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What Does Va Unemployability Mean

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Common Mistakes Made When Filing A Tdiu Claim

What Does Unemployable Mean To VA?
  • Only listing your worst disability while filling out VA Form 21 and omitting other disabilities that may not have a high rating on their own but may enable the applicant to reach the 70 percent rating threshold
  • Listing disabilities that are not service connected. Your TDIU disability compensation will be decided based only on those disabilities that the VA has already deemed connected to your service
  • Failing to review medical records prior to filing the IU application. If you think you qualify for a higher disability rating, or have other, previously unrecorded disabilities, you should get all of these records updated and in order before you apply for TDIU

Additionally, many Veterans do not attach any vocational evidence as they fill out VA Form 21, but it is a factor that will determine whether the VA approves your claim.

Berry Law can assist with this step. One of our qualified attorneys may recommend working with a vocational expert while putting together the IU claim file. The vocational expert can provide an opinion regarding the Veterans ability to obtain work and earn a livelihood. Such a statement, worded in the right way, may decide whether the IU claim is accepted or denied.

Types Of Va Disability Ratings

The percentage scale is only one of two types of possible VA ratings. Those percentages are known as the schedule of rating. The other type of disability rating possible is related to the veterans ability to keep and maintain a job. The Individual Unemployability rating measures whether or not the VA believes the veteran can find and keep a job with the rated conditions, and what percentage of work time may be lost due to related illness, treatments, etc.

How Does The Department Of Veterans Affairs Determine If I Am In Need Of Financial Support

To receive a non-service-connected disability pension you must show a financial need. The Department of Veterans Affairs considers you to have a financial need if you do not have income greater than the maximum annual pension rate which by law is changed annually based on the Cost of Living Adjustment . For 2021 the MAPR for a single veteran with no dependents and who doesnt qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits is $13,931.00. The MAPR increases if the veteran is married, has dependents or qualifies for Housebound or Aid and Attendance Benefits.

For example, if you are a single veteran with no dependents who would not qualify for Housebound or Aid and Attendance benefits with countable annual income of $15,000.00 from Social Security Retirement Benefits, you would not qualify for the non-service-connected disability pension because your countable annual income is more than the MAPR of $13,931.00.

For example, if you and your spouse have $100,000.00 in assets and $40,000.00 in annual countable income, you wouldnt qualify for the non-service-connected disability pension because your net worth of $140,000.00 would be more than the net worth limit of $130,773.00.

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What Does Iu Mean In Va Disability

In the legal process of VA disability compensation, you may hear the term IU, which means Individual Unemployability. IU is a part of the VAs disability compensation program that allows the VA to pay certain Veterans compensation at the 100% rate even though the VA has not rated their service-connected disability at the total level.

In order to meet the criteria for IU, a Veteran must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of his/her service-connected disabilities. Additionally, a Veteran much have: One service-connected disability ratable at 60% or more, OR two or more service-connected disabilities, at least one disability ratable at 40% or more with a combined rating of 70% or more.

To apply, a Veteran must submit a VA Form 21-8940, Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. Also, please note that Veterans may have to complete an employment questionnaire once a year in order for the VA to determine continued eligibility to Individual Unemployability. Understanding the criteria and completing the form can be difficult. That is why so many Veterans seek the legal help of attorneys like the ones at Jan Dils Attorneys at Law. We have the people, knowledge, and resources to help you get the benefits you deserve. For a free phone consultation, give us a call at 1-877-526-3457.

  • United Center | 500 Virginia St. E. Ste. 710

What Is Permanent And Total Disability

What Does Unemployable Mean

A different designation known as permanent and total disability applies to veterans whose disabilities are not expected to improve. But its important to understand the definitions of permanent and total:

  • Permanent. This means that based on the medical evidence, it is reasonably certain that the disability will continue for the rest of the veterans life. The veterans age may be taken into account, so younger veterans are less likely to be considered permanently disabled.
  • Total. The VA uses a rating schedule to determine to what degree the disability interferes with the veterans ability to function. Total means that the rating is 100%, indicating the veteran is completely or totally disabled.

It is possible for a veteran to have a total disability that is not permanent, or a permanent disability rated less than 100% . If the veteran has both permanent and total disability rating, it cannot be reduced and it may entitle the veteran to other benefits besides monthly compensation.

