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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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I will be stoned for what I am about to say but I have never won a popularity contest.

It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when people act like they have won the lottery when granted a disability award. This is evident at all vet forums not just here. I know it is a long and torturous process from personal experience and everyone should feel relief and joy at finally getting the "Envelope." But when folks say "now I can go buy this and that toy" it doesn't sound right. Almost like they beat the system out of something...

I am rated 70% and feel like it is simply compensation for the loss of physical ability to perform meaningful employment. It defrays the cost of having things done that I can no longer do myself. I will not seek IU because in my case 70% is adequate compensation. This not meant to suggest that others do or feel the same, I encourage everyone that feels he/she deserves IU to pursue it. I will even assist if I can.

Guess being retired military gives me a different slant.

Also, I am not painting with a broad brush. Not all, not even most fit the description I have drawn. But when I see it I get a bad feeling..

This is just MHO and I probably will regret saying it, but had to get it off my chest..

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Moe- I respect what you said but a VA award for many many vets means they can pay up their property taxes, stave off a mortgage foreclosure, and have a nice Christmas for their kids.

I dont think it matters what a vet does with their retro.

At least they are still alive to enjoy it. My husband never saw a penny of his retro and the other day when I typed in Buffalo -2006 at the BVA ,within minutes a few claims popped up where the veteran had already died during the appeal process.

One of my vet friends was kicked out of the VAMC DOM years ago- because he was NSC. Then he became homeless. Then he won his SC award after a decade and took a trip to Europe.

It still bothers him that when the DOM kicked him out he was actually a 100% SC vet,per the award letter, and should not have been homeless at all.

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Well, first I don't have a problem with your conclusion. But maybe looking at it a different way will help.

Quality of life is one of the considerations in VA compensation. Being disabled with a roof over your head and food in your belly and the care to keep you alive is one thing. It's a good thing. However, if I cannot enjoy life because I can't afford to do anything but eat and sleep with the roof over my head, it would be a miserable life indeed.

Yes, when I got my envelope it was simular to the lottery. I could get back some of the stuff I had lost while waiting. I could keep my house that was in forcloser. I bought a new truck and horse trailor. Keep in mind that over the years that I had gone with no income, my credit is shot. Cash from retro pay is the only way I could buy anything. The retro is money that, had I been recieving it at my first denial I would have these things allready. I would not have lost so much. I would have the credit and ability to get these things. I had a truck that I couldn't repair so it was useless.

No, a person should be able to enjoy themselve's whether disabled or not. If that means buying a boat and heading out to go fishing I'm all for it. Let's face it. Some of us can afford a toy or maybe two. But we're not talking about a vintage car collection, a mansion in malibu, or a personal Lear jet to travel on. We're talking about rebuilding a vintage car as the finances become available, or a timeshare summer cabin, or airline ticket's to where ever for vacation. A big difference. These are things we would do if able to work for it. Living as the working class live. To me, it seems something is wrong when a veteran can be as happy to get VA beniffit's and live as a middle class person, as is the person that has joined the upper class by winning the lottery. Hmmm, how did the veteran feel before the award to make this such a big deal?

So, not to be arguementative, but I disagree. I have a hard time being stuck in this house because I don't feel well. If I had to stay because I had no 'toys' to play with when I do feel well enough, I would certainly add my name to the suicide list.

Quality of life is a huge factor in a disabled persons health. So yeah, most of us are quite happy to have it. Maybe we shouldn't say so. Certainly we don't live the life of Paris Hilton.


Edited by timetowinarace (see edit history)
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When you are sick, disabled & suffering from unbearable pain, then add the guilt you feel that you can no longer provide for your family (financially, emotionally & physically), because you gave all you had to your country - who no longer needs you.

You began to feel like a burden & worthless.

Yes - when the award finally comes thru - it does feel like the lottery - You are in some way able to contribute to your family again & that feeling is the "lottery".

Edited by gwvet90 (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Yes, I am PROUD to admit I am one of them that felt like they had won the lottery, because if you put it in perspective I had, all the SO's had told me that I would never get the VA to even address the Edgewood Arsenal test issue let alone get SC for the medical problems caused by the exposures three decades ago, then I had an SO refuse to file my claim for PTSD for in his words "I will not file a PTSD claim for a non-comabt incident" "you just need to get over being in a bar fight" I was not in a bar fight, I was mugged by 7 fellow soldiers and left for dead in a snowbank at Fort Wainwright Alaska in 20 below weather.

I had lost my home, my credit, my ability to work, the VA had put me in a power chair at least, they did provide excellent health care at the hospital I went to, it may just be the fact I got lucky and was assigned to an excellent cardiologist, primary care doctors and pyschiatrist that cared about the veterans they treated, which has not always been my experience.

