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TDIU versus 100 Percent Schedular Ratings

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | July 6, 2022 | Disability Compensation

The difference between a TDIU and a 100% schedular combined rating can be confusing. Here is a breakdown of each rating and how they work.

A Total Disability Rating Based on Individual Unemployability

A total disability rating based on individual unemployability (abbreviated as TDIU or IU) is where the VA pays a veteran at the 100% payment rate in recognition that their service-connected disabilities make them unable to maintain substantially gainful employment. It is a way for a veteran who has less than a 100% schedular combined rating to receive the maximum payment rate.

For example, if a veteran is service connected for PTSD and has a 70% rating, but they are unable to work due to their PTSD, they can receive a TDIU and the VA will pay them at the 100% payment rate even though their combined rating is only 70%.

The assignment of a TDIU can be temporary or permanent. This means you can receive a TDIU but then eventually return to work. In that case, you would notify the VA that you are returning to work and they would eventually terminate the TDIU and resume paying you at the rate consistent with your combined rating.

What are the Criteria for a TDIU?

The only criteria for a veteran to be eligible for a TDIU is that the evidence must show it is at least as likely as not that the veteran is unable to work due to service-connected disabilities. For example, if you have service connection for depressive disorder, but are unable to work due to a non-service-connected back condition, then you would not be eligible for a TDIU. Again, the reason you are unable to work must be due to a service-connected disability or disabilities.

How is a TDIU Different from a Schedular 100% Rating?

A schedular 100% rating is when all of the individual ratings for service-connected disabilities combine up to 100%. At that point, the VA will pay the veteran at the maximum 100% payment level. An important difference is that a veteran with a schedular 100% combined rating has no restrictions about whether or not they can work, while a veteran who has a TDIU would not be able to work.

Call to Get Help From a VA Benefits Lawyer

Ultimately, whether you receive a schedular 100% combined rating or a TDIU depends on the facts of your situation. It’s not always possible to get a 100% combined rating, so if you can’t work due to your service-connected disabilities, then you want to pursue individual unemployability so you can receive disability compensation at the maximum payment rate.

Feel free to call me at (844) 838-7529 to discuss the best path forward for you. I’ve helped hundreds of veterans receive either a schedular 100% combined rating or a TDIU, and I am always happy to talk.