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P&T (Permanent and Total Disability)

Definition P&T, or Permanent and Total Disability, is a VA benefits term that refers to a disability condition considered both permanent, meaning it is unlikely to improve, and total, indicating a disability rating of 100% within the VA disability rating system. This status typically leads to increased benefits and support for the veteran and their […]


P&T, or Permanent and Total Disability, is a VA benefits term that refers to a disability condition considered both permanent, meaning it is unlikely to improve, and total, indicating a disability rating of 100% within the VA disability rating system. This status typically leads to increased benefits and support for the veteran and their family. Qualifying for P&T benefits usually demands extensive medical documentation to prove the severity and permanence of a service-connected disability.

Key Takeaways

  1. P&T stands for Permanent and Total Disability, which means a veteran’s disability is deemed 100% disabling and not expected to improve.
  2. When a veteran is granted P&T status, they become eligible for additional benefits such as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), health care, and educational benefits for their dependents.
  3. To qualify for P&T, the veteran’s disability must be service-connected, and they must have received a 100% disability rating from the VA, taking into consideration their combined disabilities.


The VA benefits term P&T (Permanent and Total Disability) is important because it refers to a condition in which a veteran experiences a service-connected disability that is deemed both permanent and total in nature.

This means that the disability is not expected to improve and significantly impairs the veteran’s ability to function in everyday life.

Veterans who are awarded P&T status are eligible for a variety of crucial benefits, including monthly compensation payments, healthcare benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and access to numerous financial assistance programs.

Furthermore, their dependents may also be eligible to receive certain educational and healthcare benefits.

Overall, P&T enhances the quality of life for disabled veterans and their families by providing them with critical financial, healthcare, and educational resources to mitigate the impacts of their disability.


The purpose of the P&T (Permanent and Total Disability) classification within the VA benefits system is to provide comprehensive support for veterans who have sustained severe injuries or developed chronic medical conditions resulting from their military service. Through this designation, the Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges that these veterans may face significant challenges in reintegrating into civilian life, and as such, require dedicated resources and assistance to help provide for their long-term care, rehabilitation, and financial security.

Services covered under P&T benefits can include healthcare, vocational training, compensation for lost wages, and caregiver support, among others. One of the key aspects of P&T is that it ensures uninterrupted and consistent support for the disabled veteran, recognizing that the impact of their injuries or medical conditions is ongoing and life-altering.

This classification alleviates concerns about losing access to much-needed benefits or having to continually fight for re-evaluation of eligibility status, thus providing a sense of stability for affected individuals and their families. Additionally, the P&T designation enables these veterans to access further supplementary benefits and resources, such as education assistance under the Dependent’s Educational Assistance Program (DEA), as well as possible state-specific benefits, like property tax exemptions.

Overall, the Permanent and Total Disability classification serves as a crucial safety net for those who have paid the ultimate price in service to their country.

Examples of P&T (Permanent and Total Disability)

Veteran with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A veteran who has suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in the line of duty may be classified as having a P&T disability. This injury can result in a permanent loss of motor and cognitive function, preventing the veteran from working or partaking in daily activities independently. As a result, the veteran may be eligible for disability compensation, healthcare benefits, and additional allowances, such as for housing and transportation.

Veteran with Spinal Cord Injury: A veteran who has suffered a spinal cord injury during their military service may be eligible for P&T disability. This type of injury can often result in permanent loss of movement and sensation, leading to paraplegia or quadriplegia. These veterans may require ongoing medical care, caregiving support, and assistance with daily living tasks. The VA Benefits for P&T can help offset the costs associated with treatment, personal care, and home modifications.

Veteran with PTSD and Related Conditions: A veteran who experiences severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a service-related incident may be eligible for P&T designation. If the severity of their PTSD prevents them from maintaining gainful employment or results in a total social and occupational impairment, they may be granted P&T status. Other related conditions, such as depression and anxiety, may also contribute to this determination. P&T benefits for such a veteran can include disability compensation, mental health services, and educational support with programs like the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services.

FAQ: P&T (Permanent and Total Disability)

What is P&T (Permanent and Total Disability)?

Permanent and Total Disability (P&T) is a rating given by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans with disabilities that are deemed both permanent and total. This rating signifies that the veteran’s disabilities are unlikely to improve and completely hinder their ability to work or participate in everyday activities.

How do I know if I qualify for P&T?

To qualify for P&T, your disability must be considered service-connected and meet two criteria: it must be permanent, meaning it is expected to last throughout your life, and it must be total, meaning it is severe enough to prevent you from working. The VA will determine if your disability meets these requirements based on medical evidence and individual evaluations.

How does P&T affect my VA benefits?

Receiving a P&T rating can make you eligible for additional VA benefits and services, such as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for your spouse, healthcare benefits for your family, and education benefits for your dependents. Additionally, veterans with a P&T rating may also be eligible for additional financial assistance, vocational rehabilitation services, and more.

Can my P&T rating be reduced or taken away?

While P&T ratings are considered to be permanent, in some cases, the VA may review your medical condition to determine if there has been significant improvement. If the VA finds that your condition has improved enough for you to return to work or that your disability is no longer considered permanent, they may reduce or terminate the P&T rating. However, this is generally uncommon and typically requires substantial evidence of improvement.

How do I apply for P&T status?

To apply for P&T status, you will need to submit a claim for VA disability compensation. In the claim, you should provide evidence of your disability’s service connection, its permanence, and its severity. You can apply online through the VA’s eBenefits portal, by visiting a VA regional office, or by mailing your application to the appropriate office. It is recommended that you submit medical records and any other supporting documentation along with your application.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Disability Compensation
  • VA Pension
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Adapted Housing Grants
  • Survivors’ Benefits

Sources for More Information

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