What is Total Disability under the VA’s Rating Schedule?

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The VA determines your disability compensation based on a rating schedule. For more information on the schedule, check out our post here.

Essentially, the ratings are issued in increments of 10-percentage points from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning completely disabled and totaling the highest compensation. The VA determines the rating based on statutory guidance which breaks down disabilities by body part affected and then subsequently, by diagnosis.

A 100% rating means that the individual is completely disabled. However, if you are able to prove that you cannot maintain “substantially gainful” employment due to your disability, you may still qualify for total disability, even if your disability rating does not equal 100%.

Substantially gainful typically means employment that would allow you to live above the poverty line, but certain employment above the poverty line may still apply.

Total disability may be easier in some cases to prove than proving a rating of 100%.

However, rating is still considered. For a veteran with one service-related condition, they must still have a rating of at least 60%, in addition to the inability to hold gainful employment.

For information on how to get an increase on your VA rating, check out our blog post on it.

For veterans with more than one condition, the rating must be at least 40%, but equal at least 70% when combining the disabilities.

If you believe you may qualify for total disability and would like to navigate the process with confidence, please contact us today at (855) 312-5575.