Total Disability Individual
Unemployability for Veterans
For United States veterans, obtaining disability for their service-related injury can make a huge difference in their lives. After all, if someone is unable to work at the level they previously were able to, they are often unable to earn substantial income to live on. Benefits through the VA can make a world of difference for veterans struggling to make ends meet, and it’s a small price that can be paid back to those who sacrificed so much for their country.
Most veterans are aware of disability-related benefits available through the VA that relate to a single or combined service-connected disability, but a lesser-known way for veterans to receive crucial benefits isn’t related to that same disability rating. This is known as Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDUI). With TDIU, a veteran is entitled to be paid at the rate of a 100% disability rating at any time if they can establish that a service-connected disability precludes them from maintaining gainful employment.
This is different, for example, from a single service-connected disability rating of 60% or combined service-connected disability rating of 70% that are common outcomes. TDIU is 100 percent disability, but it still differs from the typical 100 percent rating from the VA.
Differences Between TDIU and a Typical 100 Percent Rating
The main difference between TDIU and a typical 100 percent disability rating from the VA is the impact on employment and consideration. A typical rating from the VA does not always take employment into consideration, as the condition is rated according to the service-connected conditions as determined by the rating criteria.
With TDIU, the veteran may not have achieved a typical 100 percent disability rating according to standard measures. But, they would be deemed unemployable, meaning they are unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment due to a service-related condition. TDIU provides another option for those who are unable to gain employment entirely due to service connection. This can include physical and mental disabilities related to service.
Benefit Amounts Available for TDIU
If a veteran is approved for TDIU, they may receive over $3,000 a month from the VA in benefits. Being married and having kids opens up additional funds as well. The veteran also technically can work a small amount, but they must not earn more than the federal poverty threshold. If they earn more than the threshold, it may be considered marginal employment, and the veteran may not qualify for TDIU.
An exception could be a protected work environment, where the veteran works at a family business or a job that has specific accommodations. The VA does not consider these conditions to be substantially gainful employment.
Often, a veteran could be denied benefits if they are deemed to be able to perform sedentary work. But, this is often able to be challenged, as the VA is not always in a position to determine if the veteran can perform sedentary work without medical evidence.
Getting an Attorney Involved in TDIU Claims
There are many rules that the VA governs, and often claims are denied incorrectly for TDIU and other veteran’s benefits. For this reason, it is a good idea to get an attorney involved with questions, especially if benefits have been denied.
The professionals at Tabak Law have years of experience getting veterans the benefits they deserve. Call today at 844-432-0114 with no obligation.