When a veteran’s disability is rated at 100%, it is considered a Total Disability rating. In some cases, the VA may determine that the disability is Permanent and Total (P&T), indicating that the condition is unlikely to improve over time. Veterans who receive P&T status are entitled to other ancillary benefits, such as property tax exemptions and additional financial support for dependents—perhaps most notably medical care benefits for family and death benefits.
Receiving a P&T rating is a significant milestone for veterans, as it provides peace of mind knowing that their benefits will continue at the maximum rate and that they and their dependents are eligible for additional benefits. Many veterans who don’t get this benefit wonder if their percentages and benefits could be reduced, and the answer is generally yes. This can happen, though there are many ways to stop these reductions from occurring. Many veterans understandably prefer the peace of mind of a permanent and total rating.
To qualify for P&T status, veterans must meet specific criteria outlined by the VA. This is described in the Code of Federal Regulations at 38 C.F.R. § 3.340. This usually requires having a 100% disability rating with an expectation that the condition will remain at that total level indefinitely or for a veteran’s entire life. Certain disabilities are presumed to be permanent and total and include the loss of limbs such as the loss of one or both hands, leg, eye, or foot. Other kinds of disabilities that are unlikely to improve would also qualify. Problems that are less likely to be considered permanent and total are infectious diseases, accidents or injuries. The age of the veteran can also be taken into account, meaning that it is sometimes harder for a younger veteran’s disability to be permanent and total. It’s important for veterans to understand the criteria and seek the guidance of experienced legal professionals to help them navigate the process.
At Ban Law Office PC, we are dedicated to helping veterans secure P&T status when appropriate. Our team has a thorough understanding of the criteria and will work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the benefits they are entitled to.