Can I Work While Receiving VA Disability Benefits?

American flags and text "Can I work while receiving VA disability benefitsHonoring those who have served in our military is something we are proud to do at employU. With many military veterans comprising essential roles within our staff, we know the value veterans bring to the workforce. We have seen how ambitious, hard-working, driven, and skilled those who have served in the military are firsthand. So, it makes sense that veterans are a crucial part of creating and building a strong workforce.  But if one is receiving VA disability benefits, are they able to work while maintaining these benefits? 

Veterans may work and collect VA disability benefits as long as they are not receiving Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) benefits. What is TDIU? When determining benefits compensations for each applicant, the VA assigns a disability rating based on the severity of the condition. The rating ranges from 0% to 100%, with 100% being most severe. A rating of at least 60% for one disability or a total rating of at least 70% with at least one rating of 40% or higher for multiple disabilities qualifies an applicant for Individual Unemployability or TDIU. These individuals receive higher amounts of compensation and are not able to work while receiving these benefits but are permitted to attend school.  

There are exceptions to this rule, however. If the veteran’s work is considered to be marginal employment, they may still receive TDIU benefits while working. Marginal employment may be part-time employment where annual earnings are below the federal poverty line or protected employment, such as working in a family owned business or protected workshop.   

So now that we have covered IF you can earn income while receiving VA benefits, let’s talk about how to find the right career path for you. The VA does have Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (Formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) services to assist with job training and finding employment. But, you may also qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation services outside of the VA.  Through Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), veterans diagnosed with a disability are able to choose a vendor to help them with their employment needs, free of cost. VR does not require the Veteran’s disability to be linked to their military service. The basis for receiving services from VR is that the disability in some way is an obstacle to obtaining and/or maintaining employment. 

As a vendor of VR, employU offers a variety of services to veterans seeking employment.  These services range from finding the right possible career path to job training, all the way to job placement and coaching.  Our previous article on the free employment services veterans can receive covers these services and their benefits in depth.  All of our services and programs aim to help each veteran discover, prepare for, and obtain the career path that best suits them. For more information on our services visit https://employu.org/adult-employment-services/.  If you would like assistance in getting started through Vocational Rehabilitation, contact us below and one of our team members can help you through the process each step of the way.