How To Achieve 100 Percent VA Disability

Written by on February 26, 2021 in Stuff with 0 Comments

VA disability claims can be a difficult process to navigate. While the VA determines the annual rate, the actual amount you receive can be impacted by several factors. Everything from how many dependents you have, to your marital status, to whether or not you have dependent parents can all affect your rate, but the single biggest factor is your percentage of disability.

Obviously, the best-case scenario, if you need to draw disability, is to get the largest amount you are entitled to—so how do you reach 100 percent VA disability? There are actually two ways to qualify for 100 percent disabled status.

Combine Different Injuries

The first way to reach 100 percent is pretty obvious. If your doctor says the sum of your injuries equals 100 percent disability, you are 100 percent disabled. This isn’t quite as cut and dried as it might seem because of the way the VA factors disability payments.

If you have a 100 percent disability to your arm, meaning basically that the arm is completely non-functional, you are there. But if you have 50 percent in one arm and one leg, those don’t add up to 100, they would only equal 75 percent. This basically means that in order to reach 100 percent cumulatively you will either need some fairly catastrophic injuries to at least one limb or system, or quite a few with fairly large disabilities.


TDIU stands for total disability based on individual unemployability. TDIU allows you to claim 100 percent disability based on a combined inability to be employed, even if the combination of factors does not reach 100 percent. This is the more common way for veterans to reach that 100 percent mark.

To earn TDIU, there are a few requirements. You must be a veteran (obviously), and your disabling injuries must be a result of your service. You must have either one injury that causes a 60 percent disability rating, or it can be from a combination of two or more injuries.

If you are filing for TDIU with two or more injuries, at least one of them must be at least 40 percent disabled, and the total must be at least 70 percent.

The most important aspect of TDIU is that you must be able to demonstrate an inability to achieve gainful employment. That is the “individual unemployability” aspect of TDIU. This part is the most subjective, and thus the most likely to lead to difficulty in getting your 100 percent disability claim approved.

The gainful employment portion is important. If you are working odd jobs, or can only get very part-time work, that is not considered gainful employment for the purposes of determining TDIU status, so you would still be eligible.

Other Options

If you don’t meet the written standards of TDIU, but still are unable to be gainfully employed due to injuries sustained during your service, you could still potentially qualify. In these cases, you will have a difficult time proving that you should qualify, but it can be done.

If you are seeking TDIU based on extenuating circumstances, but do not meet the numerical requirements for TDIU, you will definitely want to seek professional legal assistance, as these cases are typically denied.

Seek a law office that focuses on disability, specifically as it relates to veterans. This type of office is going to be most prepared for the type of objections that the VA is likely to raise.

In conclusion, you can achieve 100 percent VA disability, even if you are not numerically at 100 percent, as long as you are unable to be gainfully employed due to your service-related injuries or illness. Do not be afraid to seek legal help if you need it.



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