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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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  • 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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Spent warrior

Need Advise On When To File Please

Question

I can't work anymore.... I'm getting worse over time. My annual review was terrible, I just got a letter of warning for outbursts at superiors, and my co-workers think I am a rude recluse. My VA Psychologist strongly recommends I quit work to reduce the stress brought on by my PTSD. I am currently 70% PTSD (80% total compensation). He is totally supporting my TDIU claim with a great letter of support. Even though I am 63, with a son in High School and heading to college (along with the other already there) I planned to work for years yet, but it's clear I can't do my work any more. I already quit a part time job last year at the encouragement of the VA. I was driving motor coach, and was placing my passengers in danger because of flash backs and compulsive thinking. I will be "retiring" from my current government job, but because that is not earned income, I will still qualify for TDIU.

Here's my problem in not knowing what to do....

When I stop work this month, I can either retire effective December 31st, or I can stay on the roles for a few months using my accrued sick leave (which pays more than my retirement pay [needed for property and income taxes]). If I retire on December 31st, I know I can file for TDIU immediately. I thought if I waited and used sick leave till April, that I should wait to file TDIU till then. Surprisingly the DAV service rep says differently. He said even if I just go out on sick leave at the end of this year, I should go ahead and file for TDIU then concurrent with leaving work... even though I am still officially an employee.... although on sick leave and with the intent of not working any more days whatsoever. His opinion surprised me.... I asked him if he was very sure that I should file at that time (stopped working, but collecting sick leave) and he said yes, he is sure.

What do you think? I am still uncomfortable with his recommendation. I am in even worse shape with stress right now not knowing what to do. I am thinking about this for hours....and very indecisive.

I really have three choices:

1. Retire on December 31st and immediately file for TDIU.

2. Quit "working" on December 31, but stay on the roles using sick leave for three months collecting a paycheck which is larger than my retirement. Retire April 1 and file TDIU on April 1. (My prior assumption)

3. Quit "working" on December 31, but stay on the roles using sick leave for three months collecting a paycheck which is larger than my retirement. Retire April 1 BUT file for TDIU on December 31st. (DAV choice)

Your thoughts on any and all of this would be SO appreciated.

Thanks

SpentWarrior

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Does your job have a "disability retirement" option? When you retire you want to try and get it established that you are retiring due to disability and not to any other reason. Are you prepared to wait without a paycheck until you get your TDIU? It could take a while. Who do you work for now?

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disabilty retirement not an option because i will get regular retirement. I have fed gov job, so no Social Security. because i am civil service retirement system. retirement payments are not "earned income" so I am still able to get TDIU. Like I said... I would have worked for years yet, I am way upside down in debt, and I have to help kids with college, and my wife is ill.

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Option #3.

I am in total agreement with your DAV service officer.

Download VA Form #218940 from the VA website (under the "forms" heading) and fill it out and get it sent in right now. For the moment that they receive this form then you have established your "Effective Date". They will have to pay you retroactive pay back to this effective date...........when they get around to making a decision (favorable, of course) and that could, forseeably, take months.

You need to take a look at all the benefits that accrue to you upon a favorable TDIU award (chap 35 educational benefits for your dependents, for example). That is ONLY ONE reason for you to get this TDIU taken care of, NOW!

The VA will send a "questionaire" to your last employer, asking them WHY you could no longer do your job, etc.

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Spent

I was a postal worker. I took disability retirement under FERS. I assume you have your 30 years in CSRS. Other vets here have done what you are going to do. I actually waited until the USPS fired me. Then I applied for disability retirement. Just get all your ducks in a row. I wanted to continue to work as well, but it was not to be. I actually filed for workers compensation after the USPS fired me and I got it. I stayed on WC until I got TDIU.

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I know the general consensus is to file NOW, but although no longer working, "now" will have me still on the rolls collected sick leave for a few months. I just don't see how I can get paid by both.

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