Are you unable to obtain or hold a job due to your service conditions?

What you need to know about TDIU for your claim

What is TDIU?

Total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is a form of compensation provided to veterans who are unable to obtain and hold “substantially gainful employment” due to their service-connected disabilities.  If a veteran is deemed eligible for TDIU, the VA provides veterans with 100% total disability compensation even if their total rating does not equal 100%.

What are the eligibility requirements?

There are two tracks to get TDIU eligibility (1) schedular (2) extraschedular.

Under the first track, if a veteran only has one service-connected condition then it must be rated at least 60%.  If a veteran has two or more conditions, one must be rated at least be 40% with a combined total rating of at least 70%.  When determining your total combined rating for TDIU you can combine and consider the following “one condition” to help get to the eligibility percentage threshold, if your conditions:

(a) are bilateral [for example both of your upper or lower extremities]

(b) stem from “common etiology or a single accident” [same service incident]

(c) affect a single body system [respiratory]

(d) were incurred by numerous injuries in action or

(e) were incurred as a former prisoner of war during your time in captivity.

If you cannot meet the scheduler requirements, the second track is to submit why you think you’re entitled to TDIU through an extraschedular consideration.

What kind of information do I need to prove my TDIU?

  • Medical Evidence
    • This evidence is important so that the VA can evaluate your physical and mental condition to determine if your service-connected conditions keep you from maintaining “substantially gainful employment.” Beneficial medical evidence can include C&P exams, medical opinions from your doctor, treatment notes specifying the severity of your conditions, etcetera.
  • Employment History
    • The applicable VA Form (21-8940) requires you to list your employment history for your last 5 working To clarify, if you haven’t been working since 2005 then you would provide your employment from 2000-2005.
    • After you submit your form to the VA, representatives from the VA contact your past employers to complete VA 21-4192. You can reach out to past employers to ensure the forms get filled and back to the VA [to keep your claim moving.]


  • Educational Info
    • What education have you completed? High school, college, trade school?
  • Earnings History
    • When you did work, what was your salary? If you cannot remember you can reach out to social security to get your earnings record.
  • Other Helpful Documentation
    • Personal statements explaining how your service-connected conditions impact you personally, preventing you from keeping substantially gainful employment.
    • Buddy statements from co-workers, friends, & family explaining their personal experience with you, and what they have seen regarding how your conditions effect your daily ability to function and work.
    • Have you gone through the VA’s Vocational Rehab & Employment Service? If so were you unable to get a positon because of medical circumstances?
    • Do you receive Social Security Disability? If so, you can always tack on your social security reports to add on evidence.


Veterans Help Group has been supporting veterans with their TDIU claims for over 20 years.  If you’d like support in your TDIU claim please contact us at 855-855-8992 for a free consultation.

VA Benefits Explained

VA Benefits Explained

VA Benefits Explained Veterans disability benefits can provide much-needed financial support and...

More Articles

What Causes PTSD to be Triggered in Veterans?

In the past 15 years, the estimated number of veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD currently numbers more than 500,000. As many as 60,000 of these veterans are Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Estimates show more than 20% to 30% of veterans...

Federal Court Addresses PTSD Stressors

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirms that VA must apply a generous standard when evaluating the lay testimony of veterans suffering from PTSD concerning their combat experiences and PTSD stressors. Sanchez-Navarro v....

Permanent and Total VA Disability Ratings for PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months of the...

Depression And Your VA Claim

Depression can negatively affect every aspect of your life: how you feel, think, sleep, function, and interact with others. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues, about 14% of veterans suffer from depression. Depression is one of the most common...


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.