100% Service Connected Disability Rating

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. 100% Rating Explanation

How does the VA calculate overall service-connected disability ratings?

The Veterans Benefits Administration calculates disability ratings using a weighted average approach. The overall rating is rarely the sum of Individual ratings for specific disabilities.  The weighted average system is codified in federal regulations and represents how all your disabilities affect your entire life.

What is Total Disability Individual Unemployment (TDIU)?

TDIU is commonly called “unemployable” and is listed on a VBA decision letter or on your annual award letter.  Veterans with a TDIU rating have an overall rating less than 100% but are paid at a 100% rating. TDIU-rated veterans are not allowed to attain gainful employment; usually their income is capped at $10K/yr. 

What if I need more money? Can I get more money?

You may have several avenues for additional compensation from other programs. This has nothing to do with the sum of individual ratings. 

  1. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC): Your VSO can file a claim for SMC, which is usually from loss of use or organ or body part.
  2. Social Security Disability: VSOs do not handle these claims.
  3. State Pension for Blind and Amputee veterans: Your VSO can assist you.
  4. Combat-Related Special Compensation: For veterans who were medically retired from disabilities related to combat.  Eligibility for this program is limited and can sometimes be found on military discharge paperwork.  Your VSO can help you apply.

What is Permanent and Total (P&T)?

Generally, a Permanent and Total (P&T) rating means there is little likelihood of the veteran’s health improving.  However, remember every individual disability rating is either “static” (not going to change) or “dynamic” which means “reviewable in the future”. A P&T rating also means that even if the dynamic disabilities were removed, the veteran would still be rated at 100% due to their static disabilities. Whether a disability is “static” or “dynamic” can be found in your original award letter (not the annual one). 

Are there Temporary 100% ratings?

Yes, in the case of a catastrophically injured veteran or a veteran with cancer, they will be assigned a temporary rating.  Usually, veterans with active cancer are rated at 100% for six months and then re-evaluated for the presence of cancer.  It is important for a VSO to file for secondary conditions from cancer or cancer treatment, if any, to increase the chances of a maximized rating. 

How do I get to 100%?

A Veteran Service Officer will try and maximize your rating by carefully reviewing your Compensation and Pension Exam results, your military service, how it affects your life, and filing for secondary conditions. We often hear from veterans they are “just trying to get to 100%”.  Veteran Service Officers are not VA raters this is not our decision.

My friend is 100% and we have the same service and disabilities, why don’t we have the same rating?

Every veteran claim is unique and decided upon by different VA rating officials at different times. Information about other veterans does not immediately translate into a higher rating.

Is there a rating above 100%?

No, there is no rating above 100%; this cannot be more clearly stated.