VA – Veterans Disability – TDIU –

TDIU -EMPLOYABILITY  VOCATIONAL EVALUATION  PROCESS

This is more in-depth than the Social & Industrial Survey that the VA’s social worker will fill out, and again, the SW is not an Employability/Placeability Expert- This is why you need a Vocational Expert.

Our Vocational Experts will perform a Vocational Analysis of the Veteran

1) Document Review – General list:

Hospital, Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, & Counselor records, Veteran’s Disability Forms.

2)  We Use Both a Structured and Unstructured Diagnostic  Vocational Interview

This will be a review of the Veteran’s history and will also outline the Veteran’s age, education, current work status, past work experience, skills, current medical & psychological impairment(s), treatments, and physical & psychological limitations.

(This can be in-person or through SKYPE)

3)  Assessment of Current Information and determining if more documentation is needed.

– If needed we will create Medical and/or Psychological Source forms and/or Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC), Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC).  This will be the Veteran’s or their Representative responsibility to get completed and returned to us.

4)  Vocational Psychometric Assessment (most cases will require vocational assessments)

Based on the case we will determine what assessments need to be completed. We will assess not only aptitudes but also may measure Attention, Concentration, Memory, Cognitive Abilities, Mental Health Measures (Depression, Anxiety, GAD, PTSD, etc.)

5)  Perform a Vocational Diagnostic Assessment of Residual Employability.

6)   Labor Market Research (if needed)

Private, local, state, and federal government labor market studies to determine if any significant number of jobs exist that the claimant can perform in the local and national labor market.

The results of the vocational evaluation enable the Vocational Expert to render an opinion as to the employability of the permanently injured veteran’s and their ability to perform substantial gainful work activity based on quantifiable, accurate, and current information using Veteran’s Disability standards.

understanding PTSD and TDIU for Veterans

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If you are here because you have been denied veterans’ benefits for PTSD, you are not alone. In 2012, the VA claimed its own claims error rate was 14%. However, the VA’s own inspector general found a claims error rate of 38%.That means by even the VA’s own estimates they make mistakes in almost 4 out of 10 benefits claims cases! Additionally, appeals represent a third of the VA’s pending disability claims which means 1 in 3 cases the VA is processing are veterans appealing a denial.

A TDIU Vocational Evaluation can assist you greatly in gaining Objective Evidence of your Psychiatric Limitations/Mental Health Issues, to get an Objective Diagnosis, severity of issues and how they affect your employability and in Vocational Terms

How Do I Get Veterans’ Benefits for PTSD?

To get veterans’ benefits for PTSD, you need to establish a service connection between your PTSD disability and your time in service. PTSD is unique among veteran disability types because of the importance placed on stressors in diagnosing PTSD.  So, in order to get VA disability benefits for PTSD you will need to get a service connection by establishing a stressor or stressors that qualify you for a diagnosis of PTSD.

There are essentially 3 different approaches to proving stressors.

  1. The first type of stressor involves a situation where a combat veteran describes a stressor that is consistent with his or her combat exposure.
  2. The second type of stressor involves a situation where the veteran describes a stressor that is not associated with his verified combat exposure.
  3. The third type off stressor involves cases where the veteran’s PTSD stressor is related to fear of hostile military or terrorist activity while stationed in a combat theater of operations.

Credible supporting evidence is important in getting approved for PTSD VA benefits. But in practice, the “credible supporting evidence” requirement has been a major impediment to many Veterans receiving compensation for their PTSD diagnosis. Frankly, many things that happen in the service are never properly documented or recorded. As a result, it can be very difficult to prove that the stressor took place. Fortunately, in July 2010 the VA issued a new rule making it somewhat easier to prove that a stressor event happened during service. Under the new regulation, if a Veteran’s claimed stressors are related to the Veteran’s fear of hostile or military or terrorist activity then he could qualify for PTSD based on this as a stressor.

Additionally, in order to get VA benefits for PTSD, you might also need to get a private VOCATIONAL EXPERT OPININON to establish a connection between your service and your diagnosis and Vocational Limitations.

