Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Can You Work With Va Unemployability

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Scheduler Ratings Vs Tdiu

Can You Work and Get VA Unemployability?

Before receiving a TDIU, veterans will receive a percentage scale known as the schedule of rating, or a scheduler rating for short. This scale determines the severity of ones disability, with the higher the percentage corresponding to a lesser likelihood they would be able to hold a job.

From there, the TDIU determines the veterans legal restrictions for working based on their scheduler rating. Even if you receive a scheduler rating of only 40 or 50 percent, if the condition is severe enough as to bar you from operating functionally in the workplace, then you may still be assigned a 100% TDIU rating.

Marginal Employment & Tdiu Benefits

This is the type of income that many veterans are aware that they can receive even after being granted TDIU Benefits.

Simply go to the US Bureau of Census website, and look up the poverty threshold for one person. .

You will see that, for 2014, the poverty threshold for one person is $12,316 per year , or $11,354 . In most cases, veterans are advised that these poverty thresholds are the VA unemployability income limits.

So, this is the first way that you can earn an income and continue to receive a 100% TDIU rating without breaking the VA unemployability income limits: ensure that whatever income you make stays below the poverty thresholds for your family size.

Each year, the VA will ask you to verify your employment to determine whether you are eligible to continue to receive TDIU Benefits. They typically require that you use VA Form 21-4140 or 21-4140-1 to do this report.

The VA does cross check 2 databases that I know of: Social Security databases that record your work/income history, and IRS databases that record your family income on your annual tax returns. Word to the wise: if you are telling different income stories to different federal agencies, you are playing with fire, and may even be committing fraud.

If you indicate in this form that your income is higher than the poverty threshold, a proposal to reduce your TDIU benefits will be forthcoming.

Its one of the few times that the VA acts with a sense of purpose when they want to STOP paying you.

The Difference Between Tdiu Permanent And Total And A 100 Percent Disability Rating

At first glance, it may seem like the qualifications for schedular TDIU benefits are the same as a 100% disability rating. However, this is not the case. The goal of TDIU permanent and total benefits is to compensate veterans with a lower rating at the same level as veterans who receive 100% disability payments.

To qualify for schedular TDIU benefits, one of the following must be true:

  • You have one service-connected disability rated at 60% or higher or
  • You have two or more service-connected disabilities, with One disability rated at least 40%, and A combined disability rating of 70% or more

In special cases, if you have a disability rating lower than the above requirements but your service-connected disability or disabilities still prevent you from maintaining substantially gainful employment, you may be approved for TDIU permanent and total benefits on an extraschedular basis. These cases are exceptional in nature and require special review by the Director of Compensation Service. However, its important to keep in mind that if the Director of Compensation Service denies extraschedular TDIU, the Board of Veterans Appeals can overturn that decision on appeal.

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Securing And Maintaining A Job

These terms clarify that a veteran is entitled to TDIU if his service-connected disabilities prevent him from getting a job and/or prevent him from keeping a job.

Some physical disabilities such as back or knee problems might be easily noticed by an interviewer and might prevent a veteran from getting a job. Other disabilities, such as PTSD, might not be evident in an interview but hinder a veterans ability to keep a job as time goes on.

Your Ability To Work Could Possibly Affect Your Disability Rating In Some Cases

VA Individual Unemployability Fact Sheet (FREE Download)

VA Disability benefits are calculated primarily using a disability rating that is determined after an exam and a review of the applicants condition. Medical factors are primarily considered when determining the applicants disability rating, but some outside factors are brought in to determine the limitations that may stem from your disability. The applicant may be asked questions about their ability to cook and clean, care for themselves, maintain hygiene, and generally function throughout day-to-day activities. While the responses to these questions can have less of an impact than medical tests or a verifiable diagnosis, they can find their way into the findings report from time to time.

All of this to say: it is possible that if you report that you are working during your application process or if it is discovered that you started working and obtaining income after your approval that, in some cases, your disability rating and overall condition could be interpreted differently. For such an interpretation to actually affect someones eligibility for VA Disability is rare, but it is in the realm of possibility.

With that said, once a disability rating is established, it can rarely be changed unless there is a significant medical improvement or other substantial reason. Further, it is worth reiterating that medical data and exam findings matter more to your disability rating than your reported daily activities.

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No Income Limits For Most Veterans Disability Benefits

VA benefits, including VA Disability, differ from most public benefits in the U.S. in that they are based almost wholly on a service-related condition rather than a demonstrated need. With programs like Social Security Disability Income , for example, the recipient must demonstrate a lack of substantial gainful activity in order to be eligible. With VA disability benefits, however, they are intended to compensate you for a condition you acquired during service, regardless of your current means. Put simply, its a way for the U.S. government to be able to say it takes care of its veterans and pays them for the sacrifices they have made.

