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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
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    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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  • 0

Review Of Va Disability Rating?

Question

Posted

Hello everyone,

I have been a member here for quite some time and can honestly say that the information I found here helped me organize my disability paperwork to such a degree that I received a 100% P&T rating on my FIRST SUBMISSION! I want to thank everyone for all of the great information here on the website, and I always recommend this site to anyone trying to navigate through the muddy waters of the VA Pension system. I have a question for anyone out there who might be able to answer it regarding the recent publicity regarding the military and how they are reviewing discharged and in some cases increasing the amounts or changing the types of discharged military members received due to injuries sustained while on active duty. My specific question is in regards to the possiblity of getting my discharge reviewed and possibly changed. I was originally discharged with an Honorable discharge due to a physical condition not deemed a disability, but was later found to have suffered from a few things that would have made me eligible for a medical discharge due to the nature of the medical problem. To be more specific, I was found to have suffered from severe sleep apnea, Clinical Major Depression, Anxiety attacks (I can't remember the exact diagnosis they used) and Severe PTSD which was classified as 100% P&T. I have a certified statement from a friend of mine who lived with me during my time in the Marines that I used during my application which met the VA requirement to substantiate my claims that I suffered from the sleep apnea while I was on active duty. Now that I have been awarded these things from the VA, and they have been found to be service-connected, I am wondering if it would be worth my time and effort to go back and see if I could have my discharge changed to a medical discharge with retirement due to the severity of my injuries. As I stated earlier I have severe anxiety issues related to anything dealing with the military, and I have NO DESIRE to increase my chances of losing my benefits or having my P&T status revoked because I pissed someone off by sending my case in for review. I would rather not even begin the process if it looks like I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting my discharge status changed.

What do you think my chances are of being able to convert my VA Disability rating of 100% SC P&T (Special mo. compensation code) to a medically retired 100% P&T? There is no doubt as to the validity of my claims that the medical problems I suffered were incurred during and as a result of my active duty service. Please share with my your opinions as to whether or not you believe I have a fighting chance, and I would welcome any other information/suggestions you could share that might help me increase my chances of obtaining a favorable response.

Sincerely and eternally grateful,

Jeff Crockett

100% P&T SC disabled veteran

USAF and USMC

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29 answers to this question

Posted

When was your service & when were you discharged? If recent, you may have a chance.

pr

Hello everyone,

I have been a member here for quite some time and can honestly say that the information I found here helped me organize my disability paperwork to such a degree that I received a 100% P&T rating on my FIRST SUBMISSION! I want to thank everyone for all of the great information here on the website, and I always recommend this site to anyone trying to navigate through the muddy waters of the VA Pension system. I have a question for anyone out there who might be able to answer it regarding the recent publicity regarding the military and how they are reviewing discharged and in some cases increasing the amounts or changing the types of discharged military members received due to injuries sustained while on active duty. My specific question is in regards to the possiblity of getting my discharge reviewed and possibly changed. I was originally discharged with an Honorable discharge due to a physical condition not deemed a disability, but was later found to have suffered from a few things that would have made me eligible for a medical discharge due to the nature of the medical problem. To be more specific, I was found to have suffered from severe sleep apnea, Clinical Major Depression, Anxiety attacks (I can't remember the exact diagnosis they used) and Severe PTSD which was classified as 100% P&T. I have a certified statement from a friend of mine who lived with me during my time in the Marines that I used during my application which met the VA requirement to substantiate my claims that I suffered from the sleep apnea while I was on active duty. Now that I have been awarded these things from the VA, and they have been found to be service-connected, I am wondering if it would be worth my time and effort to go back and see if I could have my discharge changed to a medical discharge with retirement due to the severity of my injuries. As I stated earlier I have severe anxiety issues related to anything dealing with the military, and I have NO DESIRE to increase my chances of losing my benefits or having my P&T status revoked because I pissed someone off by sending my case in for review. I would rather not even begin the process if it looks like I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting my discharge status changed.

What do you think my chances are of being able to convert my VA Disability rating of 100% SC P&T (Special mo. compensation code) to a medically retired 100% P&T? There is no doubt as to the validity of my claims that the medical problems I suffered were incurred during and as a result of my active duty service. Please share with my your opinions as to whether or not you believe I have a fighting chance, and I would welcome any other information/suggestions you could share that might help me increase my chances of obtaining a favorable response.

