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Can I Get 100% VA Disability While Working?

Published on December 12th, 2019

The short answer is yes, you can be rated as 100 percent disabled and work at the same time. That said, there are situations where your employment could make you ineligible for a 100 percent rating and the benefits that come with it. It depends on whether you received a 100 percent schedular rating, or are being paid at 100 percent based on an unemployability rating, also known as TDIU. If you received a schedular rating of 100 percent, you can work as much as you are able. But if you qualified for TDIU, there are limits on the type of work you engage in and the amount you can make per year.

These situations are not always clear cut, and the veterans administration may wrongly cancel your disability compensation if you are working full time. In these situations, the veterans benefits lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can step in and make sure that you continue to receive the compensation you are eligible for. If your disability rating has been changed because the VA found out about your work, call us today at 800-524-3339 for your free consultation.

Your Ability to Work Depends on How You Got Your Disability Rating

There are two paths to a 100 percent disability rating. One way is to obtain a 100 percent schedular rating, which means that your medical examination shows that your service related medical conditions, combined, meet the threshold for being totally disabled according to the VA’s definition. And under the VA’s definition, a 100 percent disabled rating does not necessarily mean you are totally unable to move or function.

The second path to a 100 percent disability rating is TDIU, or total disability due to individual unemployability. Generally, you must have service related conditions that would make you at least 60 percent disabled according to the schedular system. But in some rare cases you may qualify for TDIU with a lower rating. For TDIU, your level of disability is determined by how much your medical conditions affect your ability to work. If the VA concludes that your injuries or illnesses related to your service make you totally unemployable, you will qualify for TDIU.

When you get a 100 percent schedular rating, there are no restrictions on your ability to work. But for TDIU, you cannot engage in a substantially gainful occupation. Generally this means that your work can not bring in more than $13,064 per year, or $12,043 if you are over the age of 65. But if you are working in a sheltered environment, such as a family business or a place of employment that provides you with special accommodations, you may be able to qualify for TDIU even if your wages are higher than these poverty threshold amounts.

Talk to a Lawyer If You Were Disqualified from TDIU for Working

It’s common for veterans to be removed from TDIU after the VA finds out that they have been working. And often, the VA makes a bad call. In these cases, you may need the assistance of a lawyer to demonstrate that you are engaging only in marginal employment. With a proven track record of getting veterans the benefits they deserve, the disability compensation lawyers of Jackson & MacNichol can help make the case that you still qualify for a 100 percent disability payment. Call us today at 800-524-3339 for a free consultation about how to challenge the VA rating decision.


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