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Second Class Petty Officers
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About MarineLCpl

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  1. I think what is outlined in the criteria section are just common examples of total impairment. Being honest is your best shot, and if you don’t get it, file an appeal. Your opinions will be heard and you’ll have a chance to explain your case in further detail.
  2. It’s my understanding that even if they stopped IU in the future, any current recipients would be grandfathered. I’m also 70% for PTSD and would love to get to 100 someday..but scared to death of a reduction so I haven’t pursued it.
  3. But that wouldn’t apply to you. Anyone receiving the IU benefit before a change would be grandfathered. But you did the right thing by filing. Anything you believe warrants a claim should absolutely be pursued if you have the evidence to support it.
  4. Never heard of SMC’s. After looking into it, it seems I can file a claim for ED(would award smc-k). I definitely experience that and without a doubt, relate it to my current SC condition. Of course, if I file, that’ll ‘open me up for more evaluations,’ so not sure if that’s even worth pursuing according to your logic You really nailed that last part. From 2011-2016, I earned a bachelor’s degree from a reputable school. A cumulative GPA of 3.81 over the course of five years. After graduation, I had a anxiety attack directly after my first interview(over Skype nonetheless). It was very clear to me that I was not fit to join the workforce at that time. I felt like crap because I let my voc rehab rep down. I thought being educated would give me the confidence I needed to get my life back on track. Since then, I’ve only dabbled within my craft, knowing that I’ll be unable to take on most clients. Anyone I decide to work with has to be very lax, without aggressive tendencies. Someone who doesn’t critique on such a critical level, doesn’t get angry, etc. If you know anything about the music industry, it’s not the friendliest place. This leads to me only working with a handful of people a year by default. Because I’m confident I can perform at the level they’re expecting, I’m able to chip away through the workload(at my own pace, of course). I take much longer to achieve tasks than most engineers I know. But this allows me to feel useful, like I’m doing something besides the usual wallow in my misery thing. Sadly, I don’t have much hope for my future self. It really sucks and it’s hard to admit. But I refuse to just roll over and do jack shit all day. Some may say that my type of work can be done without charging, and they would be right. But that sort of thing rarely leads to anything meaningful, nor does it hold the level of respect I seek. Heck, simply being able to truthfully say I work would be huge. I get why the system is in place, just think it’s rules and regs could be improved to cater to a more complex circumstance than how it’s currently written. But what do i know..
  5. DIC aside, why wouldn’t you trust them to pay IU P&T until death? If it’s warranted, where’s the argument for that?
  6. Lol, fair enough. I apologize for being so concerned about retirement, who knows if i’ll even make it that far. This ‘5,000 a year’ I speak of is just a figure. There’s no telling if I’ll be able to make 1k, let alone 5-10. My argument was that even if it was 10, it’s not like that figure will be consistent. Could make 5 one year, 3 the next, 7 the next, etc. I just don’t see how I’d be challenged on that when I’m working around my disabilities. Now it may not be considered ‘sheltered’ by definition, but when I’m working at my own pace, at times when my condition allows, it may as well be. And it’s absolutely marginal in my opinion as there’s no guarantees of work, or continued work. There are a lot of ‘one-time things’ in the audio world, which is the field I’m knowledgeable in.
  7. At this point, I’m left weighing 80% TDIU vs 80% TDIU P&T. Some make it seem like there’s a benefit in there, others say it’s not worth getting on their radar. Let’s say I do happen to bring in 5k if earned income from home, would being P&T be advantageous in any way versus being TDIU only? If not, I may just leave it be for the time being. Just figured it’d help my case if they tried to reduce. But regs say earned income has to be above the poverty line to be a problem, so if it never reaches that point, I just don’t see how they’d have a case against me...
  8. See, this is where I’m being misunderstood. All I seek is being able to work on my own accord at my home(freelance only with no actual employer). With my conditions affecting me daily, it would be hit or miss as to how much work actually gets done. I do not see my earned income exceeding 5-10k a year and I’d be lucky to make even that. But it would allow me to contribute SOMETHING to an IRA..whether it be $5 or 5k. Im being told that attempting to do this on IU alone isn’t a good idea. So I thought I would at the very least pursue P&T status before attempting it. If they still want to evaluate me after I report any income, so be it. But at least it gives me support in that the work I’m doing is a far cry from what I consider to be ‘substantially gainful employment.’ As far as pursuing a scheduler claim, while it would be nice to not even have to worry about hassle for reported income, I’m not sure I’d be eligible for PTSD alone based on the criteria for 100% that you provided. Maybe, but can’t be sure.
