Can I Work and Get TDIU?

Posted on December 1, 2019 by Ken LaVan

Can I Work and Get TDIU? Many veterans are unable to support themselves because of service-connected disabilities.  Congress decided to take care of these veterans with a special benefit called TDIU.  Also known as Unemployability, TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.  Under 2019 rates, VA will pay TDIU recipients a minimum of $3,057.13 per month tax free.  The whole point of TDIU is to compensate veterans who cannot maintain a full-time job due to service-connected disabilities.  In most cases, VA will only award TDIU if the service-connected disabilities combine to at least 70%.

TDIU v Unemployed

The terms “Unemployability” and “Unemployed” look and sound alike, many veterans assume that cannot work to get TDIU.  This is a common misconception.

Amount You Can Earn

VA will grant TDIU to a veteran that works if the employment is considered “marginal.”  38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a).  VA considers employment “marginal” if the veteran earns LESS than the federal poverty threshold for one person (in 2018, $12,784 per the U.S. Census Bureau).

Example: Difficult TDIU Work Case

Take the example of a veteran with a 70% rating for PTSD who works as a Financial Advisor.  With the help of his doctors, he is able to manage his PTSD symptoms while earning over $100,000 a year.  Because he earns above the poverty threshold despite his PTSD, he is not a good candidate for TDIU.

Example: Good TDIU Work Case

Let’s say the same veteran loses his job because his PTSD symptoms get much, much worse.  His doctors then explain that his PTSD will make it hard to keep any full-time job.  To make ends meet, he finds part-time work as an Uber driver.  After a year with Uber, he only earns about $10,000.  This is a classic case of marginal employment.  On that basis, VA would likely grant TDIU.

Are you entitled to work and get TDIU based on marginal employment?  Call the experts at Disability Help Group to find out. Or, click here to request a free evaluation.

If you would like to read more about the regulation on TDIU, click on this link, 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a).

Call for a Free Consultation

When VA awards a Permanent and Total disability rating, your rating is protected for the rest of your life. Are you eligible for Permanent & Total disability? Call 800-800-3332 or click here.