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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Guest jco

Ptsd And Incompetency

Question

Guest jco

I'm 100% SC for PTSD & psychosis since 2004. I had another C&P a couple of weeks ago and am awaiting the outcome, however, I read the VA doctor's write-up. He's recommending me for hospitalization, says I'm not competent to handle my VA affairs, that I'm not employable, and that the impact is total.

I know this is what many people would want to hear, and I recognize this may help me get P&T which is what my SO recommended I put in for. However, I'm wondering about the impacts of being declared "incompetent." Has anyone faced this, and what were the impacts? Should I fight this or just let it ride and blow it off. My wife would (hopefully) be assigned as my competent agent.

Thanks for the new web site and the feedback,

Jeff

Persian Gulf 1991 and Pentagon 9-11-2001

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Of course your wife would be the best and most logical person to handle your VA funds. Just with this cursory view of who you are from this post, I have to wonder who the VA examined!! We have seen several people rated as incompetient pass through Hadit.com over the years, and maybe some are still with us. However, I must say, your thought pattern, sentence structure, and overall rationale seem to this reader as not in need of a financial agent. Are you behind on your personal finances so as to be a danger to your reasonable lifestyle?

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Any Veteran has the right to Appeal any decision made by the VA. Fighting being declared incompetent should have nothing to do with being Service Connected.

Having PTSD does not mean that you are a fool. On the other hand some Veterans can use help in managing their funds whether they like to admit it or not.

Good Luck on your claim from your questions and comments on this Board I agree with Rich.

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I really, really, really hate this program:-) The fiduciary program, like most other VA programs, started out with noble goals...they wanted to help veterans that were being taken advantage of by family and friends (IE - people taking their money) and to help vets who clearly could not handle their own finances. Now the fiduciary program is nothing more then another tool used to spy on vets with PTSD. I'm sure there are a small minority of vets who actually need this program, but most don't and the guidelines that the VA's uses to determine incompetency is so far from what the regulations states it's not not even funny.

You have entered the horrible world of an enigma wrapped in a contradiction. The VA truly believes that someone who has severe PTSD must be incompetent and allows doctors to make the call on incompetency based solely on the level of disability of the veteran, but the regulation states that incompetency is purely a financial affair and has nothing to do with the level of disability. I find it ironic that the VA does not use a veteran's credit score or credit history to determine incompetency.....a credit card company can pull your credit for no reason whenever they want, but the federal government can't event ASK you for a credit score or ask you to provide your bills to see if you're paying them on time?

This program has NO oversight...not even the regional director can take someone off of the fiduciary program unless the head of the program gives the ok. These people have ABSOLUTE power over the veteran's and treat them as if their competency is a privaledge that THEY can revoke whenever they see fit. My wife was routinely threatened by her case manager when she was on supervised direct pay and, when the fiduciary people could find no reason to appoint a fiduciary due to her being able to pay the bills, the RO took that as "she must be doing better then" and forced her into a C&P despite being found P&T just 8 mnths earlier.

If you truly feel that you cannot handle your finances and trust the VA to handle them for you, then don;t argue it, but if you believe you can handle your finances I would NOD the decision and give a detailed review of your financial history with a credit report(s)...and NOD it all the way to the BVA!

P.S. - Just because the VA appoints your wife as a fiduciary doesn't mean the ordeal is over.....they will interview your wife from time to time and, depending on the region, there are VERY strict limitations as to what your wife can do with the money...for instance - she can't buy big ticket items like a car/central air for your house/stocks (if you want to invest your money), etc...she will have to call the VA and ASK for permission to do so. It is a HORRIBLE program and it sickens me that the SOs haven't gone after it yet.

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Guest jco

Thank all of you who have provided me such valuable insight. My credit score is very good and my wife and I get along very well. She helps me and we have no debt and live carefully. I see how this program, based on Jays notes, could really make our life very difficult. I will definitely fight it (though they haven't come through with the final decision on my P&T and my competency).

It's just that doctor wrote "This is the severest case of PTSD and intertwined psychosis that I have seen in 35 years." So, because he recommended hospitalization and incompetency, I imagine they will follow his advice. If they do, I'll send them our credit score. At least it's better than my GAF score, which he rated as 30. LOL

Godspeed all here, and thanks for new board. It is stunning.

Jeff

Persian Gulf Northern Israel 1991 and Pentagon 9-11

100%SC PTSD

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Guest Susan S

Gee Jeff, lots of questions come to mind after reading your post.

Mainly though, why did the examining physician have the opinion that you were incompetent? What evidence was he aware of at your C&P that indicated your inability to handle funds? Whether a finding is made by VA or civilian authority, my understanding is that you are deemed competent unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. (Note--EVIDENCE, not OPINION--though a competent medical opinion should be based on evidence.)

Plus I have some simple questions...for example, in your own opinion, are you incompetent to handle funds? Do your living conditions indicate probable cause for this finding? Do you keep your VA appts. and if so, how do you get yourself there?

I can understand the doctor recommending hospitalization now, and at times, possibly in the future based on your medical diagnosis. But I agree with the other responses above and being declared incompetent by the VA, or any authority, is serious business with lifelong repercussions. If it's warranted, fine. If it is not true, do NOT go along with it simply for rating purposes. Disagree and present evidence to the contrary in an NOD.

The idea that the VA can render an incompetency diagnosis for it's own purposes still astounds me. But the operative words here are "for it's own purposes". JMHO.

--Susan

Edited by Susan S

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