Veterans receiving Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits (TDIU) receive compensation at the same rate as those who are considered 100% disabled. However, it is generally easier to be approved for TDIU benefits than it is to earn a 100% rating under the VA’s schedular criteria. An experienced veterans benefits lawyer can help you determine which option is right for your unique circumstances.
How Disability Ratings Are Calculated
Under schedular criteria, the VA determines what percentage of a veteran's body is impaired by their service-connected disability. Ratings are awarded from 0% to 100% in 10% increments. A 0% rating means that a veteran’s condition is service-connected but causes no measurable impairment, while a 100% rating means the condition causes severe impairment leading to an inability to work or live independently.
When a veteran has multiple disabilities, the ratings for each individual impairment aren't simply added together. Since a veteran can’t be more than 100% disabled, the VA subtracts the secondary condition from the disability causing the most impairment. This “VA math” makes it hard to receive a 100% rating despite experiencing serious difficulty performing everyday activities.
How TDIU Eligibility Is Determined
TDIU provides benefits for veterans who have at least one service-connected disability rated 60% or higher or two or more service-connected disabilities that have a combined disability rating of 70% or higher with one disability that is rated 40% or higher. These veterans have impairments that are serious enough to prevent substantially gainful employment but not serious enough to be considered totally disabling under stricter guidelines of the schedular criteria.
TDIU looks at a veteran's work experience, education, disability limitations, earnings, and the circumstances of their current employment to determine eligibility. A lawyer skilled in interpreting VA law can help you gather the necessary evidence to make the strongest possible case for benefits.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.