TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (2023)

TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (1)

Total disability based on individual unemployment is a benefit offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs that allows disabled veterans who are unable to work due to one or more service-connected disabilities to receive 100 percent disability compensation, even though they are aggregated . is lower.

Veterans who, due to service-connected conditions, are unable to obtain and maintain "substantial gainful" employment are eligible for individual unemployment benefits. Read on for oneComplete guide to TDIU benefits.

TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (2)

What is TDIU?

Total disability based on individual unemployment (TDIU)is a disability benefit that allows veterans to receive compensation at the VA's 100 percent disability rate, even if they arecombined planned valuationnot 100 percent

TDIU is awarded in situations where veterans are unable to find or hold substantial employment due to their service-connected disability. TDIU can provide significant financial benefit to those whose scheduled assessments do not match 100 percent.

There are two types of TDIU that can be awarded to a veteran:Time scheduleAndunplanned.

Who is entitled to individual unemployment?

Every veteran with onenot dishonorable dischargeThose who, due to a service-related functional impairment, are unable to take up or maintain professional work, are entitled to individual unemployment benefits from the VA. Any service-related mental or physical disability may result in a veteran being eligible for individual disability benefits.

How to apply for TDIU

To apply for TDIU, veterans must fill out a formVA Form 21-8940: Veteran's Request for Increased Unemployment Compensation.

The form asks for information such as:

  • The nature of your work-related medical condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial employment;
  • Whether you have been hospitalized or received medical treatment within the past 12 months;
  • The date you became incapacitated;
  • Your employment history for the last five years you worked (It is important to note that the VA requests information about the last five years you worked.does notthe past five years. If you have not worked since 2010, you must state your employment from 2005 to 2010.
  • Any school and work-related training you received before and after you became incapacitated.

There are three ways to apply for TDIU:

  • throughVA's website
  • In person at a local VA office
  • With the help of a legal representative or an accredited VA claims representative

How to get the TDIU award

As mentioned above, there are two types of TDIU: planned and unplanned. Both planned and unplanned TDIU are regulated below38 CFR 4,16, which includes subsections (a) and (b). Each subsection describes a way veterans can meet the requirements for TDIU.

TDIU plan

The time requirements for individual leave are as follows:

  • The veteran has at least one service-connected disability60 percentdisable; OR
  • The veteran has more than one service-connected disability with at least one condition rated40 percent, and an overall rating of at least70 percent.

Unplanned TDIU

An unscheduled disability rating is a rating that gives veterans a higher rating than they would receive based on the standard rating schedule used by the VA. Therefore,If the evaluation schedule does not adequately reflect the severity of a veteran's condition, they may choose an unscheduled evaluation.

VA regulation38 CFR § 3.321(b)(1)sets forth the criteria veterans must meet in order for the VA to consider providing an unscheduled disability rating. First, veterans must have an "extraordinary or unusual disability profile with associated factors, such as marked impairment in employment or frequent hospitalizations, that make the application of ordinary [scheduled standards] impractical." This means that the veteran's condition must be unique enough that the Standard Disability Assessment Plan does not adequately or accurately reflect the extent to which the disability limits their ability to function.

How high is the benefit for individual unemployment?

Individual disability benefits are paid at a rate equal to a 100 percent disability rating or $3,621.95per monthfor an individual veteran beginning in December 2022. Veterans may receive additional monthly compensation for their spouse or dependent children. Check out oursVA Pay table for the disabledfor more rates.

Validity dates and TDIU

It is important to note that the VA must assume that each veteran is aiming for the highest possible disability rating when claiming benefits. When the VA grants TDIU, it often sets your effective date as the date you filed your VA Form 21-8940 (ie, the date you claimed disability benefits), rather than when you were actually eligible for TDIU. If you are awarded individual disability, determining the correct effective date can result in a significantly higher award of retroactive benefits.

TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (3)

How to use evidence to prove TDIU claims

In order to be able to provide sufficient documentation for entitlement to TDIU, you must demonstrate that you have a work-related disabilityPrevent or have prevented you from taking and/or keeping a significant professional job. In addition to filing Form 21-8940, submitting statements to the VA that explain your service-connected disabilities, how they affect your daily functioning, and how they affect your ability to work may be helpful in determining your eligibility for TDIU.

Veterans and their friends, family members, co-workers or former supervisors may submit affidavits supporting the claim. In addition tolay evidence, Opinions from medical and professional experts can greatly benefit a TDIU claim.

Another form of evidence that can be helpful in showing that a veteran is eligible for TDIU is professional reports. Employment reports can detail how the veteran's disability affects his or her ability to obtain or maintain significant employment. These opinions can be a powerful tool to rebut adverse evidence in the case, such as a Compensation and Pensions (C&P) Audit that does not prove eligibility for TDIU. This is because expert opinions typically provide a more thorough analysis of the veteran's disability than the "check-the-box" style of a C&P exam.

TDIU and marginal employment

TDIU is generally reserved for veterans who are unable to work. But if a veteran is able to "work"Marginal employment"They may still be entitled to individual unemployment. This is because VA does not consider marginal employment to be significantly profitable.

There are two ways in which a veteran's employment can be considered minor for TDIU purposes:

  1. If a veteran works, but his incomenot exceed the federal poverty line for one person, they can still be considered for TDIU.
  2. Veterans who work and earn income above the established federal poverty line may still be eligible for TDIU if they work in aprotected working environment. An example of a protected work environment would be a situation wherespecial accommodationsis created that allows the veteran to work there. These special accommodations (such as requiring frequent breaks) would be considered inappropriate if the veteran worked for another employer. This type of work is considered marginal because otherwise the veteran would not be able to acquire or maintain the job without such adaptations in a competitive work environment.

What if…

When a veteran is of retirement age or has already retiredHowever, her disability still prevents her from working. They may still be eligible for TDIU. Eligibility is determineddoes notbased on age or reason for leaving last job. The relevant question is whether disabilitycurrentlyprevent the veteran from working.

If a veteran is currently working or is able to worksomework but earn a wage below the poverty line, they may still be entitled to TDIU. Veterans eligible for TDIU must have condition(s) that make them unable to remain "substantially."profitableThus, if a veteran is serving below the state's poverty line, the VA does not consider their employment to be "substantially profitable." Instead, the VA calls this "marginal employment."

When a veteran works in a workshop for the disabled or in a family business or receives special accommodations in the workplace because of his disability, they may still be entitled to TDIU. These types of employment - in the VA Act referred to as "protected work environments” – also counts as “marginal employment”.

Unfortunately, the VA has not yet created a definition for "safe work environment", so it may be difficult to argue in these cases. But ina case represented by CCK lawyersIn the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the court ruled in favor of CCK, requiring the VA to either define the term or create a list of factors for judges to use.

If the veteran is self-employed,VA applies the same standard to determine TDIU eligibility as all other veterans. Essentially, the VA looks at annual income to determine if the veteran is earning above the poverty line, and may also consider employment conditions in its decision. If a veteran is self-employed, they may still be eligible for TDIU.

TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (4)

What can the VA do?Does notWhat should you consider when evaluating a veteran for TDIU?

There are certain things the VA can doDOES NOTWhen evaluating veterans for individual unemployment, consider the following:

  • Non-service disability- Although a veteran may have a non-duty-related medical condition that prevents them from working, the VA may not consider this disability when evaluating them for TDIU; VA should only assess the impact that your work-related disabilities have on your ability to work.
  • Amend– For the same reason that the VA cannot take non-compulsory disabilities into account, age cannot be taken into account when assessing a veteran's individual unemployment status. Even if the veteran retired long ago, the central question remains: Does the veteran's service-connected disability prevent him or her from working?
  • The reason why the veteran stopped working– Regardless of the reason for leaving previous employment, VA may not consider this information when evaluating a veteran for TDIU. The focus must remain on the veteran's service-connected disabilities and their impact on the veteran's ability to work.

Er TDIU permanent?

