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Second Class Petty Officers
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About slangpdx

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability

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  1. I have been working with voc rehab in Portland OR for several years and just got assigned a new counselor. I want to ask them about SEI where the VA pays the employer 50% of the wage for six months - it is right in the VA handbook handed out at the VA hospital on p. 19, I am attaching a scan. Does anyone have experience with it or know about it? The office seems to only want to send vets to school at a community college, there is no real job search or employment connection. I took two courses at their insistence and got A's in each, but I have 20 years experience in my field and my current counselor understands that additional training is not going to help me at the age of 64. I am 70% SC and also receiving SSD. I had gotten an employer willing to hire me under this SEI as a news reporter intern in 1983, but the VA nixed it because they said that wasn't a "real profession" - they would pay an employer for anything else including stacking boxes in a pencil factory, but not journalism. Don't know if that was just the personal bias of that VA employee or not. To be clear: not looking for journalism job at this time, just something in my own field of 20 years, computers. Anyone know about SEI? tx seiVA.pdf
  2. It sounds like you could get SS disability which would increase your SS to what it would have been if you waited till 66. I got it after first taking regular SS at 62 as you did and got SS disability on the first try, no appeal, which only happens in about 10-15% of cases. I have 70% VA SC for mental issues. I am told SS disability approval gets easier after age 60. Your payment would increase by about 40%, with back pay predated one year. You can still work with no penalty for a certain number of months. My advice, do not use a lawyer for the initial claim, you don't need to and you will be doing almost all the work yourself anyway. You can file an initial claim at an SS office in about an hour, they will mail you two lengthy questionnaires. My determination only took 7-8 months. Only get a lawyer if you fail on the initial claim and need to appeal. I fired my lawyers before the decision was made so SS eventually refunded the lawyer's 25% of my back pay award, but it took 11 months of hassle. Your VA rating should help; I also had disability determinations from two state agencies.
  3. Tx for response. I'm sure my vet reps do not know everything, but Rice also says this: "A TDIU rating is not a basis for an award of service connection. Rather, it is merely an alternate way to obtain a total disability rating without being rated 100% disabled under the Rating Schedule." Norris v. West,12 Vet.App. 413, 420-21 (1999).
  4. Tx for responses. I am 63. What is P&T? Could have put the following in at first, but didn't want to give too much info. Was also awarded SS disability in July 2018 on first try with no appeal, only happens in 10-15% of cases. Vet rep is trained by state**, is adamant that the 70% will not come into question. Is sending me for IMO paid for by state to see if it will help. Says this would if successful go to "rated at 70% but paid at 100% for TDIU". Was recently told the same thing by a DVA rep at an outreach clinic. Original VA award was on appeal using an IMO. I do remember making repeated calls to have it taken out of an inactive stack and fastracked to avoid going past a deadline. I have been gong to VA voc rehab; for those who don't know how it works, at least here, they do not look for or refer vets to jobs. They only pay to go to a local community college. I don't need more job skills (last job paid $52/hr), but cooperated and took two database courses getting A's in each. College was supposed to look for unpaid internship leading to job offer with VA paying $6/hr. They only found one with a nonprofit that would not lead to a job, said if I didn't take that they were done with me. Have been working with state voc rehab ( I have disability determination with them also, as with state human resources), again nothing, they farm all job search work out to 3rd party contractors who can only do cold calling like me. ** State law diverted some lottery money from education to vet services a few years ago. I have been told by two sources in different organizations that all the money went to train people to help vets submit disability claims; none went for job training, searches, employer outreach or anything else job related.
  5. I am working with county VA reps trained by the state. They say they file about 1 TDIU claim a week with about a 70% success rate. I was awarded 70% SC in 2011 mental health related with no review since then. I have not worked for 3 years and have continued to see VA psychiatrists and have been moved to a primary care unit where docs are psychiatrists. Multnomah County Oregon, Portland VAMC. County rep says the TDIU claim involves assessment for TDIU ONLY and will not readdress the 70% rating at all. Is this true?
  6. Thanks to all who responded, it gives me some ideas and as usual makes me realize I am not the only one going through this. The drugs were Prozac and Paxil, in the same family. It was just this year that the NYTimes ran an article about a psychiatrist who had given himself one of them who saw what I saw, high triglycerides and weight gain (along with something he called "brain zapping", which apparently didn't happen to me and hopefully wowowowowown't). I figured it out for myself 11 years earlier. The VA psych who prescribed them and denied the side effects (and who does not recognize the condition that I have a VA regional rating of 70% for on the basis of an IMO and six hours of psychological testing paid for by the state; I have five different diagnoses by VA psychs) is still there and I encounter them walking the sky bridge for exercise between the VA facility and OHSU almost every time I cross it, doesn't matter what day or time. Almost as if the VA figured out they shouldn't be letting anyone else see them (or like me everyone refuses) and they are running out a clock to retirement at $150,000 a year. Not going to go into all the other tit for tats, as someone mentioned it was all over the map and of course complicated. What I am considering is a letter to the head of the clinic along the lines of "I hope this will not have to go any further than this discreet letter" type of thing to get assigned a different primary care doc. I don't think asking for community care will go anywhere, but will consider it. P.S. I guess you are all aware of the NYTimes report also this year about vets at the Roseburg , Oregon VA being put on hospice status without their knowledge so when they died in the middle of a hospital from denial of care it wouldn't count against the hospital admin's mortality statistics. Haven't heard of anyone going to jail yet. Please stay out of there if you can.
