What are the Income Limits for TDIU Benefits?

Former service members may require assistance from the VA if you have a service-connected disability and are unable to find gainful employment. For this the VA has instituted the individual unemployability compensation program (TDIU). 

In order to qualify for this program, the VA requires proof of the service-connected disability along with proof that your income falls below certain limits. 

If approved, the TDIU can provide you with 100% compensation even if the disability is rated less than 100%. 

What are the income limits?

There is not an official income limit regarding the receiving of TDIU compensation benefits. The main limit written into law is that the veteran is unable to maintain “substantive gainful employment.” The exact definition of “gainful employment”, however, remains murky.

The simplest way to know you have a chance to qualify for TDIU benefits are to meet one of the following three criteria:

  • You currently are not working due to being unable to work (because of a service-connected disability)
  • You have been able to work but unable to make an income above the poverty level
  • You are working but in a specialty sheltered position designed to accommodate your service-connected disability

If you meet these criteria you may qualify for TDIU compensation. 

Veteran Poverty Level Income

As of 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services federal poverty level limits are considered as follows according to the number of people in the household (in the 48 contiguous states plus DC, Hawaii and Alaska have separate guidelines).

1 person in the household: $12,490

2 people in the household: $16,910

3 people in the household: $21,330

4 people in the household: $25,750

5 people in the household: $30,170

6 people in the household: $34,590

The rate will continue to climb as the family-size grows. 

These are some income limits that will be considered as you apply for TDIU compensation benefits. 

If you are working and making under the poverty level, your work is considered “marginal employment” and the income may not count against your TDIU benefits claim.

Sheltered Employment

Another instance in which a veteran may continue earning an income that will not count against their TDIU benefits is “sheltered” employment. 

Sheltered employment can be determined through a variety of factors, but the two most obvious are family business and sheltered workshop (a supervised workplace for those with a disability).

In these cases, the employer must be shown to have created a special accommodation for the disabled veteran to work. If this can be proven then the veteran should be able to continue working and collect the income on top of the compensation benefits. 

TDIU Compensation Benefits

There are a number of factors to be considered regarding the determination of a veteran’s TDIU benefits, including whether or not they are married, have children, are caring for parents, etc…

The 100% benefit for a veteran living alone is currently $3,057.13 per month. The 100% benefit can become as much as $3,625.99 depending on the size of the household. 

TDIU for Veterans

Should you have a service-connected disability impairing you from gainful employment it is recommended applying for the TDIU compensation benefit, even if your disability is rated less than 100%. 

While not substantial, the benefits afforded still add up to considerably more than the kind of jobs (minimum wage-$ 12-hour range) that many disabled veterans are able to work. 

Ready to apply for the VA benefits you deserve?! This link is the fastest way to get access to our coaching and team of doctors!

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on VA.gov (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.