tdiu claim with a lawyer takes how long

by Ashtyn Kozey 4 min read

How long will my TDIU claim take? The VA may take 4-10 months to issue an initial decision.

How long does the VA take to process a TDIU claim?

If you applied by mail, the VA claims they need around two weeks to input your claim. Make sure the VA received your application. Veterans can log into their eBenefits account to track the process of their TDIU claim.

What are the requirements for a TDIU claim?

A TDIU claim must demonstrate the severity of your impairments and how they prevent you from earning a living. An award of TDIU often comes down to the sufficiency (or insufficiency) of the evidence you give to the VA. What are the VA’s criteria for TDIU eligibility?

How long does it take for TDIU to be approved?

If you applied on VONAPP Direct Connect, you should be able to see online fairly quickly when the VA receives your TDIU application. If you applied by mail, the VA claims they need around two weeks to input your claim.

How do I track the process of my TDIU claim?

Veterans can log into their eBenefits account to track the process of their TDIU claim. During this portion of the TDIU timeline and the application phase, your claim is given to a Veterans Service Representative (VSR) to review your evidence. The VSR will determine if you need more evidence.


How long does the VA take to process a TDIU claim?

4-10 monthsThe VA may take 4-10 months to issue an initial decision. If you are awarded TDIU benefits, congratulations, you won't have to go through the appeals process. This part of the VA Individual Unemployability timeline can easily take 4-7 years.

How hard is it to get TDIU from the VA?

To apply for TDIU benefits, veterans are required to fill out VA Form 21-8940. Veterans currently out of work or those who have been unemployed for years may find that they qualify for TDIU almost immediately. To qualify, one disability must be rated at an overall of 70% or higher.

Do you get back pay for TDIU?

If VA grants the TDIU rating, what about all that time you were waiting and received no benefits at all? This can add up to many thousands of dollars. VA does reimburse this and the payment is referred to as TDIU back pay, or retroactive pay. Usually, the VA pays this as a lump sum.

How long does it take for VA to make a compensation decision?

As of June 2021, the average time it takes for the VA to issue a decision on VA benefits is 134.4 days. If your application is denied and you want to complete the appeals process, it will take approximately 125 days for a Supplemental Claim or Higher-Level Review and more than one year for a Board Hearing.

Is it hard to get TDIU for PTSD?

Generally, a schedular 100 percent disability rating for PTSD is often difficult to obtain because it requires a veteran's symptoms to be so severe that they are totally impaired and unable to function in everyday life.

How is TDIU determined?

The effective date of a TDIU rating is the date when the veteran became unemployable as a result of the service-connected disability. This is determined by two factors: (1) the date the current underlying claim(s) was filed, and (2) the date the veteran became unemployable due to the service-connected disability.

What are the effective dates for TDIU Awards?

To recap, the effective date of a TDIU award is the date the evidence first showed the veteran's service-connected disabilities prevented the veteran from working. VA often gets this wrong. One reason is that VA has a special form (found here) which veterans can submit to claim a TDIU rating.

How do I know if my TDIU is permanent?

If the VA decides your TDIU benefits will be permanent, this will be indicated in your rating decision. It may be done in one of several ways: There may be a “Permanent and Total” (P&T) box on your form that is checked. The form may state “no further exams are scheduled”

How long does it take to get VA disability back pay 2021?

VA maintains that veterans should receive VA back pay within 15 days of the decision granting the retroactive benefits either through direct deposit or a check. However, it is not uncommon for VA to take several months to issue back pay and retroactive benefits.

Does pending decision approval mean approved?

Pending Decision Approval: The VA representative's decision is reviewed, and a final award approval is made. (During the approval process, it might be decided that more evidence is needed, and your claim moves back to Step 3.)

How long are VA claims taking in 2022?

90-120 daysIf you submit a VA Fully Developed Claim (FDC) in 2022—meaning—all the evidence is uploaded in support of your claim, you'll likely get a claim decision in 90-120 days (3-4 months) from submission to award.

How long does VA preparation for decision take 2021?

