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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awards a Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU), to veterans who are unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected conditions.  TDIU is equivalent to the 100-percent schedular disability rating in terms of monthly compensation. There are several different ways to apply for TDIU.

Below, we discuss these various ways, and specify the documentation needed to apply.

Different Ways to Apply for TDIU

Veterans can apply for TDIU in any of the following ways:

  • Online;
  • Via fax or mail; or
  • In person at your local VA office; or
  • with help from an accredited representative.

Before applying, you may want to discuss your case with your VA disability attorney.  As a client of CCK, our veterans law team will work with you to thoroughly develop your claim.

Applying Online

You can apply online using VA’s eBenefits portal. In order to do so, you must create an eBenefits account. This process is straightforward, requiring only your basic information and a valid email address.

To apply for TDIU, you must complete VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application Based on Unemployability.

The form requires you to provide the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number;
  • Your VA file number;
  • Your employment history going back five years from your last date of employment (e.g., if your last date of employment was January 1, 2013, your employment history must go back five years before that);
  • Your education, training, certifications, and job skills obtained before you became disabled;
  • Any training you received after you became disabled;
  • Your date of disability;
  • Any treatment you have received;
  • Any hospitalizations during the previous 12 months;
  • How your disability prevents you from securing and maintaining substantially gainful employment.

Via Phone or Mail

If you choose to apply via fax or mail, you can print out the VA Form 21-8940, fill it out, and send it off along with the supporting documentation outlined above. Please find VA’s contact information below.

Phone Mail
Toll Free: 844-531-7818
Local: 248-524-4260
Department of Veterans Affairs
Evidence Intake Center
PO Box 4444
Janesville, WI 53547-4444

Applying in Person with Help from a VA Representative

If you would rather to apply in person, you can do so at your local VA office. Find your regional benefits office here. When you apply at a VA office, a field representative will be available to help you with your claim and walk you through the process.

While the VA does allow walk-in appointments for assistance with your VA claims,  it is still a good idea to schedule an appointment or confirm they have availability.

Regardless of how you decide to apply for TDIU, it might be helpful to have an experienced veterans disability lawyer assist you throughout the process.

Call 800-544-9144 to Schedule a Free Disability Case Evaluation From Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD

At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, our veterans lawyers focus on assisting veterans in pursuing the benefits to which they are entitled. For a free case evaluation with a member of our team call our office at 800-544-9144 for your free consultation.

« Return to the Veterans' Resource Center



  • It has been one of the best legal experiences that I have personally encountered. Their follow up and their follow thru has been on perfect terms. Wow, they have given me a celebrity experience! Impressive! Read More » K. Nade, October 2017
  • These people are FANTASTIC!!! I highly recommend this firm to Veterans everywhere. Honest Legal Help like this is priceless and they are extremely skilled. So Satisfied with the results...5 stars!! Read More » Anonymous, October 2017
  • I cannot begin to say how grateful I am to this Firm. From the Class A staff to the Lawyers, there are no complaints. Everyone treated me fantastic!! After 30 yrs of fighting on my own, they were able to win my case in less than 15 months. Read More » C. Marie, September 2017
  • My case was initially rejected by the VA but with the thorough review by CC&K , the VA agreed with the case that CC&K made and awarded my initial rating of 30% retroactive to 1975. Read More » Edward M., September 2017
  • We had struggled for eight plus years, with the VA, and got nowhere. Our case was sent to CC&K and in less than one year, we were they won all his back pay and 100% rating. We could not be more pleased. We highly recommend this firm for anyone struggling with the VA. Read More » Anonymous, September 2017
  • I thought I could go it alone. I filed several disability claims through the VA only to be denied over and over again. I knew I needed help. I found that help with the law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. They filed for me and won. Read More » Gene W., July 2017
  • I'm so glad we sought the help of CCK on my husband's VA claim. We had been going back and forth with the VA for 5 years on his claim without seeing any progress. Then we found CCK and the case was resolved in about a year! Read More » Sarah C., June 2017
  • I was fighting for my VA disability compensation for 10 years. I was ready to give up and then CCK took my case. I immediately felt at ease because they kept me informed every step of the way and there was so much less stress for me. Read More » Raul B., March 2017
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