The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides compensation to veterans who became disabled as a result of a service-connected injury. Generally, these benefits are paid in an amount that is proportionate to the severity of the veteran’s disability, which is assigned by the VA in the form of a percentage ranging from 10 to 100.
Fortunately, even veterans whose injuries are not rated as being completely disabling can receive compensation at the 100 percent level under the Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefit if they can demonstrate that they suffer from one or more disabling conditions and are unable to sustain employment as a result of their condition. For help filing your own TDIU claim, please contact an experienced McHenry veterans benefits lawyer who can represent your interests.
Only veterans who fulfill certain requirements are eligible to receive TDIU benefits. First, the veteran must be able to provide evidence that he or she is unable to sustain substantially gainful employment. Substantially gainful employment is defined by the VA as employment that does not pay enough to at least equal that year’s poverty level, which in 2017 was $12,060. However, even when a veteran makes more than this amount, he or she could still qualify for TDIU benefits if the job is supplied by a family member, or is protected in some way.
Aside from the employment requirement, claimants must also prove that they have:
Even when a veteran does not meet this standard, the VA can still award benefits if exceptional circumstances exist, such that the veteran has undergone frequent periods of hospitalization and experienced a regular interference with employment.
TDIU benefits are not always permanent, so the VA can require claimants to undergo regular medical exams to confirm that they are still unable to work. Failing to report for these scheduled examinations could result in the termination or suspension of TDIU benefits. Similarly, the VA can periodically request employment information to ensure that a claimant has not begun working since receiving benefits. They may also contact the IRS to cross reference employment records with reported income. In the event that a veteran is deemed employable, the TDIU benefits will be revoked and he or she will go back to receiving the amount of compensation that is proportionate to his or her level of disability. In fact, the VA can even require a claimant to reimburse them for the benefits paid out if it is determined that the veteran continued to receive benefits after becoming employable.
If you suffer from a disability that was caused by an injury sustained while serving your country, you may qualify for compensation. To discuss what kinds of benefits you may be eligible to receive with a dedicated McHenry veterans benefits attorney, please contact The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572 today.