TDIU Strategy For a 100% Rating

Many veterans find it difficult to qualify for TDIU.  Having a good TDIU strategy can often make the difference.

As I mentioned in a recent article, VA may use non-service-connected disabilities to deny your TDIU claim.  That article discussed minimizing the effect of your non-service connected disabilities by showing that they did not affect your employability.

That is a good TDIU strategy to take if you have to do that.  If VA has already denied TDIU based on the effects of your non-service connected disability, you may not have any choice.

Senior man with back pain at home But, you may can avoid the problem by taking a different TDIU strategy from the beginning.  What if you do not even have to get into all of that?

Any fan of military strategy knows that planning is key.  You want to win the battle before it ever starts. The same can be true in your VA disability claim.

How can you prevent VA from focusing on your non-service connected disabilities?

Can you limit your claim and the evidence in that claim only to service-connected disabilities? If you can, then you never open the lid on non-service-connected disabilities for VA. to get into all of that.

How do you do that? Go through the medical records that you are going to submit to VA regarding your service-connected disabilities.  If those records are completely silent on the non-service connected disability you have, then it may never come up with the VA.

What if my medical records include my service-connected and my non-service connected disabilities?

Many people have a doctor who treats multiple conditions.  Some of those conditions are connected to military service. Other conditions are not.

Look at your these medical records.  You will want to consider things like:

  • Am I telling VA more than I should here?
  • Will VA try to use my non-service connected disabilities to deny TDIU?
  • Can you prove your TDIU claim without these records?

If you submit medical records that mention non-service connected disabilities, VA likely will become aware of Orthopedic doctor shoulder patient these conditions. They may start to dig deeper into that issue.

You have to consider your TDIU strategy.  While VA probably should restrict its analysis to how your service-connected disabilities affect your employability, those non-service connected disabilities often creep into TDIU decisions.

What about non-service connected disabilities in buddy statements and other evidence?

Non-service connected disabilities cause a big issue in medical records.  Generally, they do not create as big an issue in buddy statements.

Buddy statements will likely just focus on the disabilities which you are attempting to connect to your service.  When your fellow service member writes a statement about a PTSD stressor, that statement will likely not mention your diabetes.  Also, a buddy statement about sleep apnea during service will not likely discuss high blood pressure or a non-service connected back injury.

Also, prepared statements for doctors will also likely not cover non-service connected disabilities.  A disability benefits questionnaire (DBQ) will likely just address the service-connected disability.  The doctor is not likely to comment on other non-service connected conditions when completing a DBQ.

What if I have other questions about TDIU?

Many people find total disability individual unemployability very confusing.  Do not be afraid to seek out help if you need it.  You can read several articles discussing TDIU on our Win Your Vet Claim blog.

A consultation with a veterans disability about your claim can provide the best way to get your questions answered.  Our office provides free consultations to veterans.  If you believe a free consultation could help you, this article explains how a free consultation works in more detail.

Please let us know if we can help.

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.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

Related Posts


Font Size:

want insider information on VA Claims?

Our team releases weekly content to help veterans understand the process.