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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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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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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

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hemipepsis5p

Will applying for Voc Rehab because I feel well enough to go to school again cost me my 100% non-P&T non-TDIU rating?

Question

Hi everyone! 

So I have bipolar disorder, and I've made massive progress in my wellbeing in the last 6 months from diet/exercise and tons of self-help books and a Bipolar Life Skills program. Anyway, I feel great, and have for months and months now, and I feel like I'm ready to go back to school and finish my degree (in psychology) and try to get higher education so I can help other Veterans out of depression (I want to be a psychologist, the Psy.D route).

Anyway I'm at 100% right now for my bipolar disorder, and I'm getting re-rated in like 2 years. I have 1 month left on my 9/11 GI Bill, which isn't enough for me to finish my degree (I have 2 years left). I'm aware that I have to put in for Voc Rehab before using my last month of benefits in order to get the higher Voc Rehab BAH rate.

So my question is, if I call up Voc Rehab and say "Hey I'm feeling well enough to do school again and work and I want to be a psychologist and help other Veterans get their lives together" will the Voc Rehab people immediately schedule me for a re-evaluation? Don't get me wrong I want to get off of this disability stuff but if Voc Rehab is going to pay me only the BAH for the school's zip code, that is not enough for me to live on without a roommate (I'm 30) or some other source of income, not even close, like, the BAH is 3k per month, and the cheapest studios around the school (within a 45-minute drive one way) are $1200, and there are so many people applying for the apartments that unless you can show you bring home an income that is 3x your rent (in this case $3600 per month), they won't rent to you. I already tried to move there on my current monthly income (3k) and I got no responses.

Living on campus is possible but would be a nightmare as I would have to spend 4 months out of the year living with my 62 year old mom and my stepdad in a cramped little house. It's just not realistic. I know for a fact they wouldn't let me live with them for 4 months out of the year. Even when I was homeless they were only going to let me stay there for 1 week until I got into a VA housing program. It especially wouldn't work if I wanted to take summer courses because the dorms are closed during the summer and my family lives in another state. I also wouldn't be able to maintain my current extremely-healthy diet because no cooking is allowed in the dorms (no hot plates or toaster ovens). I eat very specific health-food recipes and mealprep 3-4 days at a time. The dining facility at the college is okay but is incompatible with my superfood diet. I checked to see if the school has off-campus school-sponsored housing but they don't have any.

Anyway, I could absolutely make it work even if I'm bumped down to 50%, but if they put me at 10% or something I'm going to have to get a job when I'm going to school which would be too hard for me to do while getting the grades I need to get into a Psy.D program. Transferring schools to a cheaper area isn't much of an option because my transcript is so awful right now that no one else will take me.

Will Voc Rehab set my BAH to 3x the studio rent for the area so I can get an apartment? I can hear you laughing now, I've dealt with the VA, I know the answer is probably "Yeah sure, when pigs fly."

Thanks for any help!

Edited by hemipepsis5p
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Following. I’m 100% p and t and work part time in a library for 15 hours a week. I have a bachelors in IT  that I got from voc about 10 yrs ago but the level of activity, travel, and stress from dealing with tech support situations caused me to stop working about 4 years ago which contributed to my 100% rating. I’m looking at a masters program in instructional technology and design so I can plan programs for community involvement and access to tech for disadvantaged populations. Can’t do that without a masters in library or curriculum in my library system. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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I have a Nef that is going to school and the rent is outrageous  but what the did he purchase a small RV 23 ft travel trailer with  as Frige ,stove, double sink , bed and closets, table, flat screen 38 in TV hot/cold running water in shower internet included, he parks it at a RV Park close to his school about 10 miles I think?

JUST AS GOOD AS AN EXPENSIVE APT OR BETTER

but  the point is his RV PAYMENTS AND PARK FEES & UNTILITYS PAYMENTS ARE LESS THAN 600.00 MONTH  so you may want to look into this? after he graduates he plans to just sale the RV.  he gets electric and water free   he actually enjoys the peace and quite and reads and study's with out interruptions.

when threes a will threes a way!

Edited by Buck52

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Being in voc isn’t an indication of getting better until you complete it, so that shouldn’t be an issue. they will only pay bah for the area which is an average, so you’ll probably have to reduce expectations on An apartment or get a roommate.

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"when threes a will threes a way!"

I absolutely agree 100% Buck!


"Being in voc isn’t an indication of getting better until you complete it, so that shouldn’t be an issue."

Right, but I'm at 100% and I'm going to go in and tell them I feel great because they're definitely going to want to know if someone at 100% is well enough to go to college, especially since I failed out before due to the bipolar disorder.

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I Found this at Disableveterans.org

it has some post by other veterans point of views. Interesting read  ((but kinda long)

Veteran #1: Veterans who are 100% Permanent & Total have the lowest odds of having their disability rating reduced.

Veteran #2: Veterans with 100% Regular Schedular ratings may have their disability rating reduced if any of their underlying combined ratings are based on the veteran’s ability to gain employment.

Veteran #3: 100% TDIU veterans will likely have their rating reduced back to their combined rating once they earn more than marginal employment. Marginal employment is generally the amount of the poverty threshold.

