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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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armyvet89

IU or other options

Question

Hello folks

I hold an 80% rating and I work for the State of Ohio. I have doctor appointment after doctor appointment most for SC conditions some not but I am still fighting those. I am a newer employee to the state and apparently even though you accrue 80 hours of sick time a year the 1st 40 hours are the only hours paid at 100% and then the rest is paid at 70%. This puts me in a real pickle financially. I have to attend these doctor appointments or my health declines dramatically. Working because of my SC issues is getting harder and harder. Do I have to be unemployed to file for IU? I mean I dont necessarily even want to go the IU route because I am the bread winner and insurance provider for my family but if I dont do something then I wont be around for my kids. What other options do I have? Any advice would be appreciated.  

I know that I have to have at least one of these ratings at 40% and an overall 70 to be eligible so I have an appointment coming up to look at getting my back increased as well as my knees but i have NOT yet filed for IU because I need help and guidance. My VSO is impossible to get ahold of so I lean on you guys for most if not all my help. Thank you for your time.

Here are my ratings:

Bilaterals:
20% Left knee
20% Lower Radiculopathy Right Leg
20% Lower Radiculopathy left Leg
10% Right knee

Others:
30% PTSD
20% Lumbar Strain:
10% Tinnitus

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As the "Soup Nazi" would say, No IU for You.

You're currently employed Full Time for your State, that in and of itself would preclude an IU Award for either  Scheduler or Extra Scheduler IU.  

Have you had Earned Income in excess of the VA SGI $12,400 (Under 65 yrs old) during any recent 12 mos period? If so that's a real Deal Breaker.

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Sorry to hear of your issues bud, and we know about you having to be the provider. It is hard to be sick and pay your bills. As Gastone stated above, you can not work and get IU. You can get 100% Schedular and work, but not IU. Has stated, if you are eligible for SSDI, then maybe you should go that route. The SSDI road will take time as well, so there is no quick resolution, other then Submitting a New VA FDC claim for an increase on 1 or all of your current SC disabilities, if you feel that your conditions have gotten worse. Good luck and keep us posted.

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I agree with Gastone.  To get TDIU, you "not only" have to be not working, but your doctor has to say you are "not working" because you have sc disabilities which render you unemployable.  Unemployed does not mean unemployable.  Many people get laid off due to various reasons, and you have to show YOUR reason is because your service connected condtions render it impossible for you to maintain Substantial Gainful employment.  

I certainly undrstand why you would want to apply now.  After all, you can "see it coming" and you also know it takes a very, very long time for VA to process your claim, and I doubt you want to become homeless waiting on benefits like what happened to me.  

However, resist the temptaion to file until you are unemployable.  I was finally awarded TDIU..in a BVA deciison in August, 2017.  When did I apply?  Well, 2002.  It took the VA 15 years for mine.  I hope yours does not take that long, and it should not.  

Filing for TDIU while working "virtually guarantees" you will get stuck in appeals for 5 years.  You "may" be one of the lucky ones who applies for TDIU and gets awarded in a few months, the first go around, but if you apply now, while working, a denial for VA is super easy!  

Im sure you dont want to hear this, but you need to prepare for battle with VA.  Build up you a savings account equal to what you need to live on for 2 years.  Longer is better.  Example:

If you are 80% and get 1550 per month, but you need 3500 per month just to pay bills, then you need to have 2000 per month times 24 months, or 48,000 in the bank to keep you from going homeless.  And that wont guarantee it, but you probably have a 50/50 chance.  

You need to cut your expenses back and sock away a couple grand a month to get ready for battle with VA.  Remember, their employees get paid 2 weeks after they start, but they want you to wait an average of at least 2 years..more if you have to appeal.  

Remember, dont buy what the politicians say.  The VA's homeless program consists of making as many Veterans homeless as possible, by delaying their benefits as long as possible.  

Once you understand VA is not a "claimant friendly non adversarial" buddy, but a ruthless foe who will do everything to deny you, then you can go into the ring with VA knowing they are not there to "hug" you and shake your hand.  That is all a ruse to get you to let your gaurd down, so they can knock you out with one punch.  

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At 2014 DRO Hearing (opted for Informal), after the DRO had told me he was Awarding all my issues including IU, we discussed the large number of IU Claims pending at all ROs.

He said there has always been an extremely large number of IU Claims filed by Vets who were simply unemployed due to Lay offs, voluntary and involuntary terminations and simple withdrawals from the work force for personal reasons. He believed the Vets simply didn't understand what the IU Rating was all about.

Every one of the merit-less IU Claims filed had to be afforded the same time and effort by the Rating/Appeal Dept.

I don't recall ever seeing VA Data regarding Yearly IU Claims Awards, Denials and IU Appeals. Might be interesting.

Anybody have the  yrly BVA or CAVC IU Reversal numbers?

 

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Does your state offer  "disability retirement"?  I worked for the Feds and I got disability retirement pension, SSDI and TDIU.  This might allow you to keep your insurance.   My advice is start saving now for the rainy day that may be coming.  If you have a 401-K or IRA you can tap it if your are disabled but you still pay tax.  You need income from the time you apply for TDIU until you get it.   
 

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