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What Is Total Disability Individual Unemployability

On the other hand, extra-schedular rating refers to Total Disability Individual Unemployability. The Veteran has a disability with a rating of less than 100%. However, the VA rater has decided that their Service-Connected disability or combination of disabilities means that the Veteran is unable to find or to maintain substantially gainful employment. If this is the case, the rater will assign the Veteran a TDIU rating. Their pay will be at the 100% rating, even if their disability is less than 100%.

How Much Does Tdiu Pay

Below is an overview of how much money a Veteran would receive monthly in the 2020 pay chart if they qualify for TDIU, excluding other VA unemployability benefits.

  • Veteran with child only: $3,221.85
  • Veteran with 1 child and spouse : $3,406.04
  • Veteran with 1 child, spouse and 1 parent: $3,545.02
  • Veteran with 1 child, spouse and 2 parents: $3,684.00
  • Veteran with 1 child and 1 parent: $3,360.83
  • Veteran with 1 child and 2 parents: $3,499.81
  • Veteran alone: $3,106.24
  • Veteran with spouse only: $3,279.22
  • Veteran with spouse and 1 parent: $3,418.20
  • Veteran with spouse and 2 parents: $3,557.18
  • Veteran with 1 parent: $3,245.02
  • Veteran with 2 parents: $3,384.00

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Proving One Thing Gets You Va Individual Unemployability

by Chris Attig

There are a lot of myths surrounding VA individual unemployability benefits what we commonly call VA TDIU. Some folks tell you that to qualify for TDIU have to be unemployed Some folks tell you that you have to be unable to do any work.

Heres the myth I want to tackle today: to get VA Individual Unemployability benefits, some folks say you have to already have a service connected disability or multiple service connected conditions rated at certain percents to qualify for TDIU.

Thats only half true.

Now, to be clear, we are talking about 100% TDIU ratings here this is not the same as a schedular 100% rating. Same amount of money, but totally different veterans benefits. There are several different paths to a 100% rating read about them here.

Heres how it works, generally. If you have difficulty keeping and maintaining substantially gainful employment because of a service connected condition or multiple VA disabilities, you are eligible for VA individual unemployability.

That phrase, substantially gainful employment, means something very different than most folks think, including VA raters. And Ill teach you about what it means elsewhere on the Veterans Law Blog®.

You file a claim for TDIU either one of two ways:

  • file a claim for an increased VA rating for your service connected condition, and tell the VA you are having trouble getting or keeping work due to that service connected condition or,
  • You Cannot Work And You Do Not Meet The Above 60

    3 Ways to Get an Individual Unemployability (TDIU) VA Rating

    Sometimes TDIU benefits are granted with a lower disability rating than required. In this case, you may still be eligible for what is called extra-schedular TDIU. You must show evidence that using normal requirements is unreasonable.

    The VA applies a 3-step analysis for determining whether an extra-schedular evaluation is appropriate:

    • Threshold factor The VA assesses whether your symptoms are exceptional , or whether the VA rating code addresses the same level of symptoms that you are experiencing. If your symptoms exist outside of the VAs rating schedule, you qualify for extra-schedular review.
    • Does your disability from Step 1 also cause or present significant interruptions with employment or recurrent, ongoing hospitalizations?
    • If your exceptional disability meets the first two steps for extra-schedular consideration, the claim is referred to the VA Compensation and Pension Service Director for the decision as to whether you are unemployable due to service-connected disabilities.

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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.

    Legal Help For Veterans Pllc

    If you are a veteran that is totally disabled and meets the requirements mentioned above, please contact Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC. We are a nationwide VA Disability Law Firm that has helped our veterans receive the disability compensation they fought for and deserve. Contact us online for a Free Claim Evaluation, or contact us by phone .

    Thank you very much for the support. It seems the VA doesnt really care. They make appointments, cancel them and dont tell me. Then, they cancel appointments and put me down as a no show. They also havent been refilling my meds which is a serious problem. It is nice to have people on my side.

    I wanted to write to you & your staff to thank all of you for your support & assistance. Not having had much experience in dealings with attorneys I wasnt sure what to expect. However I want to say that without your help, Im sure I would have been even more frustrated with the Veterans Administration and their red tape and their I dont care attitude. I know I made the correct choice when I contacted you.

    Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC has a national practice representing veterans from across the country. We have helped veterans collect over $10,000,000 in future and retroactive benefits.

