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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Berta

Any Fers Experts

Question

My neighbor- 20 yrs retiree recently filed a VA claim-

he would need a higher rating to make it worthwhile due to his military pension-not eligible for CRSC maybe CRDP but his claim needs a lot of work-

In the late 1990s he worked PT for the local VAMC.

He quit and then asked me how he could get his FERS money back-

long story but I had to handle this for him and the VA personnel dept told me that if he withdrew all FERS contributions and did not go into TSP (the savings plan) he would not be able to re-join FERS if he ever worked for the fed gov again.

Ha said he didnt care and would never go back to the VA or fed employment and he got his money from FERS.

Then about 5 years ago he got a full time job at VA.

He is trying to get disability retirement from them -he has had additional problems-

some with possible SC potential and most are NSC-

SSA has denied him twice because he is still employed at VA (duh)

VA sent him to SSA first as the SSA benefit-if he does get it -is offset I believe to any FERS money-

He seems to think he can collect both SSA and FERS.

I dont think so-

He does not have any documentation whatsoever that he is unable to work but has been given light duty at the VA-

I cannot find at the FERS site if a person leaves fed employment and withdraws their FERS money- if they can be re-established again-

maybe the regs for FERS changed since the VA told me what to tell him- the woman was emphatic that I get him to understand what she said-

if he withdrew from FERS he could not return-

I dont think that personnel has even checked his FERS account and assumes he is in it- he thinks he pays for FERS -but I am not sure of anything he says-

because he had the same insurance vets get- a 200,000 life ins policy-

as I recall Rod -and this vet got letters from VSGLI to convert their vet life insurance . Rod converted his to a private insurance co- and paid for it-

this gut says he still has the 200,000 policy-tells everyone-

and yet he has never made a payment since VSGLI sent him letter telling him he would have to convert to private-

I contacted Rods insurance man in another state, he sent me the whole 9 yards for this vet to establish insurance again-but the vet never picked up all the paperwork-and never bought life insurance anywhere else-

he thinks if he dies his estranged son will still get 200,000 from VSGLI.

He tells every woman he meets about this policy-as I guess they would get the money instead if they marry him-

But his policy is gone.

So now I am thinking -although he told me he does pay back into FERS-now-that maybe he doesnt pay in at all-

does anyone have a good FERS info link as to whether withdraw from FERS prevents re-entering FERS?

Sometimes people get fixed notions-I have known this vet for 12 years and he fixing in on something that isnt a fact--

and thinks there is no FERS offset but another vet I know had his SSA offset by FERS for fed service disability. ?

Edited by Berta

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Not an expert, but suggest u search office of personnel management ----www.opm.gov

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Thanks- will do --then again I almost forgot-he told me yesterday they posted his job already because he told them he is leaving next month due to disability retirement---

but he just flew by with his red light on- he is a line chief at the fire department-their tones went out for fire call-

I am positive that his medical conditions would not warrant total disability-

maybe partial one-from FERS ? dont know but thanks- and I am beginning to remember other situations he got me involved in-that took considerable time which I dont have-

starting school soon again and my time is limited-

I think he needs to sit down with the VA people that handle this where he works and get the info from them and then he has to try to understand it himself.

He claims they arent moving on his paperwork- but they cant- no doctor has determined he needs to quit due to disability-

I should not have wasted board space and time with all this- but then again-

maybe this will help someone else out there-

Fed disability under FERS needs proof of total disability first, then SSA application then FERS-if applicable kicks in-and I did just read that it is offset to SSA disability benefits-

so that is something he will not be happy to hear.

Edited by Berta

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Berta

He can collect FERS and SSA. I collect both and VA. There is an offset of the FERS by any SSDI he gets up until his regular retirement age. When a federal employee under FERS puts in for disability retirement they have to also apply for SSDI. It is required. Getting FERS is easy to an extent but it does not really pay enough to live on by itself.

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Must have worked a min of 18 months to be elgible.

First year of Disability under FERS he will draw 60 percent of his salary. However, there is a dollar for dollar offset with SSDI (SSDI must be applied for)

Second and follow-on years he will draw 40 percent of his salary. SSDI offset is 60 percent of every dollar.

Any TSP withdraws before reaching retirement age will be meet with many penalities by the IRS. THERE IS NO CLAUSE FOR A DISABILITY WITHDRAW FROM TSP with one exception - you are declared 100 percent p&T disabiled by a civilian doc (not VA). Therefore, it is wise not to touch TSP until reaching retirement age. The thing about TSP is that once you are approved for a regular FERS disability you can no longer contribute to TSP. It just sits there going up and down with the market until you hit retirement age.

He does not have to be totally disabled. His disability only has to keep him from doing his CURRENT duties/job. Once disability has been awarded he can go to work at another job (NOT GOVERNMENT) as long as he does not earn more than 80 percent of what he was earning while a government employment. This allows for the best option. He draws FERS disability, makes a good income on his new job and is not elgible for SSDI since he is working which means no offset and he continues to build his social security funds.

I do not understand this FERS contribution thing. He does not contribute to FERS. any retirement funds that he pays while employed and under the fers system go into TSP. The only way he can withdraw FERS (which is employeer paid) is to meet the age requirements for retirement or FERS disability retirement. There is no way to get a lumpsum payment of straight FERS money since it is paid by the government and not the employee.

Berta I think this guy is only hearing what he wants to hear which will only result in a large time requirement for you.

Edited by Ricky

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Ricky thanks=good info---

I do know that the VA did refund something-to him- and I thought it was FERS because the refunded my husbands FERS account when he died. Maybe it was the TSP -this was in 1990s.

Also my daughter- a veteran and fed employee had to buy into FERS -a few thousand dollars- to account for 7 years mil added to the federal employment-

she explained that but I am still confused how that goes-and she said this vets Military Retiree pay might play into all of this disability retirement too-BUT

"Berta I think this guy is only hearing what he wants to hear which will only result in a large time requirement for you"

I went through many many situations like this before with him -you hit the nail on the head-----you are so right-and I never get the facts because they keep changing-

I am bowing out of this whole situation-VA personnel department here is excellent and I know they are giving him the right info-

I went there in behalf of a VA employee some years ago-who is also active reserves-

to help him understand his employee benefits .I forget what they said now but they-VA Personnel people- made it easy- with all of the employee printouts for me to explain it all to him when he got back from TDY.

There is a lot to federal service but the VA gives every employee lots of info on all of the benefits and how they work. He thinks the disability check is practically in the mail.

Thanks!

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