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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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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

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      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
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      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
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      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
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      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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LanceJoseph

TDIU Income questions

Question

Hello All, 

Let me start by saying that I was recently granted TDIU, I'm a young guy in my early 30's and I am currently in Voc Rehab and finishing out a bachelors program.  Working with my green team care providers I've been told that I am not yet ready to try for full employment. The issue I'm having is that while I work on myself mentally I would like to pursue a masters program to make myself more competitive and a more well-rounded applicant when the time comes that I can return to the workforce.  There are two issues I'm running into regarding my TDIU status. 

1. The program I am interested in requires 800 minimum PAID patient care hours to even apply for the program. So I would have to lose my TDIU to even try? I was told to contact my RO to possibly facilitate a sheltered part-time work program, or at the very least let my situation be known.  Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.  

2. I recently inherited two properties from a family member and they are rentals, After speaking to a gentleman on VA's 1800 number I was told that rentals are counted towards gainful employment whether or not they are managed by me or not, ( I do not manage them, there were tenants already living there upon my possession of the properties).  They don't bring in much in the way of profit so are they worth keeping if they jeopardize my TDIU. 

Overall I am very blessed to receive my IU rating but I still want to get better and push myself to do more and be more than I currently am, The rating itself has allowed me to spend more time working on continuing my education but more importantly overcoming some issues that have plagued me for many years. Any advice or guidance or even constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated , Thank you and have a wonderful day 

Semper Fi

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If your providers say you are not ready for employment I would listen to them.  I would hate to see you lose TDIU and then find out you are not employable.   As for the masters program I would pursue another that does not have prerequisites.  It might not be the one you want but it sounds like the one you want is not attainable at this time.  I will say that I believe you are lucky you can attain a degree and have a chance at employment.  A lot of us have to realize we will never be able to earn an income again.  

As for the properties, if they hold no sentimental value I would dump them but then this would be considered income when you sold them so check with the VA about this.  Call Peggy and ask if there is someone who can advise you.  Someone else on this site may be able to advise you or we should wait to see if @asknodis willing to weigh in on this question.  It is complicated. 

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1 hour ago, LanceJoseph said:

Hello All, 

Let me start by saying that I was recently granted TDIU, I'm a young guy in my early 30's and I am currently in Voc Rehab and finishing out a bachelors program.  Working with my green team care providers I've been told that I am not yet ready to try for full employment. The issue I'm having is that while I work on myself mentally I would like to pursue a masters program to make myself more competitive and a more well-rounded applicant when the time comes that I can return to the workforce.  There are two issues I'm running into regarding my TDIU status. 

1. The program I am interested in requires 800 minimum PAID patient care hours to even apply for the program. So I would have to lose my TDIU to even try? I was told to contact my RO to possibly facilitate a sheltered part-time work program, or at the very least let my situation be known.  Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.  

2. I recently inherited two properties from a family member and they are rentals, After speaking to a gentleman on VA's 1800 number I was told that rentals are counted towards gainful employment whether or not they are managed by me or not, ( I do not manage them, there were tenants already living there upon my possession of the properties).  They don't bring in much in the way of profit so are they worth keeping if they jeopardize my TDIU. 

Overall I am very blessed to receive my IU rating but I still want to get better and push myself to do more and be more than I currently am, The rating itself has allowed me to spend more time working on continuing my education but more importantly overcoming some issues that have plagued me for many years. Any advice or guidance or even constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated , Thank you and have a wonderful day 

Semper Fi

Kudos for bettering yourself.  However, It’s a fact.  When you complete VOC Rehab?  They VA will deem you employable.  You WILL lose your TDIU.  I think you could argue the rental property issue, but that’s out of my lane.  

Edited by MPsgt
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24 minutes ago, MPsgt said:

Kudos for bettering yourself.  However, It’s a fact.  When you complete VOC Rehab?  They VA will deem you employable.  You WILL lose your TDIU.  I think you could argue the rental property issue, but that’s out of my lane.  

Thanks for your input,  My Voc rehab case manager is in contact with my care providers and agrees with their assessment. I'm in the program for training purposes and he isn't pushing the employment resources until I get the green light from my care providers. 

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This is an interesting topic for me cause I was just awarded TDIU.

The way I always understood it from other posters is that rental income is unearned income/investment income therefore you didn't actually work to obtain that and would not count when the VA cross checks with Social Security just as long as it's reported on your tax filing as investment income and not earned income.

I sold a baseball card earlier this year and i have a few baseball cards from my collection that i'm currently selling so I hope i'm right on this. I just don't think you should be forced to save money by leaving your extra funds in a checking/savings account or stashing it underneath your mattress. Inflation would just eat it away. Doesn't make sense to me.

Maybe somebody else can chime in?

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I always cringe when someone says, "I was told....."

Told by who?  A few weeks ago, on tv, "I was told" the earth was flat.   I think the guy who said the earth was flat sincerely beleived that NASA's phots, proving otherwise, were all fakes. 

    Even if you "were told" by someone like a VSO, or a VSO, or a VA employee, when I get done with this Im gonna calculate all the money I have lost by doing "what I was told", by VA employees, VSO's and others who either had no idea what they were talking about, or were just plain lying.   

    You are not in the military anymore.  Look up the criteria for TDIU.  It says you are "unable to maintain Substantial Gainful employment" due to SC conditions.  

     Once a year, you need to send to the VA a form which describes your "earned income".  

     The late Senator Mc Cain, and others have gotten 100 percent and a few have overcome their disabilities and are able to earn an income.  

      Now, when you are on tdiu, simply fill out the form to say how much you earned.  Go look up the defination of substantial gainful employment, and/or earned income vs passive or investment income.  Disabled people are not required to be in poverty, even tho that is often how it works out.  Its not a crime to have saved up your money, and invested it wisely, or, in your case, for your parents to have done same.  

     Do what you want to do, and take advice from whoever you please.  Its your life.  And there is much information out there.  Some of it is correct, some not so much.  

      Ask your accountant what is the defination of earned income vs investment income.  

      If you do that, I think you will conclude you can own rental property as long as you are not actively managing it.  

      Getting a degree in a medical field is great.  I suggest you do whatever it is you can, and dont use the criteria for tdiu to rule over you.  If you can work, after a year of SGE, report it on the form.  Eventually, if you are able to enter the workforce, then do so, and dont fret over so called "lost income" from tdiu.  

Edited by broncovet

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      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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