What Is Permanent & Total for Veterans Disability?

When you are in the armed services, it can be dangerous work that leads to injury. The Department of Veterans' Affairs will rate any disability that occurs from a service-related injury with a percentage rating. For the severest of injuries, the injury may be rated as permanent and total, and other factors can also qualify a veteran.

Automatic Eligibility

You can be considered permanently and totally disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs if you are older than 65 years, or you are a patient in a nursing home or long-term care facility because of your disabilities, or you have been determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration for the purpose of receiving Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income.

Disability Ratings

If you don't qualify under automatic eligibility, you might qualify under the VA's regulations for disability. The Department of Veterans Affairs rates each disability with a percentage number, which represents how much your disability has reduced your ability to work. To have your disability rated, you should have medical records and certifications from doctors that show you are disabled, though the VA may still have you examined by a VA hospital doctor. The VA will then rate your disability based on this information.

Meeting VA Disability Requirements

The VA will find you permanently and totally disabled if you have a disability rating of at least 60 percent from a single disability. You could also have a single disability with a 40 percent disability rating, along with additional disabilities so that all of the disability ratings total at least 70 percent. You must also be either unemployed or only marginally employed.

Extra-Schedular Rating

The third method of having a disability that is considered permanent and total is called an "extra-schedular rating." If you fail to qualify as permanently and totally disabled either automatically or through your disability rating, the VA may find you permanently and totally disabled if you are unable to make a living because of any combination of your disabilities, your age, your work background, or any related issues. .