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100% Ptsd Rating That I Don't Want

100% PTSD Rating

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#1 Koalabiter

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

WARNING, LONG POST

I'll go ahead and clear the air here; I know this is going to upset a lot of Veterans that have been seeking a strong rating and have been denied. My apologies, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful here.

Here's the situation:
I am a full-time educator who has been working for several months (successfully). I was at a 50% PTSD rating for the the past four years, but recently went in for my re-evaluation. Terrified of the outcome and possible reduction, I went in prepared; I had my list of symptoms, I wrote down the worst days I've had recently, and I was open and honest with the evaluator. Today, I received notice that my rating for PTSD and depression has been raised to 100%.

The money would be nice. I have a family and am expecting another child soon, but I still don't want this rating.
I need to work. Structure and implied hierarchies rule my life. I have a routine that I daily and any deviation from this ruins the entire day. If they took my job away, I would genuinely lose it. . .

Here are the reasons I want to lose this rating:
1. I'm terrified of losing my routine and know full well that a new one wouldn't be good for me. The paycheck from the VA would be more than I could make at my job (teachers have a salary ladder) until about five years from now. If I have this much money coming in, I'll get stuck in a rut that I will never break free from.

2. I'm terrified about coming to grips with my condition. Yes, I have some problems. No, I don't think they are severe enough to warrant this decision. I'm able to work. I need to work. If I don't contribute something to the world then I'm lost. I know Vets who cannot function in daily society, and I'm not one of them. I don't want to take away from the people who really need this benefit.

3. I'm worried what others think. Yes, I know it's shallow, but I spend the majority of my time analyzing others. One of my conditions is that I've lost the ability to respond well socially; I'm emotionally numb unless I'm chemically altered. With a 50% rating, my friends, family (and possibly employers) think I've got a "little baggage." With 100%, I doubt they could ever look at me the same. Those that love me will question whether I'm going to do something drastic, and those who don't will judge me and may think I'm faking.

I'm grateful that the VA took the time and genuinely listened to me, but I think they're overdone it. Can anyone tell me how to rectify this situation? I don't want benefits I don't believe I'm entitled to. I don't want the VA to think I inflated my condition for profit, and I don't want to lose the one thing that keeps me from crawling into a hole (job).

How long can i continue to work before they come after me? I'd at least like to finish up the school year. If I break contract (even though it would be for good reason) I would really destroy my chances of ever teaching again. It's a small town, who would hire me after that?

Thanks for all the help.

#2 sleeper692

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:27 PM

Is your rating for 100% TDIU?

I'm no expert, but from what I understand, if you are rated 100% but NOT TDIU, you can continue to work and earn as normal.

I could be wrong. Hopefully a mod will chime in with more info. If I'm right, then you are good to go.

#3 Chuck75

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

You do have the option of asking the VA to reduce the 100% rating. The VA may reduce the rating, and possibly even below the previous 50% rating, based upon current "evaluation" and rating. In other-words, you really don't want to do this without serious cause.

If you are 100% "scheduler", and not "TDIU", you can legally continue to work.
A 100% rating for PTSD often carries some repercussions. The VA may propose that they appoint a "fiduciary", who takes control of your VA payments, and possibly other income (not really according to the law, but it has been known to happen.) You may loose the right to own and carry a firearm. Reducing the rating will not automatically remove these repercussions.

The VA seems to want to ignore the differences between suffering from PTSD and incompetent to manage, or sanity.
The VA has the right to order a review and re-evaluation, and propose a reduction, based upon "new" or updated findings or exams.
Even though the rating may become "protected" the VA still can order a re-evaluation
Will the VA even look to see if you continue to be employed ? Usually not, unless you are rated 100% TDIU.



WARNING, LONG POST

I'll go ahead and clear the air here; I know this is going to upset a lot of Veterans that have been seeking a strong rating and have been denied. My apologies, I'm not trying to sound ungrateful here.

Here's the situation:
I am a full-time educator who has been working for several months (successfully). I was at a 50% PTSD rating for the the past four years, but recently went in for my re-evaluation. Terrified of the outcome and possible reduction, I went in prepared; I had my list of symptoms, I wrote down the worst days I've had recently, and I was open and honest with the evaluator. Today, I received notice that my rating for PTSD and depression has been raised to 100%.

The money would be nice. I have a family and am expecting another child soon, but I still don't want this rating.
I need to work. Structure and implied hierarchies rule my life. I have a routine that I daily and any deviation from this ruins the entire day. If they took my job away, I would genuinely lose it. . .

Here are the reasons I want to lose this rating:
1. I'm terrified of losing my routine and know full well that a new one wouldn't be good for me. The paycheck from the VA would be more than I could make at my job (teachers have a salary ladder) until about five years from now. If I have this much money coming in, I'll get stuck in a rut that I will never break free from.

