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Iu And Work


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22 replies to this topic

#1 babycatcher

 
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Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:29 PM

Hello, I'm new here and hoping for some advice. Receiving TDIU and working very occasionally (a few times a year) for a hospital, as well as a bit of self employment doing homebirths. I recently got a call from the VSO that they need me to fill out an employment form for VA, or my benefits will be cut, then got the same form from the rep agency in Oakland. First question for you all; how do I report my self earnings, or, how do I account for my expenses that I put down on the schedule C at tax time? The form asks for gross income, and I feel this is just a way to take away my IU. There is no way I am, or could, work again full time. :wacko: Next, I got a letter from Oakland saying I needed another exam to confirm my conditions, or something like that! As far as I know, I've got P & T status, got an ID and base privileges, etc. Whats up? Anybody else being messed with like this????? Please help, as I've got to respond ASAP, or forgo the groceries... :)

#2 jimlane1949

 
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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:05 PM

Hello, I'm new here and hoping for some advice. Receiving TDIU and working very occasionally (a few times a year) for a hospital, as well as a bit of self employment doing homebirths. I recently got a call from the VSO that they need me to fill out an employment form for VA, or my benefits will be cut, then got the same form from the rep agency in Oakland. First question for you all; how do I report my self earnings, or, how do I account for my expenses that I put down on the schedule C at tax time? The form asks for gross income, and I feel this is just a way to take away my IU. There is no way I am, or could, work again full time. :wacko: Next, I got a letter from Oakland saying I needed another exam to confirm my conditions, or something like that! As far as I know, I've got P & T status, got an ID and base privileges, etc. Whats up? Anybody else being messed with like this????? Please help, as I've got to respond ASAP, or forgo the groceries... :)

I am IU P&T and was told as long as I was IU if I worked, it would jepordize my benefit. The way the VA looks at is if a person is granted IU they are not supposed to be working period. By working, even if it is part time you jepordise your IU. If I am wrong someone will correct me, but I would never chance it for a few extra dollars not worth losing everything.

#3 Magoo_Mr.

 
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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:09 PM

.

babycatcher:

You are playing with fire ... working while on TDIU.

They do NOT take into consideration your "Adjusted Gross Income" ... just your "Gross Income".

Example ... you make $10,000.00 and have $9,999.99 in expenses ... they look that you were "Gainfully Employed" and had the ability to make $10k ... even though you just "Cleared 1 Cent".

They look at the $10K only.

I did a lot of research on this a long time ago for a member on this board and he just barely survived a VARO audit and C&P. I was on the telephone with him for 2 months trying to help him make it through that mess ... but he made it.

That limitation is around $9k (GROSS) a year, depending on where you live. If I remember, Alaska had the highest amount that you could earn.

Google --> "Poverty Level" for your state ... and remember ... it is ... "Gross $$$s".

Also, they take into consideration ... WHAT YOU ARE DOING ... your civilian MOS, so to speak.

Depending on your TDIU disability ... if it was picking flowers or sweeping a flooring ... you might be OK.

However ... delivering babies is a .. "CRITICAL JOB" .. that requires many of your psychological & physical abilities and this is very dangerous for your TDIU status.

I know that it is difficult to make it on the VA disability ... but ... that is better and NO check at all.

Sorry to be soooo bold with you ... but I would seriously consider something else .. if anything at all.

Your main problem is getting through your present problem.

Can you give us more info...... ???
(1) How much did you make ??
(2) How often do you work ??
(3) Your disability(s) are based on what ??
(4) Delivering babies is a "critical job" too .. can you honestly minimize your position in this capacity ??

These are the very same questions that the DVA and VARO will look (and what you are doing) at and if they have tax records and your disability precludes you (in any way) from doing your present part time job ... you are toast.

Be VERY careful while on a TDIU status and viewing ANY type of "Gainful Employment" ... especially a critical task .. like delivering babies.

Good luck and maybe some others can give you some more advice.

Again ... sorry to be sooo bold and sound sooo hard ball on this .... but the DVA is looking for ANY way to cut expenses now.

I just saw Jim's post on this too ... while I was editing my post.


... Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... :)


PS: ... FYI .... I am 100% + 40% + 10% ... All Schedular and P&T Ratings ... and the word .."WORK" .. is not even in my vocabulary anymore. ... an part of my ratings go back to my MEBs at discharge from RVN.

IF you have a TDIU P&T rating for 20 years & 1 day ... you MAY be able to be gainfully employed ... you can with schedular ... but I am not sure about TDIU P&T ???

.

#4 Vike17

 
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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:49 PM

If a veteran isn't scheduled for any future exams because he/she is receiving IU, 100% schedular or otherwise, the VA can still schedule a C&P exam if they become aware of any evidence that show a possible improvment in their condition. So, if you are on IU and the VA becomes aware that you are working, even if it is very limited, they will more than likely schedule you for a review exam because that is evidence that show you may be able to hold a substantial gainful occupation. The so-called poverty threshold is only a guideline, not anything set in stone. You could only earn $1000.00 a year and if VA found out, they could still schedule you for an exam. They don't necassarily go by that figure, it's a matter if they think you are still able to follow any substantial gainful occupation! That's why the VA will take another look see and obtain the examiners opinion on whether or not he/she thinks you are able to work or not! So by working, even on a limited basis, while receiving IU, as Mr. Magoo said, you're playing with fire!

Vike 17

Edited by Vike17, 24 July 2006 - 10:51 PM.


#5 Berta

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:57 AM

These guys are right and as Vike said:
"substantial gainful occupation" can reflect a substantial "improvement" in ones disability.

