Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability

Once the VA has determined that your disability is related to your military service (i.e. your disability is service connected), you will be assigned a disability rating. This rating will be in the form of a percentage and should correspond to how much your disability impairs your earning capacity.

The percentage disability rating you are assigned will range from 10% to 100%.  In turn, the amount of disability compensation you receive each month depends on the rating you are assigned. For example, if you receive a 100% rating you will be entitled to full benefits.

There is, however, another way to qualify for full disability compensation even if your disability rating is less than 100%. You will qualify for full compensation if you can show that you are unable to engage in substantial gainful employment due to your service connected disability. The VA refers to this as Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

The VA defines substantial gainful employment as a job that pays at least an amount equal to the annual poverty level set by the government. In addition to being unable to engage in substantial gainful employment, your service connected disabilities must meet the following minimum ratings threshold:

1.     If you have only one service connected disability it must be rated at least 60% or higher.

2.    If you have 2 or more service connected disabilities one of them must be rated at 40% or higher and your total disability rating with the combine service connected disabilities must be at least 70%.

3.    You must be unemployable due to one or more of your service connected disabilities.

Seeking Veteran’s disability benefits compensation can be a complicated and sometimes lengthy process.  Obtaining TDIU can be a long and challenging process.  It is important to seek the guidance of a Veteran Service Representative.  There are many qualified Veteran Service Representatives throughout New Mexico who provide free disability benefit application services.

Unfortunately, disability claims are routinely denied despite the very able assistance of these Veteran Service Representatives.  If your claim has been unfairly denied, it may be necessary to seek the guidance of a VA accredited attorney.

Keep in mind that attorneys do not typically get involved until a claim has been denied.  However, if you have reached this point, and you believe your claim was wrongly denied, feel free to contact us at Collins & Collins, P.C.

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