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About chgofire

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    USAF/U.S Army

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  1. I have suffered the ultimate slap in the face for my service to my country by my employer. They are trying to use my military service connection as an excused that has absolute no bearing to my job performance and they are now trying to use an excuse that I lied when I had originally applied to the job, now 15 or so years later after the fact. When I originally got hired, all of my application status, background, etc. was completed. However, I got deployed and my hiring process had to be placed on hold until my return from active duty, upon my return I was immediately hired no questions asked. I successfully passed all written exams, certifications, and performed the duties of my job according the policies and procedures. At no time I felt the need to inform my employer to disclose my private HIPPA info to them because I was seeking guidance and treatment privately without the use of my funded health insurance from my employer. I sought help from the VA because at that time I didn't know what was going on, it took a lot of work on my end to successfully attend counseling, mental health assistance, group meetings, etc. and at no time was I ever a threat to myself, my co workers or the public. I kept all of VA health access private and none of my performance records or personnel file ever indicated that a "so called" service connection impaired my ability to do my job. NO RECORDS! To make the long story short I was let go of my job and now I find myself in a legal battle trying to get back to work. However, this legal battle has been taking a long time and my employer has not paid me in nearly 2 years. I have lost my marriage due to the financial hardship that my employer has put me through, along with my mother passing away recently and the unfortunate circumstance of being placed in a very extreme financial hardship. I can't begin to explain what I have lost, thankfully my service connection monthly allowance has helped me survive, as well as working ride share for Uber/Lyft and selling just about everything that I own to get buy. Needless to say that I have now come to a point that I have never envisioned, such as the possibility of seeking a financial relief by filing for bankruptcy. This kills me for the fact that I have maintain almost a perfect credit and I try to pay all of my bills on time, I can't afford to lose my house and the basic things that I need to get by. So with this dilemma it leads to me seek some guidance, since my monthly allowance that I received from the VA not tax deductible, should I disclose that to the bankruptcy court? I am getting a work related pension, but its not nearly enough since I didn't do the necessary 20 years to retire with benefits and a pension to survive, instead I am barely making $800 a month if that! on the pension from my employer. Along my earnings from ride share work, which is not a lot of money but at least, it gets me by. I have not been able to obtain full time employment due to the current legal battle that I have going on and I have tried to contact so many agencies and politicians for assistance, unfortunately my call to help has not been answered. I have tried to reach out Congressman, Senate, Local politicians, Federal and State agencies only to end up with absolutely no help. My ultimate goals are to regain what I lost from my employer and hopefully come back to work and finish what I started. But I need some financial help and the only option that I see at this moment is to file for bankruptcy. My story is a very complicated and sensitive issue, which a post on a thread can't possibly explain everything but with that being said I don't wish this to happen not even to my worst enemy. It's extremely depressing and sad that this is going on but it is now I have no other options. So can I apply for bankruptcy given all the above and if so, how can I move forward? Thanks to all in advance...
  2. I was told that those who are rated at 100% qualify to shop at the Commisarry, however, I don't know how that works. When I was on active duty you needed a military ID card, can a service connected veteran obtain an ID card? If so, how is that process accomplished? Lastly, I was also told that now I qualify for dental benefits. It was a long road to finally get rated at 100% after years of fighting the bureaucracy of the VA system, thankfully I didn't give up but I almost did. If it wasn't for other combat military service veterans that guided me and told me not to give up, I probably wouldn't of been here today. I was rated at 90% for a loooooong time, finally 100% I thought this would never happen but it did... Brothers and sisters never give up the fight, especially if you earned them! Any assistance, guidance will be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance~
  3. I came to this site to get guidance; I filed all of my recent claims on my own this time. However, I missed the appointments due to receiving the appt letter later than the specified date. So now I had to visit my local VA and re-submit my case for a follow up appointment. Sadly, my VSO is never at the office and she's now moved to another venture so I currently don't have a VSO and I have pretty much given up on them due to the lack of service that some provide. My recent VSO is from VFW, she seems to know her stuff but whenever I call, email, leave voicemails etc. well, I never get to hear from her which is totally unacceptable. In regards to "burn pit exposure or secondary to PTSD" I haven't filed for a claim, yet. When I was deployed our FOB had a burn pit directly next to our sleeping quarters and we used to smell all kinds of stuff on a daily basis but when you're a soldier pounding the pavement on a daily basis, going out on missions, well you don't tend to think about exposure. I developed asthma and breathing problems shortly after leaving the combat zone. During my exit medical or "physical exam" I informed the medical providers had developed some issues with breathing, so it's documented. So I have to consider filing a claim for burn pit exposure and quite honestly I never thought about it until now. That is why sites like these help service members a lot! Currently I am at 90% and it's been a struggle to get here even with a mountain pile of medical records, documented engagements, injuries, hospital stays and treatments. I've come to understand that the VA doesn't truly care about you and they just want you to give up and stop trying. For some reason these civilians think that we don't deserve to be compensated for our injuries. What bothers me the most is that around the country we have Americans and none Americans alike abusing the system, getting Welfare, Link Cards, Section 8, help with utility payments and many even get free housing, WIC programs etc. and these POS have never done anything for this country, let alone risked their own lives for it. So yeah that pisses me off! How many veterans do I see who are homeless, especially in the City of Chicago? Hundreds! Grant it that many of these veterans refuse to get help but c'mon now this is unacceptable! It hurts to see other brothers and sisters suffering, especially those who have worn a uniform for this country. But that’s a topic for a different discussion and please forgives me for venting out but sometimes things just need to come out... So I apologize for that! I’m just fighting for my needs and it shouldn’t be that complicated to do so but this is our Government and I’m sorry to say this, but were not getting treated right by the VA nor our own Government. It’s an unfair trade but I will continue one fighting.
