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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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FMFDoc77

Tdiu That I Did Not File!?

Question

Hello I'm looking for a few questions in regards to TDIU. First of I am already rated at 60%. 50% PTSD with Major Depressive Disorder, 10% Irritable Bowel syndrome, 10% Tinnitus and 10% for Degenerative Arthritis Lumbar Spine. I also work for the VA, not a Regional Office but I do work in Release of Information and know a great deal in regards to claims as part of my job is assisting fellow Veterans in getting their records and fullfilling requests from Regional Offices for records wnen a Disability Claim is filed. With that being said I have had a lot of issues since my return from Iraq the second time when I was near the Balad Burn Pit for a year. I was diagnosed with narcolepsywhich has been in appeal almost three years along with a slew of other unknown issues. I recently had my Primary Care Doctor(PCP) at the VA fill out the VA FORM 21-0960Q-1 CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME DISABILITY BENEFITS QUESTIONNAIRE. I also recently have been missing a lot of work due to a lot of these undiagnosed issues and had to get FMLA paperwork which my PCP filled out as well. The VA actually tried to talk me into a Medical Retirement. I have not gone through with this because I simply can't just quit work and draw the small retirement check along with my 60% in VA Disability. I know eventually in time it would all come together and I could request TDIU but I was waiting on my appeals to come through. Long story short I get on eBenefits today and there is a new claim that I did not submit. It is for chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and TDIU. Yes you read it right, I did not file for any of this. I did however send the Regional Office some evidence to add to my C-File which consisted of that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome paperwork in which I asked to be added to my appeal for the narcolepsy. I sent them my FMLA paperwork which shows a slew of iisues to include possible fibromyalgia and I simply put on the Statement in Support of Claim that I have been missing a lot of work...had to get FMLA paperwork...that the VA recommended I retire but I couldn't because all of my issues were in appeal. Pretty much I sent that stuff in as more evidence for my appeals and poof there is this new claim. Is this normal??? Who would put me in for TDIU because I did not. I'm all for it but really I did not file for it yet. I have also not claimed the fibromyalgia, although it is listed as possible on my FMLA paperwork and I have missed a lot because of it, it hasen't officially been diagnosed let alone a claim for it put in. Did the Regional Office just decide with all of my evidence that they submitted it for me? I am currently still working, although I miss a lot so how would they put me in for TDIU. Any input to this would be much appreciated because I'm confused!?

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DO you have a VSO/ Perhaps they did it for you?

If not, It could be an inferred issue.

How many years civil service do you have under Fers.

J

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Just use the PVA peeps that I know in the VA. I sent them a fax the other day asking them to inquire on my appeals and explained my current situation of missing work, possible Medical Retirement and the fact that most of the issues I am retiring from are all tied up in appeal. I haven't talked to them since the holidays but I am certain they would have let me know. I have 12 years total. Have already been given my retirement benefits estimate from HR but told them I wanted to think about my options. Wouldn't the Regional Office laugh at a claim for unemployability if I'm indeed employed? I have dropped out of Voc Rehab three times as well because of the same issues and have letters from my OEF/OIF Doc as well that I have submitted but am baffled at this new claim.

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I use the PVA inside the VA as I know them but they are only my Power of Attorny(POA). I usually do everything myself as I'm usually pretty knowleage unless it is regarding this TDIU. I have fax access etc. from work to send everything straight to the RO. I did fax the PVA peeps something before the holidays asking them if they could inquire on my existing appeals and let them know of my current situation with possible Medical Retirement and that I have been using FMLA for all of my issues that were in appeal. I would think they would have let me know if they put in a claim though. Wouldn't the RO laugh at a claim for TDIU when I am indeed employed and by the VA of all places? I do miss work a lot and have ample evidence but I am still an employee.

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It seems to me that they have enough evidence to award you at 70% and then consider TDIU if you become unemployed......

"Wouldn't the Regional Office laugh at a claim for unemployability if I'm indeed employed?"

In essense they would not act on or advance the TDIU form....if you are still substantially employed.....

but they might send you one, as it looks like you will need to file it in the future.

" I have dropped out of Voc Rehab three times as well because of the same issues and have letters from my OEF/OIF Doc as well that I have submitted but am baffled at this new claim."

When a vet is un-vocrehabable solely due to SC, then they are unemployable solely due to SC.

Have the PVA peeps had any take on this?

Many PVA reps are very good.

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FMF Doc

I had to chuckle at the irony of this: You are a VA employee, and you ask Berta (and hadit) for advice on your claims. Does anyone see the irony of this besides me?

Berta, as usual, gave you good advice.

I will add:

If you review the regulations on Informal claims, you will see that there are instances when, you go to the doc and it amounts to an informal claim for increase. In other words, it is not always necessary to make a formal claim for benefits, once you have already submitted one formal claim. You dont have to submit a new formal claim each time you seek an increase. This is likely where your other claims came from that you did not apply for.

Also, the VA differntiates between "marginal employment" and Substantial Gainful employment (SGE) for TDIU purposes. If you have had regular employment income for the past 12 months, you should not be eligible for TDIU, and it will likely be denied.

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