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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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westcoastlv

To Voc Rehab Or Not?

Question

Hello All,

History: My husband was awarded 50% PTSD back in July 2011. Part of the VA reasoning for not awarding a higher percentage was because he hadn't applied for SSDI or Voc Rehab. (BTW: I thought a veteran could only apply for Voc Rehab after they were rated, so using that reason for a lower percentage is ridiculous.)

As a result, my husband filed for an increase (we were advised that an appeal would take forever) which included a strong medical opinion for 100%. The claim is in development, and the VA has added many of the previous claim documents to the file such as the application for TDIU, personal statements etc. At the same time as filing the claim for increase, my husband also applied for SSDI.

My question is: should he also apply for Voc Rehab? We feel, as well as his doctor, that Voc Rehab will not be able to offer him any education or employment services due to the PTSD. (If that's their ruling, then it can only help his 100% plight).

I don't know where to turn in this application. The instructions say to turn into any VA office. Does that mean medical? I can't figure out how to apply online through E-benefits.

As a side note, when my husband received his initial rating letter, I put together a NOD. When we took it to the DAV, he said that a NOD would take years to resolve and advised my husband to file the increase instead. I haven't sent the NOD, however, I was thinking about changing the wording and submitting it as a Statement in Support of Claim because I feel like it has some good points. My husband also has a claim in for Dependents, both claims since August, and he hasn't received a VCAA notice for either to date.

Just looking for some suggestions from others that are more experienced with the VA than me.

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If the Voc Rehab feel that your husband is unemployable he will have that on his record which helps a lot of Veterans get 100% and he would also be eligible for Independent Living Program where VA assesses what would help Veteran most and than pay for it.

Most Veterans used to get computers but it will pay for a lot of other things. I have a plan right now for Voc Rehab to buy a tempurpedic bed and possibly a new AC system for our house.

I got 100% after getting SSD but nothing about Voc Rehab. Good Luck

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You were given some very bad advice about not appealing the 50% rating. I would ditch whoever is advising you. If you don't file the NOD you will lose your effective date. You can file the NOD and ask for a DRO Hearing. By the time you get the hearing all your other things like SSDI and Voc Rehab could be resolved. What you really need is medical evidence that your husband cannot work.

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I would not file a NOD just yet. You just got the award in July 2011. You have a strong IMO since then that would award 100%. I would withdraw my request for increase and ask for a reconsideration on the original award based on the new evidence. Then if something doesn't happen by next July you can then file a NOD to preserve you Effective Date.

I personnaly hand carry all documents to the local RO and submit them and have them make a copy after they have stamped them as received. They don't like to do it but they will if you press them.

Good Luck and thanks for your(and your husbands) service.

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Reconsideration would be a good idea. Just remember the NOD clock is running. Don't wait until one week before time runs out to file the NOD. As I understand it you must have new evidence for a reconsideration. I have done reconsiderations and regular NOD appeals. I don't know if one is any better than the other. If you want a face-to-face you need to file a NOD and ask for a DRO Hearing. Reconsiderations can be faster than NOD/Appeal route.

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The DAV rep told us that the Nevada RO does not recognize Reconsideration Requests. It's either a NOD or a request for increase.

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