The VA will ensure veterans are taken care of if they are hurt during their time in service, but determining disability ratings can be complex. Each case is different and varies according to the severity of the disability. When a service-connected disability application is granted for a veteran, they are given a rating that follows the VA’s Disability Rating Schedule.
This then raises the question, what does it mean to be 100% disabled by the VA? This article outlines a few important things you should be aware of regarding 100% disability ratings.
1. A Veteran Can Qualify for a 100% Rating in Many Ways
Different ways that a veteran can be approved for a 100% disability rating is through any of these methods: (1) The Total VA Disability, (2) the Schedular TDIU, (3) Total Disability Based on Extra-Schedular TDIU, (4) Total Disability with an Extra Schedular Rating, and (5) Temporary Total Disability because of hospitalization.
These ways of obtaining a 100% rating shouldn’t be confused with a veteran having a total and permanent disability rating. A 100% rating is not required for a veteran to be approved for a permanent and total VA disability score. In fact, these ratings are only assigned specifically when a veteran’s condition won’t improve or the person won’t likely recover much and ensures their rating can’t be reduced.
2. When a Veteran Qualifies for Unemployability, the Increase Claim Also Acts as a TDIU Claim
Veterans can file for an increase if they are unemployable due to a service-associated disability (irrespective of the percentage). Unemployability is not the same concept as unemployment. Unemployability is the capability one has to acquire and maintain productive employment. TDIU claims do not typically consider unemployment at all because veterans can sometimes qualify for TDIU and work.
3. Extra Scheduler Rating Is Different from Extra Scheduler TDIU
A main distinguishing factor between the two is that Extra Schedular TDIU doesn’t require verification that the veteran is not appropriately compensated through their current disability rating. However, Extra Schedular TDIU does require proof of unemployability.
4. The Right Form Must Be Filed for TDIU Claims or the Administration Cannot Accept It
If a veteran claims TDIU or unemployability, they must send in a filled out VA Form 21-8940. Otherwise, the administrative policy is to deny the request without this form with no subsequent warning.
5. Veterans Must Describe the Medical Condition That Caused Unemployability or the VA Won’t Approve the TDIU Claim Exam
It’s important to write down all medical conditions that could be service-connected, especially if you feel it led to your unemployability. Even though you might not be granted an exam for all conditions, you’ve made a record for a future claim in case the VA later does not uphold its Duty to Assist. It’s possible that the form has been submitted and the VA can’t locate it, and you can check this by looking at your C-File, a central document to any VA claim.
In short, the VA takes care of veterans who submit claims for disability, but the process can be complicated since every situation is different. Since there are many types, hopefully, this article cleared up any misconceptions that you might have had regarding 100% disability ratings.