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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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  • 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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How Do You Seek Outside Care?

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Hi all -

I have been going to the same VA for over 5 years now. I've already requested fee-basis once, and the VA hospital changed tone and got me appointments. I am back in the "queue" again of inadequate wait times and care.

I know that I have to write a letter at this point because they will try to tell me that I am getting the care already at the VA when I am not. It is time to go to fee-basis and get out of the hospital care here. But I have two questions having never done this. Has anyone else successfully done this?

1) What should I include in the complaint letter (if I need it) and who should I give it to before I go up the chain with it.

2) If you are on a budget, is it possible to comparison search for an outside doc with some idea of what the VA will cover and what the out of pocket will be? If so, how best to do this? I can't afford to just walk in somewhere and have them say "OK your copay is 2 grand" because I have to get this done in a timely way.

PS: Some issues that I have to bring up in the letter:

- I have been denied community resources because I technically have insurance already (VA). Insurance that isn't doing so much in that department.

- My doctor is overwhelmed at the VA but my meds take 4-6 weeks to begin to work. My appointments are a month apart if I can make them all. I have to try each medicine, one at a time, to find one that works - so I'm still not really treated. So really, it is 8-10 weeks between just the attempts at a new med.

- When I go walk-in, I am referred to my doctor who will not schedule me early for an appointment for meds because the doctor would have to "double-book' everybody if she made an exception for me!

- I have a ton of issues with some of the staff's decisions and I don't know if I should include names in the letter because I don't want to get people in trouble for following a broken instruction book.

I would really appreciate any advice, I'm tired of believing the folks there when they tell me something only to find that within 3 weeks, the whole process is stagnant again.

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