Common Mistakes – Not Evaluating TDIU

May 6, 2022

What is TDIU?

TDIU (Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability) is a disability benefit that allows veterans to be compensated at a 100%, without being a scheduler 100%, which means that all ratings add up to 100%. When a veteran can’t work, they should be compensated at that 100% level because they are unemployable and TDIU is awarded when you’re unable to secure substantially gainful employment because of your service-connected disabilities.

When veterans apply for TDIU, a few aspects can be overlooked or the claim can either be incorrectly evaluated, sometimes essential details or service-connected symptoms were ignored. This could happen for a variety of reasons.

Not listing all service-connected disabilities.

If you have more than one condition that produces symptoms daily, it’s critical to identify all service-connected / linked conditions to provide the VA with an understanding of the difficulties you’re encountering. 

It’s also important to make sure you submit enough evidence, such as statements from family, friends, coworkers, and superiors, in addition to medical data as it can bolster your claim. Employment records and vocational expert testimony can also be highly useful in constructing a strong claim for benefits.

Misunderstanding TDIU Requirements

To be eligible for TDIU, the veteran must be able to show that their conditions prevent them from obtaining or maintaining significantly gainful employment. While some people feel that working automatically disqualifies them from receiving TDIU, this is not the case. Even if the veteran’s income is below the poverty line, TDIU may be available. 

Assuming TDIU is a Permanent VA Benefit

One common mistake made by veterans who have been granted TDIU is to believe that the rating is permanent. However, TDIU is not a guaranteed benefit. TDIU can be revoked by the VA for a variety of reasons.

  • If the veteran is earning substantially gainful employment
  • If the veteran has been rated incorrectly
  • If if the veteran fails to send in the employment questionnaire. 

Depending on the outcome of your Compensation and Pension Exam

A negative Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam is frequently the reason for TDIU claims being denied. Following the filing of a TDIU claim, the VA will usually schedule an evaluation or exams to assess the veteran’s condition. If the veteran has more than one service-connected condition, more than one exam is normally required. One issue that often comes up with this process is that the exams are not viewed in conjunction with one another. The VA will request separate exams. 

Not Making Use or Returning the VA Form 21-8940

VA Form 21-8940 is technically not required for unemployability claims. The VA can award the highest benefit available including TDIU without this form. This is not always the case as the information on the form is required.

Contact Andrew P. Gross Today.

The most insignificant detail can affect your rating decision as well as your compensation if it’s not rated correctly. If you think you’ve been rated incorrectly, or you’re dissatisfied with your compensation, you can contact a seasoned Veterans Advocacy lawyer at the Law Office of Andrew P. Gross.