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There are three ways to apply for VA unemployability, also known as Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability or TDIU:

  • You can use the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website’s eBenefits portal.
  • You can do it in person at your local VA office. The benefit here is that a field representative from the VA will walk you through the process. For help locating the nearest office, use the location directory on the VA website.
  • You can apply with the help of a legal representative or accredited VA claims agent.

You will need to fill out VA Form 21-8940: Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability.
The form asks for information, such as:

  • The nature of your service-connected medical condition that prevents you from maintaining substantially gainful employment;
  • Whether you have been hospitalized or under a doctor’s care during the past 12 months;
  • The date you became too disabled to work;
  • Your employment history for the last five years you worked (It is important to note that the VA requests information on the last five years you worked, notfor the previous five years. If you have not worked since 2010, you must give information about your employment from 2005 to 2010);
  • All education and work-related training you received before and after becoming too disabled to work.

It is vital to make sure you have all the documentation you need for a successful claim.
If you have already applied for VA unemployability but received a denial from the VA, our team can help you appeal the VA’s denial.

What Can I Expect from the Application Process?

The first step of the process involves gathering evidence and putting together an application that proves you qualify for TDIU. This evidence includes:

  • Proof that you have a service-connected medical condition. You can use your military service records, medical records, physician’s statements, and other evidence to draw a causal link between a specific event in your military service and your current, diagnosed medical condition.
  • Evidence that your service-connected medical condition causes physical or mental limitations that are significant enough to make it impossible for you to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment. Again, you can prove this using your medical records, diagnoses, lab test results, as well as statements and observations from your co-workers and managers.
  • Proof of a VA disability rating of 60 percent or higher if you are applying for TDIU with a single service-connected medical condition, or a combined VA disability rating of 70 percent or higher — with one condition receiving a rating of 40 percent or higher on its own — if you are applying for TDIU with multiple service-connected conditions.

After applying, you might have to wait several months to hear back from the VA, but once you receive a grant, you will be eligible for retroactive benefits that cover the period from when you submitted your application to when you received a grant for benefits.

The more thorough and organized your application, the less likely you will experience a holdup in the review process. The team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD understands how the VA operates, and we have the resources necessary to put together a compelling application on your behalf.

Ready to Apply for TDIU? The Legal Team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Is Here to Help.

The team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD has a long, successfully history of winning benefits for disabled veterans. Let us put that experience to work for you. The consultation is free, so call our office today at 800-544-9144.


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  • 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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