I Was Denied Tdiu Benefits Can I Appeal
Yes you can challenge the VAs decision to deny TDIU benefits. You have a one-year window in which to appeal your claim, so it is imperative to take swift action. You want to be represented by veterans appeals lawyers who specialize in VA compensation claims and appeals.
If you miss the one-year timeframe, you can re-apply, but you will have lost valuable time. If you do reapply, please contact us to discuss your case. We can help you avoid the pitfalls encountered in your initial application.
TDIU claims are denied all the time, often because most veterans dont realize that it is hard to get it done right. Winning them depends on the strength of evidence you submit to the VA, and how well that evidence is presented.
Tdiu Mistake #: Relying Only On Your Compensation And Pension Exam
Often, a negative Compensation and Pension exam can be the reason a claim for TDIU gets denied. Once a claim for TDIU has been filed, generally VA will schedule an exam or exams to evaluate the veterans condition. If the veteran has more than one service-connected condition, this usually means there will be more than one exam.
One issue that often comes up with this process is that the exams are not viewed in conjunction with one another. For example, a veteran may be service connected at 30 percent for headaches, 10 percent for instability of the right knee, and 40 percent for PTSD. VA will then usually request three separate exams with three separate examiners: a neurological exam for headaches, an orthopedic exam for the knee, and a psychological exam for PTSD.
These three separate examiners may have separate findings relating to the veterans vocational abilities. The neurological expert might opine that the veteran can work, so long as they have the ability to take breaks when headaches develop. The orthopedic examiner might issue an opinion indicating that the veteran can work in a sedentary position, meaning they can obtain substantially gainful employment if the job allows them to sit. Lastly, the psych examiner might find that the veteran has a difficulty getting along with others, so they can work as long as they are in a position that does not involve a lot of communication or cooperation with others.
When Can The Va Terminate My Disability Compensation
Benefits for disabilities with a service connection can be reduced , but rarely stopped altogether. If you have been receiving service-connected benefits for ten years or longer, your benefits receive special protection from termination. The VA cannot terminate these benefits unless you committed fraud or unless the VA made a “clear and unmistakable error” in granting you benefits . A clear and unmistakable error would include granting you benefits if you have a disqualifying type of discharge or if you had not meet the minimum service requirements.
Even if you have been receiving service-connected benefits for less than ten years, it is still quite rare for the VA to terminate these benefits. In any case, the VA cannot terminate your benefits unless you first receive a notice from the VA telling you about your right to have a hearing. You also have the right to appeal any decision to terminate your benefits.
If you receive a notice from the VA that your service-connected benefits may be terminated, contact a disability lawyer right away.
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Va Individual Unemployability Back Pay
This article explains how veterans get their VA Individual Unemployability back pay. This article also covers missing back pay, back pay amounts, and appealing. Well explain how many veterans end up missing thousands of dollars in IU back pay.
Have questions about how to get your VA Individual Unemployability back pay? We can help. We offer free VA claim evaluations to anyone who needs help.
How Do I Get These Benefits
Youll need to file a claim for disability compensation. When you file, youll have to provide evidence showing that your disability prevents you from holding down a steady job. Well also review your work and education history. Example: A Veteran has a service-connected heart condition and a 60% disability rating. She was still able to work until last year when she began to get chest pain when doing anything physical, like walking or lifting boxes. Her doctor told her to retire as soon as possible. She filed a claim for more disability compensation. We reviewed her work and education history and agreed that she was individually unemployable because of her service-connected disability. So we increased her disability compensation to the same rate as a 100% disabled Veteran.
When you file a disability claim, youll also need to fill out these additional forms for Individual Unemployability benefits:
- A Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability
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Seven: Mail Application Or Submit Application Online
We suggest you submit your application online with eBenefits. It makes the entire VA application process easier and faster. If you fill out your application online, the VA will acknowledge receipt sooner. Plus, you can start to track your claim online. At this point in the VA Individual Unemployability timeline, your claim is with the VA and they are going to take the eight steps listed in the next section.
