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Where Should I Head For The Furture


robert51

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I presently have PTSD 70% IU and PT and i have had this for about 5 years i still go to the doctor every 2 weeks..(over 7 years now ) my meds keep getting higher and higher started out with 300mg of serquol and 100 Zoloft and now i take 700 serquol and 100mg Zoloft, If there was a rating of PTSD 80% i think i could get it but i am not 100% PTSD over the years it was suggested i look into Sleep disorder and do one of those sleep test and get my hearing checked as the doctor says she can tell i have a difficult time hearing her unless she speaks load and direct.. with all this talk of IU possible stoping at 65 should i persue a higher rating and try to get 100% without IU , As a door gunner on a uh1 during nam i have terriable hearing , and tingling in one side sometimes.. as to the sleep disorder , well when i first got my IU and PT i was so burned out on dealing with the VA i just stoped the fighting but now with IU going away maybe should i persue a higher rating to be safe..??

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Robert - I personally think you are safe. No need to open a can of worms unless you are going fishing. any changes that come about will be slow and a battle. Just stay active writing your congress idiot to help insure that no changes happen. At any rate I have never heard of any VA changes taking place that were retroactive. So more than likely you will keep what you have.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I have the tinnitus and it is now 24/7 and its not ringing it buzzing. Really can be annoying but there are times when I actually don't notice it as much.

I think Ricky gave you good advice.

Seeing someone 2 times a week for 7 years seems like a lot to me. I take xanax and neurontin for panic and depression and seems to do ok plus the neurontin seems to help my neuropothy

Good Luck are you still thinking of moving back to the States?

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Robert -with TDIU P & T, paid at the 100% rate-

I see no point in fighting the VA for more because it could only involve meeting the SMC criteria to have some monetary gain to you.

The SMC regs are in 38 USC 1114 and available here under the search feature.

But if you feel you do meet the SMC criteria in some way, then file for SMC.

I was so burned out in 1998 I never dreamed I would have basis for additional VA claims.But I did and have been years in the process on these additional claims.

I guess I feel that -if you can fulfill the SMC criteria-by all means go for it-but as you know the whole claims process not only can burn one out =I think the claims process itself either causes PTSD or makes the level of PTSD a vet has already MUCH worse.

The VA in my case must have went to summer school this year I think-to learn how to read-

I have gotten more mail from them lately than is usual-

it appears that they are actually reading my claims.

It took me five days to think about and carefully prepare my responses -3 separate issues- and to re-send to them what they have received many times already-

the evidence they have not considered in years-

All the files had to come out again and I had to take this time away from everything else I have to do-also I raised errors in their letters to me that also will involve more VA correspondence-I will probably have to respond to again- so maybe best to weigh how frustrating you might find an additional claim to be-

HOWEVER- dont fail to ask them for SMC if there is any way you meet any part of the SMC criteria.

I dont regret filing these claims -I just regret it took someone over 4 years to begin read them and start to consider my overwhelming medical evidence.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The only reason to go further is to ask for housebound. If you qualify for housebound then you must be 100% schedular. I know a guy who was 70% for panic disorder and he filed for housebound. The VA approved the housebound and them bumped him up to 100%. Since you are P&T I don't think there is any way they are going to be able to reduce you. If you were bumped up to 100% on the PTSD I don't know if your P&T status would stay the same. If I was already 100% I would probably ask for housebound. It does mean the VA can reopen your claim. Housebound is a new claim and you might have to go for a C&P exam. It is $295 a month extra. If you really are housebound then go for it.

