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E-Benefits And Rating Decision...need Help


fthorntonpwe

Question

Hello all, I've browsed these forums many times, through many claims with the VA, but now i'm in a situation I could use some advice and I'm having a real difficult time reaching my VSO.

In 2010 I was granted Non-Service Connected Pension for being Housebound with a psychiatric condition, of course this is not what I was hoping for as my conditions were triggered in military service and followed me long after to this date. In 2011, I filed a claim for service-connected compensation on the same conditions and was denied service-connected again. In mid to late 2012 I finally was granted Social Security Disability, and after receiving an automated letter from the VA stating they corroborate with the IRS and Social Security and there was no need to report income, I did not report it in good faith thinking it would be accounted for. I filed for Service-Connected under the SAME conditions again in 2012, and was again denied. In 2013, I married my wife and added her as a dependent and much to my surprise, they slapped near a $40,000 debt on my for not reporting my social security (Which I didn't receive until mid-late 2012 with retro to 2010). I wrote a long, detailed letter explaining how I received the automated letter and was under the impression verification of income was no longer required from veterans, and they replied that although they did not find me at fault for the debt, they could not waive the debt. So since January of 2014, I've been paying on this Pension debt that never should have been accrued for the following reason....

On December 11th, 2014 I filed one last claim for Service Connected under the SAME conditions with substantial medical support, and today I found out that a decision had been made of 70% service-connected. I called the VA 1-800 number and the lady said that any retro pay owed to me would likely go to that debt. I began to explain that it doesn't make since that in 2010 I was Non-Service Connected, denied 2 more times, and now i'm Service-Connected with some bogus debt. That means, according to her, I will likely not see a single dime of retro pay and they will continue to deduct money from my, now, service-connected disability. She said to talk to my service representative about changing the effective date, but does that take me through another year long process of paying a debt I should not be paying due to their negligence to properly rate my disability in 2010?

I'm very thankful and grateful for the rating, but I was paid almost nothing being 100% Non-Service Connected since 2014 due to this bogus debt, due to the denial of the past two service-connected claims.

As I wait for my big brown envelope and get the final award in my hands (Still on Preparation of Notification phase, a DAV officer at another location just told me they rated me 70%), how should I start thinking about moving forward so i'm not stuck with a bill I never should have been given and to properly receive my retro pay from the time I filed my first service-connected request?

Thank you for reading and taking the time to respond, it's very frustrating,

FT

Edited by fthorntonpwe (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

My suggestion would be that once you receive the award letter you file for an earlier effective date (EED), ie: the 2010 date of your NSC Pension award. Sorry but you caused your problem by allowing the overpayment. NSC pension is income based. When you received the SSDI award, you should have notified the VA but instead you collected both checks and hoped for the best.

You can probably win this but it'll take awhile, a long while. You should've have appealed their decision not to waive the overpayment, within the one year appeal period. All decisions by the VA are appealable!

jmo

pr

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Hey Phillip, and thank you for the reply.

I never received SSDI (Which is income based) I was on SSD which is not, for Social Security purposes. I did notify the VA through my C&P exams in 2012 when I first start getting my SSD and to the 1-800 number as well as the fiduciary hub who did nothing until I added my wife as a dependent. I have documentation on all of those circumstances as well as the documentation from the VA stating that income reporting was no longer required via their ability to work with the IRS and Social Security to determine veterans income. Even if they wanted to claim I am required to pay back the overpayment, I am fine with that as long as there is a way to be granted my proper disability compensation from the proper time I filed, because even then, the retro would cover the debt they claim I owe, and still be well over.

As far as the appeal process, I am aware of it, but when I sent in my waiver for the debt the moment they created it, I was living in East Europe with my wife attempting to go through the immigrant visa process for her and the VA requires you to respond to their letters during the appeal process within 30 days of them mailing it, which is practically impossible due to where I was living. At this point I have had a Notice of Disagreement open for the debt since December of 2014 s well.

I tried to follow all of the proper steps of reporting any life changes with the VA, but sometimes their deadlines and requests are very difficult to meet. Luckily, I have copies of everything they sent me due to my mother being my fiduciary, and an excellent record keeper, and all of my original documents submitted for each time I filed a claim for SC.

Thanks again Philip, trying to reach my DAV rep, but it's been a few days and they just keep telling me I'm on a call list :(

FT

P.S. - Checked ebennies this morning and the claim closed with the 70% rating.

Edited by fthorntonpwe (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Okay, FT, it sounds like you have it under control. FYI - SSDI is social security disability income/insurance. SSI is supplemental security income (income based/offset). Many people confuse them. I think you can win and eventually get it straightened out but it'll certainly take time.

pr

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Confused.SSD is tax free.Are you saying,the $40,000 was just because you didn't file?

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