Men and women who are injured while serving in the U.S. military often qualify for disability compensation, a monthly payment that can help offset lost wages and medical expenses.
Generally, the amount that a veteran can collect depends in large part on the severity of his or her injuries and how those injuries are ranked on a scale of 10 to 100% disabling. For instance, veterans whose injuries are considered 100% disabling are eligible to collect total disability benefits.
Unfortunately, many disabilities that are labeled as less than totally disabling are still severe enough to keep a veteran from finding or keeping a job. In an effort to address these situations, the VA allows certain disabled veterans to collect Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits, which when granted, allow veterans who are diagnosed with lower disability ratings to collect compensation at the same level as those who are considered 100% disabled. The process for obtaining these benefits is rigorous, and many applicants are denied due to simple errors or a failure to abide by deadlines, so if you were given a disability rating of less than 100%, but are still unable to find substantially gainful employment, it is critical to contact an experienced Northwest Indiana TDIU lawyer who can ensure that your claim or appeal is filed properly and on time.
There are a number of specific requirements that veterans must meet in order to qualify for TDIU benefits, including that:
Determining whether employment qualifies as substantially gainful or marginal can be a difficult process, but one good rule of thumb is that if a veteran’s earned annual income falls below the poverty line, then his or her job will be categorized as marginal. In some cases; however, the VA allows veterans to collect TDIU benefits even when those individuals have employment that technically qualifies as substantial, but only in special circumstances, such as when a veteran is not expected to perform at the same level as the other employees in his or her position, or when a veteran is employed by a family member.
Veterans who qualify for TDIU benefits can usually only continue to collect those benefits, which include monetary compensation and access to healthcare, until they find substantially gainful employment. To determine whether a person is actually too disabled to work, or is merely attempting to collect benefits to which he or she is not entitled, the VA will conduct regular medical examinations and ask for updated employment information. If these endeavors reveal that a veteran is in fact employable, the VA will automatically terminate that person’s TDIU benefits.
If you were injured or contracted an illness while serving in the U.S. armed forces, but your injuries have been deemed less than totally disabling, you may be eligible for TDIU benefits. To find out more about the process of filing your own claim, please call The Comerford Law Office, LLC or complete one of our brief online contact forms.