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Thank you all for the info... i am not housebound and was only wondering if getting a 100% without the IU was a good idea... i really dont want to file and clog up the system anymore it was just the doctor at the VA suggested the sleep study so i thought maybe i could replace the IU and the ear thing like pete says its more of a pain in the A?? then anything else .. I just did not want to get to 65 and have them take the IU and leave me with the 70% and starting over on the fight... I will hold tight for now to save space for another vet.. again thanks everyone.. and pete still looking into moving to SC just waiting for the kids to finish school ( college and then i hope they take flight and stretch them wings.. ))

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well there was talk of that by Bush in the new report that was made up that VA entitlements should or could be stoped at 65 when SS kicks in but most guys on IU dont really have the quarters for SS to begin with ..... also reading the new's on SS short falls and they say either we need to raise tax's or cut bennies... and with the weak dollar which had some of it strenth based on stock market and equity in housing which is now not a driving force, the new's said the only way to make up for shortfalls is raise tax's Or QUOTE .. SLASH GENEROUS ENTITLEMENTS... and with me getting IU seems i could be one of the so called Generous entitlement types they are talking about...so i am thinking maybe i should try for a 100% without IU

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Robert,

I understand your concern given the whole political climate you outlined.

However, if I understand your post correctly, you think 100% schedular would somehow offer you more protection from losing your VA benefits than remaining 100% IU would if the laws on VA disability change. Is this a correct understanding of your post? If so, please explain why you believe that (if I misunderstood, tell me what I missed and we'll take it from there).

If the laws did change, I doubt they would cut such a fine line as whether or not you were 100% IU vs 100% schedular. They would more likely be broad sweeping changes and not fine detail ones. This is, like your possible scenerio, just speculation on my part. I have to tell you, as a psych vet myself, it's better for me if I don't borrow trouble and worry about the "what ifs" - there's enough "what is" to keep me occupied.

Since VA disability isn't taxable it wouldn't help your SS retirement no matter which way you get 100% (unless they changed the laws on that as well).

I have read on hadit that some experienced posters believe that 100% IU is a "better" rating and "more protected" than 100% schedular. I can't elaborate on that opinion but I have read that here before.

I'm in a situation, like you, where I am not 100% schedular but I am cleary 70% (though the VA rater doesn't see it that way the VA regs do, hence, I'm in the appeals process) and I have requested IU.

Last bit of opinion, and this is mine, unless I had a really compelling reason, based on facts and not possible future events, to open up my claim after I'd been rated 100% IU, I would hold what I had simply because I wouldn't want to get back in this dog fight. It's bad enough when you've got to be in it and for me, I sure wouldn't want to get back in it once I'd won the battle. I'd like to be over and done with it.

I hope this helps. Just my observations and opinions so take what works and toss the rest. Hang in there and keep us posted on what you decide.

Thanks,

TS

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i saw it on a news program and it was said lowering entitlements was one of the ways to address the problems with the weak dollar and the ss shortfall .... When you think of it which would be the hardest to sell to the US people...raise taxes or drop such entitlement programs as IU and back it up with the .... dont worry these poor vets will still get thier FULL SS benefits just like all americans.. I think of all the ways it could go IU for a vet already collecting a percentage and SS is an easy sell by the powers to be... Its like collecting IU when your 80 years old how many people are still working at 80? I just think taking away a vets IU when he is collecting SS and is over 65 would not be hard to get passed the public. I am still 56 and just looking to the furture . I was just wondering if i should start the long process of trying to get the other 30% now instead of waiting , maybe because it does not affect bottom line the raters will be a little easy to give it ..

Edited by robert51
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Robert,

I don't know what the political climate will be when you and I are over 65, but I can only hope it is not "Doomsday" for us TDIU vets, even when we are in our 70s/80s.

I guess it WOULD be prudent to take some money each month -- if one could save a serious amount of $$ each month to mean something -- and save/invest it to prepare for the future, but at our ages I don't know if we could make enough money via savings/investments in the few years we have until we get to retirement age to live on if TDIU were done away with, or taken from vets who were in the 70s/80s because "they wouldn't USUALLY be working anyway at that age" (although some people NEVER actually retire, and work until they drop, even into their 90s).

And I'm sure there are TDIU vets who are sitting on claims they COULD file but haven't because they have TDIU and don't want to file anything new or for an increase for whatever reasons. If TDIU really WERE threatened, of course lots of TDIU vets would file those claims and go for 100% schedular, as you mention, which would add to any backlog of claims the VA had.

