INCREASING YOUR BENEFITS WITH A CLAIM FOR UNEMPLOYABILITY
If you have a combined rating of 60% or higher you may be able to obtain a rating of 100% by showing that your service-connected disabilities keep you from working. This benefit is called total disability due to individual unemployability (TDIU).
If your combined rating is 60% and all the disabilities are from the same cause or accident, affect the same body system, or stem from multiple injuries suffered in action or as a prisoner of war you may qualify for this higher rating. You may also qualify if your 60% rating is for one or both arms or legs. If you have a 70% rating, with at least one rating of 40%, then you may also qualify for this higher rating.
Once you meet the rating requirements, you have to show that your disabilities keep you from working. The VA must take into account your education and the type of work you did in the past. For example, if you only did heavy physical labor in the past, and now can only do a desk job, you may be unemployable. If you are still working, but your work is marginal, which means your wages are at or below the Government poverty level, you can still qualify for TDIU. If you get Social Security Disability benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, the VA must consider that in deciding if you get TDIU.
Although this benefit is available the VA does not like to pay this benefit and will not usually grant it when you first apply. The VA will often deny or ignore a claim for TDIU. If you got a decision that denied TDIU or you told the VA you could not work when you applied for benefits and the VA did not consider TDIU, then you need to have our Veteran’s Benefits lawyer review your decision to decide if our firm can help you with an appeal.