Total disability individual unemployability, or TDIU, is a way for veterans to receive 100% VA disability compensation without having to achieve an actual 100% rating. TDIU is used in cases when a veteran’s condition(s) is severe enough to prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. Veterans are eligible if can prove their unemployability, and have one disability rated at 60% or higher or two or more disabilities that combine to a 70% or higher rating.
Is TDIU Permanent or Not?
One common question about TDIU: is it permanent? A 100% rating certainly sounds like a good deal, and it’s not something a veteran would want to have taken away. But the truth is, in most instances VA reserves the right to reduce a veteran’s TDIU upon review. TDIU is in many cases only meant to be a temporary reprieve for veterans before their condition(s) improves and they are able to support themselves.
It is important to note that in some instances, yes, TDIU could become permanent. If a medical evidence suggests a veteran’s condition will not improve with time, or if medical evidence collected over an elapsed period of time proves the condition has not improved, then the rating can become permanent. This isn’t an assumption we recommend veterans make about their situations, however. It always pays to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to your VA disability compensation.
What is the Process for Reducing TDIU?
TDIU does not mean a veteran cannot pursue work opportunities. But when a veteran begins to work again, they must notify VA so their claim can be reviewed later. Bear in mind that VA will not cut off TDIU benefits without first notifying you and going through a review process. VA provides 60 days’ notice of a new rating decision to provide evidence that a veteran’s condition has not improved, and may also request the veteran be re-examined to determine the current level of disability.
VA takes a number of factors into consideration, including a veteran’s type of disability, current income, duration of current employment, and the accommodations employers have made on the veteran’s behalf. Veterans are allowed to keep their TDIU for up to a year after returning to work, but if they have not returned to work in any given period of time, VA cannot simply strip away the benefit. Since VA often expects certain conditions to improve over time, veterans need to be aware that their claims will be subject to review farther down the road.
Assistance with your VA Claims and Appeals
Do you currently have a 100% TDIU rating that is at risk of being reduced or taken away? Or are you looking to get TDIU in the first place? This can be a tricky area of VA disability benefits to walk, and you would benefit from professional legal assistance to get the compensation you need to provide for yourself, especially if you are currently unemployable. If you need assistance with a claim or an appeal, or VA is about to review your rating, contact us at 844-VET-LAWS or fill out our online form.