I get into these more in-depth below after addressing underlying differences in disability ratings and why that matters.

No One Veteran Is The Same As You

First, there is not one person in the universe who is an exact duplicate of another person… at least as far as we know. It also stands to reason that it is impossible to exactly replicate the experiences of any one person.

This means no one is the same as you. You are unique. Your experiences are unique.

Likewise, your 100% disability rating is also unique.

Now, I realize some of you are thinking of cyber friends you made on Facebook who have the same rating you have for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or TBI or some other condition and thinking, “How can we be different if our rating is the same?”

Without evaluating this, I can personally promise you that anyone else other than you will never have the same exact underlying body, injuries, experiences and permanent disabilities as any other person.

The point?

No one is the same. No rating is the same.

You may both have a 70% PTSD rating that adds up to 100% when combined with another rating, but I am highly suspicious the underlying circumstances resulting in those ratings is likely different.

Goal And Outcome Of Employment

Second, merely by saying you want a job or saying you want retraining to get a job may mean wildly different things to different people. Each person may have a different goal or aspiration related to employment.

Some veterans will want to get a job working within a company, which is the most common goal. Other veterans might want employment merely to keep busy. And still other veterans may seek employment in a protected work environment because they cannot get work in a normal work environment.

Each of these options may have dramatically different income potentials or long-term prospects. Suffice to say, again, every option for every person will be different.

RELATED: Use Voc Rehab For Reasonable Accommodations At Work

Differences Don’t Prevent Analysis

Basically, it is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer, but that does not keep us from creating a framework that helps aggregate some similarities. By locating these similarities, we can create the following matrix of hypotheticals to know better how employment or retraining might impact your rating.

Veteran #1: 100% Permanent & Total

This veteran has a rating that is static meaning VA believes the rating or ratings will not change in the future. Generally, any kind of employment or use of Voc Rehab for training will not result in a disability rating reduction.

However, veterans with a 100% PT rating who have underlying ratings for PTSD or similar that preclude all employment but later improve to allow employment or retraining may face scrutiny from the agency if they gain and maintain employment.

That aside, many veterans including yours truly have 100% PT ratings but are able to earn a living working that is higher than marginal employment.

Veteran #2: 100% Regular Schedular Rating

Like the above rating, the real question is focuses on the composition of the disability rating:

What is your rating?

What does the VA disability rating schedule say about your rating?

This is rather important because some disability ratings like PTSD or TBI indicate the veteran cannot work at all, and the reason they get the rating is that they cannot work.

Generally, veterans with high disability ratings solely focused on the brain and an inability work will likely face VA scrutiny over their new job and rating. The same holds for someone attending college through VA Voc Rehab.

Just note that simply attending college is not, in and of itself, sufficient to prove a veteran can gain and maintain beyond marginal employment. College coursework is certainly not the same as working.

Other veterans without these kinds of underlying ratings have lower odds of their overall disability ratings being reduced.

Veteran #3: 100% Disability Rating For TDIU

Be aware this scenario has a lot of variables including:

Permanent vs Temporary TDIU

60% vs 70% underlying disability rating

Marginal Employment vs Employment

Protected Work Environment

This veteran has a disability rating for TDIU. This stands for Total Disability Individual Unemployability.

Marginal Employment

Generally speaking, veterans with this rating cannot earn more than the poverty threshold without a reduction in their rating from 100% to whatever their underlying rating is. Normally, marginal employment is the same or less than the poverty threshold, which is around $11,000 in a given year, and someone who is only marginally employed may receive TDIU monies without losing their 100% rating payment.

I will cover more on this at the bottom of this section addressing protected work environment aka sheltered employment.

Different Rating Qualifications

A TDIU rating is an extra-schedular rating provided to veterans who cannot reasonably gain employment as a consequence of their service-connected disability rating. Veterans qualify for TDIU if they have one rating that is 60% or higher; or, they have a combined rating of at least 70% with one rating at 40%.

If a veteran in this category is employed in a normal job earning more than the poverty level, they will usually lose their extra-schedular rating. If that veteran keeps receiving TDIU payments while earning more than the poverty threshold, VA will reduce the overall rating and also deduct the overpayment from future disability payments.

It is best to be proactive when you know a change to your rating will result in earning more than the poverty threshold.

Temporary vs Permanent TDIU

A veteran might also have a temporary TDIU rating following a hospital stay or mental illness. Temp ratings are given when the agency believes the person will get better at some point to some degree or another.

Permanent TDIU ratings are given when the VA believes the individual will not improve.

Sheltered Employment In Protected Work Environment

A veteran can earn more money in a given year than the poverty threshold if they work in a protected work environment and still receive TDIU. This amount can be quite substantial, but the criteria to qualify as a protected work environment is rather vague.

A protected work environment is one where the employer makes special and significant accommodations for the veteran that do not impact or reduce the veteran’s earnings or benefits.

The assessment for what might qualify as a “protected” environment is a detailed fact-based analysis. They type of accommodations provided the veteran in this context will help answer whether the veteran qualifies.