So yes to get that envelope was a lottery win, I am sorry 2000 a month for life is a lottery win in many states, Georgia has a game that pays that amount, the difference is I had to give up my health, my "life" as I knew it and fight with the VARO for 4 years to get it, so was it a win, Hell yes, and I and my wife and the fine folks here at Hadit did it, not any SO's because as far as I am concerned they are all useless, AL, DAV and the VFW the only one I have any respect for is the PVA because they gave me respect something the other SO's didn't

I spent 14 years in the Army and the National Guard and 17 years at the Post Office and the PTSD led me to walk away from everything in 2000, my retirement for medical reasons, work, my kids, etc, I am glad some feel they get enough from their military retirement and are happy getting 70%, like others are happy with their 10% or 30%, I am 100% P&T not IU and I still have COPD, and heart damage both which are 100% by the examining tables, yet the VA still will not discuss MKULTRA, yet I still have the issue's on appeal I just had an exam on Oct 30th I file for the reconsideration in a few weeks now that I have the letter from DOD/VA informing me that I am one of the 7120 men used at Edgewood Arsenal from 1955 thru 1975 in some experiments, maybe they didn't go that far, they just state I am one of the men that was assigned there , but it only took them three decades to issue that letter, I owe no one for CELEBRATING my families good fortune after years of neglect by the VA and DOD.

My "toy" was a hot tub for the herniated disks in my back they refuse to operate on due to my heart problems, I am on a medicate until I die, no surgery plan, frankly I wish I was healthy enough to waste their money (my money) on a deep sea fishing boat, that was my dream retirement until Edgewood Arsenal and PTSD exacted their toll everyone is entitled to their opinions but their were costs to these lottery wins as you call them ask my families 4 ex's and the current they paid the highest price, they had to deal with me

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If John gets anything from VA I to will feel like its a lottery, But I need to add my 2 cents in, not that I want to cut anyone down.

I had mentioned to my brother who had just got 50% this year, how some of you had gotten some big rewards and how it took you so long to get it. Then I mentioned on how some said they where going to spend it, buying a Harley, New Caddy, Well his responds was and I kind of agree is if you are PT how can you ride a motocycle or why would you want to spend that kind of money on something like that or a New Caddy. When you are medically retired or can no longer work, you should be thinking of years a head of you, fixing your house or finances, credit, health insurance, and so one and being more realalistic, I agree with most of you, Its a long time coming but the way this life of ours is going you need food on the table and a roof over your heads, I know I would like to take a nice vacation, and I would like to do this before John loses is balance and can not walk or losses his eye sight, but I need to be realistic, we need the roof on our house fixed before in collapses, new garage doors put on and so fourth.

When John filed for SSD, we didn't know if we where going to have to fight for it or not, so we put our house up for sale and was going to buy a mobil home, we didn't know if we where going to have health insurance or not, I am also on SSD and have been for the last 3 years, So when John recieved his notice of acceptance he was able to get his health insurance through work because they then turned around and retired him, other wise we would of lost that. It cost us &7000.00 a year to keep it up, but we need it for our prescribtion drugs. So when Moe talks about the lottery I feel he is think on the lines of my Brother and of John, spend it wisely and think of the future it may not always be there. Believe me I have lots of dreams but I have to be realistic also,

Just thought I would add my two cents in hope no one gets upset with us

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Mrs John M, I truly agree with you. It seems prople feel guilty for some reasons and post whatever is in their heads. I also believe the post was out of line.

Vets dont win the lottery, They often get back pay for that they deserved and the money should have been theirs years ago. That is not a lottery, That is justice.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I didn't have a roof to fix, I used most of my back pay to buy my family the home they deserved, nice neighborhood, safe, one story ranch due to my power chair, some people that get P&T are for PTSD they do not have a problem riding a motorcycle, to make judgements on how others spend money that is theirs is wrong, no one on this board will tell you how you should spend what you receive, some vets breeze thru the claim process with minimal waiting times, no real notice in a change of their lifestyles, but many of the vets on these boards have lost everything waiting the years it took for the appeals to work their way thru to a good outcome, that is one of the reason the check is like a lottery win, many of the checks are large enough for house down payments, or major repairs, and buy one or two vehicles but the checks never include interest for the years they held your money

strange how that works, when they keep your money because of a failure to properly do their job you get just the calculated amount, owe the government money for 4-7 years and they will add the interest so the vet still gets screwed,

when you go down the road judging others and what they do,it's a mistake you are not in their shoes, you have not walked those miles let them enjoy theirs and you enjoy yours and life will be a lot simpler

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Guest rickb54


I have to say that your post is perhaps the most inconsiderate post I have ever read on Hadit. However as a veteran you have earned the right to voice your opinion, and be inconsiderate but that still doesn't make it right.

