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Victory In Appeals For 100% Disabled Veteran Benefits | VetLaw

Legally reviewed by Brendan Garcia , Owner and Lead Attorney

Given everything that veterans have done for our country, many assume that securing benefits, especially 100% disabled veteran benefits, is easy. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. As veterans and lawyers, we understand your needs and will make your case our top priority.

You have spent enough time navigating the bureaucratic system used to file a claim for VA disability benefits, now you need a team that will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve.

At VetLaw, we advocate for the rights of veterans and fight to obtain 100% disabled veterans benefits for our clients. Consider contacting us for your no-risk free case review today.

How Can a Veteran Get 100% Disability Benefits?

When you submit a disability claim with the VA, an adjudicator will evaluate it and assign you a disability rating. Your rating is based on the severity of your condition and symptomology. Ultimately, this rating will determine how much you are compensated on a monthly basis.

A 0% rating means that while your disability is service connected, the impairments you suffer from do not qualify for cash benefits. On the other hand, a 100% rating means that your service-connected disability impairs your ability to work, maintain meaningful relationships with loved ones, and perform routine daily tasks.

To get a 100% VA disability rating, you must provide sufficient evidence to prove the severity of your condition. This can come in the form of diagnostic tests, documentation of treatment, or a persuasive nexus letter, for instance. Having people close to you testify about how your symptoms impact your life may also be compelling evidence. A veteran can have a rating of 100% for one condition – which is called total disability – or a combined rating of 100%.

What Are the Types of 100% Disability Ratings?

There are a few different ways that you can obtain a 100% disability rating from the VA. Your strategy for getting a 100% rating will depend on your unique situation and ability to work. It is important to understand that you can still work even if you are receiving compensation at the 100% level, which is important to many of our clients.

100% Schedular Disability

A 100% schedular disability rating indicates that you have ​one or more service-connected disabilities that add up to 100% on a schedular basis. ​Veterans who receive a 100% schedular disability still have the option to work, but there are key limitations and considerations to keep in mind. While a 100% disability rating can provide financial stability, any income that you earn may impact other VA ​or non-VA ​benefits that you receive.

Your VetLaw attorney will ensure that you are informed of the VA’s rules regarding employment for veterans who receive a 100% schedular disability rating. It is also important to acknowledge that successfully securing 100% disabled veteran benefits can be extraordinarily difficult, leading many veterans to pursue an evaluation through another avenue.

Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

TDIU is a disability rating for individuals who cannot work due to their service-connected disability. Veterans who receive TDIU are compensated at the same level as veterans who receive a 100% disability rating.

To successfully obtain TDIU, you must prove that you have received a 60% or greater disability rating for one service-connected condition or a 40% or greater disability rating on at least one of two or more service-connected conditions, with a combined total rating of 70% or more.

You must also prove that you are unable to keep a steady job that supports you financially​, which VA calls maintaining substantially gainful employment​. Any service-connected condition, mental or physical, can contribute to TDIU.

The VA will evaluate your claim based on the combined effect of all your conditions, not just one single disability. There are also specific exceptions regarding your ability to work and receive TDIU. If you make less than the federal poverty threshold, for example, or if your employer provides extensive and unreasonable accommodations at your workplace, you may still qualify for TDIU.

100% Total and Permanent Disability

This rating is available for veterans who have ​one or more​ disabilit​ies​ that ​are​ permanent in nature, meaning there is likely no chance for improvement. A total and permanent disability rating will entitle both you and your family to a range of 100% disabled veteran benefits that cannot be reduced​, as well as providing additional benefits such as educational and health care benefits for dependents​.

If you believe that you are entitled to total and permanent disability, you may submit a letter to your local VA Regional Office detailing why this rating is necessary and providing evidence that your condition is severe and not expected to improve in the future.

100% Temporary Total Disability

If you are considered temporarily incapacitated due to your service-connected condition, ​such as from a surgery or a lengthy hospital stay, ​you may qualify for temporary total disability, which would provide you with a disability rating equivalent to 100%. The VA will assign one of three different temporary total disability ratings: prestabilization, hospitalization, and convalescence.