Two examples of protected work environments are:

A family business

A sheltered work environment

Rather than get in the weeds on this one issue, as it is rather complicated, I’ll summarize when VA might consider a veteran as being protected. The disabled vet is paid the same or similar amount as other employees doing the same or similar work and one or more of the following is true, from CCK Law:

The veteran is excused from critical functions of their job due to the limitations caused by his or her disability. The veteran employee may, for example, be allowed to skip meetings or trainings that other employees have to attend.

The veteran is less productive than other workers. For example, a veteran with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) who works on an assembly line might produce half as many things that another worker would produce in a day (because it is harder for her to concentrate). If the veteran receives the same pay and benefits as the person without a disability, then her work environment might be considered “protected.”

The veteran is less reliable than other workers. Another example: A veteran who has PTSD works for his brother’s company. Because he has PTSD, the veteran has trouble sleeping and often shows up to work very late and sometimes not at all. But his brother (the employer) does not deduct pay for the days the veteran misses or comes in late because he knows his brother’s actions are the result of a disability.

The employer does not penalize the veteran for behavioral issues and/or mistakes related to their disability. Some mental health and other conditions cause people to have trouble with interpersonal interactions or unpredictable behavior. Such conditions might make it easier to make mistakes on the job or forget to do things. A work environment where the veteran’s employer and co-workers accommodate these kinds of limitations might be considered “protected,” especially if it could be argued that the behaviors wouldn’t be tolerated by the typical employer.

VA Voc Rehab And TDIU

Additionally, many VA Voc Rehab counselors tell veterans they cannot receive benefits from the program while receiving TDIU. This assertion, however, is false without a deeper analysis. It is false to simply conclude all veterans with TDIU cannot use the program.

Logically, veterans can be unemployable given their current skill level or training, receive benefits from Voc Rehab, and then become employable once they gain employment.

In this latter scenario, the veteran should lose their benefits once they gain employment or at least once they have the ability to gain and maintain substantive employment. Now, VRE does ping Disability Compensation when veterans receive TDIU for an evaluation.

RELATED: TDIU Myth – Vets With 100% TDIU Can Use Voc Rehab

Conclusion

While we do not address all issues here in this article, it does highlight some high-level factors most veterans can address whenever they ask the question, “If I get a job, will my 100% disability rating go down?”

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer you in a next couple days.

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Benjamin Krause

ABOUT FOUNDERBenjamin Krause is a lawyer, investigative reporter and award-winning veterans advocate. He is author of the guide Voc Rehab Survival Guide for Veterans and chief editor of DisabledVeterans.org.He received his Bachelors from Northwestern University and Law Degree from the University of Minnesota, both using VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.He is also featured regularly in national publications as an authority on Department of Veterans Affairs policy such as Bloomberg News, Foreign Policy Magazine, Washington Times, Fox News, CBS, NBC, Star Tribune and more. _____________________________________________________________

  

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31 Comments

Raider Two-Six April 11, 2018 at 1:17 am

Excellent job of addressing an extremely murky question. As one of the 225,000 or so, age 65+ year old in this category, my thoughts are why would you want to possibly give the DVA ANY opportunity to look back into your file?

If you are married, your spouse is eligible for CHAMPVA Health Insurance, you are eligible for a 10,000 life Insurance Policy and you both can get an ID Card for access to the commissary and the PX. In my state (Michigan), I am eligible to receive an exemption from Property Taxes.

These benefits are big dollars if you had to replace them. Any earned income would be lost should you attempt to replace them. If you’re drawing SS benefits there most likely will be some offset to those dollars as well.

The loss of spousal Health Insurance and the cost to duplicate that coverage, coupled with the other benefits that disappear should your rating be reviewed AND reduced should keep you away from the disaster that may befall you.

You might remember last June when SecVA Shulkin floated a reduction in TDIU for those of us currently eligible for SS (the 225,000)? Rather quickly he recanted that goofy idea.

He’s gone now but the winds of change are always blowing in the DVA.

If you’re an older veteran like me, almost 70, there are many places you can volunteer to help you with the “what am I going to do now,” syndrome.

For me, I couldn’t take the chance of leaving my wife uncovered for Health Insurance!

namnibor April 11, 2018 at 6:25 am

Gr8 write-up, Benjamin. I would only add that another ‘murky area’ is a Veteran that’s TDIU P&T can also concurrently receive, if qualified, SSDI without *any* offset, and once you turn 65/retirement age it automatically reverts to regular SSA Retirement at same $ amount already receiving based upon you being fully “vested”, meaning you have worked enough “Work Credits” to be fully “vested” to receive such benefits.

Same scenario, as I am an example of such above^^, if you have ANY outstanding college student loans that are current and **you have kept-up w/payments or deferments**, and you are a TDIU P&T Service Connected Disabled Veteran, you can obtain the forms from BVA to submit to Dept. of Ed. to have your ENTIRE student loans entirely forgiven…**BUT NOTE**…once you do this, Uncle Sugar no longer will allow you to take ANY Federal Ed. Loans out and it exhausts whatever G.I. Benefits you may or may not have left.

