There is a benefit administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans ffairs (V) that is payable under certain conditions when a veteran has one or more service connected disabilities rated less than 100% that interfere with his or her ability to secure or retain employment. This benefit is known as Individual Unemployability (I.U.), also referred to as Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (T.D.I.U.). I.U. or T.D.I.U. must be established on a factual basis.
I.U. establishes entitlement to compensation at the 100% disability rate even though a veteran’s combined disabilities are less than a scheduler 100% rating.
To apply for I.U. benefits V form 21-8940, pplication for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability, must be submitted to the V with current medical evidence on the extent of the service connected disabilities. Veterans who may qualify, should contact their local County
Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) to begin the process.
When an application for I.U. benefits is received by the V, V must first decide whether the veteran meets the requirements for a scheduler 100% rating before considering I.U.
The scheduler requirements for I.U. benefits are provided in the Code of Federal Regulations (38 CFR 4.16), which states in essence, that total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned when there is one disability rated at 60% or more, or two or more disabilities combined at 70% or more, with at least one of the combined disabilities rated at least 40%.
In addition, for the purpose of one 60% disability, or one 40% disability in the case of combined disabilities, the following will be considered one disability:
1) Disabilities of one or both upper or lower extremities, including the bilateral factor if applicable.
2) Disabilities resulting from common etiology or a single accident
3) Disabilities affecting a single body system, such as, orthopedic, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular-renal, neuropsychiatric
4) Multiple injuries incurred in action
5) Multiple disabilities incurred as a Prisoner of War (POW)
When considering I.U., the V looks at the following evidence:
1) Current degree of service connected disability
2) Employment status
3) Results of V examination(s)
4) Hospital reports and/or outpatient treatment records
5) Current physical and mental status
6) Nature of employment
7) Reason employment was terminated
8) Whether disabilities meet scheduler consideration (38 CFR 4.16)
9) Whether Extra Scheduler consideration is warranted (38 CFR 3.321(b)(1)
In addition, V will take in to consideration the veteran’s previous type of occupation (such as physical or non physical) and his or her level of formal education.
Factors that may not be taken in to account when considering I.U. are:
2) Non service connected (NSC) disabilities
3) Injuries occurring after military service
4) vailability of work
5) Voluntary withdrawal from the labor market
In certain situations where a veteran does not meet the percentage standards under 38 CFR 4.16 for scheduler consideration of I.U but the evidence supports that the veteran is unemployable due to his or her service connected conditions, V rating boards may submit to the Director of Compensation and Pension Service for an Extra Scheduler consideration.
When deciding Extra Scheduler consideration, the following evidence is taken into account:
1) clear statement of the facts including medical and lay evidence of symptoms
2) Relevant laws and regulations
3) statement of the issues to be resolved and recommended evaluation
Once an I.U. rating is granted, V will pay service connected compensation at the 100% rate.
Receipt of I.U. benefits does not mean that a veteran is never allowed to work again; however, if a veteran receiving I.U. benefits obtains substantially gainful employment, I.U. benefits can be terminated.
V’s definition of substantial gainful employment is basically any amount earned above the annual poverty limit for one person set by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2007 the poverty limit for one person was $10,210.
mounts earned below the Census Bureau annual poverty limit are considered marginal employment and do not affect receipt of I.U. benefits.
Each year after the U.S. Census Bureau sets the new poverty limit, V publishes notice in the Federal Register.
For information on the U.S. Census Bureau poverty limit go to the following website: http://www.census.gov.
Veterans receiving I.U. benefits are required to complete a V form 21-4140, Employment Questionnaire, each year to maintain entitlement to the benefit. V also does an Income Verification Match (IVM) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
V does not monitor changes in employability when the following conditions exist:
1) ge 69 or older
2) Has been rated I.U. for 20 years
3) Is assigned a scheduler 100% rating
fter twenty continuous years, the I.U. evaluation is protected from future reduction under 38 CFR 3.91(b).
For information on any veteran benefit, contact your County Veterans Service Officer whose phone number is in the blue or white pages of your phone directory or available on the website: www.wicvso.org.