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Hypertension/Kidney failure question.


JerrellB
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I am writing this on behalf of my father with a question. My father is a Navy veteran with an honorable discharge my father first starting having medical issues during drills and would sometimes be sent to sickbay to be looked at. It wasn't until my father entered the reserves that we found out that he had hypertension he ended up leaving the military I think around 2003 with an honorable discharge. This is where it gets tricky he was diagnosed with hypertension while in the reserves but later on this fully developed into kidney failure which led to stage 3 kidney failure. Unable to work my father was given disability but SSI kept taking him off stating that he was entitled to VA benefits and he had to apply for them first. This is due to the fact that it was hypertension that caused his kidneys to fail. 

We went to the VA center and a man told me and my father that he did not qualify for (ANY) VA benefits because he did not complete 90 day active duty. We ended up going back to social security and telling them this for the time being they put him back on ssi but they would continually stop it for the same reason. This continued on until 2015 when my father got a transplant and SSI gave him disability for the transplant. This was fine until recently which disability is now trying to take him off of it as they dont count him as disabled after 5 years with a transplant. 

My father's case is a little special and he never made a full recovery and his immune system is shot due to the anti rejection medications preventing the body from rejecting the transplant. He works but he can't work full time because he is always sick due to his immune system. Long story short they plan to take him off of disability and they told him once again to go to the VA as he should be entitled. The VA medical center told him that he doesn't have 90 days active duty so they dont believe he is entitled A military friend of mine told me that he should be as it occured before he left the military. And they should be responsible for any illnesses/ injuries that occured or worsened during his time of service. During his meps he was cleared for service but later on he started having issues related to hypertension which led him being diagnosed with it during the time he was in the reserves. Which he went to in order to focus on school and his health. 

My question today is if anyone can tell me if he would actually qualify for anything based on these circumstances. He was discharged honorably but not due to medical conditions despite being diagnosed with hypertension while in the reserves and having medical issues while active.  They have currently trying to stop his disability and I do what I can for my father but it costs around $2500 a month just for his anti rejection medications not counting anything else.  We have been bounced around both by the VA system and SSI over the last 10+ years.  

My family doesn't have a ton of money but we have been wondering if it would be worth getting a lawyer to look at this case or if it should be a clear cut thing. We would just like some answers as over the past few years constantly stopping and starting his benefits on and off has resulted in him both being in debt and homeless at times. I would really appreciate any and all input on this matter. 

Thank you very much!

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Eligibility for Reserves is here:  

https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/benefits-summary/SummaryofVANationalGuardandReserve.pdf

REad it yourself..you know more about your father and his service than I do.  You said he was a "Navy Veteran", but also mentioned reserves, so Im a bit confused.  

Many people serve in both the Military and the reserves.  His military service should qualify him, but maybe not if he was exclusively in the reserves.  

I think you have to serve 90 days in the reserves "beyond training".  but read it for yoruself, if he was never in the regular Navy.  

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Thank you this answered my question and we were able to make a quick call to the VA his status needs to be changed from an honorable discharge to a medical discharge as the hypertension led to him no longer being able to be active. We just need to show evidence that he was diagnosed before the discharge which we have. Once again thank you very much for your help. 

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From the VA heath care eligibility requirements If you’re a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. If you had or have active-duty status for training purposes only, you don’t qualify for VA health care.

So, if I read your post correctly, it was discovered during training, not for active duty.  The best thing to do is contact a reputable veteran law firm and see if they are interested in taking your case, and have a copy of his discharge papers. Be sure they understand the eligibility question. If they take your case you can be confident that they think he should be eligible for a disability, and, more importantly, they think he has a good chance at winning. They don't usually take on losing cases; it hurts their metrics. Good luck.

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Was your father on active duty in the Navy before, joining the Naval reserve?

Does your father have a DD214 ? , at all.  The Navy can be confusing and unlike the Army.  In the Army, and the Army National Guard, you get a DD214 from your basic training and AIT or after your term of service.  We had prior Navy Sailors join our Army NG unit, who did not have much for records, but they did have a DD214.  Not sure what happens if you just join the Naval Reserve straight up. In the NG straight up you get a NGB-22 or 23.  Again, does he have a DD214?

If he says he does not, go to the CVSO (County Veterans Service Officer) office and see what they have on your father.  Alot of Veterans had there DD214 registered at their county court houses without their knowledge.

Once you get his DD214, see what it says.  You need 90 or 180 days etc., active duty.

Now, you did say your father was in the reserves.  Call his last unit of assignment.  Only call the State or Regional or National Headquarters as a last resort.  We called them puzzle palaces for a reason.  You will get blown off.  Hopefully his last actual unit building will have a ghost file on him with his records.  Then work you way up the chain of command.

You need to prove to the VA that your dad meets the VA requirements.  SSI is not going to do that and really doesn't care what the VA says, and vice versa.

Paper, paper, paper,

Just sayin,

Hamslice

Edited by Hamslice
cause I can
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