Prestabilization is available for veterans who have been recently discharged from service with a disabling condition and are least likely to be self-sufficient. Hospitalization is assigned to veterans who have been hospitalized for 21 days or more due to their condition. Finally, convalescence is for veterans who have undergone treatment or surgery for their condition.

What Is Schedular vs. Extra-schedular?

Schedular ratings are awarded using the diagnostic codes provided in the Schedule for Rating Disabilities. These ratings are assigned in percentages ranging from 0% to 100%, increasing in increments of 10. An extra-schedular rating is an evaluation awarded outside of the rating schedule. Extra-schedular ratings are granted when a veteran has an unusual manifestation of a condition that interferes with their ability to work or results in frequent periods of hospitalization.

Extra-schedular ratings are reserved for cases where the schedular rating is inadequate to rate the service-connected condition, providing additional compensation to replace the wage loss resulting from the disability. Migraines, hearing loss, and Crohn’s disease are common disabilities that may be given an extra-schedular rating due to exceptionally severe or unusual symptoms.

What Types of Benefits Are Available to a Veteran Who is Not 100% Disabled?

The VA established the 100% disabled veteran benefits program to offer additional support and resources to veterans who received a disability rating of 100%. Perhaps the most important benefit is monthly, tax-free compensation at the maximum rate.

The VA disability compensation rates vary from year to year based on inflation and cost-of-living, with the most current rates listed on the Veterans Affairs website. In addition, veterans with a 100% disability rating may be entitled to:

  • Healthcare benefits that include preventative care, primary care, medical equipment/prosthetic items, hearing aids, and other forms of care.
  • Adaptive housing through a grant program that helps veterans build a house, buy a home, or refinance their current mortgage. Moreover, other benefits and services are available to help veterans modify their home to meet disability-related requirements.
  • Educational benefits including tuition payment through the Montgomery GI Bill or post 9/11 GI Bill as well as employment counseling services to help veterans transition from military service into the workforce.
  • Pension benefits for veterans and their surviving spouses who meet specific disability, age, and income requirements. Pension benefits provide monthly payments to assist with living costs for veterans who served during eligible wartime periods.

Can You Receive 100% VA Disability and Military Retirement Pay?

Many veterans who are eligible for military retirement pay are also eligible for disability pay, but the laws surrounding both types of pay are complex and confusing. To be fully eligible for both benefits, a veteran must have at least 20 years of service and a VA disability rating of 50% or more. For veterans who do not meet those requirements, pay is offset dollar by dollar, unless they qualify for Combat Related Special Compensation.

Is It Possible to Have a VA Rating Higher Than 100%?

While 100% is technically the highest schedular rating, there are certain circumstances in which you can receive a greater amount of compensation and a VA rating that is higher than 100%. Recognizing shortcomings in the compensation system, the VA established special monthly compensation (SMC) benefits to compensate a veteran for non-economic factors that impact their lives due to their service-connected disability.

If you need daily help with basic needs, like dressing, eating, and bathing, or if you cannot leave the house due to your condition, you may qualify for SMC. Moreover, if you suffer from loss of hearing, loss of sight, or loss of a limb, you may also be eligible for benefits under SMC.

How Can VetLaw Help with Appealing Denied 100% Veteran Benefits Claims?

At VetLaw, we are dedicated to helping individuals and their families receive 100% disabled veteran benefits to provide the financial stability necessary to regain control of their lives. Our team of experienced attorneys will begin by reviewing your claim to determine why you were denied 100% VA benefits.

As a veteran-owned law firm, we understand the complexities of the appeals process. Our team knows what the VA looks for when assigning a 100% rating. We will leverage this in-depth knowledge to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Speak with an Experienced Attorney at VetLaw Today

We are committed to helping our nation’s warriors secure the compensation they need and deserve. Our team has fought for thousands of veterans across our country, and we will support you through the entire claims or appeals process. If the VA has turned its back on you, it is time to call in help. To begin your free case review and speak with our team about 100% disabled veteran benefits, contact VetLaw today.