Can I Apply for TDIU and Use the G.I. Bill?
You can Apply for TDIU and Use the G.I. Bill. But this combination often affects the “disability” component of a Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability claim. The D-word has more than medical implications. It also has vocational, age-related, and most importantly for purposes of this blog, educational aspects. Generally, well-educated people are more employable than poorly-educated people. Therefore, Veterans who take advantage of educational G.I. Bill benefits are less likely to be disabled.
That being said, a college degree does not necessarily lead to substantial gainful employment. The recent college graduate unemployment rate recently hit a 30-year high. Nontraditional students, like G.I. Bill Veterans, have an even harder time finding postgraduate employment.
This possible outcome should not deter Veterans from taking advantage of all available benefits. Education improves lives in noneconomic as well as economic ways. As outlined below, TDIU gives partially-disabled Veterans access to full disability benefits.
A VA disability attorney greatly helps both these processes. An attorney can give Veterans sound advice about the confusing benefits programs. Additionally, a lawyer fights for the disability benefits that Veterans deserve.
The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
September 11 changed our lives in many ways, and it also changed the vaunted G.I. Bill. Anyone who served at least 90 days after 9/11/2001 is eligible for benefits. The old honorable discharge requirement is gone. Additionally, the National Guard service usually counts as active duty service. Special rules apply to disabled post-9/11 Veterans and children of servicemembers who were killed in the line of duty.
These benefits include tuition reimbursement, a variable monthly housing allowance, and a $1,000 annual book and supplies stipend. The amount also depends on the Veteran’s service record, as follows:
- 100% for three years of service,
- 80% for two years,
- 60% for one year, and
- 40% for 90 days.
The educational benefits apply at almost any degree or certificate program. Additional financial assistance is available for professional degree tutoring and certification testing, including the pre-college SAT.
Total Disability Due to Individual Unemployability
As mentioned, “disability” has multiple dimensions. So, TDIU claims are multidimensional as well. Specifically, these claims have two components.
First, there is a physical component. Eligible Veterans must have a physical or emotional disability rating of:
- 60% for a single disability, or
- 70% for a combination of conditions (at least one disability must have a 40% rating).
If your initial disability rankings were below these levels, there are some ways to change that. For example, an independent medical examiner often assesses limitations differently than a C&P (Compensation & Pension) VA doctor.
Second, there is a vocational component. TDIU is available if the Veteran cannot find and hold substantial, gainful employment in an unsheltered environment. Substantial, gainful employment is a job that pays above the poverty line for that family’s size. Where a sheltered work environment would provide the Veteran with extensive flexibility to accommodate the Veteran’s disability, an unsheltered work environment is more like that of a typical workplace in which flexibility is much more limited. Better education increases employment prospects in this area.
In addition to about $3,000 a month in cash, TDIU benefits usually include free medical care at any VA hospital, clinic, or other medical facilities.
Count on Thorough Attorneys
Many Veterans are eligible for both TDIU benefits and G.I. Bill benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to represent Veterans nationwide.
This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Therefore, it does not create an attorney-client relationship.