The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides disabled veterans with compensation for service-connected injuries.
One part of the VA’s program, known as the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefit allows veterans to receive disability compensation at the rate of 100 percent disability, even when their service-connected disabilities have not been rated at the total level.
There are a number of requirements that applicants must fulfill before they will be considered for TDIU benefits, so if you are a veteran and suffer from a disability, it is critical to speak with an experienced Hines veterans benefits attorney who can help you file a claim.
Only certain veterans are able to apply for and receive TDIU benefits, including those who:
In addition to these requirements, the applicant must also not be able to keep gainful employment as a result of his or her disability. The VA defines substantially gainful employment as employment that generates income that exceeds the poverty level. Marginal employment, which exists when a veteran can only find irregular, sporadic, or temporary employment that does not pay enough to reach the poverty threshold, is not considered substantially gainful employment. If income does exceed the poverty threshold, the VA may still find employment to be marginal if employment is in a protected environment, such as a family business or workshop. Consideration will also be given to the nature of the employment, as well as the reason for termination.
Even when an applicant suffers from multiple injuries, the VA may only consider his or her ailment to be a single disability. For instance, the disability of one or both of the upper extremities is considered a single disability, as are the following:
There are certain situations when an applicant can collect TDIU benefits even when he or she is considered to be suffering from a single disability that does not reach the rating threshold. However, the petitioner will need to provide evidence showing that his or her service-connected disability presents such unusual and exceptional circumstances that applying the normal disability requirements is impractical. Evidence of a marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization is also almost always required in these cases.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer about your own eligibility for TDIU benefits, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572 today.