TDIU And Vocational Rehab Benefits
Are you considering applying for TDIU And Vocational Rehab Benefits (VR&E)? Veterans can certainly ask for Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU) and Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) benefits.
But (and you probably knew a “but” was coming) these programs address two different needs. As the name implies, TDIU benefits compensate individuals who cannot work gainfully because of a service-related physical or mental disability or disabilities. VR&E benefits compensate individuals who need additional help getting ready to work. So, a VR&E finding of employability could adversely affect a TDIU application.
Additionally, the types of benefits are different as well. TDIU is mostly a financial benefits program. VR&E, on the other hand, offers mostly non-financial work readiness benefits. So, Veterans should ask themselves whether they really want to work again. That is an honest question which merits an honest answer.
One application for one VA benefits program is complex enough. Multiple applications for multiple programs is an even more complex task. So, before you click the “apply” link, always meet with a VA disability attorney to make sure the application is in your best interests.
As mentioned, Vocational Rehab benefits help disabled Veterans reenter the workforce. Sometimes, especially if the disability is severe, this reentry requires learning a new skill. So, VR&E benefits include:
- Professional employment readiness and capability evaluation,
- Vocational counseling,
- Rehabilitation roadmap,
- Employment search services (including special incentives to employers who hire VR&E recipients),
- On-the-job training,
- Independent living services, and
- Tuition or training reimbursement.
Medically, discharged Veterans are eligible for these benefits if they have at least a 10% service-related disability. VR&E eligibility, which includes applying for and receiving these benefits, expires twelve years after separation from the military or 12 years after the first qualifying disability determination.
Related benefits and programs are available as well, for both Veterans who are otherwise ineligible for VR&E and all family members of disabled Veterans.
Generally, the VA disability ratings primarily consider the Veteran’s medical abilities. These ratings do not take into account market and employment factors. TDIU addresses these deficiencies.
Nevertheless, there are some medical qualifications. As an initial matter, the Veteran must generally have one of the following:
- 60% single condition service-related disability, or
- A combination of service-related disabilities that add up to 70%, if one condition has at least a 40% rating.
Non-Schedular TDIU might be available for those who are unemployable yet do not meet either rating threshold.
Let’s look at the unemployable requirement a bit closer. Technically, the Veteran must be unable to retain substantial, gainful employment in an unsheltered environment. Substantial, gainful employment usually means a job that pays enough to keep the Veteran and any dependents above the poverty line. Examples of sheltered environments include Veteran-owned and family businesses. These managers often look the other way if the disabled Veteran does things like come in late or leave early. Unsheltered employers usually do not tolerate such things.
Count on Dedicated Attorneys
It is technically possible, though not always advisable, to apply for TDIU and VR&E 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. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.