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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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Lagin02

Va disability & C&P question regarding veteran with suicide risk

Question

So my husband is going though the VA disability process. He began treatment in April doing CPT which aggravated his symptoms immensely. In May, he was fired from the job he has held for 8 years. In June, he was put on disability leave from his National Guard unit after command became aware of his suicide risk and they have mandated that he continues the therapy which is only making the situation worse. He has been in for 15 years and most likely will be medically chaptered out which has worsened his depression significantly. Due to his suicidal thoughts I am trying to manage this financial crisis as best I can because I’m afraid he is being pushed over the edge. He just stares off into space and sits in our basement. I filed for VA disability at the beginning of June because prior to all this he was our only source of income. I left my job a couple months before he was fired because my income was not enough to cover daycare after our son was born. I can’t leave him alone with the kids in the state he is in right now. I payed off our bills for a couple months with our savings but we only have a month left before we will be homeless. I also expedited his claim due to financial hardship in June. His claim seems open and shut to me. He did is C&P exam in July 31st but the VA still haven’t received the report (it was a VA doctor that did it not a contractor).  I called on Thursday to ask where it is and was told “it’s not ready yet” by the office where it was conducted. 

My understanding is you must prove three things:

The stressor:

His stressor occurred in Iraq in 2007. There was a CID investigation due to the circumstances around the event and there are still people in his unit that were in Iraq with him and knew what happened. I don’t want to write details because it would defeat the purpose of confidentiality but there is no denying that it was extremely traumatic and involved death and serious injury of service members in a small convoy. I also have a memorandum signed by the commander sending my husband to the combat stress unit in Iraq after the incident when he became suicidal. In my mind there is no denying the stressor. 

A current diagnosis: 

He is currently under treatment for PTSD at the VA doing CPT and is on medication. His team wants him to do an in-patient program in Chicago but as it stands with our impending homelessness, it just isn’t an opinion right now. 

The Nexus: 

He marked off symptoms of ptsd on his demobilization paperwork and stated he encountered stressors. In his periodic health assessment 6-month and also 1 year follow-ups for his Iraq deployment it shows he endorsed every symptom of PTSD and one Depression question. He was supposed to be referred to mental health according to this form but for whatever reason it slipped through the cracks. His current treatment is focused on the events that occurred during his first deployment. 

I called the VA homeless assistance line and was told that they will place my husband in transitional housing but me and our children (6-month-old and 9-years-old) will need to “find somewhere else to go.” I called the White House VA line and was told “I am so sorry but I don’t know what else I can tell you to do” His ebenifits portal broke 6 weeks ago due to duplicate files and was supposed to be fixed 3 weeks ago but is still broken. I have called veteran resources but all in our area require we have a “resolution” if they assist which we don’t because I don’t know if or when he will start to improve. 

So if your still with me, I have a couple questions: 

How long does it take for the doctor to send a C&P exam? Is it normal that it wouldn’t be don’t weeks after the exam? 

What are the chances that this will be resolved before the end of September when we will be homeless? If we do become homeless how do we follow up with the case with no address? 

Will the transitional housing be able to make sure he doesn’t follow through with his suicidal thoughts? I’m afraid that separating our family and having to toss everything we have build over the last 10 years will push him over the edge and I won’t be there to make sure he is okay. 

Is there anything else I can or should be doing? 

Is there any chance he could get better soon? Like it gets really bad but than starts then better? He has a bachelor’s degree and if he stops staring off into space and having these episodes he could get a job paying good money or I can work and he can watch the kids. I can’t imagine throwing everything we own in a dumpster, having my family torn apart, and taking my kids to a homeless shelter. I don’t even know how to explain it to my 9-year-old. He always struggled but at least he was functioning by numbing everything and isolation prior to opening this can of worms. We were financially comfortable so I just don’t understand how things got so bad so fast.

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35 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

Cold black ink sac here, chiming in once again.

Tomorrow at 0'dark 30 start speed dialing the numbers on these two pages

https://www.va.gov/oig/hotline/

https://www.va.gov/OGC/DistrictOffices.asp

Scream your bloody f'ing head off if you have too!!!!!!

Have a melt down if that is what it takes.

You account is flag as imminently homeless  there is ZERO xxxxxxx REASON for your status to jump ahead 5 months. NONE NADA NYET No xxxxxxx way Jose...

am I being clear?

MAIL THEM.. call the local affiliates. Call the local "I can fix it" news person. Call the most famous anchor in your neck of the woods. Make this LOCAL and LOUD!

we all like to think that, but make it LOCAL AND LOUD first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

35 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

Who manages the TSP and did you tell them you are in hardship? about to be on the street begging with your two sick kids and a mentally helpless spouse? do you see where I am going?

even bureaucrats have family and heart strings. If you get them on your side they can move mountains. If they are unwilling then bring out the proverbial flame thrower and burn that mother down in the press and social media.

