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I am currently 10% Tinnitis (since 1996), 40% Cervical (since 1996), and 50% PTSD (since 2004), with a total of 70%.

I am 61 years old and have applied for unemployability because the severity of my combat connected disability has increased.

My question here is : When the VAMC does a C & P exam to determine my unemployability, is there any possibility that they can REDUCE some of my existing benefits.

Does anyone know the answer to this, for sure !!!

Thank you

dick calton :angry:

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Did you retire on disability and did you apply for SSDI? If I was unable to work due to VA disability I would apply for TDIU. Don't wait because that is money you will not get. The VA can go back up to a year from the date you file for IU, so file soon. Did you quit or retire due to your disabilty? That will be a factor.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


That Voc Rehab statement will help. I hope she goes into detail as to why you are not appropriate for rehab. Your voc rehab stuff is not part of your C-file. If the counselor says you are not up to rehab because of your PTSD that will grease the wheels. It is a matter of time.

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I have to respectfully disagree with you regarding your position that it is improper and shady to go to VocRehab to get paperwork to help with your IU claim. I personally believe it is both proper and respectable to use the resources we earned as veterans to help us in any way that said resource (be it VocRehab, an outpatient clinic, a VA hospital, etc) can be helpful to processing our claims. To some veterans, VocRehab can help you get the skills to get a job. To others, when getting a job is out of the question, they can help the vet document their inability to get or hold a job.

The VA is an evidenced based system and the evidence they like the most is their own. Consequently, it stands to reason that they will respect a VocRehab report. 1968 is not asking anyone at VocRehab to compromise their position, he is simply asking them to do what they do which is determine who can and who cannot be helped by their program and documenting that decision accordingly.

The other thing that strikes me is that the burden of proof is often on the claimant yet the price of getting that proof can be cost prohibative. For example, I blew my C&P exam (too depressed to function enough to tell the examiner everything I needed to tell her) so am in the process of getting an IMO from a private shrink. Well, sports fans, that has, to date, cost me over $1,000 and that doesn't account for the actual report I will get and have to pay for. The shrink gets $125/hr whether he's listening to me or writing a report so I have no idea the total amount my IMO is going to cost me but it won't be cheap.

VocRehab is free to the vet and especially if the vet is in a position where finances are tight (and many on this board are in that boat) then it is an inexpensive (still have to spend time, gas, and energy) way to get credible documentation of unemployability.

Also, the VA works on a weighted evidence concept and even though they are supposed to adjudicate in favor of the veteran if the evidence is in equipose, I think anyone who's read this board for very long realizes that the VA can do pretty much anything they want to do even if the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the vet much less if it's equally positive and negative. Therefore, it is only smart claims processing to have as much positive evidence as possible in your file so you stand a chance of a fair evaluation.

1968 is simply availing himself of a veterans' resource he earned the right to use when he put on the uniform and wound up disabled.

The way I read your post, you have practically called Calton a liar with a fishy claim trying to get evidence in a shady fashion when he's just an old man and 1968 should get his evidence other ways than VocRehab which, to your point, is in existence to help the vet and would be a good adjunct to other evidence he might submit. I think your advice to get his doc and treating shrink to write something in support of his claim is good advice but the overall tone of your post is inflammatory to me.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will add that I am currently rated 50% for a mental disorder and am going for 70% and IU so I am senstive when I read stuff like your post that I regard as so overwhelmingly negative toward those of us with sc mental disorder claims, especially from someone like yourself who is asking questions about low GAFs which I assume means you are in the same rating category as myself and 1968 for at least one of your sc disabilities. Give a brother a break, man.

Mental disorder claims are some of the hardest to prove because there is no blood test that will say, "Yep, that vet is crazy as a bed bug, and his results equal 100% disabled" and you have to count on yourself, with your impaired thought process and emotional shut down and inability think straight in a stressful situation much less talk right least you fall apart in he middle of a C&P exam, to advocate your own claim to shrinks you have to hope will listen and be fair in their evaluations which will be reviewed by raters who may or may not have a bias against mental health claims. There's enough against us (and paranoia is not one of my symptoms) without adding to it our fellow disabled vets making the kinds of comments you made. For the record, if you weren't slamming 1968, it sure did sound that way to me.

Also, again in the interest of full disclosure, aside from Tbird, 1968 is the first person who reached out to me when I joined hadit and helped me understand how to use several features of the board. He was very patient and helpful. The guy, like all of us, has his issues, but finding the time to help out a newbie isn't one of them. I see on your profile that you're a young buck and as such may not appreciate how difficult it is for us old guys to figure out this website on the internet. Why do you think so many of us older vets are just now submitting claims or reopening claims? Because the internet has opened up a whole new world of information resources to us we never had before so long as somebody can teach us how to use them. The internet and the VCAA law are the best two things, imho, that happened to us older vets. At least now we stand a chance at getting our claims fairly evaluated.

