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  1. you may entitled to a 100 percent rate if you are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation because of your service connected disabilities. If you believe you qualify, complete, sign, and return Veterans Application the enclosed VA form 21-8940 , Veterans Application for increased compensation Based on Unemployability . I just had a c & p exam about two weeks ago for MDD VA DR. gave 30 percent not sure of the gaf score my private DR. gave a Gaf score of 45. Here's the break down 30% MDD caused by chronic pain 20%rt shoulder 20% left shoulder secondary to rt. shoulder 10% rt clavicle 10% left bicep secondary to rt. shoulder 10% foot 0%scar Total 70% I'm currently on SSDI because of my service connected disabilities 1. should I appeal for a rating higher than 30% base on the my 2 private DR. gaf scores of 45 2.my bilaterial factors rt. shoulder combined with my left shoulder and left bicep will this give me the 40% need for a 100 percent rate. 3. will they consider the 30% MDD + 20%rt +20%Lt+10%Lt+0%scar all of this as one injury.
  2. Severity of my Tbi is not a question and it's also SC. It's been rated at 70% in 2010 and took an appeal to grant SC. The judge also ordered me a C&P for an increase. If it is increased to 100% by it self and if I am still able to work can i? I know I can't if its TDIU which I do not want at this time, currently 90%. I know I'm looking for a job were my memory won't hinder my ability to do the job, nothing in aviation apparently. This is what is in the hospitak record, "cerebral contusion with diffuse axonal injury to bilateral frontal and temporal lobes" would this be able to apply for a bilateral issue? I know its considered bilateral in my brain left and right frontal lobes.
  3. Hi Everyone, Does anyone have experience with SMC for total rating plus 60 percent or housebound status? I think Berta raised a red flag on this for me before but I believe I know have found the regs for it. Anyone that could provide any addtional info would be appreciated. Here is the deal: During my temp 100% convalescent rating for my L3-S1 fusion surgery performed in March 2009 I was awarded this SMC based on the fact that I had a 100% rating (my back) and a 50% mental rating and a 30% asthma rating. Why I wasn't considered for housebound I have no idea because I only leave for appointments. I can't sit, stand, or walk more than a few minutes at a time without switching those positions. So they take away the SMC when my convalescent leave is up in July. I was awarded TDIU for May 2009. Recently my SO asked the RO for regular aid and attendance for me because my wife can't work because she needs to take care of me (still waiting on this one). The rating decision even included a statement from the RO admitting this. Anyway back to this SMC. I'm reading the Veterans Benefits Manual and guess what I see? To get this SMC it states there are two ways: First you have to have one service connected rated at 100% and addtional service connected disabilities involving a different bodily system that are independently rated at 60% (411). The second way to get it is have one service connected disability rated at 100% and be housebound. The RO stated because my back went to temp 100% and my mental 50% and asthma 30% this is why I rated it. Well I am reading the the little notes at the bottom of the VB manual and it states this: (411) 38 U.S.C.S. 1114(s); 38 CFR 3.350(i)(1) (2007). In a VA Gen. Coun Prec. 66-91 (Aug. 15, 1991) and 2-94 (Jan. 21, 1994), the VA general counsel held under 38 U.S.C.S. 1114(s). several separately rateable disabilities cannot be combined to achieve a single total (100 percent) rating in order to qualify for the special monthly compensation. The threshold requirement for entitlement under this statue is that the Veteran must have "a" (that is, at least one) disability rated as total. Here is the big verbiage for my case - The 100 ratings under 38 CFR 4.16 (TDIU), and 38 CFR 4.28 (prestabilization ratings). 4.29 (ratings for disabilities requiring hospital treatment), and 4.30 (convelescent ratings) of the rating schedule may be used as a basis of entitlement for SMC. See VA Gen. Coun. Prec. 66-91 (Aug. 15, 1991); See also manual M21-1MR, part IV, subpart ii.2.H(a.) Sounds like the RO should have never stopped paying me the extra $295 a month for this SMC based on the award of TDIU in effect once the convalescent leave ended................... anyone??????????