Sincerely and eternally grateful,

Jeff Crockett

100% P&T SC disabled veteran

USAF and USMC

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Posted

I served in the United States Marine Corps from 1996-1999. My final discharge was in March of 1999. I hope that helps.

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Posted

I want to thank everyone for all of the great information here on the website, and I always recommend this site to anyone trying to navigate through the muddy waters of the VA Pension system.

Jeff Crockett

100% P&T SC disabled veteran

USAF and USMC

Marinesniper,

Please clarify if you are 100 percent service connected or

receive VA Pension at 100 percent.

Thanks,

carlie

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Posted

Jeff

You should consult with a lawyer that does these discharge reviews. I can tell you that the military will resist awarding any sort of pension. Most vets are tying to upgrade a LTH discharge to honorable. You are asking for medical with a pension. I think you need professional help with this. There is no benefit of doubt in these cases. I tried a while ago and you need evidence that your service connected issues were the reason you were discharged and that an error was made when you did not get a medical discharge with pension. How long has it been since you were discharged? Time is your enemy.

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Posted

Marinesniper,

Please clarify if you are 100 percent service connected or

receive VA Pension at 100 percent.

Thanks,

carlie

Hi, I am sorry...I thought I had clarified that point in my previous posts. I am currently rated as 100% Permenant and total SERVICE CONNECTED for PTSD with clinical Major Depression and Anxiety attacks. I also have a service connected rating of 50% for severe Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 10% Service Connected for Tinnutis to both ears and 0% service connected for tinnitus in both ears. So, I have a permenant and total Service connected rating of 100% with a Special Monthly Compensation...I hope that clarifies everything..:D Also, if I submit to the DoD for a change in my service discharge type will that jeapordize any of the ratings I currently have with the VA? Thanks for your assistance!

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Posted

Hi, I am sorry...I thought I had clarified that point in my previous posts. I am currently rated as 100% Permenant and total SERVICE CONNECTED for PTSD with clinical Major Depression and Anxiety attacks. I also have a service connected rating of 50% for severe Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 10% Service Connected for Tinnutis to both ears and 0% service connected for tinnitus in both ears. So, I have a permenant and total Service connected rating of 100% with a Special Monthly Compensation...I hope that clarifies everything..:D Also, if I submit to the DoD for a change in my service discharge type will that jeapordize any of the ratings I currently have with the VA? Thanks for your assistance!

The question that needs to be asked and answered is:

How much difference is there and how much you would benefit for a change in your discharge?

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Posted

The question that needs to be asked and answered is:

How much difference is there and how much you would benefit for a change in your discharge?

I'm not quite sure what kind of a rating I would get with the DoD, althought I thought that you could receive separate ratings from the VA and the DoD concurrently without one affecting the other. In other words, I am under the assumption that I could keep my 100% P&T SMC rating from the VA and receive a separate disability rating from the DoD (and hopefully a medical discharge with retirement benefits). Right now I am not eligible for medical care from the military, and my family does not receive any dental care, nor are we able to take advantage of space available travel. It is my understanding that if I were medically retired we would be able to take advantage of those things. I really don't know, that's why I am here asking all of you..:D

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Posted

How long has it been since you were discharged. This is important.

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Posted

How long has it been since you were discharged. This is important.

I was discharged from the United States Marine Corps in 1999. I also took part in the vocational rehabilitation program while I attended Nursing school from around 2002 to 2005 before I had to stop due to medical problems and the related medication (Methadone for pain meant that I could not complete my clinicals while I was taking the medication)

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Posted

I think for what you want to do you need to use the board for correction of military records. If you did not appeal within three years you have to get their permission to appeal. You need to get a lawyer for this. Since it has been more than three years you have to present evidence as to why they should consider your case. I don't think the Board for Discharge Review does what you want as per changing a honorable discharage to medical with a pension. I don't think you have a snowball's chance in hell without representation of the expert kind. You can research this online. I did a quick search and it seems the BCMR is the organization that can grant a pension is you show them an error was made in your records.

