SSDI & TDIU

Question:

Hi Jim, I am rated 70% for PTSD . I have not worked for the past 13 months. However, I have received my full salary from my employer through sick days provided to me by my union. Those sick days are scheduled to end in January 2021. I applied for both SSDI and TDIU. I was granted SSDI because the SSA does not deem sick leave as being gainfully employed. I was denied TDIU because, as the VA stated in my decision letter, I am still technically employed and earning a salary above the poverty threshold. The VBA would not have been aware of my SSDI approval at the time of their decision because both occurred around the same time. Do I have any entitlement to IU? My VSO told me that we cannot contest the denial and that I’ll have to retire from my job before I could get IU. Would my SSDI approval make any difference? Thank you

 

Jim's Reply:

No. SSDI and VA benefits are greatly different from start to finish and neither benefit is in any way connected to the other. Your representative is correct that to appeal the denial would be a waste of time.

Once your benefits have run out from your employment, you can apply again for the TDIU benefit. Good luck.