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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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JeanBean217

Berta - Follow up questions for you

Question

Hi Berta.  Thanks for answering on my other post.  I'm posting this here to answer the questions you asked, since my other post got burried somewhere.  I guess my initial post was a little confusing.  Let me see if I can state it more clearly. (This was about the bladder dysfunction problems that returned after a surgical proceedure was reversed.)

The surgery for the bladder dysfunction was performed while I was active duty, by a military doctor at BAMC, Ft. Sam Houston, TX.  It is fully documented in my SMRs.  I dug it out last night and read it.  The VA knew about it, they obtained the complete copy of my SMR, and all aspects of the surgery were on my list of things that I wanted to be evaluated for when I retired and went through the VA's initial rating process.  I forget the form number, but it basically gave them a list of all my conditions/diagnoses.  I did find my initial award letter, and it was SC at 0%, since the surgery corrected the problem and I wasn't having symptoms at that time.

After I retired from active duty, I began to have complications from the sling.  That is why a civilian doctor did the removal surgery, because I was retired and using Tricare.

Yes, I am currently 70% PTSD.  As far as I know, they did not "infer" or offer TDIU.  The only income I had was from some lesson plans I posted for sale, online.  Certainly not gainful employment and not coming close to the income threshold.  I don't remember if the VA even asked about employment, but I have not held a job since retirement.

I receive CRDP, if I understand it correctly.  Concurrent pay - retirement monthly payment, plus a VA payment.

After my initial claim, I did all my NODs, appeals, etc... on my own.  My vet rep guy was not a lot of help, so I did it on my own.  I ended up winning the three things that I was after.  (These conditions are different from the ones I'm inquiring about now.)  The VA sided with me in the end and awarded me the ratings.  I did a lot of reading online to help myself through the process.  I bet this site would have been a big help.

No, I haven't applied for SSDI.  I didn't know if I should, since I'm not at 100%, and really don't know where to begin with that.  I was wore out by the time I got finished fighting with the VA last time, and just didn't have it in me to start another big process.  I guess that is why I've let this bladder thing go on for so long without filing anything.  The claims process is just hard, and draining.

Now for my questions:

1.  As far as my PTSD being at 70%, is it a CUE, that the VA did not offer or "infer" TDIU?  My other ratings are 30%, 30%, 10%, 10%, 10%, 10%, 10%.  Plus a bunch of SC at 0%.  I listed them by condition on that initial post that got burried.

2.  I do not have the copy of the award letter to increase the PTSD to 70%, so I guess I will have to request that from my C-file.  I think they may have sent it to an old address.  I saw the increase on e-benefits.  Other than obtaining a copy of the increase, what else should I do?  I suppose a copy of the C&P mental exam would be helpful too.

3.  If it is a CUE / oversight on their part for the TDIU, would it backdate to the time of the 70% award?  It was 4 years ago.

4.  As far as the bladder issue, (I know this is a seperate thing from a CUE),  I'm assuming I would have to request an increase, since the symptoms are back.  Is that different than opening a new claim, or do I do it the same way?  Would that be backdated from the time the sugery was reversed?  I'm assuming not, since I haven't requested the increase yet.

5.  Is the best route to address the bladder issue with an increase request first to see if I make it to 100%, or also apply for TDIU / file a CUE for it at the same time?

5.  If/when would it be appropriate to apply for SSDI?  Do you know of a site/link that would help me with that process?  I could really use the extra income to help me get by, as my ex is a dead beat dad and hasn't paid child support in years.  Raising teens alone is a big expense. 

Just thinking of all this wears me out and gives me a headache.  Agghhh.

Edited by JeanBean217

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From my understanding there isn't a CUE here for IU.  Did you apply for IU when you did your claim?  There is a form that they send when you meet the criteria for IU (at least I received one with my decision letter packet when I went above 70% a few years ago.  It's on the veteran to apply for IU if you feel you meet the criteria. 

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# 1 I would need to see their 70% award letter to figure out if that contains a CUE-

I think I answered some of this here in a different post...

# 5 I suggest you google Social Security Disability- to see if you are eligible to apply- there used to be  a criteria that application must be made within 5 years after being unable to work- but that might have changed.

# 3 that too depends on the award letter

#4, I am not sure if you need to file a new claim or re-open an older claim- I need to find my other answer somewhere here on that-I think I gave a rationale- but forget what I said.

#5  " Is the best route to address the bladder issue with an increase request first to see if I make it to 100%, or also apply for TDIU / file a CUE for it at the same time?"

If I were you I would file the bladder claim ( or re-open  any past denial specifically for it )

and file for TDIU as well,using the 21-8940 form

I have no idea how you could shape the CUE yet-the award letter with 70-% SC  solely for PTSD holds the CUE if there is one.

 

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https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib   info there on SSDI and also application.

 

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It is a good idea to stay in one topic Jean-

I think I answered one of your questions here:

Also we need to know if the bladder was rated at "0" NSC or "0" SC.

 

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Thanks for answering, Berta and Okichewy1.  In the second paragraph of this post, I stated that I did find a copy of my award letter last night, and that I am SC at 0% for the bladder issue.  I'm requesting a copy of my records from the civilian reversal surgery on my bladder now, and have an doctor appt next week for a follow up, to establish that the side effects are still there since having the reversal.  Sorry about the double post, but I thought since I was questioning a CUE, that it belonged over here.  The problem with the PTSD rating is that I never received the 70% award letter.  Just saw the result on e-benefits.  So, I guess I will need to request a copy of those records from VA, then get back to you on what it included.  If I post an update on the bladder issue, I'll post it on the original thread in the VA Disability forum and if it's about the PTSD/possible CUE, I'll post it here.  Sorry for asking too many questions at once.  I'll look at the SSDI link.

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