TDIU FORM: VA Form 21-4192
Disability is always subjective. A condition that might be disabling in one context might not be disabling in another. That is the main idea of a Total Disability de to Individual Unemployability claim. VA Form 21-4192 either establishes or undermines a Veteran’s contention that they are disabled. It might come up in other disability claims as well, but outside TDIU this form is essentially housekeeping paperwork. In a TDIU claim, it matters.
A significant proportion of VA disability claims are TDIU claims. Furthermore, a number of TDIU claims are nonschedular claims (more on that below). So, even if you are not 100% disabled or do not technically meet the qualifications for TDIU benefits, a VA disability attorney might be able to secure maximum benefits for you and your family. These benefits include monthly cash and free VA medical care.
Types of TDIU Claims
Most of these claims are schedular claims since those are easier to prove. These claims involve math. The applicant must have:
- A single condition that’s at least 70% disabling, or
- A 60/40 disability (at least one condition rated at 40% disabling, and a total of at least 60%).
The complex world of VA math sometimes applies in 60/40 claims. A Veteran with a bad knee rated 20% disabling and a bad back at 50% is not 70% disabled. Instead, he is 60% disabled. Instead, his bad knee leaves him 80% healthy, and 50% of that is 40%. So he is 40% healthy and 60% disabled.
The applicant also has to be unemployable. That is where Form 21-4192 comes in, because there is a difference between unemployed and unemployable. If a Veteran is working solely because of special accommodations which are unavailable elsewhere, the Veteran could be legally unemployable. That might include working for a family business, or some other sheltered environment.
The Disability Cutoff
The disability cutoff does not apply in extra-schedular TDIU claims. Sometimes, the VA’s disability ratings do not tell the entire story. A Veteran with ferocious PTSD nightmares and no other symptoms might merit a 40% disability rating, at best. But PTSD nightmares can be so vivid that the Veteran cannot get back to sleep. In an extreme case, she might be unable to function during the day and unable to hold down a job.
Roughly the same unemployability rules apply. Veterans are only employable if they earn enough money in unsheltered environments to live above the poverty line.
Reaching Out to Former Employers
Form 21-4192 is mostly a fill-in-the-blank form. It asks for information like employment start date, salary, and employment end date.
Sections I(13) and I(14A) are the biggest exceptions. Employers have to list the accommodations the Veteran received and why the Veteran stopped working for them. Section 13 should include both formal and informal accommodations. Section 14A usually needs to be a no-fault reason, like poor attendance, as opposed to a fault reason, like breaching a confidentiality agreement.
Generally, we give employers some guidelines before they complete Form 21-4192. But we can’t coach them. Furthermore, most Claims Examiners have itchy trigger fingers. If they even suspect that the information might be tainted, they deny the Veteran’s claim.
The information the employer provides is much the same as the information the Veteran provides in Form 21-8940, the application for TDIU benefits. If the answers don’t match, most Claims Examiners will deny the claim.
Rely on Dedicated Attorneys
Some TDIU applications are data-driven and some are more subjective. For a free consultation with an experienced Veterans disability lawyer, contact the Cameron Firm, P.C. 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.