How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (2022)

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (1)

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

In this post, we will explain our simple 4-step process to write a powerful VA permanent disability letter.

This is especially important for veterans with a 100 percent VA disability rating who are attempting to upgrade their rating to “Permanent and Total Disability ” status.

Except for the 7 types of protected VA disability ratings, the VA does periodically review a veteran’s VA disabilities to see if a condition has worsened, stayed the same, or improved.

There are two critical concepts VA Raters must consider when determining P&T status:

  • AVA reevaluationrequest (or VA rating reduction) must consider whether a current disability condition considered “Static” and/or “Permanent.”
  • AVA rating reductionrequest must consider whether the medical evidence shows there has been “material improvement” over time.

To protect yourself from a possible VA rating reduction, and to possibly upgrade an existing rating to permanent and total disability, it can be helpful to write a VA permanent disability letter.

Okay, let’s jump into some P&T eligibility requirements as well as our tips for writing a strong VA permanent and total disability letter.

Are you STUCK, FRUSTRATED and UNDERRATED?

You are not alone! We are Veterans helping Veterans!
Become an Elite Member and work with our Veteran Coaches to get the rating you deserve!

(Video) How to Write a WINNING VA Statement in Support of Claim! (4-Step Process)

Get Started

VA Permanent and Total Disability Eligibility

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (2)

To be eligible for permanent and total disability status, the law requires veterans to have a “total disability permanent in nature.”

Veterans meet the requirements for total disability when they have a 100 percent disability rating due to service connected disabilities or if their service connected disabilities make them unemployable (unable to maintain substantially gainful employment).

For a total disability to be permanent, the law requires the disability to be “based upon an impairment reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person” (38 CFR § 3.340).

While the VA sometimes adds P&T status automatically for veterans who qualify, sometimes it doesn’t.

Veterans can meet the requirements for P&T status independently by writing a strong disability letter and seeking the assistance of his/her treating physician or other private medical professionals.

VA Permanent Disability Letter Part #1: Provide a Brief Introduction of Who You Are and Why You’re Seeking 100% P&T Status

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (3)

In Part #1, you’ll want to provide the VA Rater with background details, to include your military service history, list of service connected disabilities, current combined VA rating, and why you’re seeking permanent and total disability from the VA.

Here’s an example of how to write this section:

My name is John B. Doe, and I served in the United States Army as an Infantryman from 2002-2012. I deployed to Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan and 2008. My military service, to include multiple deployments, led to numerous disability conditions that I struggle with every single day of my life. I’m currently service connected for Combat PTSD (70%), Sleep Apnea (50%), Headaches (30%), GERD (20%), Shoulder Condition (20%), Lumbar Strain (10%), and Tinnitus (10%). My overall combined VA rating is 100% scheduler; however, I don’t currently have P&T status. I’m seeking 100% permanent and total disability status from the VA because my conditions meet the definitions of Static, Permanent, and Total, and are unlikely to show ‘Material Improvement’ as I get older.

Deserve a HIGHER VA Rating? WE CAN HELP.

Join our premier education-based membership program, VA Claims Insider Elite, connect with an expert-level Veteran Coach (VC) within minutes, and finally get the rating you deserve. Click the button below to start for FREE.

START NOW FREE!

VA Permanent and Total Disability Letter Part #2: Explain Why and How Your Disability Conditions Should Be Considered Static, Permanent, and Total

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (4)

In Part #2, you’ll want to explain WHY and HOW your disability conditions meet the definition of Static, Permanent, and Total.

It’s helpful to include the exact definitions and legal authority when writing your VA permanent disability letter.

(Video) How to Write a VA Buddy Letter [LIVE!]

