Individual Unemployability Definition
Total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is a disability benefit that allows for veterans to be compensated at VA’s 100 percent disability rate, even if their combined schedular rating does not equal 100 percent. TDIU is awarded in circumstances in which veterans are unable to secure or follow substantially gainful employment due to their service-connected disabilities. TDIU can provide a substantial financial benefit for those whose schedular ratings do not combine to 100 percent.
VA outlines TDIU regulations under 38 CFR § 4.16, which encompasses subsections (a) and (b). Each subsection describes a way by which veterans may meet the requirements for TDIU. In order to qualify for TDIU under 38 CFR § 4.16(a), a veteran must have:
- One disability rated at 60 percent or more; or
- Two or more disabilities, one of which is rated at least 40 percent disabling, with a combined disability rating of at least 70 percent
Those who do not meet the schedular requirements under 38 CFR § 4.16(a) may still be considered for TDIU under 4.16(b). Under this subsection, VA must refer your entitlement to TDIU to the Director of Compensation Service for extraschedular consideration. This evaluation process is different than that of § 4.16(a), under which an adjudicator, regional office, or the Board can grant entitlement to TDIU.
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