How To Get 100 Percent VA Disability Rating

Knowing how to get a 100 percent VA disability rating can help you to temporarily or permanently maximize your monthly compensation and get priority access to programs such as VA health care. The VA can assign you a 100 percent disability rating based on one condition or a combination of two or more service-related conditions based on how much your condition affects your overall health and ability to function.

If you suffer from a military service-related condition with lasting effects, you may be entitled to monthly disability payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA determines how much you receive using a rating system by assigning a percentage between 0 and 100 percent in increments of 10. However, there is no magic formula for getting a 100 percent VA disability rating, as many factors influence the decision. 

In general, when applying for VA disability, to obtain a 100% rating, the VA needs to see evidence that you are completely and totally disabled. You can obtain a temporary 100% rating if you are unable to work due to your condition. Also, if you have another condition arise as a result of a service-connected disability, this could also increase your VA rating up to 100%.

When you make your initial claim for disability to the VA, you do not apply for a specific percentage. You submit all your medical evidence, and the VA assigns a rating based on its Schedule For Disability Ratings. 

Certain single severe injuries or conditions, such as the loss of two limbs or blindness, automatically result in a 100 percent disability rating. However, other injuries and illnesses can be combined to attain a 100 percent rating. The medical evidence you provide to the VA showing your incapacitation is the key to getting more compensation and greater VA program benefits.

Evidence to Prove a 100 Percent Veteran Disability Rating

When you submit a disability claim to the VA, it evaluates your claim and assigns a rating. While you do not ask for a 100 percent disability per se, if you provide the proper evidence and your condition is possibly qualified for a 100 percent rating, you may receive it. 

You must submit several pieces of information or give the VA permission to obtain them, including:

  • DD214 or other service documents that show you did not have a less-than-honorable discharge
  • Service treatment records
  • Any other medical evidence related to your injury or condition

Your medical evidence should be as complete as possible, including X-rays, medical tests, and doctor’s reports. Ultimately, the VA will make a final rating decision based on the type and severity of your injury. The more evidence you can provide showing your service-related condition prevents you from performing everyday tasks or maintaining gainful employment, the more likely you will receive a 100 percent disability rating.

The VA provides a list of evidence needed for different types of claims to help you determine if you have all the information necessary to support your claim.

Types of Conditions That Can Equal a 100 Percent VA Disability Rating

The VA uses its Schedule For Rating Disabilities when determining your disability percentages. The schedule outlines general policies and provides an extensive list of disabilities and the ratings you generally receive for them. It provides ratings for both physical and mental health conditions.

Several conditions qualify for a 100 percent disability rating, including the following:

Depending on your condition, the VA may make your 100 percent disability rating total and permanent, such as with the loss of two limbs or blindness. In other cases, it may grant your 100 percent disability for a limited time while requiring future testing and medical records to keep that rating. This process is typical with mental health conditions.

one old woman with a cane and an old man in a wheelchair

Combining Disabilities to Obtain a 100 Percent VA Disability Rating

The VA uses a “whole person approach” when veterans have more than one disabling condition. It does not add up the two ratings because that could result in a total greater than 100 percent. VA combined rating charts result in a score rounded to 10 percent increments. 

For scores in the 90s, those 94 and below are rounded down to a 90 percent disability rating, and combined scores of 95 and over are rounded up to 100 percent. That same rule applies to ratings below 90.

VA Combined Ratings Scores With a 90 percent  Rating Plus One Other Rating





















If you have a 90 percent rating and two other disabilities, the VA uses an expanded version of this chart to determine your final score. For example, a 90 percent rating and a 30 percent rating give a score of 93. A third rating of 30 percent or higher results in a score that rounds up to 100 percent.

Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

TDIU is a VA program for veterans whose disability stops them from supporting themselves through substantially gainful employment. Odd jobs, considered marginal employment by the VA, don’t count toward whether you can support yourself. 

If you qualify for TDIU, you get the same benefits as a veteran with a 100 percent disability rating. You are eligible for TDIU if you fall into one of two groups including:

elderly man in wheelchair being pushed by another man

You can submit a claim for TDIU benefits by filing a VA Form 21-8940 application and a VA Form 21-4192 request for employment information. You must include supporting evidence, such as doctor’s notes or medical test results, that shows your disability prevents you from holding down a steady job. You can make your TDIU claim simultaneously with your initial disability claim or submit it later.

Temporary 100 percent VA Rating

There are several instances in which the VA will give you a temporary 100 percent disability rating to recognize how your injury or condition affects your life and ability to work. These are:

  • If you had surgery or a cast with at least one month of recovery time and resulting mobility issues or unhealed surgery scars, the VA may grant you 100 percent temporary disability for one to three months.
  • If you spent more than 21 days in a VA or VA-approved hospital, the VA may temporarily raise your rating to 100 percent during your stay. An example would be a diabetes patient with a 40 percent rating hospitalized for a diabetic coma for 23 days.

The VA also grants temporary disability prestabilization ratings of 50 percent or 100 percent if you need benefits immediately after your discharge from active service. This temporary disability assignment is for unstable conditions that may continue to change over an unknown period. The prestabilization rating lasts for one year from the date of your discharge.

There may be other instances in which your rating doesn’t fall into one of the specified temporary rating categories, but an improvement in your condition means a reduction in your rating. 

For example, if you need a pacemaker for a service-related heart condition, you are eligible for a 100 percent VA disability rating for one month following your hospital discharge. After that month, your disability rating will depend on your doctor’s evaluation of your condition and your ability to support yourself.

If you need help to understand your VA ratings or have other questions about your VA benefits, contact the experts at Veterans Guide.

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