VSO Gives Instructions How To Obtain Individual Unemployability
By Tammy Javenkoski, VSO
August 15, 2018
Individual Unemployability (IU) is a benefit service-disabled veterans can claim if they have service-connected disabilities that prevent them from substantially gainful employment. IU pays the veteran at the 100 percent rate even if the VA has rated them less than 100 percent.
In order to be eligible, a veteran must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of his/her service-connected disabilities.
Additionally, a veteran must have:
- One service-connected disability rated at 60 percent or more, OR
- Two or more service-connected disabilities with a combined rating of 70 percent or more, with at least one individual disability rated 40 percent or higher.
Special consideration will be given for veterans when the following criterion is met:
- The veteran is considered unemployable due to a service-connected disability (or disabilities) but fails to meet the minimum percentage standards. In other words, if you don’t meet the above standards but are still unemployable due to your service connected disability (or disabilities), OR
- There is evidence of exceptional or unusual circumstances to impairment of earning capacity due to service-connected disability (for example, frequent periods of hospitalization).
Veterans who are in receipt of IU benefits may work as long as it is not considered substantially gainful employment; it must be considered marginal employment. Substantially gainful employment is defined as employment at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides. Marginal employment is generally deemed to exist when a veteran’s earned income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Census Bureau as the poverty level for the veteran only.
If a veteran is approved by the VA for IU, not only do they receive the 100 percent service-disabled rate of pay but they may also receive additional benefits including health insurance for their dependents, Property Tax Credit, a service-disabled military ID card and a $10,000 life insurance policy with a waiver on monthly premiums.
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