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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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slangpdx

Is TDIU eligibility the only thing reviewed?

Question

I am working with county VA reps trained by the state.  They say they file about 1 TDIU claim a week with about a 70% success rate.

I was awarded 70% SC in 2011 mental health related with no review since then.  I have not worked for 3 years and have continued to see VA psychiatrists and have been moved to a primary care unit where docs are psychiatrists.  Multnomah County Oregon, Portland VAMC. 

County rep says the TDIU claim involves assessment for TDIU ONLY and will not readdress the 70% rating at all.  Is this true? 

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I don't know what planet those people you're talking with are from, but if they believe what they're saying, I would run, not walk, away from them.  As broncovet reaffirmed, a claim for TDIU means you WILL be evaluated as if you asked for an increase in your 70% rating.  As a matter of fact, depending on your records and the C&P exam, you could even achieve 100% schedular, if the evidence says your condition meets the criteria for that rating.  On the other hand, you have to realize that your level of disability from the mental health issue is going to be reevaluated, so you definitely want to be comfortable that the evidence still supports your current rating or an increase.  

Regarding SSDI, is it strictly for your service connected disability?  If so, it may be useful evidence to support your claim;  if not, then not so much.  The TDIU will be based ONLY on service connected disability.

As far as what jobs pay;  TDIU isn't awarded if you're considered capable of finding and holding down significant gainful employment (SGE).  If a job pays above the poverty wage level, it is considered SGE.  If you're deemed capable of working at any job that would be SGE, it doesn't matter if it pays at the low end of the scale, it is still SGE.  You might want to have a talk with your VRE counselor to find out if they agree that you are unemployable.   You also may want to ask your treating doctors/PCP if they consider you unemployable, and make sure that your current treatment records still support your current 70% rating.  Otherwise, you're spinning your wheels, and gambling with your rating.

P&T is "Permanent and Total".  That's when you've been rated 100% (either be schedule or by TDIU), and the rater sees no likelihood of improvement.  At 63 years old, if you achieve 100%, it probably will be P&T.

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I have read the posts in your thread so far and I am fairly sure there is a terminology gap between you, your VSO and what you are posting here.

In one post you say they sending you for an IMO.

I would be willing to bet this is to try to forestall the VA from doing a PTSD increase review C&P and relying solely on Voc Rehab giving you training.

I suspect they believe that by doing that you may be awarded TDIU.

I also suspect they are wrong per other posts here in this thread which have explained it very clearly.

Things for you to know

1) MH claims can be reviewed at 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years from initial claim. The review cycle should be in your initial award letter.

2) Getting Voc Rehab is not an automatic denial of TDIU...it is long and complicated but for now leave it at that.

3) as the others pointed out a claim for TDIU is not a standalone claim. You must explicitly tell the VA which of your SC conditions you base your claim for TDIU on. They can administratively reject your claim if you don't do that.

4) MH claims are different than every other type claims in the VA system and the VA keeps tight reign on awarding benefits or increases under MH. An IMO can help at the boar or even at the RO, but it will never be completely substituted for the VA sending you for a review.

5) If you do get TDIU and then get a job that pays more than the Poverty Level Wages, you WILL be put under review for the TDIU status. You can lose it after the VA goes through a specific process over a year or more.

Find and read the TDIU regs for yourself. If what you post is 100% correct, your VSO is misrepresenting the situation.

 

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