What is Comorbidity in TDIU Applications?
When a veteran applies for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU), he often has more than one service-connected disability that makes him unemployable. In fact, it is very common that all of the veteran’s disabilities taken together are what prevents employability. This is commonly referred to as the comorbidity factor.
Geib v. Shinseki: Comorbidity in TDIU Cases
VA generally has an obligation to provide the veteran with a Compensation and Pension examination, where such an examination is necessary to decide the case. Usually, VA will request an examiner’s opinion as to whether a disability would prevent the veteran from working. In Geib v. Shinseki, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that, although the VA need not obtain a medical opinion addressing the comorbidity factor, the VA adjudicator must consider comorbidity in TDIU cases when making the decision. Past cases have recognized the need for VA to consider other factors such as education and occupational history when adjudicating a TDIU claim.
Veterans Disability Compensation for TDIU
If you are unable to work because of service connected disabilities, you may be eligible for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability. Learn more here about VA benefits for total disability due to individual unemployability. If you have questions or need assistance, Bosley & Bratch is happy to offer a free, online VA disability case evaluation to let you know how we can help in your case.