Although disabled veterans are eligible to collect benefits, the amount that they can receive depends on the severity of their injuries, which are ranked on a scale of ten to 100 percent, with 100 percent representing total disability.
Those whose injuries are rated as 100 percent disabling can collect total disability benefits. Unfortunately, even a disability is rated as less than totally disabling, could be serious enough to keep a veteran from obtaining employment. To address these situations, the VA provides Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits to former service members who cannot keep substantially gainful employment because of their disabilities.
Filing a claim for TDIU benefits can be difficult, so if you sustained a service-connected injury and cannot secure employment as a result, it is crucial to contact an experienced Chicago Heights TDIU attorney who can assist you.
Only veterans who can provide evidence that they are unable to find or keep substantially gainful employment can collect TDIU benefits. Whether employment qualifies as gainful depends largely on the amount being earned. For instance, if a veteran’s earned annual income doesn’t exceed the poverty level, his or her employment won’t qualify as substantial, but will fall under the category of marginal. In some cases, when a veteran does have substantial employment, he or she can still collect TDIU benefits, but only if the VA considers the job to be marginal. This usually applies in situations where the veteran is employed by a family members or in a job where he or she is not expected to perform at the level of other employees in the same position.
Aside from proving that they are unemployable, claimants must also provide evidence that:
In rare cases, when exceptional circumstances warrant it, the VA will still decide to grant TDIU benefits even if these elements are not fulfilled.
Former service members who collect TDIU benefits can generally continue to do so until they secure substantially gainful employment. Often, the VA will schedule regular examinations and request updated employment information from TDIU recipients to ensure that they are not unfairly collecting benefits. In the event that these investigations reveal that a veteran is employable, the VA will terminate his or her benefits.
If you were injured while serving your country, but the VA has deemed your injuries less than totally disabling, you may be eligible to receive TDIU benefits. To begin the process of filing your own claim, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online.