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Does 100% IU have any protections at all?

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MarineLCpl

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Over the past year, I have contemplated on filing for 100% P&T for PTSD. Note that my condition has been static for almost a decade. A few months back, I reentered mental health counseling and treatment via meds to see if it made a difference; it hasn’t done so thus far. At this point, I’m wondering if it’s time to bite the bullet and file. Current rating is 80% with IU. 
 

It’s still unclear to me if IU offers any sort of protection, giving reason to not press the issue. I know it’s not the easiest thing to obtain, but I’m living in constant fear of it being stripped. Based on reading other threads, it seems that P&T status grants new protections every 5 years until you hit 20. Not sure if I’m gaining any of those protections under IU. Last time I posted, many advised that I don’t “poke the bear” so to say and just continue on with the IU. 
 

My main concern with continuing the IU solely is not being able to contribute to a retirement fund. This is where P&T status works in my favor. While I’m not confident I’d earn enough income to live, I feel I could at least earn 1-3k a year to contribute to an IRA or something similar. Going off current VA regulations, this is something I could also attempt on IU, but the difference is opening myself up to countless evaluations. As P&T, I wouldn’t have such a worry according to regs. My fear is attempting to work on IU jeopardizing all..
 

Hoping to gain some insight on my current situation. This is more of an update post; if you look back at my previous threads, you’ll find related content. I hope everyone is having a fantastic day, and god bless.
 

MarineLCpl 

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Keep in mind that on paper anyway a 100% MH rating = total social and occupational impairment. What that “means” is up for debate but 100% physical disabled or combination of mental and physical doesn’t have that wording anywhere. I’ve been working part time for a few years at 100% MH PT (I have a 100%mh and about 70% physical combo) but I only make 9 an hour in a library so it’s not like I’m rolling in dough when I file taxes. I’ve never been asked to re-examine or anything but I suppose it’s possible someday. 100% veterans that work full time are usually physically impaired in some way, not 100% mh.

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9 minutes ago, brokensoldier244th said:

Keep in mind that on paper anyway a 100% MH rating = total social and occupational impairment. What that “means” is up for debate but 100% physical disabled or combination of mental and physical doesn’t have that wording anywhere. I’ve been working part time for a few years at 100% MH PT (I have a 100%mh and about 70% physical combo) but I only make 9 an hour in a library so it’s not like I’m rolling in dough when I file taxes. I’ve never been asked to re-examine or anything but I suppose it’s possible someday. 100% veterans that work full time are usually physically impaired in some way, not 100% mh.

I have zero confidence that I could function normally in a public work environment. Zero confidence in being able to complete a task within time constraints. For this reason, I would attempt “freelancing” from home via specialized circumstance in hopes of earning a little something for retirement fund contributions. I feel I’m getting nowhere in terms of clearing this up, very close to trying it. I suppose the worst thing that could happen is they call me in for c&p, which after I explain the situation, should result in them agreeing with me that what I’m doing is far from what would be considered “substantially gainful employment.” I hate this system so much for making things so unclear that countless vets have to worry every day about being homeless if they do something the VA doesn’t like. Just saddens me, this worry runs my life...a blessing and a curse, I suppose... 
 

My ratios are 70% for PTSD and 10%x2 for a bilateral knee condition. 

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I totally get you on the apprehension. I’ve worked cash on barrel as a weekend DJ in a strip club, and occasional maintenance projects for an apartment building, too, but anything over about 15-20 hrs a week of something structured is too much for me. Mostly I work at the library because it’s enforced quiet and since part of it is in the morning before it opens there are hardly any people there. The structure gets me out of bed in the morning otherwise I’d spend most of the time in it. 100% p/t in general is relatively protected as far as working goes, just not for MH specifically. It’s not fair to assume that because I have issues with people or conformity that I couldn’t function in some environments though, just highly selective ones. Who’s to say I couldn’t be a horse trainer or something and make a buttload off money a year doing that? I have issues, I’m not a vegetable.

My background is in IT, so at least I have that option, I suppose. Protected environment because I’d be freelancing myself and dictating what projects I took. Most people aren’t that lucky and most jobs have a very narrow view of the work environment and rules. It’s really hard to find the niche jobs that don’t aggravate or employers that don’t care about our issues  or absences so long as the work gets done.

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Yes, TDIU has protections just like all the other ratings except you are not eligbile for tdiu "if you are working" (maintaining substantial gainful employment).

This is VA's "favorite thing".   Getting Veterans to live in fear of reduction, so they dont apply for an increase, ever.  Knowledge beats fear, so read this carefully about rating protections.  Notice, there is no exclusion for tdiu, except that, if you go back to work full time, then you are no longer eligible for tdiu.

