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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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DS_Wells

Help Please

Question

I went to a VA benefits brief the other day and I was told that VA disability allowance offsets dod retirement. I was understand it before this that when medically retired they gave you your retirement pay in addition to VA disability pay. But they were saying they VA disability offsets the dod retirement. This is the first time I've heard this. And now I'm very nervous. I cannot support my family on 2500 a month and be able to prepare myself for my next career. My situation is 6yrs active. Looking at 50% dod and 80% VA. That is a rough estimate so I thought I would be getting at least 3500 a month. Plus SSDI. Someone please clarify! My MEB is comets and goes to PEB next week.

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4 answers to this question

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Your situation is obviously a matter for concern, and there have been several somewhat recent changes. As a result, there is a possibility that information you might have been given is not complete or current.

A publicly accessible government web site with the information you need to review: Too much and too complex to even try to explain in a few words.

Remember that VA compensation is not taxable, and generally not used in income calculations.

http://www.dfas.mil/dfas/retiredmilitary.html

The web site may give you some ideas as to how to be or become eligible for a waiver of the offset. I cannot say that I know it to be current either, but it's a start.

CRDP, etc. may or may not apply to your situation

http://www.dfas.mil/dfas/retiredmilitary/disability/crdp.html

I went to a VA benefits brief the other day and I was told that VA disability allowance offsets dod retirement. I was understand it before this that when medically retired they gave you your retirement pay in addition to VA disability pay. But they were saying they VA disability offsets the dod retirement. This is the first time I've heard this. And now I'm very nervous. I cannot support my family on 2500 a month and be able to prepare myself for my next career. My situation is 6yrs active. Looking at 50% dod and 80% VA. That is a rough estimate so I thought I would be getting at least 3500 a month. Plus SSDI. Someone please clarify! My MEB is comets and goes to PEB next week.

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Where you medically retired from the military or civil service? That would make a difference. I'm retired from civil service, and there is no off-set with my VA disability. However, with people that have retired from the military there is an off-set. You may want to call an OPM benefits person and talk to them. Also, there is a tax law that will help you recoup some of that money at the end of the year. Call OPM to get the true story, as this is a very complex subject.

Papa

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Check out the info at links Chuck posted and see if you could be eligible for CRSC if not eligible for CRDP.

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DS, you may be putting the cart before the horse and worrying yourself sick with unneccesary "What if's".

The MEB, based on a summary statement by your military doctor will decide on your fitness for duty. If you are found unfit for duty they will send your file to a (Informal Evaluation Board, IPEB), single doctor who will provide an opinion of if your are fit or unfit for duty.

You can appeal the IPEB decision by requesting a hearing with council (FPEB Formal Physical Evaluation Board), and they will fly you to where the hearing is and a hearing will take place where you are sworn in and provide testimony about your injuries and how they affect your life and argue the percentage amount of disability.

I strongly suggest that you get a (Independent Medical Opinion, IMO), non military doctor at your expense and get a independent medical examination, you may find that you are 100% and if so, argue that you should receive 100% medical retirement. The FPEB will make a recommendation as to your fitness status and assign a percentage of disability, they will most likely give you severance pay for the disability and REMEMBER this amount must be subtracted from your VA compensation amount until it is paid off. Some people select to waive the severance pay, I cannot offer advice on this.

If the FPEB does not give you 100% or you are unhappy with the difference between the IMO and FPEB disability evaluations you can appeal to the Secertary of the service department you are a member of and ask for additional testing and/or higher disability rating.

If your assumptions are correct and your disability rating is high enough you may want to consider applying for

TITLE 38 - PENSIONS, BONUSES, AND VETERANS' RELIEF

CHAPTER I - DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

PART 4 - SCHEDULE FOR RATING DISABILITIES

subpart a - GENERAL POLICY IN RATING

4.28 - Prestabilization rating from date of discharge from service.

The following ratings may be assigned, in lieu of ratings prescribed elsewhere, under the conditions stated for disability from any disease or injury. The prestabilization rating is not to be assigned in any case in which a total rating is immediately assignable under the regular provisions of the schedule or on the basis of individual unemployability. The prestabilization 50-percent rating is not to be used in any case in which a rating of 50 percent or more is immediately assignable under the regular provisions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Rating ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Unstabilized condition with severe disability_ Substantially gainful employment is not feasible or 100 advisable................................................

Unhealed or incompletely healed wounds or injuries_ Material impairment of employability likely............... 50 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Note (1): Department of Veterans Affairs examination is not required prior to assignment of prestabilization ratings; however, the fact that examination was accomplished will not preclude assignment of these benefits. Prestabilization ratings are for assignment in the immediate postdischarge period. They will continue for a 12-month period following discharge from service. However, prestabilization ratings may be changed to a regular schedular total rating or one authorizing a greater benefit at any time. In each prestabilization rating an examination will be requested to be accomplished not earlier than 6 months nor more than 12 months following discharge. In those prestabilization ratings in which following examination reduction in evaluation is found to be warranted, the higher evaluation will be continued to the end of the 12th month following discharge or to the end of the period provided under 3.105(e) of this chapter, whichever is later. Special monthly compensation should be assigned concurrently in these cases whenever records are adequate to establish entitlement.

Note (2): Diagnosis of disease, injury, or residuals will be cited, with diagnostic code number assigned from this rating schedule for conditions listed therein.

[35 FR 11906, July 24, 1970]

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