Woods and Woods VA disability claims lawyer explains how to apply for veterans compensation benefits:
Tdiu Factor #: Education And Employment History
This is an area ripe for error by the VA. The focus of these factors is the totality of the Veterans current situation. Assume you are a lawyer and even though your service-connected conditions were impacting your work, you were employed on Monday.
If you could not work on Tuesday because of the service-connected disability, the temptation is for the VA Regional Office to say that the situation is temporary, or you were just employed, or you are highly educated and can certainly find gainful employment. At least in theory, the VA Regional Office has a point.
However, the focus of the TDIU evaluation is the totality of your present circumstances not speculation on the path forward for the highly educated or long-employed Veteran.
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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.
What Exactly Is Va Individual Unemployability Back Pay
Total Disability Individual Unemployability Benefits, also known as Individual Unemployability Benefits, are for veterans who cannot work from service-connected disabilities.
Back pay is the money you should have been receiving while you were waiting on the VA to approve or deny your claim. Veterans who are eligible for Individual Unemployability Benefits often receive a lump-sum check from the Veterans Administration, known as back pay. Too often, veterans only receive their VA Individual Unemployability back pay to the date they applied that is not the date you should have started receiving VA Individual Unemployability Benefits.
Your back pay should go all the way back to your effective date this could be years before you started applying. The problem is that effective dates can be hard to determine. The Veterans Administration often gets effective dates wrong and many veterans dont know the VA got their effective date wrong. This simple mistake can cost veterans thousands of dollars.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Iu
Many factors play into the time it takes: your current rating, your claim file, and any past appeals, and other factors unique to your case. With the right evidence, a claim with an already high rating might take months, whereas a new claim for conditions that are not proven service-connected could go on for a year or longer.
Va Unemployment Benefit Would Be Protected Under This Plan
A new House proposal would make the Department of Veterans Affairs Individual Unemployability program permanent even for elderly veterans, following attempts in recent years to pare back the benefit.
On Tuesday, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. and chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, introduced the Protecting Benefits for Disabled Veterans Act, arguing the change is needed to provide assured financial support for veterans who depend on the program.
Codifying the program is needed so that we can ensure all veterans who are unable to secure a job due to a service-related disability receive benefits, Waters said in a statement. It also ensures that veterans are not kicked out of the program simply because theyve earned other benefits, like retiree benefits.
That was a major friction point between veterans advocates and President Donald Trumps administration, which proposed cutting back on the benefit for veterans after they reach retirement age.
Under current rules, the Individual Unemployability program awards payouts at the 100 percent disabled rate to veterans who cannot find work due to service-connected injuries, even if actual rating is less than that. That financial support can top $20,000 a year for some individuals.
The program is aimed largely at working-age veterans, but VA officials said in 2018 that about 225,000 veterans over the age of 60 were also enrolled in the program.
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Can The Va Reduce Or Terminate My Tdiu Benefits
The VA can terminate your TDIU benefits if it determines that your condition has improved to the point that you are able to maintain substantially gainful employment. Your TDIU rating may also be reduced if you are able to maintain substantially gainful employment for 12 consecutive months. However, this rule does not apply to veterans who are working in what is known as a protected work environment. This designation usually applies to a situation where some special accommodation is made for the veteran.
Four: Get Buddy Statements
If you have missing service records, at this point in the VA Individual Unemployability timeline you may want to get buddy statements. Many veterans trying to obtain VA TDIU ratings for PTSD may find their records do not include the stressor event that happened to them during service. You can have people you served with verify that stressor events like an IED or enemy ambush happened in a statement.
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There Are Two Kinds Of Tdiu
This is the first thing that many Veterans dont know there are 2 ways to prove entitlement to TDIU : Schedular and extra-schedular.
Dont get me wrong you still have to prove all the elements of the claim for TDIU, whether schedular or extra-schedular. However, the essence of the analysis depends on whether you are claiming schedular or extra-schedular TDIU .
Are Tdiu And Ssdi Connected
You might be awarded SSDI benefits before receiving TDIU benefits. This gives rise to a common misconception about TDIU and Social Security Disability that if you are awarded SSDI benefits, you automatically qualify for a TDIU rating.
This is not true. Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability Compensation operate independently from one another. SSDI awards do not automatically prove entitlement to TDIU.
