Debilitating injuries and illnesses are an unfortunate reality for many veterans. When these conditions prevent a former servicemember from maintaining employment after being discharged from the military, a successful Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claim in Parkersburg could replace their lost income.
There are many eligibility requirements a veteran must meet before they can receive TDUI benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In fact, it is not unusual for first-time filers to see their claims denied on technical grounds. An experienced VA disability claims attorney could advise you on your options for pursuing TDIU claims.
To qualify for TDIU benefits, a veteran must be unable to maintain gainful employment due to a service-connected disability. These impairments must be a direct result of their active duty military service. Any injury or illness that occurs from active duty service training or even administrative roles could qualify for disability compensation.
It is important to understand how the VA defines “gainful employment.” Not all forms of employment qualify as gainful, meaning it may be possible to maintain some degree of part-time work while remaining eligible for TDUI coverage in Parkersburg.
The VA considers employment “gainful” if it pays equal to or more than the poverty level established under federal law. The federal government determines the amount of annual income that qualifies as the poverty level each year.
A veteran’s unemployability is central to their TDIU claim. To receive benefits at the 100 percent disability rating regardless of whether their impairment meets that threshold, former servicemembers must satisfy two criteria that determine whether they are unemployable due to one or more disabilities.
First, the veteran must have a service-related condition that results in a disability rating of 60 percent or more. Alternatively, they could be awarded TDIU benefits if they suffer from two separate conditions with a combined rating of 70 percent or more. Second, an applicant for TDIU must be unable to maintain employment as a direct result of their disability.
A successful claim will not only require medical evidence of the condition, but also documentation of the veteran’s unemployment status. In addition to establishing unemployability, proving that a disability resulted from active duty can be challenging without the assistance of a Parkersburg attorney who is familiar with TDIU claims.
One of the major differences between TDIU benefits and a 100 percent rating for a disability is the ability to work in the future. If a veteran receives maximum VA disability benefits, there are no restrictions on their ability to maintain employment. The same cannot be said for TDIU benefits.
TDIU is predicated on a veteran’s inability to maintain gainful employment. If that person ultimately finds meaningful employment after qualifying as unemployable, the VA will revoke their TDIU benefits.
This does not mean any form of employment will lead to the cancellation of TDIU benefits. Former servicemembers may work part-time jobs to earn wages up to the annual poverty level limit. Otherwise, earning compensation above that threshold would put their TDIU eligibility at risk.
If you are considering filing a TDIU claim, you do not have to pursue this complex process alone. Without legal guidance, you could put your claim at risk of denial, even if you meet all of the VA’s criteria.
Let an experienced VA benefits attorney advise you on how to proceed with a Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claim in Parskersburg. To get started, schedule your confidential case evaluation as soon as possible.