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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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Can you please ballpark my rating?


Hello all!

So the long and short of my story is that I have bipolar disorder. My doctor checked 100% service-connected (diathesis-stress theory and all). I can't drive after 7pm and try not to drive after 6:00pm due to medication side effects (clumsiness from Seroquel and confusion from Lamictal). In the last 2 years, I have probably driven after 7pm about 10-15 times. I tried switching to Vraylar and it was gosh-awful. I mean, you know, people here know. The worst... Anyway, I have failed out of school for the last 4 semesters despite being of average smarts. I have lost 2 very good friends due to my manic states (one was my best friend for 8 years, the other was my 2nd best Army buddy). During the Winter I am usually totally "combat ineffective", as in I can barely leave the house, and do laundry every 3 weeks (instead of every week) and shower every 3 days. I also go for groceries probably every 5 weeks instead of every 3. 

I am submitting my claim through the DAV and my doctor has checked off deficiencies in: "work, school, family relations, thinking, mood" on one of their special forms.

Anyway, I know, it's just a lot of wah, wah, wah on my part (and I'm sorry to the vets who are straight-up paralyzed), and don't get me wrong, I am very lucky to not be a Vietnam vet who has been wronged, or a vet who has lost both both arms... but, can anyone guess what my rating will be? I will not hold it againstanyone even remotely. My C&P exam is on Wednesday and I am pretty anxious. I expect to hear my rating in about 3 months.
I think I will be placed at 70%. Any "wake up calls" or advice is welcome.

Best regards,

Edited by hemipepsis5p

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I have no experience in mental health C&P's, but can tell you that you need to be honest and answer the examiners questions to the best of your abilities.  However, dont average your conditions, let the examiner know the worst it can get.  More can opine on the mental health exam as I am no expert there.

I will say though, from reading on here for quite some time, you will probably be low-balled and you may want appeal.  Or you can wait a while and file for an increase.

And after you get your letter and rating, you may want to look at your health record and see what other problems you have that could be attributed to your now service connected disability and claim them as secondary.  But that's down the road a little ways.

First, go to your C&P, and then get your letter and go from there.  Nothing to be nervous about.  Your letter will tell you what they found and you can readjust from there.

Good Luck,



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Well, you told us how sick you are , but you did not say your disorder is related to service.  Did a doctor state your bipolar disorder is "at least as likely as not" related to service?  If so, you can proceed to a rating guess.  However, if you dont have a nexus, you could be really really sick, and it wont matter to VA.  

So, I will indulge getting the cart before the horse and speculate a rating IF you have a valid nexus.  However, VA will deny if you dont.   

Once service connected VA rates on symptoms.  You listed a key one, your ability to work.  The question is how much your service connected disorder affects your work?  Are you working?  It does not sound like it.  If you are unable to work due to SC conditions, then you should get 100 percent or TDIU.  Of course, you have to apply for tdiu and a doctor has to say you are unable to maintain substantial gainful employment due to sc condtions to get tdiu.  

My advice is to continue your application and give VA all the information they request.  Keep the VA informed of your change of address, if any.  If you have little or no income, and not working you probably can get NSC pension while you are waiting on VA to approve your sc benefits as that takes a very long time.  

Have you applied for social security disability?  It sounds like you may be eligible, and you can get that in addition to VA benefits.  Getting Social security can help get VA benefits, especially if the reason Social security gives you benefits are reasons you are service connected for.  

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Ball park estimate, if service connected:  70-100 percent but it will likely only happen in appeals, as VA loves to deny the first round.  

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As I understand it the VA don't use Bi Polar anymore,  they use the severity of the symptoms  such as Chronic or break it down to depressive disorders  such as unspecific depressive disorders and so on  ect,,ect,,,  ...I would  say 70% or 100% depends on the examiner if he checked the box with bad hygiene or not.??  I was rated as chronic   and 70%  I still have good hygiene  although maybe not so much at home  but clean up when I go to the VA OR go get groceries  ect,,,ect,,

Check out the rating criteria for mental health below & look and see what the C&P Examiner says your symptoms meet?

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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The VA "frowns" on doctors specifying a disabiliy percentage.   The rating specialist wants to do that, not the doctor, and rating specialists want the exam and the rating quite seperated.   Is this a VA psychiatrist?  

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