TDIU can be permanentif the VA determines that you have a static disability (ie, a medical condition that does not change or improve).

There are three ways the VA indicates that your TDIU assessment is complete and permanent. Your assessment decision may:

  • Include a statement such as "Dependent's eligibility under Chapter 35 DEA/CHAMPVA is determined."
  • Add the phrase "No future examinations are planned" (since the VA does not plan to reevaluate your condition at a later date).
  • Include phrases such as "total disability that is of a permanent nature."

When can the VA cut or terminate my benefits?

The VA may propose to reduce or eliminate a veteran's individual unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons:

  • Veterans receiving TDIU benefits must file VA Form 21-4140 annually. Failure to submit this form may result in your benefits being reduced or terminated;
  • If your ability to maintain significant employment changes and you are able to work;
  • If your service-related status has improved, a lower rating is warranted.

What is the difference between 100% scheduled grade, permanent and total disability and TDIU?

  • Total disability based on individual unemployment (TDIU)is a benefit reserved for veterans whose disability is less than 100 percent but who are unable to obtain or maintain employment; These veterans receive compensation equal to 100 percent disability.
  • 100% scheduled reviewsis awarded to veterans whose disability totals 100 percent and is therefore paid at 100 percent. These combined scores are not simply added together to arrive at a disability score. 100% scheduled ratings are calculated using VA math.
  • is awarded work-related disability(s) when the condition is completely disabling and no recovery is expected. Those assigned a P&T disability rating will not be required to undergo a future VA reassessment.

TDIU – Total disability, individual unemployment | The CCK Act (5)

Can I receive individual daily allowance and social benefits at the same time?

Yes, veterans can collect bothSSDI and TDIUBenefits at the same time and without offset. Note that each program has different requirements and approval of one benefit does not guarantee eligibility for the other benefit.

What happens if my claim for VA benefits for individual unemployment benefits is denied?

If your claim for total disability due to individual unemployment has been denied, you can appeal the VA's decision. Remember veterans did thisone yearto appeal a rejected claim before the decision is final. If you decide to appeal, it may be helpful to get help from an experienced VA unemployment attorney or accredited representative.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney for a VA-TDIU appeal?

The lawyers andaccredited representativesAt Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick operates on a contingent fee basis, meaning there is no cost to the veteran unless we win retrospective benefits for you from the VA aka.additional payment. VA disability attorneys cannot charge veterans more than 33% of retroactive benefits plus additional costs such as outside experts.

Contact the individual unemployment attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick today

If your total disability claim for individual disability benefits has been denied, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick's experienced team of accredited representatives may be able to help you. We are proud to fight for the benefits you deserve. for a free consultation at 800-544-9144.

customer reviews

“Chisholm Chisholm Kilpatrick LTD has represented us since we worked for T.D.I.U. got rejected. at B.V.A. Our claim went to court. The court referred the case to R.O. back. For T.D.I.U. our lawyers appealed the refusal to the B.V.A. one. We submitted the T.D.I.U. in 2007. In 2014 we received our positive decision and were awarded the T.D.I.U. excellent. but it only went back to 2009. We received more than $83,000. Chisholm + Chisholm + Kilpatrick L.T.D. appealed T.D.I.U. one. From 2007 to 2009, we received an affirmative decision in 2017 and awarded $104,948. I would highly recommend this law firm. They exceeded my expectations and kept us informed every step of the way. Well done!"

Shirley T.

"I am a Vietnam vet. I was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. I have many physical problems that have been treated by the VA Hospital for years. In 2001 I was no longer able to work. The VA would only give me a 60% disability over time. I kept trying to get a higher percentage but I couldn't for 17 years. Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick offered to help me and thanks to them I received 100% disability with back pay in a short time time. Thank you very much."

James D.

“I fought for my VA disability benefits for 10 years. I was ready to give up and then CCK took over my case. I immediately felt comfortable because they kept me informed every step of the way and there was so much less stress for me. Thanks to CCK, I now receive TDIU benefits and I am very grateful.”

Raul B.


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