Where Can I Get Help Applying For Va Disability Compensation
Its very common for veterans with qualifying disabilities to have trouble actually receiving benefits. The application process is complicated. Additionally, many veterans who do receive benefits dont receive the full amount to which they should be entitled.
Initially, many veterans get a lot of help from veterans service organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars , Disabled American Veterans , or the American Legion.
Even with the assistance of a qualified veterans service officer , many qualified applicants get rejected. If youre having trouble getting the benefits you deserve, you may need an attorney who specializes in VA disability benefits.To schedule a case evaluation with a member of our disability services team, or call us at .
Thank you for your service, and we look forward to working with you.
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The Veteran Must Then Meet One Of The Two Following Criteria:
- The Veteran must have at least one service-connected disability that is rated 60% or more, or
- They must have a combined rating of 70% with at least one service-connected disability that is rated 40% or more
In order to receive TDIU, a Veteran must file a claim for it on VA Form 21-8940, which is a Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. They will then also have to submit a VA Form 21-4192, which is a Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefits. Once these have been submitted to the VA, a decision will be issued either granting or denying the claim for TDIU.
Once the claim of TDIU is granted, many Veterans then wonder whether its permanent. While TDIU can be permanent, that isnt necessarily so. If a Veteran receives TDIU, the VA may determine that their condition has improved sufficiently enough for them to sustain gainful employment. So if a Veteran receives TDIU and then becomes employed, or the VA determines that they could become employed, the TDIU benefits could be terminated. However, a Veteran may find that their TDIU is permanent if they are 70 years or older or have been receiving TDIU consecutively for 20 years.
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Why Would Someone Want A 100% Rating Versus Unemployability
The biggest difference between unemployability and a 100% disability rating comes down to the work restriction imposed by unemployability. There is a myth that a veteran cannot hold any employment while receiving unemployability, and while that is not the case, there are restrictions on what employment a veteran can hold.
The VA may grant unemployability when a veteran is unable to secure or maintain a substantially gainful occupation due to their service-connected disabilities. The courts have determined that substantially gainful occupation means employment where a veteran earns more than what the current federal poverty level is for an individual. Right now, the current poverty level is around $12,000. This means that an employed veteran who earns $12,000 or less per year can still be eligible for unemployability even though they are employed.
There are no restrictions on a veterans ability to work with a 100% disability rating.
However, with unemployability, the VA can and will revoke unemployability if a veteran becomes employable again.
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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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Why Did Va Send Me A Form 21
The short answer is VA is probably just doing their job. The Form 21-8940 is one of the supplemental forms that is required when making an application for TDIU .
Under the law, VA has certain duties and responsibilities to you to help identify and develop particular claims. When you file for an increased rating, you have claimed that your service-connected disability has increased. If your claim for that increase has evidence that you are unemployable, then that triggers VAs duty to send you this application for TDIU benefits.
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No Charge For Help With Your Tdiu Application
At Woods & Woods, we never charge for help with your Individual Unemployability application. Our law firm has helped thousands upon thousands of veterans file applications and obtains VA benefits at no cost to you until we win your case. Help with your Individual Unemployability benefits application is a free service Woods & Woods offers to veterans nationwide.
Fully Developed Disability Claims
The next fasted option is the Fully Developed Disability Claims program.
The primary difference between the FDDC program and filing a standard claim is the Veteran must provide all evidence upfront and certify theres no additional evidence needed to make a claim decision.
At a minimum, the Veteran should provide:
- All military personnel records on the condition, and
- All service treatment records on the condition, and
- All private medical records on the condition, and
- All VA health records or supplementary information about related VA health records that the VA can request on your behalf
If the VA requires additional information, the claim typically gets removed from the FDDC program and is processed as a standard claim.
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How Does The Va Decide To Reduce Tdiu Benefits
The VAs process for ongoing evaluation of TDIU rating changed as of February 2019.