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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.

    The Va C& p Directors Most Common Tdiu Mistake

    VA Disability Compensation: Answering Questions About TDIU

    In 2013, a single judge decision silently slipped out of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

    Now single judge decisions are not binding precedent, so they arent official law, but they are a good sign of the direction the Court might head on a particular issue.

    This particular 2013 case the Bennet case the Court addressed the standard that would apply when a disabled veteran sought VA unemployability on an extraschedular basis.

    In a nutshell, the Veteran claimed entitlement to TDIU because of the severity of his back pain. If you read the CAVC judges decision in this appeal, you will see that it was pretty bad.

    Problem is, even though he argued that his back disability prevents his ability to get and keep substantially gainful employment, the most the VA would give him was a 40% rating for his back and a 10% rating for its secondary impact on his leg.

    And then the VA C& P Director and the BVA judge did exactly what they did and very often still do when a disabled veteran claims TDIU on an extraschedular basis:

    First they found that there was no objective medical records showing sustained treatment. Thats basically like saying that a baseball player didnt hit a home run because the newspaper didnt report it. Its nonsense, and if the BVA says that in your VA claim, you should contact a lawyer that handles appeals to the CAVC.

  • He did not show the schedular rating for his disabilities were inadequate to properly rate his disabilities and/or,
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    Why You Need Experienced Legal Representation

    VA disability claims are complex under the best of circumstances. TDIU applications are particularly challenging because there is more room for misinterpretation of the requirements. An experienced veterans benefits lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim, including documentation of your earnings, medical opinions regarding the nature of your disability, opinions from vocational experts, records from your application for Social Security disability benefits, and lay statements from coworkers or supervisors who can provide additional insight into your work history or continued job performance.

    Legal representation is also beneficial when you have a college degree. Although the VA does consider your education and work history in awarding TDIU benefits, simply having a degree doesnt mean you are able to work. If you are unable to work in specific work environments or perform tasks that are crucial to the type of work you are qualified to do, you need a lawyer who can ensure youre not unfairly penalized for your education.

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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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    What Does Substantial Gainful Employment Mean

    If you have familiarity with Social Security disability, you may have any understanding of substantial gainful employment. Basically, the idea is regular work that could pay your bills.

    Legally, the concept of substantial gainful employment breaks down into two parts.

  • You will need to show that you cannot do your prior occupation or your prior work.
  • Even if you meet this first standard, you also have to prove that you are unable to perform other occupations as they normally would be performed in the national economy.
  • This is really a basic explanation of these two concepts. I will discuss both the inability to do prior work and the inability to perform other occupations in the national economy in more detail in future articles. Just be sure and understand that you have to show both things to qualify for TDIU.

    Which Is Bettera Tdiu Or 100 Percent Schedular Rating

    VA Individual Unemployability if you cant work

    There is no correct answer as to whether TDIU vs. 100 percent disability is better. The answer depends on your situation.

    A TDIU rating could be your best option if:

    • Youre a veteran who cant work or maintain substantially gainful employment due to one or more service-connected disabilities, but you also dont qualify for a 100 percent schedular rating based on your symptoms, or
    • Youre having difficulty getting the VA to rate you at the 100 percent disability rating level

    On the other hand, to keep your TDIU rating, you cant earn more than $13,590 annually through employment unless youre working in a protected environment. There are no limitations on your ability to work if you have a 100 percent schedular VA rating.

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    Do I Have To Have 70 Percent To Be Eligible For Unemployability

    No. Frequently veterans that are unable to work due to their service-connected disabilities are told by VA that they are ineligible for unemployability because their service-connected disabilities are rated less than 70 percent. This is incorrect, regardless of what percentage a veteran is assigned, if the service-connected disabilities prevent a veteran from working, they must be paid total disability individual unemployability.

    The confusion arises because of VA officers and veterans service officers misinterpreting VA’s regulations. VA regulations provide that if a veteran has one-service-connected disability, to be eligible for unemployability,it must be rated at least 60-percent or higher. If the veteran has two or more service-connected disabilities, at least one of those disabilities must be rated at 40-percent or higher, and, after factoring in the ratings for the other disabilities, the veterans combined disability rating must be 70-percent or higher. Thus, veterans are told that if they do not meet these requirements, don’t bother applying for unemployability. This is wrong.

    That is because VA regulations also provide that “It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled.”

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