I don't know what to do myself. I can't file for an increase in my primary mental disability rating -- the disability that got me TDIU -- because I do not at all meet the requirements for being 100% mentally disabled (thank God for that) and I suspect I will NEVER get that bad. So that's out. I DO have a couple of issues I could pursue (10% hearing loss, and GERD as secondary to my primary) but I suspect that even if I won, I'd still not get enough of an increase to make it to 100% schedular. Some OTHER yet unknown issue might come up as I get older I could file for, like some presumptive Agent Orange disease, but who would look forward to getting some illness just to get to 100%? I know I sure don't...I'd rather be a HEALTHY (physically at least) old guy!

So at this point I guess savings/investments are the most viable option, but as I said, I don't think I could save enough or make such brilliant investments to have any real money to get me through my 70s/80s or beyond, to whenever it's time for me to croak. Unless I decided to check out early.

I guess if they dropped me back to my 70% schedular I could get by on that, but it'd be pretty tough and the only places I could afford to live in wouldn't be that great.

Kind of depressing, isn't it.

And since my primary disability IS depression, that's the last thing I need. :unsure:

-- John D.

Edited by cloudcroft
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well i was thinking the same way i could make a claim for hearing loss and most likley win and my doctor keeps suggesting the sleep study dont know why she would but i am guessing its tied to PTSD ? I really did not want to go thru the drama and bull filing another claim and i dont want to add to the wait times.. i guess i will wait and see in the next year of so what happens... i do wish PTSD had a 80 and 90% rating instead of 70% or 100% with no between... another thing that seems to be very much in the VA favor is the amount given for 70% and even 90% is so far from 100

Edited by robert51
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True, there's a big gap bewteen even 90% and 100%, let alone 70% and 100%.

Maybe at some point down the road the VA will decide to "convert" us 100% TDIU vets to 100% schdeular...and we won't have to do anything re: filing more claims to accomplish that on our own.

Yeah, I know I'm probably dreaming, but I stayed at the Fantasy Island hotel last night...

-- John D.

well i was thinking the same way i could make a claim for hearing loss and most likley win and my doctor keeps suggesting the sleep study dont know why she would but i am guessing its tied to PTSD ? I really did not want to go thru the drama and bull filing another claim and i dont want to add to the wait times.. i guess i will wait and see in the next year of so what happens... i do wish PTSD had a 80 and 90% rating instead of 70% or 100% with no between... another thing that seems to be very much in the VA favor is the amount given for 70% and even 90% is so far from 100
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Yeah I have also pointed out the LARGE gap between 70% and 100%... I dont understand why they do it that way other than to save the money. I dont know. It was pointed out to me that workmans comp is done the same way, but I dont know if that is true or not.

Anyway, I dont like to speculate here... people get panicked easily so lets keep that in mind when we are discussing money issues and make sure everyone knows that this is SPECULATION - there is nothing certain at this point. Personally I think benefits are going to increase - evidenced by the new TriCare legislation and the others to follow.

Also I saw it stated that SMC "housebound" required 100% schedular... this is correct, but is NOT necessarily true for all of the other SMC ratings. For further guidance on this look up CFR 38 section 3.350

Again, please nobody get panicked over this... its not an issue right now, just people speculating on what may or may not happen in the future... further, I don't understand the logic in TDIU being more protected then a schedular rating... I'm rated over 200% schedular now, permanent and total and I just dont see how this might be less defensible than a TDIU rating. I think someone was confused.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Until recently vets who were emotionally disabled at the 70% rate and IU were bumped up to 100% schedular. Then the VA changed it and went with TDIU for those less than 100% schedular. Maybe they will go back to the older standard.

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I didnt know that John. I dont suffer from PTSD and it's not my specialty area, though I have worked with it a lot of course. I still do not understand the rate tables though...