I spend almost every hour just trying to stay alive and afloat with certain health crapola and so I knew I would never be taking another Fed. Student Loan out again in this life and it took a HUGE burden of over $46K off my radar….BUT….the VA never, ever volunteered this information, it was over at another wonderful and informative website, ‘hadit dot com’, where I learned of this and when I called the VA about it at time, it was almost as if the person on other end acted as if the nonhuman lab rat found the motherload of cheese, and after much FAX’ing and waiting 6 months, all Fed. Ed. Loans forgiven….and my brain hurts after typing all this this a.m.

Again, you must be proactive, as Benjamin stated because these assholes act as if OUR BENEFITS are THEIRS, not OURS…thanks again Ben for this informative article on benefits…if ONLY the Big Pig VSO’s would be so informative!!

Just Passing Through April 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

@namnibor I, too, discharged my federal student loans to the tune of over $100k. What I didn’t know at the time was that the entire amount would constitute earnings for that year. That means any money veterans make from employment, social security, or other gains associated with VA benefits is all added together with the amount of the discharged loans. This struck me as odd, because the whole purpose of discharging the loans related to 100% compensable service-connected disabilities that interfered with my ability to gain and/or maintain employment in the first place. The result of my loan discharge was that the IRS hit me with over $25k in owed taxes that year, because the loans made it seem as though I’d made over $100k and hadn’t paid taxes. Guess who didn’t have $25k laying around in order to pay the IRS and was placed into a different burden category after discharging the loans.

I think this is a crucial point to identify for anyone who is also considering the discharge of their loans. As you suggest, the burden of the loans will be off the radar. Also, the burden of a potentially huge tax penalty creeps in as an unwelcome blip on the same radar.

Crazy elf April 11, 2018 at 4:50 pm

namnibor,
One thing I learned about Social Security is, they don’t have your military service in their records.
I learned about this a few years ago.
So, I took all my DD-214’s to the S/S office. They recalculated and my amount raised substantially!
If y’all haven’t done this, I suggest doing it.

T April 11, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Elf. Now there is just another head-scratcher. More than once I have been told they are two separate entities and not affecting SSD unless one makes too much money for one thing, like premium coverage, or then something for the other, or for certain levels of VA care.

SS was more concerned about how long I worked, doing what, and how much was paid into the system. How well I jumped through hoops, etc.

Right along with that is my taking another vet doing the bankruptcy thing to the SS office after requests from his attorney to get information for him from them. Was told the SS office does not waste time providing attorneys with income information and has no part in Veteran issues or providing statements for bankruptcies. Pointing to signs up they no-longer want ‘walk-ins requesting’ such information, to use the phone for inquires. I forget the exact wording so since then my running people up there ceased along with wasting my time/energies.

This stuff is as screwed up as trying to find out info about Voc Rehab and what we could get or not. One person gets this, another that. Civilians and cliques got the cream from the top. Part of the reasons why I think a full blown moratorium is needed town by town and by state to end all this confusing, hypocritical, lying BS.

T April 11, 2018 at 11:35 am

Odd isn’t how we are indoctrinated to believe some fairy tale we are individuals but in other ways treated or pigeon holed as the collective or we are all alike classifications like with pain pill use. If one can’t responsibly take them then no-one can, hence collective punishments, “we are all alike” cut everyone off of them. Only the privileged and pets can partake of such needful things.

I was selling some scrap metal/cans to help pay off my student loans, and did, more waste of monies. SS informed me I could not do that while being 100% for SSD prior to the VA stuff that amounted to the same thinking or requirements. It all equated to being able to work or working. But encountering those in my state and surrounding states that are working in factories and etc., without any problems. More stuff and contradictions I don’t understand at all. Not one bit.

We are required here to show ID to sell scrap metal… among other things. They can do this crap but can’t track down VA or union activist over death threats, retaliation, or identity politics? Damn odd.

That is like sitting around the VA and elsewhere listening to stories about how some people got Purple Heart awards, breaking an ankle, cracking their skull, while playing B-ball or being goofy in some area of conflict getting awards or allowed to get by with some fashion or kind of thefts/claims of valor. I can’t remember the Latin country specifics those on my mind now were in, San something and Africa. But just reported their commanders and community has taken very good care of them in and out of formal service. And how great it is to have those special license plates and bragging rights with made up stories they can laugh about. While many others are getting screwed or have been ignored, or waited until near death to get their awards for honest service or incidents. The ones I over-heard and talked to were working and one in a top management position at 100%. And one (other too I suppose) of course said he’d deny ever having the conversation.

First time I’ve heard of “Sheltered Employment In Protected Work Environment.” This may explain a lot of things I have talked to others about, and that stinking Voc Rehab or VSOs don’t care to share/didn’t or don’t give a damn about sharing. Or must be some of that information some serfs and pawns shouldn’t be made aware of that some others are using well. And isn’t for younger vets today. Doesn’t matter, too late for me I am out to pasture and die off. “Too old to rock and roll – too young to die” I reckon. This freaking world is one huge mess.

Dan April 11, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Veterans who are 100% Permanent & Total have the lowest odds of having their disability rating reduced.

