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YouTube Channel Monitization

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Snake Eyes


I am 100% (TDIU) and am considering doing a YouTube channel that covers civics and the constitution for home based learners. 

In some cases, YouTube automatically monitizes channels with more than 1,000 subscribers. What impact would such proceeds have on VA benefits. I don’t want to get in trouble with the VA for doing something good. 

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Hmmm..good question. Since you have no choice about the monetization or terms it could be passive, but you are actively creating content, too. I wish I could help on this one but I honestly have no idea how that would be interpreted. I guess it would depend on if it was enough to be substantially gainful. 

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For many years since 1998 i was P&T TDIU and carefully researched this subject from many different sources such as BVA appeal and U.S. Cavc court appeal decisions on this subject to include monitoring other veteran benefits forums.

There is some conflicting opinions that if you have earned income from any activity then requiring your mental or physical labor and direct involvement then you are no longer considered by VA to be eligible for TDIU benefits.

In the U.S. CAVC court case Faust v. West of many years ago the court said in a final decision that if veterans on TDIU make earned income over the local or regional U.S. poverty minimum amount then this is considered for the vet to be employed and employable.

Unearned income that is passive income from any source such as investment profits activity's is not considered earned income and is not a problem for TDIU vets.  If you make a million dollars from a one time or occasional only investment then no worries.  However, if you engage in active frequent day trading of stocks then this is a red flag to the rater pukes.

If you have earned income in small amounts from a protected family business or supervised rehab protected environment then again no problems

Present and former senior VA raters have stated in their opinions if you engage in any type of earned income work then this proves you are employable and should not continue receiving TDIU.  The small amount of money you may make is totally irrevelant to them.

Some vets believe that if you stay below the poverty limit threshold then this is legal and you should be safe from a TDIU termination.  However, those same VA pukes disagrees with this.  They say raters will look for obvious pattern of continued work at amounts below the court definition of earned income amount for continued TDIU as a very red flag note.

I have never had a desire to test any of these theories.  There are many other BVA decisions and court cases on this very subject such as Robert v. Principi of many years ago, etc.

My comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.


Edited by Dustoff1970
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I have no idea if "u tube income" is "passive" or earned income.  Check with your accountant.  

This being said, if you are getting tdiu, you dont have a lot to worry about until/unless your income for the most recent 12 months is "more than the poverty level".  

If this income "becomes greater than (the poverty level), something around $15,000 per year, then you need not concern yourself.  

If, however, it becomes wildly successful, it could be more than your VA income, and it would be worth it to give up your VA income for that.  

My advice is to "go for it", and see if your income exceeds the poverty level.  

The term VA uses is "substantial gainful employment", and cutting your neighbors grass earning 400 per year is not "substantial gainful employment".  

There is no restriction on investment income.  You could/should check with your accountant to see if it would be regarded as "passive" income, or "earned income".  I have no idea.  Surely you would have some investment to do a utube video, internet, phone, cameras, props, etc. etc.  Ask your accountant.  

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So I am a little confused. Are you making money on the Youtube channel or intending to make money? If not than it is not gainful activity. I would not make them to long. like break them up into say 30 min once or maybe twice a week.  I if you do it say 5 or 6 times a week for a hour or hour and a half than you could maybe get into an issue . I think broken will tell you both the VA people in his position and the raters do not have the time to surf youtube to look for veterans trying to make money on youtube. What will put a flag on you is the money being reported to the IRS or someone turning you in.

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I think you have to sign up for Google Adsense to monetize your channel, which would entail giving them your SSN OR Tax ID Number and meeting their eligibility requirements.

YouTube can't just force income on you, though they can make money off of your content. Please read this article YouTube Partner Program Overview & Eligibility

IU is not something I have experience with, but I click on the image below for a useful article on employment and 100 percent.

va-100-percent-and-employment (250 x 167 px).jpg



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