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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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socomsam

Newb With Questions

Question

Hi All,

I am heading to my Voc Rehab appointment Sept 28th and have no idea what to expect. I've been reading some of the post in this section and I admit, I am getting a little discouraged.

A little about myself first.

I am rated at 10% because of a back injury while active duty in the US Army. In fact, the Army just awarded me my disability after 21 years. I think I should have gotten a higher rating because for the last 20 years, I've been miserable. I am also going for the PTSD for other incidents in the Army. I have been able to to work, but only because I've had no other option. I am at the point where I have to lay down or stand up frequently throughout my day, even at home. I've never once told an employer I have a back injury out of fear of either not being hired, or being let go once I am hired. I am 46 now and guys at my age, without a college education, have very limited opportunities. I currently work in a factory of all places, doing 12 hour shifts which involve a lot of heavy lifting. It's the only thing I could find to get a paycheck. Each shift is a struggle to maintain my composure. If it weren't for my obligations as a father and a husband, I would have walked out a long time ago.

I really don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I want to work, but it's getting harder and harder to do so. I don't have a college education and nothing really interest me. I was trained as a combat videographer in the Army with 1st Socom and I've been doing camera work since getting out of the Army in 1988, but I can no longer hold a camera, or stand behind one. I am now lost.

If I qualify and I am offered schooling, I have no idea what profession I can do that would allow me to take frequent breaks to lay down. I always thought I would be doing camera work my entire life, despite my back injury, but now I don't know what I am going to do. I never thought my back would get this bad.

Any advise (and encouragement) woulld be appreciated.

Jeff

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Jeff,

Be honest and detailed with Voc Rehab about your limitations.

Consider visiting your VSO to file for increase and look for additional problems.

It can help if you are currently seeking/receiving treatment for your conditions.

Also file for SSDI.

Good on ya for enduring pain & discomfort to be a responsible husband and father and hang in there! :smile:

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Since you are now a DAV, start applying for gooberment jobs....SS, VAMC, Fed Bldg's.

You might need to put your foot down with VOC rehab......make them do their job.

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I check USAJobs daily, and have been for several years. Everything seems to require a bachelors degree. I also filed a claim for PTSD. They seem to be taking me seriously, which is a relief. Don't know if I have it, but I am certain I do. Panic attacks, severe anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia and nightmares when I do sleep. Hard to concentrate, which has made it hard to hold a job over the last 20 years since ETSing.

Just tired and exhausted dealing with it.

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VAMC's have special deal for hiring disabled vets. Maybe you could get a job doing some sort of low physical stress. There are a lot of people I see standing around at the VA doing almost nothing. They are not straining themselves. In fact you must hold a mirror to their face to see if they are even breathing but they take home a paycheck. However, if Voc Rehab feels you are too disabled to be rehabilitated that would look good as evidence for either IU or 100%. The post office hires janitors that are severely disabled vets. They make good money and do almost nothing.

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I'm only 46 and I cannot see myself being a janitor for the rest of my life. That only adds to my depression. I already feel like I have no future.

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