What Are PTSD Veterans Benefits?

Veterans benefits for PTSD are granted based on graduated disability ratings of 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% or 100%.  Veterans who receive a disability rating of 0% do not receive disability benefits because there is little or no impairment. Disability benefit payments begin at 10% and increase at each rating level.

Veterans have a wide range of benefits available to them. They range from VA pension benefits (non-service connected) and VA compensation benefits – to vocational rehabilitation and grants for adapted vehicles, housing and equipment.

Why Did the VA Deny My Veteran’s Benefit Claim for PTSD that a Vocational Expert and Help with?

The most common reasons why the VA denies benefits for PTSD are:

  1. The VA also likes to deny PTSD claims on the grounds that you don’t have a diagnosis of PTSD.  In many cases, however, if you are not diagnosed with PTSD you may be diagnosed with depression or generalized anxiety.  You would benefit from a TDIU Vocational Evaluation that tests for psychiatric/Mental Health issues and lists their severity and relationship to vocational limitations.
  2. Another reason why the VA denies PTSD benefits claims is because many veterans make the mistake of re-filing PTSD benefits claims without any new evidence or they submit evidence that is not really material to their PTSD, South East VE can provide you with New Objective Evidence.

In order to ensure the greatest degree of success in re-opened disability claims, we recommend that you look very carefully at the reason why the VA denied your claim the last time.  For instance, if the reason they denied you before was because there was no evidence of a present disability, then submitting a new medical record showing a diagnosed condition could potentially aid in getting your claim reopened.  The new evidence you submit should address one of the reasons why VA denied your benefits before.

SouthEast Vocational Experts can provide Objective Evidence of your PTSD and level of severity through our objective Testing.

VA TDIU Total Disability Individual Unemployment – Vocational Expert Services for Veterans Disability

 A veteran is entitled to a 100% disability (Total Disability) rating if he can establish that his service-connected disability[ies] preclude him from substantial gainful employment, Individual Unemployment

We have been providing Vocational and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Government in more than 1,000  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.

Total Disability & Individual Unemployuability  (TDIU)

VA adjudicator must consider a report documenting the Veteran’s un-employability from a Vocational Expert.

∞ TDIU Vocational Evaluation

A Social & industrial survey (Vocational Evaluation) done by a Vocational Expert can be used as valuable evidence to support a veteran’s TDIU Claim, and help get Faster Decisions.

Many times the VA uses a Social Worker to fill a basic form out, but a Social Worker isn’t an Expert in Medical & Psychological issues in disability nor are they an Expert in Vocational Issues.  This is why you need this performed by a Vocational Expert.

Forensic Vocational Experts have the clinical knowledge and expertise to bridge the gap between a person’s medical & psychological limitations and how they will affect the persons employability, so that the VA Adjudicator will be informed as to how the medical and psychological limitations affect a person’s employability.


Vocational Expert in Veterans Disability & TDIU Assessment

 Vocational Expert


We serve Veterans with disabilities & Veteran Advocates nationwide, including clients near all VA regional offices and their areas of jurisdiction: places such as Montgomery, Alabama; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska; Phoenix, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; South Carolina; North Carolina; San diego, California; San Fransisco, California; Los Angeles, California;  Oakland, California;   San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Wilmington, Delaware, Washington, D.C.; St. Petersburg, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Boise, Idaho; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Wichita, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; Togus, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Detroit, Michigan; St. Paul, Minnesota; Jackson, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; Ft. Harrison, Montana; Lincoln, Nebraska; Reno, Nevada; Manchester, New Hampshire; Newark, New Jersey; Albuquerque, New Mexico; New York City; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Fargo, North Dakota; Cleveland, Ohio; Muskogee, Oklahoma; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbia, South Carolina; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Tampa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Houston and Waco, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; White River Junction, Vermont; Roanoke, Virginia; Seattle, Washington; Huntington, West Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Quick FACTS – Military Sexual Trauma – MST – PTSD

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the
VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment and other important benefits. Ask your VA
representative or Veterans Service Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver
Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors’ Benefits.
DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR CONDITIONS RELATED TO
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST)
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment, and other important benefits. Ask your VA representative or Veterans Service
Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors Benefits. Some Veterans may have experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. These kinds of experiences can affect Veterans’ mental and physical health, even many years later. Veterans can
apply for disability compensation for any current difficulties that are related to their service, including difficulties related to MST.