Many claims that are awarded SSDI by the SSA are denied by the VA for TDIU and vice versa. This applies even when both claims are based on the same service-connected impairments.
A Social Security Disability award, along with its supporting evidence, can certainly help demonstrate the strength of your TDIU claim. But SSDI is based on total disability you must be totally disabled before you can receive SSDI payouts.
As a veteran, you are eligible for benefits if you are partially disabled. The VA rating system is based on percentages, where each SC condition has a percentage rating. These individual ratings are tallied using a complex formula to reach an overall VA disability rating.
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Tdiu Mistake #: Assuming You Automatically Qualify For Tdiu If You Are Receiving Ssdi
Many people assume that if they are receiving Social Security Disability Income, then they will automatically qualify for and receive TDIU. This, however, is not the case. It is possible to receive both Social Security Disability Income and TDIU, but receiving SSDI does not mean that the veteran is guaranteed TDIU.
VA is not bound by the Social Security Administrations findings as to the severity of a veterans service-connected disabilities or the impact on employability. Commonly, VA will deny TDIU even though the Social Security Administration has found that those very same disabilities prevent the veteran from working.
VA will consider the findings of the Social Security Administration, particularly the records used to make their determination, but they are not bound by these findings. Using additional evidence that describes the impact of the service-connected disabilities on the veterans ability to work can help bolster the veterans case in these instances.
Tdiu And Permanent And Total Disability Requirements
A VA determination that you are disabled will help you get the compensation you need. But it may not be a permanent designation, and the VA can later attempt to reduce your rating. Fortunately, there are options for some veterans to be considered totally and permanently disabled, and for that rating to be protected from future decreases.
Disability Law Group is here to answer your questions and make sure you get the maximum VA benefits available to you under law. We will help you not only apply for monthly compensation but appeal any unfair adverse decisions.
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How Do I Obtain A Permanent And Total Disability Rating
The first thing you must do to obtain a permanent and total disability rating is to prove that your condition is service-connected.
There is no VA benefits application for permanent and total disability. But if you believe that your total disability is unlikely to improve, and you have supporting evidence for this, you can write a letter to the VA requesting them to find you permanently and totally disabled. You should include medical evidence in your letter to support the request, including but not limited to medical reports, doctors notes, and treatment records.
The VA may determine at the time you apply for benefits that you are permanent and totally disabled. Be prepared to support this claim in the event they dont so designate you first.
What Can Disability Law Group Do for Me?
We want veterans to get the compensation they need and deserve for the service theyve provided our country. Our team has worked with countless veterans to explain how TDIU and permanent and total disability benefits can support them. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options. If your application was wrongfully denied, well step in and appeal the decision.
Trust Disability Law Group to help with your VA benefits application.
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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Understanding Vas New Process For Verifying Individual Unemployability
The VA recently began sending out letters to veterans in receipt of a total disability rating based on individual unemployability that detail the department’s new process for verification of employment status. The letters include some confusing language that the VA is working to clear up.
Previously, the VA sent VA Form 21-4140 annually, asking veterans to report employment status in order to make a determination on continued IU eligibility. If a response was not received within 30 days, the VA would begin the process of discontinuation. If a response was received, the VA would determine action based on the information provided by the veteran.
Under the new process, the VA will use a data wage match with the Social Security Administration to identify veterans in receipt of IU who also have earned wages above the poverty threshold, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, for the previous calendar year.
However, this passage in the letter has created some confusion:
Military Pay or Workers’ Compensation: Your payment may be affected by the following, which you must bring to our attention: Receipt of armed forces service retirement pay, unless your retirement pay has already been reduced because of award of disability compensation.
The catch here is that the VA is really only interested in earned income. Military retired pay and Social Security benefits are not considered earned income and are not required to be reported on the questionnaire.
Three: Get Lay Statements
Lay statements from family and friends are often helpful when veterans are applying for benefits for mental conditions. Lay statements can help further the veterans story by showing how military service changed the veteran therefore service-connecting the mental impairment. Lay statements can also be used to show the VA the severity of mental conditions and how they affect the veterans life.
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