TDIU Vocational Expert and Veteran TDIU Employability Myths


TDIU Vocational Expert and Veteran TDIU Employability Myths

Getting a Evaluation from a Vocational Expert can expedite and dispell many issues in Veteran Disabilty issues.Section 4.16 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to assign a total rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU rating) based upon a veteran’s temporary (i.e., non-permanent) inability to follow a substantially gainful occupation…Many Veterans believe that :

  1. Postive Rehabiltation efforts or post-rehabilitation  with  the prospect future employment, disqualifies veterans seeking individual umemployability TDIU.
  2. A Technical or college degree means veteran is employable
  3. Attending college is the same, or about the same, as having a job
  4. Working or the Ability to have a job prevents TDIU benefits
  5. If a veteran isn’t close to being commited to a psych ward, the veteran could find some employment

First.  While having an eduction does open more doors to jobs and sedentary jobs and  intelligence will allow any person a chance to do  well in a technical school or college. But scholastic  performance does not equal  employablities or high earing capacity abilities or to put in another way will have an ability to get a job offer after an interview.

The VA  Evaluator’s conclusion must be based on practical facts than on “mere theoretical ability to engage in substantial gainful employment…” Timmerman v. Weinberger, 510 F.2d 439, 442 (8th  Cir. 1975). This means the Evaluator’s “theory” of being employable in the future does not pass the legal precedent requiring VA to draw a “practical conclusion.”

Second.  Having acheived a Technical school  cerfiticat or a college degree does mean disabled veterans can in substantial gainful employement or  work in sedentary type jobs unless a service-connected disability, such as a mental condition, precludes this option. If a combination of disabilties can be shown to interfere with maintaining employment at a gainful level they can be granted disability. A Vocational Evaluation done by a Vocational Expert can document this evidence..  Citation Nr: 1009771.

Third. Attending technical school or  college is not the same as working. Many students are not going to school full time or even part time. You can study at any hour or time or in any location that is best for you. A job has a strict schedule and a strict environment. Also, schools are paid money in order for a student to receive an education or training, therefore they will do more accomidations and have more lax rules than an employer. A vocational expert can opine on this.

Fourth. Veterans can maintain employment and still be eligible for TDIU. In South Dakota, the Board of Appeals agreed. They found a veteran to be eligible for IU despite working 30 hours per week as an automotive parts salesman for 4 years. Citation Nr: 1027075. Here, the veteran had long been employed in this field, with two years of college and experience in automotive maintenance.

Even if a veteran could find work, the work must be substantial gainful employment without special accomidations and ongoing to disqualify the veteran from IU. Further, the term “unemployability” “is synonymous with an inability to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation.” VAOPGCPREC 75-91. In this decision, the veteran had worked in the specific position for 4 years. If 4 years in that job was not considered a “substantially gainful occupation,” employment for a lesser period would fall within this classification.

Fifth. Mental Health issues can affect employability in many ways. A vocational evaluation that has psychological testing can include this in citing worker traits and vocational limitations. This would be 5 Star evidence of disability proof that is directly related to Employability.  To get better understanding of Mental Health level see Citation Nr: 1023321.

In summary, VAOPGCPREC 5-2005 . Veterans can be eligible for TDIU on a temporary basis, while in rehabilitation efforts.


Having a quality vocational evaluation done by a vocational expert can take medical and psychological limitations and show how they are directly affecting a Veteran’s employability or Individual Unemployment.

We would be happy to discuss with you our TDIU Vocational Evaluation.

Vocational Expert in Veterans Disability & TDIU Assessment

 Vocational Expert

Categories : TDIU Vocational Evaluation, Veteran Benefits, Veteran Disability, Veteran Unemployment

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