If you meet the criteria set out by the VA for TDIU rating, you may wonder what difference it will make in your benefits. Is it worth going through VA’s process of applying, waiting, and possibly appealing?
Often, the answer is yes. Read on and you will find out that a TDIU rating generally makes a very significant difference in the disability compensation benefits you receive from the VA.
When the VA grants a TDIU rating, the veteran’s service connected disability rating is automatically paid at 100%. This payment occurs regardless of VA’s math for the combined ratings for a veteran’s individual disabilities.
For example, a veteran’s hearing loss, back pain, and PTSD may come to a combined rating of 70%. If VA awards a TDIU rating, the veteran will be paid as though his or her rating is 100%.
So, what difference does this make? A full table of disability benefit amounts for different combined ratings can be found at VA’s website. As you will notice from that table, an increase from a 70% rating to 100% generally doubles the monthly benefit amount. This additional income often makes a very significant difference for veterans who are having difficulty finding or maintaining employment as a result of their service connected disabilities.
TDIU benefits are a supplement to benefits you may already be receiving. They may be paid alongside Special Monthly Compensations and other benefits for which you may qualify. Depending on how quickly you apply, benefits may be awarded back to the date at which you first became incapable of maintaining employment.
How Do I Prove TDIU to VA?
As you can see from the information above, TDIU often provides a very significant benefit to veterans who are unable to work. In order to qualify for TDIU, you basically need to show VA that you are incapable of maintaining substantial gainful employment.
This requires you to provide VA with medical evidence showing that your service-connected disabilities make it very difficult for you to find or keep a job. You may also need to provide VA with vocational evidence from an expert that has knowledge about whether the limitations from your service-connected disabilities would prevent you from maintaining employment.
VA may deny your TDIU claim because they determine that you have not provided the right evidence to prove your claim. Even if they grant TDIU, VA may not grant TDIU benefits for the whole time that you have been unable to work.
If VA denies all or part of your TDIU claim, you may find it helpful to talk with on of our firm’s VA disability attorneys to see if we can help. An attorney can help determine what evidence is needed to prove your claim to VA.