Actually not completely true. While you may be able to get some part time work, you are restricted to how many hours you can actually work. And the danger is that if you do work, then whats to stop the VA from saying that you CAN work and cutting your rating down.

And cut it they can. The ONLY time you are static and cannot have your rating cut is after you have been at 100% perm and total for 20 years. Then and only then can they not reduce your rating. I have been told this by my local Veterans office, the VFW-DAV-AmVets regional offices at the Cleveland and Indianapolis VA. And directly from the Cleveland and Indianapolis VA themselves. I am one of the Veterans who are 100% Permanent & Total due to major never damage and loss of use of my lower limbs, as well as PTSD and a few other injuries. I asked them this for laughs and giggles because I figured if McCain can be rated at 100% perm and total and still work as a Senator from Arizona and collect 180,000. a year, then I should be able to get a part time job as say, a greeter at walmart. And I was told absolutely not, that if I worked then my rating would be cut. Guess the VA has two different sets of rules, one for us lowly grunts and one for the songbirds like McCain who would spit in the face of a Veteran if he could (just look at his votes on Veterans issues, 99.9% of them were against us)

Dennis April 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

There is another obvious issue with a disabled vet getting work or training to be able to work. Vets on 100% VBA compensation are also likely on SSDI benefits as well. SSDI only cares that you are able to work or not so if you go back to work it means you are. Training to go back to work can also be seen as a significant improvement medically irregardless of how you actually are medically during a review or if you actually find a job. Significant medical improvements are a basis for denial during a review and some things like successful training can actually be viewed as a significant medical improvement for an SSDI review.

You can appeal a decision to discontinue your SSDI but the problem is that attorneys cannot work for you on contingency of winning because there is no back pay awarded on appeal to continue benefits as there are when benefits are initially awarded. Attorneys must be paid out of savings.

So there are multiple levels of appeal but you have to either represent yourself at each level or pony up the $4000 or so for an attorney to help out with a simple appeal. On the good side of SSDI they now recognize PTSD as of 2017 as a disabling condition in its own right which means they are keeping modern about things.

John Hannigan April 11, 2018 at 1:17 pm

This is an excellent write up and it gets more murky with the decision on ‘chronic pain as a disability’ for the veteran. The Court found that disability is not related to injury but to ability. If you have the ability to work and receive disability compensation because you have been judged to be ‘unable’ to work, you can face issues.
However, this decision could be more beneficial for some veterans who have been overlooked in the past, who have the ability to work in ‘certain’ circumstance and are not eligible for compensation – in the opinion of the VA evaluator.
I think some retraining (or maybe they should be recycled through the course) is necessary so that evaluators are aware it is not a game, but a commitment that was made to care for our veterans who signed the blank check to defend our country.

Ray April 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm

I am rated at 90% due to Parkinson’s disease and ptsd, I work one night a week at a closed plant as a security guard and make under the Poverty level, My DAV rep wants Me to quit working and apply for tdiu I asked My DAV rep if I had to quit My Temp job and They said I would have to quit before the VA would consider bumping Me to 100%.I am 68. Does anyone know if this is true?

T April 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Ray, here I am not allowed to earn anything or work the slightest of jobs. Seems others are told differently. That included being a level 8 or far below the poverty level years before getting the VA dis and rating. Any and all income had to reported to adjust my checks and to qualify whether my Medicare payments per month would be covered or not. Same as today at 65 and my employment status. Some say this is not correct and for those on SSI only, not for SSD. Two different things. Around and around she goes.. where she stops… nobody knows. It’s impossible to get all these agencies, groups, etc., together and find out what all the hell is going on or what the facts are.

It’s also odd that years back to attend some universities through Voc Rebab or not it was demanded that I take some physical or gym activity to complete my entry or continue on with my academic studies. Cough cough. Nothing I could do was not any programs offered or allowed, or considered to be “a sport.” Some issue prevented me from doing as requested. I had to accept what ‘they’ offered or allowed back then. Circa 1980s to 90s. How it is today I don’t know.

DONALD FORREST HOLLAND April 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm

HEY BEN,

I WAS RATED 100% IU IN 1999, STRICTLY FOR SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES THE MAJOR ONE WAS 60 % FOR SEVERE MULTI-JOINT OSTEOARTHRITIS FOR LUMBAR SPINE, BI-LATERAL HIPS, PLUS LEFT ANKLE, DIABETES TYPE II, ANXIETY, MAJOR DEPRESSION, AND PERFIFERAL NEUROPATHY BI-LATERAL LOWER EXTREMTIES SECONDARY TO DIABETES, WHEN I WAS 57 YEARS OLD. I IMMEDIATELY SUBMITTED A CLAIM TO BE RATED TOTAL AND PERMANENT. THIS CLAIM WAS APPROVED AND I HAVE BEEN RATED 100% T&P EVER SINCE, WHICH IS 18 YEARS NOW. SINCE THEN I WAS GRANTED COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF A REPRODUCTIVE ORGAN FOR ED SECONDARY TO DIABETES. HAVE NOW HAD BOTH HIPS REPLACED.

