Skip to main content
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144

What Should You Include in Your Claim for TDIU?


To apply for TDIU you must include the following:

  • VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability
  • Past employment information
  • Education information
  • Earnings history

The Correct Application Form

The official VA form to apply for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) is VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. When filling out this form, you must include all of the requested information along with any supporting documentation. Any inaccurate information or incomplete sections may lead the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deny or defer your TDIU claim.

Medical Evidence

Medical evidence is often helpful in supporting your claim for TDIU. Specifically, you can submit any medical evidence that demonstrates how your service-connected disabilities prevent you from securing and maintaining substantially gainful employment.

Entitlement to TDIU does not require a service-connected disability to be evaluated at the 100-percent level. Instead, there are two forms of TDIU, each with their own rating criteria. Specifically, schedular TDIU requires either one service-connected disability rated at 60-percent or higher, or if there are two or more disabilities, at least one must be rated at 40-percent, with the additional disabilities bringing the combined rating to 70-percent or higher.

Extraschedular TDIU becomes available when your ratings fall outside of the criteria specified above.

Examples of helpful medical evidence include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnoses
  • Lab reports
  • Treatment notes
  • VA examinations
  • Dates of treatment and hospitalization
  • Medical opinion or letter from your doctor

Past Employment Information

To be eligible for TDIU, you must be unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment due to your service-connected disabilities. VA Form 21-8940 requires you to list all of your employers for the last five years that you were working.

Note: the form is not asking for employment history for the last five years, rather the last five years you were actually still working.  Upon receiving this information, VA will often request the employers listed to complete VA Form 21-4192, Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefit. While VA has a duty to request this information, you may need to assist in the process by ensuring they actually receive the completed form.

Educational Information

You must also provide information about your education and any training you received both before and after you became too disabled to work.

Earnings History

When completing VA Form 21-8940, you must also fill out sections pertaining to your salary while employed. Such information is important to determine whether you made substantially gainful earnings, i.e. earned an income above the poverty threshold.

For a Free VA Disability Case Evaluation, Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD at 800-544-9144

Have questions about your VA disability claim? The veterans lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD want to help. For a free consultation with a member of our veterans law team, call our office at 800-544-9144.