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old fart hiring risk...

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I've recently been rated 70% overall. This culminated via Service Connected 10 % tinnitus (static), then later SC 20% bilateral hearing loss (static), and finally SC 60% ischemic heart disease with an additional 10% for Hypertension – Agent Orange related. Whether or not the IHD and hypertension is rated static I don't have a clue since I can not easily attain my newest code sheet. The DAV won't send it to me. I've applied for it via the freedom of information act, but last time I did this it took a year to receive. My question, finally, is should I apply for unemployability? I'm a few weeks away from the age of 73, retired and overall pretty pooped all the time. I believe my greatest work related problem besides being tired all the time is my ability to hear/comprehend anybody... if there is any external noise, wind, machines, etc. I simply can not understand what people say. I asked my DAV representative and he said don't even try to file unless I can get a doctor to declare me unemployable. I doubt that my VA primary care doctor will do such a thing. My VA health annual physical is due in a few weeks so perhaps that is the time to sort some of this out as it relates to a potential  TDIU claim. 

I am seeking advice from this very welcomed forum. Thanks.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

If your disabilities preclude your ability to find and maintain gainful employment, why not? Because you are over 55 and with those ratings, it might be worth a shot. 

I am in my 50s and have a single 60% heart rating as part of being P&T, but still work because it is sedentary in nature (programmer), but I try to stay active as best as possible because I have small children. My parents are around your age. My father has since retired because his military disabilities preclude his ability to actually remember how to get to work reliably. However, my mother still works like a trooper despite having two open heart surgeries plus a few spine surgeries. The ability to continue to work in your 70s is based on your skill set and your ability or desire to work.

If you get granted TDIU, look into the VR&E's Independent Living Program to help you further.

Good luck!

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First of all., apply for VR&E benefits. They will assess the feasibility of wheather or not you can be retrained / re educated to return to work for gainful employment.

After the interviews they will find that you indeed are not employable. They will do the write up that you are no longer employable.

With that being said, then file for your unemployability using the VR&E letter so support your claim. You might consider filing for an increase on that IHD considering your pooped out feelings. You might just end up with an "S" award and plan a shopping spree!

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thanks for the input,


i also recently filed and intent to file within a year. so, later this year i'll be due for another checkup and follow thru with your  VR&E recommendations.

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Your VSO "is supposed to be to SERVE YOU", not be a "governor" to limit your benefits.  His job is to maximize your benefits, not to save the VA money.  

If you go to a restaurant, the waitress comes up to you, and says:  "I think you are too fat.  So, you may only order off our "dieters" menu, as I dont think you should get what you want.  Or, you can just go somewhere else to eat, I really dont like waiting on you anyway...after thinking about it, I will bring you a glass of water and a cracker..that is the max you can have, but I insist you leave me a big tip, and also give me good reviews, too, or I will tell VA to reduce you."    

This is pretty much what your VSO just did.  You came there for food and (to your VSO) for max benefits.   He told you 70 is the max, he wont do TDIU without First having doc approval. 

You can get the docs statement later, and keep your effective date.  

I would not go back to that VSO, instead I would find one more willing to serve you, just like you should expect from a waitress.  If your VSO does not want to serve you, he should be in another line of work.  And, you can go to a different restaurant or at least get a better waitress.  

You dont have to accept "substandard service" from your VSO or your waitress.  

My advice is to apply anyway, and look for a different VSO to give your POA to.  

If you feel unable to work, then apply for tdiu, and THEN work on getting a doctor to make the applicable statement, to preserve your effective date and maximize your benefits.  

Would your VSO like it if you told him he was earning too much, and he should work for half of that?  No, he wants the biggest salary he can get.  

A veteran with one child at 70 percent gets $1757, while a 100 percent Vet gets over double that at 3757 per month.  

Your VSO just told you "to settle in" at less than half of what you deserve.  No vacations, no gifts to grandchildren, no new cars, etc.  Just poverty,  and worry about your old car  running long enough for you to get to doc appointments, trying to scrape by on the minimum to save the VSO work.  

Now, I normally dont tell vets to fire their VSO, but your's with his "bad attitude" needs to go.  You dont have to confront him, simply "fire" him by giving your POA to a VSO with a much better attitude.  You dont need to tell him why, he should be able to figure that out.  If he cant figure it out, he needs a new career, probably as a janitor.  

Apply for all the benefits you think you deserve, and dont let a VSO tell you other wise.  If I limited my benefits to what the VSO said, I would be at zero percent for hearing loss.  Zilch, nada, nothing.  But the VSO would have more time to play video games on his computer!!!!!    My VSO said "I should not appeal" my zero percent rating, because it could be reduced instead.  I did not listen and Im very glad.  He really did not know me, except for 10 minutes, and had no clue.  


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thanks broncovet and j999,

it's rather an interesting hilltop to be marooned on - 70%. i'm almost positive my newest maladies like my old one will be static. i've got time to sus this out. with careful attention to all that has been suggested in this thread. 

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