I am elated for you that you do not need TDIU and feel 70% is adaquate compensation for your disability. I draw TDIU and that is not enought for me. You indicated that because you were retired military gives you a different slant. Being retired military should give you broader view of the disabled veteran and the sacrifices that have been made, not the narrow view you express.

Let me tell you and those like you that think some disabled veterans have won the lottery just how wrong you are.

I am retired military, I was 17 when I joined the Army, I was medically retired at 33 with just over 15 years service. Unlike you I am not entitled to any concurrent receipt even thought I am retired and draw TDIU (rated 90%). My injuries include a Back injury due to a combat jeep accident, Asthma and COPD due to enviroments not fit for animals. I was medically retired from my civil service job at 45, because of my service connected back injury, (no such thing as veteran preference in retaining disabled veterans). When I finally received my back pay for my disabilities, I bought and paid for things that everyone needs. Lets see a new roof, new heat/air system, new windows, and new carpet. On and my truck was 17 years old, so I replaced it. Now if that seems like I won the lottery then you have you head in a place that the sun doesn't shine.

Since I have become totally disabled I have lost most of my friends, and have no contact with the outside world except for medical appointments, and an ocassional meeting at the local PVA or DAV. My daily excitement is just having the will to get up in the mornings, and that is only so I can take my 15 different medications so that I can breath, and stand the pain enought to sit in my wheel chair. I spend on average 16-18 hours a day watching tv, or on the computer. I wish I could go back to my GS11 job, earn a living wage, and be a productive citizen but reality really hurts. Most in my situtation are candidates for early death attributed as a direct result to service connected disabilities.

Now does this sound like the life you or anyone would want to lead? I would sooner trade the life I have now for the life of a minimun wage earner just starting out at least I might have a brighter future.

You said your not painting with a broad brush, no perhaps not but it sure is brush full of ingorance. Stoning would be to good for you!

Just MHO that I had to get off my chest and I will not regret saying it.

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Well, my username here, timetowinarace, is the name of one of our horses. The horses would be considered my 'toys'. Oddly enough, I can no longer ride.

But, I don't have to do away with my toys. My wife also enjoys them and rides daily. I'm able to help and enjoy being around them.

To insinuate that because I get compensation for my SC disabilities that I should not use that compensation in order to make my life and that of those around me as enjoyable as possible is absurd. I would give my compensation back double in order to be normal. I would give up my horses in order to be normal. That is not a possibility for me.

Any healthy person that would like to trade me places healthwize is not only welcome to any 'toys' that I now have, but to my future toys as well.

I do realize how people see this. However, when they have to live in daily pain and permanantly restricted in their activities we'll see how fast their opinions change. Those toys are no longer just something to have fun with. They are the activities that keep us somewhat sane.

That Harley or boat can get us away from the people that irritate and we can forget for awhile that what our problems are.

No, I have no guilt over toys. These people said nothing while I was losing everything. No-one offered to save my house.

The simple way to look at this is, Take any income you have for the next several years and put it under your bed. Find another way to pay bills, feed yourself or just plain don't pay the bills or eat. Then after 4 to 5 years take it all out and do what you want with it. This proccess is available to EVERYONE. The difference is, we Vets are forced into it. It's not a decision we make. That 4 to 5 years is miserable. I'd like to see a healthy person do it.


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I know one thing for sure. Don't be talkin about my Harley, that is where I draw the line. Don't force me to open a can of whoop ass and I will on those that have somehting smart to say about a disabled vet and his/her Harley. The Harley is one of the most beneficial therapies for PTSD as far as I am concerned.

I disagree with the Lottery statement and find it to be appalling. I have been waiting for over 30 years for my due compensation because of a VA mistake in rating and even when I get it I will feel I have been short changed. How many lottery winners feel they have been short changed of their winnings?

What a vet does with their disability compensation is their business and no one elses, just the same as those that have income.........it is no one's business what they do with their income but them.

Of course there are those who love to trample others when they are the one's that are one up on everyone else and I believe that is the case here.

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Guest HolliGreen

My, my, my, Moe certainly has an interesting perspective. Who exactly is behaving as if they have won the lottery? Why would Moe even be concerned with anything anyway? Judgements of veterans by fellow veterans is offensive, IMO. H.G.

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  • In Memoriam

Moe, welcome to Hadit.