Generally, you can expect to receive a VA rating decision within 30 business days of the Preparation for Decision phase. The “VA Claim Prep for Decision” phase is step #5 of 8 of the VA disability claim process. The three remaining steps are: Pending Decision Approval (average of 7-14 days)

What is TDIU?

Total disability based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is a disability benefit that allows for veterans to be compensated at VA’s 100% disability rate, even if their combined schedular rating does not equal 100%.

How do I get TDIU?

The VA outlines TDIU regulations under 38 CFR 4.16, which encompasses subsection (a) and (b). Each subsection describes a way by which veterans may meet the requirements for TDIU. In order to qualify for TDIU under 38 CFR 4.16 (a), a veteran must have:

How do I apply for TDIU, and what will my effective date be?

To apply for TDIU, the VA requires that veterans complete form. The purpose of this form is to provide VA with additional information about the veteran, such as his or level of education and employment history, to supplement the request for TDIU.

How do you prove TDIU claims?

In order to adequately demonstrate entitlement to TDIU, you must show that your service-connected disabilities prevent, or have prevented, you from acquiring and/or maintaining substantially gainful employment.

Marginal employment

TDIU is generally reserved for veterans who are unable to work, however, if a veteran is able to maintain ”marginal employment” they can still qualify for individual unemployability. This is because VA does not consider marginal employment to be substantially gainful.

What can VA NOT take into consideration when evaluating a veteran for TDIU?

There are certain things the VA can NOT take into account when evaluating them for individual unemployability:

What is TDIU form?

You must correctly fill out the Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) form, VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability. This form requires all information to be accurate and complete. If you fail to include all of the information and documentation, VA may defer or deny your claim.

How does medical evidence support TDIU?

Medical evidence can support your TDIU claim by showing how your service-connected disabilities prevent you from obtaining and sustaining substantially gainful employment. Some medical evidence can include the following: Other Documentation from your doctor appointments that supports your inability to hold a job.

How many years of employment do you have to include in VA disability?

You must include all employers for the last five years of employment. The VA will often ask prior employers that you listed to complete a Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim for Disability Benefits.

What is a TDIU claim?

A TDIU claim must demonstrate the severity of your impairments and how they prevent you from earning a living. An award of TDIU often comes down to the sufficiency (or insufficiency) of the evidence you give to the VA. In this post, we answer the five most often-asked questions we get about TDIU claims and benefits:

How long do you have to be on TDIU?

You have received TDIU benefits for 20 years or more, consecutively; or. You are 70 years old or older. Separate from the above, you can officially request VA to make your TDIU rating permanent. This requires submitting detailed medical and other evidence demonstrating why your condition is not expected to improve.

What percentage of disability is TDIU?

You have two or more disabilities with one rated at least 40 percent and the combined rating for both adding up to at least 70 percent. There are cases where your ratings are lower than the above minimums, but you may still qualify for TDIU benefits.

Can I claim TDIU if my VA schedule rating is less than 100%?

When your VA schedular rating is less than 100%, but you can demonstrate that your service-connected impairments obstruct you from getting or maintaining gainful employment, you may be entitled to VA disability compensation at the 100% rate. Therefore, in order to claim TDIU benefits:

Is TDIU a separate claim?

Because your TDIU is all about an additional VA rating that will pay 100% compensation for an already-service-connected condition. It is not a separate claim for compensation. “Individual unemployability” is often at the very root of a veteran’s claim for VA compensation.

Can I get a TDIU before SSDI?

You might be awarded SSDI benefits before receiving TDIU benefits. This gives rise to a common misconception about TDIU and Social Security Disability – that if you are awarded SSDI benefits, you automatically qualify for a TDIU rating.

Reasons For A TDIU Denial

Medical records submitted in an initial application for TDIU rarely contain the information needed to qualify a veteran for benefits. For example, a doctor may note restrictions on employment or other activities, but they are not necessarily detailed enough to explain the functional impact of a disability and how it impacts work.

Common Mistakes When Applying For TDIU

Every TDIU case is different, and there are a lot of common mistakes that veterans make when applying for TDIU and when appealing VA’s decision to deny benefits.

