Hi Jim, I am 80% Disabled by the Army and 100% due to unemployability. I have been 100% since 2009. If I started a business would my benefits and or unemployability be taken away?


Jim's Reply:

The TDIU benefit is awarded based on the assumption that the veteran is disabled to a point where he/she isn't able to work and earn 'gainful employment' figures. Gainful employment means any income over the federal poverty limits. The letter U in TDIU stands for unemployability after all.

So...if you start a legit business and you're registered in your state as an LLC or similar, you should know that VA is tracking your taxable income and if you should earn more than allowed, you'll soon receive a VA Form 21-4140 asking you to explain the extra income.

If that happens you could very well lose the 100% rating that TDIU brings with it and you'd be reduced to the 80% of your underlying rating.

I've always thought that most of us would much rather be working at a productive labor of some sort than lying around collecting our benefits. I encourage anyone who may find a way back to work to do so and not think about their rating so much. If you start your business and it isn't a success and you don't make any money at it, you're still covered by your TDIU income.

Should you be successful and you begin to earn a lot of money, even though you may lose the 100% rating,'re making a lot of money and now you aren't unemployable. 

Good luck in your endeavor sir.



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