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VA Individual Unemployability 

VA Individual Unemployability 

When you engage an attorney who is well-versed in requirements for filing successful VA disability claims, your chances of winning increases significantly. That is why you should hire a VA individual unemployability lawyer. The TDIU rating system involves specific factors that can be difficult to prove, so you should consult with a lawyer and they will be able to explain to you in simple terms what you can expect and what you need to know concerning the claims process. You deserve to have someone that has the unique skills and experience to adequately advocate for you and your legal rights. There is help available if you are having a hard time working on your claim. Consult a top-rated lawyer like one from Gregory M. Rada, Attorney At Law to receive personalized legal support regarding a TDIU claim.

Table Of Contents

What is a TDIU rating?

The acronym TDIU stands for a Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability. TDIU refers to the VA paying a veteran at the 100% payment rate even though their combined rating is less than 100%. VA does this when a veteran is unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment due to their service-connected disabilities.

Your rating can be changed to reflect your disability needs. For example, if you were previously given a rating and your disability has changed in some way, such as severely limiting your mobility or affecting certain aspects of your life, then you can file a claim for increased rating. Or if your disabilities have gotten worse such that you can’t work, you can request entitlements to TDIU. 

Common Issues Regarding TDIU Claims 

Applicants who apply for TDIU claims may run into several issues that can result in their claim being processed more slowly or denied. A common issue I often see is that VA will deny a TDIU claim because the veteran doesn’t meet the “rating requirements” for schedular TDIU. But don’t be deterred — even if you don’t meet the rating requirements for schedular TDIU, you can still win entitlement to TDIU on an extraschedular basis. For example, I have helped veteran’s win their TDIU appeal based a single 10% rating for a knee condition. 

Another issue that many claimants experience is their claim getting rejected. Even if a claimant has everything that they need to show evidence that they have a qualifying disability, it may still result in a claim denial. A lawyer will investigate to see what led to the claim getting denied, and they can review all paperwork necessary to see if everything was provided and if information is correct. They will check to see that nothing is missing from the claim. 

Have A Lawyer Help You

If you act early and don’t delay talking to a lawyer about your situation, there is a strong chance that you can get the result that you are looking for. Allow a trusted and qualified lawyer who has experience handling TDIU claims for many kinds of veterans to work on your claim. When you hire a VA unemployability lawyer to assist with your claim, you can increase your chances of success significantly. If you need legal assistance, call Greg at (800) 955-8596 to receive affordable, high-quality legal services.

Qualifying for Benefits 

When a veteran is unable to work because they suffer from service-connected disabilities, they should qualify for VA individual unemployability benefits. Many veterans in these situations are unable to work, yet are only receiving disability checks that represent less than 100 percent service-connected disability, yet their inability to work leaves them no way to earn a living and supplement their income. The following is a brief overview of why the VA denies total disability individual unemployability (TDIU claims). If you have been denied TDIU benefits, contact Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law for help.

Proving Unemployability

In order to qualify for VA individual unemployability benefits (TDIU), the veteran must prove they are unable to secure and maintain “substantially gainful” employment. Substantially gainful employment is generally defined as earning above the poverty threshold for a single person. 

Non-Service Connected Conditions/Age

When considering entitlement to TDIU, the VA is not allowed to consider the age of the veteran. They are also not supposed to consider non-service-connected disabilities the veteran may be suffering from, however, there are cases where the VA may try to use that non-service-connected disability as the real reason why the veteran cannot work and then deny the claim.

For example, a veteran who suffers from service-connected PTSD files for VA individual unemployability benefits because he or she is unable to work due to PTSD. But the veteran also suffers from a back issue that is not connected to their military service. The VA may try to deny the claim by saying that the reason the veteran cannot work is due to his back issue, not his PTSD.

A TDIU lawyer will be able to work with medical and vocational professionals to present evidence to refute the VA’s decision.

Educational and Vocational History

Unfortunately, VA uses medical provisionals to give opinions about one’s ability to work. But medical professionals and are not trained in what it takes to maintain substantially gainful employment. Put another way, medical professionals are not trained to give opinions on how disability symptoms impact one’s ability to work. The medical professional’s job is to explain the symptoms, not give a vocational opinion.

For example, a veteran may be able to physically perform a job, but they may not possess the education or occupational background, or qualifications to perform the work. This is why it is important to retain the services of a TDIU lawyer who will work with vocational experts to present the evidence to the VA that would prove the veteran’s inability to work.

