Can You Work With 100 VA Disability?

Can you work if you have a 100% VA disability rating? The short answer is yes. However, the process of this can be complex.

A 100% disability is the highest rating you can get as a veteran with service-connected disabilities, and this rating makes you eligible for the most amount of compensation from the VA. Now, the question that arises is this – can you work while also getting these monetary benefits, and if you work, will your disability benefits get reduced?

To answer your questions on this matter, we have prepared this post where we will briefly explain working with 100% disability as a veteran. Let’s get started –

Understanding 100% VA Disability

A 100% VA disability is the highest possible rating given by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Through a 100% VA disability rating, veterans can receive a range of benefits, including financial support, Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and more. Getting a 100% VA disability rating requires meeting specific criteria set by the VA. 

Working with a 100% Schedular Disability Rating

While you can be employed with a 100% schedular disability rating, the case is different if you are receiving the individual unemployability benefit.

Individual unemployability means that you are receiving the benefits of a 100% disability rating due to the fact that your condition does not allow you to work. Therefore, working while receiving this benefit will likely result in your VA rating getting revoked. However, the concepts of “substantial gainful employment” and “marginal employment” come into play in this conversation.

Substantial Gainful Employment vs Marginal Employment

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, veterans who are listed by the VA as 100% unable to work cannot have “substantial gainful employment.” This refers to work that can generate income at or above the federal poverty threshold. In other words, substantial gainful employment is a job that a non-disabled person can do while earning a living wage. 

However, even though you may not be able to get substantial gainful employment with individual unemployability benefits, you may still be able to gain marginal employment, which is work that offers income lower than substantial gainful employment. 


Overall, you can work with a 100% disability rating if you are not under the individual unemployability program. For IU benefits receivers, marginal employment is possible in certain cases. If you are still unsure about pursuing your career as a veteran, you can contact the experts at VA Disability Coach.