I HAVE NEVER WORKED EVEN ONE DAY SINCE I WAS RATED 100% T&P IN APR 2000. I WAS GIVEN VOC REHAB, BUT ONLY FOR A COMPUTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING WHILE I WAS LIVING IN A REMOTE MOUNTAINTOP CABIN AS A RECLUSE IN WEST VIRGINIA. I COMPLETED A MASTERS DEGREE IN 1998, BUT WITHOUT VOC REHAB, I ONLY USED MY GI BILL FOR EDUCATION.

MY VA LETTER STATING SUMMARY OF BENEFITS I CURRENTLY RECIEVE FROM VA SHOWS : “YOU ARE CONSIDERED TO BE TOTALLY AND PERMANENTYLY DISABLED DUE SOLELY TO YOUR SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES.” AND “YOU ARE IN RECEIPT OF SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSTION DUE TO THE TYPE AND SEVERITY OF YOUR SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES.”

I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD BY VA ABOUT SEVEN YEARS AGO AND HAVE BEEN TREATED BY VA FOR PTSD SINCE THAT TIME. I TRIED TO GET DAV TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FOR ME FOR PTSD AND HOUSEBOUND ALLOWANCE THREE TIMES BUT DAVADVISED ME TO NOT SUBMIT A CLAIN UNTIL I HAD HELD MY 100% T&P RATING FOR 20 YEARS WHICH WILL BE IN APRIL 2020. I AM NOW ALMOST 76 YEARS OLD AND CANNOT IMAGINE VA TAKING MY 100% AWARD AWAY FROM ME AT THIS TIME.

DO YOU BELIEVE I WOULD BE SAFE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR PTSD AND HOUSEBOUND ALLOWANCE NOW, OR SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL APR 20230?

THANK YOU SIR,

DONALD FORREST HOLLAND
MCPO USN RET 30 YEARS SERVICE/ MAY 1961 TO JUN 1991
100% DISABLED SERVICE CONNECTED/ 18 YEARS SINCE APR 2000

PHONE: 321-278-7226
ADDRESS: 20651 NETHERLAND ST
ORLANDO, FL 32833

Just Passing Through April 11, 2018 at 1:53 pm

@Donald Forrest Holland I’m uncertain as to whether or not you meant to post your contact information in a public forum, or if you meant to send your message directly to Ben. Your phone number and address are visible. Thought I’d give you a heads-up.

T April 11, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Yep. May want to have that deleted or deal with some consequences from innocent actions taken.

DONALD FORREST HOLLAND April 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYONE KNOWING WHO I AM OR WHERE I AM AT OR EVEN MY PHONE NUMBER, I GET A LOT OF SPAM E-MAIL, SNAIL MAIL, AND PHONE CALLS BUT THEY NEVER BOTHER ME.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm

If you think that the VA doesn’t try to hurt Veterans more, or to cause ill, or even the possibility of death? Don’t think twice about it, let my inform you in a summarized manner.

VA knows that I need to gain muscle mass to have the endurance and stamina that would allow me to give rise to the muscle strength that I would need to do a 3.0-hour time frame outside of my residence. This has been the agreed upon goal, and that there was to be no changes in my medical care until the point to where I gained the strength to make doctor appointments. This time is conservative, and includes; getting ready for the appointment, traveling to the local VA facility, waiting for and physically having the doctors appointment, the waiting for scripts at the Pharmacy, and then traveling back to my residence.

But I’ve yet to have the VA to be stabilized in providing the in-home medical and physical therapy services that I need, in order to reach the goal mentioned above. These services include; in-home visits by a Behavioral Health Nurse (once a week), having access to a Clinical Pharmacologist to find alternative medicines that I agree with, and rhe regular in-home Physical Therapy services twice a week, PT services were provided by a Doctor of PT, and to make sure that I’d be prescribed the same amount of medication each month for the chronic pain.

What’s happen now? Remember it’s known that I can’t get out of my residence to make doctors appointments. Well my VA PCP went, without me knowing when, she transferred me to another Physician. So, I now have NO in-home services, I have NO assistance in building up my muscle strength (ongoing VA problem of lack of contact, updates, support), and now, since I haven’t seen the new Doctor (which I can’t get out), the VA will not prescribe me any of my regular pain medication.

The VA has, in my opinion, violated my regular medical rights, but my disability rights as well. Plus, I was transferred to another Provider without any notice, input, or plan of action. Now I’m stuck, and the VA puts this into my lap. Why?

The Patient Advocate, and the Director don’t return my calls. Today, I spoke with a Social Worker, and he told me that he doesn’t know what to do. So, that’s it, I have no VA medical services, even though I have called the VA, but they expect me to come in when I can’t, and they know that I can’t.

So tell me, how xxxxxxx arrogant can the VA be? Tell me. My problem now is, who do I trust, what happens now?, stay home, no contact with others and rot? I told them they should be locked up. And, if I knew the weapon experience of new Veterans, and you know they can get access to almost anything (the ones I know can), why would these VA employees act so stupid?