  9. After reviewing all the information I’ve been provided, I think I’ll proceed with this plan of action. If something sounds off, please let me know since my condition has been static for 10 years, I’m going to file for P&T first. But before I do, I would like to do a few things that I believe will help my case. 1. Start attending mental health counseling sessions again. I’ve done this several times before, and while it was nice having someone to vent to, I saw no change in my daily life. I’m willing to give it another try to see if anything improves. If not, I’m assuming the notes taken about me will be useful in a P&T case. 2. Reach out to a civilian mental health doctor to evaluate me. Reading some other posts, things such as a letter from a private doc could help paint a clear picture of my current state of well-being. 3. Write my own statement describing my thoughts and feelings about my condition and how it’s affected me in all walks of life. Not sure if my opinion will matter much compared to that of a doctor, but couldn’t hurt, I guess. 3. After a few months of counseling, if nothing improves, apply for the P&T status. The only thing I’m unsure about is whether or not to file for an increase on the PTSD, which is currently rated at 70%. Do I wait until if and when I’m granted P&T status or do this beforehand to support a stronger case for P&T? Or if I pursue an increase to 100%, would I fall under scheduler status then and not have to even worry about the earned income? All in all, I hope to reach a point where I’m not looked down upon for trying to pursue a means to a retirement fund. My issues are static and while I’m prepared to live the rest of my life plagued by them, imho, having a greater sense of security can only benefit my state of being. I thank everyone who has chimed in to assist me on this. I’ve received nothing short of kindness on this board and for that I am grateful.
  10. I fully understand the reasoning behind that, but aren’t you worried about retirement? Or would you be comfortable surviving on your 100% benefit alone. Now you may have a spouse that can contribute to a retirement fund such as a Roth IRA, but I cannot count on this. If I contributed 200k to an IRA over the course of 35 years, I would have around 600k I believe. But I can’t contribute, so the only option i have at the moment is a traditional savings account that earns a few bucks a month...big difference obviously. Im just trying to gather the best plan of action here. After reading all the information given, I’m starting to think that I should ask for P&T status first. For some reason, I feel I would receive less hassle if I started earning 5k a year from home as P&T versus if I continued on TDIU alone. My issues have been present for 10 years, static the entire time. If I were granted P&T, there’s still a chance I’ll get flagged if I report income, but I feel that having the opportunity to explain the reasoning and circumstance, any sane person should understand. If they don’t agree, I’d lawyer up, I guess. Buck, If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that I could work on TDIU, but only on a marginal platform, or sheltered. I get this part, and how you see it as a risk. I’d pretty much be taking the same risk if I were granted P&T, but at least I’d have documentation concurring the static nature of my condition. I feel this would work in my favor if they challenged me. And even beyond that, having a lawyer break down the operation and circumstance will surely paint a clear picture that what I’m doing is NOT “substantially gainful employment.” I suppose another thing to worry about is filing for P&T in the first place. This puts me on the radar and if I know the VA, they’ll use this as an excuse for more evaluations and possible reduction proposals
  11. Well then, I suppose I should pursue scheduler status after all. As far as sleep apnea goes, I’m not sure I have it. I do frequently have more trouble breathing when trying to fall asleep. But as far as issues when I’m actually asleep, I have no clue. The only things I can think of to potentially be filed as secondary claims are long term memory loss (have a hard time remembering my youth days before the service) and hearing damage (certain frequencies cause an unpleasant, loud distortion in my right ear). Now I’m not sure about the memory loss, but if I recall correctly, tinnitus is 10% max. That would get me to 90%, but it’s not much help in terms of gaining scheduler. Perhaps I’ll get tested for sleep issues. One thing I’ll note is I am constantly clenching my teeth due to anxiety. A simple thought about something negative causes me to clench my teeth together and bite down aggressively. Again, not sure if that’s even relevant but thought I’d make note. If I may, why are you so convinced they will reduce if i participate in marginal employment? Why bother stating the whole ‘under the federal poverty limit income is allowed’ if they’re going to reduce or propose to reduce if you do it? Makes zero sense to me. I thought being unemployable meant that you couldn’t hold down a regular job making over the poverty threshold..it would be a losing battle for them to propose a reduction based on my part-time home work...work that I do at my own pace, as my own boss, with little to no repercussion if I fail. Making 5k at home doing whatever over the course of a year is hardly enough to consider someone “employable” in my opinion I’m only 31 years old. I’m not sure I have enough work credits for SSDI, and I’m far from seeking SSR obviously.
