When a service-connected disability prevents a veteran from working, the VA is authorized to pay the veteran at the 100 percent rate, even if the veteran’s service-connected disability is rated less than 100 percent. This is called a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU or IU). If you have a service-connected disability that prevents you from working, then you may be entitled to a TDIU rating.
When applying for a TDIU rating, the VA will first look to see if a veteran meets the following percentage requirements:
It is commonly misunderstood that these percentage requirements are the only path to a TDIU rating. That is incorrect. When a veteran does not meet the percentage requirements but nonetheless is unable to work due to a service-connected disability, the VA is required to consider assigning the veteran an extra-schedular rating of 100 percent. The grant of an extra-schedular rating requires a finding that the veteran’s case presents such an exceptional or unusual disability picture with such related factors as marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization as to render impractical the application of the regular scheduler standards.
Whenever a veteran files an original claim or a claim for an increased rating, the veteran is presumed to be making a claim for the highest benefit allowable. That means that if a veteran’s claims file contains evidence that indicates the veteran may be unemployable due to a service-connected condition, then the VA is required to consider and adjudicate a claim for a TDIU rating. As you can guess, the VA often ignores such evidence and fails properly decide the issue of a TDIU rating.
Obtaining a TDIU rating often requires a medical and/or vocational expert opinion. I work with experts who will give you a fair examination. In addition, it is common for the VA to disregard and not adjudicate inferred claims for TDIU – meaning you may have an outstanding claim with the potential for significant backpay. I will conduct a thorough review of your VA claims file to determine whether the facts ever supported an inferred claim for TDIU.
I work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay no up-front fees for my representation. You only pay my fee if I successfully resolve your appeal. My fee is a reasonable percentage of your backpay award, and does not impact your future benefits.
In addition, I advance all costs of your appeal including the cost of obtaining independent medical examinations (when appropriate). You are only responsible for repayment of expenses upon successful resolution of your appeal, or if you terminate my representation before final conclusion of your appeal.
I handle every aspect of your case from initial intake to resolution, and as a disabled veteran myself, I understand what you are going through. I don’t use support staff, so you are always dealing with me and I pride myself on responding to my clients in a timely manner.