Should I Quit My Job and File for VA TDIU Benefits?

Many veterans have one or more service-connected disabilities that make it very difficult to work.  Often, these veterans struggle to try to maintain a job despite these disabilities.  Many times, these veterans will end up quitting a job because they just cannot continue working.

Man sitting with back pain Can I receive TDIU benefits if I quit my job?

I talk to many veterans who ask me this question after quitting.  The short answer is that you can still qualify for TDIU benefits if you quit your job.  But, quitting your job could make it more difficult to get TDIU benefits.

I see many cases where veterans get fired because of issues associated with service-connected disabilities.  This often happens in the PTSD context when an individual has difficulty functioning in that particular work environment.  This can also happen with back injuries and other physical conditions when those conditions affect the veteran’s ability to perform a particular job.

Other times, veterans are not terminated by their employer.  Some employers try to be  rather understanding and accommodate veterans with service-connected disabilities, even though they may not be producing as much as other employees in the same position.

Sometimes, even though the employer does not end the employment relationship, the veteran simply cannot continue on working anymore.  Many veterans in this situation resign their position and then seek TDIU benefits because they cannot continue working.

What if VA denies my claim because I voluntarily quit my job?

I have seen situations where VA has denied a veteran’s TDIU claim on the basis that the veteran voluntarily quit their position with the employer.  Voluntarily quitting a position is not a disqualifying factor for TDIU.

All veterans needs to show for TDIU purposes is that they are unable to get or keep substantial gainful employment.  There is nothing in the TDIU standard that says it must be the employer’s choice to end the relationship.  If you’re denied by VA because you quit your position, then that’s something you would want to consider appealing.

This does not mean that you should choose to quit your job so that you can improve your chances of getting TDIU.  You will need to have good reasons for stopping your work.

Could the reason I gave for quitting my job affect my TDIU claim?

Many veterans do not always come totally clean with their employer when they resign from a job. Many times, when someone is leaving a position, they say one of the following things:

  • “I’m leaving for a better opportunity”
  • “I want to try something new”
  • “I’m retiring”

I have seen veterans who were simply unable to continue doing their jobs says all of these things.  These veterans had to hang it up. They could not keep continuing on in their work because of their service-connected disabilities.

But they did not have a conversation with their employer where they explained the real reason they were stopping working.  I understand that it can be difficult to have this honest conversation.  Many people do not want to because they do not have a very close relationship with that employer or that supervisor.  Other people do not feel like it is anybody else’s business sometimes.

There are a lot of disabilities that we do not want others to know about. Sometimes, veterans are embarrassed. They have been able to hide their depression, their PTSD, or other disability; and they do not want anyone that they work with to know about it.

Repairman knee pain What happens when the veteran then files for TDIU benefits?

VA will contact that employer.  One of the questions that VA will ask is why the employment ended.

If you did not give your employer a reason to connect the end of your employment with your service connected disabilities, then your employer will have no real basis for saying that you quitting is related to your service-connected disabilities.  That may certainly hurt you in trying to prove TDIU.

If you lead your employer down a different path and do not giving them an honest reason for why you are leaving, then that can come back later and hurt you in your VA disability claim.  So, it is usually best to be as open and honest as you can with your employer about the reasons you are having to stop working. Give them specifics about why you re not longer able to continue working

There may be situations where an employer values you so much and has some flexibility. They may be able to accommodate you. They may be able to modify your position with the company so that you’re able to continue working.  If this happens, there are obviously huge benefits to you from a financial standpoint if you can continue on with your employment and still receive some form of VA disability benefits, even if it’s not TDIU.

Should I quit my job and file for TDIU?

That depends.  If you can continue doing your job, you will probably want to keep doing that.  I would not suggest that you quit a job you can perform to try to improve your chances of qualifying for TDIU.

TDIU is a very difficult and complicated type of VA disability claim.  Many veterans find themselves in a position where they cannot obtain and maintain employment because of their service-connected disabilities.  But, if you can keep working at a job you can perform, you probably should keep doing that.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

It has been a pleasure working with Jason and firm, very knowledgeable and professional, He did awesome job to get settlement that I need for my workmen comp case which was fair in my case, cause the insurance company was trying low ball me and not give me nothing but Jason fix that ….I truly recommend Perkins&studdard any workmen comp case that you have and also want thank Tina also for helping me along this process Thank you Perkins&studdardjahbari swint
Thank you Jason and Tina for everything you've done. Much appreciated. Great law firm! Great results!! Thank you!!! (Austin and Valerie)Valerie Mellinger
Travis and the team working on my VA claim are awesome. I’m happy with their integrity and diligence on working on my claim.Chris “Greybeard” Mullennix
I can't express enough how great it was to work with Perkins Studdard. They are extremely knowledgeable, professional and keep you aware of everything happening with your case. Very friendly from the front office to Mr. Perkins. I would HIGHLY recommend Perkins Studdard!James Strickland
I recommend Travis for an Veteran that has been dealing with constant denial with claims. He also , cover cost for my nexus letter when I ran into financial troubles , that helped me win my case.edwin Cook
I highly recommend Travis Studdard to represent anyone looking to help with VA claims. The VA is very difficult to deal with when attempting to get benefits from service connected injuries, at least that's my experience. Travis and his team knows the VA system and the legal procedures to help you get what you deserve. Travis was kind and passionate with me throughout this process and therefore, I highly recommend this law firm to represent DAV's.Terry Hembree
Such an awesome team. They spoke to me like a person and helped me through every decision with knowledge.Kevin Collett
Highly recommend this firm. Did exactly what they said they were going to and fairly timely. The VA is sometimes extremely difficult to navigate but this took all the leg work away from me and got me the result I thought was fair.Andrew Boone
Amazing staff, very informed along with excellent communication. Within just a few weeks of work, Mr Studdard was able to make things happen that normally take years! Highly recommendJacob Sylvester
Perkins Studdard LLC is the place you need to be if you have a Workers Comp case going on! Mr. Jason Perkins and his staff get the results that you need. They work with you and fight for you.Coming from another lawyer my husband and I were really surprised and appreciated the communication and honesty and understanding throughout the entire process. My husband loves the videos because they held so much information and helped him understand what what was going on. Thank you so much for representing us!!!Deborah Tompkins

Related Posts

Contrast:

Font Size: