Friday, September 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Individual unemployability benefit can help veterans

puntillo column sig

By
From page A8 | October 20, 2012 |

In some cases, a veteran’s disability is not severe enough to qualify for a 100 percent rating under the Veterans Affairs rating schedule, yet the veteran can’t obtain or hold on to a job because of that disability.

There is a VA benefit option to address this situation. The benefit known as Total Disability due to Individual Unemployability (TDIU) grants the veteran the equivalent of a 100 percent rating. The veteran is paid at the 100 percent rate even though their “true rating” is something less than 100 percent.

Here’s how the rating system works. Once the VA determines a veteran is service-connected disabled, it assigns a disability rating according to its schedule for rating disabilities. Disability ratings are expressed as a percentage based on the average impairment of the veteran’s earning capacity. This means that the more severe the veteran’s symptoms are, the bigger the impact becomes on his or her ability to work.

Many of the 100 percent disability ratings include a requirement that the veteran is not able to get or keep a job because of that disability.

In order to qualify for TDIU, service-connected disabilities must meet minimum rating thresholds:

– If the veteran has only one service-connected disability, it must be rated at least 60 percent or higher.

– If the veteran has two or more service-connected disabilities, at least one of those disabilities must be rated at 40 percent or higher, and, after factoring in the ratings for the other disabilities, the veteran’s combined disability rating must be 70 percent or higher.

– The final eligibility requirement is that the veteran must be unemployable on the basis of one or more of his or her service-connected disabilities.

Entitlement to TDIU generally requires evidence of unemployment due to the disability in question (i.e., employment history or employer records) and medical evidence that the veteran’s service-connected disability renders him or her totally disabled and unemployable (i.e., a doctor’s opinion letter). Age cannot be a factor in determining this benefit by the VA.

The fact that you have a paying job does not automatically disqualify you from being entitled to a TDIU rating. If your salary is substantially less than the prevailing poverty level (currently $11,702), or you are working at a job where you are protected from job requirements that someone else in that position would be expected to satisfy (e.g., working for a friend or relative), the VA will not consider you to be gainfully employed.

A job with a salary below the poverty level is called “marginal” employment. A job where you are protected from normal work requirements is called “sheltered” employment. Both marginal and sheltered employments are exceptions to the unemployment requirement for TDIU benefits.

TDIU is not necessarily a permanent benefit. The VA may periodically require you to undergo medical examinations to verify whether you are still unable to work due to a service-connected disability. Failure to report for such an examination could result in a revocation of TDIU.

Likewise, if the VA becomes aware that you are working at a job that is neither marginal nor sheltered while you are receiving TDIU benefits, your TDIU rating could be revoked and you may be liable to the VA for TDIU benefits paid to you after you became employed.

In addition, the VA will normally send you a questionnaire annually, inquiring about your income and your employment. Failure to return this questionnaire could also result in revocation of this benefit.

Veterans should exercise caution even if working as a volunteer. If the VA determines that the nature and amount of unpaid work demonstrates you are not unemployable, TDIU can be revoked. Whenever the VA revokes a TDIU rating, the amount of disability compensation drops to the level of the veteran’s actual rating under the rating schedule.

If you are a veteran who can’t work due to service-connected issues, you should come into our office and inquire about filing a claim for individual unemployability.

While you are here, pick up a Veterans Discount ID Card that easily identifies your veteran status to merchants who offer discounts to veterans. Simply bring in your honorable discharge (DD-214) and we will issue you the card free of charge.

Ted Puntillo is director of Veteran Services for Solano County. Reach him at 784-6590 or TEPuntillo@SolanoCounty.com. The Solano County Veteran Services Office, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • David Anaise MD JDOctober 25, 2012 - 10:35 pm

    It is important to stress that Tdiu is presumed. the veteran does not need to request it thus the effective date is the date the veteran files. If a veteran receives rating for 60% or 40% + 30% and he is not working I suggest that hr files a NOD and demand that the VA should explore his right to get TDIU. See danaise..com for more details

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • susie nobleAugust 03, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    Do you think that the "unemployability' rating can further damage the mental health of the veteran? With a 70 plus 30 rating.. the Veteran does not qualify for VA housing benefits(lower payment on closing) for the 100% disabled, nor do they qualify for many others. IE. base shopping, Federal and state national forest perks. I'm sure there are other things.. What happens if a request is made for total disability using the 30% as a factor in keeping the Veteran in constant frustration.. just because of the wording of such a rating.. If the Veteran cannot gain employment because of their disability.. isn't the 30% just as much a part of that disability?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • William HodgesAugust 22, 2014 - 6:23 am

