When your physical or mental health conditions have left you unable to work, it’s vital that you investigate every available source of financial support. However, it’s possible that you may be found totally disabled and eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits without being approved for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits.
Different Programs Have Different Rules
The Social Security Administration awards SSDI benefits to people who’ve earned sufficient work credits and now have conditions that prevent them from finding any sort of substantially gainful employment. The rules for qualifying become more favorable to applicants as they age, with those over 50 having an easier time getting approved than younger individuals.
TDIU benefits are for Veterans with service-connected conditions that prevent them from finding substantially gainful employment. Age is not considered a factor in awarding benefits. Veterans can receive both SSDI and TDIU if they qualify, but approval for SSDI will not automatically lead to approval for TDIU benefits.
Two Common Issues With TDIU Benefit Claims After SSDI Approval
Often, the issue for Veterans is that they’re having trouble finding evidence to establish a service-connection for their disability. Only service-connected conditions qualify for TDIU benefits, so you need evidence proving that your condition is related to an accident, combat mission, or something else that occurred while you were on active duty. Military records or buddy statements can be valuable evidence to establish a direct service connection.
Another common problem for Veterans seeking TDIU and SSDI is that TDIU only considers the effect of service-connected conditions on your ability to work but having multiple disabilities can make it extremely difficult to maintain full-time employment. If you have both service-connected and non-service-connected disabilities, you may be found unable to work under the Social Security Administration’s rules but still ineligible for TDIU benefits. However, if a Veterans benefits attorney can establish a secondary service connection by proving your disability is related to a condition that has already received a service connection, you may win your case on appeal.
Let Us Help You Access the Benefits You Deserve
Getting approved for TDIU benefits can be a time-consuming process, but help is available. The office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, can help you gather evidence that will build the strongest possible claim for your TIDU benefits. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with an experienced Veterans benefits lawyer.