To establish entitlement to compensation as if 100 percent disabled based on individual unemployability (IU), a veteran must be unable to secure or retain employment by reason of service-connected (SC) disability. The veteran must be unemployable in fact by reason of SC disability andeither
Decide whether the veteran meets the requirements for a schedular 100-percent evaluation before considering the issue of IU.
Note: If a 100 percent SC evaluation is awarded, any pending claim for a total disability evaluation based on IU is moot.
c. Understanding Unemployability vs. Unemployed and Unemployable
The term unemployability is not synonymous with the terms unemployed and unemployable for the purpose of determining entitlement to increased compensation. A veteran may be unemployed or unemployable for a variety of reasons.
A determination as to entitlement to a total evaluation based on unemployability is appropriate only when a veteran’s unemployability is a result of SC disabilities.
Substantially gainful employment is defined as employment at which non-disabled individuals earn their livelihood with earnings comparable to the particular occupation in the community where the veteran resides.