    I have been caught up in this 90% SC disability with 10 for un-employability for more than 10 years. The 90% is what shows up on the records and what most companies and government offices look at exclusively . They could care less about the 100% compensation. This keeps me out of the Commissary, cost me to pay for car tags I could get for free it RATED 100% and many more things. The refusal of VA to give me the 100%, they have already rated me (P&T) Permanente and Total but that does not mean rated at 100%. Go figure. Should have won an election for 100% total care and fat income while alive and never served in the Military or shot up.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Harry McGuffeeSeptember 23, 2013 - 10:18 am

    Mr. Puntillo, I work at a VA call center and i came across this article. On the TDIU you are right on the money but in your last paragraph you stated for Veteran's to pick up a Veteran's discount ID card. Can you send me a copy of what your agency is issueing and is it just for your local area? We get calls all the time about an id card for benefits but we do not offer ID cards other than for VAMC treatment. Thanks

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Joseph GrahamJanuary 17, 2014 - 5:55 pm

    Ted Good article. You might want to review the recent U.S. Appeals Court Ruling in favor of Clarence Bennett in the case of Clarence Bennett vs. Eric Shinseki /July 2 2013 NO. 12-0590 which, although not setting a precedence, did clearly show that the above percentages do not always have to apply..

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Missouri Street Theatre set to open ‘Bonnie and Clyde’

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Shelter uses technology to reunite pets, owners

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Weekend full of jazz on tap in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Royal Tailor plans high-energy, genre-blending show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Police make child molestation arrest

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Dignitaries celebrate opening of $30M courthouse

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police arrest 2 in robberies investigation

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 10 Comments | Gallery

 
Police seek help to find missing Fairfield man

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield eyes sale of excess government land

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Men, again, are seen as missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 6 Comments | Gallery

Stolen vehicle investigation leads to 3 arrests

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Weather for Sept. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Man arrested in fast-growing California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Strong Senate vote for Obama on Syria rebel aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Scots reject independence in historic vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Passenger says JetBlue plane filled with smoke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Law makes earthquake insurance more understandable

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
GOP pushes diverse candidates, but will it matter?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

PG&E emails may have violated rules, judge says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
500 Berkeley students missed sex abuse classes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boxer indicates big decision to come next year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Father arrested in fatal stabbing of 6-year-old

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Health exchange addresses dropped policies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
UC system plan calls for anti-sex abuse effort

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Democratic state lawmaker arraigned on DUI charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Sheriff: Fla. man kills 6 grandchildren, daughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Couple in Craigslist slaying sentenced to life

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
In wake of beheadings, Busch Gardens removes props

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Trooper ambush suspect added to most wanted list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
CDC tells healthy adults not to forget flu vaccine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Border Patrol to test wearing cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Kansas court: Remove Democrat from Senate ballot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Ukraine’s pleas for lethal aid from US go unmet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
British hostage appears in new video

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Witness: 21 killed by Mexico army had surrendered

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Militant gains illustrate plight of Syrian Kurds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Series of attacks kills at least 36 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone to shut down for 3 days to slow Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Opinion

 
Did the ‘War on Poverty’ fail?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Do you feel more secure?

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

My support for anyone but Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 17 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Mother-in-law bothers me at work for kid’s minor infractions

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Sept. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘Leave You’ has A-list cast, B-grade result

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Adam Driver shifts into hyper drive

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

 
‘The Voice’ winner goes to Broadway’s ‘Pippin’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TV Guide Network renaming itself POP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Peter Fonda’s ‘Easy Rider’ bike going to auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Sept. 19, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

Darrell Hammond takes over for Don Pardo on ‘SNL’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

The Roosevelt trail, from Maine to North Dakota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Vanden volleyball team remains undefeated in SCAC play

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Derek Carrier ready to step in at tight end

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Raiders seek ways to get Reece more involved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Athletics out of top wild-card spot as Texas sweeps

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Nashville new home for Athletics’ Triple-A team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
Falcons romp to 56-14 win over hapless Buccaneers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
2-time Grand Slam winner Li Na retires from tour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Stacy Lewis, Mi Jung Hur share LPGA lead in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
WR Simpson, in more trouble, released by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Royal & Ancient votes to admit female members

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
MLS says Chivas USA might not play in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tiger Woods says he might coach himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Police: Cardinals RB Dwyer head-butted wife

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Prep football capsules: Week 3

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

Appeals court reconsidering Barry Bonds conviction

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Nissan’s small car excels at affordability

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Self-driving cars now need a permit in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Ellison gives up Oracle CEO role, becomes chairman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
California bill increases Hollywood tax credits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Fed keeps rates low, but brace for the inevitable

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Alibaba prices IPO at $68 per share

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Home Depot says malware affected 56M payment cards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Applications for US jobless benefits fall sharply

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

Apple locks itself out of devices with passwords

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Alibaba’s plan: Today, China. Tomorrow, the world.

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Chevron meets new, voluntary shale drilling rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Margaret King

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Mae Frances Jones

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9