HOW DOES VA DEFINE MST?
MST is defined by Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D
as “psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.” Sexual harassment is defined as “repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.”

ARE VETERANS GRANTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR MST?
Veterans are not granted compensation for the traumatic event itself, but can be granted disability compensation for conditions that result from MST.  Compensation – April 2015
CAN YOU DEVELOP POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DIS ORDER (PTSD) OR OTHE R MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AS A RESULT OF MST?
Yes. Exposure to any trauma can potentially result in PTSD or another mental health disorder. PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis related to experiencing MST.
WHAT EVIDENCE CAN SU PPORT A DISABILITY C LAIM FOR PTSD AS A R ESULT OF MST?
Department of Defense forms used in reporting incidents of sexual assault or harassment, as well as investigative reports during military service are direct evidence to support these claims. However, VA knows that events involving sexual trauma are not always officially reported. Therefore, for PTSD claims related to MST VA has relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for “markers” (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened.
These include, but are not limited to:  Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases Statements from family members, roommates, fellow Servicemembers, clergy members, or counselors Requests for transfer to another military duty assignment. Deterioration in work performance Substance abuse. Episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause.  Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes Relationship issues, such as divorce Sexual dysfunction
VA RELAXED THE STAND ARDS OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBAT RELATED PTSD. ARE T HE STANDARDS OF EVIDENC E FOR MST – RELATED PTSD CLAIMS MORE STRINGENT THAN OTHER PTSD CLAIMS?
No. In fact, VA relaxed its evidentiary standard for disability claims related to MST in 2002 to ensure all available evidence supporting these claims is considered. Because military service records may lack corroborating evidence that a stressful event occurred, VA regulations make clear that evidence from non-military sources may be used to corroborate the Veteran’s account of the MST. Further, when direct evidence of an MST is not available, VA may request a medical opinion to consider a Veteran’s account and any “markers” to corroborate the occurrence of the MST event as related to current PTSD symptoms.

CAN PREVIOUSLY DENIE D MST RELATED P TSD DISABILITY CLAIM S BE RE – EVALUATED?
Yes. Increased awareness of MST issues resulted in special training beginning in December 2011 for all VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims and the mental health clinicians conducting the examinations related to these claims. This ongoing training focuses on discovering “marker” evidence to support the claim. VA wants all Veterans who filed MST-related PTSD claims before December 2011 to receive the benefits of this nationwide training. If your claim was submitted before that date and denied, you can request a re-evaluation from your local VA regional office.
WHAT DO VETERANS NEE D TO DO TO GET A PRE VIOUSLY DENIED MST- RELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM RE – EVALUATED?
Veterans who want VA to review their previously denied MST-related PTSD claim can start by contacting their regional office, calling 1-800-827-1000 or logging into their free eBenefits account at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
CAN VETERANS PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION FOR A RE-EVALUATION OF A PREVIOUSLY DENIED MSTRELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM?
Yes. VBA will accept new evidence to be reviewed when a claim is re-evaluated. It’s best to send any new evidence at the same time as you request a re-evaluation. Veterans Service Organizations, as well as MST specialists and/or Women Veterans Coordinators available at every VA regional office, can help you determine what type of information is best to submit.
DO I NEED TO BE SERVICE CONNECTED FOR MY CONDITIONS RELATED TO MST TO GET TREATMENT?
No. VA provides free health care for physical and mental health conditions related to experiences of MST. No documentation of the MST experiences or disability compensation rating is required. Some Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related health care even if they are not eligible for other VA care.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION?
You can apply for disability compensation by completing VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension. You may also apply online at www.ebenefits.va.gov, or you can appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to assist you. Male and female MST coordinators are available at every VA regional office to assist Veterans filing claims related to personal assault or MST. You can call 1-800-827-1000, and VA will put you in touch with an MST coordinator, or you can email the MST coordinator at your local regional office from the list of Compensation – April 2015 coordinators located at http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/mstcoordinators.asp . For informationabout MST-related treatment, visit ww.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

Overview

Female deep in thought.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity in which one is involved against one’s will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.

