If you are a disabled veteran who can't work, you could be entitled to full disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) even if your current VA rating is below 100 percent. You could get Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).
What Does It Mean To Be Unemployable?
Veterans are unemployable if the disabilities they have that are tied to their military service are preventing them from working. The most extreme situation is that a veteran is unable to work at all. Additionally, unemployability can also be claimed if the veteran is unable to keep a job, or to earn enough money to live above the annual poverty level, which is currently set at $ 11,170.
Unemployability can also apply to a disabled veteran who works on a farm or for a family business, even if their income exceeds the annual poverty level. This is referred to as "sheltered employment,"
If any of these situations describe what's happening in your life, you should look into getting full benefits based on individual unemployability, especially if the VA rating you currently have makes you eligible for TDIU.
What is the VA Rating Criteria for Individual Unemployability?
In most cases, your current VA rating must meet the VA's criteria for TDIU. For example, if you have a disability rated at 60 percent or higher, you are eligible. You can also have a combined VA rating of 70 percent or higher for two or more disabilities as long as one disability is rated at 40 percent.
There are Exceptions to the VA's Rules
Eligibility is not always that cut and dry. Believe it or not, you don't have to necessarily meet one of these VA ratings to qualify. The VA understands that each and every disability case is different. Yours may be linked to a specific situation that supports why you can't work. So, if you feel your service-connected disability is interfering with your ability to work, you may be entitled to more money from the VA.
Can TDIU Benefits Stop?
There are a couple of scenarios that could affect the continuation of your TDIU benefits.
Even, if you are awarded a 100 percent rating based on unemployability , the VA could still discontinue TDIU if they decide that you are fit to work. That decision would be based upon a requested medical examination. Your TDIU status will end and you will go back to getting compensated based on your actual VA rating.
If you do starting working again, you'll lose TDIU after a year and you will simply go back to getting disability compensation based on your actual VA rating in addition to a good steady salary.