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Temporary disability rating after surgery or cast

If you’re recovering from surgery or a disability related to your military service that’s left you unable to move, you may be able to get a temporary 100% disability rating and added compensation while you recover. Keep reading to find out if you may be eligible.

Am I eligible for a temporary 100% rating from VA?

You may be eligible for a temporary 100% rating if you’ve had surgery or received other treatment at a VA hospital, approved hospital, or outpatient center for a disability related to your military service (called a service-connected disability). You must meet the requirements listed here.

If you had surgery

Both of these must be true for you:

  • The surgery required a recovery time of at least 1 month or reports show that the surgery or treatment was for a service-connected disability, and
  • The surgery resulted in severe issues

Some examples of what we consider to be severe issues:

  • Surgical wounds that haven’t totally healed
  • Stumps of recent amputations
  • Being unable to move due to being put in splints or casts to help with healing (known as therapeutic immobilizations)
  • Being unable to leave your house (known as house confinement)
  • Being required to use a wheelchair or crutches

If you didn’t have surgery

You must have had one or more major joints immobilized by a cast.

What kind of disability benefits can I get?

You may be able to get a temporary increase in compensation while you recover.

The temporary 100% rating may continue for 1 to 3 months—depending on your unique case. You may be able to get an extension for up to 3 more months if your case is severe.

Example: A Veteran had a left knee injury that resulted in a 30% disability rating. As the knee problem got worse, the Veteran’s VA doctor recommended surgery to stop more damage from happening. Since the doctor wouldn’t know if the surgery was successful until 3 months after the Veteran’s 1-week stay in the hospital, we granted the Veteran a temporary 100% disability rating for 3 months.

How do I get these benefits?

You can file a claim online now to get a temporary 100% rating. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional. 

File for disability compensation online

Learn about other ways to file a disability compensation claim

What if I have questions about these benefits?

You can call us at 800-827-1000. We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.