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Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) Claims

by Joe Whitcomb / July 13, 2017

Many  veterans experience conditions that significantly interfere with work but do not satisfy the Veterans’ Affairs definition of 100 percent disability. In these cases, Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) or Individual Unemployability (IU) claims provide the same types of compensation as 100 percent disability ratings to veterans when a veteran’s disability does not add up to 100 percent.

The Requirements to Qualify for TDIU

There are some basic requirements to qualify for a TDI claim including that an individual is a veteran and has a service-connected disability that prevents them from maintaining gainful employment.

Two Types of TDIU Claims

There are two ways to prove entitlement to a TDIU claims: scheduler and extra-scheduler claims. The type of analysis used to determine the TDIU claim depends on which type of claim is involved.

  • Scheduler TDIU. These are the most common types of TDIU claims. Individuals through scheduler claims are able to obtain a 100 percent disability rating if the veteran either has a single service-connected disability rated at 60 percent or greater or the combination of a veteran’s two or more disabilities result in a rating greater than 70 percent.

  • Extra-Scheduler TDIU. In these cases, the Veteran’s Affairs Office looks for unique circumstances that make an individual “unemployable” due to service-connected injuries. Some of the common factors that are considered in extra-scheduler cases include whether a veteran: receives social security disability, suffers from non-service-connected conditions, contains a sufficient amount of education or employment history in their background, and is hospitalized in such a manner to interfere with the veteran’s work schedule. A veteran’s age does not consider into the analysis of TDIU claims.

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Having an Acceptable TDIU Claim

Veterans should always remember to follow some basic pieces of advice when initiating a TDIU claim, which includes the following:

  • Ask your last employer to complete VA Form 21-4192. These forms detail a veteran’s employment history. If an employer cannot be reached, a veteran can submit a statement in support of a claim.

  • Make sure to submit a VA Form 21-8940, which is also known as an Application for Increase based on Individual Unemployability. If this claim is not filed, the government will deny an individual’s TDIU claim.

  • See if your physician will provide a statement that your service-connected disabilities prevent you from working. If a veteran consults with multiple physicians, it is often a wise idea to obtain as many statements from physicians as possible.

  • Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Veterans Rights Attorney. A skilled attorney can help a veteran navigate the various issues might arise in a case.

Obtain the Assistance of a Knowledgeable Veterans Rights TDIU Claims Attorney


If you require assistance with a TDIU claim, do not hesitate to retain the assistance of a skilled attorney. The legal counsel at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC and its disability arm, Rocky Mountain Disability Law Group has helped veterans with TDIU claims and other issues with Veterans’ Affairs. Do not hesitate to contact our downtown Denver office today at (303) 534-1958 or fill out our online form.

Tags: The Requirements to Qualify for TDIU Veterans Rights TDIU Claims Attorney

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Joe Whitcomb

Joe Whitcomb

Joe Whitcomb is the founder and president of Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC (WSM). In addition, he manages the firm and heads up the Government Procurement and International Business Transactions Law sections. As a result of his military service as a U.S. Army Ranger and as a non-commissioned officer in the Air Force, he learned mission accomplishment. While serving in the Air Force, he earned his Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and a Master’s in International Relations. His Master’s emphasis was on National Security and International Political Economics. After his military career, Joe attended law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

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