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Tdiu -- What Is Considered Work?


Snake Eyes

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Filing a new claim that also includes a formal TDIU request....

In my original claim, I provided a lay statement showing I had marginal income for the past three years and listed the number of hours I did various activities related to my contract with an online school. My hope was that VA would see the marginal income statement and infer a TDIU (this was before I discovered you can actually file a TDIU claim).

There are a few questions that come up because of the kind of work I did. The C&P shrink stated, "He is able to function on this job because he is required to interact with others online only". That should be seen as a work limitation IMO since there are very few meaningful full-time jobs that are "online only". Combined with the sleep apnea (fatigue and daytime sleepiness documented in DBQ and sleep studies), it should be obvious I can't do a triditional desk job "out there".

So what is considered WORK? When I was working, I was well within the range of "marginal employment"... So, if you're actually only working 13 to 22 hours weekly, is that work for TDIU purposes? If you put in an additional 20 hours sporadically trying to find additional opportunities, is THAT considered work for TDIU purposes?

For the current TDIU claim, it should be a moot point since I'm no longer employed at all... Dr. Bash thinks there might be a CUE in the original claim since they did not infer based on a 70% and a 50% rating (the higher one is for GAD).

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  • HadIt.com Elder

As long as you stay under the poverty level (around $8k-$9k) per yr, you should be good. Personally, I don't feel someone can work "if they're really disabled" and receiving disability. Why risk losing about $36k, tax free. If awarded TDIU you can try to go back to work but you must tell the VA. The VA gives you a trial period of one yr, to be sure it works out, before cutting your TDIU. Social security has something similar. jmo

pr

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  • Subscription Holder

If you work for wages or salary and pay SSA, Medicare and tax you are asking for the VA to look at your TDIU status. If you are dying to work for money do something off the books. You are still taking a chance because your employer, or neighbor may report you for tax purpose of just envy. I have TDIU for last 13 years. With TDIU and SMC I make over 3400 bucks a month tax free. My spouse will get DIC if I die before her. Why would I risk that? You are not going to get rich on TDIU but you will not starve. Disabled people here in the good old USA are homeless and going to bed hungry tonight. Think about it carefully before you mess with your status.

John

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  • HadIt.com Elder

"Dr. Bash thinks there might be a CUE in the original claim since they did not infer based on a 70% and a 50% rating (the higher one is for GAD)."

I sure agree with Dr. Bash. The regs on that and within M21-1MR are here under a search.

If you were not employed or marginally employed as defined above, they should have inferred TDIU and sent you the 21-8940 form with the decision for the 70% GAD.

That could potentially ,if it was a CUE, favorably affect your EED when the TDIU issue is resolved.

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Thanks to all for the recent replies. It appears some folks here misunderstood my intent -- I do not intend to work with or without TDIU. I had to quit work this summer and have since applied for SSDI. The question had to do with whether the VA should have considered a statement submitted to show my employment status as an implied request for TDIU consideration. In other words, in the context of a TDIU application (or inferred TDIU claim), what is considered "work"....

Berta,

Thanks for your response on the Dr. Bash "catch". If it is indeed a CUE, that would be great. I've heard CUEs are next to impossible to prove, and this one hinges on the VA recognizing that a document I submitted shows marginal self-employment. Unfortunately, the VA did not list that in their award letter. I remember faxing it but the date was incorrect; my VSO said at the time that he signed the original and submitted it to the VA for me. We're trying to track that down now.

Which brings up a question: IF the VA received the document but didn't review it (maybe they had my claims file somewhere else when the document came in, for example) does it still "count"? I would think if it was received during the "gathering evidence" phase, they should have reviewed it with all the other stuff in the file.

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