Male deep in thought.Both women and men can experience MST during their service. All Veterans seen at Veterans Health Administration facilities are asked about experiences of sexual trauma because we know that any type of trauma can affect a person’s physical and mental health, even many years later. We also know that people can recover from trauma. VA has free services to help Veterans do this. You do not need to have a VA disability rating (i.e., “service connected”) to receive these services and may be able to receive services even if you are not eligible for other VA care. You do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred.

This website has information about the health care services that VA has available for Veterans who experienced MST.  For information about VA disability compensation for conditions related to MST, please view this fact sheet about Disability Compensation for Personal Assault or Military Sexual Trauma.

FACTS – Military Sexual Trauma – MST – PTSD

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the
VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment and other important benefits. Ask your VA
representative or Veterans Service Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver
Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors’ Benefits.
DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR CONDITIONS RELATED TO
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST)
Disabilities determined by VA to be related to your military service can lead to monthly non-taxable compensation, enrollment in the VA health care system, a 10-point hiring preference for federal employment, and other important benefits. Ask your VA representative or Veterans Service
Organization representative about Disability Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Caregiver Program, Career Services, Educational Assistance, Home Loan Guaranty, Insurance and/or Dependents and Survivors Benefits. Some Veterans may have experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. These kinds of experiences can affect Veterans’ mental and physical health, even many years later. Veterans can
apply for disability compensation for any current difficulties that are related to their service, including difficulties related to MST.

HOW DOES VA DEFINE MST?
MST is defined by Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D as “psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.” Sexual harassment is defined as “repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.”

ARE VETERANS GRANTED DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR MST?
Veterans are not granted compensation for the traumatic event itself, but can be granted disability compensation for conditions that result from MST.  Compensation – April 2015
CAN YOU DEVELOP POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DIS ORDER (PTSD) OR OTHE R MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS AS A RESULT OF MST?
Yes. Exposure to any trauma can potentially result in PTSD or another mental health disorder. PTSD is the most common mental health diagnosis related to experiencing MST.
WHAT EVIDENCE CAN SU PPORT A DISABILITY C LAIM FOR PTSD AS A R ESULT OF MST?
Department of Defense forms used in reporting incidents of sexual assault or harassment, as well as investigative reports during military service are direct evidence to support these claims. However, VA knows that events involving sexual trauma are not always officially reported. Therefore, for PTSD claims related to MST VA has relaxed the evidentiary requirements and looks for “markers” (i.e., signs, events, or circumstances) that provide some indication that the traumatic event happened.
These include, but are not limited to:  Records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians Pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases Statements from family members, roommates, fellow Servicemembers, clergy members, or counselors Requests for transfer to another military duty assignment. Deterioration in work performance Substance abuse. Episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause.  Unexplained economic or social behavioral changes Relationship issues, such as divorce Sexual dysfunction
VA RELAXED THE STAND ARDS OF EVIDENCE FOR COMBAT RELATED PTSD. ARE T HE STANDARDS OF EVIDENC E FOR MST – RELATED PTSD CLAIMS MORE STRINGENT THAN OTHER PTSD CLAIMS?
No. In fact, VA relaxed its evidentiary standard for disability claims related to MST in 2002 to ensure all available evidence supporting these claims is considered. Because military service records may lack corroborating evidence that a stressful event occurred, VA regulations make clear that evidence from non-military sources may be used to corroborate the Veteran’s account of the MST. Further, when direct evidence of an MST is not available, VA may request a medical opinion to consider a Veteran’s account and any “markers” to corroborate the occurrence of the MST event as related to current PTSD symptoms.

CAN PREVIOUSLY DENIE D MST RELATED P TSD DISABILITY CLAIM S BE RE – EVALUATED?
Yes. Increased awareness of MST issues resulted in special training beginning in December 2011 for all VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims and the mental health clinicians conducting the examinations related to these claims. This ongoing training focuses on discovering “marker” evidence to support the claim. VA wants all Veterans who filed MST-related PTSD claims before December 2011 to receive the benefits of this nationwide training. If your claim was submitted before that date and denied, you can request a re-evaluation from your local VA regional office.
WHAT DO VETERANS NEE D TO DO TO GET A PRE VIOUSLY DENIED MST- RELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM RE – EVALUATED?
Veterans who want VA to review their previously denied MST-related PTSD claim can start by contacting their regional office, calling 1-800-827-1000 or logging into their free eBenefits account at www.eBenefits.va.gov.
CAN VETERANS PROVIDE NEW INFORMATION FOR A RE-EVALUATION OF A PREVIOUSLY DENIED MSTRELATED PTSD DISABILITY CLAIM?
Yes. VBA will accept new evidence to be reviewed when a claim is re-evaluated. It’s best to send any new evidence at the same time as you request a re-evaluation. Veterans Service Organizations, as well as MST specialists and/or Women Veterans Coordinators available at every VA regional office, can help you determine what type of information is best to submit.
DO I NEED TO BE SERVICE CONNECTED FOR MY CONDITIONS RELATED TO MST TO GET TREATMENT?
No. VA provides free health care for physical and mental health conditions related to experiences of MST. No documentation of the MST experiences or disability compensation rating is required. Some Veterans may be able to receive this free MST-related health care even if they are not eligible for other VA care.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR DISABILITY COMPENSATION?
You can apply for disability compensation by completing VA Form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation and/or Pension. You may also apply online at www.ebenefits.va.gov, or you can appoint an accredited Veterans Service Officer (VSO) to assist you. Male and female MST coordinators are available at every VA regional office to assist Veterans filing claims related to personal assault or MST. You can call 1-800-827-1000, and VA will put you in touch with an MST coordinator, or you can email the MST coordinator at your local regional office from the list of Compensation – April 2015 coordinators located at http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/mstcoordinators.asp . For informationabout MST-related treatment, visit ww.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

 

Overview

Female deep in thought.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity in which one is involved against one’s will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.

Male deep in thought.Both women and men can experience MST during their service. All Veterans seen at Veterans Health Administration facilities are asked about experiences of sexual trauma because we know that any type of trauma can affect a person’s physical and mental health, even many years later. We also know that people can recover from trauma. VA has free services to help Veterans do this. You do not need to have a VA disability rating (i.e., “service connected”) to receive these services and may be able to receive services even if you are not eligible for other VA care. You do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred.

This website has information about the health care services that VA has available for Veterans who experienced MST.  For information about VA disability compensation for conditions related to MST, please view this fact sheet about Disability Compensation for Personal Assault or Military Sexual Trauma.

Veterans Disability – Case Law

Case Law


VA is not requried to obtain a Vocational Expert Testimony or Industiral Survey to Deny Total Disability Individual Unemployement (TDIU) to deny a Veteran Individual Unemployment. But they must use the Vocational Experts findings in thier opinion!

This is a major difference between VA Adjudication and Social Security ODAR Adjudication. Social Security has to use a Vocational Expert at Step 4 and Step 5.

 


 

Smith v. Shinseki, 2010 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1470 (U.S. App. Vet. Cl., Aug. 11, 2010)
OVERVIEW: The veteran had a combined service-connected disability rating of 80 percent. Although the Board found that his 80 percent combined rating (with at least one disability rated at 40 percent) met the threshold requirements for a TDIU claim, it denied his claim after taking into account his work history, his educational background, and reports from VA medical examiners. While the medical examiners did not suggest that he could perform his previous employment as a laborer in the coal mines or a carpenter, they concluded that he was not prevented from performing light or sedentary jobs. The court rejected the veteran’s argument that VA was required to obtain an industrial survey from a vocational expert to evaluate his claim. Given that a TDIU determination under § 4.16 did not require any analysis of the actual opportunities available in the job market, the court declined to conclude that an industrial survey was “necessary” for that purpose in connection with TDIU claims. Because job market information was not required, the duty to assist under 38 U.S.C.S. § 5103A did not require the VA to provide such information through an industrial survey.

 This is why you need a ∞ TDIU Vocational Evaluation  performed by a Vocational Expert so that the court will have the inforation assessed for them, unlike Social Security which has to use Vocational Experts, 

The VA doesnt, BUT must apply the Vocational Experts opinion to the VA’s Decision.

The Court was left scratching its head as to what jobs this disabled veteran could obtain and work since VA did not address that:In a later case in July 2014 the Appeals Court for Veterans Claims reasoned in McClain v. Gibson that VA must provide a detailed explanation when it decides that a severely disabled veteran is ’employable’ as opposed to unemployable.

 

Evan McLain, Appellant, v. Sloan D. Gibson, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Appellee.
No. 13-2264
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

2014 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1235   July 17, 2014, Decided

“McClain [Veteran] argues that the Board provided an inadequate statement of reasons or bases for its denial of TDIU. To show entitlement to TDIU, the evidence must demonstrate an inability to undertake substantially gainful employment as a result of a service-connected disability or disabilities. 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a) (2014) (TDIU is awarded when a disabled person is”unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities”). The Board “may not reject [a claim for TDIU] without producing evidence, as distinguished from mere conjecture, that the veteran can perform work that would produce sufficient income to be other than marginal.”Beaty v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 532, 537 (1994). Although the Board need not find that  [*2] a particular job exists in the economy, Smith v.Shinseki, 647 F.3d 1380, 1385 (Fed. Cir. 2011), the Board’s statement regarding employability must do more than “merely allude to educational and occupational history, attempt in no way to relate these factors to the disabilities of the appellant, and conclude that some form of employment is available.” Gleicher v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 26, 28 (1991). Moreover, the Board’s explanation for its determination must be understandable to the claimant and facilitate judicial review. Allday v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 517, 527 (1995) (Board’s statement “must be adequate to enable a claimant to understand the precise basis for the Board’s decision, as well as to facilitate review in this Court”).

Mr. McLain argues that the Board inadequately explained its TDIU determination because it did not address how difficult it would be for him to find employment given the limitations noted by medical examiners. The May 2010 and January 2012 examinations relied on by the Board found that Mr. McLain’s disabilities did not preclude him from employment in a loosely supervised setting, with minimal social interaction, where there was little background noise or phone  [*3] communication, and where alarms and exact communication would not be needed. Record (R.) at 36, 48-49. Although the Board relied on these examiners’ ultimate conclusions that Mr. McLain could be employed in some kinds of jobs, the Board did not address the limitations noted by the examiners, nor did it attempt to relate these limitations to Mr. McLain’s educational and occupational history or explain what kinds of jobs Mr. McLain could obtain. See Beaty andGleicher, both supra. The Board’s failure to do so renders its statement of reasons or bases inadequate and warrants remand.1Allday,supra; see also Tucker v. West, 11 Vet.App. 369, 374 (1998) (remand is appropriate where the Board has, inter alia, failed to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases).”

 

NOTE: McClain is an unpublished opinion and not to be cited as precedent.  However I believe its teachings and principles are important to grasp in the area of TDIU claims.

Veterans Disability

Don’t Let the VA Employees be the only one to decide a Veterans Disability & Employability.  There are some claims, a veteran establishes that he is unable to return to his former employment because of his service-connected disability.  However that is not the only issue involved in individual unemployability (TDIU), the question then becomes whether the veteran has the education, work experience, transferrable skills and adequate physical or mental ability to secure and maintain Other Work. The VA often relies on their VA physicians or Social Workers’ to answer this question. But, in fact, vocational experts are the only ones who are qualified to provide an opinion on this issue.

Vocational experts can evaluate the opportunities in the contemporary labor market against the veteran’s peculiar circumstances, offering an opinion as to the veteran’s potential for obtaining another job.

When the VA obtains there opinion its often in a report known as Social & Industrial Survey , to support a veteran’s claim of unemployability due to service-connected disabilities. However, the person the VA has completing this form rarely has training, education, or experience in vocational issues, vocational limitations, nor medical and psychological aspects of disability. This is a true Veterans Disability Assessment.

The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) is a government run military benefit system that is responsible for administering programs for veterans’ benefits, their families, and survivors. Veterans Disability- VA regulations state that “all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a “substantial gainful occupation” by reason of a service-connected disability shall be rated totally disabled.” (38 C.F. R. Sect 4.16).

you can get 100% Veterans Disability through “Individual Unemployability” or IU is a way for the VA to compensate veterans at the 100 percent rate who are unable to work because of their service connected disability. This is the fasted-growing part of the disability compensation program.

Entitlement to 100% Veterans Disability due to TDIU requires evidence of unemployment due to the disability in question and medical evidence that a veteran’s service-connected disability renders him or her totally disabled and unemployable. A Vocational Expert report can assist in documenting Total Disability.

The recent US Court of Appeals case of Smith v. Shinski (No 2010-7145) using Social Security case law indicates the Veteran’s Administration does not have to use Vocational Experts in TDIU (Total Disability, Individual Unemployability) cases but that the VA adjudicator must consider a report documenting the Veteran’s unemployability. It is clear from this decision that the ultimate question is the employability of the Veteran, not the availability of jobs they can perform.

Specifically, 38 C.F.R. § 4.16 states in part, that if a veteran is unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities, he or she may be assigned a TDIU rating.  Of course there are other requirements for IU benefits, but even if those requirements are met, if a veteran is still able to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation, then IU will be denied.

A quality Veterans Disability Assessment needs to be done by a vocational expert to document the vocational aspects of the veterans disability issues that a doctor cannot do.

Why Us for TDIU – Veterans Disability

 

When a Veterans Representatives & Attorneys need an objective Vocational Assessment of a claimant’s Past Relevant Work, & Current Vocational Capabilities, they turn to us for Answers.

We have been providing Forensic Vocational Expert Services and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Federal Government in more than 500  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments and have a specializations in brain injury (TBI), and Mental Health issues.

We are one of the few Vocational Experts to have in-depth Vocational & Psychological testing experience as well as to have worked as a on contract for the Social Security Administration ODAR courts, as well as for claimants.

We choose our evaluation tests based on the individuals’ needs and do not use a cookie cutter approach. We use standardized diagnostic vocational interview, but can also test the claimant using the most modern techniques, including a computerized measurement of aptitudes and abilities. We are one of the few vocational rehabilitation companies experienced with testing the aptitudes and abilities of Spanish and non-English speaking persons.

The interview and test battery can be administered via the internet allowing claimant’s throughout the United States to obtain this valuable expert service.

We have sat in and provided Vocational Expert Witness Testimony  in over 500 Social Security Disability hearings; we know what the Administrative law Judge needs to know to make a decision.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.

Our Specialization is  Forensic Vocational Evaluations & Vocational Analysis.  
  • We have performed thousands of Vocational Transferable Skills Analysis through the VDARE process.
  • We also can provide Intense Brief Therapy.
  • Our mission is to provide reliable, valid, and effective vocational evaluation and expert witness services.
  • We have been providing Vocational Evaluations for over 17 years and worked with a variety of clients and disabilities.
  • We invite you to consult with us on any issue relating to employment, including earning capacity, employability, job search effectiveness, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Earning capacity consulting includes the analysis of complex earning situations including entrepreneurial income and multiple source income from part-time, project and full-time employment.
  • We also offer Vocational Rehabilitation plans, Educational Plans, &Job Placement Services.
  • A vocational expert is able to determine the individual´s skills and abilities to engage in work.

Total Disability & Individual Unemployability (TDIU) – Veteran

A veteran is entitled to a 100% disability rating if he can establish that his service-connected disability[ies] preclude him from substantial gainful employment, Individual Unemployment

VA adjudicator must consider a report documenting the Veteran’s un-employability from a Vocational Expert.

TDIU Vocational Evaluation

A Social & industrial survey (Vocational Evaluation) done by a Vocational Expert can be used as valuable evidence to support a veteran’s TDIU Claim, and help get Faster Decisions.

Many times the VA uses a Social Worker to fill a basic form out, but a Social Worker isn’t an Expert in Medical & Psychological issues in disability nor are they an Expert in Vocational Issues.  This is why you need this performed by a Vocational Expert.

Forensic Vocational Experts have the clinical knowledge and expertise to bridge the gap between a person’s medical & psychological limitations and how they will affect the persons employability, so that the VA Adjudicator will be informed as to how the medical and psychological limitations affect a person’s employability.

WHY US – for TDIU a Vocational Evaluation

When a Veterans Representatives & Attorneys need an objective Vocational Assessment of a claimant’s Past Relevant Work, & Current Vocational Capabilities, they turn to us for Answers.

We have been providing Forensic Vocational Expert Services and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Federal Government in more than 500  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments and have a specializations in brain injury (TBI), and Mental Health issues.

We are one of the few Vocational Experts to have in-depth Vocational & Psychological testing experience as well as to have worked as a on contract for the Social Security Administration ODAR courts, as well as for claimants.

We choose our evaluation tests based on the individuals’ needs and do not use a cookie cutter approach. We use standardized diagnostic vocational interview, but can also test the claimant using the most modern techniques, including a computerized measurement of aptitudes and abilities. We are one of the few vocational rehabilitation companies experienced with testing the aptitudes and abilities of Spanish and non-English speaking persons.

The interview and test battery can be administered via the internet allowing claimant’s throughout the United States to obtain this valuable expert service.

We have sat in and provided Vocational Expert Witness Testimony  in over 500 Social Security Disability hearings; we know what the Administrative law Judge needs to know to make a decision.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.


  

When a Veterans Representatives & Attorneys need an objective Vocational Assessment of a claimant’s Past Relevant Work, & Current Vocational Capabilities, they turn to us for Answers.

We have been providing Forensic Vocational Expert Services and Occupational assessments for over 17 years. We have also served as an unbiased expert for the U.S. Federal Government in more than 500  cases. We have performed over 3,000 assessments and have a specializations in brain injury (TBI), and Mental Health issues.

We are one of the few Vocational Experts to have in-depth Vocational & Psychological testing experience as well as to have worked as a on contract for the Social Security Administration ODAR courts, as well as for claimants.

We choose our evaluation tests based on the individuals’ needs and do not use a cookie cutter approach. We use standardized diagnostic vocational interview, but can also test the claimant using the most modern techniques, including a computerized measurement of aptitudes and abilities. We are one of the few vocational rehabilitation companies experienced with testing the aptitudes and abilities of Spanish and non-English speaking persons.

The interview and test battery can be administered via the internet allowing claimant’s throughout the United States to obtain this valuable expert service.

We have sat in and provided Vocational Expert Witness Testimony  in over 500 Social Security Disability hearings; we know what the Administrative law Judge needs to know to make a decision.

We can provide a Vocational Evaluation (Social & Industrial Surveys) in Veteran’s Disability cases to prove Total Disability Individual Un-employability in (TDIU) Cases.

  • We have performed thousands of Vocational Transferable Skills Analysis through the VDARE process.
  • We also can provide Intense Brief Therapy.
  • Our mission is to provide reliable, valid, and effective vocational evaluation and expert witness services.
  • We have been providing Vocational Evaluations for over 17 years and worked with a variety of clients and disabilities.
  • We invite you to consult with us on any issue relating to employment, including earning capacity, employability, job search effectiveness, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Earning capacity consulting includes the analysis of complex earning situations including entrepreneurial income and multiple source income from part-time, project and full-time employment.
  • We also offer Vocational Rehabilitation plans, Educational Plans, &Job Placement Services.