To learn more about VA individual unemployability benefits and how you may qualify, contact Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law. Call Greg at (800) 955-8596 for a free case evaluation.

What You Need to Know About VA Individual Unemployability

The VA individual unemployability rating is a benefit for veterans who are unable to work because of a service-connected disability. The VA individual unemployability benefit provides disability compensation benefits at the 100% payment rate for veterans whose service-connected disabilities prevent them from performing substantially gainful work.

If you have been denied disability benefits by the VA or do not agree with a decision made by the VA regarding your TDIU claim, you may need to hire an attorney. You should also hire a lawyer if you are unsure of how to proceed with your claim or if you are not comfortable filling out all of the necessary paperwork on your own.

Factors When Determining Whether You Are Eligible for Benefits

The VA will consider many factors when determining whether you are eligible for benefits based on individual unemployability.

These include:

  • disabilities that are not expected to improve
  • whether you have transferable skills
  • your education level, training, and work experience



Why a Lawyer Is Needed For VA Individual Unemployability

The VA disability compensation system is complex, and it can be difficult to understand how it works. The VA’s rules are also constantly changing, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney with knowledge about recent law developments.

An attorney like Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law can help you navigate the process of filing a claim and ensure that all necessary documents are submitted correctly and on time. Most importantly, an attorney can represent your interests at every stage of the process — from initial filing through appeal — thereby ensuring your voice is always heard.

VA Individual Unemployability Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an estimated 70 percent of veterans who apply for disability benefits are initially denied. In 2020, the VA received over 800,000 disability claims. Of those claims, over 560,000 were denied. The denial rate for disability benefits has been consistently around 70 percent for the past few years.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to apply for VA individual unemployability, you may want to contact a lawyer. Applying for benefits can be a complicated process. A lawyer from Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law can assist you with the process.

What is VA individual unemployability?

VA individual unemployability, or IU for short, is technically a rating where the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays veterans at the 100% monthly payment rate if they are unable to work due to a service-connected disability(s).

Who is eligible for VA individual unemployability?

To be eligible for TDIU, a veteran simply must be unable to work due to their service-connected disability(s).

How does VA individual unemployability differ from disability compensation?

It doesn’t. Individual unemployability is technically a disability compensation rating. So if VA grants TDIU, the veteran receives their monthly payment at the 100% payment rate.

How much financial assistance does VA individual unemployability provide?

The amount of financial assistance provided by individual unemployability is equal to the amount of compensation that the veteran would receive if they were rated at a 100% disability level. As of 2023, the monthly payment for a single veteran with no dependents is $3,621.95.

Can veterans receive both VA individual unemployability and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Yes, veterans can receive both VA individual unemployability and SSDI. However, if a veteran is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from Social Security, the amount of their SSI payments would be reduced by the amount of VA payments. Since the 100% VA payment rate pays much more than SSI, a veteran in that situation would no longer receive their SSI payments. 

How does a veteran apply for VA individual unemployability?

Veterans can apply for VA individual unemployability by completing VA Form 21-8940, which is also known as the Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. They can then submit the form through the VA’s website or by mail to a VA Regional Office.

What documentation is required for a VA individual unemployability claim?

Besides the VA Form 21-8940, veterans must also provide documentation of their service-connected disability, as well as evidence that shows that they are unable to maintain substantial gainful employment due to their disability. This evidence can include medical records, employment records, and statements from doctors or other medical professionals.

How long does it take for a claim to be processed?

If you want to file a claim, you are likely wondering how long it will take to process it. The processing time for this type of claim can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the claim and the volume of claims being processed by the VA. Typically,  it can take several months or more for a claim to be fully processed and for the veteran to start receiving benefits.

Can a veteran appeal a decision on their VA individual unemployability claim?

Absolutely. Veterans have the right to appeal a decision on claim if they disagree with the VA’s decision. The appeal process can be complex and time-consuming, but veterans can seek assistance from a VA-accredited attorney to help them navigate the process and develop the evidence needed to win the appeal.

If you have additional questions about VA individual unemployability, schedule a meeting with a lawyer from Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law.

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Client Review

"Greg is an amazing lawyer that you should hire! I wanted someone who was also in the military and could understand how the VA system works to help me win my appeal for my TDIU benefits, and he managed to win my case. Thanks again!"
Pauline O'Connell
Client Review