What Factors Affect a TDIU Claim?
Published September 22, 2020
Veterans unable to work due to service-related disabilities may qualify for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits through the VA. Several factors can affect a veteran’s TDIU claim, but the Veterans Law Group is here to help. Call or contact us today to learn more about what can affect your application for TDIU benefits.
What is a TDIU Claim?
A Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claim is an application to the VA for benefits that allows a veteran to be paid at a 100% disability rate even if their service-related disabilities are rated below the level that would prevent the veteran from maintaining substantially gainful employment. Substantially gainful employment refers to work that pays above the poverty level, which in 2018 was $13,064 per year. TDIU benefits cover both health care costs as well as compensation to veterans for daily living expenses.
What Factors Affect the Claim?
Several factors have the potential to affect a TDIU claim to the VA. The first factor is the number and rating of your service-related disabilities. To qualify for TDIU, a veteran must have at least one service-related disability rated at 60% or higher or two or more service-related disabilities with at least one rated at 40% and a combined rating of 70% or higher. The second factor is employability, where a veteran must show that substantially gainful employment is not possible because of the service-related disability.
Other factors affecting a TDIU claim are the veteran’s work history, educational background, and limitations based on their disabilities. The VA must also consider whether the veteran has the physical capacity to perform the required activities of the occupation at issue, which can include walking, bending, lifting, sitting, standing, and any auditory or visual limitations. The veteran’s mental capacity for the occupation can also affect the claim, including consideration for memory limitations, concentration, ability to adapt, capacity to handle workplace stress, and ability to demonstrate reliability and productivity.
What Factors Does TDIU Not Take Into Account?
There are also certain factors that the VA cannot take into account when making a determination on a TDIU claim. The first factor is any non-service-connected disabilities that may prevent the veteran from working. The VA is only allowed to consider the service-related disabilities that prevent gainful employment. The second factor that cannot be considered is the veteran’s age. Even if the applicant had retired years prior, their age cannot be considered when the VA decides whether the service-related disability prevents the veteran from working. The last factor that cannot be considered is the reason why the veteran stopped working in their prior occupation. The VA can only consider the seriousness of the service-related disability and its impact on the veteran’s ability to work.
Call or Contact Us Today
To learn more about what factors can be considered in an application for Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability, call or contact the Veterans Law Group today to schedule a free consultation of your disability benefits case.