If you receive or are interested in filing for Veteran’s Disability, you may have heard the term “individual unemployability.” What exactly does that mean, and how do you know if you’re eligible?
What is Individual Unemployability?
If you have a service-connected disability that prevents you from securing or maintaining any kind of employment, you may qualify for Individual Unemployability (IU). That means you might qualify to receive disability compensation at the same level as a veteran who has a 100% disability rating.
How do you qualify?
In order to receive IU, you must meet the following qualifications:
- You have at least one service-connected disability that is rated at 60% or more, or two service-connected disabilities with at least one rated at 40% or more and a combined total of 70% or more.
- You are unable to maintain a steady job that supports you financially -- that is, you can’t hold down substantially gainful employment -- due to your disability.
How do you determine if your disabilities prevent you from working?
This is where legal support can be helpful. To determine the level of your disabilities and whether you qualify for IU, the VA will look at medical records and other evidence. A trained attorney can take you through the process of gathering that information and ensuring all relevant evidence that is likely to support your case is collected and presented. A legal representative can also file an appeal should your application be denied.
How do you apply?
To apply for IU, you will need to file a claim with the VA. As mentioned above, this entails gathering medical records and other evidence to support your claim that you are eligible to receive compensation. There is also additional paperwork that you will need to fill out, as the VA requires specific forms to be filled out for IU claims.
As with all Veterans’ Disability claims, you will need to demonstrate that your service-connected disability impacts your ability to work. And in the case of IU, you will need to also show that it makes you unable to hold down any kind of substantially gainful work.
Can you work at all if you’re receiving IU?
While it may seem like you wouldn’t be able to work at all if you’re receiving IU, that is not always the case. To receive IU, you simply need to demonstrate that you can’t maintain substantially gainful work -- that is, work that significantly supports your financial needs.
However, there is also what’s called marginal work -- jobs that don’t provide enough income to live on, but that can be helpful supplements to your disability compensation. If your income doesn’t exceed the poverty line as established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, then your job is typically considered marginal work. And recipients of IU are often allowed to maintain this type of job.
How can you learn more?
For more information on filing a Veterans’ Disability claim or filing for Individual Unemployability, please feel free to give us a call anytime at 1-877-526-3457. One of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form.