Can A Veteran With A 100 Percent Schedular Disability Work
Importantly, if a veteran does have a 100 percent schedular rating, either for one condition or multiple conditions, they are fully entitled to continue working. In other words, there are no limitations in terms of employment. Overall, meeting the criteria for a 100% schedular disability rating can be exceptionally difficult to do.
Total disability/individual unemployability is a disability rating that may be granted if a veterans claim asserts that he or she be paid benefits at the 100 percent disabled rates, even though the disability or disabilities rate below 100 percent.
% Disability Rating Qualifying Criteria
There are two ways a veteran may be assigned a 100% disability rating:
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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.
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How A 50 To 70% Va Rating Can Get You To 100%
Many veterans have difficulty keeping a job because of service-connected disabilities. Pain from physical conditions can make it difficult to focus and concentrate. Medications can cause side effects which do the same thing. Mental conditions like PTSD can make it difficult to work with others in a job setting.
Sometimes, a combination of several different service-connected conditions makes it difficult to work. Other times, one service-connected condition alone is severe enough to make you unemployable.
Certain VA ratings for certain service-connected conditions often cause unemployability because of the symptoms VA requires to qualify for these ratings. This article will discuss some of the VA ratings between 50 and 70 percent that could make you eligible for a 100 percent rating for TDIU if you apply.
What Should I Do If My Tdiu Claim Is Denied
If you filed a claim for TDIU and you were denied, our attorneys can help you! We can assist with filing a Notice of Disagreement or a request for Higher Level Review following the decision. Keep in mind that this is time-sensitive and the NOD or HLR request must be filed within a year of the decision otherwise, it becomes final and can only be reopened by providing new and relevant evidence. We can help you select the correct appeal type for your situation, review the reasons for VAs denial, and submit everything to VA on your behalf.
We understand how important the successful outcome of a TDIU claim is to you. Contact us today for a free case review.
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What You Need To Know Before Filing A Tdiu Claim
Receiving the compensation you are due for a service-related disability can be a complicated and often frustrating process, particularly if you need to file a TDIU claim. If you are a U.S. Military veteran with a service-related disability and should be eligible for TDIU, we may be able to help you navigate the process.
Tdiu Factor #: Social Security Disability
Receipt of these benefits is relevant information.
SSDI requires that a person be unable to participate in substantial gainful activity in order to be considered disabled. .
If the SSDI is approved based solely on your service-connected disability, this is a very relevant factor for the VA Regional Office to consider.
Frequently, SSDI is approved for a collection of conditions that preclude the Veterans ability to participate in a substantial gainful activity. These often leads to confusion for Veterans who believe that their SSDI was based on Condition A which is service-connected, but in reality the SSDI Decision was based on Condition A and Condition B .
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What If Im Self
Self-employment can be tricky when it comes to VA disability benefits. Thats because if you own your own business or work as a freelancer, you have control over the amount of wages you receive.
However, the VA still decides if your work is substantially gainful employment by comparing it to your work before your condition, not solely based on current wages.
What Does It Take To Get A 70% Ptsd Rating
VA uses diagnostic codes to assign ratings to all different conditions. It will help to discuss the diagnostic code used to rate PTSD so that you can understand what a 70 percent rating means.
For a 70 percent rating, the PTSD diagnostic code states:
- Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood, due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities speech intermittently illogical, obscure, or irrelevant near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively impaired impulse control spatial disorientation neglect of personal appearance and hygiene difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.
The focus of the diagnostic code is on occupational and social impairment. This means VA focuses on how your PTSD affects your ability to work and your ability to maintain relationships.
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Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability
You can work and collect VA disability benefits as long as you arenot receiving benefits called TotalDisability based on Individual Unemployability .
If you qualify for TDIU, this means you may be able to getdisability benefits at the same level as a veteran who has a 100 percentdisability rating. Qualifying for TDIU usually means youre unable to work.
Remember, the VA assigns adisability rating based on the severity of your condition in order to determine howmuch compensation you should receive. Your rating is expressed in a percentage,from 0 to 100 percent.
For example, a 20 percent disability rating means your conditionentitles you to compensation, but its less severe than an 80 percentrating.
One of the eligibilityrequirements for TDIU is an inability to hold down a steady job that supports youfinancially, also called substantially gainful employment, because of yourservice-connected disability.
So, if you are receiving VA disability benefits under TDIU, youcannot also work a job that supports you financially.
