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Disability vs Unemployability

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Posted on: Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jim,

I would like to know if my wife and children are eligible for DEA Chapter 35. My wife would like to go to college and also my kids in a couple years. I am getting 90% VA disability and unemployability. Someone told me my dependents are not eligible because I am not 100%, only 90%. Let me know at your convenience. Thank you.

Reply:

Unemployability (TDIU) *is* 100%. There is a lot of confusion about that. Even though the underlying rate is 90%, you are rated at 100% and that is a fact. Read about TDIU here http://www.vawatchdog.org/tdiu-unemployability.html

Never, ever, listen to "someone". They're always wrong. Even if it was a VSO or VA employee...it was the wrong advice.

DEA & CHAMPVA come with a permanent rating of 100%. You've achieved the 100%, have you been rated as permanently disabled is the next question? Have a look at the letter you received that tells you about your TDIU award. In that letter there are phrases we need to find. The phrasing may differ from one letter to the next but there will be something like this...

You should find something that says "Dependents eligibility to apply for DEA is established". Or you'll see "No future exams are scheduled." If you see either one of those, the rating is permanent and you should proceed to apply for DEA and CHAMPVA. If you find a phrase that says "Future examinations are scheduled" it means that the rating is temporary and you are not eligible for the DEA & CHAMPVA benefits.

If you have a temporary rating, you may ask VA to have that converted to a permanent rating. Read about permanent ratings here http://www.vawatchdog.org/permanent-and-total---p---t-.html

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