  4. First of all wanted to start this out by saying thank you to all the members on this site. I have been doing all my own research and very often arrived here. Today I decided it might be better to get direct contact instead of lurking in the shadows. The short version is that I have not been able to find work after separating, I'm currently on unemployment to keep myself out of debt while I figure this all out. I was in school for a few months and while I was struggling a bit I did my best to push through which was kind of working out for awhile. Eventually I started getting to the point where I could only manage to push myself to get to class and landed right back in bed afterwards. This effect snowballed and now I have just been medically withdrawn from university after missing 2 weeks of class. Those two weeks I could not get out of bed almost the entire time, I have been taking my meds and everything but sometimes depression just decides its going to mess your life up and you don't have the will or energy strong enough to overcome and keep going. But back to the point, the VA awarded me 30% for depression, anxiety and insomnia combined into one rating. Trying to figure out how I am going to get by and what I can do to survive brought me to the vets group on campus where one of the other guys after hearing what was going on suggested trying to get my rating increased and possibly seeing if I am eligible for individual unemployability. After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this. I've got the NOD paperwork but didn't want to fire off half cocked. I look to you all for some help with this as time and again I've seen this community help each other navigate the labyrinth that is the VA. My question here is multifaceted, which I will break down for easier reading and responding. 1. When filing a NOD should I go for DRO or traditional? 2. What evidence should I include with this to increase the likelihood of conveying my situation properly? 3. Should I talk to my doctor about trying to raise my percentage or keep the two separate? 4. Should I focus on the depression or give information on insomnia and anxiety as well/ would they all go together? 5. Lastly What sort of timeframe should I expect, I've seen people saying a few months and others waiting years later. Thank you all for any help you can provide and if you need any more information or clarification I will gladly supply it. (There are other things in my disability claim but they are much minor to the mental health issues and I believe the ratings I received for the others were fair or fair enough.)
  5. I just turned 63. I am rated 100% P&T/TDIU. When I reach 65 and become MEDICARE elegible, will VA benefits based on unemployability automatically end? Would they automatically end at some other retirement point? I don't honestly know for sure, but it seems like if an award is based on unemplloyability, that you'd lose it when you're no longer of working age (not my common sense, but the way the gubment seems to think sometimes :-)
  6. I have a disability rating at 70% but being paid at 100% due to unemployability. I am dealing with a lot of health issues lately. Does my wife inherit my compensation in the event of my untimely demise? Thanks
  7. I submitted a 21-4140 in January via mail and fax as a "routine" new year ritual. However, today I got a new one. I'm wondering if they only take these when THEY ask for them, if it just didn't get there or what. Is it safe to fax this document to the VA or should it be sent certified mail... or both? ALSO WONDERING... Does a veteran on TDIU P&T submit one of these every year for life? I'm turning 64 this year and I have not problem with the requirement to submit the form. Just thinking (hopefully, far) ahead to when I can't do such things anymore.
  8. I was going to bump up the CUE criteria here but there is a lot of info already and all one has to do is read it all. Also there are successful CUEs here as well like this one: Mega retro but there are 53 replies and many pages....still it shows what a CUE is and how much retro a valid CUE can award. I guess it was never put into the CUE forum. 6 figure award...I think most of that retro was from the CUE claim ( or maybe all of it) We also have successful recent CUEs from Allan, SPO, my HBP CUe, my SMC CUE... and more winners ,as well as links to successful CUEs awarded at the BVA.
