Well-known difficulties of TDIU
One of the more well-known difficulties with Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claims is a lack of military service medical records due to them being lost or destroyed (Wherry, J. L., 2017). This can lead to veterans giving up on following through with their claims since they are unable to provide information to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA).
TDIU claim opinion
Not only does this make things more complicated for the veterans themselves. But understandably, it causes some problems for Vocational Experts (VEs) when formulating a TDIU claim opinion. Service medical records are one of the main sources used. This is used to establish what disabilities are found to be service-connected in TDIU claims.
Alternate sources of medical evidence
While there is the ability to use alternate sources of medical evidence, such as lay statements, to provide information on how disabilities and/or medical conditions affect a person, that is not necessarily the case for service medical records that prove the disabling condition is service-connected.
This is particularly true if there is no alternate proof of a condition being related to a situation that occurred during the veteran’s service, such as exposure to radiation, an injury that occurred due to a direct or indirect attack, or an injury that occurred during training.
Absence of service medical records
If the only medical evidence that existed is missing, lost, or destroyed, then the veteran will probably endure an absolute block to receiving a favorable decision about service connection (Wherry, J. L., 2017). Any decisions made in the absence of service medical records would be based on a lack of evidence as opposed to an evaluation of the evidence (Wherry, J. L., 2