2. I'm terrified about coming to grips with my condition. Yes, I have some problems. No, I don't think they are severe enough to warrant this decision. I'm able to work. I need to work. If I don't contribute something to the world then I'm lost. I know Vets who cannot function in daily society, and I'm not one of them. I don't want to take away from the people who really need this benefit.

3. I'm worried what others think. Yes, I know it's shallow, but I spend the majority of my time analyzing others. One of my conditions is that I've lost the ability to respond well socially; I'm emotionally numb unless I'm chemically altered. With a 50% rating, my friends, family (and possibly employers) think I've got a "little baggage." With 100%, I doubt they could ever look at me the same. Those that love me will question whether I'm going to do something drastic, and those who don't will judge me and may think I'm faking.

I'm grateful that the VA took the time and genuinely listened to me, but I think they're overdone it. Can anyone tell me how to rectify this situation? I don't want benefits I don't believe I'm entitled to. I don't want the VA to think I inflated my condition for profit, and I don't want to lose the one thing that keeps me from crawling into a hole (job).

How long can i continue to work before they come after me? I'd at least like to finish up the school year. If I break contract (even though it would be for good reason) I would really destroy my chances of ever teaching again. It's a small town, who would hire me after that?

Thanks for all the help.


Edited by Chuck75, 26 January 2012 - 10:59 PM.


#4 carlie

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:59 PM

Chuck,
He posts that he is now rated 100 percent - for PTSD.

100 Percent solely for a MH disability and working is a NO - NO.

#5 jbasser

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:10 PM

Carlie is right. The regs actually state for 100 present the condition precludes working.

#6 carlie

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:18 PM

The OP does not want the additional money or evaluation of 100 % - because he is
doing good working and feels it is beneficial to him.

He was granted 100% due to findings on a re-evaluation done at VBA's request.

He wants to find a way to get VA to not rate him at 100 %.

I think he would prefer a rating of 50 - 70 percent.

How should he handle this.

(At least this is my understanding)

#7 Koalabiter

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:51 AM

Carlie, you're absolutely correct.

I was awarded 100% for a combination of PTSD and Depression, but I want to reduce (or lose at this point) the rating because I don't want to quit working.
Work keeps me moving and focused. Telling me to stay at home would essentially be a death sentence in my eyes.

I plan on appealing, but don't want to have to quit work in the meantime. I teach in a small town, and dropping out during this part of the year (regardless of reason) would be a black mark on my teaching record from which I could never recover. It's sad to say this type of discrimination exists, but I'm not foolish enough to ignore it.

Thoughts?

#8 evandc

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:57 AM

Dear VA,

I don't need your money. Please give it to a vet that needs it.

Sincerely,

The Veteran

#9 carlie

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:27 AM

As long as you continue to honestly report your income (each year the VA will send a VA Form), why not let the VA make the decision to propose a change? ~Wings


I don't see that VA will send him an income verification form - he's 100 % scheduler - not IU.

#10 carlie

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:30 AM

I plan on appealing, but don't want to have to quit work in the meantime.


Koal,
This would not be something to appeal.
Do you have a service officer ?
Perhaps it would help you decide what to do if you went and talked
with a service officer.
JMHO

#11 Philip Rogers

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

Koalabiter - unless you have stated to them that you are "unemployable" there is no reason to do anything. The criteria listed for someone rated 100% schedular, for a mental disorder, includes terms that suggest the person can't work, however one does not need to meet all the criteria, to be rated 100% schedular. As long as you have done nothing that could be construed as being fraudulent, I'd continue to work and accept their rating & compensation. "They've" decided you are 100% schedular, not you. Now if the rating is "TDIU" then my recommendation would be different.

As Chuck75 mentioned you can be 100% schedular and work. No where does it specify that you can't work if rated 100% schedular, for a mental disorder.

At worst, the VA will reevaluate you at a later date and then propose a reduction. I, personally, think you are safe. You can always bank the money, in a separate account, if you feel you could end up having to pay it back. I have never heard of a case where someone rated 100% schedular was prosecuted for working. jmo

pr

#12 carlie

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:54 PM

This thread goes together with the following one.

http://www.hadit.com...__fromsearch__1

#13 Wings

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:25 PM

I don't see that VA will send him an income verification form - he's 100 % scheduler - not IU.


You're right. No VA Forms, and he says in the title he's also Permanent and Total. SO, that means no re-exams either.

