In general, neither the 100-percent schedular rating nor TDIU is better than the other, as they both provide VA disability compensation at the 100-percent rating level. However, depending on your circumstances, one of these options might be more beneficial to pursue.
What Are the Differences Between TDIU and 100-Percent Schedular Disability?
TDIU and 100-percent schedular VA disability differ in two main areas:
- The qualifying criteria
- The work restrictions
They do not have different benefit amounts, as both provide the same monthly compensation.
A total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU) does not rely solely on the rating criteria of a specific condition to grant benefits, but rather depends on your ability to work. While there are specific requirements regarding your disability ratings, TDIU allows you to receive compensation at the 100-percent level, even if your service-connected conditions do not meet the 100-percent rating criteria. However, with the 100-perent disability rating, you do not have the same restrictions on work activity that you do with TDIU. As such, if you meet the 100-percent rating for your service-connected disability, and you are still able to work, then you may do so.
100-Percent Schedular Disability Qualifying Criteria
The eligibility requirements to qualify for the 100-percent schedular disability rating are rather straightforward:
- You must have a service-connected disability; and
- VA must rate it at the 100-percent level as outlined by the criteria for that condition.
TDIU Qualifying Criteria
To qualify for TDIU, you must prove you are unemployable. By VA’s definition, unemployable means you are not capable of obtaining and maintaining substantially gainful employment as a result of your service-connected condition(s).
TDIU can be awarded on either a schedular or an extraschedular basis. TDIU on a schedular basis requires the following:
- A single service-connected condition with a rating of at least 60-percent; or
- At least two service-connected conditions with a combined rating of at least 70-percent, and with at least one of the conditions rated 40-percent disabling or higher.
Extraschedular TDIU is available if you do not meet the rating requirements outlined above, but you are still unable to secure and maintain substantially gainful employment due to your service-connected conditions.
TDIU Work Restrictions
TDIU criteria requires that you are unable to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of your service-connected conditions. Here, substantially gainful employment is typically that which does not yield an annual income that exceeds the national poverty threshold. Therefore, TDIU does not preclude employment entirely. If you are only able to work on a limited basis, and your earnings fall below the poverty threshold, VA will not consider this substantially gainful employment. As such, you are still eligible for TDIU.
Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today for a Free VA Disability Claim Evaluation
The Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD veterans law team helps Veterans fight for the VA disability benefits to which they are entitled. We offer a free case evaluation to determine how we might be able to help you. Call our office today at 800-544-9144.
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