If you are a veteran rated at less than 100% you may still be entitled to 100% rating based on total disability individual unemployability (TDIU) . Below I will explain what the requirements are to be found totally disabled based on individual unemployability.
Many veterans who may be eligible for individual unemployability may also be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The same is true for veterans with service-connected conditions who already were found to be unemployable by the VA may also have a claim for Social Security disability benefits. If either of these situations apply feel free to contact me and I can help you evaluate whether or not you may be eligible for both of these benefits. You can receive both VA Individual Unemployability and Social Security Disability benefits at the same time.
The VA defines individual unemployability as being unable to secure or follow a substantial gainful occupation as a result of service connected disabilities. 38 C.F.R. Sect. 4.16(a). You can qualify for individual unemployability also called Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) in a few different ways. First, you must be unable to engage in substantial gainful occupation. So if you are working on any significant basis you will not qualify. You must also have either a single disability rated at 60% or more, or more than one disability where at least one of the disabilities is rated at 40% and the additional disabilities give you a combined rating of 70% or more. However, even if you don't meet the percentage requirements stated above it is still possible to be found individually unemployable on an extra scheduler basis if it can still be shown that your service connected disabilities prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful occupation.
You may be wondering what the effects of a favorable determination from Social Security disability would have on your claim for VA individual unemployability. The first thing you should know, is that neither Social Security nor the Veterans Administration are bound by a decision of the other agency. However, if you are found disabled by Social Security based on your service-connected disabilities then this is good evidence to prove you are entitled to individual unemployability from the VA. If you have been found unemployable by the VA this can also be used as evidence to help show that you are disabled for Social Security Disability benefits. So even though neither agency is bound by the decision of the other a favorable determination by either agency can be helpful evidence for proving disability to the other agency. If you are looking for help with a TDIU claim, call 1-877-629-1712 and ask for Sean.