The infamous 100% rating
Dealing with the VA has been one of the most interesting, frustrating and nerve-wrecking things I have done; and arguably, will ever do! There are two major entities that need to be dealt with: the VHA (Veterans Health Administration) and the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration). Of course, in the fashion of the VA, these two entities don’t necessarily communicate with one another unless absolutely necessary- or, I guess when the VA sees fit.
This can make the treacherous journey of getting a disability rating -and therefore compensation- even more frustrating; to say the least.
Now what if your veteran already has a rating or is currently ‘in limbo?’ What if i told you that your veteran may qualify for a 100% rating, or potentially get paid at the 100% rating without actually having a combined rating of 100%?
Yeah, I was, too.
Here are 4 ways your veteran can get paid at a 100% rating
The VA has a benefit called Special Claims that includes special compensation such as Clothing and Automobile Allowance. While the veteran must be deemed eligible for these types of compensations, they also include various options of getting paid at the 100% level.
- This is a temporary benefit that gives the veteran, if eligible, a 100% rating for up to 3 months. One of the qualifications listed on the VA website states that the veteran must have had a VA-approved surgery for a service-connected disability. For more information, I recommend reading more about Convalescence and contacting your local Veterans Service Officer.
- This is a temporary benefit that gives the eligible veteran a 100% rating if he/she was hospitalized for more than 21 days. Qualifications listed state that hospitalization must be VA-approved and due a service-connected disability. For more information, I recommend reading more about Hospitalization and contacting your local Veterans Service Officer.
- This is a temporary benefit that gives the veteran, if eligible, a 100% rating. According to the information provided by the VA, this benefit is granted to veterans who are recently separated from the military and have an ‘unstabilized’ condition from a service-connected disability. For more information, I recommend reading more about Prestabilization and contacting your local Veterans Service Officer.
- This could potentially be a long(er) term benefit for eligible veterans. It is also one of the more complicated benefits to understand, in my opinion. It allows for veterans to be paid at the 100% level without having a combined rating of 100%. According to the VA’s information, veteran may be deemed eligible for IU if he/she has at least one Service -Connected Disability (SCD) at 60%. Another way to qualify based on rating is to have two or more SCDs for a combined rating of at least 70%, but at least ONE of those ratings has to be at 40% or above.
- Additionally, the veteran must show that he/she is unable to ‘maintain substantial employment‘ because of their SCDs.
- From personal experience (and as the VA describes it), it is important to note that odd jobs don’t constitute substantial employment. For example, my husband worked 2 or 3 jobs over a 3 year time span, but was never able to maintain any of those positions for longer than 2 months due to his service-connected disabilities. Technically, he qualified for IU back then, but he was retroactively granted IU after an almost 4 year long appeals hiatus.
- I highly recommend contacting your local Veterans Service Officer if you’d like more information about this benefit.
Although, these benefits could be difficult to obtain, I believe it is still important to know about these options. The VA has so many different benefits and programs that I don’t think many VA Representatives are able to fully grasp themselves; let alone know about.
Please don’t give up!
Seek out people who may be able to help.
Your veteran may give up on the VA and the system way before you will. And although, the VA has many, many faults, there are also some very genuine people who work there. Stay strong, seek out help, try to connect with other caregivers and never give up!
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Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only. I do not have specialized or legal knowledge about these programs. All information provided in this article was obtained on 08/06/2016 from the Department of VA Special Claims page. I have included links to the corresponding pages. I do not guarantee that this information will not change. Furthermore, I do not guarantee eligibility for any of these programs/options. I highly recommend contacting your local Veterans’ Service Officer or Organization, if you would like to get more information about any of these options.