What information needs to be included on Form 21-8940 for TDIU consideration?
Published May 1, 2019
Filling out paperwork isn’t what you planned to do as a military member, and filling out paperwork after your discharge to obtain disability benefits can seem overwhelming sometimes. We get it, but if you want a favorable TDIU decision, some dreaded paperwork is necessary.
The VA now requires that veterans submit Form 21-8940 at some point prior to granting a positive TDIU decision. In many cases where TDIU is denied, the sole reason for denial was because the forms were not submitted. Just remember that even though TDIU is a theory for getting to a 100% disability rating rather than a claim in and of itself, providing Form 21-8940 frames the theory for the VA’s consideration.
VA Form 21-8940 requires information about when the veteran last worked, dates where they worked, and which service-connected issues affect their ability to work. The VA will only consider the disabilit(ies) you list on the form, so make it easy for them to see what you are claiming and why. Although it may seem tempting, don’t put “all” or “etc.” in these boxes, as they will prompt additional questions from the VA. If you don’t have the information requested, okay, but it needs to be filled out to the best of your ability.
Before making a decision on TDIU, the VA will contact prior employers and ask for the reasons why the veteran was terminated or let go. In many cases, the employers will not respond, and the VA will follow up with the veteran, asking the veteran to please ask the employer(s) to respond. The reality is that because of various reasons, especially related to psych issues, some employers don’t want to comply and don’t want to be involved in the process. Lack of response by an employer, however, cannot be used as a basis to deny TDIU. The VA is supposed to request this information, but failure to get it cannot be used to deny. Obviously, if the veteran has any control over the matter, it is useful to have an employer reply and explain the underlying situation (for example, due to anxiety attacks, the veteran could not perform the job requirements and was terminated). When you get a letter from the VA requesting help from the employer, it is sometimes appropriate to respond back, advised that the veteran and employer did not part on good terms, and therefore it is not surprising if they do not want to be helpful and supportive or responsive. Remind the VA that this cannot be used to deny or hold up any longer.
Do you need an experienced ally on your side in fighting to get TDIU approved? Veterans Law Group is here to help you, just as they have helped thousands of other veterans and their families. Fill out this questionnaire and submit it to our office for evaluation. We will review your request for a consultation and contact you as soon as possible. Our consultations are free of charge.