What Is A Tdiu Rating And What Are The Requirements

As described in the above, in simplest terms, a TDIU rating pays 100 percent compensation, can be awarded on a P& T basis, and the only true requirement is that a veterans service-connected impairment preclude his or her ability to work. While it truly is this simple from a 30,000-foot perspective, the VAs regulations set forth a sort of roadmap by which to adjudicate claims for individual unemployability. When evaluating an unemployability claim, the VA will first determine whether the veterans service-connected impairments meet the schedular requirements of 38 CFR 4.16, which means that the veterans claim can be adjudicated by any decision-maker at any of VAs fifty-six Regional Offices . If the veterans service-connected impairments do not meet the schedular requirements of 38 CFR 4.16, then the VA should adjudicate the claim under 38 CFR 4.16, which requires that the veterans IU claim be referred to the Director, Compensation Service, for extra-schedular consideration.

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Social Security Disability Awards

Typically, disabled veterans are awarded Social Security Disability benefits before receiving their entitled VA unemployability benefits.

Social Security Disability benefits can be used to strengthen Total Disability Individual Unemployability claims, especially if the social security award covers the same disability involved in the TDIU claim.

How Long Do Veterans Disability Benefits Last

VA Individual Unemployability if you cant work

By Jean C. ONeill, Contributing Author

Mostveterans of the United States Armed Forces who have a disability connected totheir service are eligible for veterans disability benefits. Generallyspeaking, disability benefits are available to disabled veterans as long as theveteran remains disabled and until his or her death.

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What Is My Tdiu Effective Date

This is the date on which your award of TDIU benefits will start. Establishing the effective date of your TDIU claim can be difficult, and is often a sticking point. This is due to the nature of TDIU benefits.

Veterans can apply for TDIU benefits by submitting VA Form 21-8940. If you have submitted this form to the VA, you might think the TDIU effective date is associated with that form. But this is not correct. Why? Because your TDIU is all about an additional VA rating that will pay 100% compensation for an already-service-connected condition. It is not a separate claim for compensation.

Individual unemployability is often at the very root of a veterans claim for VA compensation. Unemployability can also become evident over time in a service-connected condition. Accordingly, your effective datethe date on which you become unemployablemay be determined by:

  • the date VA received your initial claim for service connection, or
  • the date you first became unemployable due to service-connected disabilities
  • the date of your claim to increase a VA rating, or
  • from facts that exist in your record that is under adjudication.

We explain various scenarios below.

TDIU Effective Date Stems from Claim for Service Connection:

the date VA received your claim for SC , or

the date you were first determined to be unemployable.

TDIU Effective Date Stems from Claim for Increased VA Rating:

The date VA received your claim for rating increase, or

Can You Work And Receive Individual Unemployability

So, what does all of this mean on a practical level? Yes, its possible first, it means that VA law does allow for some veterans who work to also receive VA unemployability benefits at the same time, depending on the circumstances. Second, it means that disabled veterans who are working should not foreclose the thought of obtaining individual unemployability benefits based on erroneous information they may have received from others that they are not eligible for IU simply because they work.

In these cases, it is important for the earnings to be examined in order to assess if the veteran is above or below the poverty threshold. A veteran can produce substantive proof earnings through pay stubs, tax returns, employer letters, and/or a Social Security Earnings Record. If the earnings are above the poverty threshold, an evaluation needs to take place to determine if the veteran is working in a sheltered environment. For example, if a veteran is provided accommodations or leniencies by his or her employer on account of service-connected disabilities, such as excessive time off, the ability to leave work at will, etc., this may be a sheltered work situation. However, it goes without saying that the veteran would have to have corroborating evidence to prove that the workplace is sheltered, for example, an employer letter verifying the excessive accommodations, etc.

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A Lifetime Of Security

We are with you from day one when your parents named you, and when you named your children. Most parents apply for their childs Social Security number at birth, usually through the hospital. When the time comes for your childs first job, the number is already in place.

A fun bonus of assigning Social Security numbers at birth is that we know the most popular baby names, which we announce each year. On our website, you can find the top baby names for the last 100 years.

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Frequently Asked Questions: 90 Percent Va Disability Ratings

Can You Work and Receive VA Unemployability?

What does a 90 percent VA Disability rating pay monthly?

The Veterans Administration will pay $1,887.18 monthly to veterans who are eligible according to the 2021 ratings tables. There is also extra monthly compensation available to veterans who have dependent children and parents. If you are approved at a 90% rating, you may also be eligible to receive back pay.

Is it hard to get a 90 percent VA Disability rating?

Some veterans have a clear-cut case where there is no question they deserve a 90% rating. For other veterans, you are going to have to jump through hoops to obtain a 90% rating from the VA. There is no quota of 90% ratings the VA must handout. Each VA claim is decided on a case-by-case basis. Your case will be decided solely upon the merits of your claim.

What are my chances of getting a 90 percent VA Disability rating?

If you provide relevant medical evidence, meet numerous deadlines, do excellent legal research, and correctly fill out all the paperwork, your chances will increase. Many veterans lose their claim because they did not provide evidence to prove they deserve a 90% rating.