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I think for what you want to do you need to use the board for correction of military records. If you did not appeal within three years you have to get their permission to appeal. You need to get a lawyer for this. Since it has been more than three years you have to present evidence as to why they should consider your case. I don't think the Board for Discharge Review does what you want as per changing a honorable discharage to medical with a pension. I don't think you have a snowball's chance in hell without representation of the expert kind. You can research this online. I did a quick search and it seems the BCMR is the organization that can grant a pension is you show them an error was made in your records.

OK, well as far as showing that an error was made in my records, how about the fact that even though I had been diagnosed with Severe clinical major depression with anxiety disorder that NO reference was made to that during my discharge, and that it was not even mentioned in any of my discharge paperwork? I was discharged simply for a physical condition not considered a disability (More specifically, Eating Disorder N.O.S, which was only ONE of the diagnosis made by the medical professional that I had been seeing in the military). I had, in my records, multiple documents showing diagnosis of Major Clinical Depression, Anxiety attacks, Bulemia Nervosa and Eating Disorder N.O.S, but the only thing they CHOSE to show and discharge me for was the Eating Disorders, because they tried to discharge me for a weight control failure and they could not do that. I am embarrased to even mention the eating disorder stuff as it was such a SMALL part of what happened to me, keep in mind that I had major clinical depression and PTSD (Though the PTSD was diagnosed by the VA after I was discharged). Even though it was such a small part of everything that happened, it was the ONE thing they chose to try and discharge me for. THAT would be my appeal to the board for reconsideration of my discharge type. I have PLENTY of records to back up all of my claims, both from military doctors, the VA, and civilian doctors that I had been referred to through Tri-care for medical care. I hope this helps some, and I hope you don't think differently of me now that you now I had a diagnosis of eating disorder in the military.

Thanks again.

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No, I have no negative opinion based on anything you have said. I tried myself to get my honorable discharge changed to a medical. I found out that you really need representation because the board will just flush your claim down the toilet without one. The boards don't mind giving a medal or something that is not going to cost the military a dime. When you ask for money or a benefit then they become hardass. I am saying that you are going to have a fight on your hands, so get a lawyer. They don't respect vets who are not represented by experienced legal help. Consult with a lawyer and if he/she thinks you have a good chance then go for it. Otherwise, it is probably not worth the effort. You have about a 4% chance of winning. It is about money and liability. They have the money and you are the liability. Dealing with these boards is not like the VA. The burden is on you. The assumption is that your discharge was correct and unless their is some clear and obvious error that you can prove you will lose. Having representation gives you a fighting chance. I did get my discharge changed from a general to an honorable but that was within one year of discharge and I had representation. It cost the military nothing.

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I have consulted an attorney regarding this very issue for my husband. There is a provision that waives the time limit if you have memory problems documented or that you spent time as an inpatient for your psych related illness.

The lawyer has stated he will take my husbands case (his service was in Vietnam, so even further back than yours) based on the simple fact the Army failed to do a psych evaluation on discharge. When they discharged him for going AWOL while in a dis-associative state (i.e. Memory loss of the AWOL) when he came too he returned immediately in full uniform to the nearest base, and told them what had happened. Then they attempted to court martial him, but he3 had a good JAG and they got him to sign a wavier etc and they let him go with a general discharge by the end of the whole mess.

The lawyer is from Dallas and will cost about $6000 for the whole case. He stated my husband has an excellent case, because if Psych problems are even suspected they are supposed to do a psych evaluation separate from the physical on discharge and they didn't do it, so it immediately reopens his discharge for questioning anyway (this is the injustice).

As long as you can show that an injustice was done upon discharge, then you should be able to build a case, BUT DEFINITELY CONSULT A LAWYER. The process of the Review Boards is completely different than VA and the usual Military Psychical Evaluation boards so consulting a lawyer familiar with the process can be the difference between a medical retirement and nothing.

Good Luck

Hi, I am sorry...I thought I had clarified that point in my previous posts. I am currently rated as 100% Permenant and total SERVICE CONNECTED for PTSD with clinical Major Depression and Anxiety attacks. I also have a service connected rating of 50% for severe Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 10% Service Connected for Tinnutis to both ears and 0% service connected for tinnitus in both ears. So, I have a permenant and total Service connected rating of 100% with a Special Monthly Compensation...I hope that clarifies everything.. :) Also, if I submit to the DoD for a change in my service discharge type will that jeapordize any of the ratings I currently have with the VA? Thanks for your assistance!

