As a military member, you get used to accomplishing what seems impossible every day and so it’s hard to acknowledge that you may meet the VA’s criteria for a TDIU rating of 100% unemployability. It may seem like you are giving up, but it isn’t. It’s just making sure you and your family are receiving benefits to which they are entitled. When did you become qualified to received TDIU? Determining the proper effective date can make a significant difference in benefit calculations.
The effective date of a TDIU rating is the date when the veteran became unemployable as a result of the service-connected disability. This is determined by two factors: (1) the date the current underlying claim(s) was filed, and (2) the date the veteran became unemployable due to the service-connected disability. The appropriate effective date for the TDIU award is the later of those two dates.
Here’s an example. A veteran was honorably discharged in August 2012 and immediately thereafter filed his disability claim for PTSD which was granted at 70%. Being a hard worker and wanting to do everything he could to support his family, he obtained a job and began working there. Four months into the job he was fired due to his PTSD. Not being a quitter, and not wanting to let PTSD ruin his life, he found a new job and managed to stay for six months until, again, he was terminated due to symptoms of PTSD which caused problems at work. He then managed to get another job, this time only lasting three months before, again, being dismissed as a result of PTSD. This time he was willing to go back to the VA and argue for a TDIU rating and it was granted.
In this scenario, he argued that the effective date was not the date he lost his most recent job, but actually was the earlier filing date of his underlying PTSD claim and supported that with medical records showing that the factors making him unemployable as a result of the PTSD were there all along. Getting the proper effective date for a TDIU claim can make a significant difference in back pay to which the veteran may be entitled.
The appropriate effective date will be fact-specific, based on a variety of factors. The effective date is not the date you file forms raising the TDIU theory; it will be an earlier date.
Do you need some expert assistance in helping you obtain your TDIU benefits? Veterans Law Group is here to help. We’ve handled thousands of claims for veterans just like you. Fill out this questionnaire and submit 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.