On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims issued a decision in Rey v. Wilkie to define substantial gainful employment (SGA). This is a relevant case for anyone who has a pending Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU) claim. Previously, the Board of Veterans Appeals did not have a definition of the term SGA, and therefore, it was impossible to know if the veteran was actually able to perform SGA.
The CAVC adopted its own definition, using Social Security rules as a reference point. The CAVC adopted the Social Security terms of “sedentary,” “light,” “medium,” and “heavy” in defining physical limitations. The CAVC also added limitations such as lifting, walking, hearing, and visual. The CAVC provides consideration for mental/emotional limitations as well, including memory, ability to concentrate, adapt to change, interact with coworkers and supervisors, and tolerate work stress.
This is a great win for Veterans in that it provides some guidance for the Board of Veterans Appeals and the VA as a whole in making their determinations regarding Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability.
For more information on VA Disability Benefits, contact an experienced VA disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents VA disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process