Just as there are a number of different ways that a Veteran can get to a 100% rating, there are also a number of different variations of receiving compensation at the 100% level, all with different restrictions and benefits. Veterans may have noticed that the VA uses terms such as IU, TDIU, 100% schedular, and 100% P&T. At Berry Law, we hear from veterans all the time who wonder what they mean and how they’re different from each other. While they all refer to a manner in which the Veteran is receiving compensation at the 100% level, they are not all interchangeable.
The closest any of them come to actually be interchangeable is TDIU and IU. IU stands for Individual Unemployability, while TDIU stands for Totally Disabled based on Individual Unemployability. Effectively, these are the same thing and the requirements for both are identical. In order to qualify for TDIU, an honorably discharged Veteran must show that they are unemployable due to their service-connected disabilities.
The VA defines “unemployable” as not being capable of obtaining and securing substantially gainful employment, which is employment that compensates you above the poverty level. As such, the first requirement for TDIU is to be unemployable.
In order to receive TDIU, a Veteran must file a claim for it on VA Form 21-8940, which is a Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. They will then also have to submit a VA Form 21-4192, which is a Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefits. Once these have been submitted to the VA, a decision will be issued either granting or denying the claim for TDIU.
Once the claim of TDIU is granted, many Veterans then wonder whether it’s permanent. While TDIU can be permanent, that isn’t necessarily so. If a Veteran receives TDIU, the VA may determine that their condition has improved sufficiently enough for them to sustain gainful employment. So if a Veteran receives TDIU and then becomes employed, or the VA determines that they could become employed, the TDIU benefits could be terminated. However, a Veteran may find that their TDIU is permanent if they are 70 years or older or have been receiving TDIU consecutively for 20 years.
How does TDIU compare to being rated at 100% schedular? The main difference between the two is that with TDIU, a Veteran has been deemed unemployable even though their service-connected disabilities do not add up to 100% overall. Being rated at 100% overall, however, does not necessarily restrict a Veteran from obtaining and securing substantially gainful employment. So, if a Veteran is rated at 100% overall and still wishes to be employed, they are free to do so. Similarly to TDIU, if a Veteran is rated 100% schedular, they could still see their rating changed by the VA. If it was determined that the Veteran’s condition had improved, the VA could reduce their 100% schedular rating.
That is unless they receive 100% P&T which stands for 100% disabled, permanent and total.
For a Veteran to receive 100% VA P&T, the VA must determine that there is a reasonable certainty that the Veteran’s disabilities will continue for the rest of their life. A Veteran may receive a rating on an individual claim that is permanent but keeps them from reaching 100% overall. However, once a Veteran is rated at 100% overall and their disabilities are determined to be permanent, they are 100% VA P&T.
If a Veteran receives 100% VA P&T, that also entitles them to additional benefits that would not be available to them otherwise.
For starters, the VA can never reduce their rating and the Veteran need not worry about their rating being reduced.
The Veteran may also be entitled to numerous other benefits depending on their circumstances.
If you’re a Veteran suffering from a service-connected disability and you need assistance appealing your claim to get all the disability benefits you deserve, Berry Law can help. We’ve helped thousands of Veterans successfully appeal unfavorable VA decisions. Don’t go to battle alone. Call Berry Law’s team of Veterans. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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