  • Astatic disabilityis a disability that is considered to be “permanent” by its nature, history, and severity. A static disability exists when there has not been material improvement for 5 years or more (M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii, Chapter 1, Section A – Determining the Need for Review Examinations).
  • Apermanent disabilityexists when it is reasonably certain, based upon medical evidence, that the level of impairment will continue for the rest of the veteran’s life (38 CFR § 3.340).
  • Total disability exists when there is present any impairment of mind or body which is sufficient to render it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation (38 CFR § 3.340).
  • Permanent total disability exists when such impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person (38 CFR § 3.340). “Reasonably Certain” generally means greater than 50 percent likelihood or the “more likely than not” standard of proof.

Pro Tip: You can ask your Accredited VSO to download your VA Disability Code Sheet from the Veteran Benefits Management System (VBMS). You can also get a copy of your Code Sheet by requesting your VA C File. The Code Sheet will show each disability and whether it’s determined to be “static” in nature. A “static” disability that’s been in-place for 5 years or more is not subject to re-evaluation or a rating reduction.

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (5)

Here’s an example of how to write this section:

In accordance with ‘M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii, Chapter 1, Section A – Determining the Need for Review Examinations,’ my disability conditions meet the definition of ‘static’ and are ‘permanent’ by their nature, history, and severity. In addition, a static disability exists when there has not been material improvement over 5 years, which is applicable to my claim. My service connected disabilities were rated in 2013 and have been static since that time. Also, I meet the definition of a ‘Total’ disability as I have a 100% combined VA rating that has significantly affected my ability to find substantially gainful employment, although I am blessed to be working now. Finally, in accordance with 38 CFR § 3.340, I meet the definition of ‘Permanent Total Disability,’ because the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout my life.

VA P&T Letter Example Part #3: List Why and How Your Disability Conditions Will Not Show Material Improvement Over Time

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (6)

In Part #3, it’s important to explain to the VA Rater WHY and HOW your disability conditions are unlikely to show material improvement over time.

It’s important to have MEDICAL EVIDENCE from a medical professional demonstrating this fact, rather than just citing your own opinion as a lay person.

We recommend having your treating physical or private medical professional write a letter explaining that your disabilities are medically unlikely to improve over time.

This is part of how you show the VA that you meet the definition of a Permanent and Total Disability by law.

Here’s an example of how to write this section:

Please see the attached Code Sheet and letter written by Doctor Ozz where she explains medically why and how my 7 service connected conditions are unlikely to show material improvement over time: Combat PTSD (70%), Sleep Apnea (50%), Headaches (30%), GERD (20%), Shoulder Condition (20%), Lumbar Strain (10%), and Tinnitus (10%). My service connected disabilities have been service connected and rated at the same level (static and permanent) since 2013.

100 Percent VA P&T Letter Part #4: Ask the VA For 100% Permanent and Total VA Disability Status Along with an Effective Date

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (7)

In Part #4, you’ll want to ask the VA Rater to grant you 100 percent permanent and total disability status along with an appropriate effective date.

Unless you have disabilities in appeal status, your effective date can be no longer than one year from your notice of intent to file.

You should also add the line:

“I CERTIFY THAT the statements on this letter are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

Sign and date the letter and list where to find your most recent contact information.

(Video) How to write a Buddy Letter VA Claim | Samples and Outline for Buddy Letters | VA Disability Claim

Here’s an example of how to write this section:

In summary and for the reasons cited herein, please grant me permanent and total disability status as of my most recent notice of intent to file date. I CERTIFY THAT the statements on this letter are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. If you need anything further, please contact me at the home address, phone number, or email address listed in my VA.gov profile.

Respectfully,

John B. Doe

USA Disabled Veteran (2002-2012)

VA Permanent Disability Letter Example

VA-Permanent-Disability-Letter-Template-ExampleDownload

My name is John B. Doe, and I served in the United States Army as an Infantryman from 2002-2012. I deployed to Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan and 2008. My military service, to include multiple deployments, led to numerous disability conditions that I struggle with every single day of my life. I’m currently service connected for Combat PTSD (70%), Sleep Apnea (50%), Headaches (30%), GERD (20%), Shoulder Condition (20%), Lumbar Strain (10%), and Tinnitus (10%). My overall combined VA rating is 100% scheduler; however, I don’t currently have P&T status. I’m seeking 100% permanent and total disability status from the VA because my conditions meet the definitions of Static, Permanent, and Total, and are unlikely to show ‘Material Improvement’ as I get older.

