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Leaving military soon what should I do?


Deagle

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Hello all, 

 

I'm currently active duty and will be separating within the year. 

 

I've had a ton of surgeries while in and I'm not sure how thing will work for the process of getting benefits and care for when I leave the military. I am looking at going Guard to finish my 20 years because I'm so close (I'll be 19 years total, but only 15 active). 

 

I, like many people, had burn pit exposure which led to terrible sinus problems and surgery to remove polyps. The surgeon could not get all of them and I have more or less constant sinus pressure, infections, and stuffieness. I dont take anything other than OTC meds. I also had shoulder surgery where I tore my labrum, capsul, and rotator cuff, I still have arthritis in this arm. I also had right knee surgery to resurface the joint do to something called a plica. Finally I've had 5 foot surgeries for Hallux Rigidus that resulted in implanting synthetic cartilage in one foot and fusion of the other. The foot with the synthetic cartilage will need a fusion eventually as it's failing. 

 

Will I be able to claim these items so that I can have future care?

 

I have also been diagnosed with PTSD (i go to the local Vet center for treatment), carpal tunnel in both hands, sleep apnea (getting a sleep study done for CPAP use), migraines, IBS, depression, tinnitus, degenerative disc disease in my neck and back (VA wanted to fuse my spine when I was only 30 years old), my lungs are pretty well messed up and i have a constant cough/chest congestion, insomnia, and high blood pressure. 

I only take naproxen for the pain and a pill for high blood pressure and a migraine pill 3-4 times a month when i get migraines to stop them, my base doc said to stay away from the preventative migraine meds because it'll make my brain dependant and if I ever stopped it would make the condition worse. I take allergy meds for my sinuses, Claritin Flonase or similar. 

 

How do I proceed so that I can stay in the Guard but also ensure that I have benefits for the future? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My base doesn't offer anything for transitioning active duty (it's a Guard base with active component) so I'm trying to learn as I go. 

 

Thank you! 

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Hi Deagle, welcome to Hadit. You can submit disability claims 6 months before your discharge. You need to get your med records and personnel records so you can account for all your injuries/problems. Make a good list of your disabilities and start to put evidence to support together. If you have issues with little or no evidence, start getting them documented by seeing the VA doc. Get copies of the diagnosis. You will have  a much easier time getting approval if you submit at 6 months. If you wait until the last 2 months you will have to wait for the process to play out before you get approvals. Educate yourself by understanding 38cfr part 4 and how the disabilities you have are rated by their symptoms. Do this and you will be in good shape. Good luck

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In my opinion, which i have seen it works, which i wished i had done prior to exiting the military is, check out your medical records from your tmc, go directly to your vamc record section and have them to upload your records on the spot. 

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Hi Deagle, welcome to Hadit. You can submit disability claims 6 months before your discharge. You need to get your med records and personnel records so you can account for all your injuries/problems. Make a good list of your disabilities and start to put evidence to support together. If you have issues with little or no evidence, start getting them documented by seeing the VA doc. Get copies of the diagnosis. You will have  a much easier time getting approval if you submit at 6 months. If you wait until the last 2 months you will have to wait for the process to play out before you get approvals. Educate yourself by understanding 38cfr part 4 and how the disabilities you have are rated by their symptoms. Do this and you will be in good shape. Good luck

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It's been a looong time since I was discharged and we didn't have the process like now. Check out Benefits Delivery Discharge (BDD) here:  https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/general/BDDFactSheet.pdf

Understand the process, and be sure you keep a copy or original of EVERYTHING you submit to the VA. Believe me, they can "misplace" anything and if you don't have a copy you're up the creek without the paddle. If you can't figure it out, see a GOOD VSO (maybe county?) that understands the paperwork process needed. But keep in mind the time table and be sure you submit before discharge.

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44 minutes ago, Deagle said:

What is a TMC? I'm sorry, I tried to look up this term and didn't find anything that stands out to me as being a part of my medical record. 

Troop Medical Center or wherever your medical records are stored at 

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