How Long Does It Take to Get VA Individual Unemployability

Like most other claims, filing for Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU) and getting any satisfactory result may take a long time, given many factors. The precise timing is unpredictable. Since a lot happens after the VA receives your claim, they require ample evidence to quicken the process.

The wide range of timeframe it takes for a veteran to receive the TDIU is from around four months to a few years. The timescale is similar to other claims, like the original monthly compensation claim.

We have explained the timeline for getting the TDIU benefit in this article and any possible ways to get it faster.

Brief Understanding of the TDIU Benefit

The TDIU benefit is a special offer from the VA to veterans without the capability to get a steady job that provides them an annual income over the federal poverty threshold because of their service-connected disability. This non-taxable payment equals the monthly compensation for a 100% VA rating.

Before one applies for TDIU, they should ensure to match the following eligibility factors-

  • They served in active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.
  • Their discharge was not dishonorable.
  • They have a service-connected disability hindering them from getting a proper job to support themselves or their family.
  • They either have one service-connected disability with a least 60% rating or more. Or,

Multiple disabilities with a least combined rating of 70% or more and at least one having a 40% rating or more.

If you work in any protective environment, you can still be eligible for TDIU. A protective environment is a place where you get special privileges or can get away with activities that would get you fired otherwise solely because of your service-connected disability.

How Long Does It Take to Get VA Unemployability?

The time it takes to get your VA unemployability or any claim for that matter, depends on some factors. They are as follows-

  • Whether you have submitted the necessary documents and evidence. If you haven’t, the VA will ask you for them after an initial evaluation. They will check the new evidence afterward, which takes longer time than if you would provide them all together in the beginning.
  • Your condition and its severity. Some disabilities are more complex to identify or evaluate. VA may also struggle to find the connection between your disability and your service for specific conditions. The Compensation & Pension (C&P) exam takes longer for some diseases, while some don’t need it at all.
  • Getting help from an attorney. If you have hired a VA-accredited lawyer to assist you throughout the process, they can help quicken it. They know which actions to take to make it faster and reduce your hassles.

If everything is alright, the quickest you can get your TDIU benefit is within 100 days of filing the claim. But if things don’t go as planned, some may take up to ten months to a year. But there can even be worse-case scenarios. Suppose the VA denies your claim for the TDIU benefit. Now, you have two options. You can gather new evidence and file a supplemental claim. Again, you will have to wait several months for any decision from the VA.

Otherwise, you can file for a court appeal with the Board of Veteran’s Appeals (BVA). If your supplemental claim fails (or there is not much chance with a supplemental claim since you couldn’t gather more evidence), then the appeal is your only option.

Unfortunately, such an appeal may take several years for a decision to come up, even with an attorney. So, it is best to learn the chances of the VA approving your TDIU claim before you file it by getting an eligibility review from the VA Disability Coach.

The Timeline for TDIU Benefit

If you know how the process of getting your TDIU benefit happens, you can take any necessary action properly and predict the time you may get it. So, let us inform you of the steps below-

Filing for the Claim and Its Receival by VA

Once you file your claim by mailing, in person, or online, it takes a while for the VA to receive it and begin their next steps. Doing so online is the quickest way since they may start the evaluation within 48 hours. Meanwhile, the other methods usually take up to two weeks for the review to begin.

Make sure to submit all the necessary evidence and documents as you can at this stage. You may also hire a lawyer who can recommend you what information to provide the VA with and suggest many tips and tricks.

Review Process

A Veteran Service Representative (VSR) will begin evaluating your claim upon receiving it. Depending on your disability, evidence, and other factors, the speed of the whole process is determined at this phase.

If the VSR thinks your evidence and information are enough, they will begin the decision-declaring phase (step five). But if the evidence is inadequate, the next step will start.

Gathering Evidence and Information

Often, more than the evidence you send with your claims is needed. In this case, the VSR reviewing your application will look for documents from different sources. Usually, the VA helps collect most of them, including your SSA details, C-File, and medical reports from your private doctors.

But they may also ask you for more evidence. So, try to give them everything they want. While the VA should help you with this, they often don’t do that. So, having a VA-accredited attorney or VSO can be ideal.

Rereview Process

Afterward, the VSR starts reviewing the evidence and information again. And like before, they may need and ask for more data (return to step three). But if successful, then proceed to the next step.

Decision Making by VSR

At this phase, the VSR will come to some verdict regarding your claim. They will determine whether they will reject or deny your claim. They may still ask for more evidence here. But if they have decided on something, the VSR will prepare the necessary evidence and reports to back it up.

Pending VA’s Decision

Next, the VA will check the evidence that VSR prepared and either agree or disagree with their decision. If they approve of VSR’s verdict, they will prepare to notify the veteran of the news. If the decision favored the veteran, then the payment will begin soon.

Readying the Notification Letter for the Veteran

VA prepares a letter containing their decision regarding your claim to send it in a package via mail.

Notifying the Veteran

Next, they mail that package to the veteran to notify them about the VA’s decision. They send it to the location mentioned in your claim. If you have moved, you can report to VA about it while the process continues.

Payment Begins

Afterward, if the VA approves your claim, they will start sending you the TDIU benefit amount starting from the following payment date. A payment date is the first business day of a month usually. But if the first day of the month is a holiday, they pay on the last business day of the previous month.

Court Appeal

If the VA disapproves your claim, you may proceed with a court appeal. You will need a VA-accredited lawyer for the case, which may take many years to end. But with the proper beginning, you may avoid ending up at this step altogether.

How Can You Get VA Unemployability Faster?

There are some steps you can take to speed up the process above. You mostly have to try to cut the evidence-gathering process short by providing everything yourself at the start.

  • Add all the necessary pieces of evidence and documents with your claim.
  • Fill out the VA Form 21-4138 (Statement in Support of Claim) and submit it. You can write some short paragraphs to back up your claim in this form. You can talk about the severity of your disability, your inability to work, or anything that raises a strong argument about why the VA should approve of your claim.
  • If the VA asks for more evidence, collect any relevant and potential documents that may help them review your claim.
  • Hire a lawyer. They must be VA-accredited.

Final Note

If you are planning to get your VA unemployability benefit but are worried that it may take too long, we have explained the process step by step. While it usually takes four to ten months, you can quicken the process by submitting any evidence you can gather.

Finally, hiring a VSO or lawyer will be ideal since they know the intricacies and can help gather the right evidence and prevent you from making any mistakes.