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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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chgofire

Employment discrimination based on Service Connection

Question

I have suffered the ultimate slap in the face for my service to my country by my employer.  They are trying to use my military service connection as an excused that has absolute no bearing to my job performance and they are now trying to use an excuse that I lied when I had originally applied to the job, now 15 or so years later after the fact.  When I originally got hired, all of my application status, background, etc. was completed.  However, I got deployed and my hiring process had to be placed on hold until my return from active duty, upon my return I was immediately hired no questions asked.  I successfully passed all written exams, certifications, and performed the duties of my job according the policies and procedures.  At no time I felt the need to inform my employer to disclose my private HIPPA info to them because I was seeking guidance and treatment privately without the use of my funded health insurance from my employer.  I sought help from the VA because at that time I didn't know what was going on, it took a lot of work on my end to successfully attend counseling, mental health assistance, group meetings, etc. and at no time was I ever a threat to myself, my co workers or the public.  I kept all of VA health access private and none of my performance records or personnel file ever indicated that a "so called" service connection impaired my ability to do my job.  NO RECORDS!  

 To make the long story short I was let go of my job and now I find myself in a legal battle trying to get back to work.  However, this legal battle has been taking a long time and my employer has not paid me in nearly 2 years.  I have lost my marriage due to the financial hardship that my employer has put me through, along with my mother passing away recently and the unfortunate circumstance of being placed in a very extreme financial hardship.  I can't begin to explain what I have lost, thankfully my service connection monthly allowance has helped me survive, as well as working ride share for Uber/Lyft and selling just about everything that I own to get buy.  Needless to say that I have now come to a point that I have never envisioned, such as the possibility of seeking a financial relief by filing for bankruptcy.  This kills me for the fact that I have maintain almost a perfect credit  and I try to pay all of my bills on time, I can't afford to lose my house and the basic things that I need to get by.  

 So with this dilemma it leads to me seek some guidance, since my monthly allowance that I received from the VA not tax deductible, should I disclose that to the bankruptcy court?  I am getting a work related pension, but its not nearly enough since I didn't do the necessary 20 years to retire with benefits and a pension to survive, instead I am barely making $800 a month if that!  on the pension from my employer.  Along my earnings from ride share work, which is not a lot of money but at least, it gets me by. 

 I have not been able to obtain full time employment due to the current legal battle that I have going on and I have tried to contact so many agencies and politicians for assistance, unfortunately my call to help has not been answered.  I have tried to reach out Congressman, Senate, Local politicians, Federal and State agencies only to end up with absolutely no help.  My ultimate goals are to regain what I lost from my employer and hopefully come back to work and finish what I started.  But I need some financial help and the only option that I see at this moment is to file for bankruptcy.  My story is a very complicated and sensitive issue, which a post on a thread can't possibly explain everything but with that being said I don't wish this to happen not even to my worst enemy.  It's extremely depressing and sad that this is going on but it is now I have no other options.  

 So can I apply for bankruptcy given all the above and if so, how can I move forward?  Thanks to all in advance... 

 

 

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I have been through what you are going through..its rough.

The good news is if you are SC and unable to work due to sc conditions (and I have no idea if that is the case), then you should be bumped to 100 percent or tdiu from the VA.  

This said, its better to work if you can.  Im not understanding your reasons for not working elsewhere, but that may be easier for me to suggest than for you to accomplish.  

Many of the rest of us have also had to "downsize" our finances, and its especially difficult with a spouse and kids who often dont want to downsize.  

As far as "not reporting" your VA income, my suggestion is to review the rules as to "what is income".  For example, the IRS "does not want" my VA compensation listed as income on my tax returns.  My accountant says it will confuse the IRS, and there is no place to "put" VA compensation on the IRS form.  

I guess the IRS does not consider VA compensation "income", but rather "compensation" for our loss of earning capactity due to service connected injuries.  

I never recommmend lying to a judge, or anyone else as far as "income".  But, if their rules do not specify "VA compensation" as income, then maybe its unnecessary to include it.  As far as I know, the VA does not make us have a tatto that says, "This Veteran is receiving xx percent disablilty compensation income".  

On the other hand, I have no problems getting banks to count VA compensation as income to buy a car, house, etc.  

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You probably should talk to and consider hiring a bankruptcy attorney.  If you think you have problems now, believe me, you certainly don't want to do anything to get yourself in trouble with a bankruptcy judge.

As far as your company using disability as a pretext to let you go, you should consider contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or a disability attorney.  What you're describing may very well be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If so, you may end up being majority owner of said company.

I hope everything works out for you, don't let them shove you out over a disability, regardless of service connection.  Good luck.

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As was already stated, IU would be your correct route right now with the possibility of SSDI, you could also hit the VA up for Voc Rehab, they give you around 1k per month to attend school plus pay for anything you need.  As far as your house, if it is on a VA loan , they will most likely help you so as to not lose your home.  

You have several battles to fight at the same time, we have been there done that.  My question is, was this a government job?

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