I was just awarded TDIU. I own a barbershop will that affect me as far as being above the poverty level?


Jim's Reply:

I'm not sure I understand? In the application process for TDIU you're supposed to reveal your income and ability to work and to show that you're not able to work because of service connected rated conditions. 

But somehow you didn't reveal that you owned a business that likely produces a significant income for you as well as requires your day to day supervisory or management attention if you aren't actively working as a barber?

Since I don't know your whole story I'll try to cover a few of the details about TDIU. The TDIU rating provides the veteran who has service connected conditions preventing him from working a 100% benefit even though the ratings of those conditions don't add up to 100% disabled.

If the veteran has a single 60% rating or multiple ratings (of which at least one is 40%) and that add up to 70%, the veteran may be awarded the TDIU rating which is a 100% rating with all the benefits of that tier. (Read more about TDIU)

One of the points of determining TDIU eligibility is the veterans ability to work enough to earn an amount above the national poverty wage or level. In broad terms most Americans earn an income by working for an employer so the year to year wage is pretty simple to determine. Some veterans (like you) are self employed, employed in a family run business or other similar business entities so it's a bit harder to determine just how much that veteran is earning as a paycheck.

VA tracks the income of the TDIU veteran by monitoring their SSA and IRS accounts and if anything out of the ordinary pops up, the veteran will be notified and asked to complete a VA Form 21-4140. 

In your case I'm struggling with a good answer for you because I don't understand why you applied for TDIU if you're actively working as a business owner? I have to assume that a barber who owns his shop is either working day to day himself or has a business productive enough to employ other professionals to work for him. That doesn't make it sound as if you are eligible for the TDIU benefit and that could be an issue for you.

If during the application process you didn't reveal that you are a working business owner with an income higher than the poverty level, I'm not sure what to tell you other than that you may have a problem and the best I can tell you is that you'll want to speak with a veterans law attorney.

Otherwise, study the rules and regs that cover the TDIU benefit and be sure that you don't cause yourself any unnecessary troubles.

Good luck sir.


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