READ this carefully, at least 3 times: (I have read it at least a dozen times):  

Quote
§ 3.344 Stabilization of disability evaluations.

(a)Examination reports indicating improvement. Rating agencies will handle cases affected by change of medical findings or diagnosis, so as to produce the greatest degree of stability of disability evaluations consistent with the laws and Department of Veterans Affairs regulations governing disability compensation and pension. It is essential that the entire record of examinations and the medical-industrial history be reviewed to ascertain whether the recent examination is full and complete, including all special examinations indicated as a result of general examination and the entire case history. This applies to treatment of intercurrent diseases and exacerbations, including hospital reports, bedside examinations, examinations by designated physicians, and examinations in the absence of, or without taking full advantage of, laboratory facilities and the cooperation of specialists in related lines. Examinations less full and complete than those on which payments were authorized or continued will not be used as a basis of reduction. Ratings on account of diseases subject to temporary or episodic improvement, e.g., manic depressive or other psychotic reaction, epilepsy, psychoneurotic reaction, arteriosclerotic heart disease, bronchial asthma, gastric or duodenal ulcer, many skin diseases, etc., will not be reduced on any one examination, except in those instances where all the evidence of record clearly warrants the conclusion that sustained improvement has been demonstrated. Ratings on account of diseases which become comparatively symptom free (findings absent) after prolonged rest, e.g. residuals of phlebitis, arteriosclerotic heart disease, etc., will not be reduced on examinations reflecting the results of bed rest. Moreover, though material improvement in the physical or mental condition is clearly reflected the rating agency will consider whether the evidence makes it reasonably certain that the improvement will be maintained under the ordinary conditions of life. When syphilis of the central nervous system or alcoholic deterioration is diagnosed following a long prior history of psychosis, psychoneurosis, epilepsy, or the like, it is rarely possible to exclude persistence, in masked form, of the preceding innocently acquired manifestations. Rating boards encountering a change of diagnosis will exercise caution in the determination as to whether a change in diagnosis represents no more than a progression of an earlier diagnosis, an error in prior diagnosis or possibly a disease entity independent of the service-connected disability. When the new diagnosis reflects mental deficiency or personality disorder only, the possibility of only temporary remission of a super-imposed psychiatric disease will be borne in mind.

(b)Doubtful cases. If doubt remains, after according due consideration to all the evidence developed by the several items discussed in paragraph (a) of this section, the rating agency will continue the rating in effect, citing the former diagnosis with the new diagnosis in parentheses, and following the appropriate code there will be added the reference “Rating continued pending reexamination ___ months from this date, § 3.344.” The rating agency will determine on the basis of the facts in each individual case whether 18, 24 or 30 months will be allowed to elapse before the reexamination will be made.

(c)Disabilities which are likely to improve. The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section apply to ratings which have continued for long periods at the same level (5 years or more). They do not apply to disabilities which have not become stabilized and are likely to improve. Reexaminations disclosing improvement, physical or mental, in these disabilities will warrant reduction in rating.

 

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I agree with broncovet about the VA not wanting you to ask for an increase.  I have heard horror stories about veterans asking for an increase being reduced.  When I asked for my increase the VA did threaten to reduce one disability and sever the other but they were both protected.  Disability over 20 years and a condition over ten years.  They sent me to multiple exams that pointed at a reduction, this is when I lawyered up and informed the VA of the error of their ways.  Know your rights and if the VA tries to pull a fast one call them on it.

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I was TDIU P&T with my condition as static and of natural  not expeteced to improve in my life time   at 90% and could no longer work due to this S.C. Conditions..they had me rated at 50% 10% 30%   for a combined rating at 90%  so they gave me the TDIU With P&T..

Now I had this consecutively for over 14 years..then I filed a claim for PTSD  and got a 70% rating  and Filed a ED Claim due to the PTSD.

What happen is they gave me the SMC -S and SMC-K and mad emy rating at 100% scheduler, although I am considered IU but not anymore because of the PTSD Rating  that got me up to the 100% P&T using the combined rating schedule.

They sent me more educational benefits  if I want to better my education

As for as I know I can work and make what ever now  but unfortunately for me I can't  work due to my conditions and age 68  or maybe I just got lazy or something.

The only thing you may want to think about  is  if your 100% for PTSD  what employer would even hire you?  unless your self employed .

I could not be around people with my PTSD.  or Ice-o-late myself to do sit down jobs on computer....ect,,,ect,,,

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