all employment. You can still work “marginal” or part time employment with a certain amount that can be earned annually.
Temporary 100 Percent Disability Rating– This rating is given to Veterans that have been hospitalized for 21 days or longer or had surgery for a service connected disability that requires at least a 30 day convalescence period. The VA will pay the Veteran at the 100 percent rate for the extent of the hospital stay or convalescence period.
Permanent and Total Rating– The Permanent and Total rating is when the VA recognizes that the Veterans service connected disabilities have no probability of improvement and that the Veteran will remain at the 100 percent rating permanently without the need for future examinations. The P & T rating will also provide additional benefits including the Chapter 35 education benefits for dependents.
Veterans will sometimes make the mistake of requesting P&T 100 percent ratings because they want education benefits for their dependents. Keep in mind that when requesting P&T, all of your service connected records will be re-evaluated and if improvement is found in subsequent evaluations, the 100 percent rating can be reduced.
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