What is TDIU (Individual Unemployability)?
The goal for many disabled veterans is to get to a 100 percent disability rating, but this is not always possible through the va disability rating schedule due to an individual’s particular conditions. But, there is another way to be awarded a 100 percent rating: total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU). A total disability rating may be assigned if a person who fails to meet the schedular rating is, nevertheless, unable to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment. TDIU is not a separate claim for disability benefits, but is instead part of the rating process. In this blog we will discuss TDIU Back Pay, effective date, and more.
TDIU Back Pay Issues
There are multiple posts on this blog about how to prove eligibility for TDIU, including combined rating and unemployability requirements. But one of the most complicated issues relating to TDIU comes after it is awarded. Because a TDIU claim is not a separate claim, but part of the rating process, it can be difficult to figure out when the award of TDIU should begin, and this is often something that the VA gets wrong with granting this disability compensation and back pay. In simplest terms, to determine the effective date for TDIU you must first figure out the date on which the VA first received evidence from some source which indicates that the veteran was unemployable. This could be a letter from a doctor or a notation in medical records which states that the veteran is unable to work due to his or her disabling service-connected condition. Second, you must determine the status of the veteran’s disabilities at the time the Department of Veterans Affairs received this evidence.
How to find out the status of your veterans disability claim and effective date
There are three main ways to answer the second question. The first possibility is that the VA first received evidence of the veteran’s unemployability when he or she filed a veterans claim for service connection or when the VA was considering whether to grant service connection for VA benefits. If the VA eventually grants service connection for the veteran’s disability and awards TDIU, then the entitlement of benefits and the effective date for the TDIU would be the date the VA received the claim for service connection or the date the veteran first became unemployable due to his or her service-connected disabilities, whichever is later.
If the VA first received evidence of the veteran’s unemployability after the VA granted service connection, but before the VA made a final decision on the rating for the disability, the effective date for an award of TDIU benefits would be the date the VA received the claim for service connection or the date the veteran first became unemployable due to his or her service-connected disabilities, whichever is later.
And finally, if the VA first received evidence of the veteran’s unemployability when he or she filed a claim for an increased disability rating or while a claim for an increased disability rating is pending, the effective date for an award of TDIU would be the date the VA received the claim for an increased rating or the date the veteran first became unemployable due to his or her service-connected disability ratings, whichever is later.
As you can see, this can be a tricky determination to make when it comes to veterans benefits, so it is always important to analyze the effective date set by the VA on your rating decision to see whether they got it right and you are getting the right retro pay.
We Can Help with TDIU Back Pay and TDIU Claims
If your VA claim was originally denied, you may be able to appeal the rating and receive VA disability compensation. The VA Disability lawyers at Hill & Ponton are available to help. You can call our law firm at 1-888-373-9436 to discuss your VA disability claim. You can also click the red button in the corner for a free consultation.