#14 Wings

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:37 PM

x
x
x

I'm sorry I didn't really listen to what you were saying here, in your first message. I reflexively responded with the assumption that you had been awarded "unemployable" (TDIU). I lost a little sleep thinking about how painful it's been for me, personally, to feel that I have accomplished to little professionally. My career in the military was cut short due to my inability to overcome the emotional and scars of an in-service rape trauma. Because I did not recieve help from the military or the VA when I was discharged (and I knocked at that door loudly and repeatedly), my pproblems only worsened and I found myself totally unable to secure employment. All that said, if I could trade my VA comp for a successful career with positive self esteem, I would do it in an instant, even if the pay was less!

IMO, If you are able to work, then you should not have a 100% schedular rating. HOWEVER, I also read into your message that you have been working successfuly for only 4 months? I don't know what that's about, but if it has anything to do with your PTSD, I'd say you are not out of the woods just yet! I think you should wait on making a permanent decision, and see what how rest of the school year pans out. Unless you have lied to the VA during your C&P Exam, and did in fact produce an honest occupational history, then you are under no lawful obligation to tell the VA that your life has improved permanently! I'm sorry to suggest that it is common for a PTSD veteran to have ups and downs, flareups, a sudden exacerbation of symptoms, and even good days.

Sounds like you landed a good job after some years of marginal employement? and you want to keep it --and I think you should try. But you probably should wait it out and see what happens. No reason just yet to feel like a fraud! Your VA Award was in all likelihood justified by the evidence at the time the rating was assigned. IMO, again --if you are still doing well in a year's time, I would feel morally obligated to write to the VA for a re-examination, or go to the VA for your mental health treatment and tell them how things are going ... Sorry I didn't listen and hear what you were saying the first time. ~Wings

#15 john999

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:22 PM

One big factor with a gamble on keeping 100% rating is your age. If you are 28 or even 38 I would probably gamble. If you are 58 I would not gamble. If I was 100% schedular and working I would keep working until the VA proposed a reduction. You have time to bolster your SSA and any pension benefits you might have coming. At age 40 you can't see the future that by age 50 you really will be totally disabled. It happened to me and came as quite a shock. I am glad I was able to work for 20 years, but I was also low balled for 20 years. When I got out of the army at age 21 I was totally disabled, but the VA did not see it that way. With 15 years of psychotherapy I was able to hold a job for 20 years. I am now better off than someone who has was disabled from age 21, but it is just an accident. The VA's treatment of those with emotional disabilites is so counterproductive and usually ends up hurting the vet in the long term. They punish attempts to rehabilitate yourself. Why is a mental disability different than a physical disability? Nobody tells a double amputee to just shut up and take the money. The VA will bend over backwards to rehabilitate that amputee. Everyone in society applauds when an brain damaged vet or amputee gets a job. They accuse a PTSD vet of being a fraud if he works.

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#16 xpertshot

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

This topic was very interesting to read. Thanks for posting and for the wonderful comments.

For a long time, I felt as if I was worthless, unbable to keep a job longer than 6-8 months. More recently, I have been unemployed for over 3 years. How I wish I could find a company that would hire me into a job that I could feel proud of. Unfortunetly, thats not going to happen to me anymore. Filling out the applications they ask for five to ten years work experience. I never have enough room to list all my past employers in the space provided. Not having a VA rating didnt help with the situation and explanation to potential employers or with family. All I could reply to their questions of why I can't handle keeping a job was that I had put in a claim with the VA and that I believed the result would be in my favor.

Today I can now say that I am rated by the VA, but the gaps in employment havent changed. Looking at my own work history and recent work experience, I would not hire myself either. I dont blame the hiring managers for passing me up, and I dont feel I owe anyone (employers or family) any explanations.

Having received my award didnt change how i feel or how i see things. If i went back to work I know I would eventually suffer the same outcome as my previous 12 jobs. I dont see how having money, or having a "good" job can change how a disabled vet (especially ptsd) feels or how it eases his/her symptoms of ptsd. I thought that getting my retro pay would change my life and i would be able to "live" better. The joy and excitement went away in as little as a couple days.

Sorry this was long and personal to me, but i find this as helpful therapy to be able to discuss my thoughts and personal views. Again, great post and topic discussion!

#17 vet12

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:28 PM

If it doesn't work out to your satifaction with the VA, could you volunteer in some type of teaching capacity?
Then maybe it could be a win/win for you. jmo vet12

#18 Fco75th25div

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:14 PM

Just voluneer your time without pay.....Keep your disablityVA check, the professional declared you 100% You can donate time and it's
not reportable or tracked by the government.....

#19 Joey Clancy

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:51 PM

I'm 100% service connected by the VA, but I don't want them anymore.



#20 john999

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

Just put the 100% money aside and keep working. If the VA had granted me 100% when I really had a chance to rehab myself I would have kissed the ground.







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