Matt Hill: Hi, thank you for joining us on our VA Hill and Ponton video blog. This is Carol Ponton and I’m Matthew Hill. Today we want to talk to about a question we recently received about whether a veteran has to stop working once they receive their disability benefits. This question was about a veteran who was a 100%.
There are 2 ways to get a 100%. There’s when one disability or all your disabilities combine to a 100% on their rating schedule, or if you are in receipt of what’s called total disability due to individual unemployability. Which essentially individual unemployability, or IU is what it’s typically know as, but that’s essentially where your service connected disability doesn’t combine or add up to a 100% but it keeps you from working. You get paid the same rate at a 100%.
Carol Ponton: Right. The only things is you can’t work.
Matt Hill: Well, yeah. That goes back to the question, can I work if I get a 100%? There’s 2 parts to that. With a 100% you don’t have to worry about that at all.
Carol Ponton: Schedular 100%.
Matt Hill: Schedular 100% you’re fine you can work, if you work. With the unemployability it’s not that straight forward. You actually can work and earn under, if you earn up to or under the poverty threshold which I think is $11,000 or $12,000 or so. Then that’s considered to not be full employment and you can still receive the total disability due to individual unemployability.
I would say that if you do that there’s a potential though that the VA’s going to review you to see if you are better. As the law is written you can work.
Carol Ponton: Right, that’s how it’s written, but that is scary with the VA. Ever year if you have a schedular 100% the VA doesn’t bother and you’re permanent until they don’t bother with you again. If you have a 100% due to unemployability every year they will send you a form and say, “Have you worked in the last year?” If you don’t send that form in they will cut you off. If you send the form in and show earnings depending on the earnings then they cut you off.
Matt Hill: Right. Well regardless if you had earnings or not it’s imperative to send in that form. We’ve had several veterans who just had their benefits cut off and they didn’t understand why, and they hadn’t submitted that form. That needs to go in.
Carol Ponton: They were confused, they thought well I’m permanent and total. I’ve been found a 100% why should I have to send that in. Because that’s the 100% under unemployability is based on not working. That’s the only thing you have to do is once a year prove that you’re not working by submitting the form.
Matt Hill: Of course, I mean if you did work you do show that. That’s the main difference between a 100% on the schedule and then unemployability. Otherwise you’re paid the same. All the other … If you’re permanent and total for each you get all the same benefits. The work issue you need to be aware of.
Carol Ponton: Right.
Matt Hill: Thanks for joining us today.