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(IU/TDIU) with Marginal Employment

Individual Unemployability (IU/TDIU) with Marginal Employment

Can You Qualify for Individual Unemployability (IU/TDIU) with Marginal Employment? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of all Veterans have a recognized disability. Many of these cases are partial disability matters.  As such, many Veterans believe they are only entitled to partial benefits. With regards to scheduled benefits, that is normally true, but there is an unscheduled option.

In many cases, Total Disability Due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU) may be an option. Full benefits are available even if the Veteran does not have a complete disability. The condition could be physical, like an injured back, emotional, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or a combination of two or more conditions. Moreover, as outlined below, even if the Veteran is working, TDIU may be an option.

Benefits, on top of a cash allotment, which starts for a 100% disability at $3106.04/mo and can be more with dependents and Special Monthly Compensation, often include free medical care at a VA facility.

Non Substantial Employment

Many disabled Veterans are able to work, but their wages are below the poverty line. This level varies, but it is generally around $1,000 per month.

Many disabled workers have jobs that typically pay well above this threshold, but their physical or emotional condition limits their work hours. Perhaps PTSD flashbacks or nightmares interfere with sleep and rest, so they have a hard time getting moving in the morning. Their physical disability might require a longer lunch break, so they can rest or move around more.

Other disabled workers must deal with wage limitations. Instead of substantial work is intellectually and/or physically stimulating, they must work at a job like a Walmart greeter. Jobs like these are important and good to have, but they are not designed to be economically self-supporting.

Sheltered Employment

A disabled Veteran may be employed, but still be “unemployable” for TDIU purposes. That is also true if the Veteran works in a sheltered environment.

A family business is the most common form of sheltered employment. Some disabled Veterans have good days and bad days. On bad days, they must come to work late or leave early. Other disabled Veterans must miss work for doctors’ appointments, physical therapy sessions, or other similar activities.

Many times, if the business-owner is a family member or close friend, the business will bend attendance and other rules to ensure continued employment.

Other Veterans have sympathetic managers. Their bosses sometimes look the other way if their ten minute break stretches to 15 minutes. Or, some employers may be forgiving when the Veteran has to leave early due to medical appointments. 

If the Veteran worked in any other environment, bosses and managers would probably not be so accommodating. The same thing is arguably true if the Veteran has an unusually large number of accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Establishing the Marginal Employment Exception

Although the law is relatively clear on this point, many claims examiners still believe that “unemployed” and “unemployable” are synonymous. Therefore, if the Veteran is working, they routinely incorrectly deny TDIU benefits, at least in part.

To prove a Section 4.16 marginal employment claim, VA disability attorneys often use vocational experts. These professionals testify about the job market and the applicable professional standards. Based on their testimony or report, it is much easier to cast a part-time, low-paying, or sheltered job as marginal employment.

Contact Aggressive Lawyers

Many disabled Veterans are only capable of marginal employment, and this status does not derail their TDIU claims. 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. It does not create an attorney-client relationship

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