When Can Va Reduce Or Terminate My Unemployability Benefits
VA may propose to reduce or terminate a veterans Individual Unemployability benefits for a number of reasons:
- Veterans in receipt of TDIU benefits are required to submit VA Form 21-4140 annually. If veterans do not submit this form, their benefits may be subject to reduction or termination
- If your ability to maintain substantially gainful employment changes and you are able to work
- If your service-connected condition have improved, warranting a lower rating.
Veterans who are unemployed because of service-connected disabilities can receive individual unemployability benefits. This financial support ensures they are able to meet their basic needs, even though their disability prevents them from working.
For eligibility of qualifying for individual unemployability benefits, you must:
- Be a veteran
- Have at least one or more service-connected disabilities rated at the qualifying percentage
- Show that you are unable to obtain and/or maintain gainful employment
Additionally, for total disability individual unemployability, veterans must show their disability:
- Is connected to their time served and
- Is sufficient to prevent them mentally or physically from gaining or maintain employment and
- Is rated at 60 percent or more or
- Is rated at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more if two or more disabilities are present
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Appeal Tdiu Claim Denials From The Va
Unfortunately, too many veterans are denied their Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. Each year, tens of thousands of veterans reach out to our Individual Unemployability benefit denial lawyers because the VA system wrongly denied their claims. First, know this, a large number of veterans win their TDIU benefits appeals with the right evidence and the right lawyer helping them through the complicated VA appeal process.
If you were recently denied TDIU benefits, you may have the option to appeal the Veteran Administrations initial decision. Veterans wishing to obtain TDIU benefits must appeal within one year of the date the decision was made. Veterans that have let their TDIU appeal period collapse do have the option to re-apply for VA benefits. That means that you will have to re-submit your initial application and start the process over from the beginning.
Our VA benefits appeals lawyers have helped thousands of veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. Dont be discouraged by a denial of your Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits. The VA regularly denies legitimate claims and many of those vets win their appeals.
In this video, veterans disability attorney Sarah Woods discusses the steps we take to appeal bad VA decisions:
How Do You Determine Whether Your Disabilities Prevent You From Working
To determine the severity of your disabilities and whether you qualify for TDIU, the Department of Veterans Affairs will look at medical records and other evidence. A trained attorney can take you through the process of gathering that information and ensuring all relevant evidence that is likely to support your case is collected and presented. A legal representative can also file an appeal should your application be denied.
Does It Help To Get Approved For One Program Is You Already Have The Other
In the past, the answer was yes. If you were approved for VA Unemployability benefits, then your chances of getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits were very high.
Unfortunately, from 2017 onwards, the Social Security Administration changed their regulations, stating that VA Unemployability approvals would not be taken into consideration while a persons application for Social Security Disability benefits was being processed.
However, the evidence that you shared with the VA department will be used by the SSA in assessing your claim for Social Security Disability.
The VAs office will also not take into consideration that you are being given Social Security Disability benefits. This is because the SSA does not ask whether the disabilities sustained were because of military service. And the main requirement for eligibility for VA Unemployability is that your disabilities need to be service-related.
There are a lot of times that a Veteran has disabilities that are both service related as well as non-service related. So, the Veteran has to prove that it is a service related disability that is the reason for his or her Unemployability.
Hiring A Total Disability Individual Unemployability Benefits Lawyer
We highly suggest you contact a veterans benefits lawyer to assist you with obtaining your TDIU VA compensation benefits. The Veterans Administration is a maze of thousands of federal regulations and deadlines that could seriously affect your chances of obtaining TDIU benefits. When you hire Woods & Woods, our team of TDIU VA disability lawyers, doctors, case managers, psychologists, and vocational experts go to work for you. We never charge a penny unless you win your TDIU benefits. If you need TDIU benefits help, our VA disability compensation lawyers are here to help.
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What Is Va Total Disability Individual Unemployability
You may have a single service connected disability with a single disability rating. Or, you may have more than one service connected disability and a combined rating.
In most cases, VA pays you benefits based on that single disability rating or combined disability rating. But, TDIU allows you to draw benefits for a 100 percent rating even when VA math does not result in a 100 percent combined rating.
The idea behind total disability individual unemployability is that the limitations from your service connected condition or conditions prevent you from maintaining a job. If they do that, then you are essentially 100 percent occupationally disabled. As a result, VA pays you at a 100 percent rating.
One of the most critical factors in TDIU claims is how your service connected disabilities affect your ability to work. Some service connected disabilities affect your ability to physically perform the job. PTSD often affects someones ability to mentally perform the job or to interact with others.