  9. So I received my final decision from the BVA which granted me TDIU which states that my effective date is June 2016 which I strongly disagree no surprise there huh!!!!!!!!!!!!!. My question to the elders on this beloved sight is what should I do. I mean the judge I guess tried to pay me back to my original claim date in 2002 but the evidence did not support staged ratings or extra scheduler rating. She used in my favor a statement dated in June 2004 made by a VA doctor stating that my coronary artery disease solely kept me from working and maintaining gainful employment. That she said outweighed the recent opinion from the C&P examiner made in June 2016. Now my total rating recently jumped to 90% which I guess made it easy for her to give me the TDIU. I am confused about the regulation covering early effective dates and how is it established if a doctor gives an opinion that many years ago and they do not reference it until it is convenient to disallow a big retro. Should I just be thankful for what I got and just get over this. Anxious to hear from the community
  10. Hello, I'm a returning member of this forum. I was last on here some years ago. After a long struggle I finally got 60% disability and between that and some depression I was experiencing at the time I settled. I just got a reminder of my status and realized three things: I cannot work and haven't been able to for about a decade now. Financially, I'm not "getting by". I'm living check to check and praying nothing goes "wrong" like needing new tires for the car. I'm actually only getting 20% for the back injury that has taken most of my life from me and the other 40% from comparatively minor crap. So I'm angry again. Angry enough to open up this can of worms one more time. I'm working with the DAV this time and I understand there have been some changes in the process so I'm trying to stay positive and open minded. So that's who I am and why I'm here. See you around the forums. John Purser
  11. Hello all vets ran across this older vet the other day and he showed me his letter and wasn't sure what this meant and I was not sure so reaching out to gain some knowledge. His letter says: your appeal has been granted as to entitlement of individual unemployability and this appeal is now closed on this issue. The SOC also showed 2 denied items. Any possible retro for the gentleman? 01-05-2015 claim received 08-26-2015 claim considered based on all evidence of record 09-03-2015 notice of disagreement received 09-03-2015 De Novo review election received 09-11-2015 appeal selection letter sent to appeallant 11-10-2015 deadline for submitting response to appeal selection with no reply will follow traditional process 08-08-2016 claimant notified of decision 02-23-2017 veteran furnished a statement of case outlining actions taken
  12. you may entitled to a 100 percent rate if you are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation because of your service connected disabilities. If you believe you qualify, complete, sign, and return Veterans Application the enclosed VA form 21-8940 , Veterans Application for increased compensation Based on Unemployability . I just had a c & p exam about two weeks ago for MDD VA DR. gave 30 percent not sure of the gaf score my private DR. gave a Gaf score of 45. Here's the break down 30% MDD caused by chronic pain 20%rt shoulder 20% left shoulder secondary to rt. shoulder 10% rt clavicle 10% left bicep secondary to rt. shoulder 10% foot 0%scar Total 70% I'm currently on SSDI because of my service connected disabilities 1. should I appeal for a rating higher than 30% base on the my 2 private DR. gaf scores of 45 2.my bilaterial factors rt. shoulder combined with my left shoulder and left bicep will this give me the 40% need for a 100 percent rate. 3. will they consider the 30% MDD + 20%rt +20%Lt+10%Lt+0%scar all of this as one injury.
  13. Hello all! First, some backlog, which is my TDIU (new)/PTSD (inc)/TBI (inc) claim that was opened by myself in the middle of 2016: Now, the complicated part.: None of my employers could return their 8941's (Document about my history of employment with them) because it was either A. Not their policy to do so. or B. The employers are permanently closed. So after months of waiting, and me personally trying to reach out to a couple of the employers, no information could be obtained from them (My last employer must have come from the Houdini line, as I could not track him down). Now, the other complicated part: I am currently enrolled in VR&E (Voc Rehab). The program I am in, is the program just above "Independent Living". After 5 years of education (Yes, you read that right), I finally obtained my Associates in Applied Sciences. It was one hell of a struggle to get there. I probably failed 35-40% of my classes due to symptoms and social difficulties brought about by my disabilities. The VA has informed me that they sent over a VA Form 28-1902b (Here: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/epss/vetsuccess_jst/VRE_Contractor/pdfs/28-1902b.pdf) to my vocational rehab counselor. I am not sure how this will effect my potential for TDIU (I am guessing severely), so I am reaching out to the TDIU masters here. What should be my next step? Thanks in advance! Commodog
  14. my claim was moved to gathering eveidence on the 25th of january, then on the 30th moved back to pre for decision, and this morning it is in pending approval. is that normal? the date changed as well it is say febuary 5th 2017 to Feburary 8th 2017... TODAY THIS MORNING I CHECKED AND IT WAS ALREADY PENDING NOTIFICATION, BUT MY A8 LETTERS STILL SAY THE SAME RATING I HAD BEFORE.. HOW WOULD I KNOW WHAT VA AWARDED ME WITH...
