The Veterans Law Group focuses on representing disabled veterans who are unable to work due to one or more service-connected disabilities.
A veteran is entitled to a 100% disability rating if he can establish that his service-connected disability[ies] preclude him from obtaining gainful employment. In VA law, such claims frequently go by the abbreviation “TDIU”, referring to a Total Disability rating based upon Individual Unemployability. It is a common misunderstanding that a veteran can only qualify for a TDIU rating if he meets certain percentage disability requirements: namely, a single service-connected disability rating of 60%, or a combined service-connected disability rating of 70%. Unfortunately, through many of its notices to veterans, the VA is largely responsible for this misunderstanding. The truth is that a veteran can qualify for a TDIU rating any time one or more of his service-connected disability[ies] prevents him from obtaining employment, regardless of the percentage of the disability rating.
Veterans are often denied TDIU claims because the VA believes that the veteran is capable of so-called “sedentary work.” But the VA is often wrong. For one thing, the VA cannot simply speculate that a disabled veteran is physically capable of performing sedentary work without some medical evidence to justify this conclusion.
In addition, “sedentary work” has a very specific legal meaning. Both the Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration define sedentary work as follows:
Sedentary work involves lifting no more than 10 pounds at a time and occasionally lifting or carrying articles like docket files, ledgers, and small tools. Although a sedentary job is defined as one which involves sitting, a certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary in carrying out job duties. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required occasionally and other sedentary criteria are met.
20 C.F.R. § 404.1567(a).
Through its rulings, the Social Security Administration has further refined this definition to mean employment generally requiring six hours of sitting in a typical eight-hour workday:
In some disability claims, the medical facts lead to an assessment of [residual functional capacity] which is compatible with the performance of either sedentary or light work except that the person must alternate periods of sitting and standing. The individual may be able to sit for a time, but must then get up and stand or walk for a while before returning to sitting. Such an individual is not functionally capable of doing either the prolonged sitting contemplated in the definition of sedentary work (and for the relatively few light jobs which are performed primarily in a seated position) or the prolonged standing or walking contemplated for most light work. (Persons who can adjust to any need to vary sitting and standing by doing so at breaks, lunch periods, etc., would still be able to perform a defined range of work.).
Therefore, if a veteran’s disability[ies] precludes him from sitting for prolonged periods, then he is not capable of engaging in sedentary employment.
Social Security Disability Awards
It is common for disabled veterans to be awarded Social Security Disability benefits before receiving their entitled VA benefits. To prove TDIU claims, social security awards can be very helpful if the social security award covers the same disability[ies] involved in the TDIU claim.
"Were you happy with the final result in your case? "Very much so. "
"I was treated very fairly and was satisfied with the result. "
"Good communication, professional, caring, available, prompt, knowledgable, timely submissions. I was awarded 100% service-connected in a difficult area...Agent Orange and Parkinson's Disease. "
"I tried other representatives for over ten years. They never seemed to try to see my point of view, much less the truth. Mark Lippman's firm went to extremes to find the truth--they were very diligent in representing me in Court I would whole-heartedly recommend that anyone with a difficult case go to Mark Lippman. "
"I believe Mr. Lippman was entitled to more compensation than he received. He treated me more than fair. He listened to me. When you're hurting and tired of fighting the system, that means a lot. Mark performed admirably, quickly and professionally. I am more than happy with the final result. "
"I felt that the Veteran's Law Group took the time and gathered the needed info to support my case. They never pushed me and my case off to the side. They pushed for what was right and entitled to me for my service to this country. They were willing to listen to me and then do the needed research to support my case. They never made me feel that I was wasting mine or their time. "
"More than happy with final result because of your dedication and honesty. Absolutely treated me fairly and compassionately. "
"I was happy with Mr. Lippman's representation of my case. His firm accomplished what I thought hopeless-I received my compensation. "
"I was extremely happy with the Veterans Law Group and the manner in which they handled my case. There is no doubt in my mind that had anyone other than Mark Lippman litigated my case I would not have received the back benefits I received. Thanks to Mr. Lippman and the Veterans Law Group my life has changed. You cannot go wrong with Attorney Mark Lippman or anyone associated with his Veterans Law Group. "
"Mark Lippman helped me with a 10 year appeal and within a year and a half I received back pay of over $100,000. I would never have reached a settlement without Mark Lippman's help. The VA kept me in limbo for years. Mr. Lippman's knowledge of VA procedures made them accountable. I am now receiving 100% pension for my health condition resulting from the Viet Nam War. "
"Mark Lippman let me know all the information I needed to prepare well in advance. He even covered some early expenses for the case from his own sources. Excellent lawyer and the case was settled to my satisfaction. I am very thankful to Mark Lippman and his staff for representing me in this caring, precise and realistic manner. "
"Mark Lippman and I have worked together on cases before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims involving vision problems for several years. I have been a Service Officer for the Blinded Veterans Association for over 16 years. Mr. Lippman settled a claim I referred to him for over $500,000 -- the largest settlement I have ever known -- and he is currently seeking a Court decision in a case involving the unusual definition of 'blindness' used by the VA. "
"Mr. Lippman took on my case in 1991. Stuck in there until he was satisfied with the final decision which was 100% TDIU. Thank you Mr. Lippman. Will surely recommend you to other people. Law firm always done what they say they would do. I was very satisfied with the final results of my case. "
"I am very satisfied with your firm's representation regarding my claim against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The partial settlement I have received has made me feel as though I am finally coming to a closure to a very important part of my life. Thanks to Attorney Mark Lippman for handling my case.
Mr. Lippman & the Veteran's Law Group have been professional and helpful through this whole long process. Could not be any happier. The moral victory was equally as important as the financial victory. For 60+ years the VA had denied my condition was related to service. "
"By myself, I would not have survived this, had it not been for Counselor Lippman. We started with nothing, only my story--to the result of winning a V.A. claim. I would recommend attorney Mark Lippman to anyone. "
"I have been trying to receive compensation since the early 70's from the V.A. for service connected disabilities. I believe without Mark Lippman's help I would still be trying to obtain was due me. I sincerely thank you, Mark and your Staff. "
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