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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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VietnamVetSis

Agent Orange Disability Ratings

Question

My brother's Ischemic Heart Disease as a result of Agent Orange exposure as a Marine Rifleman in Quang Nam Province in 1969-70 was just approved - and rated at 60%.   Another AO disability of Diabetes II was also approved at a 40% rating last summer.  These, combined with his previous disability of scars/lack of motion from his battle wounds, gives him a total combined disability rating of 80%.   I couldn't have done it without the help of HADit.   I had no clue about the claims process when I started.   I am still going to keep plugging away on getting a schizophrenia nexus.   But I wanted to say thank you to everyone out there in the HADit  community that has given me guidance.  God bless you.

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I remember his claim VietnamVet Sis and this is Wonderful News!

Is he still employed, and if not, did they enclose a TDIU app for him?

It is always great to know hadit has helped a vet and his family!

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8 hours ago, VietnamVetSis said:

My brother's Ischemic Heart Disease as a result of Agent Orange exposure as a Marine Rifleman in Quang Nam Province in 1969-70 was just approved - and rated at 60%.   Another AO disability of Diabetes II was also approved at a 40% rating last summer.  These, combined with his previous disability of scars/lack of motion from his battle wounds, gives him a total combined disability rating of 80%.   I couldn't have done it without the help of HADit.   I had no clue about the claims process when I started.   I am still going to keep plugging away on getting a schizophrenia nexus.   But I wanted to say thank you to everyone out there in the HADit  community that has given me guidance.  God bless you.

Thank YOU VietnamVetSis for looking out for your brother. As Berta has already noted, if he is not employed or employed making less than 12k (approx. Federal poverty level) he may be eligible for IU. If he hasn't worked in a while they might even award him 100% TPIU (Total & Permanent & Individual Unemployable).

DMII as you know can cause anything from minor to devastating secondary issues. Keep after him to maintain those sugar levels... you both have suffered enough already!

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Thank you --- he hasn't worked since the 80's.   Totally dependent on my parents until their passing - at which time I took over.  He is 68.   His only 'earnings' are from social security - $10,920 annually.   Well below poverty line - not even enough to file taxes.   I got him on Food Stamps and got him Medicaid QMB that pays his Medicare Part B premium.   In addition to social security, the VA will now compensate him $18,672 annually.   Btw, they deemed him incompetent to manage his affairs (schizophrenic) and just appointed me his Federal Fiduciary.  Is TPIU a possibility ?   Even though he's a senior citizen now ?

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On 2/11/2017 at 11:07 AM, VietnamVetSis said:

 Marine Rifleman in Quang Nam Province in 1969-70

For Comp, unemployability must be a result of a service connected disability.

Many times there's 'secondary to' disabilities to DMII, such as peripheral nephropathy. These are a near 'slam dunk' if he has a diagnosis.

I have little doubt his Schizophrenia was triggered by his service, I'd guess as a result of traumatic events in Vietnam. It would be incredible to suggest his being a rifleman in Vietnam had no part in the onset. I'm not being tongue in cheek or suggesting being 'sneaky' when I say the following:

The VA sees only 'PTSD' in mental health, everything is viewed in terms of traumatic event(s) or fear of such. You must see what he's currently diagnosed with as a result of this- Kinda like how a snowball gets bigger as it rolls down a hill.

See if he has a Combat Action Badge (CAB), Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB) or qualifying medals listed on his DD214. If so, you simply file 21-0781 and put "CAB, see DD214". If not, he'll have to write out a statement of 'Fear of Hostile activity', and he'll get a PTSD exam.

Again, Schizophrenia is a manifestation of these events. Clinicians agree that it's 'triggered' by stress during late teens/early twenties. It's important to focus on those events, not the outcome of what they call Schizophrenia. Again, the VA only speaks in terms of PTSD, so schizophrenia is extremely difficult.

You can get his current provider, if private, to fill out a PTSD Initial DBQ, instead of waiting for the VA to schedule an exam.

I want to say there's still guys that are incapacitated due to their Vietnam service- most don't have Schizophrenia. His reaction was just worse.

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Thanks Mike for your response.   He had a mental C&P exam for PTSD and Schizophrenia last year.   They diagnosed him with schizophrenia but said it was not service connected - they declined the PTSD claim as it's been so long since his trauma I guess he didn't give the right answers.  (He was wounded in action - set off a grenade booby trap - still has shrapnel in his ankle and deep wounds in legs and arm).   He has all the combat badges / purple heart etc.   I have requested a copy of the C&P exam and have been waiting 11 months.   I have a private psychologist on retainer who used to be a C&P examiner to analyze the examination document and hopefully provide some new evidence and nexus letter to disagree with the PTSD/Schizophrenia denial.   He has also agreed to do a "Facetime" interview with my brother to write up a DBQ.   I've been told by another psychologist that a successful Schizophrenia claim is extremely difficult to obtain.   Unfortunately,  back when he had his breakdown (about 7 years after Vietnam), the private doctors then didn't recognize or even use the term PTSD and his official diagnosis was Paranoid Schizophrenia.   So it will be a tough nut to crack.   Thanks again for your input.   Really appreciate it.

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 

       

      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf

      HEADACHE-DBQ.pdf

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    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 

       

      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
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