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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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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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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

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Question

   Hello everyone.

   What I want to know is if I am getting an adequate service connection percentage. I am currently getting 30% for Bi-Polar disorder. I was originally at 10% and then applied for an increase in my percentage in 2011 and it was raised to 30%. I keep seeing and hearing about vets getting higher percentages than me and it confuses me. Like my brother in law gets 20% for a bad knee and when in my mind I compare a bad knee to constant mood swings, bouts of depression, never ending anxiety, paranoid thoughts especially in social situations whether it be at work or in social gatherings, the occasional psychotic break, and constantly feeling like I'm weird or crazy, that comes with Bi-Polar Disorder, I think to myself, "Now is being 10% higher then someone with a bad knee necessarily right?" 

   I just have problems with understanding how the compensation works and I am wondering if I am getting screwed. Some history about me is that Bi-Polar runs in my family but I did not have any signs of it before I went to Iraq in 2003 and then I had a psychotic break while in Iraq and the V.A. determined that my Illness was already there through genes and that military service exacerbated my Illness.  As you probably know Bi-Polar illness is a lifelong condition and it feels to me that it is steadily getting worse as I get older. I have been able to hold down a janitor job for almost 3 years full time but have had to take several sick days because of the stress of working and being around people all day. I'm actually worried that having a stable job for that long would actually screw me if I applied for another increase to my SD of all things. It's not like a Janitor job is a high stress environment for most people but it is the max that I can handle. 

   So, I will be stuck in this job and pay level possibly for the rest of my life or possibly get fired for calling in sick to much and I could never be able to make a higher income even though my I.Q. is 131 and I am a hard worker. So with that all being said should I apply for an increase again to my SD?

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I definitely feel you should apply for a higher rating.

I have a good friend with bi polar and it does get worse sometimes.

He has SSDI for it and also (after 12 years) the VA awarded him 100% SC for it.

The VA Schedule of Ratings here shows how they rate MH issues.I assume since they awarded the 30% that you have had continuous treatment for the Bipolar and even maybe the doctor has increased your meds by now...possible.proof that it has gotten worse...

My friend  tried to work after the Navy and did get a good job but then with a psychotic break at the job, he ended up in a mental ward and lost the job. He was in the Navy in the 60s and they didnt have a clue on Bipolar and threw him into the brig when he manifested it's symptoms.Luckily all that was in his 201 file and when we presented this evidence to his VA shrink, the shrink wrote the nexus statement he needed. I am glad VA can diagnose Bipolar properly and treat it and I am sure it is difficult to maintain a job with it.

 

 

 

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   Hello everyone.

   What I want to know is if I am getting an adequate service connection percentage. I am currently getting 30% for Bi-Polar disorder. I was originally at 10% and then applied for an increase in my percentage in 2011 and it was raised to 30%. I keep seeing and hearing about vets getting higher percentages than me and it confuses me. Like my brother in law gets 20% for a bad knee and when in my mind I compare a bad knee to constant mood swings, bouts of depression, never ending anxiety, paranoid thoughts especially in social situations whether it be at work or in social gatherings, the occasional psychotic break, and constantly feeling like I'm weird or crazy, that comes with Bi-Polar Disorder, I think to myself, "Now is being 10% higher then someone with a bad knee necessarily right?" 

   I just have problems with understanding how the compensation works and I am wondering if I am getting screwed. Some history about me is that Bi-Polar runs in my family but I did not have any signs of it before I went to Iraq in 2003 and then I had a psychotic break while in Iraq and the V.A. determined that my Illness was already there through genes and that military service exacerbated my Illness.  As you probably know Bi-Polar illness is a lifelong condition and it feels to me that it is steadily getting worse as I get older. I have been able to hold down a janitor job for almost 3 years full time but have had to take several sick days because of the stress of working and being around people all day. I'm actually worried that having a stable job for that long would actually screw me if I applied for another increase to my SD of all things. It's not like a Janitor job is a high stress environment for most people but it is the max that I can handle. 

   So, I will be stuck in this job and pay level possibly for the rest of my life or possibly get fired for calling in sick to much and I could never be able to make a higher income even though my I.Q. is 131 and I am a hard worker. So with that all being said should I apply for an increase again to my SD?

Jester, you just need to understand the rating criteria for bi-polar disorder and then decide which category your symptoms fall into. If you feel that your symptoms fall into a higher category then what you are rated, file for an increase. If you are within your appeal period since you were last increased (1 year of decision date), file it as an appeal and it will be back-dated to the date that you filed for the last increase, providing you retroactive pay from that date. Here is the rating criteria for bi-polar disorder: 

 

1.The general rating formula for mental disorders assigns a 10 
percent rating on the basis of 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. 

2. A 30 percent rating is assigned on the basis of 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).

3. A 50 percent rating is assigned on the basis of 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. 

4. A 70 percent rating is assigned on the basis of 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.

5. A 100  percent rating is assigned on the basis of 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.  38 C.F.R. § 
4.130.

 

Edited by bluevet

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      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

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      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


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      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

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      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



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