For example: a veteran with PTSD works for a family friend’s business. The family friend provides the veteran with an office and duties that afford limited interaction with other people. The veteran’s salary pays his bills, and is over the current poverty threshold. Because the veteran’s job has been tailored to his individual needs (limited interaction with other people), his job is considered to be sheltered, and therefore falls under “marginal employment.” The VA cannot consider this job as being substantially gainful employment, and must not use it against him in determining IU.
Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment. Marginal employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran's earned annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold for one person. Significantly, however, marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a facts found basis, based on employment in a protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop even when earned income exceeds the poverty threshold. Consideration shall be given to all claims as to the nature of the employment and the reason for the termination. 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a).