Currently a single vet draws $2471 at 100% and $1135 at 70%.

Now in a logical world the veteran would increase 10% of $2471 for every 10% increase in disability rating so a 70% rated veteran should get $1729.7...

Thats a difference of $594.

I cannot understand why they do it any other way except to save money. The pay jump from 70% to 100% is MORE than the jump from 0% to 70%! Again, I was told that workman's comp pays similarly, but I have not verified that, and if they do, I dont understand that either....

It just makes no sense, like a wookie on ewok (sorry South Park reference)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

There is no logic in the VA unless you think like I do that its a cheap ass organization. ALmost everything the VA does is on the cheap.

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  • HadIt.com Elder
i saw it on a news program and it was said lowering entitlements was one of the ways to address the problems with the weak dollar and the ss shortfall .... When you think of it which would be the hardest to sell to the US people...raise taxes or drop such entitlement programs as IU and back it up with the .... dont worry these poor vets will still get thier FULL SS benefits just like all americans.. I think of all the ways it could go IU for a vet already collecting a percentage and SS is an easy sell by the powers to be... Its like collecting IU when your 80 years old how many people are still working at 80? I just think taking away a vets IU when he is collecting SS and is over 65 would not be hard to get passed the public. I am still 56 and just looking to the furture . I was just wondering if i should start the long process of trying to get the other 30% now instead of waiting , maybe because it does not affect bottom line the raters will be a little easy to give it ..

Robert when they discuss lowering benefits thay are talking about the people filing in the future, in my entire life I have never seen anyone lose the moeny they were already getting but newbies get lower retirement deals all the time, many automakers now have "temps" that work for half wages and they have people lined up for the jobs 14.80 an hour is better than minimum wage. I think the talking heads on TV forget to take that fact in to their speils "grandfathered" means somethign when it comes to federal checks when you are on a "fixed income" and your lifestyle is set to that it's not exactly kosher to take it away and I have just never seen it before JMHO

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Robert when they discuss lowering benefits thay are talking about the people filing in the future, in my entire life I have never seen anyone lose the moeny they were already getting but newbies get lower retirement deals all the time, many automakers now have "temps" that work for half wages and they have people lined up for the jobs 14.80 an hour is better than minimum wage. I think the talking heads on TV forget to take that fact in to their speils "grandfathered" means somethign when it comes to federal checks when you are on a "fixed income" and your lifestyle is set to that it's not exactly kosher to take it away and I have just never seen it before JMHO

i agree with you on the percentages and SS but the IU is really a push how would IU be grandfathered? if you receive it now you will get it for life? Seems more to my logic the bean counters would say .. ok your percentage is yours because your hurt . your SS is yours because you paid into it.. But the IU well you dont need it if your getting SS ... I think giving only 70% for PTSD instead of 100% forces most of the vets with PTSD to either get IU or dig up some secondary things.. Notice how they are real careful to say... Quote... YOUR 70% but we will pay you at the 100% rate because your IU .. so after you reach 65 they could say ... oh well your 65 now so collect your percentage and your SS ... goodby... what will happen is many guys will be forced to try to find a way to make money , Many of the 70% PTSD guys with IU have no SS ;to speak of or very low earnings at best ... so lets see 70% pays 1100 and if you have any SS and its low maybe another 600/ well times will be very tough... My doctor wrote a report for me last year and said she though i should not handle my money and i sent the report into the VA along with my yearly ( are you working form ) the VA called me and asked me if this report was a supplment to my already rate or was i looking for a new claim .. i wonder now if i should of tried for 100% PTSD or would i get a new CP and lose what i already have...

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  • HadIt.com Elder

that's a tough choice but I have to go with leave things alone I still think the TDIU rate is safe in order to scale you back they have to PROVE you are able to hold a job and I don't see it happening and with the anger over Walter Reed and the VA I don't see a cut back on veterans compensation. But as the old saying goes "opinions are like azzholes everyone's got one and no one wants to hear it" B)

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