Many veterans return from active duty with severe injuries, some of which result in permanent disability. In these situations, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides the injured veterans with disability benefits in the form of monthly payments.
In some cases, dependent spouses and children can also collect compensation to help cover economic loss resulting from the veteran’s service-connected disability. The amount of these payments varies depending on the particular disability in question, each of which is rated by the VA on a graduated scale of ten to 100 percent. Those whose disabilities are rated as 100 percent, or completely disabling, are eligible to receive total disability benefits.
Unfortunately, in some cases, disabilities that are not rated as 100 percent disabling are serious enough to keep a veteran from securing work. To address these situations, the VA offers what are referred to as Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits to veterans who because of their disabilities, cannot find or keep substantially gainful employment. Filing these claims can be difficult, so if you are a veteran and are struggling to find work because of a service-connected disability, please contact an experienced veterans benefits attorney in North Aurora for help with filing your own claim.
Only certain veterans are eligible for TDIU benefits. For instance, claimants must provide evidence of an inability to find or keep substantially gainful employment. Whether employment is substantially gainful or marginal depends primarily on the amount being earned. If, for instance, a veteran’s earned annual income does not exceed the year’s poverty level, his or her employment will be considered marginal. In fact, even when this threshold is met, the VA might still consider a job marginal, especially when a veteran is employed by a family member or in another type of protected environment where he or she is not expected to perform at the level of other employees in that position.
In addition to providing evidence of unemployability, claimants must submit proof demonstrating that they have:
In rare cases, the VA will even grant TDIU benefits in cases where these percentages are not met, but only if exceptional circumstances warrant the decision.
Veterans who receive TDIU benefits will continue to do so until they are able to secure and retain substantially gainful employment. To ensure that a veteran is not unfairly receiving these benefits, the VA may schedule regular examinations or request updated employment information on a periodic basis. Veterans who are deemed employable will have their benefits terminated and may even be required to repay the VA what they already received.
To discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate North Aurora veterans benefits lawyer, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC at 312-863-8572 today. And remember, initial consultations are conducted free of charge!