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No, I have no negative opinion based on anything you have said. I tried myself to get my honorable discharge changed to a medical. I found out that you really need representation because the board will just flush your claim down the toilet without one. The boards don't mind giving a medal or something that is not going to cost the military a dime. When you ask for money or a benefit then they become hardass. I am saying that you are going to have a fight on your hands, so get a lawyer. They don't respect vets who are not represented by experienced legal help. Consult with a lawyer and if he/she thinks you have a good chance then go for it. Otherwise, it is probably not worth the effort. You have about a 4% chance of winning. It is about money and liability. They have the money and you are the liability. Dealing with these boards is not like the VA. The burden is on you. The assumption is that your discharge was correct and unless their is some clear and obvious error that you can prove you will lose. Having representation gives you a fighting chance. I did get my discharge changed from a general to an honorable but that was within one year of discharge and I had representation. It cost the military nothing.

Ok, so do you feel the fact that they didn't include all of my medical conditions in my discharge an example of a clear and obvious error? I mean, I had clinical diagnosis of Major Depression and Anxiety disorders, and they didn't include ANY of that in my discharge..Those two conditions would meet the criteria for a physical condition that IS a disability, but they simply put in the one condition that wasn't considered a disability. Also, do you have any suggestions as to where I can find good representation for my case? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Thanks for your time and helpful suggestions!

Sincerely,

Marinesniper

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Posted

I have consulted an attorney regarding this very issue for my husband. There is a provision that waives the time limit if you have memory problems documented or that you spent time as an inpatient for your psych related illness.

The lawyer has stated he will take my husbands case (his service was in Vietnam, so even further back than yours) based on the simple fact the Army failed to do a psych evaluation on discharge. When they discharged him for going AWOL while in a dis-associative state (i.e. Memory loss of the AWOL) when he came too he returned immediately in full uniform to the nearest base, and told them what had happened. Then they attempted to court martial him, but he3 had a good JAG and they got him to sign a wavier etc and they let him go with a general discharge by the end of the whole mess.

The lawyer is from Dallas and will cost about $6000 for the whole case. He stated my husband has an excellent case, because if Psych problems are even suspected they are supposed to do a psych evaluation separate from the physical on discharge and they didn't do it, so it immediately reopens his discharge for questioning anyway (this is the injustice).

As long as you can show that an injustice was done upon discharge, then you should be able to build a case, BUT DEFINITELY CONSULT A LAWYER. The process of the Review Boards is completely different than VA and the usual Military Psychical Evaluation boards so consulting a lawyer familiar with the process can be the difference between a medical retirement and nothing.

Good Luck

Hi Hawkfire,

I was discharged for a "physical condition not a disability", even though I had been diagnosed with Major Depression with Anxiety disorder..I never received a "psych evaluation" since I was discharged for an eating disorder n.o.s. I had seen the "base psychologist", who diagnosed me with the ever typical "personality disorder", but the clinical psychologist I was seeing, whom Tri-Care referred me to, diagnosed me with Major Clinical Depression w/Anxiety Disorder. Also, I believe I have documented short-term memory problems in my medical records. I can't remember if I do or not (no pun intended). I can tell you that the military completely disregarded anything my Tri-Care referred doctors said, telling me that "Unless a military doctor says it we won't accept it". That's why none of the diagnosis of Major Clinical Depression or Anxiety Disorder were ever included in my discharge paperwork. THAT would be my case for proving that an error was made during my discharge paperwork...Anyways, what lawyer are you using from Dallas? I live in Arlington, Texas..

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Hawkfire

What would a vet who is rated 100% now have to gain from getting a honorable discharge changed to a medical? I served about 3 years. I got 10% rating within a year of discharge. However, now I am IU. I am also Vietnam vet. I did try and get my honorable discharge changed to medical. The BCMR just laughed at me. This is why I think it is very hard for a vet without a lawyer to get a change. My question is is it worth it? You can't get compensation from the military and the VA. I was telling Marinesniper that he needed to get a lawyer which you also say he needs. If I win my CUE that grants me 100% back to my discharge I will cough up the money and go for the discharge correction if it is worth it. I was under treatment for a mental disorder when I was booted out as a PD. I got no physical at all just a ride to the gate and a kick in the ass.

