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I have to quit my job...


Sgt. Wilky
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Hello All,

I am looking for guidance, experience, opinions, and any information on having to quit because of my disabilities. I'm 80% combined service-connected, but I'm so tired of the pain and chronic fatigue that I cannot continue on with my work anymore. My wife and sons are suffering because of my grumpiness and tiredness, I can't attend a lot of their functions and spending quality time with them is difficult. I have worked as a security guard on Homeland Security contracts since 2004, after getting back from Iraq, and it's all I've ever known or done. I can't hardly walk the beat anymore and the simplest of tasks is becoming more and more difficult. 

 My intention is to file for an increase in the three separate 10% for "undiagnosed gulf war illness". My VSO and my potential VSO thinks I'm making a mistake by "bringing attention to myself" (well, no kidding) from the VA and will endure years of hassle (can you imagine my VSO saying this?). I have been under the care of a Rheumatologist, a Neurologist, and now a Pulmonologist. for over 3 years now. My Rheumatologist has filled out DBQ for me when I was being hassled before. I have had other people tell me I should be 100% TDIU, but getting there is very difficult, but I'm willing to fight for it.

 Anyway, my last day at work is May 1st so that we have some time to change our budget. My plan is to completely flip my life around as best as possible and spend time concentrating on me and my family. Any information on the fight, the paperwork, whatever (yes, I'll search through the forums too) I'm willing to absorb.

Thank you!

Sgt. Wilky

 

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Sgt. Wilky

You can check the rating critera for each condition that your service connected for  depending on what conditions you have, they have a rating criteria sheet they go by when rating veterans.

  so if you know the rating percent that your condition meets  you can add that in with your claims..if you have never did this    ..then just do some research on these s.c. conditions that you have been service connected for..you might have been low balled on some of your conditions? and they may add to them 

example =if you can show them in their own regulations that your conditions meets the 30% and not the 10% that they had rated you for earlier.they should change your rating to what the condition meets according to the regulation.

  if you get enough to combined to a 95% rating  then they should make you 100% scheduler.

a lot of veterans are being underrated in my opinion  because the never check the rating criteria for the disabilities that they claimed  and the VA is bad about giving out a low ball rating.

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TDIU is for things where the ratings schedule says its only X disabling, but the net effect on you is still worse than that percentage for YOU. Say you have a 40% rating for your back, a 20% for each leg for peripheral numbness/pain. That might not be completely disabling for some people- I worked like that for years. BUT for some cases it IS 100% disabling for someone. You don't meet the criteria for an increased rating based on the ratings/actuary tables, but the effect on you is still that you can't work. That is TDIU, thats why the I stands for "Indivdual". Its a catch all for conditions that cause more of an effect in a particular person that they might not cause in someone else. 

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I had a sit down with my manager when I went on FMLA and asked him to write me a letter/memo of all the deficiencies I had in my current position. It sucked, hearing it from him, but we had a good relationship and he understood where I was at because I kept him in the loop on things medical and otherwise. I submitted that, along with the approval of FMLA from my employer, and progress notes for MH and physical when I applied for IU. After FMLA I was let go from that job, so I submitted that, too. 

You'll want to find all the documentation you can that is work related of negative performance. It sucks, but that is going to be a major driver towards evidence for IU. I was at 80 or 90% when I applied for IU, if I recall correctly. 

Good luck, take deep breaths. The better your documentation is the better chance of your claim succeeding. I also typed up a top page that I submitted with a sort of table of contents of dates for various clinic notes that applied, work write ups and dates, etc. It isnt necessary but anything you can do to make your claim easier to work on for the rater the better and probably faster it will be decided. My IU claim and then my increase claim were applied for in Feb 2016, a few days before I applied for FMLA from work. My claim was decided by the end of May. Not saying that is the same for everyone, but like I said, the better your documentation and the more readable your claim is (that table of contents I typed up, for example) the easier it is on the VA end. 

Edited by brokensoldier244th
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Thank you Brokensoldier,

 That is one of the biggest issues...I don't have hardly any memos of deficiency, or disciplinary actions. I largely work independently, and my issues of pain and fatigue were always pushed through for several reasons. I rarely see a supervisor. I suppose that I could the one I know the most to write a letter stating that he knew of my pain and fatigue, that he knew I soldiered through it, and that he knows I'm in a lot of straits with it. I do plan to take FMLA over it and then quit. 

 I can get a coworker to help me with a letter too. I definitely didn't "follow the rules and regulations" purely because of the issues that I have. For example, we're supposed to wear bullet-proof vests. I rarely wear mine, as my back can't stand the extra weight. I'll definitely use your advice, although I may have to come at it from a slightly different direction. I will be seeing my neurologist and rheumatologist and discussing this issue with them at length!

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I went on FMLA due to no longer able to continue my job due to service connected disabilities.  After my FMLA I was let go from my employment.  I had a doctor's letter, letters from a former manager, coworker, and my current manager.  I applied for SSA and received that.  It took ten years and two trips to the BVA before I was declared TDIU/SMC S and scheduler.  This was the opposite extreme of brokensoldier's experience.  The VA made some really bad decisions and tired to sever two of my disabilities illegally and I had to get two IMO's to counter three bad neurologist C&P's by two VA doctors (two of them done in 30 days time).   I should have gone to voc rehab and gotten a report by them.

I wish you luck, just do not give up no matter what they may try to pull.

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Of course, you are gonna need a doctors statement that your SC disabilities prevent you from maintaining SGE.  (nexus).  Often it "also" takes a voc rehab specialist to opine that you arent a good candidate to be retrained and work somewhere where you disabilities dont matter.  I have been through it.  I applied for TDIU in May 2002, was awarded Jan. 2020.  18 years of fighting with VA, but I sure hope you dont have to fight them as long as I did.    I lost count the number of appeals.  First, of course, they ignored my tdiu claim for 7 years.  Then they decided it was moot because they awarded 100 percent but at a way worse effective date.  I appealed that it was moot, and they agreed.  So, I applied again, and this time under 4.16b, which is "extra schedular" tdiu, when you fail to meet the percentage requirements.  That was denied.  I appealed and it finally wen to the Board in 2017, where I was awarded TDIU..at...you guessed it..the wrong effective date.  I appealed the effective date to the CAVC, they remanded, and I finally won on this remand.  18 years altogether, and its not that unusual.  

Edited by broncovet
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