Under the old process, a veteran receiving TDIU had to submit an Employment Questionnaire every year. The form inquired whether the veteran was working and, if so, where, when, and how much income is being earned. Failure to provide these yearly updates within the designated timeframe would cause cancellation of TDIU.
However, that process has changed. The VA implemented a new process for employment verification as of February 2019. With this new process the VA uses a data wage match with the Social Security Administration to identify Veterans in receipt of TDIU who have also been working and paying into social security. Upon this match, the VA will then send out VA Form 21-4140 Employment Questionnaire, and a due process letter to the veteran. This letter must be responded to within the timeframe set forth in the letter.
The veterans earned wages do not automatically exclude the veteran from TDIU eligibility. Instead the VA reviews all facts and circumstances prior to rendering a decision on the TDIU continuing eligibility.
If you can work, keep in mind that you need to balance TDIU benefits only versus a job. Look at the dollar amount difference between the current benefit level and 100% and see if that would be more than how much you veteran could make at work. Everyones condition and circumstances are unique.
What Is Va Disability Compensation
Disability compensation is a tax-free federal benefit paid out to veterans with service-connected medical conditions and disabilities incurred while on active duty or, for reserve component service members, in the line of duty while on orders.
Once the disabled veteran qualifies for payment benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs pays out the benefit each month, effective January each year.
Payment values vary based on your medical condition and severity. They can also vary based on the number of family members a veteran has such as a surviving spouse, according to the VA disability payment schedule, discussed below.
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% Permanent And Total
For a Veteran to receive 100% VA P& T, the VA must determine that there is a reasonable certainty that the Veterans disabilities will continue for the rest of their life. A Veteran may receive a rating on an individual claim that is permanent but keeps them from reaching 100% overall. However, once a Veteran is rated at 100% overall and their disabilities are determined to be permanent, they are 100% VA P& T.
If a Veteran receives 100% VA P& T, that also entitles them to additional benefits that would not be available to them otherwise.
For starters, the VA can never reduce their rating and the Veteran need not worry about their rating being reduced.
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“I was happy with Mr. Lippman’s representation of my case. His firm accomplished what I thought hopeless-I received my compensation.”
Johnny K.|Johnson City, TX
“Mr. Lippman took on my case in 1991. Stuck in there until he was satisfied with the final decision which was 100% TDIU. Thank you Mr. Lippman. Will surely recommend you to other people. Law firm always done what they say they would do. I was very satisfied with the final results of my case.”
Terry S.|Gates, NC
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Heres How A Tdiu Claim Effective Date Should Be Handled By The Va
The Veterans Law Blog® has two tools to help veterans filing claims for TDIU using VA Form 21-8940.
First, we have the VA TDIU Field Manual, which is available FREE to subscribers of the Veterans Law Blog®. Simply visit the Downloads tab from your account page, and you will have access to all of our VA Field Manuals.
Second, we are working on a VA TDIU video training course. Again, this course is available FREE to subscribers of the Veterans Law Blog®. Simply visit the Courses tab from your account page, and you will have access to all of our VA claims training courses.
Now, on to the nitty-gritty. A TDIU claims effective date should be the later of the date that the claim is received or the date the entitlement arose. Sounds easy enough, yes?
The VA has published an Unemployability Training Letter for its employees handling TDIU claims that makes it seem equally easy. It states:
1) A formal claim for TDIU can be any written communication indicating that the veteran is unable to work because of his or her service-connected disability.
2) If VA Form 21-8940 is not returned by the Veteran within 60 days, a decision can be made on the record without it. However, if the VA Form 21-8940 is returned after the rating decision is issued, but within one year of the date sent, the claim should be re-rated.
The TDIU training letter lists 3 situations where a claim can be made for TDIU, only one of which includes the filing of the VA Form 21-8940.
Free Individual Unemployability Consultation
The Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits lawyers at Woods & Woods never charge for VA claim consultations. Reach out to our TDIU benefits lawyers and learn your legal rights as a disabled veteran. If you have questions about the VA Unemployability requirements and VA Unemployability income limits, give us a call. You can always start the process by filling out the contact form online.
