Qualifying for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) gains you access to the same benefits you’d receive if you were assigned a 100% disability rating. To qualify for TDIU, you must meet disability rating and work requirements.
The rating requirements for receiving TDIU depend on if you have a single disability or multiple disabilities.
- Single disability. If you are applying for benefits for one disabling condition, your condition must be rated at 60% or higher to qualify for TDIU.
- Multiple disabilities. If you have two or more disabling conditions, your combined disability rating must be 70% or higher. Additionally, one of your disabling conditions must have a rating of 40% or higher.
Exceptions may be made if you have a disability that requires frequent and extended hospital stages.
To relieve TDIU, you must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. This means that your earnings are below the poverty level for a single person, and there are no higher-paying jobs you could reasonably be expected to perform given your skills and education.
If you are currently self-employed or working in a protected position such as a small business owned by a friend or family member, your application will be scrutinized more closely. You will not be approved based on wages alone. The VA will look at whether you could perform the same time of work and earn a higher than poverty-level wage without any special accommodations.
Note that your age or the effects of disabilities not related to your service can’t be considered when determining what types of jobs you can reasonably be expected to perform. If you have additional disabilities that are not service-connected, you may need to provide an expert medical opinion to support your claim for TDIU.
Help Is Available
The VA benefits system is marked by application backlogs, decision mistakes, and frequent claim denials. It’s understandably frustrating, but don’t give up hope. Our Veterans benefits lawyers have over 20 years of experience advocating for the rights of those who’ve bravely served our country. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.