You may hear other veterans refer to this benefit as “Unemployability” or “IU”. There is no age limit to receive the TDIU benefit. Most veterans who qualify for TDIU have a combination of mental and physical conditions that prevent them from doing physical and sedentary work.
The TDIU benefit provides veterans with the same monthly compensation amount as that of the 100% “schedular” rating. However, the veteran’s combined rating does not have to equal 100% to qualify for TDIU.
As of December 2020, the TDIU benefit amount is $3,146.42 per month. The monthly benefit amount increases for veterans who have spouses and dependent children or parents.
Working while receiving TDIU
Veterans that receive 100% VA “schedular” ratings have no limitation on working. However, the TDIU rating measures whether the VA believes the veteran can find and keep a job with his/her rated conditions, and what percentage of work time may be lost due to his/her related illness, treatments, etc. Accordingly, if the veteran is listed by the VA as being 100% unable to work under the TDIU rating, the veteran is not permitted to have “substantial gainful employment.” In other words, the veteran’s earned annual income cannot exceed the poverty threshold.
Protected Work Environment
Alternatively, a veteran’s income may exceed the poverty threshold when working in a protected work environment, such as a family business or sheltered workshop. A key factor in determining whether a job is in a protected work environment is the specific and substantial accommodations made for the veteran in order for him or her to continue working.