What Can I Do To Strengthen My TDIU Application?

There are some common issues that veterans face when pursuing Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. Many veterans assume that because they are unemployed and receive some disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), they automatically qualify for TDIU.

The TDIU Appeal Process

Under the old appellate system, known as legacy appeals, which is now technically closed for new appeals to be filed, former service members who received a denial of TDIU only had 60 days to file an appeal. Now, veterans generally have one year after receiving a denial letter to file any appeal with VA thanks to the Appeals Modernization Act.

The Importance Of VA Accredited Representation For Your TDIU Appeal

Receiving a denial letter from VA does not mean that your claim is over. A VA accredited lawyer can help you review your case and file an appeal to obtain the TDIU benefits you are entitled to. For help with understanding what to do after a rejection from VA, reach out to a TDIU appeal lawyer from our firm today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the current backlog of applications and the details of your particular situation, it will likely take the VA around 4-10 months to issue an initial decision on your application.

A Total Disability Individual Unemployability Lawyer Can Help

It would be beneficial for someone who is appealing VA’s decision on their eligibility for TDIU to consult an experienced lawyer first because understanding the reason for the rejection and filing an effective appeal can be difficult without legal assistance.

What is TDIU disability?

Total Disability Based On Individual Unemployability ( TDIU) is a benefit available to Veterans who find themselves unable to obtain and maintain substantially gainful employment due to a service-connected disability or combination of service-connect ed disabilities. This benefit can be incredibly important to maintaining the quality of life for a disabled Veteran, but receiving the benefit can be a daunting process that requires many steps.

What is the first step in the VA TDIU process?

The first step in the VA TDIU process is qualifying . As the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs outlines, there are specific requirements to qualify for this benefit. All qualifying applicants must meet this condition:

What is a supplemental claim?

A supplemental claim is a way for you to provide the VA with additional evidence they may not have had access to when making their initial decision. This claim must add NEW evidence supporting your claim, it cannot simply point out that they misinterpreted previously supplied information.

What to do if your claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have the right to seek an appeal. You can choose to either file a Supplemental Claim, request for Higher Level Review (HLR), or a Notice of Disagreement (NOD). No matter how you decide to appeal the decision, you must remember that you only have a year to take action.

What to do if you don't have evidence?

If you don’t have any additional evidence to supply, you can request a higher-level review. This review will be conducted by a senior level reviewer and can be requested after an initial decision, or after a decision following a supplemental claim. It is important to keep in mind that you will not be able to submit any additional evidence, but you or your representative will have the opportunity to have a conversation (an informal phone conference) with the reviewer to discuss the decision or identify any errors.

What is TDIU form?

The form is an application for an increase in compensation based on unemployability.

What happens if you have more than one TDIU?

If the veteran has more than one service-connected condition, this usually means there will be more than one exam.

What is lay evidence?

Lay evidence refers to statements or evidence submitted by a veteran’s spouse, friend, family member, employer, or anyone else that is knowledgeable about the veteran’s condition (s). The veteran themselves may also submit lay evidence. Lay evidence can be crucial in demonstrating entitlement to TDIU.

Can a veteran raise a TDIU claim?

In this instance, the veteran can simply raise a claim for TDIU, as opposed to raising a claim for an increased rating for the back which then triggers TDIU. Additionally, the entitlement to TDIU does not have to be based solely on one condition.

Is TDIU a separate claim?

The form then is not a requirement because TDIU itself is not always a separate claim. An example of this might be if a veteran is seeking a higher rating for a back disability and the evidence submitted to support the increased rating actually indicates that the veteran cannot work because of the back pain.

Does TDIU have a rating requirement?

Extraschedular TDIU does not have any rating requirement. If veterans do not meet the criteria for schedular TDIU, VA will determine if their case should be referred to the Director of Compensation Service for extraschedular consideration.

Is a 21-8940 required for unemployability?

VA Form 21-8940 is technically not required for unemployability claims. VA is, in theory, able to award the highest benefit available including TDIU without this form. However, VA typically does not award TDIU without the use of the form.