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Are you eligible for individual unemployability benefits?

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Veterans Benefits |

In the course of your service in the United States military, you may have suffered a serious injury. While you have recovered to some extent, you have limits to what you can do in the civilian workforce. If your disability is severe enough, you may be eligible for Individual Unemployability benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Individual Unemployability refers to disability compensation or benefits that you may receive if your disability interferes with your ability to earn a living. These are the same kinds of benefits you would get if you were a veteran with a 100% disability rating. The VA website explains the two criteria you must meet to qualify for these benefits.

The nature of your disability

You can expect the VA to rate your disability according to its severity. You must have at least one disability that rates at least 60% disabling. Alternatively, you could suffer from two or more disabilities. One of them must have a 40% or more rate of disability that combines with the other disability to reach 70% disability.

Your ability to have a job

Whatever disability you have must have a strongly negative impact on your ability to hold a steady job. The VA explains that you must not be able to engage in substantially gainful employment, which is earning money at or above a certain income level. Without this kind of employment, you cannot earn enough for your shelter, food, health care or other needs.

This does not mean that you have zero ability to work at all. But odd jobs that count as only marginal employment are unlikely to sustain you. The VA understands this and does not count marginal employment as substantially gainful employment. So you should not worry that holding a small job with low pay will disqualify you from the benefits you seek.