There are more than 800 disabilities for which a veteran may receive a disability rating and possible benefits. While some veterans will be able to continue working despite their disability, this is not always the case. So what happens when a veteran is unable to work due to their service connected disability?
What happens when a veteran is unable to work?
Total Disability rating based on Individual Unemployability is commonly referred to as TDIU. It is available to bridge the gap between a veteran’s service connected disability payments and the resulting income loss from being unable to maintain employment.
A physical disability rendering you unable to work as you have in the past can lead to a TDIU rating. PTSD, chronic pain, or other service connected illness which makes it impossible for you to work in a traditional job setting.
Who is eligible for TDIU?
The VA requires you to meet the following criteria to establish TDIU:
- The applicant must be a veteran.
- The veteran must have one service connected disability rated at 60%, OR two or more service connected disability ratings with a combined rating of at least 70% (in which one disability is rated at 40% or more.)
- The service connected disabilities are the reason the veteran cannot maintain substantially gainful employment.
Can I receive TDIU and Social Security Disability?
Yes you can. There is no bar to receiving benefits from VA and Social Security Disability at the same time.
In fact, many veterans do that because their service-connected disabilities that are service connected are the same ones used by Social Security to render them disabled. There is no reason you should not be able to receive both Social Security Disability and VA TDIU benefits to compensate you more fully for the effects of your disabilities.
You will have to prove your claim in both forums, but there is no bar to receiving both of those at the same time. Also, neither benefit offsets for the other. You can receive the full amount of each benefit.
What if I receive Social Security Disability?
If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, the law requires VA to review that rating (and associated records) in making its own decision regarding your employability. While being 100% disabled according to the Social Security won’t require the VA to issue a TDIU rating, it can help significantly if your Social Security disabilities are the same as your service-connected disabilities.
It is also the case that having a 100% disability rating from the VA can expedite your social security disability application.
What if I want help filing for TDIU?
A veterans disability attorney can help assess your eligibility for TDIU. Setting up a free consultation with one of our Department of Veteran Affairs accredited attorneys is easy:
- You can call us at (770) 214-8885; or
- You can complete and submit this short consultation request form
If you want to find out more about how a free consultation work before setting one up, I have written an article that describes the process in more detail. Just let us know if we can help.