“Veterans can receive over $4,300 a month if they’re receiving the maximum amount of benefits from TDIU.
“Hi, I’m Neil Woods, president of Woods and Woods attorneys. Today, I want to walk you through some of the biggest misconceptions around total disability individual unemployability benefits.
“TDIU benefits are for veterans that can no longer work because of their service-connected conditions. Veterans do not have to get a 100% rating to receive a 100% rating pay.”
Misconception 1: “My condition is not service-connected”
“One of the biggest misconceptions we hear from from veterans about TDIU benefits and VA disability benefits in general is that they don’t think their conditions were caused by service. Veterans are always surprised when we talk to them about what we are actually able to service connect.
“Let’s take a condition like diabetes. Diabetes causes dozens of other conditions, so we can get those conditions connected to your time in the service. A lot of the conditions that veterans have, we can find ways to link them back to military service. The standard of proof in a VA disability claim is ‘at least as likely as not.’ All we have to show in VA disability is that it is as at least as likely as not that your condition came from military service as it was to come from other events in your life.
“So, let’s say you’re a Vietnam veteran. You served in Vietnam and you were exposed to Agent Orange, and then 40 years down the road, you end up with lung cancer. Now, let’s say that whole time, in those 40 years, you smoked cigarettes. Under the law, they should not come in and deny your claim for lung cancer because of Agent Orange exposure.
“Here’s why — we can’t definitively say whether the lung cancer was from the cigarettes or whether it was from that exposure to Agent Orange. So, the VA has to presume that the condition was caused by Agent Orange. Even if a person smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years, we have to look at it and say that Agent Orange is what actually led to this condition. It’s very favorable for veterans.”
Misconception 2: “In order to receive VA benefits, my injuries must be combat-related”
“Your physical and mental disabilities that are eligible for VA disability benefits can come from when you were in basic training. Let’s say you fell while climbing. Well, 40 years later, that back injury is still considered a service-connected condition.
“Here’s another way veterans don’t realize that they are can receive VA disability benefits — let’s say you’re on active-duty military service. You get in a car wreck or you get in a motorcycle accident and you have injuries from that time. And, you know, you’re just out joyriding. You’re not out doing anything for the military. That can also be connected to your service because it happened while you were on active duty.”
Misconception 3: “I can’t receive Social Security disability benefits and VA disability benefits at the same time”
“Veterans don’t realize they can receive Social Security disability and VA disability benefits at the same time. So, you can actually be receiving both TDIU and Social Security disability because you can’t work.”
Misconception 4: “I can’t earn additional income if I’m receiving TDIU”
“Veterans feel that they can’t have any income coming in to get these benefits, and that’s not true. Let’s say you have some rental properties out there and you have rental income coming in that’s considered passive. Let’s say that you have money coming in from stock dividends. That is also considered passive income. The VA is not going to consider those types of income in deciding whether or not you meet the TDIU requirements.”
Misconception 5: “If I receive TDIU, I can’t work under any circumstance”
“The other way that veterans can work is through marginal and sheltered employment.
“Here’s how that works — John Q. Veteran goes to work for his brother, and John Q. Veteran has really severe PTSD. John Q. Veteran is allowed to leave whenever he needs to because of an episode. He is allowed to sometimes be a little rough with customers, and tough to deal with in general. That’s considered marginal sheltered employment because they are being protected by a family member who’s letting them work, where in another workplace they would terminate their employment almost right away. That is what we find with a lot of veterans. They work for people they know who make these exceptions.”
Misconception 6: “VA benefits are just government handouts”
“One of the biggest misconceptions I hear about benefits from veterans is that they don’t want a government handout. And look, I get it. Veterans are very proud people.
“But here is why you should not look at VA disability benefits as a handout. It’s essentially just an employment contract. It’s no different than, let’s say you work in a factory and you have worker’s comp insurance when you have a mental or physical disability in that factory. Worker’s comp insurance will cover the injuries. That’s essentially what VA disability benefits are for veterans. These are benefits that you earned by serving our country.”
Misconception 7: “I have to quit my job before I apply for TDIU”
“Some veterans think that they should wait to file their claims until they have completely quit working. You don’t necessarily have to do that. One of the things I suggest to people is just file as soon as you can, because the earlier you file, you’re preserving effective dates and it may mean more backpay once you get to the end of your case.”
“The firm got me to 70%, and I was happy. Individual unemployability was awarded to me and to this day, I’m so grateful. My future is no longer bleak. These people work very hard for you.“
R.C., a Navy veteran in HawaiiFacebook review
How Woods and Woods can help
“There are a lot of reasons why you should call my law firm. First, our lawyers are accredited with the VA. Every one of them. They’re very experienced. Most of them have handled thousands and thousands of cases.
“We are big on evidence. I actually heard from a VA judge one time who told me we go overboard on submitting evidence. He said, “you don’t need to submit this much evidence to win these claims.” And I smiled and I said, “well, I guess we do, because evidence is how you win cases.” It’s how you win any type of case, a criminal case, a worker’s comp case, or a personal injury case.
“It’s no different in a veteran’s disability case. We break down every single piece of a VA disability claim and we have people in our office do all of the little pieces that we need for your claim. So, for example, we can use lay statements in your claim. We have an entire department dedicated to helping veterans reach out to their friends and family members to obtain lay statements. Those are very powerful pieces of evidence that we can use in your claim.
Talk to Us About Your Claim:
“The other thing we have is a very big network of doctors, and all of these doctors we use have specializations. There are everything from oncologists to psychologists. It just kind of depends on what your mental or physical condition is. That’s where we get really good nexus letters, and that’s how veterans win claims.
“In 2022 alone, our clients received over $140 million in backpay. That’s how much backpay they received, not their future benefits. I’m proud of that because that’s $140 million that the VA was going to keep out of the pockets of disabled veterans.
“Don’t miss out on these benefits. Learn more. Read more. Talk to people who are going to help you.
“If you want to reach out to us and you want to file an application or file an appeal, fill out the contact form on our website. We’ll be more than happy to have one of our staff members reach out to you and answer all of your questions. And if you want, give us a call today, because you want to get the process moving as fast as you can.”
VA disability lawyer
Woods and Woods
VA Accreditation Number: 44739