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All disabled veterans have the opportunity to receive disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as long as their impairment is a result of active duty service. Applicants must go through the VA disability claims process to determine whether their medical conditions qualify for benefits, and the agency will decide on an appropriate amount for qualifying applicants on an individual basis.
A former servicemember may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) or total permanent disability (TPD) benefits depending on the extent of their injury – this is also known as 100 percent P&T. Permanent partial disability is characterized by an impairment that is expected to last for a veteran’s lifetime. With PPD, there is a very low chance, or possibly no chance, of a former servicemember’s disability improving.
Total permanent disability is when a veteran’s impairment is rated at 100% by the VA. If a disability is rated at 100%, then the former servicemember is considered fully or totally disabled.
It is recommended for veterans to apply for disability benefits no later than one year after being discharged under honorable circumstances. Submitting a claim within one year will increase the likelihood of your condition being taken as a service-connected disability. Additionally, you may be eligible for back pay.
If the claim is submitted after one year, you will not receive back pay and will need to prove that your disability is service-connected. After submitting a claim, the VA will order a Compensation and Pension (C&P) Exam. During this part of the process, a physician will diagnose your condition and give their opinion on whether you have a permanent partial disability or a total permanent disability.
Once the results of the claim and the C&P Exam are submitted, a caseworker from the VA Rating Authorities will determine the overall status of your condition by following Veteran Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities laws, or VASRD. These laws specifically cater to veterans’ disabilities and measure a former servicemember’s ability to work. VASRD categorizes and separates cases according to medical conditions. These categories include but are not limited to:
The Rating Authorities use a variety of factors to determine a veteran’s disability rating, such as symptoms, treatment options, the specific causes, and more. The Total Combined VA Disability Rating will determine the monthly disability stipend as well as full medical care provided by the VA.
After the claims process is over, you will receive monthly disability benefits from the VA. However, benefits may be subject to change over time depending on your condition.
Claiming benefits for PPD or TPD can be very challenging. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of active duty military service, reach out to our firm for legal assistance. Our attorneys are here to help, so contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law