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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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MKAH

Travel Pay (transportation) to local appointments

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Several months ago the VA diagnosed me with severe Menier's disease which required Trans Typanic Gentamicin Ablation.  This treatment was performed in San Francisco SFVAMC and have been approved for NON-VA CARE for vestibular rehabilitation therapy for three months twice per week, in the city where I live.

I am absolutely unable to drive due to the Menier's and/or the TTGA treatment.  The VA ENT has approved and I am now have a parking placard so that I can limit the distance I need to travel with my cane, in order to go to the grocery store and my VA appointments.

My wife has had to get a job in order for us to make ends meet, and it is very difficult for me to find someone that can take me, then pick me up at from Vestibular rehab appointments.  I contacted to local VAMC travel office and they do not offer a shuttle service for local transportation.   I have also contacted to DAV and they also do not have service available where I live.

Question:  Should I take a bus or maybe an Uber to my VR appointments during the next three months, and submit them to travel?   Or am am on my own regarding this matter?

Thank You

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Have you checked this out yet? The Veterans Transportation Service might be an option to help you get to and from appointments at the VA or non-VA authorized providers.

https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/vtp

It sounds like you are unable to work. It might be worth also exploring TDIU and/or SSDI.

If your Menier's is SC, you might be able to get a 100% rating for it. Your profile mentions being SC for bilateral hearing loss, so if you suffer from vertigo and cerebellar gait issues more than once a week, you may qualify.

 
Quote

 

6205   Meniere's syndrome (endolymphatic hydrops):  
Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait occurring more than once weekly, with or without tinnitus 100
Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait occurring from one to four times a month, with or without tinnitus 60
Hearing impairment with vertigo less than once a month, with or without tinnitus 30
Note: Evaluate Meniere's syndrome either under these criteria or by separately evaluating vertigo (as a peripheral vestibular disorder), hearing impairment, and tinnitus, whichever method results in a higher overall evaluation. But do not combine an evaluation for hearing impairment, tinnitus, or vertigo with an evaluation under diagnostic code 6205.  

 

 

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Hey Vync,

" Have you checked this out yet?"
I did follow the links on the VA.gov URL that you suggested.  The closest location from where I live is San Francisco, roughly 5.5 hours away (each direction).  I called them anyway, and they said the program is not available in every city, but they were very polite and professional.  I could tell that they would much rather have been able to given me better news.  Your suggestion of checking at my local VSO is a good one and I will do that today.

" It sounds like you are unable to work. It might be worth also exploring TDIU and/or SSDI. "
I am not service connected for Menier's disease, so TDIU is out for me.   I did not start having symptoms until pretty recently (well after my ETS from the military) , so I think connecting Menier's to military is out of the question?
Currently, I am receiving SSDI for PTSD-MST with a case review of (MIE) 3 years with a start date of July 2016.  Interesting that my SSDI was approved after only 45 days from the date of  submission which included my VA medical file.

Since being diagnosed and treated for Menier's disease, I have contemplated updating my SSDI claim information to include that, but I am not sure if I should do that now or see if I get better closer to the expiration of my PTSD-MST SSDI review period?  Any suggestions on that point?

"Your profile mentions being SC for bilateral hearing loss, so if you suffer from vertigo and cerebellar gait issues more than once a week, you may qualify. "
Yes, I am SC 50% bilater hearing loss and 10% tinnitus and it is getting worse every year.  Yes, even after TTG ablation treatment for my Menier's, I still have more than one huge episode per week and stagger around like a drunk with a cane the rest of the time.  The worse part right now, is uncontrolled head shaking due to the ablation treatment.  I'm hoping that this settles down at some point, but its been going on since my first TTG treatment.  The TTG treatment has reduced the severity of my Menier's episode which I am grateful for but has unfortunately further damaged my hearing. 

Sine I have not seen any medical or scientific studies linking NIHL to Menier's, I am not planning on perusing that a SC course of action.  The fact is, this disease is such a mystery that no one seems to have a real grasp on what actually causes it. 

Vync, were you having vertigo attacks while in service, or did this occur later on?

 

Thanks again Vync,

 

Off to the VSO now to see of I can get information regarding a ride(s) to the VA Dr. office  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MKAH,
Well, I was hoping you would be able to get better news, but it is a start!

I have lightly explored what it would take to file for SSDI, but am far from an expert on it. A lot of others here know much more about it than I do. It might be worth notifying them of your meniere's diagnosis. 

I did have some vertigo while I was in the service which began after botched wisdom teeth removal surgery. They didn't realize it, but my jaw ended up being permanently dislocated. The condyle (top of TMJ jawbone) is out of place. Recovery from the surgery was a nightmare. The oral surgeons just did a panorex x-ray and said they found nothing. When I filed for TMJ, they eventually did an arthrogram which proved it.
  The VA audiologist said it can happen and sometimes cause parts of the middle/inner ear to get damaged. Mostly, it is tinnitus and migraines, but makes me more at risk for vertigo, car sickness, and nausea. 

 

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MKah - Meniere's is debilitating, sorry - but based on the diagnosis - it is also intermittent based on my 21 years in Occupational Therapy. 

The VA -  may give you latitude in your appointment times, if you can look into that -  You can only ask and they can say no.....( just options they may not fit your needs)  Check into DV plates in CA - no placard needed in my state, if you are 50% above.  My state has a $3 registration for all cars/truck for DV too. 

Also from an OT standpoint - if you are at home alone - meaning you are safe -

  the bus may be a viable option, since you have an assistive device for ambulation.

Buses now raise and lower for people with different challenges and also if you are able to ambulate  (walk)  over 200 feet then you are a prime candidate for bus. 

You have common sense- so you would need to be the judge, but public transportation is a good option. I do uber myself  all this time. 

Respectfully, L 

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