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How to Differentiate a TDIU From a 100 Percent Rating




A TDIU and a 100 percent rating will often grant veterans similar benefits, even though both care for different service-related disabilities. While the former covers service personnel who cannot hold substantial employment due to a significant condition, the latter will often be associated with veterans with the highest disability rating who can still handle various employment duties. Apart from these, what are other differences associated with these two veteran’s areas?

Defining 100% Rating

The 100% rating is the highest disability level veterans will likely encounter during the line of duty. Due to the impact of injuries sustained, veterans can receive the highest compensation. This rating is, however, challenging to get as the VA describes a 100% rating as totally disabling. A TDIU lawyer will be your best bet for proving this, allowing you to get total compensation.

Even with this, veterans can recover from a 100% rating and record functional improvement in daily life. This will likely downgrade the personnel in question to a lower-rated disability level. Veterans can still hold substantial employment with a 100% rating, allowing them to hold primary employment responsibilities.

Defining TDIU

TDIU refers to total disability on individual unemployability. This means veterans under this class cannot hold any form of employment due to multiple service-connected or significant conditions. This is because while the impairments are severe and will likely prevent gainful employment, they are not totally disabling.

Unlike the 100% rating, service personnel are not automatically eligible for 100% compensation. That said, veterans can still get equal benefits as those with a 100% rating. In addition to this, veterans under the 100% permanent and total disability benefits class can also get 100% compensation.

Exemptions to the TDIU Employment Status

Veterans with a TDIU can still work, with TDIU distinguishing marginal employment and personnel who can hold substantially gainful employment. The former refers to numerous veterans in the TDIU category since they cannot hold meaningful income-earning jobs. If you make a substantial income above the poverty threshold, it qualifies as an exemption to TDIU.

Gainful employment can occur for various reasons. An example is employers offering medical leave but paying equal amounts to veterans. Additionally, employers who provide special accommodation to veterans typically classified under the TDIU class can help such personnel earn a substantial income. Lastly, veterans with reduced duties and fewer working hours but still have the same pay will also be exempt from TDIU.    

How to Qualify For a TDIU

Experts specializing in TDIU will likely look at a veteran’s education, income capacity, and disability hindrances before offering a TDIU. Veterans who are successful in getting a TDIU will have to have at least two or more service-connected disabilities. One of the conditions needs to be rated at 40%, with the rest accounting for a combined score of 70%.     

A single rating is also possible if you experience multiple ailments that can be considered a single condition. Some of these include:

  • Multiple disabilities that affect a significant system of the body, such as the respiratory system, neuropsychiatric or orthopedic
  • Disabilities caused by a single incident
  • Injuries sustained from being a prisoner of war

Filing For a TDIU Versus 100% Rating

Filing for TDIU will require you to show proof of hospitalization for the last year, with documentation of inability to work in the last five years also needed. Your work history could help with this, with reduced payment and work schedules going a long way in your evidence. Remember to state the specific disabilities that have hindered your work.

Filling for a 100% rating will also require you to attach the necessary evidence, with medical records and changes to work activities coming in handy for your claim.

Whether you have received a TDIU or a 100% rating, the VA provides the needed safeguards to help you receive compensation to help you take care of your everyday needs. Since benefits received under a TDIU and 100% rating will often differ based on the disability, make it a point to attach the necessary documents to help you receive the total compensation. Lastly, keep the VA updated on any changes in your disability progress to ensure you get the benefits associated with any deteriorating or improved status.

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