What if I think I deserve a 90 percent VA Disability rating and was denied?

If you were denied a 90% rating within the last year, you may be able to appeal the VAs bad decision. If you were denied over a year ago, you can re-apply for your 90% rating. You can apply for VA Disability benefits as many times as you like there is no limit.

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Employment That May Allow You To Qualify For Tdiu

: If you earn above the poverty level from your employment, then according to VA, your employment is substantially gainful. If you are working but earning below the poverty level, VA considers this employment marginal which does not qualify as substantially gainful.

For example, if you are only able to work 10 hours per week at a coffee shop and thus earn below the poverty threshold, your employment may qualify as marginal.

Working in a protected work environment: If you work in a protected work environment, VA may still consider you to be eligible for TDIU. VA reviews such arrangements on a case-by-case basis but, generally, employment that allows certain accommodations without which you would not be able to continue working does not fall under the umbrella of substantially gainful employment.

More specifically, a protected work environment could be demonstrated by one or several of the following being true of the veterans situation:

  • The veteran does not need to complete critical job functions due to their limitations .
  • The veteran is not as productive or as reliable as other employees .
  • The veteran does not receive any negative consequences for erratic behavior or mistakes that stem from the veterans disability .

To establish that you work in a protected work environment, you may need several types of evidence, such as a statement from your employer or your W2s or paystubs.

Denial Of Va Benefits

If you were denied VA benefits, you are certainly not alone. Every year thousands of veterans reach out to our VA benefits appeals lawyers. Many of the denied cases we take a look at are in fact eligible and do qualify for VA Unemployability benefits. Dont be discouraged by a denial. It happens.

Individual Unemployability attorney discuses what it takes to be eligible for IU benefits:

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You Are Expected To Not Be Able To Work While Receiving Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability Benefit

The one exception to the VAs rules about working while receiving disability is if you are attempting to claim Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability . There are, technically, no rules stating that you must be unemployed at the time you apply, but if you are employed that will be considered as a factor in your eligibility.

Specifically, the rules of TDIU bar substantially gainful employment, which the VA defines as employment that is ordinarily followed by the nondisabled to earn their livelihood with earnings common to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides.

You are able to earn some amount of income without arousing suspicion or prompting the VA to reconsider your disability status, but once it meets the substantially gainful employment definition, you will likely have your status reconsidered. This possibility can emerge regardless of whether you work part-time or freelance. In some extreme instances where you are volunteering extensively and not accepting pay, the VA may consider whether the work you performed could constitute substantially gainful employment based on how someone would normally be compensated for this type of labor.

The general test used for determining whether employment is substantially gainful or marginal is to consider whether the individual earns less than the poverty line income for their region.

How To File For A Va Tdiu Claim

VA Individual Unemployability (TDIU) and Working

The VA TDIU process involves making a regular VA disability claim with additional information included that provides evidence of your inability to get or keep a steady job. A claim can be filed online at the VAs website.

When filing for TDIU, you must also fill out the following two forms to be considered for Individual Unemployability benefits:

  • Form 21-8940 A Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability
  • Form 21-4192 A Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefits

If the VA comes to an unfavorable decision on your claim, it may be in your best interest to hire a VA disability lawyer that can help you argue for a better outcome.

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Am I Still Eligible For Total Disability Individual Unemployability If Im Currently Working

If you are currently working but dont earn more than the federal poverty threshold, then the VA may consider that to be marginal employment.

If you are currently working in a protected work environment, for example, a family business, or at a job that allows specific accommodations, and your earnings are above the federal poverty threshold, you may still be entitled to TDIU benefits, because the VA does not consider a protected work environment to be substantially gainful employment.

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Can Tdiu Be Permanent And Total

TDIU benefits are not necessarily permanent, but they can be granted permanent status. Generally, TDIU benefits are intended to provide veterans with enough income to live on when they cant maintain substantially gainful employment due to their service-connected disabilities.

If you believe your circumstances warrant it, youll need to apply for permanent status and prove to the VA that your service-connected condition are unlikely to improve over time, making you permanently unemployable above the federal poverty level.

If your level of disability changes such that you can start earning income above the federal poverty limits, your TDIU benefits will be revoked.

In the past, if you were a veteran receiving TDIU benefits, you had to submit a questionnaire to the VA every year to determine if you still qualified. This process changed in 2019. The VA now uses Social Security Administration data to determine which veterans pay into Social Security. The VA may request you fill out VA Form 21-4140 Employment Questionnaire based on this data.

TDIU benefits can also be granted temporarily for a few different reasons, including:

  • Prestabilization: recently medically discharged veterans where employment isnt feasible or advisable
  • Extended hospitalization: hospitalizations lasting 21 days or longer due to service-connected disabilities
  • Recovery from surgery due to service-connected disabilities where recovery lasts one or more months

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