TDIU Eligibility

TDIU Eligibility

TDIU Eligibility Based on Marginal Employment and Protected/Sheltered Work Environments


Are you concerned about your TDIU eligibility? For the most part, every VA disability claimant wants a 100% disability rating, but these ratings are hard to obtain. The claims examiner does not simply add all the claimant’s health issues together and arrive at a figure. In fact, the higher the disability rating, the more difficult it is to reach 100%.

Fortunately, if the VA denies the underlying disability claim, it may still be possible to obtain benefits, 100% disability starts at $3106.04/mo, and can be more with dependents and Special Monthly Compensation. Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability benefits (TDIU).

TDIU is a viable alternative because, as the name implies, the determination is both objective (total disability) and subjective (individual unemployability). As such, a VA benefits attorney can make a big difference in the TDIU rating and the amount of benefits your family receives.

Disability Rating and Total Disability

For starters, “total disability” does not mean 100% disabled. In fact, TDIU eligibility does not require anything close to 100%. Instead, the claimant must have:

  • One service-connected disability with a 60% disability rating, or
  • Multiple service-connected disabilities with a combined 70% total disability rating, AND at least one of those combined conditions has a 40% rating.

To best determine the disability rating, the claims examiner will probably schedule a Compensation and Pension examination (also called a C&P exam).

Many claimants are rather fatalistic about C&P exams. They believe that the doctor will assign certain disability ratings no matter what they do or do not do. Claimants can do lots of things to help or hurt their cases during C&P exams.

Do not wear your Sunday best to the exam. Dress as you normally would on any given weekday. If you come to the exam looking like a candidate for political office, the doctor may not see you as a disabled Veteran.

Especially if you are suffering from PTSD or another brain injury, it is usually good to bring someone with you. Many brain injury victims do not realize the full extent of their symptoms. The person who accompanies you should be able to fill in the blanks for the doctor.

Do not exaggerate your symptoms and do not downplay them, either. The doctor will know if you exaggerate your symptoms, and if you downplay them, you are only hurting yourself.

Sheltered Employment and Individual Unemployability

A person can have a job and still be “unemployable” for TDIU purposes. Some people can only handle part-time, low-impact work, like a Walmart greeter. If the current job and number of hours worked are not enough to earn a living wage, the claimant may be deemed unemployed and could be entitled to TDIU benefits.

More commonly, many people work in sheltered environments. Examples include a family business or a business with a Veteran owner. These types of businesses usually allow Veterans accommodations, such as:

  • Leaving work early,
  • Coming to work late,
  • Frequent days off, and
  • Lower productivity quotas.

In an unsheltered environment, these accommodations may not be available. The standard is unemployability in the private sector at large, and not at a particular location.

Reach Out to Aggressive Attorneys

Even if they are working, Veterans may still be “disabled” and “unemployable” under TDIU eligibility guidelines. 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.