Contact The Individual Unemployability Lawyers At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Today
If your claim for total disability based on individual unemployability benefits has been denied, the experienced team of individual unemployability attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick may be able to help. We take pride in fighting for the benefits you deserve. Contact our office for a free consultation at .
How A Veteran Qualifies For Total Unemployability Under 38 Cfr 416
VA did not make the unemployability regulation easy to read, but here are the key parts you should start with:
- One disability rated at 60%, OR
- More than one disability with a combined rating of 70%, and one of the rated disabilities rated at least at 40%.
- Note: If a veteran does not meet these percentage requirements, there are still ways to prove that their service connected conditions qualify them for TDIU see below.
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.
Faq: Individual Unemployability Income Limits
Can I receive IU benefits if Im working?Yes! But remember, the Individual Unemployability income limits require you to have;marginal employment or accommodations at your job. However, we find that the VA denies IU claims where the veteran is working at a higher rate than non-working veterans.
Can I get IU;benefits if I do odd jobs?Yes!;As long as you are working at or under the marginal level or have a sheltered job, you will be within the Individual Unemployability income limits.
Will the VA consider my assets?The VA is not going to consider your assets. For example, suppose you have your house paid off, that is not going to affect your Individual Unemployability income limits. The;Individual Unemployability income limits are going to consider your current income that is coming into you.
What if other;people have been paying for my living expenses?Lots of veterans need help from their support system of family and friends when applying for IU benefits. That assistance is not going to be considered income for purposes of the Individual Unemployability income limits. For example, if you are a veteran who is receiving money for rent and utilities from a family member or friend, that is not considered in your Individual Unemployability income limits.
Learn More:;Calculate your rating with our;VA Disability Benefits Rating Calculator
Are Va Individual Unemployability Benefits Permanent
Individual Unemployability is;not automatically permanent, but can be in certain circumstances.; If your IU benefits are permanent, VA will indicate that in your Rating Decision in one of three ways: a box will be checked to indicate that your 100 percent disability is permanent; language such as eligibility to Dependents Chapter 35 DEA are established, as these benefits are reserved for dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled; if your Rating Decision says no future exams are scheduled, your rating is permanent.
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Do I Qualify For Tdiu
To establishentitlement to a total disability rating for compensation based on individualunemployability , the Veteran must be unemployable in fact by reason ofservice-connected disability;and either
- Meet the schedular requirements of;38 CFR 4.16, or
- Have an extra-schedular TDIU evaluation, under the provisions of;38 CFR 4.16, approved by Compensation Service.;
Note:; TDIU is also referred to as;total disability based on individual unemployability .
References:; For more information on
- Establishing an effective date for TDIUvbenefits, see
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.
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Can Ptsd Cause Unemployability
While many Veterans receive disability compensation for PTSD, the VA turns many service-connected PTSD claims down despite a clear diagnosis and significant impact on daily life and employability.
For example, one of the stressors supporting a PTSD diagnosis is learning that a close friend or family member has suffered a traumatic event. A Veteran may develop PTSD symptoms upon learning of the death or injury of a member of their unit. However, the VA may decide that the two members of the same unit are not close friends because they didnt serve together for a long time.
At times, the VA will minimize symptoms and give lower ratings to serious mental health conditions. PTSD often causes a Veteran to be unable to work, but proving it can be difficult.
The Criteria For 100% Disability
You can qualify for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability if you meet two criteria:
- Inability to maintain substantially gainful employment. Substantially gainful means a steady job that would provide regular financial support. Marginal employment and odd jobs do not count for this matter. The final rating decision focuses on this criterion
- Having at least one service-connected disability rated at 60% or higher, OR at least two service-connected disabilities, at least one of them rated at 40% or higher, with a combined rating of at least 70%.
This is important: Veterans who cannot support themselves financially may be eligible for a total disability benefit based on individual unemployment even if their service-connected disability or illness, or a sum of several connected disabilities, has a VA disability rating of less than 100 percent.
In some cases, a Veteran could get Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability benefits even if their combined service-connected disabilities do not reach the minimum threshold of the disability rating. This is possible if the Veteran can prove that, under their specific individual circumstances, their disability or injury directly interferes with their ability to work.
For example, they may require frequent hospital stays or therapy that would get in the way of steady employment.
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Social Security Disability & Total Disability Individual Unemployability Benefits
Veterans can receive both;Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability;at the same time. However, being eligible for one disability benefit does not mean you are automatically entitled to the other disability benefits. The Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration have very different guidelines on eligibility. Veterans wishing to receive Social Security Disability and TDIU benefits must submit separate applications to each bureaucracy.
In 2016,;621,000;veterans were receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Currently,;29.6%;of veterans report having a disability. As you can see, veterans have disabilities at a higher rate than the civilian population. The Social Security Administration offers expedited claims to veterans with particular ratings. But remember, both bureaucracies have their own guidelines on eligibility. That means some veterans will be approved one benefit and denied the other. Woods & Woods can help you obtain both TDIU benefits and Social Security Disability benefits.
