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I Don’t Meet VA’s TDIU Eligibility Requirements. Should I Give up on Qualifying for TDIU?

I Don’t Meet VA’s TDIU Eligibility Requirements. Should I Give up on Qualifying for TDIU?

Even if you do not meet VA’s TDIU rating eligibility requirements, you should not give up on qualifying for TDIU.

Depending on the circumstances, you may have another option for obtaining Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. You can still be eligible to receive TDIU if you can demonstrate that despite not meeting the schedular eligibility requirements, your service-connected condition(s) keep you from obtaining and maintaining substantially gainful employment.

How Can I Qualify for TDIU Without Meeting the Percentages?

TDIU allows veterans whose service-connected disabilities prevent them working to receive VA disability compensation at the 100 percent level, despite their combined disability rating not equaling 100 percent. To be eligible for TDIU, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You cannot keep “substantially gainful employment;” and
  • You have one service-connected disability with a rating of at least 60 percent; or
  • You have two service-connected disabilities that combine to at least 70 percent, with one of those disabilities rated at least 40 percent.

Meeting the rating criteria can be quite difficult, as VA does not simply add ratings together to determine combined ratings. Instead, you must use a mathematical formula or a complicated table to determine your combined rating (or, check out our VA disability calculator). However, it is still possible to receive TDIU benefits if you do not meet the rating criteria for TDIU by means of an extraschedular TDIU rating.

What Is Extraschedular TDIU?

VA grants extraschedular TDIU in situations where your service-connected disability(s) affect your ability to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment, but do not meet the rating criteria.

How to Obtain Extraschedular TDIU

You must prove that even though your service-connected condition does not meet the required criteria for TDIU, it limits you on a functional basis such that you cannot work.

How to WIN Your VA Unemployability Claim

Is the Rating the Same for Both Schedular TDIU and Extraschedular TDIU?

Yes. You will receive compensation at the 100-percent disability rating level regardless of whether you are granted TDIU on a schedular or extraschedular basis. As of December 2023, a 100 percent rating compensates $3,737.85 per month. You can also recover more compensation per month if you have dependents. For example:

  • A veteran with a spouse and a 100 percent rating can receive $3,517.84
  • A veteran with a spouse, one child, and 100 percent rating: $3,653.89

Is an Extraschedular TDIU Rating Permanent?

Just like with schedular TDIU, extraschedular TDIU may be permanent in some cases. VA may grant TDIU on a permanent basis if the veteran’s service-connected condition(s) that render them unable to work are permanent in nature.  If you are unsure whether your TDIU is permanent, ask your legal representative.

Can VA Terminate My Extraschedular TDIU Benefits?

VA can terminate your benefits if your condition improves such that you are able to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment. However, VA cannot take away your TDIU benefits unless you have been able to remain gainfully employed for one consecutive year.

Call the Legal Team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD for a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation Today

At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, our veterans lawyers want to help you win the VA disability benefits you deserve. Call our office for a free consultation with one of our team members: 800-544-9144.