  12. It’s understandable that it may not be considered ‘sheltered’ by definition, but it’s definitely a special circumstance, imo, especially if your wages do not exceed the fed POV threshold. I think it may be best to reach out to an experienced VSO or an attorney who specializes in Va comp cases at this point. Theres got to be a way for me to contribute to a retirement fund aside from a savings account with subpar interest accruement. I did see that passive income could be used, but I’m not about to take a gamble with what i do have saved on some stocks that could go either way. I believe I’d have a good case against a reduction proposal if they really wanted to challenge my little 5-10k earned income ordeal. Wish I had the courage to test it, but without absolute guidance, I’m not so sure I want to risk it
  13. My condition is considerably worse now than it was at my last evaluation, which was around 2014. Going by the book, shouldn’t I have another standard 5-year eval coming up? If so, I should probably express how the condition has worsened with time and how I feel it’s static at this point. My biggest concern is exactly what you’d expect...poking the bear so they say. The last thing I want is for them to think I’m gaming the system, which couldn’t be further from the truth. My life is only a fraction of what it was and my ambition is nowhere close. Speaking with the other gentleman, I expressed that I would most likely be content with doing home-based work that aim comfortable with to net me 5-10k a year if possible so that i can at least contribute to an IRA or some other type of retirement fund. I believe I would find great comfort in this knowing I’m protecting my future in a financial sense without the constant worry of my current benefit going away. But I’ve been advised that I’m taking a huge risk trying to gain income through work, even if it’s sheltered work in my home, at my own pace, within my comfort zone. Seeing as I’m only TDIU and not scheduler, performing this “work” from home worries me. But according to regs, I’m allowed to do this as long as it doesn’t exceed the fed poverty limit. And even if so, the work is still what I consider sheltered because I do not have the pressures of a normal, societal workplace. Many people advise that it isn’t even worth the risk of getting on their radar while on TDIU, but without me being able to contribute to retirement, I feel my fears will continue to linger, leading to a worsened condition in the long run.
  14. The main thing for me when it comes to that ‘sense of security’ is being able to do some work(under my own circumstance) at my own level of tolerance/pace without the fear of losing my IU status. While I’m confident I could perform at a certain level as far as “work” goes, I’m not confident I’d make much in terms of income. Nor am i confident I could do it every day. I go through ups and downs, but my downs consist of very down times where symptoms could last for days or weeks. So far from being able to normally operate in terms of the ‘real’ workforce with a company. Obviously that sort of behavior would not be tolerable with an employer. But maybe I could make enough on my own, from home, in my secured space, to contribute to a retirement fund, which will help that ‘sense of security’. What bothers me is the VA misinterpreting this ‘work’ I speak of as me being ‘employable and taking my 100% IU rating.
  15. Buck, they didn’t take the IU rating away, but they did remove my 70% rating from Major depressive in favor of a 70% rated PTSD award. So the rating percentage hasn’t changed(it’s always been 80%, 70 + 10), but it seems major depressive was removed entirely for PTSD. They kept my IU in place despite changing up the diagnosis. In my opinion, the major depressive + anxiety(social impairment) is the basis of my condition, with PTSD being the cause of it. But they chose to change the award all together for reasons unknown. If they would have kept the major depressive award along with the new ptsd award, that would be two 70% awards, giving me 100% scheduler status I believe. To me, it almost seems like an attempt to keep me from reaching that. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about trickery like this in order to avoid certain rating awards, etc..
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