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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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Ryan H.

Hi... I Could Use Some Advise.

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Hi Im Ryan.

I am a vet, and did 2 combat deployments to Iraq. I am currently 10% disabled for tennitus. I am also service connected for distal esophagitis (acid reflux), Anxiety dissorder, and right ankle arthritis.

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Welcome to Hadit, Ryan! And thank you for your service!

What do you need advice on??

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Welcome Ryan thank you for your service and let us know if you need something. Are you sure that you are only 10% connected for those disorders? or maybe I need to find my reading glasses. *(I'd better ask rental for 'em back! the ones with ladybugs on 'em!) best to ya, cg

Hi Im Ryan.

I am a vet, and did 2 combat deployments to Iraq. I am currently 10% disabled for tennitus. I am also service connected for distal esophagitis (acid reflux), Anxiety dissorder, and right ankle arthritis.

Edited by cowgirl

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I wanted to try the search function first but I've had little luck with it. With the issues I am service connected with, I am seeking an increase in compensation. I'll go over each individually.

Right Ankle Arthritis- I have been having problems with my right ankle every since i was in the Marines. In Jan I decided to have something done about it. The pain had gotten to the point of not being able to walk. I saw a podiatrist and an Orthopedic Dr and both said that there is significant damage and it appears that my ankle is in the shape of a person twice my age. The ortho Dr had an MRI done and noticed that I have a ligament that is torn completely in half and I have 2 free floating bone masses that have been tearing up the soft tissue in the joint. The ankle was severely injured while in My MOS training back in May of 2002. So for almost 6 years i have been dealing with a bum ankle... thanks to military Dr's...... I have submitted for an increase through my local DAV and provided all the Dr's notes that i have seen in the past 2 months. I even sent a copy of the MRI but they sent it back. Just last week I had surgery on the ankle because the pain was becoming intolerable. The ortho Dr removed the free floating bone pieces and scar tissue, but could not repair the ligament at this time. I have 5 scope holes and an 1.5" incision on the back of my heal. I am worried that since i had the surgery done without going through the VA i will not be able to get an increase in compensation. My C&P apt is on the 28th of this month and I know that i will not have full mobility back. What else should i provide at th C&P apt to show that even though i have had a surgery to help correct the problem, there is still damage that i will have to deal with for pretty much ever.

Anxiety (PTSD)- I was service connected for anxiety. I flew in Ch-46e helo's and was involved in many casavac missions. I have bad episodes of depression and anxiety. I have had 5 jobs in the past 2 and 1/2 years. The longest lasting 11 months. I was unemployed for 8 months of that time as well. My wife and I split 3 months after my separation from the military which was 5 months after my second tour. There was no infidelity she told me that i was not the same person that i was before. I tried to go to college but could not keep myself motivated to go to class. I do not sleep much. Lately I have resorted to smoking MJ to keep my mood in check. I get angry very easily at times, and I have alot of issues with social interactions. I have distanced myself from my family and I have practically no friends. I have been diagnosed by a VA Dr to have PTSD, but i do not know if that can be connected to the anxiety. I have my C&P apt for this on Friday and I'm not sure what i need to bring. I could really use some help with this!!!!!

Distal Esophagitis (Acid Reflux)- I am service connected but I have no rating for this. I have been on Nexium 40mg for about a year and if i don't take the meds it gets pretty bad. My Dr did not do any test before giving me nexium so I have no documentation for the problem. What should i do to prove that this is still an issue and it has gotten worse. My c&p for this is on the 28th as well.

Thanks for your time.


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I'm sorry that you've been through hell since you ETS'd. The foremost thing you need to do is seek medical help from your local VAMC, especially for the depression/anxiety/PTSD. This will help you in two ways. One, you're not going to win squat if your mind isn't functioning somewhat normally, and two, it will help your claim to show that you are regularly seeking care. I know it's helping, but you need to kick mary jane out of the house. It's horrible for your health (I smoke cigs and dip, so I'm not much of one to talk), and it can screw you up in your treatment from the VA. If you get so bad that you need regular pain meds from the VA, they will make you enter a pain mamagement agreement. This means that you have to give them permission to piss test you for various forms of drugs, and yes, it's just like being in the service, except it will be Nurse Ratchet watching you instead of your platoon sergeant. Lastly, you need to know that you are not alone. Most of us here at Hadit have had the same rough road as you. Some are still on that route. I have went through about 75 jobs since I ETS'd in 1994, so I know what it's like. Just remember that we are on your side, and you can talk to us if things get bad. Now, on to your claims for increase.

The absolute first thing you need to do is get all of your medical records together. That means service medical records (SMR's), VA medical records (VAMR's) and civilian medical records (CMR's). It is too late to get a copy of your C-file, but try to get it as soon as you can after you receive a decision on your claims. As far as what information to take into the C&P with you, it's really up to you. A lot of C&P docs will not even look at the evidence you bring with you, because there job is to discern the level of your disability at that particular moment in time. In the case of a claim for increase the Regional Office (VARO) doesn't even have to make the C&P doc review your C-file. The most important thing to do is speak to the doc in terms of your absolute worst day. When politely asked, "How are you?" your answer should not be "Fine," or anything of the sort. You need to remember that anything you say is likely to be used against you.

First, read THIS so you'll know what to expect from a C&P. I know you've already had a few, but it's a good refresher.

Next, you will want to go to THIS WEB SITE and find the worksheets for the C&P's that you have coming up. Get familiar with what the doc is supposed to do and ask. You can even print this off and take it to the exam with you to make sure that the doc does all that they are supposed to do. After the exam, go over the sheet again and make notes on what the doc did/didn't do while it's fresh on your mind. This information can be invaluable if you need to appeal later.

Then look at 38 CFR 4 and figure out exactly where you stand within the VBA's rating criteria.

This is a good start, and after you have read all of the above material, you'll start to develop more focused questions. Let us know if you have questions about any of the links I gave you.

One other thing you can do is to go to the VA's web site, and look up BVA cases that are similiar to yours. There is a link on the left side of the main VA web page that says BVA. When you mouse over that, you will see Search Decisions. Just enter your disability as the search term and start reading. Good Luck!

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