VA Disability is a program under the VA that provides monthly cash payments to veterans who have a disability incurred during their service. For each category of disability, the VA assigns a percentage rating from 0% to 100%. Based on these ratings, the VA has a set amount of money per month that is paid to the disabled veteran. These percentage ratings represent the VA’s determination of to what extent the disability will impair the veteran’s ability to hold a productive job. The ratings are based on the impact a disability will have on an average individual, not the specific veteran. The disability could affect the veteran’s employability more than average or less than average, but this does not change the rating or the amount of the benefit paid.
Total Disability Individual Unemployability (“TDIU”) is an exception to the rule that the VA considers the effect of a disability on the average individual rather than the individualized employment limitation of the particular veteran applying for disability. To receive TDIU, an individual must be 1. A veteran, 2. Have a service connected disability that is rated 60% or higher or multiple disabilities with a combined rating of 70% (one of the disabilities must be at least 40%), and 3. The veteran must show that their service connected disabilities impair their ability to obtain substantially gainful employment. To be successful on a TDIU claim, the veteran must show that they cannot work any type of meaningful employment due to the service disability. If the veteran qualifies for TDIU, they will be rated at 100%.
The VA often denies applications for TDIU and service connection. An attorney who is accredited with the VA can both ensure that a veteran receives the highest benefit possible and that the benefit is paid retroactively as far back as possible.