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Individual Unemployability

Veterans often become frustrated when they can’t work, believe the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should rate their claim at 100 percent, but the veteran doesn’t get a 100 percent rating.

In situations like that, it is possible for the veteran to be paid by VA at the 100 percent rate, even though the veteran doesn’t have a 100 percent rating.  This important VA benefit is called Individual Unemployability (IU) or Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

 

Don’t Let the Name Confuse You

In short, VA grants the IU benefit to the veteran after a doctor has determined the veteran can’t work. IU is not a benefit for veterans who are temporarily out of work.

Congress and VA created the IU benefit because of the number of veterans who can’t work due to one or more service-related disabilities.  This benefit exists because VA’s claim process dating back to the 1940s is so clunky and obsolete VA did not anticipate veterans surviving multiple disabilities for decades.

 

IU Eligibility

Here’s how IU works. According to VA, in order to qualify for IU, a veteran must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment and have one of the following VA ratings:

  • One service-connected condition rated at least 60 percent, or
  • Two or more service-connected conditions, with at least one rated at 40 percent or more, and a combined rating of 70 percent or moreVA’s IU benefit is separate from and can be paid in addition to Social Security Disability Income. You can learn more about IU by visiting VA’s web page.

 

Threats to IU Benefits

In early 2017, VA threatened to eliminate IU benefits, and that could have dramatically impacted the lives of nearly 240,000 veterans receiving IU benefits.

However, within a month, VA quickly withdrew the proposal because of significant opposition by Veteran Service Organizations and Congress.

The bottom line for veterans is that IU benefits are safe from budget cuts.

IU Benefits Can be Difficult to Obtain

Even if a veteran qualifies, IU can still be difficult to get. At Bergmann & Moore, we work to win our clients service connection, and we also ensure the proper ratings are established, including entitlement to IU.

Understanding VA’s complex rules for IU and then submitting all of the paperwork can be a challenge for veterans, especially when there is a mental health condition involved, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or military sexual trauma (MST).

 

Free IU Claim Consultation

Bergmann & Moore has helped hundreds of veterans in IU claims and has had great success helping veterans get VA benefits.

Bergmann & Moore remains dedicated to assisting veterans obtain benefits from VA. If you filed an IU claim that was denied by VA, or if you can’t work due to a service-connected disability, then Bergmann & Moore may be able to assist you with this type of complex claim appeal.  Please contact Bergmann & Moore for a FREE consultation.

 

 

How IU Works

  • Unable to maintain substantially gainful employment
  • AND
  • Rated 60% for one condition – OR
  • Rated 40% for one condition and has a combined rating of 70%

 

IU Payment Example

Single Veteran, no dependents: 70% rating = $1,338.71 per month

Single Veteran, no dependents: Paid at 100% based on IU = $2,915.55 per month

That’s a difference of $1,576.84 per month, or nearly $19,000.00 per year

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