  15. Hey everyone, I was rated at 80% in 2014. My highest rating is for a skin rash that covers about half of my body and requires constant systemic steroids. For this skin rash I am rated at 60% (which is the highest of all my SC issues). This rash initially occurred during active duty in 2012 and for the past five years doctors have just treated the rash and given me all the prednisone I could ever want. In 2015 I developed migraines. I began suffering from chronic fatigue, and I began experiencing muscle pain and weakness. Long story short- I recently saw a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with amyopathic dermatomyositis. The amyopathic dermatomyositis is basically the rash I have displayed for years, except no one ever knew that. The migraines, muscle weakness and fatigue are also common issues in people who have amyopathic dermatomyositis. I have wanted to apply for TDIU since 2015, however I didn't feel I had enough medical information to link all these issues together, and I also didn't have a diagnosis other than a basic rash. Now that I have new information regarding my SC rash, I want to apply for TDIU. I'm a bit nervous as to how these ratings might be combined. For example, my current rating is under DC 7806 and the rating for dermatomyositis is under 7821. I take chronic steroids, so under 7806 and 7821 I'd be 60%. If I file a new claim for the dermatomyositis will the ratings from DC 7806 and 7821 be combined, or will it basically just be the changing of some verbage on my claim (7806 would switch to 7821)? I don't see anything that says 7806 and 7821 cannot be combined. Like a lot of people, I dread opening the flood gates to my VA claims and risking my already 80%. Any info/advice on my questions or TDIU in general are so much appreciated. Thanks!
  16. Are there DBQs for TDIU C&P exams for multiple disabilities? Or are there just the same C&P dbqs tailored to how they impact your employability, more like SSDI (which I have)? I read the fast letter over and over, but could not understand any better. Sorry. Thanks. "Examinations ... Schedule a general medical examination only if the rating activity determines that it is needed to fairly and fully adjudicate the TDIU claim, such as original claims for disability compensation or TDIU claims involving the impact of multiple service-connected and/or nonservice-connected disabilities upon employability."
  17. I'll give you guys a little background. I'm an Army Vet. I served from '99-'03. My MOS was 51M, Firefighter. I was also trained and certified as an EMT and an EMT Intermediate., On my first active duty assignment I worked at the civilian fire dept on the base I was stationed, where I was on many traumatic incidents. Traffic Accidents with fatalities, Suicide attempts with some that were actually "successful", etc, etc. At my second duty assignment, I worked at the military fire dept. The only difference was that due to my EMS training, I was assigned to the Ambulance, where again, I treated many patients, suicides, traumatic accidents, etc, etc, again. I won't go into details. This isn't really the place for it. I've had many of the responses documented and re-affirmed by the fire chiefs I worked for, and in some cases had letters written and signed by other soldiers who served along side me on some of these incidents. I also have my service medical records that show that I was prescribed Paxil in my last year in the Army for Anxiety and Depression. When I first filed back in 2013 I got 30% off the bat, SCD for ptsd. I appealed and got 50% about six months after my initial rating. After gathering much more evidence, I submitted an appeal for an increase and TDIU. Today I checked ebenefits (like I do pretty much every day since I filed my appeal). It shows that I was not given an increase, nor was I granted TDIU, naturally. I'm upset. It's not just because I was denied, More of it's due to my Comp and pen. exam. While I have not gotten my denial letter yet, detailing the reasons why, I know some of it was due to the comp and pen. examiner. His report did nearly nothing to reflect what I had told him. How I'm suicidal nearly every day at some point, the overall depression and anxiety I experience, etc, etc. It feels totally dismissive in so many ways. Now, I know that that is their job, but theirs a few errors in the report that substantiate my claim of this. At one point he talks about a Dr. that was in charge when I was in "Day Hospital" (outpatient PTSD) treatment. He states that this doctor is the one prescribing my medicine, which I clearly stated otherwise. I'd have to look at the report, but I'm certain there were other discrepancies. VFW is my service organization and I feel my VSO does a great job, but I now am looking for a lawyer to represent me here in Chicago. If anyone can offer any advice or support, I'd appreciate it. Thank You for reading.
  18. It seemed like a life time ago I posted what I thought was a success story for my claim of tdiu among other things, only to find out that that was not the case at all. I did go from 60% to 90% and I am thankful for that and also I do have a roof over my head. If you go look back at some of my posts I stated that the hearing judge pledged to do all she could to give me my benefits as far back as she could. My claim is back with her and ebennies says that she has had my file in her possession since the 17th of Jan. and she is working my claim. However, I learned that even if it says that it is with the administrative law judge ,does not necessarily means she is actually working my specific claim, per DAV at the BVA. So where is my claim and who knows how to actually pin down that info. Of course the BVA status line says the same each time I call, "still with the judge no decision".