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Can You Get Over A 100% Va Disability Rating
No, by law you cannot have more than a 100% rating but also because the VA states a person cant be more than 100% able-bodied.
- Veterans with schedule of ratings disability percentages may legally have substantial gainful employment even if they are rated at 100% disabled UNLESS they receive Total Disability/Individual Unemployability compensation.
- Receiving the Individual Unemployability benefit which designates you as 100% unemployable means you cannot work a job deemed substantial gainful employment that elevates your income above the official Census Bureaus definition of the poverty line.
- In reference to Individual Unemployability, it does not matter how much or how little you work-the measure of gainful employment here is whether or not your earnings rise above the poverty threshold as determined by the government.
- If youre still not certain of your individual circumstances it may be best to consult with a lawyer.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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What Is A 100% Va Disability Rating
Understanding the policies, procedures and terminology of the Department of Veterans Affairs isnt easy. Even considering filing a benefits claim can feel daunting. Terms like 100 percent VA disability rating might not mean much to the average person, but for any serviceman or woman hoping to receive benefits, understanding these concepts is important.
The VA rates all disabilities on a scale from zero to 100 percent. The more severe a disability, the higher the score. The VA will then take each individual rating and run it through their chart to determine an overall rating. This is not regular math it is a special chart they use to calculate overall rating. There are two ways to reach an overall 100% rating schedular basis you are granted total disability based on individual unemployability . This means you dont have an overall 100% but the VA will pay you at 100% level if you are deemed to be unemployable due to your service connected conditions.
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Applicants By Age Group
Chart 8 shows the number of DI allowances and denials and the associated allowance rates by age group and VA rating. Veterans aged 50 to full retirement age 17 filed more than two-thirdsof the DI applications filed by all age groups.
In each age group, the allowance rate for cases with a 100% rating was higher than the allowance rate for IU cases. Additionally, allowance rates for those aged 50FRA were considerably higher than the rates for those in the two younger age groups. The age-group difference is likely a function of the role that age plays in DI decisions involving medical-vocational considerations . Within each VA rating category, the two younger age groups had similar allowance rates . However, within each age group, the difference in allowance rates between the IU and 100% ratings is substantially greater for the younger groups: 12.1 percentage points for ages 1834, 9.5 percentage points for ages 3549, and 5.8 percentage points for ages 50FRA.
What Unemployability Benefits Does Va Offer
As mentioned above, VA offers TDIU, or total disability based on individual unemployability, to veterans who are prevented from working because of their service-connected disabilities. Veterans who receive TDIU will be compensated monthly at the 100 percent rating level.
There are two forms of TDIU: schedular and extraschedular.
Schedular TDIU Veterans must have one condition rated at 60 percent minimum OR two conditions that can be combined to reach 70 percent, where one condition is at minimum 40 percent.
Extraschedular TDIU Veterans who do not meet the necessary criteria for schedular TDIU may be eligible for extraschedular TDIU. For this form of TDIU, veterans must prove that their condition uniquely hinder their ability to maintain substantially gainful employment. Extraschedular TDIU is rated under 38 CFR § 4.16b.
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What Is The Difference Between Unemployability And A 100% Disability Rating
The monthly compensation amount for unemployability is equal to that of a 100% disability rating. However, the qualifying criteria for unemployability is different than the requirements for a 100% disability rating.
An unemployability rating does not solely rely on the rating of a specific condition to grant benefits, it takes into account a veterans ability to work. Unemployability allows a veteran who is unable to work, to receive compensation at the 100% level even though their service-connected condition does not meet the 100% rating criteria. On the other hand, with a 100% disability rating, there are not the same restrictions on work activity as with unemployability. Therefore, if a veteran is rated 100% for their service-connected disability, and they are able to work, then they may do so.
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