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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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Alpha Male

Sleepless Because Of Seattle

Question

Hi,

First, I want to thank everybody who contributes to this site. The information I gleaned from Hadit was the key factor in putting together my claim.

I am currently rated at 70% since 1998 (50% bipolar, 10% left knee, 10% right knee, 10% hypertension). I was shot and nearly killed during a robbery in Dec. '04. My friend was killed in the incident. I had 4 subsequent major surgeries to repair the damage, including a colostomy and a colostomy reversal 1 year later. The Physical and emotional trauma has scarred me forever. While recovering, I turned to drinking to escape. Since the shooting I have only been able to work for 6 months total. Now, I am homeless. I drank myself out of house and home. I have tried to commit suicide on two occaisions in the last two years. I was hospitalized on the Tucson VA hospital psych ward on both occaisions for a total of 11 and 20 days respectively. During the last stay, I was placed in an intensive SATP (substance abuse treatment program). The program has a dual-diagnosis track for mental illness-substance abuse. This program requires 3 months participation on an inpatient basis. They provided me with housing and the tools to get clean. I graduated the program in the spring and was encouraged by my case manager to file a claim for increase for bipolar as my disorder was exascerbated by the PTSD from the shooting. He also told me to apply for TDIU as well.

I filed my claim on July 23rd and to my surprise, when I called the Phoenix, AZ RO on Dec. 4th to get a status update, they told me my claim has been decided on Dec. 3rd and to expect the determination letter in the mail. I called my Purple Heart VSO (who was absolutely no help at all other than mailing the claim I put together) to inform him of this. He told me to call the Phoenix branch of Purple Hearts. They told me that the claim had not been finalized and that it was being sent to Seattle, WA for post-determination proccessing. My question is, is this a harbinger of good things to come? Is this par for the course? Why would the VA rep tell me to expect a letter in a week but the claim hasn't been finalized? Why would it need to go to post-determination if I were being denied? Also, aren't I entitled to 100% pay for the three month inpatient program since it treated my bipolar as well as my alcoholism. I am still homeless and living at the Comin' Home shelter for homeless vets (they are awsome to me) in Tucson. I thank God I am sober 11 months and trying to turn my life around. I don't know if I can go another round with the VA. I lost a claim for increase in 2007. I was denied outright. I wasn't as prepared as I was this time. Thank everyone who contributes to this.

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