This may or may not be my last post for a while, stress is way to much, and every time I read something on Ben’s blog, I either get pissed off to a point where I can’t stand it, or I get so wired up that I’ve got to write a comment, but the end means of both are the same, high anxiety, stress, followed by an uptick in pain.

So, if nothing changes here very shortly, I’ll be spazzing and shaking in my skin from unattended withdrawals. Something to look forward too isn’t?

I hate the VA. I know about the VA, but does anyone have any other input or suggestions.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Sorry about grammar and spelling mistakes, been in a weird mood lately.

WyldeChylde April 11, 2018 at 7:31 pm

Without knowing what state your in I can only give limited info. Most states have a crisis line you can call to track down relevant state services if offered. Also your state should have a dept that handles vet issues as well, may or may not help, it’s a roll of the dice really. Also what about the WH hotline. I called last week and got transferred to the VA national center for my particular issue, your mileage may vary.

The bigger question is. When the VA ignores you to the point where you’re wasting away and writhing in pain there absolutely needs to be somebody you can turn to who is both effective and aggressive in getting your issue resolved. Do you not have affordable veteran legal representation? I was fortunate enough to find a veterans legal center in my state that was willing to pursue my case free of charge. So far I’m satisfied and I think my case will be resolved hopefully soon this year.

Hope the info helps. The only other thing I can think of to say is get your ass into the VA by any means necessary and document the process and pain.

Get well soon man.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm

WyldeChylde, I’m in one of the most corrupted States of our Country, Delaware, with one of the most oldest Old boy networks.

WyldeChylde April 11, 2018 at 11:34 pm

I used to live in Delaware. Thank god it wasn’t slower Delaware…

T April 11, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Nutter, sad and sorry you have to go through that crap. If people would check into those posters about patient rights and such… on our side there is none of it enforcible even by law, just for show and hype. Patient rights is total bull… or in my state it is, and elsewhere from what I have always heard. If we dig deep enough the issues lay in the laps of VA and top government officials, Congress, swamp monsters, plus the AMA and medical boards/poly-ticks at the local, state and federal/high corporate levels. Sad to say our quality of life, needs, is not at the top of their agendas or to do lists. It also shows the truth about all these volunteer groups and organizations on TV or local news that claim to go out to help those like you… for free or super cheap.

Bottom line is more of the public needs to hear about what some vets are going through while they think we get it all and treated very well. Instead of all the silence and being censored like mad.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm

If I find a way to expose the VA more or faster, I’ll surely post it right here on Ben’s blog. With endings saying, “Now go and get those ass-wipes, and expose their asses.”

Trump; got to focus more on your promises, or you’re going to start losing the backing of Veterans. Probably already started too, but wish not.

march hare April 11, 2018 at 10:43 pm

I’ve come to believe that most employees at VA, suffer from the Dunning-Krugar Effect, ( a cognitive bias, wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude; without the self-awareness of metacognition , low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence) you should wikipedia it, its kinda interesting. I wish i could help more, Wyldechylde and T had some very very good advice, hope it can help. Withdraw can be life threatening, I cann’t believe they did that (yeah i can). They have put you in a life threatening situation and legal acition should be take against them. Your absolutely right they should be locked up, i don’t mean to be up setting, but us veterans have got to start banding together to fight back, bring back the sit in, start boycotting these Drs and nurses in their private practices or any business that does business with them, shame them in public, I’m not sure but i think a lot of them have private practices elsewhere. Start are own network, start showing, and documenting their incompetence, and broadcast it on all available media platforms. Senior groups might help too, anyway get to the VA or any hospital, withdraw can be very very dangerous and coupled with other problems life threatening and can do a lot of neurological damage.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 10:55 pm

I’ll go to the Private Sector hospital. I don’t trust the VA or myself around them. Their actions bring thoughts to my mind, that aren’t too nice. I hope through all of this, that I find a way to put pressure on the VA to change. But, there’s no Accountability, and really, Trump needs to lobby more for changes since his promises are on the curb for now. More important to deal with the Vagina Critters, movies stars, hookers, strippers, deep throater’s, and the rest of the cunts (no offense to the good women out there).

march hare April 12, 2018 at 12:21 am

Anyone that trusts the VA don’t know anything, I mean i don’t know that much either but i know when someone or some institution is trying or is about to screw me. I think you made a wise choice going to the private sector.

ANutterVet April 11, 2018 at 9:37 pm

VA Medical Center is located in Wilmington, Delaware. I know that there has been a couple of recent Directors of this facility that wasn’t kosher. I know of one Director that hindered a Federal Investigation and basically had his hand slapped for it.

To tell you the truth, I know how our Brothers and Sisters feel, the ones who have taken the law into their own hands. I’ve even told a VA Social Worker what was happening, and he agreed that the VA system is messed up. Those that don’t tug the rope get the worse of their damn behavior of corruption.

As a Biologist, the VA IMO, lacks the special touch of helping the 21st Century Veteran. I’d bet from what I read, that as much as 75% or more of Vets who use the VA are unsatisfied. What I’m going through is quite serious. And Brothers and Sisters, don’t listen to those who don’t stand by you while you’re going through the rough times. There a dime a dozen, and think their so smart by telling you what’s wrong in your life, but you, the one going through in live, sees, feels, and knows something else.