  4. I recently found out the VSO will not longer be working at the VFW, I filed for upper respiratory issues due to burn pit exposure, asthma, sleep apnea and lost of vision due to a TBI injury. So I visited the VA and filed the claims with the assistance of my local VA hospital. So let's see what happens. The VA makes things extremely hard for Veterans I'm not sure if this is done on purpose or what not but it's very frustrating to say the least.. Currently I am at 90% and I have a massive medical file on record and tons of other references. I'm keeping my fingers cross~
  5. I'm currently at 90% rating current ratings are 50% TBI, 70% PTSD, 0% foot fungus, 10% Left wrist fracture. 8 months ago the VA diagnosed me with sleep apnea after a sleep study and I was issued a CPAP machine. Back in the sandbox we were exposed to a huge burn pit 24/7 ever since leaving the service I developed some form of asthma, breathing problems requiring me to carry an inhaler. Also, I have developed ED but when I filed a claim for ED I was not granted any ratings because they link it to my PTSD, etc. which I think it's bs! I should of filed an appealed for ED but I never did since the claims process is so damn complicated and frustrating, not sure why the VA makes this so incredibly hard for injured Veterans especially Veterans who have been seriously hurt by IED's and other combat related trauma. I have to admit that trying to get 100% rating has been not only difficult but painful experience. I’ve been given medication for a continuous foot fungus issue that has never let up but I was only granted 0% for it. So now I’m considering asthma, sleep apnea, ED, and foot fungus. Thoughts, recommendation or advice? Thank you~
  6. Yes, if I reveal my service connected disability can they forced me off my career, etc? Why whould they be trying to access my private medical records?
  7. I'm in the public safety field, firefighter in a major city. I filed a claim with the VA years ago, I served 2 years in the sandbox, but when I return things were different and I just couldn't figure things out until I decided to seek help. I'm not going to get into too many details but any human being that experiences real military combat, things changed internally, spiritually, and you lose your soul. I've been doing my job for longer than 11 years, I have always kept my VA matters and military background private from my employers due to fear of backlash, misunderstandings etc. When you deal with civilian’s things tend to get a bit confusing. I was rated at 90% service connected disability, I suffered a TBI while in combat while on a combat patrol, fractured my wrist, arm, had skull fractured as well. Also, I suffered or better said suffer from PTSD. The VA wanted to give me 100% but I opted for the 90% due to fear of me not being able to work. Keep in mind that none of the above issues have not interfered with my abilities to do my job, like I stated before I keep my VA matters private. I've been debating whether to get a service dog, my wife divorced me due to the lack of understanding of my war related issues and she didn't make matters any better. In June of this year I decided to take some time off work, medical leave due to a divorce proceedings, my mother being terminally ill, I just had way too much stressors affecting me. In July I decided to return back to work, I was asked to provide my employer a return to work notice from my treating physician, which would clear me to return back to work. I complied and my physician cleared me to return back to work. So since July 13, 2016 I have not being allowed to return back to work, my employer is requesting or better said mandating that I get all sorts of medical procedures done such as an MRI scan, both with contrast and without, due an EEG of the brain, etc. I have asked the medical section of my employer repeatedly as to why are all these test being done are needed, however. I have not been provided with a clear explanation. They decided to get a second opinion, and had me see a psychiatrist that I met for an interview to clear me to return back to work, during the interview portion I was asked about my combat experience, I informed this psychiatrist that I don't have a working relationship with her, therefore I was not going to talk about anything related to my combat experience, I did however informed her that my experience changed my life but that I have been doing my job according the policies and procedures mandated by our SOP's and general orders. She asked me if I was under any medications, and I informed her that I wasn't. She asked me if I was attending counseling sessions, and I informed her yes. But privately, separately from my employer. And that I don’t use my work health insurance to seek any VA matters. I asked her that my employer does not require any psychological testing as part of the hiring process, that I have been doing my job for over 10 years without any issues. I don’t suffer from any performance issues, that I have a clean work record. Etc and also, that my supervisor have asked for my return to duty and provided me with a character reference letter. Well after the meeting with this psychiatrist she is requesting that I release my VA medical records and has requested for me to get an MRI of my brain, etc etc. and my job now is ordering me to do so. She has stated that for her to get a better assessment of me she needs to see those records! Well, I have kindly declined to provide her with such records, and also my employer. The medical section of my employer has tried to force, coerced and even threatened me to release such records. So far I’ve been on medical leave since June 20th of this year, cleared to return on July 13, it is now October 29, and I have lost overtime wages, training opportunities, promotional exams, etc. I filed a grievance with my union but that has not produced any results, also, I filed a complaint with the Illinois Dept of Human Rights, after speaking to an investigator about my work related issues they decided to approve charges against my employer. Also, I have been forced to stay on house arrest in order not to violate our general orders in regards to medical leave. When you are on medical leave and getting paid by my employee, you’re not allowed to leave the city, state, your only allowed to leave your residence for medical needs, food, religious or family related matters. Needless to say that being at home has not been a pleasant experience because I like to be productive and idle time is the devils playground…. If you know what I mean? Thanks~
  8. Thanks Buck, my employer medical section is trying to coerced me, forced me into signing a ROI, however I have declined all atempts. I asked for them to provide with a valid reason as to why such records are needed or requested and to put it in writing so far they haven't complied. Also, the medical doctor from my employer brings in a witness without my consent and I have voiced this concerned about my privacy however this doctor refuses to care about my rights. Something funny is happening here and I have never had a problem at work that indicates that I would be a safety concern or a threat to anyone. So I find these actions strange to say the least...