  7. Anyone who has experience or thinks they can help please advise. Went to primary care Dec 4, clinic 15 miles away outside Portland OR, five hour round trip with visit. Saw new doc for first time. 45 minute appt. After telling me he was sure I was going to die of cancer (not his call or specialty or place to say) and needed also to be on a statin*, he decided I was too healthy to need any lab work at all and so ordered none. First time in 30 years none were ordered. I asked for PT referral for shoulder, then found out he put 'CID' date of Jan 16 instead of 30 days out, which schedulers said "had to have been a mistake" but there was nothing they could do, I did not qualify for community Tricare referral because it was outside the 30 day window. I do not believe it was an error. For the record I am probably one of the healthiest people seen at any of these places due to my own efforts, and have been told that by a previous doc. I use the labs ordered at the VA to monitor my health, and spotted triglycerides spiking to 400 once because of an antidepressant they had me on which the doctors of course said nothing about and deny the drug was the cause of it (last level was 47, started dropping immediately after quitting the drug). He also said about my Air Force service "did they even have planes at that base?" which I interpret as an attempt to denigrate my service (for the record I spent almost all 4 years on a flightline in the dark and cold on a remote base exposed to diesel fumes, which we are now learning have their own health risk.) This is only the last in a long series of encounters that I feel are plainly abusive. I have been determined to be mentally disabled by 4 gov't agencies including SS and the VA, with a 70% rating. I asked for a new doc at primary care and got this one. I have been on the list to transfer to the main hospital 5 min. away for 3 years and have only made it to #242 from about 600. I want to document all this in a letter to the clinic manager and ask for yet another doc assigned. I waited a year for this appt. I asked for the PT referral in the ER weeks earlier and they would not give it, said I could only get it from primary care. Again, this is just the last in a long series of issues. The Portland VAMC advocate office has a sign with a list of things you are not supposed to do in that room; at the top is "Hitting", so apparently a lot of vets get upset to the point of violence with what is happening with them. Who do you take concerns to outside of the local VAMC? * I do not need a statin for various reasons, including the fact that according to a different VA doc CT scans show my arteries completely clean of any buildup, and I had a CRP test done outside the VA (they will not do one) showing no systemic inflammation coming from arteries or anywhere else for cholesterol to glom onto and my levels are not that high to begin with. Primary care has been telling me I need to be on one for six years and the guidelines they use are manipulated; for those not aware they can have extreme side effects including dementia and irreversible muscle atrophy. I am 5'10" and weigh 135.
  8. I will have Medicare Part A available in a month, opted out of B for S S D I. Will this do any good in requesting for example an MRI instead of a CAT scan since they could potentially have Medicare paying for it or part of it?
  9. --Keep your A and when you get to retirement age add the B (you won't be charged the penalty then)-- That was my thinking also, but now I am confused as to if the penalty applies from "the first date you are Medicare eligible", from SSDI and not from declining it at 65. Do you know for sure about this? thanks
  10. I was awarded 70% SC in 2010. Was just awarded SSDI in July. I opted out of Medicare Part B immediately because of expense and because the health care expenses I use outside the VA would not be covered by Medicare anyway (alternative practitioners). I am considering opting out of Part A also because I have read either here or elsewhere that if the VA knows you have any other type of insurance strange things start happening such as cancellation of appointments with one day notice that were made six months earlier, etc. in an attempt to force the vet to use their coverage elsewhere. I do not want to rock any boats. To the extent the above occurs it could be VA site specific I suppose; I use the Portland Oregon VAMC, which is generally a cut above the average from what I can tell though I have witnessed three vets busting out of the Patient Advocate office while waiting for records requests to be filled screaming to whoever will listen about what is happening to them. Anyone with any knowledge of the VA vs. outside insurance issue please advise.
  11. Much thanks for both answers, seems for right now I should just sit tight, still working through the SSDI ramifications.
  12. Just awarded SSDI at age 62, had SC at 70% for eight years. Would the SSDI award be added evidence for a TDIU claim? Concerned about trying, do not want rating lowered just because it got run through the system and reviewed.
  13. I understand that a determination becomes unreviewable after 10 years or when the veteran turns 65. Is the 10 years dated from the date of the decision or from the date of filing ?
  14. I just read on another site that after 18 months of federal employment any veteran with disability rating (this is how I understand it) can retire with federal pension of some sort and also their VA disability. This seems a little out there, and I don't know any more about it than that post. Any help would be appreciated, as to truth of this, amounts, etc.
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