  19. So I was awarded TDIU with SMC S on Nov 11. I was paid 90% on Dec 1 and Dec 30 for Jan. I was paid retro for Dec 30 on Jan. 12 for 1500. Not to sound greedy but am I not owed another 1500 dollars for Dec 1 since I was awarded it on Nov 11? I know my math isn't great but what am I missing I did this without an attorney so no payout to anyone.
  20. Had my DRO face-to-face on 17 January, 2017. He approved BOTH my CUE, and my Permanent TDIU without hesitation. My understanding is that I will see the $$ in my account BEFORE the actual award itself. Any idea how long before I actually get the award-paperwork itself?
  21. 1970-74 weighed 130 in and 134 out, I had 4 yrs USAF Jet Engine Mechanic experience – much exposure to JP4, Jet Exhaust, PD-680 degreaser, carbon soot, noise, etc. I don’t have much medical information in my service records package, but I do have several pages of upper respiratory sickness, sore throats and earaches from one USAF base. None of my other medical records from other bases were in my service file. While in-service I married for the 1st time, we lived off base and thanks to my wife I was pretty good at getting to work on time. She would complain that I kept her up half the night with my snoring and would go back to bed after I would leave. She also described the loud outbursts and would try to put a pillow over my head to muffle the sounds – eventually she even bought some earplugs. The marriage didn’t last very long and we divorced in less than a year. After the divorce I moved back into the barracks, I was always tired and difficult to wake up and often fall back asleep. I eventually received an Article 15 for repeatedly being late for rollcall, and a reduction in pay scale for several months. Prior to entering service I had lived with my older sister Kathy and her husband. I did not exhibit the typical SA symptoms, I snored and I physically did not fit the profile. They told me I it got much worse after I got out and that I sometimes scared them when I would quiet down and suddenly let out a loud gasping/snoring sound… which sometimes woke me up too. I remarried in 85 and this was the first time I was told I may have sleep apnea. My wife Laura has a medical background and told my doctor what goes on at night and he made arrangements for me to have a sleep study done. It was confirmed and I received my first CPAP machine and have been using one ever since. My weight then was 203lbs. In 2006 I had this mysterious bout of ITP, of which I was hospitalized and transfused with platelets for several days. Aftercare was 6 months of prednisone, many needle sticks, bone marrow aspiration and finally tapering off they prednisone for 3 more months. In 2010 I had several significantly blocked arteries and underwent CABG dbl bypass at the San Francisco VAMC. During the surgery the urologist came out of the OR and ask my wife if I had any known bladder problems, which I didn’t, but their concern was that I was passing blood through my urine. He advised to follow up with urology once I recover and have it worked up. I had a cystoscopy and everything looked fine. In 2012 I put in a claim for IHD 60%, DMII 10%, MMD 70%, ED $125, Hearing Loss 0% and Tinnitus 10%, I was awarded, using VA funny math it was 90% scheduler with 100% compensation for TDIU plus SMC. At one of my recent psych visit I confided in something I never told anybody, not my wife, nor friends (not that I have many, quite the loner) or anyone else. Back in my last year of service I was sexually assaulted by another male, I was so ashamed I stuffed it for 40 yrs, but it just came out. I have been in several PTSD clinics and they helped me to realize I was a victim, that my assailant was a perpetrator, purposefully got me drunk and assaulted me in my sleep. Dec 2013 my wife gets annoyed with the VA doctors because they are all ignoring that some of my blood work always come back a little under the lower range so they blow it off. Via her pushing I get a Hem/Onc consult and it is discovered that I have an Ultra Rare illness called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH), is a rare acquired (not hereditary), life-threatening disease of the blood. The disease is characterized by destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia), blood clots (thrombosis), and impaired bone marrow function (not making enough of the three blood components). It is closely associated with AA & MDS, all are bone marrow failures diseases. Benzene is known to be a toxic chemical which causes bone marrow failure illnesses. My illness is stable so it is in watch & wait state. I’m followed by Hem/Onc once a month to evaluate blood labs and I was prescribed Folic Acid for now. Jan 2016 it is discovered that I have L/carotid artery blockage at 80%, and R/carotid at 60%. I am supposed to have CEA on the left one but first wanted to consult with a well-known PNH specialist in New York NYU to