  9. This is not a VA issue, this is a work related issue. VA is not trying to get any of my private medical records, the fact is that my job is trying to obtain private medical records from the VA, etc. Which I have not authorized them to get access of my records due to HIPPA laws. Also, my Service Connection has nothing to do with my employment or me not being able to do my job~ I find these actions intrusive and with ulterior motives~
  10. Hello brothers & sisters, been trying to post on another thread, however, I can't post on the Veterans from OIF, etc. But I can post here.. Weird! Anyway, I wanted to post a question to those that have more knowledge than me. I want to notify my employer of my service disconnected disabilities, I'm currently rated at 90% and it's been a PITA to reach a 100% but that's a topic for another discussion. What would be the best way to notify my employer of my service connected disabilities without providing them with too much information? I fear that they will require me to release my VA medical treatment records, etc. I have been working for 11 years in my career field and my service-connected issues don't affect my job performance or the ability to do my job. However, I do struggle a lot. I tend to keep my employer in limbo when it comes to my service connected disabilities out of fear that they may retaliate or something, not sure. Also, can a employer try to force you, coerce you into giving them permission to release your medical records? Due to HIPPA I'm assuming they can't? During my performance of my duties there's nothing documented as far as safety concerns, performance issues, or any psychological problems or any other concerns that would raise a red flag. So what would be the best way? I’ve been offered a service dog for my PTSD and since I work long hours at work, I can’t leave the dog at home for long stretch of time. I recently got divorce, I was financially destroyed, my ex wife couldn’t cope or deal with me so she hit the high road and abandoned me. I’m recovering slowly from this set back but I find myself spending way too much time alone, and at times I find myself hitting the bottle way too often than not, but I keep my job separate and my counseling, VA treatment totally separate from my employer. I would appreciate some feedback on this issue. Sorry that I had to post here, but I couldn’t post on the other thread forum… Again, thank you all in advance for the assistance~
  11. To whom it may concern: I came here to get some assistance, after doing 2 combat tours in the middle east, enduring an IED blast, losing some of my brothers, and the list goes on. I've been on a battle for benefits since upon my return in late 2005/6 first rating was 30% then it has been an uphill battle since then I am currently at 90%. However, it's almost next to impossible to get your 100%, I swear sometimes that the VA wants you to be dead instead of providing you with the benefits and entitlements that you deserved. It's frustrating to say the least, personnel at the VA have the worst attitudes, and the thing is that they are there to provide us with a service but they don't care and these people have a job because of those who served their country. But anyway, enough of my ranting. How do I figure or calculate where I am as far as rating goes? These are my ratings 50% PTSD, 50% Headaches associated with TBI, 40% Residual from brain injury, 10% for wrist fracture. I've been fighting to upgrade my rating for PTSD to max it out at 70%, I have lost my wife since I came back from combat, I have suffered from erectile dysfunction, upset stomach, pains in all of my joints, indigestion problems, weird rashes on my skin and red marks. I have a terrible insomnia, the worst nightmares, I am prone to get extremely angry and upset, depressed, etc etc indulged in heavy drinking, suffer from panic attacks, and I tend to be loner. My family doesn't understand me let alone my friends, well, not that I have that many friends to begin with anyway. I get the worst migraines that I end up in the hospital, well I don't want to get too descriptive because I am not looking for a pity party nor do I want anyone to feel sorry for me. That's not the case, I am just a fellow brother that's looking for assistance, I have lost my family due to my issues and its truly been a struggle. I am sure that most whom I here share my same experience but I need help. The American Legion assisted me with my claims process, now at this moment I am working with DAV. So I am looking for guidance, suggestions. To all of my fellow brothers and sisters who have served in combat, thank you for your understanding and support.
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