Wondering how to get a 100% disabled veteran benefits rating from the VA? Turns out, it’s not as hard as you might think! There are actually several paths that can get you that coveted 100% disabled veteran benefits rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs… and some are easier than others.
Option 1: Get a 100% rating for a single disability.
The first, and most obvious, is to have a singular disability that is so severe it warrants a 100% disability rating on its own. This is extremely hard to do.
The VA rates disabilities according to a schedule. The ratings schedule explains what ratings are assigned based on the symptoms of a condition. The 100% ratings are reserved for very extreme disabilities and you must convince your ratings examiner that your condition more closely resembles the higher rating criteria than the lower one.
For example, you can see schedule 4.97 (Schedule of Ratings – Respiratory System) to discover that the only way to get a 100% rating for sleep apnea is to have “chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale” or to require a tracheotomy.
You can also get a 100% disabled veteran benefits rating due to hospitalization, although this rating will not be permanent and total. The temporary increase will expire after six months following your hospitalization.
Option 2: Get a combined disability rating of 95% or more.
Most veterans have more than one service connected disability. These rating amounts can be combined, using the VA’s complex combined rating table, to produce a total disability rating of 95% or higher. Once you pass 95%, you’ll be compensated at the 100% disabled veteran benefits level.
However, it can be very difficult to achieve a 95% or higher disability rating from the VA. Just like everything else, math is not simple or straightforward with the VA. You can’t just add two 50% disabilities together and get 100%!
Option 3: Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) is the best way to get 100% disabled veteran benefits.
A recent study found that of the 2,636,979 veterans being compensated at the 100% level, only 228,364 of them had reached the 100% compensation level without Individual Unemployability. That’s only 8.66% of veterans who successfully scored a 100% rating by some means other than TDIU… so obviously, if you want to get a 100% disability rating with the VA, you’ll need to know about this program!
Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (also referred to as TDIU or IU) compensated veterans at the 100% level regardless of their actual VA disability rating. It also provides you with additional benefits, such as dental care, commissary privileges and more!
Veterans can also get: