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.

Veterans Disability Issues

lf Veterans of the first Gulf War are defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs as men and women who served in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and other countries in the Persian Gulf. Approximately 697,000 troops were deployed to the region in the years 1990-1991.

Gulf War vets have many of the same issues and disabilities as veterans of other wars. But They frequently experience problems that are unique to military personnel who fought in the region. Many believe it was due to some type of toxin exposure.

In particular, Gulf War vets are affected by a medically unexplained illness popularly called Gulf War Syndrome. Symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.

Despite the frequent use of the phrase Gulf War Syndrome in civilian media, the VA prefers not to use that term and uses phrases such as “undiagnosed illness” and medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses.” Because the symptoms of the illness vary enormously from vet to vet, the condition does not fit the formal definition of the term “syndrome,” according to the VA.

Presumptive Gulf War Conditions

The VA presumes that certain chronic illnesses that persist for more than six months in this cohort of veterans are related to service in the Gulf region. They include:

• Chronic fatigue syndrome

• Fibromyalgia

• Gastrointestinal disorders

• Undiagnosed illness that includes symptoms such as abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders and sleep disturbances, popularly called Gulf War Syndrome

• Infectious diseases that include malaria, brucellosis, campylobacter jejuni, Q fever, mycobacterium tuberculosis, non-typhoid salmonella, shigella, visceral leishmaniasis, and West Nile virus

• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

The VA continues to conduct research into these and other conditions associated with service in the Gulf War during 1990-1991. Of particular interest is the source of so-called Gulf War Syndrome, and numerous causes have been suggested.

Possible Causes of Gulf War Syndrome

Possible causes of this medically elusive illness include:

• Vaccinations, especially vaccinations for anthrax and botulism

• Oil well fires, petroleum and smoke

• Pesticides

• Pyriostigmine bromide, used as a re-treatment against militarized nerve agents

• Biological and chemical weapons

• Sand, dust and particles

• Depleted uranium

• Toxic embedded fragments (shrapnel)

• Noise

•Occupational hazards, such as chemicals, paint and machinery


If you have a service connected disability and are unemployed and believe that your disability is the cause you should consider a TDIU 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/Psychological issues.


Forensic Vocational Expert


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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.

Atlanta, Georgia Veterans Disability


Don’t Let the VA Employees be the only one to decide a Veteran’s 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 unemployability, 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 had training, education, or experience in vocational issues, vocational limitations, nor medical and psychological aspects of disability.

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. 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).

“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 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.