The roof! the roof! the roof is on fire, we don't need no water let the ...........

if you know the rest of that lyric you know my opinion on what you should do to anyone who pulls this BS on a family about to be kicked to the curb by bureaucratic nonsense.

 

 

 

35 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

You account is flag as imminently homeless  there is ZERO xxxxxxx REASON for your status to jump ahead 5 months. NONE NADA NYET No xxxxxxx way Jose...

am I being clear?

They said there are other veterans with hardships as well. I did ask to speak to a supervisor and they said one would call in 24-48 hours. I’m definitely calling the numbers you posted because the representative said the supervisor will just repeat she already told me, which was essentially nothing. 

35 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

Who manages the TSP and did you tell them you are in hardship? about to be on the street begging with your two sick kids and a mentally helpless spouse? do you see where I am going?

It’s a Thrift Savings Plan through the military. Apparently we can borrow from it but have to pay it back (they take out a portion of his drill checks) or the IRS will charge us 10% tax on it. They didn’t need proof of hardship to take it out. They just sent me a form to fill out and it had to be notarized and sent back. 

36 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

even bureaucrats have family and heart strings

Do they though? I don’t know. They seem to be the ones with the “cold, black, ink sac hearts.” When I told the representative that my kids are going to be homeless, she offered to reconnect me to the VA homeless hotline to get “family housing.” The same line that told me they could put my husband in transitional housing but me and my kids “would need to find somewhere else to go.” Ugh! So frustrating! It’s like a maze that leads to the same dead end. 

38 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

if you know the rest of that lyric you know my opinion on what you should do to anyone who pulls this BS on a family about to be kicked to the curb by bureaucratic nonsense

Careful, your going to ruin your reputation saying stuff like that. 

 In all seriousness though, this must happen quite frequently. I have never encountered a situation with any bureaucracy quite like this. I had an easier time dealing with an IRS audit a couple years ago. No one will tell you anything! I asked the woman what they were still trying to determine so I could see what I could do to get additional evidence and she said “they will contact you if they need anything.” 

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18 minutes ago, shrekthetank1 said:

Sounds like you found what you needed to make it work!  very proud of you!  

I am glad you are going to go there as this is what the White House is looking for is an easy win.  If they catch wind of it they will want some good news and they can flip that thing on its head.  I think your strategy is good!

Keep fighting never give up!

 

 

I’m just taking it one day at a time. Thank you! I’m not giving up! 

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5 minutes ago, Lagin02 said:

“they will contact you if they need anything.” 

burn it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The senators office got back to me today. They requested documents to prove what I was saying and I sent them everything. The DHS notice of cancellation of our food assistance over $10, the VA homeless note out of my husbands blue button report, past due bills, and case status with completion date on VA.gov. I sent everything and including  a form for my husband to sign allowing the senator to do a inquiry. Under the section asking for details I wrote “a news organization is interested in doing an interview but they want to do it while we are throwing our stuff out to go to a homeless shelter and I would prefer not to humiliate my children and husband if I can prevent it. They called my 10 minutes after I faxed it and said they are requesting a “dire need decision” and senators aid said she already spoke with her VA lesion to let her know that the paperwork would be sent by tomorrow morning and this needs to be resolved quickly.  She also said that someone from VBA (I think) would be contacting me soon to assist with past due bills. 

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2 hours ago, Lagin02 said:

The senators office got back to me today. They requested documents to prove what I was saying and I sent them everything. The DHS notice of cancellation of our food assistance over $10, the VA homeless note out of my husbands blue button report, past due bills, and case status with completion date on VA.gov. I sent everything and including  a form for my husband to sign allowing the senator to do a inquiry. Under the section asking for details I wrote “a news organization is interested in doing an interview but they want to do it while we are throwing our stuff out to go to a homeless shelter and I would prefer not to humiliate my children and husband if I can prevent it. They called my 10 minutes after I faxed it and said they are requesting a “dire need decision” and senators aid said she already spoke with her VA lesion to let her know that the paperwork would be sent by tomorrow morning and this needs to be resolved quickly.  She also said that someone from VBA (I think) would be contacting me soon to assist with past due bills. 

I have never heard of the "Dire need decision"   Sounds like you hit the right door hard enough!  Now knock that sucker over!  Do not give them an inch!  They can do far more than they say they can!  

For me when my senator made a request for me, within a week I had my back pay!   So this is very good news!  

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
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    • I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 

       

      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf

      HEADACHE-DBQ.pdf

      Pages from Original Denial-Grant Reasons_Redacted.pdf
    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 

       

      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
      • 14 replies
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