Veterans with conditions that don’t qualify for a 100% disability rating who are unable to maintain substantially gainful employment can receive Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits providing the same cash compensation as a totally disabled Veteran. In most cases, Veterans qualify for TDIU based on schedular criteria. However, the system does allow a certain level of administrative discretion for cases that present “such an exceptional or unusual disability picture with such related factors as marked interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization as to render impractical the application of the regular schedular requirement.”
How to Receive Extra-Schedular TDIU
Veterans who qualify for TDIU based on schedular criteria must have at least one service-connected disability with a rating of 60% or higher. For Veterans who have two or more service-connected disabilities, they must have a combined disability rating of 70% or higher and one disability that is rated 40% or higher.
Qualifying for extra-schedular TDIU means you have a condition that prevents you from working but doesn’t meet the normal percentage thresholds. Often, these types of cases involve older Veterans with serious back problems who can no longer work in the physically demanding jobs they’ve held their entire lives. Service-connected disabilities requiring frequent hospitalizations are another common reason why Veterans are granted extra-schedular TDIU.
To receive extra-schedular TDIU, a Veteran’s case must be forwarded from the regional office to the director of the Compensation and Pension Service. The Veteran seeking extra-schedular TDIU must demonstrate to the regional office that their service-connected disability or disabilities prevent them from working, and the director of the Compensation and Pension Service must agree with this assessment. This is an extra step compared to the normal process allowing a schedular TDIU claim to be approved by the regional office adjudicator.
Get Help Accessing the Benefits You Deserve
The VA benefits system can be 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.