Older Veterans and TDIU: The Unique Vocational Challenges for a Growing Population

Veterans claiming disability has long since been a growing population, including those veterans who are collecting Total Disability Based on Individual Employability (TDIU). From 2013 onward, the number of older veterans receiving disability benefits, in general, has increased. According to an article published by GAO in 2015, there was a 73% increase in the subgroup of beneficiaries who were aged 65 and older.

Older individuals and TDIU

Additionally, among new beneficiaries, there were around 2,800 veterans who were 75 and older and over 400 beneficiaries who were 90 or older. The population of veterans who are 65 and older has only continued to grow since 2013. According to Rudstam et al. (2018), there were 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65 in 2017. With regards to veterans receiving TDIU benefits, approximately 200,000 of the veterans over the age of 65 are receiving them  (Independent Budget).

When it comes to older individuals and TDIU, there are unique vocational challenges faced by this group. First, there is the concept of VA regulations to be considered. Despite what may be seen with the retirement age being 65 in the workforce, there are VA regulations that preclude age from being a determining factor in veteran’s disability benefits.

Second, TDIU does not have anything to do with retirement and pension. It is not thought to be similar or different to Social Security Retirement benefits as it is something else entirely. Finally, TDIU has nothing to do with Federal Unemployment Insurance. TIDU is purely a disability compensation benefit. Additionally, a veteran who is awarded a TDIU receives the same level of compensation and ancillary benefits as a veteran in receipt of a total 100 percent rating.