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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

HadIt.com Anniversary 24 years on Jan 20, 2021
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My Diagnosis Has Changed And Worsened Could My Rating Change?


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Hello,

My disability is listed as dysthymic disorder (Bipolar, major depressive, general anxiety). I was medically discharged from the Navy in 2013. Since then my condition has worsened and my diagnosis has been changed to schizoaffective. If Im not on medication (which rarely works) I see things that arent there and have persistent violent "voices" and or thoughts along with vivid persistent suicidal ideation mood swings depression anxiety attacks and insomnia. Ever since I have gotten out my condition keeps worsening my medications work but then dont work because my body gets used to them. Its taken 7 or more Dr's to treat me and i have been impatient as well as intensive outpatient for over 100 days while in active duty. I was seeing a VA psychiatrist after I first got out but i did not feel comfortable with their treatment procedures and the fact that they kept on pushing electro shock therapy on me so I now see a civilian Psychological Nurse Practitioner for my treatment and medications. I also see a civilian therapist for CBT. My condition has made it hard for my family, me being able to hold a job for more than around 3-4 months, working, talking to people, my social life with friends and just life in general. My question is currently I am at 60% VA disability with 50% USN rating, after doing some research, I realized I can relate to many things in the compensation guidelines for mental health conditions and mainly was wondering if i may be entitled to a higher VA rating. Im not trying to scam the system or anything. My mental health is diminishing i feel and if there is something i can do to appeal for a higher rating without decreasing my current rating (which i am paranoid about) could I do it and how? The reason I ask is because money is really tight for me and i had to declare bankruptcy due to manic spending and half of my small paycheck gets taken away for the trustee. I dont have enough money for my medications and i rely on my mother and father for financial help with purchasing my medications which are very expensive and being treated by my Nurse and therapist. The VA wont fill my prescriptions because they are from an outside source. Tri-care doesnt cover half of my medications so i have a different insurance provider and the deductibles are high. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You can only have one mental health rating but many mental health symptoms.

With the VA it depends on which one affects you the most..

If I was in your situation I would file for an increase and go from there.

I too am a sufferer of schizophrenia so I understand your problems you need to get on top of this as soon as you can to have at least a little of the stress taken care of.

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Ask for an increase if you think you deserve it!

If you like, you can pour over your medical records, "pick out your symptoms" and compare those with the next higher rating level. Here is the Criteria the VA is supposed to use, all mental health disorders are rated under this same criteria:

General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders:

Total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:

gross impairment in thought processes or communication;

persistent delusions or hallucinations; grossly inappropriate

behavior; persistent danger of hurting self or others; intermittent

inability to perform activities of daily living (including maintenance

of minimal personal hygiene); disorientation to time or place; memory

loss for names of close relatives, own occupation, or own name 100%

Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas,

such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood,

due to such symptoms as: suicidal ideation; obsessional rituals

which interfere with routine activities; speech intermittently illogical,

obscure, or irrelevant; near-continuous panic or depression affecting

the ability to function independently, appropriately and effectively;

impaired impulse control (such as unprovoked irritability with periods

of violence); spatial disorientation; neglect of personal appearance and

hygiene; difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances (including

work or a worklike setting); inability to establish and maintain

effective relationships 70%

Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and

productivity due to such symptoms as: flattened affect; circumstantial,

circumlocutory, or stereotyped speech; panic attacks more than once

a week; difficulty in understanding complex commands; impairment

of short- and long-term memory (e.g., retention of only highly learned

material, forgetting to complete tasks); impaired judgment; impaired

abstract thinking; disturbances of motivation and mood; difficulty in

establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships 50%

Occupational and social impairment with occasional decrease in work

efficiency and intermittent periods of inability to perform occupational

tasks (although generally functioning satisfactorily, with routine

behavior, self-care, and conversation normal), due to such symptoms

as: depressed mood, anxiety, suspiciousness, panic attacks (weekly or

less often), chronic sleep impairment, mild memory loss (such as

forgetting names, directions, recent events) 30%

Occupational and social impairment due to mild or transient symptoms

which decrease work efficiency and ability to perform occupational

tasks only during periods of significant stress, or; symptoms controlled

by continuous medication 10%

A mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not

severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social

functioning or to require continuous medication 0%

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Did the VA require you to obtain a fiduciary?

" i had to declare bankruptcy due to manic spending and half of my small paycheck gets taken away for the trustee.
Do you mean half of your VA compensation check?
Is this a family member or trusted frined or a fiduciary that the VA picked?
"I dont have enough money for my medications and i rely on my mother and father for financial help with purchasing my medications which are very expensive and being treated by my Nurse and therapist. The VA wont fill my prescriptions because they are from an outside source. Tri-care doesnt cover half of my medications so i have a different insurance provider and the deductibles are high. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

I assume you are enrolled into the VA health care system and , please someone correct me if I am wrong, if these meds and the schizophrenia is service connected at 50% or higher, would the veteran still have to pay for them if they come from the VA and are prescribed by a VA doctor?

Has the change in diagnosis from Bi Polar to schizophrenia in any way affected your compensation?

Do you receive CRDP?

Do you mean by ;paycheck' not the comp but a wage you earn?

If you earn less than the Poverty level ( GNP) annually...someone posted this info here recently as to the amount that is) I personally feel you should apply for TDIU, paid at the 100% rate of compensation.

I am assuming a lot here...and confused by the need for the 'trustee' but maybe that is solely due to the Bankruptcy and not someone handling your VA compensation? Or your Mil Retiree payment?

s the 50% from the USN directly for the MH disability?

If you are presently unemployed I would also,if I were you, apply for SSDI benefits.

SSA sometimes awards SSDI a lot faster than VA does. If that SSA award is solely for your established SCs, this is excellent evidence to inform VA of , as it means you should received TDIU ,if you have applied for it.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I am of the opinion that the Veteran should ask for increase if they think that their rating should be higher or if they have evidence that symptoms are worse. After all it really is the VA's job to sort it out.

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