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Hawkfire

What would a vet who is rated 100% now have to gain from getting a honorable discharge changed to a medical? I served about 3 years. I got 10% rating within a year of discharge. However, now I am IU. I am also Vietnam vet. I did try and get my honorable discharge changed to medical. The BCMR just laughed at me. This is why I think it is very hard for a vet without a lawyer to get a change. My question is is it worth it? You can't get compensation from the military and the VA. I was telling Marinesniper that he needed to get a lawyer which you also say he needs. If I win my CUE that grants me 100% back to my discharge I will cough up the money and go for the discharge correction if it is worth it. I was under treatment for a mental disorder when I was booted out as a PD. I got no physical at all just a ride to the gate and a kick in the ass.

John,

I might be wrong, but I was under the assumption that with recent changes veterans are now able to receive Dod and VA disability pay concurrently. The obvious benefit of getting a military retirement vs. an Honorable Discharge is the medical and travel benefits. According to all of the documents I have reviewed, including the Secnavisnt which covers PEB, I should have been eligible at the time for a PEB due to my having been diagnosed with Major Depression, Clinical with Anxiety disorder which had been rated as severe and recurring. This was never even mentioned in my discharge, as I was discharged for a physical condition NOT rated a disability (Eating Disorder N.O.S.), not to mention they had previously tried to discharge me as a weight control failure and told me that they would not recognize or accept the medical diagnosis by the Tri-Care referred Psychologist since they were not a military doctor. Challenging this discharge would be "worth it" on many levels to me. First of all, they railroaded me by not even admitting or recognizing that I had been diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression (rated severe and recurring) or Anxiety disorders. They also failed to process my Eating Disorder appropriately according to the secnavinst that deals specifically with the diagnostic codes and how to handle them. I never received a discharge physical evaluation for my depression, only the general discharge examination that we all receive prior to getting out. Where have you seen anything stating recently that you cannot receive compensation from the military and the VA at the same time? I know this was the case in the past, but that recent changes have now made it possible to receive compensation from both at the same time. There is also a clause within the rules of the BCMR that states that the three year filing time can be waived "In the intersest of justice, or if a problem with memory existed that would have prevented the servicemember from filing in a timely manner". I could also prove that I did not file within the specified amount of time due to severe fear of reprisal from the military for such actions caused by severe discrimination and threats made to me during my time in the service. In other words, I didn't file for a review out of the fear that something bad might happen to myself or my family if I did...Such fears were diagnosed and addressed in my diagnosis paperwork from my psychologist while in the militar. I may not have "a snowball's chance in hell", but I surely have to pursue this because it is the right thing to do!!

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Sniper

You can get concurrent pay if you served 20 years and retired from the military. What that means is you get your retirement and you can get VA disability separate from your retirement pay. That is only for those who retire with 20 years or more. If you get medical retirement you have to take the military disability pay, or the VA compensation. You can't get both as far as I know. The benefit you could get I think is Tricare and treatment at military facility. If you were boarded out of the military before 20 years you don't get concurrent receipt.

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Sniper

You can get concurrent pay if you served 20 years and retired from the military. What that means is you get your retirement and you can get VA disability separate from your retirement pay. That is only for those who retire with 20 years or more. If you get medical retirement you have to take the military disability pay, or the VA compensation. You can't get both as far as I know. The benefit you could get I think is Tricare and treatment at military facility. If you were boarded out of the military before 20 years you don't get concurrent receipt.

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for helping me understand everything John! About the only thing I could gain then would be the Tri-Care and the Space "A" travel...And a better feeling about getting a medical retirement from the military instead of being discharged for a "physical condition NOT a disability", eh? Ah well...as you said, is it really going to be worth it for me? I guess THAT depends on how much it will cost me..hehe Anyways, I thank you for your time and patience in sharing your knowledge with me. I'm still looking for more information from anyone else who may have additional info for me!

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Hi John,

Excellent question!

What can you hope to benefit. You receive disability payment up to the date you 100% VA comp starts, and for my husband that is about 20 year back-payed military disability. You also get Space A travel and Tricare to get out of the VA health system, and more freedom to choose specialists etc, and dental for spouse and dependent children (if any).