discuss risks of thrombosis. He wants me on an intravenous medication call eculizumab (Soliris tm $$$,$$$ per year) prior to surgery for the carotid artery. Part of his workup for new patients is to check for venial clots with a Head MRI, Abdomen MRI and Lower extremity Doppler studies. No clots found, but I apparently had a chronic lacunar infarct of the left caudate head (stroke) that apparently was asymptomatic. The report also indicated that Scattered areas of white matter signal abnormality in a configuration most suggestive of chronic small vessel ischemic disease. Not sure what that means but it sounds interesting… Now here are my questions: Should I leave well enough alone with my TDIU award or file some additional claims? PTSD due to MST or should I file for increase in MMD PNH due to toxic chemical exposure (Agent Orange, PD680, Carotid artery due to IHD Chronic small vessel ischemic disease in the brain due to IHD Exacerbated my non-SC Sleep Apnea due to PTSD (central & OSA) previous reports only show OSA I am revisiting this since I saw the post on this site that the VA doctors can no longer hide behind not filling out a DBQ because they were told not to. I’m sure I’ll still need to get IMO for the non-SC items.
  22. Update: My claim status went to prep for notification on Friday, Dec 30 and this morning it disappeared and moved to historical claims as completed. Nothing has changed, disabilities and AB8 letter are still exactly the same. I would assume this means my claim for TDIU was denied, however I also had a dependent claim added in which also closed at the same time (opened as a separate claim when my daughters started college, but the system automatically rolled it into my then open claim)...I would think that at least there would be the addition of my dependents, which should be more administrative than speculative, and added to the award on my AB8 letter? Or will the letter just show the base rate? Or maybe I got denied for that too (under what circumstances would I be denied for ALL 3 of my full time college dependents, all under 20 years old, all my kids)? I know many get to see their updates in their AB8 before they get the BBE or retro, it seems most who don't see the change in ebenefits are denied? Oddly today I am not having a meltdown but almost a sense of relief, even if denied, at least I'm not in purgatory and can take the next steps for appeal or whatever, thanks very much to you all here for helping me maintain some kind of perspective and plan. Tomorrow may be different though, but I'll take that small victory in sanity for the moment. Telling myself to wait for BBE...I wonder if I could submit my ebenefits activity history as evidence for anxiety/OCD
  23. If a veteran receives 100% tdiu and starts work to see if they can handle it but they can't will VA reduce your percentage. I worked for 4 months but had to quit do to the safety of others and myself because of PTSD and I have to take a annually questionnaire. Will my benefits be reduced even tho I can't handle work?
  24. Hi, I am new here, I recently was awarded 70% for mental health issues which is secondary to my service connected disabilities and was previously rated at 40%, now combined rating of 80%. Each of the my service connected disabilities total 40% - 10% each. I won't detail them out, no need. Since I was medically discharged from the Army rated at 10% in 2005, I have had 7 jobs and have more and more issues with each one since I started them. My longest job I have had was my first job out of the Army and it was working for my father-in-law, who retired after 5 years working from him. I had issues there, like I quit and went back to work for him twice because of communication problems and other issues dealing with him treating me like a child. I have difficulty remembering things due to meds and it causes a great deal of issues at work meetings where I have to ask several times to repeat what was said either during the meeting or after the meeting. The other issue i have is being able to be attentive enough to be wary of what is going on since I do not sleep very well due to sleep apnea and I am in the process of filing a claim for that now. Can I claim TDIU in regards to my disability ratings, I am 40% service connected disabilities with an additional 70% secondary mental health rating, combined rating at 80%? Why do some vets call it IU and some call it TDIU? Is this the same thing? Last question - when does a vet qualify for an id card with medical coverage for dependents? If I was granted TDIU at 100% would I be granted medical coverage for my dependents?
  25. Went before a VA review officer on Tuesday, and he awarded me Permanent TDIU(among other things), on the spot. How far back is the award taken to? The last day I worked, or the date I first filed the TDIU? I haven't worked since 1998 by the way. Thanks.
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