Does My PTSD Qualify for TDIU?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is the result of a traumatic experience. Since Veterans are often exposed to traumatic experiences throughout their military service, many Veterans develop PTSD – especially if they were exposed to combat. However, Veterans who develop a disability or condition while in service are entitled to disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If a Veteran’s disability makes them unable to work, they can receive more Veterans who are unable to work due to their service connected disability are entitled to total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU).

Can I Get TDIU for PTSD?

Veterans who are suffering from severe PTSD do qualify for TDIU. However, a Veteran must be able to show the VA that their PTSD is preventing them from working if they want to receive TDIU. If you are unable to provide sufficient evidence to the VA that proves your PTSD does not allow you to work, your claim will likely be denied.

What is TDIU?

Total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is a way for Veterans to receive compensation at the 100% disability rating level even if there disabilities do not reach a 100% rating. Basically, TDIU provides full compensation for Veterans who are unable to work due to their service connected disability. For example, if a Veteran is suffering from a mental health condition that is rated at 80%, but they are unable to work due to how disabling the condition is, the Veteran may qualify for TDIU. This means the Veterans would receive disability payments as if they were rated at 100%.

TDIU Eligibility for Veterans with PTSD

A Veteran’s ability to continue working while suffering from PTSD is dependent upon the severity, frequency and duration of the symptoms experienced. To qualify for TDIU (total disability based on individual unemployability) on a schedular basis, Veterans must show:

  1. They have a rating of at least 60% for an individual condition, or a rating of 70% when their PTSD rating is combined with other conditions and at least one of those conditions is rated 40 percent or more; and
  2. Their PTSD or combined service-connected conditions prevent them from being able to maintain substantially gainful employment.

Several Veterans have been granted TDIU with a PTSD rating at 50 percent because they are service-connected for other conditions and their combined rating is 70 percent or higher. The benefit of having your TDIU based on one condition is that it puts you in a position for special monthly compensation (additional benefits) if you have other disabilities rated at 60 percent or more.

PTSD and Employment

If an unemployed Veteran has an individual PTSD rating of 70%, it would be worthwhile for him or her to file for TDIU. A 70% rating indicates symptoms such as:

  1. Difficulty adapting to stressful circumstances;
  2. Impaired impulse control (unprovoked irritability with periods of violence); and
  3. Near continuous panic or depression affecting the ability to function independently, effectively and appropriately.

When symptoms such as these are sufficiently severe, a Veteran may not be able to work as a result. One indication to determine whether PTSD is severe enough to qualify for TDIU is if a Veteran has had several jobs in a short period of time because he or she walked off the job site, was fired by an employer, or could not handle social interactions.

The most common reason Veterans suffering from PTSD cannot handle employment is because they do not feel safe outside their homes. Most jobs, especially unskilled labor positions, require workers to leave their home for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. For Veterans who feel threatened outside the comfort of their homes, a normal work schedule may be impossible to maintain. Some employers may be sympathetic to a Veteran’s situation, but others will not tolerate someone who cannot reliably show up to work every day. The bottom line is: if your service-connected PTSD is preventing you from working, you are entitled to TDIU.

If you applied for disability benefits for TDIU based on PTSD and were denied, let the Veterans at Berry Law help you appeal the decision and get you all the disability compensation you deserve.

Veterans Serving Veterans

If you suffer from PTSD and have difficulty keeping a job, you may qualify for TDIU. If the VA did not recognize the severity of your symptoms when you initially filed for benefits, Berry Law may be able to help. Our team of Veteran attorneys fight for Veterans who don’t receive the benefits they need and deserve.

Berry Law was founded by John Stevens Berry Sr., a three-tour Vietnam veteran who, upon his return to the United States, focused on helping soldiers coming home from war. Today, many of our attorneys and staff are Veterans themselves, and we’ve even been recognized by the Department of Labor for our efforts to hire, train, and retain Veteran employees. Let our team of Veterans fight for you.

If you believe your PTSD qualifies you for TDIU, contact us today. Your case evaluation is free.