We spend a lot of time at CombatCraig.com teaching you how to increase your VA disability rating. However, every so often we see a horror story of a veteran who made a massive mistake in filing their VA claim. We want you to be properly rated, and we have proven that many of our BOOT CAMP graduates will be rated at 100%. As a result, we want you to avoid this costly mistake a fellow veteran made in his claim.
The VA assigned this veteran a 70% rating. Besides 70%, he received IU and had the P&T protection. As a result, the VA compensated him at the 100% rating level. Unfortunately, he elected to fight the VA and attempt to increase his VA disability to a 100% schedular P&T rating.
What is the difference between IU, 100% schedular, and 100% P&T?
100% Disability Rating (Schedular… The Hard Way)
This is absolutely the “hard way” to get to a 100% VA disability rating. However, many of you reading can absolutely accomplish this. It will take time, but it a great goal. The VA has rated you at 100% through a combination of ratings. “VA math” makes this an arduous task to accomplish. As a result, many of you will spend several years and several claims working up to reaching 100%.
I.U. Individual Unemployability (The Cheat Code)
The veteran we are discussing today was rating at 70%. However, he qualified for a special “cheat code” to increase his VA disability to paid at the 100% level. He did this through receiving individual unemployability.
To directly quote the VA’s requirements:
Who Is Eligible for Individual Unemployability?
• You must be a Veteran.
• You must be unable to hold a job as a result of service-connected disabilities. This
means maintaining substantially gainful employment. (VA considers odd jobs as
marginal employment. They do not affect your eligibility for IU.)
• You must have either:
o One disability that is rated at 60 percent or more
o Multiple disabilities, with one disability rated at 40 percent or higher, and a
total rating of 70 percent or more.
We refer to this as the “cheat code” because it the way to sidestep VA math. As a result, many veterans that can not attain 100% elect to file a VA disability claim for IU. In addition, veterans can also receive a “permanent and total” designation to accompany their IU. This is the VA acknowledging that they will not be reexamining the veteran’s disabilities.
100% Permanent and Total
This is the ultimate level of a VA disability. You have won, and you will never again file to increase VA disability claims. This is a schedular 100% rating with the additional “Permanent and Total” protection. The VA is paying you at 100%, and they acknowledge your condition will not improve. In addition, they have no intention of bring your back in to reevaluate your conditions and ratings. You won.
This is a laborious task to accomplish. You need to overcome pyramiding and “VA math” to reach 100% through the combination of your disabilities. However, it can absolutely happen.
Filing to Increase VA Disability (And Failing)
The veteran that were are discussing today was already receiving IU and had the permanent and total protection. As a result, he was being compensated and treated as if he was a schedular 100% rating. In addition, his children were receiving college benefits through the Chapter 35 program. However, he tried to increase his VA disability claims to a schedular 100% rating. This was simply because he wanted to save some money on his home’s property taxes.
I receive a deduction on my property taxes. I love it. Any money I do not send to the government is a huge win in my book. However, this veteran let a few thousand dollars a year sway his decision to refile his VA disability claim
Filing a VA Disability Claim with P&T?
The VA does not reexamine permanent and total disabilities unless you file a new claim. This veteran filed to increase his VA disability rating, and thus forfeited his permanent and total protection. Unfortunately, the VA found he was employable and ineligible for a ratings increase.
As a result, the VA reduced him from 70% IU with P&T to a schedular 70%. As a result, he was no longer eligible for the P&T protection. That is a massive reduction in monthly compensation, but it also means that his children were no longer eligible for Chapter 35 benefits (free college). This had a devastating effect on this veteran’s finances. The really terrible part? He already qualified for the property tax savings by receiving IU.
Plan Out Your VA Disability Claim Increase
The VA intentionally and chronically underrates and under compensated veterans. As a result, it is imperative that you fight and increase your VA disability rating. We have many members of Boot Camp that have been able to increase their ratings through what we teach. However, you must have a solid plan to win when you file a claim. This veteran can (and should) re-apply for IU. It really looks to me like the VA made a mistake in reducing his claim. However, he needs to spend some time studying and preparing his claim this time. As a result, he can better control the outcome of his next claim.
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