Attorney Sean Kendall won an extra four years of TDIU benefits for a veteran with foot, knee, hip, and low back pain.
Marty Is an Actor Who Cannot Work Because of His Joint Pain
After serving on active duty for several years, Marty returned to his acting career. Decades later, the 12 to 16-hour days which were once routine became nearly impossible; Marty’s foot, hip, knee, and back were causing him excruciating musculoskeletal pain.
The pain became so intense that, eventually, he had to give up acting altogether. He continues to be extremely limited by his pain: he uses a cane to navigate the world, and he requires assistance to put on his socks and tie his shoes.
On its face, Marty’s story seems like the kind Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits (“TDIU benefits”), which provide compensation at a 100% disability rating to veterans who are unable to maintain substantially gainful employment and meet other criteria, are made for. Yet, Marty’s journey to securing the benefits he deserves was far from easy. Luckily, Attorney Sean Kendall drew upon his decades of experience to help Marty iron out the bumps in the road.
When Marty Initially Applied for TDIU, the VA Assigned Him the Wrong Effective Date
While Marty’s Regional Office did grant him TDIU benefits, it assigned him an effective date which was four years later than when Marty initial became unable to work. Thus, Attorney Sean Kendall’s job was to prove that Marty was unable to work during those four years.
Marty Did Not Meet the Rating Requirements, and the Director of C&P Denied that Marty Was Unable to Maintain Substantially Gainful Employment
Attorney Sean Kendall’s task was complicated by the fact that, while Marty certainly couldn’t work, he didn’t quite meet the general rating requirements for TDIU.
To qualify for TDIU, a veteran must have a “single service-connected disability ratable at 60 percent or more, or . . . two or more disabilities, provided at least one disability is ratable at 40 percent or more and there is a sufficient additional service-connected disability to bring the combined rating to 70 percent or more.” In the alternative, a veteran can submit her or his claim to the Director of C&P Service for special consideration.
Unfortunately, Marty’s disability ratings only added up to 50%, so he had to seek approval from the Director.
Shockingly, the Director found that Marty’s conditions were “mild in nature,” and that Marty had not demonstrated unemployability. Given the obvious severity of Marty’s symptoms, Sean Kendall knew the Director’s decision could not stand.
The Board Reversed the Director’s Decision, Granting Marty the Benefits He Deserves
And, stand it did not. The Board could not ignore the mountains of medical reports indicating that Marty’s conditions rendered him completely unable to work, so they unhesitatingly reversed the Director’s opinion. At last, Marty was granted the benefits he deserves.
How To Win TDIU or Disability Benefits for Foot, Knee, Hip, or Back Pain
If you or a loved one have been through an experience like Marty’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. With decades of experience appealing denials and unacceptable rating decisions issued by RO’s, the Board, and the Director, we are confident we can win you the benefits you deserve. When you are ready, send us a note or call us at (877) 629-1712 to discuss the possibility of an appeal.
Disclaimer: All names and places have been changed to protect confidentiality. All cases are different and results will vary depending on the facts. Call us at (877) 629-1712 to discuss the facts of your case.