Veterans who are unable to secure or retain substantially gainful employment may be eligible to collect what are referred to as Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits.
These benefits provide total coverage, which in most cases, is only available to veterans whose injuries are rated 100 percent disabling. TDIU benefits provide a way for veterans who do not receive a rating of total disability, but whose injuries are severe enough to keep them from retaining employment to collect compensation at a 100 percent level. Unfortunately, filing a claim for TDIU benefits is complicated, especially if a claimant is suffering from multiple injuries, so if you sustained a service-connected injury that was not rated as being completely disabling, please contact an experienced Marion TDIU attorney to find out whether you qualify for benefits.
Veterans can only receive TDIU benefits if they suffer from either:
Once this requirement has been met, claimants must still provide evidence that they are unable to secure or follow substantially gainful employment.
The term substantially gainful employment is used to describe situations where a person is earning above the poverty level, although even when income does meet this threshold, employment could still fail to qualify as gainful. For instance, self-employed veterans or those who work for family members could still qualify as being only marginally employed. Both the inability to get a job and the inability to keep it qualify a veteran for these types of benefits.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the VA often denies a total disability rating to veterans who are suffering from multiple injuries. This is because the VA considers many ailments to be a single disability, including:
Even in these cases, a person can still collect TDIU benefits if the Board believes that an existing medical examination report doesn’t address the extent of a claimant’s industrial and functional impairment. In these situations, it can require the submission of further medical evidence and additional examinations before making a final decision.
TDIU benefits can be, but are not always permanent. For this reason, the VA can require claimants to undergo regular medical examinations to confirm that they are still unable to retain substantially gainful employment or to request employment information to ensure that they have not begun working since receiving benefits. In fact, failing to report for the examinations could result in benefits being suspended or even terminated. If the VA determines that a veteran is employable, TDIU benefits will be revoked and the individual will start receiving an amount of compensation equal to his or her level of disability.
To speak with an experienced Marion TDIU attorney about collecting veterans benefits, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572 today. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge.