How a 50 to 70% VA Rating Can Get You to 100%?

Many veterans have difficulty keeping a job because of service-connected disabilities.  Pain from physical conditions can make it difficult to focus and concentrate.  Medications can cause side effects which do the same thing.  Mental conditions like PTSD can make it difficult to work with others in a job setting.

Sometimes, a combination of several different service-connected conditions makes it difficult to work.  Other times, one service-connected condition alone is severe enough to make you unemployable.

Certain VA ratings for certain service-connected conditions often cause unemployability because of the symptoms VA requires to qualify for these ratings.  This article will discuss some of the VA ratings between 50 and 70 percent that could make you eligible for a 100 percent rating for TDIU if you apply.

A doctor sitting with a veteran going over paperwork A 70 percent rating for a mental health condition like PTSD

To qualify for a 70 percent PTSD rating, a veteran must demonstrate symptoms that make it very difficult to work.  Some of these symptoms include:

  • Problems with impulse control
  • Deficiencies in work, judgment, thinking, and mood
  • Depression or panic that affects the ability to think and function independently
  • Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances in a work setting

If you have a 70 percent mental health condition VA rating, you should consider filing for TDIU if you are not working currently or having difficulty maintaining employment.  If you want to learn more, read this article I wrote that specifically focuses on how a 70 percent PTSD rating could qualify you for TDIU.

A 50 percent rating for migraine headaches

Many of the VA ratings I focus on in this article come close to including the inability to keep a job in VA’s definition of the rating criteria.  This is the case with VA’s standard for granting a 50 percent rating for migraine headaches.

VA defines the 50 percent rating level as “with very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability.”  The last five words of the definition almost point directly to the basic idea of TDIU.  To receive a 50 percent rating, your migraine attacks must produce severe economic inadaptability.

One reason that the severity and frequency of your headaches could produce severe economic inadaptability is that you cannot cope with a normal work schedule.  If you have frequent severe migraine headaches, you will have difficulty keeping up at work.  Your employer may not keep your position open for you.

If you have a 50% VA migraine headache rating, you should consider whether you would qualify for TDIU benefits.  After all, your headaches must cause severe economic inadaptability to even qualify for this rating.

A 60 percent rating for a heart condition

One of the ways that VA rates heart conditions is through the measurement of ejection fraction in left ventricular dysfunction.  Veterans with an ejection fraction under 30% should qualify for a 100% VA rating.  But, many veterans have an ejection fraction that is low but does not quite reach the 30 percent level.

Veterans can also qualify for a 60 percent rating through VA’s symptom based MET method.  Veterans who pass out of experience chest pain, dizziness, or fatigue as a result of walking relatively slowly or other light exercise could qualify for a 60 percent rating.

Symptoms from limited activity like this could make it very difficult to work.  While not all jobs require physical exertion, many do.

Because of the standards required to get a 60 percent heart rating, veterans with a 60 percent heart rating should strongly consider TDIU if they cannot keep a job.  A veteran without the education and skills to perform a less physical job may have particular difficult maintaining employment as a result of a 60 percent heart rating.

A couple going over paperwork sitting down on a couch Why do I want to qualify for a TDIU rating?

TDIU can provide a big benefit to veterans who cannot work.  Instead of receiving just partial VA benefits,  veterans qualifying for TDIU receive full VA benefits at the 100 percent rating level.

Without using TDIU, VA math can make it very difficult to get to a 100 percent rating level.

Can I qualify for a TDIU rating even if I do not have one of the ratings discussed in this article?

Yes.  This article only focuses on a few of VA’s ratings.  If your service-connected disabilities cause you to be unable to maintain employment, you should consider applying for TDIU.  This may occur because of one particular service-connected disability or a combination of two or more.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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