What I’m saying is, trust your gut, your instinct, and find those that will stick by your side. Those that redeem themselves with you, are worthy of letting them back into your life. That’s only if the redeeming is for real and solid. But, there are many in sheep’s clothing, or are just too tied up in their mess, that they too immature to pick up on the reality of what you’re going through.

You’ll even find these individuals in your family, even some of your so-called friends will tire of you. Even when you’re actually going through the trauma of everything crashing down upon you. I’m being totally upfront with you, that when I feel like I’m 17 – 18 and still in boot camp mode, that it brings to your mind that you want to xxxx someone up. Just for the payback for xxxxxxx you up, and god knows how many before you.

I’m concerned because of my heart, I had a myocardial infarction (heart attack), due to a 100% blockage of the LAD artery, the largest and most important artery on the left side of your heart. And, during the process, I almost died twice. When I was laying on the stainless steel cold table top, the screen showing the arteries of my heart was right to my left side. The Cardiologist said to me, “yep, you’ve got a blocked LAD artery, and we measured it to be fully blocked. I told the Cardi, let me show you were it’s at on the screen, then I lifted my right arm and pointed directly at the block. I guess the static and scanning microscopy came in handy while going to college in Hawaii.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to me, but my main goal is to protect my life, wife, my K9 PTSD service dog, and to hold onto our apartment. You see the VA isn’t just a little dirty, their filthy. VA also knows that if I have to go into the hospital, that this will jeopardize my living quarters. And Bro, this isn’t right. At night, the anxiety is ruthless. Shoots up in less than a second. I can feel the jolt when that happens.

WyldeChylde and T, thanks for the support, and I’ll try to use, time depending, the suggestions and input that you’ve posted. Keep your younger love ones away from the recruiters office. Let Trump encourage his family members to join, then to get out, then to get xxxxxx over like many that I’ve read about over the short time that I’ve been posting on Ben’s blog.

@Benjamin Krause, a good article would be for what a Vet should do when they run into obstacles like mine or worse about their VA healthcare. We need to look these VA employees up, and let go of those that were sentenced for carrying Cannabis. A-holes, all of them.

Watch your six my Brothers and Sisters, and don’t give up the good fight. And, I know that if it gets any worse, I’m going to call my good friend in NY, and drop some names on him, Tony LaRosa (that’s not his really name, but you get the point). He’s the same one that wanted to send my ex-wife a couple dozen roses for her not so loving actions towards me while going through a divorce when I lived in Hawaii. You know, a reminder of appreciation towards someone for the good deeds and shit (focusing on the shit). A loud, or silent appreciation for the love that she had shown.

march hare April 11, 2018 at 11:35 pm

I’m not sure but i think one of those directors may have been stationed at the Lebanon vamc and they moved him to wilmington vamc, can’t remember, i’ll have to look it up, maybe i was dreaming.

cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ April 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm

.

T April 12, 2018 at 4:57 am

Eyeballs aren’t clear enough yet but.

Has anyone got or seen the video from Russel Erwin? I got his cell phone video sent to my FB messenger but can’t share it, move it along, or copy it. Can’t find it on Utube or the net either. Waiting on the sender that is in another VA hosp to get back to me about any further info. Going by FB alone in the timeline it flashes and disappears.

He has made this video and wanting it to go viral. He is in James Cancer Center in Ohio. Cancer in all his vitals. VA refused testing multiple times and ignored his complaints for a year. Put him on Choice but not for a local hospital but had to drive a distance and too incapacitated to travel.

T April 12, 2018 at 5:15 am

Nope. Update. This was two years ago. The guy thought this was a new video.

gary April 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm

My trust in VA and DAV IS ZERO i was on SSI at 55 in 2004 received 70% prior to 2008 went 100% level 1.I t handle my money paid bills on time gave VA guy my paperwork,paperwork was not turn in so VA took over funds.They would not pay bills except house payment electric bill.Itold point blank to use my SS. to pay my other bills time paid SS insurance,food,gas and other bills i was under water.They sent my son a letter saying he owe almost 40,000.00 good VA strike again.my son was afraid be go prison.Idon’t trust VA ii always kept 3 copies of bank statements.I sent a verify copy to Jentucky.They sent a letter stating they never receive paperwork from VA rep.They said my son didn’t owe any money.DAV wouldn’t help so i have bills not paid.FICO score barely over 500.So no VA loans or bank loans.VA ALLOW me buy truck out of my VA.TRUST account in Tennessee.BUT my rep.would keep title in my TRUST account.I have try everything 68 years old i need help.!!

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      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 2 replies
    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
      • 7 replies
    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
      • 0 replies
    • A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment...
      A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment go to https://www.hadit.com I'd like to see how the server handles a lot of traffic. So if you have a moment click the link and i can see how things are going on the back end.
      • 11 replies
    • It's time to ask for help from the community. If you can help with a gift it would be very appreciated.

      Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


      Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. 
      • 11 replies
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