In accordance with ‘M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii, Chapter 1, Section A – Determining the Need for Review Examinations,’ my disability conditions meet the definition of ‘static’ and are ‘permanent’ by their nature, history, and severity. In addition, a static disability exists when there has not been material improvement over 5 years, which is applicable to my claim. My service connected disabilities were rated in 2013 and have been static since that time. Also, I meet the definition of a ‘Total’ disability as I have a 100% combined VA rating that has significantly affected my ability to find substantially gainful employment, although I am blessed to be working now. Finally, in accordance with 38 CFR § 3.340, I meet the definition of ‘Permanent Total Disability,’ because the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout my life.

Please see the attached Code Sheet and letter written by Doctor Ozz where she explains medically why and how my 7 service connected conditions are unlikely to show material improvement over time: Combat PTSD (70%), Sleep Apnea (50%), Headaches (30%), GERD (20%), Shoulder Condition (20%), Lumbar Strain (10%), and Tinnitus (10%). My service connected disabilities have been service connected and rated at the same level (static and permanent) since 2013.

In summary and for the reasons cited herein, please grant me permanent and total disability status as of my most recent notice of intent to file date. I CERTIFY THAT the statements on this letter are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. If you need anything further, please contact me at the home address, phone number, or email address listed in my VA.gov profile.

Respectfully,

John B. Doe

USA Disabled Veteran (2002-2012)

VA-Permanent-Disability-Letter-Template-ExampleDownload

(Video) How to File a VA Disability Claim for Secondary Service Connection [Step-by-Step!]

You Served You Deserve!

And we’ve got your six! Become an Elite Member and talk with one of our Veteran Coaches to begin your journey to a higher rating!

Get Started

About the Author

How to Write a Powerful VA Permanent Disability Letter (4-Step Process) - VA Claims Insider (8)

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reeseis VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, andfounder of VA Claims Insider–“The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the8-step VA disability claims processled him to create“VA Claims Insider,”which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian isalso the CEOofMilitary Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the“9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim”has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is aformer active duty Air Force officerwith extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

(Video) How to Get a VA Disability Rating for IBS (NEW Tips for 2022!)

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from theUnited States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

FAQs

How do you write a convincing statement in support of claim? ›

How to write your claim: List the Name of the VA Disability You're Claiming in the First Section of the VA Form 21-4138. Explain the Approximate Timeframe Your VA Disability Began Along with Why It Should Be Service Connected (or Why Your VA Rating Should Be Increased for Conditions Already Service Connected)

How do you write a lay statement for a VA claim? ›

Tips for Writing a VA Lay Statement

Statement writers should be able to give a first-hand account of the service conditions that led to disability or have witnessed the impact of your illness on your daily life. Next, be as accurate as possible in your statement. Always be truthful in telling your story.

How can I get 100% permanent? ›

How to Get 100% Permanent and Total VA Rating - YouTube

What is the most approved VA disability? ›

#1.

Tinnitus, otherwise known as “Ringing-in-the-Ear-Syndrome” is the #1 most common VA disability claim. Tinnitus is when you experience ringing, hissing, buzzing, or other noises in one or both of your ears.

How do you write a winning VA statement in support of claim 4 step process? ›

How to Write a WINNING VA Statement in Support of Claim! (4 ...

What are good examples of evidence to help support your claim? ›

Among the forms of evidence you might draw from are:
  • Graphs, charts, tables, or figures.
  • Statistics.
  • Experiments or studies done by peer-reviewed sources.
  • Surveys conducted by reputable sources.
  • Interviews.
  • Quotes or paraphrases from primary sources.
  • Quotes or paraphrases from secondary sources.

