VA Compensation: Service Connection and Unemployability (TDIU)

Hello Jim, I am new to posting on blog. I have recently medically retired from the Army and have been awarded a permanent 1oo% service connected disability.

Today, I went to VA for a VocRehab counseling and was told my the counselor that based on my documentation and response to the questions that he consider me "Individual Unemployability. I asked him if this would stop my VA compensation and he said no; that this would be an additional amount I would receive. Is this correct? I have 30 to appeal this if I feel it does me a disservice. I was hoping that I would choose one of the five tracks of the VR&E services. I am looking to maximize my benefits to adequately support my family. The VA compensation I am currently receiving (3 months now) is not enough.

Thanks for your response.

Jim's Reply:

I can't understand why you were told that. You are apparently already rated at 100% by the Schedule For Rating Disabilities, usually called a 100% schedular rating. A veteran can't hold a 100% schedular rating and a 100% TDIU (unemployability) rating simultaneously. It makes no sense to replace one with the other.

It's my experience that the VA's VocRehab program is one of the least successful and most complex programs that VA offers. In over a decade of advocacy, I can't recall any veteran who has had a positive experience with VocRehab.

Interestingly, I just received a lengthy survey from a VA contractor asking me to grade my "recent" experience with VocRehab. It took me a minute to realize that they were speaking of my own application to VocRehab that happened about 20 years ago. I'd forgotten that I'd applied and of course I'd been denied. That tells us a lot about how well the program is run.

Unless there are some pressing reasons to use VocRehab, I usually suggest that vets are better served by using their GI Bill benefits.

Maximizing your compensation will be a challenge since you're already at 100%. Without knowing a great deal more about your ratings, I can't offer any help except to say that reaching ratings over and above 100% is a steep uphill climb unless you're very, very ill.