Individual Unemployability

If you are unable to maintain suitable gainful employment due to a service-connected disability, VA may designate you as individually unemployable and assign you a compensation level that’s the same as a 100% disabled Veteran.

Are you eligible for compensation?

Yes, if:

  • You have at least one service-connected disability rated at least at 60%, or two or more service-connected disabilities, at least one of which has a 40% or more disability rating, and a combined rating of 70% or more.
  • You are unable to maintain substantially gainful employment as a result of service-connected disabilities. Marginal employment, such as odd jobs, is not considered substantially gainful employment for VA purposes.
  • In exceptional cases such as frequent hospitalization, this benefit may be granted at a lower disability rating.

Who is covered


Available benefits

  • Compensation
  • Health care

How it works

When filing your claim, be sure to provide evidence or statements that your disability is preventing you from maintaining substantially gainful employment. Your work and education history will be reviewed.

A Veteran has a service-connected heart condition that has been evaluated as 60% disabling. She has been able to work without difficulty until last year, when she began to experience chest pain with any exertion. Her physician recommended that she retire as soon as possible. She filed a claim for increased disability compensation. Evidence regarding the Veteran’s work history and education were reviewed, and she was designated as individually unemployable due to her service-connected disability and entitled to compensation at the same rate as a 100% disabled Veteran.