You also get the benefit of having a wrong righted. It can do a lot for some vets to be validated and get an apology, especially if they received a lower discharge than they deserved. For my husband he just can't wait until they acknowledge their mistake. It will just give him his pride back to have this stuff recognized, and to get his honorable discharge.

So it really depends on your case, and what the discharge will mean to you. Also it is not about there being an "error" but about there being an "injustice". In other words if you were a great soldier and through no fault of your own you were discharge with a general, or LTH, and you were discharged without proper procedure then that is an injustice. If you were discharge other than honorable or general and the correct procedure was follow then that is not considered an injustice because they followed procedure. It is a tough to decide whether or not to spend the money to get this corrected because nothing is guaranteed.

The lawyer we consulted is this guy http://usmilitarylawyer.com/ he said for approx $6000 he could take the case. We are just trying to save up for the lawyer fees now, and when we have them we are going for it. In the mean time we are researching hard out, and I am trying to find a copy of the 1960/70's regs regarding discharge so that we have everything we can to fight for our caseI have photocopies of pages from it but I am looking for an official copy to verify the information.

John999 I think the big problem with you looking for Medical Retirement is that you need to have been in for at least 8 years active duty in order to qualify for medical retirement or disability of 50% or more, less than 8 years or 50% disability rating (military NOT VA) is medical discharge which doesn't have the tricare and space A benefits nor a monthly comp. Remember that just because VA rates you with a percentage DOES NOT mean that the military has the same ratings. I know someone that had a 30% ratings upon discharge and got 100% within a year of discharge from the service, so VA ratings don't mean a thing. The military is rating on your ability to perform you MOS and the VA is rating you on your inability to perform a civilian career. So I don't know if it would be worth it too you to pursue a discharge upgrade unless the regulations back in the 60s and 70's gave a severance check to medical dischargees. Also I am sure the same rules apply as today, where if you get a severance lumpsum it is taken out of your VA comp, so hmmmmmmm, I see your dilemma, and wish I had better advice for you, but alas I am not a lawyer. I have a few links below you may want to check out and ask a few more questions before you decide, and marinesniper may want to check these out too.

This is where we started: http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/documents/AB...uide%202005.pdf this is for teh Army though so you need to find the similar manual for whatever service you were in.

Swords to Plowshares has a free information pack they can send you to trying ringing them, their number is on their website: http://www.swords-to-plowshares.org/ I think it is: 415-252-4788.

Anyway good luck!

Just a side note for JOhn999, they will not grant medical retirement for PTSD prior to 1980's, but they did have the diagnoses for Battle fatigue/Combat Stress Reaction back then, and if they failed to diagnoses this then that may be something to stand on, especially if symptoms are documented and any psych diagnoses were later change to PTSD in the 1980's.

Hawkfire

What would a vet who is rated 100% now have to gain from getting a honorable discharge changed to a medical? I served about 3 years. I got 10% rating within a year of discharge. However, now I am IU. I am also Vietnam vet. I did try and get my honorable discharge changed to medical. The BCMR just laughed at me. This is why I think it is very hard for a vet without a lawyer to get a change. My question is is it worth it? You can't get compensation from the military and the VA. I was telling Marinesniper that he needed to get a lawyer which you also say he needs. If I win my CUE that grants me 100% back to my discharge I will cough up the money and go for the discharge correction if it is worth it. I was under treatment for a mental disorder when I was booted out as a PD. I got no physical at all just a ride to the gate and a kick in the ass.

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Hawk

Thanks. I went to that lawyer's web page and looked it over. If I win my CUE I wonder how the Army would explain my being awarded 100% the day after discharge while they kicked me out with no disability. How do you go from 100% disabled to no disability in 24 hours? I don't know what the medical retirement rules were back in 1971. Plenty of soldiers were discharged for medical during Vietnam, and most did not serve 8 years.

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Good info Hawkfire!-I thought it was 15 years in, for Med Discharge, that could possibly set up CRDP CRSC scenario.

But I concede to your knowledge here.

When we moved to NY and started to go to the Bath VA my husband and I were shocked at all of the lifers there on the grounds, in the VAMC, or the DOM....