Attorney Neil Woods explains how veterans get TDIU and SSDI benefits:
Am I Eligible For Backpay Back To The Date I Became Unemployed
Each unemployability claim will take months, and in some cases, years, to be reviewed and processed. The time you spend waiting for approval can amount to significant sums in benefits. The VA is supposed to issue retroactive pay for this time, usually as a one-time lump sum.
In calculating retroactive pay, the most important factor beyond rating is that the VA determines the effective date correctly. The effective date can be considered the time when your unemployability began, not just the date when you filed your application.
It could have taken you years to discover that you might be eligible, gather all the documentation, obtain legal advice, and file the claim. Despite what the VA may say, you may be entitled to receive disability compensation for that time, and a lawyer can help you fight the proper determination.
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Disabled Vets Can Receive A Total Disability Rating If They Cannot Work Because Of Their Service Connected Disabilities
Most veterans know about the Department of Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities for service connected compensation. Each different disability that a veteran can prove is related to their service gets rated at different percentages using a list of ratings found in VA regulations. Veterans are rated in 10% increments from 0% up to 100%. The amount of their compensation goes up the higher their total rating is.
However, there is a way that a veteran who does not have a combined rating of 100% can still get paid as if they were 100% rated if their service-connected disabilities prevent them from working. It is called Individual Unemployability, often abbreviated as IU or TDIU for Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability.
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.
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Things To Know About Individual Unemployability
Many veterans dont know about a VA benefit called Individual Unemployability. If you are a veteran and cannot;maintain full-time employment because of a service-connected disability, you may qualify for Individual Unemployability, and you should consider applying. Here are four things to;know about what IU is and how you can apply.
1. What is Individual Unemployability?
Veterans who are unemployed or can no longer work due to a service-connected disability can apply for a VA benefit called Individual Unemployability , or Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability . IU increases a veterans disability compensation to the 100% level even if the VA has not rated their service-connected disability at the 100% level. For example, if a vet has been trained for the construction trade, but cant work because of a service-connected disability rated at 70%, he may be eligible for 100% disability compensation. Heres another example from an excellent blog post written by VA claims processor Dominique Joseph.
2. Who is eligible for IU?
Veterans must meet several criteria in order to receive IU compensation. First, they must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment because of a service-connected disability. This means the veteran must be unable to maintain full-time employment that pays a wage greater than the poverty level. The VA does not consider odd jobs to be substantial gainful employment.
Second, the veteran must have one of the following:
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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Talk To Us About Your Individual Unemployability Back Pay For Free
If you cant work from service-connected mental and physical impairments, you might be able to receive;Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits;from the Veterans Administration.;VA Unemployability benefits for veterans;can help get your life back in order if you cant keep or obtain meaningful employment. Veterans who receive accommodations at work may also be eligible to receive Individual Unemployability benefits.
What Information Is Required
- All medical records pertaining to the service-connected disabilities that have made you unable to work
- Hospitalization and outpatient care records in the past year
- The exact date or period when you became too disabled to work
- Information on your work history during the last five years you were able to work
- Any education and/or vocational training you have had.
You can apply through the VA website, in person at your local VA office, or with a legal representative.
To make sure your IU application is reviewed promptly and you have the best chance of success, you should provide clear, detailed, and consistent documentation and information. A VA representative is responsible for reviewing your case and approving individual unemployability, so the more clear and exact you can be, the easier it is for them to approve your claim.
The VA may not process your claim quickly. It can take several months to review your individual unemployability benefits application. However, if your IU claim is approved, you will qualify for retroactive benefits to the date you filed.
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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
What Does Substantially Gainful Mean
The VA uses this term substantially gainful to mean employment for which the veteran is earning above the poverty level. The poverty guidelines for 2018 indicate that a person making less than $12,140 a year is earning below the poverty level. ;
VA regulations indicate that sheltered employment does not count as substantially gainful employment.
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Va Individual Unemployability Benefits Monthly Compensation
Veterans who are eligible for Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits can receive over $3,600 a month from the VA. There is also extra monthly compensation for disabled veterans with dependent children and parents. Many veterans will be entitled to back pay when their VA appeal is finished. That means you could be owed Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits dating back years. If it is determined you are eligible for back pay, you may receive that money in a lump sum check from the Veterans Administration.
Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits pay the same as a 100 percent rating, but you are not required to obtain a 100 percent rating. There are;differences between a 100 percent rating and Individual Unemployability;benefits. For example, a 100 percent rating is based solely upon the number and severity of your conditions. While Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits are based upon your impairments, ratings, and your ability to work. If you are strictly trying to obtain a 100 percent rating, the VA is not going to consider your ability to work or not work.
Service-connected and you cant work? A VA disability lawyer explains how to get the highest rating you can for TDIU benefits:
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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