How do you write a good lay statement? ›

Those writing lay statements should explain what they have personally observed or witnessed about the veteran's condition, daily life, or the in-service event that occurred. They should always sign and date the document and indicate how and why they have personal knowledge about the veteran's situation.

What is competent lay evidence? ›

probative weight to the evidence.8 Competent lay evidence is. defined as any evidence “not requiring that the proponent have. specialized education, training, or experience,” but is provided “by. a person who has knowledge of facts or circumstances and conveys. matters that can be observed and described by a lay person ...

How hard is it to get permanent and total disability from the VA? ›

In order to be awarded a Permanent and Total rating, veterans must first be service connected for a disability. More specifically, the disability must be considered severe enough by VA to warrant a permanent rating.

What VA disabilities are considered permanent? ›

Certain types of service-connected disabilities automatically are deemed to support a VA rating of Permanent and Total Disability. They include the irreversible loss of use of both hands, both feet, one hand and one foot, loss of vision in both eyes, or the Veteran being permanently bedridden.

How long before VA disability becomes permanent? ›

Your condition is static (unchanging); Your condition has “persisted without material improvement for a period of five years or more” (i.e., stabilized rating); The “disability from disease is permanent in character and of such nature that there is no likelihood of improvement;”

What should you not say at C&P exam? ›

Your C&P exam is for you to describe your symptoms and limitations to the examiner. That's it. The last thing you should be doing during this is discussing VA ratings and legal aspects of your case. Do not cite, word for word, the VA disability rating criteria and how your symptoms fulfill it.

What are the easiest VA claims to win? ›

According to a recent Veterans Administration report to Congress, the ten most commonly awarded medical conditions that are getting approved for benefits are as follows:
  • Tinnitus.
  • Limitation of flexion (knee)
  • Hearing loss.
  • Lumbosacral or cervical strain (back and neck strains)
  • Limitation of arm motion.
  • General scars.
Jan 18, 2022

What are high value VA claims? ›

Therefore, mental health conditions, including PTSD, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, somatic symptom disorder, among others, are “high-value” claims. We call mental health conditions high-value claims because they have a very high likelihood of getting rated at 30% or more.

What is an example of a claim statement? ›

claim - If you open by stating, "Every middle school student should have their own cell phone," this is a claim. This is not something that everyone agrees upon. Your paper will need to focus on supporting this claim with evidence.

How do you write a claim statement example? ›

How to Write a Claim Paragraph?
  1. Start with a Hook. This is an open sentence of a paragraph. ...
  2. State the Topic. Stating the topic of the paragraph helps guide the reader through your argument. ...
  3. Write the Claim. Introduce the claim. ...
  4. Present the Argument. ...
  5. Include some Visuals. ...
  6. Seek an Example. ...
  7. Be Brief.
Nov 23, 2021

How do you start a claim sentence? ›

Claim Sentence Starters

I observed _____________ when ___________. I compared _____________ and ___________. I noticed _______, when _______.

Which statements best describe an effective claim in an argumentative essay? ›

It is precise and clear. It is debatable but cannot be refuted. It is emotional and states an opinion. It states a bias using clear language.

Videos

1. Why a Great Buddy Letter Can Help You Win Your VA Claim!
(VA Claims Insider)
2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) VA Disability Claims Rating Scale Explained!
(VA Claims Insider)
3. How to WIN Your Plantar Fasciitis VA Claim This Year (2022!)
(VA Claims Insider)
4. VA Claims Insider Presents: Our 🎉 2020 🎉 Year in Review 🍾
(VA Claims Insider)
5. Top 10 Most Common VA Disability Claims (*LIVE* with VA Claims Insider)
(VA Claims Insider)
6. A VA Lifestyle Impact Claim Can Unlock A Higher VA Rating—If You Know How!
(VA Claims Insider)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated: 11/27/2022

Views: 6153

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.