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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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Firewalker

Just granted 100% P & T for PTSD and approved last summer for VR&E...Need Advice

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Hello All! So, I was initially 50% for PTSD and during my appeal I applied to VR&E as my therapist convinced me I should persue it and thought I would be a great candidate. I told her I wanted to become a therapist and she thought I would be great at it. She has worked with me for 2 years in both individual and group counseling and feels I have alot of wisdom and insight in trauma. Anyway, I saw VRE counselor last summer he said I definitely qualified as I had a severe work handicap and he said they would in no way pay for me to work in the psychology field due to my mental health history. I attempted to convince him, but he said it was a no go. Instead, he approved me for working with plants in horticulture. So I was approved to begin courses for this spring. While I do enjoy gardening and being outside, pragmatically, I really don't see this as some great employment outcome. After doing research, it seems that even with a degree in the field essentially, you will be making just above minimum wage....at best, 12 bucks an hour. So just last week, I received a call from my lawyer that my appeal was complete and the DRO called her personally to report that I was granted 100% P and T for PTSD. My current dilemma is this. I am not very passionate about the horticulture pursuit as a career path. I only wanted to go to school if there was an actual economic benefit that made sense and for something I was really interested in. I don't know what to do. I am also scared if I pursue this that my rating could one day be jeopardized. I have been homeless 2 out of the last 3 years so the money is a big deal. I dont want to go through that again. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Don't get stressed, being in a VA Voc Rehab program won't affect your IU Status or Comp. When you finally get your Award Letter, the VA tells you your eligible for Voc Rehab, so stay in it and try to find something you might enjoy.

Keep in mind, IU itself is never actually Permanent, unless you hold the Rating for 20 Yrs. Each yr (within 60 days of your IU Anniversay Date) your required to file a VA Earned Income Verification Form. If you have 12 consecutive months of above (SGI $12,400 under 65) income, you could find yourself up for an IU Reduction Review.

Think about it, completing a couple yr VA Voc Rehab Program, then finding a job and working (12 Consecutive) months, we're talking 3 - 5 years down range. Just completing the Voc Rehab Program itself, is not grounds for losing your IU.

It's all about the (12) Months of "Uninterrupted Earned Income," reported on your Mandatory Yearly Earned Income Filing, triggering the possible IU Reduction Review.

Semper Fi

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That is good advice from Gastone.  Apparently, you were rated for PTSD and not necessarily TDIU.  Of course, 100% PTSD is "total occupational impairment", so I see the dilema.  Most of the time, PTSD victims have a hard time with other people.  

Maybe if you got a degree in horticulture, you could work with corn, and not people, such as on yours or a family farm.  There is a specific allowance for working in such conditions if you read the regs.  

I grew up on a family farm, and can appreciate the peacefulnuss of agriculture/farming/ranching.  Some farmers are very reclusive and have little to do with people.  

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