News & Events

Social Security Disability Lawyer

A total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU or IU) is where the VA pays a veteran at the 100% payment rate even though their combined rating is less than 100%. VA does this when it can be shown that a veteran’s service-connected disabilities make them unable to maintain employment according to a VA individual unemployability lawyer from our friends at Gregory M. Rada, Attorney at Law.

The VA likes to pretend that a veteran must meet certain rating requirements in order to be eligible for TDIU (i.e., one disability rated at 60% or more, or multiple disabilities with a combined rating of 70% and one disability rated at 40% or more), however, that is not true.

VA regulations permit the award of TDIU even where a veteran does not meet those rating requirements via a process called “extraschedular TDIU.” Winning extraschedular TDIU is more difficult because you have to jump through a few more hoops, but these claims are very winnable because in the end, the only relevant question is whether the veteran is unable to work due to their service-connected disabilities.

For example, a case was recently won for extraschedular TDIU based on a single 10% rating for a knee condition. Yes, the veteran was only service connected for his knee and he only had a 10% rating, yet he was able to secure a TDIU because he was unable to work due to his knee condition. This case was won due to the hard working lawyers on the team that were able to bring their experience and knowledge to the table to fight for their client’s rights. Navigating the VA and all of its rules can be a daunting experience if you are trying to go it alone. It is not recommended to take this all on yourself. You worked hard serving our country, and now it is time for others to do the work for you so you can focus on getting back to your everyday life. If you are considering asking the VA for anything, contact an experienced lawyer near you for help immediately on your case. They will be able to guide you and give you sound legal advice to get you the outcome you want from the start — going it alone often means having to hire a lawyer later on, which takes longer for you to receive your benefits.

When deciding whether to grant an extraschedular TDIU, the VA will consider a number of factors, including the veteran’s education, work history, and severity of their service-connected disabilities. The VA will also consider opinions from medical professionals or any other opinions that you submit (such as a vocational expert opinion — which are very useful).

In summary, any veteran that is unable to work due to their service-connected disabilities has a chance at receiving TDIU. If the VA or someone else tells you that you are not eligible because you don’t have certain ratings, ignore them and contact a lawyer near you for help immediately.