Can I get TDIU for PTSD? Yes. TDIU is a special benefit for veterans who cannot support themselves due to service-connected disabilities. It pays the same as a 100% rated disability. For TDIU to apply, your PTSD must first be service-connected. This may seem simple, but several veterans have PTSD because of a traumatic event that happened years after military service. Second, you cannot earn a living because of PTSD.
TDIU for PTSD Requirements
In order to be granted TDIU for PTSD is does not mean the veteran has to be unemployed. VA will grant TDIU to an employed veteran if the employment is considered marginal. VA deems employment marginal if the veteran earns LESS than the federal poverty threshold for one person (in 2018, $12,784.00 per the U.S. Census Bureau).
The veteran must meet the percentage requirements. If the veteran has only one service-connected disability, it must be rated 60% or higher. The Schedule of Ratings for PTSD permits only the following ratings: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100%.
Services Connected Disabilities
If the veteran is only service-connected for PTSD, it must be rated no lower than 70% to get TDIU. However, if the veteran has more than one service-connected disability, then at least one must be rated 40% or higher. Also, there must be “sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating” to 70% or higher.
Disability Help Group Case Studies
Case Study 1: TDIU for PTSD
A 60 year-old veteran was diagnosed with PTSD secondary to his service-connected hypertension. VA previously awarded 10% for his hypertension. In March 2018, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied his PTSD claim. After a successful appeal, DHG secured a remand for a new VA medical examination. In November 2019, VA granted service connection for PTSD at 70% effective September 2009. Because the evidence showed that his PTSD prevented him from working, VA also granted entitlement to TDIU. He received a lump sum of $340,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $133.57 to $3,057.13.
Case Study 2: TDIU for PTSD
A 65 year-old veteran asked VA for a higher rating for his PTSD. At the time, he was service-connected for tension headaches at 50% and PTSD at 50%. His combined rating was 80% and he had not worked since 2012. After a successful appeal, VA granted TDIU back to 2012. As a result, he received a lump sum of $121,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $1,556.13 to $3,057.13.
Case Study 3: TDIU for PTSD
A 65 year-old veteran had a 50% rating for anxiety with PTSD and a 10% rating for a lumbar spine condition. Shortly after he hired Disability Help Group, it was clear that VA should have granted at least a 70% rating for anxiety with PTSD. After a successful appeal, VA granted a 70% rating for PTSD and then granted TDIU. He received a lump sum of $109,000.00, and his monthly payment changed from $1,062.27 to $3,057.13.
While most of this article refers to PTSD, it also applies to other mental disorders. For example, many of our clients have won TDIU based on their service-connected schizophrenia.
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Total Disability (TDIU) for PTSD
- Cornell University: Schedule of Ratings for Mental Diseases
- Department of Veterans Affairs: Schedule for Ratings
- Government Info: Total Disability Rating