How can I change my rating to Permanent and Total (P&T)?

Posted on: Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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How can I change my rating to Permanent and Total (P&T)?

Question

I'm 55yrs old and currently rated at a 100% scheduler VA rating ,not P/T. I also receive SSDI.I was rated a 100% in 2013, prior to that rated at 70%. My ratings are as follow  100% major depressive disorder ,40% HNP, lumbar spine (post operative) with degenerative joint disease,10% right lower extremity sciatic sensory deficit (claimed as muscle spasm and numbness of right lower extremity.)I Know I will never be able to be gainfully employed ever again. I have also been clinically diagnosed with PTSD & right foot drop  as well. I have been receiving treatment for these disabilities from the VA and non VA doctors since 2003 to this current date . I also take about 15 medications that my  spouse oversee . I continually see a psychiatrist and attend mental health and PTSD groups through the VA on a regular basis. Since my last rating , I have also had 3 surgeries, upon which two are service connected. At this point in my life I'm sure I want be able to be gainfully employed. Given your expertise what is the possibility of my scheduler rating ever being changed to permanent and total. Thank you in advance for all you do for your fellow Veterans.

Jim's Reply

This is a current topic I'm discussing with a few folks at VA. The way that a "permanent" rating is assigned at VA makes little sense. It's interesting to note that in the VA lexicon, the word permanent doesn't mean that a benefit is permanent. Rather, it means the beneficiary is eligible for some enhanced dependents benefits and that there are no routine future exams (RFEs) scheduled. Otherwise the benefit may be reviewed and modified for cause at most any time. For now it appears that you'll wait until you're 70 years old, an arbitrary age that VA uses for other similar purposes. If you're trying to avoid the future exams with a permanent rating, I'd advise you wait it out. The longer you wait, the less chance there is that your ratings can ever be lowered. If you're seeking the additional benefits for dependents, again...I advise that you wait it out. VA is aware of the issue and I'm seeing some informal positive response to making sense of the P & T confusion.

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