One of my buddies spent years for a PTSD claim. He told me that the award letter said "Congratulations". Just the word award, in and of itself, is away of minimizing a VA loss to the Veteran. It is like, the hell that the VA puts the Veteran through, is warranted.

This is more disgusting, to me, than any veteran could ever be, but in spite of this, there are those who will denigrate the Veteran, giving the VA the benefit of the doubt.

Yes! different, but Quite Contrary.

The aloof heads of Congress have this same remote view, and these leaders are going to get more bang out-of-thier-bucks next Tuesday when they get a permanent Vacation.

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I try to look at it as a forced savings you weren't sure you would get back, and like most when i got my retro i paid bills and caught up with things that needed replacement .

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think the feelings of guilt for getting compensation is fostered by the VA and our own society. This is part of the mind%$#@ disabled people are subjected to for being so inconsiderate as to keep on breathing once they can no longer work.

The citizens of the USA send young men into dangerous conditions and then when they get hurt those very same people want us to feel guilty for being compensated for our loss. How much is a leg worth? How can you put a price tag on pain and suffering? Vets get very little for their sacrifice.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Well, I was going to stay out of this. Then I got to thinking. It went something like this:

My remand to the AMC states that I have an injury at this time. This injury has a "nexus" to an injury that was received in the service and that is documented throughout it's course of treatment at Balboa Navy Hospital, and is an injury that I was discharged from the USMC because of. The RO, The BVA, The AMC, every darn one of them have all this information and they admit to having it, yet this is what the remand says:

The Board finds that a medical opinion is necessary to make a

decision on the claim. See 38 U.S.C.A. § 5103A(d)(2) (West

2002); 38 C.F.R. § 3.159©(4)(i) (2005). Specifically, the

veteran has a current left ankle disability, there is

evidence establishing an event in service involving the left

ankle, an indication that the disability may be associated

with the veteran's service, but insufficient competent

medical evidence on file for the Secretary to make a decision

on the claim. Id.; see also McLendon v. Nicholson, No. 04-

0185 (U.S. Vet. App. June 5, 2006).

So, after THREE years. THREE years! And all the facts pointing to what you would think would be a positive conclusion.................Me and my family..we still wait.

This incident happened FORTY years ago, and I swore then that I would just go on with my life. This was Vietnam-era. We were losing boys on a daily basis. I volunteered to be one of those boys, but my life was spared. I figured that I had done my part, the Marines had done their part, and I'd find something else to fill the rest of my life with. Guilt? Yeah, I've suffered with "survivor's guilt" for 40 years. I've also suffered what can only be described as agony, as every step I take is "bone on bone", grinding away at what is left of my ankle. I can't stand up, I can't walk, I can't sleep................................I can't work.

Won The Lottery?

Nope, I ain't WON nuttin, honey!

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I have been in pain since 1978 due to sc injury. I have just now started to get and increase in my comp. Yes I am retired from service and they take the comp from my retirement check. When I do get my increase in comp I have earned every painful penny of it. It may feel like a lottery but it is my painful earned $$$$


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Like most, I was going stay out of this.

I treat my award letter, as the result of a long hard fight, with my gov. At the end of the month, I'm always scared, that somehow or someway, the money will not find it's way into my account. I've had this feeling. ever since the begining, Feb 2002. I now have the income, to put a roof over my families head, and a car that I can count on. I'm more aware than most, how fast, that can all change. I to went from a good gov.job, to living on the streets in a manner of months. The type of PTSD, that I have, long history of getting to the top of whatever and then shooting myself, starting over, and then doing it again.

The only long time sucess, that I've had is a loving wife ( almost 40 yrs) and a family that keeps me jumping.

I'll take the family over the money anytime. My fear, is that they have paid they're dues. I want to live long enough so that they get dues ticket paid in full too.

Larry Jones, 100 SC PTSD, still a little nuts, I hope

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  • HadIt.com Elder

When I filed my claim for VA Disability in 1991 I had been diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Major Depression. I was not able to work either. I was drafted in 1968 and more than once I was told that if my service injured me Uncle Sam would make it right.

I don't consider Service Connection a Lottery its a benefit paid to men and woman who were underpaid by the Government. I was awarded Social Security the same year. It took me 5 and 1/2 years to get 100% Service Connected.

It is also a very hard benefit to collect. I take my hat off to all Veterans who are Service Connected.

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If your wife or husband bought an insurance policy for a Million Bucks and they died would you tell the insurance that you only wanted a little of the money? That you felt guilty for taking the whole amount or that you didn't think of yourself as worthy. BS, take what is yours and what you have paid for and get on with it!! If you don't need all of the money for your disabilities then take it and give it to someone that you know.


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