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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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Papa

Starting Va Medical Care

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I have private insurance, but have decided that I should try VA care. My civilian doctor is a goof ball, and thought about changing to another civilian doctor, but after reading about VA care, I thought that I would give it a try. However, useing the VA does make me nervous. I have always had it in my mind that they were the enemy, and just wanted to hurt the Veteran. Please reply with both positive and negative feed back.

Papa

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Papa, I understand how you feel. I was Medically retired last year. I started using the VA last year, and I don't agree with everything, but I am glad to use the VA. The main reason that makes sense to me, is that with disabilities, we want the medically treatment and history to be well documented. You are at a 100%, but I have 6 C&P exams tomorrow at VA for an FDC increase. With my claim, the VA does not have to chase multiple DRs down for the evidence. The VA only has to look within the VA for evidence, making it better for us in the long run. Also, since you are 100%, if you continue treatment with the VA, they can never try to reduce you % down the road, stating that you are cured, or not currently attending treatment. Good luck and keep us posted. God Bless

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I have private insurance, but have decided that I should try VA care. My civilian doctor is a goof ball, and thought about changing to another civilian doctor, but after reading about VA care, I thought that I would give it a try. However, useing the VA does make me nervous. I have always had it in my mind that they were the enemy, and just wanted to hurt the Veteran. Please reply with both positive and negative feed back.

Papa

Papa,

IMO - in most cases . . . .

VAMC doc's won't kill us off any quicker than many private doc's.

I get ALL of my medical care from the VAMC's and the CBOC's.

If you have a CBOC close - I recommend giving them a try as you will get

more personalized care there than the big VAMC itself.

They will still schedule you to visit the big VAMC for major problems or to

see a specialist, but for everyday medical things I've done great at the CBOC.

jmho

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Papa, It's a dart throw either way.

As a frequent traveler the VA is not set up to take care of my needs; the insistence on meds by mail has helped me end up in the ER more than once.

Others rave about the care they receive at the VA.

CBOCs do a little but for anything of consequence you may have to travel to the nearest VA hospital which, for many, is not near at all.

I'm far happier with Medicare but that's just one opinion.

Good luck in your decision! :smile:

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I've taken an opposite approach, Papa. I get a minimum of my medical care from the VA, in part to be in the system, but mostly to cover what TRICARE does not - eyes and ears.

Yes, with a rated disability, it can be helpful to have your continuity of care documented with the VA. However, the VA doesn't have to provide the care. I ensure that medical info flows to my VA PCP that I get on the outside. It's an extra step, but the quality of care is worth it.

One of the main reasons it works for me, though, is that my family and I live in an area with several top of the line medical schools all competing against one another. So our outside quality of care is probably better than the national average, on average. I might not be here typing this right now if I'd just gone with the VA solution...my VA PCP did not agree with the diagnoses given by the outside specialists, and if I'd gone through him from the beginning, probably would have had a stroke.

That said, when we lived in a different region, I sought care from a CBOC which was close to where we lived. They did right by me, even when I had something pop up that turned out to be relatively minor but was unknown at the onset. There are good docs, etc in the VA. There are good ones on the outside, too. You just have to find them.

Last word of advice...there is a process to change VA PCPs if you want to change. You can be reassigned at your request. So if you do go the VA route and aren't happy with the out-of-the-box solution, there is a way to fix it.

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