VA Individual Unemployability Lawyer
Individual Unemployability benefits are given to veterans with service-connected disabilities that prevent them from keeping or obtaining substantial gainful employment. In other words, if a veteran’s disabilities prevent him or her from working or accomplishing minimal work, he or she may be eligible to receive Individual Unemployability benefits. The important aspect of TDIU is that it enables the VA to pay certain veterans disability compensation at the 100% rate even if the veteran’s disability rating is lower than that.
If a Veteran has at least one service-connected disability rated at least at 60%, or two or more service-connected disabilities with at least one disability rated at 40% or more and with a combined rating of 70% or more, the veteran may qualify. The other requirement is that the veteran must prove they are unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of the service-connected disabilities. If there is evidence to show that the service-connected disability or disabilities create an unusual or restrictive living situation, the requirements can be modified. For example, if the veteran’s disability requires frequent or ongoing hospitalizations, his or her ability to hold down a job would not be possible.
In order to receive TDIU benefits, the veteran will need to have the following things completed. First, the veteran will need to have medical documentation of their inability to work signed off by a medical doctor. Second, the veteran will need to complete VA form 21-8940. This is the application for an increase in disability compensation based on unemployability. The form will require the veteran’s personal information along with a detailed history of their employment including where they have worked, for how long, and if they had to cease employment for physical reasons. In conjunction with the VA form 21-8940, the veteran will need VA form 21-4192, which is the form the veteran’s last employer will need to complete to support the claim for TDIU.
It is also helpful for a veteran to obtain a Vocational Opinion. A Vocational Opinion is provided by a Vocational Expert (VE) and are used to bolster a veteran’s claim for TDIU. In many cases VA doctors will find that, although a veteran has a severe disability that prevents them from performing more rigorous labor, the veteran is still able to perform “sedentary labor.” A vocational opinion can not only help refute these arguments, but it can also help show a connection between several different disability issues that a veteran may have that would lead to a finding of total disability based on the veteran’s inability to perform sedentary work.
If you filed a TDIU claim and the VA denied it, contact us for help with the appeals process. We provide free consultations to veterans nationwide.