What Is Permanent and Total Disability?
While a Veteran can be both totally disabled or permanently disabled at a less than total evaluation, the VA’s finding that a Veteran is entitled to a permanent and total disability (P&T) rating is one of the most favorable decision that the VA will issue. The designation of “total” means that the veteran has a disability that renders him completely disabled or unable to maintain a substantially gainful occupation. Further, because the disability is “permanent” the VA cannot challenge the evaluation in the future. A designation of permanent and total disability status entitles a veteran to a host of elevated disability compensation benefits.
Benefits of a Permanent and Total Designation
There are several major benefits for a Veteran being designated as permanently and totally disabled. Most importantly, this designation means that the VA cannot, except in very rare circumstances, reduce your total disability rating. In addition:
- A Veteran who is deemed totally and permanently disabled qualifies for no cost healthcare and prescription medication. This assistance generally extends to treatment at a private facility even for conditions that are not service connected.
- Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) is available for Veteran who are totally and permanently disabled. In this case, a Veteran’s dependent either spouse or child, can qualify for the payment of up to 90 months of full time schooling.
- The veteran’s dependents are entitled to health insurance coverage through Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (CHAMPVA). CHAMPVA covers most medically necessary health care service, including ambulance service, ambulatory surgery, durable medical equipment, family planning and maternity, hospice, inpatient services, mental health services, outpatient service, pharmacy, skilled nursing care and transplants. Under CHAMPVA, dependents are allowed to seek treatment at private facilities.
- All 100% service-connected veterans are allowed free dental care.
- A veteran who is total and permanently disabled is eligible for a Uniformed Services Identification Card for the veteran, spouse and child dependents. These cards can be used on military bases at Exchanges, Commissaries and Recreation facilities.
- Most states allow property tax breaks to disabled veterans. In these cases, the veteran must own the home as their primary residence.
- The veteran’s surviving dependents are entitled to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). DIC benefits allow a surviving dependent to collect approximately $1,400.00 per month, approximately half of what the Veteran was receiving while he was alive.
- There is also a new program that allows Veterans who have been deemed totally and permanently disabled to have their federal student loans discharged. President Trump signed an executive order on August 21, 2019 allowing for this relief.
There are other benefits that the Veteran may be entitled to in additional to those in this list. This list is not exhaustive of the benefits available to totally and permanently disabled veterans.
If you have questions regarding a total and permanent disabled status, let us help. Gardberg and Kemmerly is open for calls and online assistance and will continue to help our Veterans in any way possible. If you have a claim for disability and need assistance, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.