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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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pete992

Individual Unemployability

Question

What Is Individual Unemployability?


Individual Unemployability is a part of VA's disability compensation program that allows VA to pay certain veterans compensation at the 100% rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level.


What Is the Eligibility Criteria for Individual Unemployability?
A veteran must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of his/her service-connected disabilities. Additionally, a veteran must have:

One service-connected disability ratable at 60 percent or more, ORTwo or more service-connected disabilities, at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more with a combined rating of 70 percent or more.
How Do I Apply?
Submit VA Form 21-8940, Veteran's Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability to your nearest VA Regional Office. You can also call 1-800-827-1000 and request the form be mailed to you.


Can I Work?
Veterans who are in receipt of Individual Unemployability benefits may work as long as it is not considered substantially gainful employment. The employment must be considered marginal employment.

Substantially gainful employment is defined as employment at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides.Marginal employment is generally deemed to exist when a veteran's earned income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Census Bureau as the poverty level for the veteran only. See the U.S. Census Bureau's poverty thresholds.
What If I Don't Meet the Percentage Criteria?
Special consideration will be given for veterans when the following criteria is met:

The veteran is considered unemployable due to a service-connected disability(ies) but fails to meet the minimum percentage standards, ORThere is evidence of exceptional or unusual circumstances to impairment of earning capacity due to disabilities (for example, interference with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization)

Note: Veterans may have to complete an employment questionnaire once a year in order for VA to determine continued eligibility to Individual Unemployability.

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Can I Work?
Veterans who are in receipt of Individual Unemployability benefits may work as long as it is not considered substantially gainful employment. The employment must be considered marginal employment.

Substantially gainful employment is defined as employment at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides.Marginal employment is generally deemed to exist when a veteran's earned income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Census Bureau as the poverty level for the veteran only. See the U.S. Census Bureau's poverty thresholds.

I was thinking about this statement in this post, and I began to think that if a veteran has any type of income, VA might try to sever the veterans IU compensation.


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Using the "poverty" criteria, a Wal-Mart Greeter at minimum wage would likely not be eligible, and the VA might jump on the idea.

Fie on thee for bringing such things up! <G>

We know that the VA tries to reduce veterans benefits any way they can think of, and does so quite well without outside help!

It makes no difference that this income level (10-11k) is not a "living wage" by any means.

This is quite different that something I ran across in the late 70's. At that time, it was possible for a USAF junior officer, such as a short time captain, with two or more kids to be eligible for food stamps.

His or her school age kids in DOD schools were also potentially entitled to free or subsidized meals. (Bitburg USAFB, West Germany (Closed ~1995) with base housing and schools)

I was thinking about this statement in this post, and I began to think that if a veteran has any type of income, VA might try to sever the veterans IU compensation.

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is retirement income the same as earned income...when considering poverty level?

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is retirement income the same as earned income...when considering poverty level?

No retirement income or SSA benefits do not count as earned income. Earned income is a veteran actually working.

Marginal employment, for example, as a self-employed farmer or other person, while employed in his or her own business, or at odd jobs or while employed at less than half the usual remuneration will not be considered incompatible with a determination of unemployability, if the restriction, as to securing or retaining better employment, is due to disability.

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Guest terrysturgis

Pete992, I am TDIU, have been for 6 years. I am an elected official and draw a salary of $600.00 per month. Equals $7,200.00 per year. Way less than the poverty guidelines.

Do I get audited by the VA? Absolutely, every year. I just fill out the paperwork and send copies of my tax return.

I plan on finishing this term which ends in two years. I like to finish what I started. Terry

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