Veterans who become disabled are often able to receive compensation in an amount partially determined by their percentage of disability. Fortunately, even when veterans do not qualify as being 100% disabled, they can still collect benefits if their service-connected disability prevents them from securing a substantially gainful employment.
Essentially, the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) program provides a way for a disabled veteran to qualify for a 100 percent rating. Proving that you qualify for TDIU benefits despite having a rating of below 100 percent can be difficult, so if you suffer from a service-related disability, it is crucial to contact an experienced Freeport veterans benefits attorney who can ensure that your claim is filed correctly and on time.
Before the VA will approve a claim for TDIU benefits, the petitioner must prove that he or she is unable to secure or retain substantially gainful employment. The VA uses this term to describe employment where a person is earning above the poverty level. However, even when income does exceed the poverty level, employment may not qualify as substantially gainful. For example, if a veteran is self-employed or works for a family member in a position from which he or she cannot be fired, the VA would most likely deem him or her as being only marginally employed.
The TDIU regulations state that a veteran is only entitled to these benefits if his or her service-connected disabilities stop him or her from getting a job or if those same disabilities prevent him or her from keeping a job. The latter was included to cover situations where a non-physical injury, such as PTSD, which is not obvious at an interview and may not prevent a veteran from initially getting hired, could make it impossible for him or her to keep the job. This is true for any service-connected mental disability with symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia. For this reason, both the inability to get a job and the inability to keep a job qualify a veteran for TDIU benefits.
Even after proving that he or she is unable to obtain or maintain substantially gainful employment, a TDIU petitioner must still provide evidence of one of the following:
To learn more about the VA’s rating system and find out if you qualify for benefits, please call our legal team today.
If you were injured while serving your country, you may qualify for TDIU benefits. Please contact an experienced Freeport veterans benefits lawyer at The Comerford Law Office, LLC by calling 312-863-8572 today and a member of our team will help explain your legal options.