You would be well advised to tear a page out of 1968's book and focus on helping others on the board but drop the negative editorial comments.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox. I meant what I said up front. I respectfully disagree with your opinion and wanted you to know how I felt. Please take it for what it is, my opinion - and in the spirit it is given, respectful disagreement. I am not looking to start an argument here. I watched one of my favorite posters leave the board for a while over an argument and I don't want to be party to something like that. However, I couldn't let your comments slide without a rebuttal. If I have misquoted you or misunderstood your intent, I apologize up front. However, I have read your post several times and it still sits with me wrong.

I hope you will be willing to agree to disagree regarding your post (and mine, for that matter) and still be willing to work together to help one another with our claims.


TS Snave

Edited by tssnave (see edit history)
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Well, he said he wasn't trying to slam anyone. He offered several options that are viable and could potentially help a claim, but he did have a rather negative attitude.

So, how about we take the good, and if we disagree with the other, well that's our right, but it's also oneshots right to express his in a respectful and thoughtful way. I think he ATTEMPTED to do so, even if he may have failed. He again, does raise some very valid points, but also, I think he is wrong in that a letter from voc. rehab would or would not benefit a claim. Personally I have never used one with a claim I have worked, but I have heard of it being used. SO, I think I would have to respectfully disagree with his opinion there. However, he does raise several points that might HELP a claim...

So, I am asking that we accept his opinion as just that, an opinion, and we also look at some of what he has said and realize that he does state some avenues that are really benefitial to a claim if pursued.

Claims can be a VERY emotional, and a frustrating area. It is VERY easy to upset the applecart. Oneshot, while I realize that a great deal of what you say is valid, I personally would have probably phrased what I said a bit differently.

For the rest of you, arguing over what was said, and making negative comments is counter-productive as well. In the end YOU are the final arbitrator as to how your case is managed, and if YOU feel TDIU, or some level of compensation is due you, then that is your right, and you should pursue your claim as you feel it would best be served. We are here to help, and suggest differing avenues of approach. Lets not kill the messanger simply because some of what he said was unpalatable.

Further, I have handled MANY claims which were... tenuous I guess. I am not rendering a judgement here, because I dont know enough about the claimant to do so. I would suggest that perhaps Oneshot, you may not have all the facts, so while some of what you said was relevant, it is lessened by the things which you surmise to be true. It is, in the end, a very fine line, and if you do not have all the facts then perhaps you should make the suggestions to help the claims, and withold the offhanded criticism.

I am not trying to attack anyone, I am simply saying that this board is here to help, not judge. If I had listened to my first VSO rep (AmVets)... I would still be rated at 40%. And the guy had the nerve to write a letter to the VA saying he was not going to represent me (like he ever did - 2 phone calls with piss poor advise) and that he thought the VA's decision was fair and just... 130% schedular more later, I think he was wrong. I sent him my rating when I hit 100%, and a letter stating that he was basically an idiot.... I'm NOT calling you that Oneshot... not at all, but... if you dont have all the facts, maybe you could have used a bit more tact?.... Again, its a fine line.... and I do realize that if you hadn't wanted to help you could have just not typed anything, right? All I am saying is that some of the really GOOD advise you offered is oversahdowed by the WAY in which you offered it....

(OK.. this is scary me talking about tact....)

Anyway, lets not get into a bit uproar about this please.... and can we also realize that this thread started with a question about a C&P, and was changed to this other question. Army, hehe... I know the deal with your claim, and I know its valid but how about you start your own thread? Not trying to slam ya, but... while its a valid question/comment... it didnt answer Caltons question. So (slap on the kuncles with a ruler)... maybe you felt it applied, but it didnt... so start your OWN thread darn it.... by the way... I agree. Give me a yell offline. It seems that its progressing well.

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Fellow Vets,

Thanks for all your input. As you may recall, I just asked if my current ratings could be reduced, and as it turns out, YES, they can.

I originally submitted my claim for Unemployability after talking to my Service Officer who is with the Purple Heart in San Diego. He brought it up. I had run across him in the hallway of the VAMC while I was there on a routine exam.

Then again yesterday I ran across him again, and asked him if my existing ratings could be reduced, and he said YES, and also that he would fight touth and nail if they tried to reduce my current ratings.

So that is about all I know. Any and all feedback is appreciated, and I will keep you informed.


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