Every person and their personal experience is unique. Thus, it is unsurprising when two veterans suffering from the same condition or injury have two different experiences. One may find themselves only slightly or moderately impacted by the condition, while the other might not be able to engage in any meaningful work whatsoever.
Just as no two people’s experience with the same condition will be identical, so too no two veterans’ experiences with their service-connected condition be the same. For this reason, even when you are afflicted by an illness or injury that the VA does not believe warrants a 100 percent disability rating, you can apply for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU).
TDIU is Not the Same as a 100-percent Disability Rating
While both a successful TDIU claim and a claim in which the VA assigns you a disability rating of 100 percent have the same practical effect, the two are not interchangeable concepts. When the VA assigns a disability rating to your condition or conditions, it does so after an examination and review of your records, which leads it to conclude that you are not able to perform any gainful work.
Total Disability Individual Unemployability is its own rating given after the VA finds that, even though your conditions do not qualify for a 100 percent disability rating, you are still not able to maintain substantial gainful employment. Even though this is not the same as a 100 percent disability rating, veterans with a TDIU rating are paid benefits at the same rate as those with a 100 percent rating.
What It Takes for the VA to Give a TDIU Rating
The VA does not hand out TDIU ratings to every veteran who asks for them. Instead, to apply for a TDIU rating, you must be able to show:
- You have at least one service-member condition rated at 60 percent, or two or more conditions rated at least 40 percent, and when combined rate 70 percent or higher
- Alternatively, you suffer from a peculiar condition that limits you in some way and affects your ability to work.
- You are not able to hold down a job such that you can provide for yourself and your families, and this inability is due to your service-related injury
- You were not dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
Because the burden is on you to show your conditions prevent you from holding down substantially gainful employment, you would do well to ensure your claim for a TDIU rating is well supported with medical records, and treatment records, among other evidence.
Veterans Law Attorneys Can Help Veterans Get the Benefits They Deserve
If you have applied for VA disability benefits at any time but have been denied, or if you have not received the disability rating you feel you deserved, Veterans Law Attorneys will step in and work to make things right. Call us at (833) 753-5168 to discuss your circumstances. If you prefer, you can also contact us through our website.