TDIU Benefits Plus Odd Jobs Incomes
Can a veteran be disqualified for collecting TDIU Benefits plus odd jobs incomes? Many disabled Veterans do whatever they can to make ends meet. Often, their physical or mental disabilities prevent them from working a traditional 9-to-5 job. They may not even be able to work a steady part-time job, like school bus driver or nighttime janitor.
Therefore, many Veterans in these situations turn to odd jobs. Most dictionaries define odd jobs as isolated or casual jobs which generally involve domestic activities or manual labor. In most cases, that is the legal definition, as well.
The Veterans Administration does not define odd jobs, but it does define substantial employment. This phrase means steady work that pays above the poverty line. Odd jobs clearly do not fall into this category. Since only substantial employment defeats a TDIU claim, odd jobs should not affect your benefits application.
TDIU and Odd Jobs
Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability is basically a back door to full VA financial benefits. Disabled Veterans are eligible for consideration if:
- 60% Disability: Veterans must have at least a 60% disability rating. That disability could be physical, mental, emotional, or anything else. Furthermore, the VA cannot use age or any non-service criteria to assess a service-related disability; OR
- 70-40 Rule: Veterans with multiple conditions that add up to a 70% disability may also qualify for IU benefits. However, at least one of the disabilities must have at least a 40% impairment rating.
In some cases, even Veterans who do not meet either standard may still qualify for benefits. 38 CFR § 4.16 states that “all Veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled.” Veterans who do not meet the numerical cutoffs must prove that their case is unique. More on proving a claim below.
Any employment which does not pay above the poverty line is considered non-substantial employment. These jobs do not affect TDIU claims. This category includes odd jobs, such as:
- Grocery shopping for someone else,
- Light yard work (mowing and edging),
- Swimming pool cleaning,
- Light indoor or outdoor painting,
- Drive children to and from school, to and from practice, etc.,
- Editing high school or college papers,
- Domestic cooking/cleaning, and
- Assemble furniture or children’s play equipment.
Note that not all these jobs are completely unskilled. Not everyone can take a pile of random parts and make a bed. Furthermore, editing term papers require some grammar or computer skills. Nevertheless, anything remotely like something on this list is an odd job.
Meeting the minimum qualifications may not be enough. Veterans must still convince the claims examiner that they are entitled to benefits.
Many times, medical evidence alone is not enough. That is because “disability” is not just a medical term. This word also has legal and economic implications. Therefore, many VA disability attorneys partner with vocational experts. These professionals testify about the effect the Veteran’s disability has in real-world employment situations.
TDIU benefits for a 100% disability start at $3106.04/mo and can be more with dependents and Special Monthly Compensation, as well as free VA medical care. In many cases, the monetary benefits are retroactive to the date of application.
Connect with Dedicated Lawyers
Disabled Veterans who work odd jobs may still be entitled to substantial 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.