When it comes to veterans’ benefits, there are a lot of different scenarios that exist. This is because benefits are carefully crafted to the individual veteran, their disability and their needs. Often, some of the greatest confusion comes from the differentiation of total and permanent disability, and if one can qualify for one, or both, distinctions.

Definition of Permanent Disability for Veterans’ Benefits

When a veteran is determined to have permanent disability, this is due to the VA deeming that they will never fully recover from their impairment and will deal with it for the rest of their life. Due to this, it is often more difficult for younger veterans to receive a permanent disability distinction, because the disability could be more likely to go away over time.

Veterans who are 55 years of age or younger often have the most difficulty getting a permanent disability rating.

Definition of Total Disability for Veterans’ Benefits

Total disability is different from permanent disability in the most obvious sense because total disability may or may not be permanent. If the impairment of the mind or body is considered significant enough to make it impossible for the person to gain substantial employment, the disability may be considered total.

Total disability ratings are authorized for a single disability, or combination of disabilities, for which the Schedule for Ratings prescribes a 100 percent evaluation, as seen below.

VA Disability Pay Chart 2021

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Permanent and Total Disability for Veterans

It is possible for veterans to receive permanent and total disability at the same time, not just one or the other. Remember, total disability is considered any impairment of mind or body that makes it impossible to gain substantial employment. Permanent disability refers to impairment that is likely to continue through the person’s life.

A veteran may have a total disability such as a knee replacement and a permanent disability that is rated less than 100 percent, such a sleep apnea.

If a veteran is deemed both permanent and total, or 100 P&T, that veteran is immune to a ratings reduction from the VA. This means that the VA can not take away 100 permanent and total disability.

Applying for Total or Permanent Disability as a Veteran

Getting rated for disability upon exit of service is the first step for veterans to get an assessment of their current status. But, often these don’t catch everything, and veterans can certainly apply later in life.

To ensure that nothing is missed and that a veteran doesn’t miss out on crucial benefits by waiting too long, it’s vital to get an attorney involved right away. Tabak Law has many years of experience working with veterans and a plethora of cases where veterans lives have been changed. Get in touch today at 844-432-0114.


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