Individual Unemployability And VA Disability

man at home cooking in wheelchair

Individual Unemployability (IU) is a part of VA's disability compensation program that allows the VA to pay certain veterans disability compensation at the 100% rate, even though VA has not rated their service-connected disabilities at the total level. See our Disability Compensation page for the current monthly payment amounts.

How To Qualify For The Individual Unemployability Benefit

To be eligible for the IU benefit you must be unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected disabilities (marginal employment, such as odd jobs, is not considered substantial gainful employment for VA purposes), and:

  • You must have at least one service connected disability rated at least at 60%, OR
  • You must have two or more service connected disabilities with at least one disability rated at 40% or more and having all your disabilities combined to give you a rating of 70% or more

How Do You Prove Individual Unemployability To The VA?

You should provide the VA with any and all documentation you can come up with including:

  • Evidence of your service-connected disabilities as described above, this can be a copy of your VA disability rating letter. If you don't have a copy of your VA letter, you can just send them a statement that you do have the qualifying disability rating from the VA (they can check their records).
  • A written notification that the disability or disabilities prevent you from performing the mental and/or physical tasks required to get or keep substantially gainful employment, this can be in your own words. If you have any medical diagnosis send copies of it to the VA, this will speed up the decision.

You can apply for Individual Unemployability online.

Stay on Top of Your Veteran Benefits

Military benefits are always changing. Keep up with everything from pay to health care by subscribing to, and get access to up-to-date pay charts and more with all latest benefits delivered straight to your inbox.

Story Continues