What Is An Inferred Claim For Tdiu Benefits
If you filed a compensation claim that included evidence indicating you are unemployable due to a service-connected disability, the VA is then obligated to consider and decide entitlement to TDIU benefits. For example, if you filed a claim to increase your PTSD rating, and the evidence you submitted in support of that claim includes a statement from a psychiatrist that you are unable to work as a result of your PTSD, you have submitted an inferred claim for TDIU benefits.
Inferred claims can be used to get an earlier effective date if youve already been granted entitlement to individual unemployability benefits. If the evidence in your claim created an inferred claim, then in certain situations, the date of that inferred claim should serve as the effective date for the grant of TDIU benefits. VA will rarely self identify an inferred claim, so its important to have someone review your file for potential entitlement to an earlier effective date.
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General Evidence Requirements In Tdiu Claims
A decision concerning entitlement to an TDIU evaluation in accordance with 38 CFR 3.340, 38 CFR 3.341, and 38 CFR 4.16 is based on a review of all available evidence, which should be sufficient to evaluate the,
- Current severity of the SC disability that the Veteran states and/or the evidence indicates prevent substantially gainful employment
- The impact of SC disability upon employability, and
- Employment status.
The ratingactivity must review all evidence and assign corresponding weight as directedat M21-1,Part III, Subpart iv, 5.A, including but not limited to evidenceconcerning the Veterans
- Current employment status
Forward a VAForm 21-8940, Veterans Application for Increased Compensation based onUnemployability, to the Veteran if a request for TDIU is
- Expressly raised by the Veteran, or
- Reasonably raised by the evidence of record.
References: For more information on
- Finally adjudicated claims, see 38 CFR 3.160.
How To Apply For Tdiu Benefits
Posted by Gregory M. Rada | September 12, 2015 |Disability Compensation
A total disability rating based on individual unemployability, often referred to as TDIU, IU, or individual unemployability, is an avenue for the VA to compensate a veteran who cant work due to service-connected disabilities at the 100% rate when the veterans disabilities do not actually combine to 100%.
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A 70 Percent Rating For A Mental Health Condition Like Ptsd
To qualify for a 70 percent PTSD rating, a veteran must demonstrate symptoms that make it very difficult to work. Some of these symptoms include:
- Problems with impulse control
- Deficiencies in work, judgment, thinking, and mood
- Depression or panic that affects the ability to think and function independently
- Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances in a work setting
If you have a 70 percent mental health condition VA rating, you should consider filing for TDIU if you are not working currently or having difficulty maintaining employment. If you want to learn more, read this article I wrote that specifically focuses on how a 70 percent PTSD rating could qualify you for TDIU.
Medical Evidence To Include
Medical evidence can support your TDIU claim by showing how your service-connected disabilities prevent you from obtaining and sustaining substantially gainful employment. Some medical evidence can include the following:
- Medical Diagnoses
- Dates of treatment and hospitalization
- Medical opinion or letter from your doctor
- Other Documentation from your doctor appointments that supports your inability to hold a job.
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Considering Occupational History In Tdiu Claims
A Veterans occupationalhistory is not determinative of the outcome of a claim for TDIU unless theVeteran is currently gainfully employed. However, occupational history isa factor that must be weighed in decision making. In weighing therelevance of occupational history in claims for TDIU, consider the factorsbelow.
- When a Veteran is currently working or the evidence shows the Veteran is capable of working but unemployed, determine whether the ability to sustain employment is marginal as discussed at M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii, 2.F.1.d and e.
Reference: For more information on weighingevidence in rating decisions, seeM21-1,Part III, Subpart iv, 5.A.
Why Could A 70% Ptsd Rating Qualify Me For Tdiu
I mentioned the 70 percent rating criteria for PTSD in above. Walking through those criteria should help to clarify why a 70% PTSD rating will often qualify a veteran for a 100% TDIU rating.
If you are rated at the 70% level, many of the factors that go into that rating focus on your performance within the workplace and your inability to perform satisfactorily at your place of employment.
With deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgement, thinking, or mood
This is the general statement that VA makes at the beginning of the 70% PTSD level. Again, VA focuses on impairment in work and relationships.
They also mention judgment, thinking and mood. All three of these factors affect your ability to get or maintain a job. You need good judgment and thinking ability to work. Even if your PTSD does not affect your judgment or your thinking, the effect that it has on your mood often makes it difficult to work with others.
VA then lists out a number of different symptoms associated with PTSD that could qualify you at the 70% level. I will discuss a few of these symptoms below:
Obsessional rituals which interfere with routine activities
If your PTSD causes you to take longer to do routine activities, this could certainly affect your ability to maintain employment. Many employers require routine tasks to be done on a certain schedule.
Near-continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively
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