Because they said they were retired from the military.

But they were not-in almost every case-"lifers" ( military retirees) at all.I know ths vet isnt tryng to misrepresent hs service period but concurrent receipt (CRDP) and/or Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)has length of service requirements that I posted here a few times but I forget what the time criteria is.

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Hey Berta,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post.

There is a huge difference in Medical Discharge and Medical Retirement.

Medical discharge, is for people discharged with less than a 50% MILITARY disability rating and less than than 8 years active duty service. It provides a lump sum severance check and an escalated VA compensation claim. There is no residual benefits

Medical Retirement is for people with a disability of 50% or more (certain rules apply) with less than 8 years active duty service, OR any % rating with 8 years service or more. This provides a monthly check from the Military service, and VA comp, and if you can SSD as well. So a medical retirement is much better than a medical discharge, uinfortunately many people being medically discharged are having the MILITARY disability rating low balled to stop them from recieving the retirement, or if they qualify through length of service, they are completely ignoring their own regs and giving peopel medical discharge without them knowing that they qualify for medical retirement. Terrible eh!

As for the CRDP/CRSC scenario, I bleieve you are correct, I haven't found anything that allows combat pay to medical retirees. Technically Medical retirement could be considered Combat pay itself. biggrin.gif

Good info Hawkfire!-I thought it was 15 years in, for Med Discharge, that could possibly set up CRDP CRSC scenario.

But I concede to your knowledge here.

When we moved to NY and started to go to the Bath VA my husband and I were shocked at all of the lifers there on the grounds, in the VAMC, or the DOM....

Because they said they were retired from the military.

But they were not-in almost every case-"lifers" ( military retirees) at all.I know ths vet isnt tryng to misrepresent hs service period but concurrent receipt (CRDP) and/or Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC)has length of service requirements that I posted here a few times but I forget what the time criteria is.

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Wow, this whole thing is giving me a HUGE headache...All I want to know is if I stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting my discharge changed to a medical discharge..Lol...Should I check with the DAV since they are the ones that handled my original case??

Hey Berta,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your post.

There is a huge difference in Medical Discharge and Medical Retirement.

Medical discharge, is for people discharged with less than a 50% MILITARY disability rating and less than than 8 years active duty service. It provides a lump sum severance check and an escalated VA compensation claim. There is no residual benefits

Medical Retirement is for people with a disability of 50% or more (certain rules apply) with less than 8 years active duty service, OR any % rating with 8 years service or more. This provides a monthly check from the Military service, and VA comp, and if you can SSD as well. So a medical retirement is much better than a medical discharge, uinfortunately many people being medically discharged are having the MILITARY disability rating low balled to stop them from recieving the retirement, or if they qualify through length of service, they are completely ignoring their own regs and giving peopel medical discharge without them knowing that they qualify for medical retirement. Terrible eh!

As for the CRDP/CRSC scenario, I bleieve you are correct, I haven't found anything that allows combat pay to medical retirees. Technically Medical retirement could be considered Combat pay itself. biggrin.gif

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Thanks for this thread it has been most informative. I had panic attacks lots of them in my two years but did not know that I had Panic Disorder till 21 years after I separated from Army. After I found the nexus reviewed my records I wondered if I could have gotten a medical discharge or retirement. I do have 3 hospitalizations due to Major Depression and Panic Disorder. I have been linked to Panic Disorder during my service by the VA.

I have always felt that I was wronged and that the Army should have discharged me much earlier and for Medical reasons. I have not talked about it before but can you imagine the hell of clusters of panic attacks that involved being manhandled slapped around and drugged up and rides in the ambulance and one week of hospitalization which was mostly spent talking to a shrink who wrote in my SMR's I should be sent home but not told a damn thing.

Yes I made it through and I was "the crypto clerk" until I separated and trained a recruit before I left. In all likelihood many regulations were violated at the time.When I was not available there was no access to crypto machines and codes. I guess it was ok cause the chopper pilots never used them anyway.I was the only person in the Squadron who could get in the crypto cage with over 10 combination locks and I was only person who knew them and it was against SOP to write them down.

So back to the point I am only interested in money is it worth it to try for it. Marinesnipper I want to thank you for starting this thread.

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