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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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dittybopper

Should I Send This Document

Question

Hello,

I have a appeal of my award on my knees currently they are rated at 10% each, However I have asked for a appeal as the condition of my knees took me out of work (I am a mailman). The question is I filed with OWCP for an aggrevation of existing condition. Well to make a long story short I was sent to a work capacity exam. The results of the test shows according to their tests I can walk for 1/2 hour a day. I use a walker, It also states that I can only work 4 hours a day but must work from a seated position the whole time and can only reach above my shouldders. Kneeling, bending, crawling, climbing stairs are all considered to be things I cannot perform. This work capacity study also states that I have reached maximum medical improvement and the restrictions he listed were permanet. It also states that a effort to cure my issue on my right knee failed (had a lateral release surgery). The question I am asking is should I send this document to the VA office as more proof that my knee condition has gotten alot worse and makes holding a full time job impossible. I appreciated any help you can be in advance as I am really stuck with what to do with this report. I know it is going to retire me out of the Post Office but would this document be seen as acceptable proof.

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dittybopper - I would say send it in. Sure sounds like it will help. I can't think of any reason not to submit it, can you?? I'd apply for TDIU at the same time. Remember, VA considers how your disability effects your usual employment, not your general ability to do "any or some" kind of work, like SSDI. jmo

pr

Edited by Philip Rogers

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Ditty,

I agree with Phllip; any evidence in your favor is good evidence.

Thank you for your service to the country both in the military and Postal Service! :smile:

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I believe you are correct and it sounds like good advice to me. Thank you very much and may God bless you.

dittybopper - I would say send it in. Sure sounds like it will help. I can't think of any reason not to submit it, can you?? I'd apply for TDIU at the same time. Remember, VA considers how your disability effects your usual employment, not your general ability to do "any or some" kind of work, like SSDI. jmo

pr

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Keep your OWCP information separate from your VA claim. I would not use any OWCP evaluations because you will get to a point where the OWCP is going to ask you to choose between VA benefits/compensation and OWCP. You could also end up owing money to either VA or OWCP if you are getting compensation on the same body part from both VA and OWCP. It needlessly complicates matters. Are you getting wage loss for the knees now? If you get an increase for the knees from the VA and OWCP finds out (and they will) this is going to create a problem for you potentially. I have been in your situation with an work-related aggravation of a service connected disability. There is a set of rules for this under OWCP. The OWCP will ask the VA about the nature of your disability. The VA will tell them everything. This could even start a fight between VA and OWCP about the nature of your disability. In other words the VA will say you problem is work related and the OWCP will say it is pre-existing VA disability. Just get independent evaluations for the VA. You may have to spend some extra money but you avoid possible major headache.

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Ok...so we have an opinion that you should send it in.

Then we have an opinion to keep VA and OWCP seperate, that is dont send them in.

Crazily, I recommend a still different option. Wait and See.

Here is why. Ok, so you apply for Va benefits on your knees..lets say the VA C and P does an exam..

this exam is going to be critical. Lets consider two possibilities:

1. VA c and P exam doc says your condition is "at least as likely as not" related to military service and he states your knees conditions is worse than what your Work comp doc said. That is "favorable VA c and P exam.

In this circumstance, dont send in the OWCP exam...as this evidence will "hurt" your case. You already have good evidence so dont send in bad.

2. VA C and P exam doc says..I dont think your knees are that bad..I think you can work..they arent related to military, etc. (Un favorable exam).

Now, you need evidence to "rebut" this unfavorable exam. Enter OWCP exam that is more favorable...(you may still need other IMOs/ IME's also, BUT if you have TWO docs that says your VA doc was nuts, then you have "rebutted" unfavorable evidence.)

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