Unemployability: What If I Just Can't Work?

In our last post, we discussed what the requirements were for what’s called a “schedular” Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) or Individual Unemployability (IU) rating. Generally speaking, you need at least one service-connected disability rated at 60 percent or higher, or at least one service-connected disability rated at 40 percent with a combined total of 70 percent. Maybe you can’t work today, but you still don’t meet the TDIU requirements. Or maybe you’ve tried and failed to get IU in the past?

First, if you can’t work, applying for Social Security Disability is a good idea if you haven’t done so already. SSD is based on all of your disabilities, not just your service-connected disabilities, so if you have additional disabilities, they will consider all of them. If you are able to get SSD, the VA is required to request those records, and they can bolster your claim.

You can also request “extra-schedular” consideration. Basically, you are asking the VA to look at you as an individual and make a determination that you are unable to work even though you don’t meet the requirements for TDIU.  In order to be successful for an extra-schedular award of TDIU, you’ll need evidence that you can’t work. Some evidence that can be helpful:

  • A letter from a previous employer, particularly if you were let go from your last job because of your disabilities.
  • A statement in support from family members or friends who see your everyday struggles.
  • A letter from your doctor(s) discussing the limitations that your disability or disabilities place on you.

If you need help gathering evidence for your TDIU claim, or need help appealing the VA in your claim, please contact the Berry Law Firm today at (888) 883-2483 for a free consultation.