Substantial -I might add- can be in the "eye of the beholder"-at the VA but nevertheless-

the hard fact of TDIU is that it is for Total Disability Due to Individual Unemployability.


I have a vet on SSDI who is allowed to work for a limited amount.

He went over the annual guideline by about 100 bucks- they have threatened to stop his SSDI.

The rationale of VA and SSA is clear- if one can make a substantial wage, one is employable.

#6 john999

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:13 AM

Everyone I know who has worked while on SSDI has had a problem even though they made poverty wages. To work while on TDIU at this time is playing with fire. If you can work under the table maybe it is something you can get by with ,but if you file a tax form and it shows earnings you are waving a red flag under the VA's nose. This is what the VA has been ranting and raving about, and what these anti-veteran politicians have been harping on which is the myth that thousands of vets are playing the system and getting TDIU while being able to work. If you can cut lawns or something and pocket some change just to stay busy I say that is probably something you can get away with but do not report earnings, or you are going to have trouble on your doorstep. What you want to be doing is creating a paper trail showing that you can't work to protect yourself against any future changes in VA policy to reduce your IU. IU grants too many benefits to risk it. If you are married you are risking your spouse's DIC and your kids educational benefits. TDIU is not income support. It is compensation for being totally disabled. Get a hobby. You were right to bring up the topic and ask for advice. You hardly ever get everyone to agree about something but when you do, watch out.

#7 Pete53

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:55 AM

I think that the VA pretty much goes by what SS considers gainful employment and they usually look at the months individually. Example could be you make 2000 in January and nothing for 4 months and than another 2000 could be considered gainful employment.

Its not easy but if you want to keep TDIU you might need to stop working. The other course naturally would be to work and accept the fact that your benefits will be lowered.

Most here I think would love to be able to work.Good Luck you have some tough decisions to make.

#8 Testvet

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:07 PM

as long as they are sending you a check and you want to keep getting that check, if they tell you to report for a C&P or lose it, you better report, failure to comply is usually a justifiable reason to terminate benefits.

The TDIU means totally disabled individual unemployable, it doesn't say they can work part time when they feel like it, it states you CAN'T work, if you can work and do and file income taxes you can expect to lose the IU status, just the fact you participated in employment shows you are not "totally disabled" I have to agree with Magoo and everyone else, IU means no work, also 100% P&T schedular for mental issues includes the fac t that you are not employable so if you are 100% P&T for PTSD trying to find a "nice part job" is not the smartest thing you can do either.

get a hobby or go back to school, volunteer for Big brother/Sister, meals on wheels etc. Many of us wish we could return to work, but I am not about to risk what it took me four years of fighting for to lose it over a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, the security it means to my family is not worth it.

#9 Guest_rickb54_*GuestMember

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:27 PM

I agree with what most say... you may regret trying to work... However TDIU does not prohibit anyone from working.. but it does limit your choices here is what title 38 states:


4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual.
(a) Total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned, where the schedular rating is less than total, when the disabled person is, in the judgment of the rating agency, unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities: Provided That, if there is only one such disability, this disability shall be ratable at 60 percent or more, and that, if there are two or more disabilities, there shall be at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more, and sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating to 70 percent or more. For the above purpose of one 60 percent disability, or one 40 percent disability in combination, the following will be considered as one disability: (1) Disabilities of one or both upper extremities, or of one or both lower extremities, including the bilateral factor, if applicable, (2) disabilities resulting from common etiology or a single accident, (3) disabilities affecting a single body system, e.g. orthopedic, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular-renal, neuropsychiatric, (4) multiple injuries incurred in action, or (5) multiple disabilities incurred as a prisoner of war. It is provided further that the existence or degree of nonservice-connected disabilities or previous unemployability status will be disregarded where the percentages referred to in this paragraph for the service-connected disability or disabilities are met and in the judgment of the rating agency such service-connected disabilities render the veteran unemployable. Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment. For purposes of this section, marginal employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran's earned annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold for one person. Marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a facts found basis (includes but is not limited to employment in a protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop), when earned annual income exceeds the poverty threshold. Consideration shall be given in all claims to the nature of the employment and the reason for termination.(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)
(:) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation and Pension Service, for extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran's service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.

4.18 Unemployability.
A veteran may be considered as unemployable upon termination of employment which was provided on account of disability, or in which special consideration was given on account of the same, when it is satisfactorily shown that he or she is unable to secure further employment. With amputations, sequelae of fractures and other residuals of traumatism shown to be of static character, a showing of continuous unemployability from date of incurrence, or the date the condition reached the stabilized level, is a general requirement in order to establish the fact that present unemployability is the result of the disability. However, consideration is to be given to the circumstances of employment in individual claims, and, if the employment was only occasional, intermittent, tryout or unsuccessful, or eventually terminated on account of the disability, present unemployability may be attributed to the static disability. Where unemployability for pension previously has been established on the basis of combined service-connected and nonservice-connected disabilities and the service-connected disability or disabilities have increased in severity, 4.16 is for consideration.

#10 Wings

 
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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:33 PM

I'm ondering if Babycatcher has seen any of your responses - maybe she lost her password or something . . . I'll email her the thread - if she left an address. ~Wings

#11 john999

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:03 AM

Rick

The thing is that even if you are allowed to work under TDIU at some poverty level job this is going to raise a red flag to the VA and they are going to want to bring you in and examine you. That is like SSDI. Two people I know were working at poverty level jobs and they were both brought in by the SSA and they had to go through a bunch of crap. If I though I could do some kind of work and not get a hassle from SSA or VA I would do it just for the social aspect of it.

#12 Pete53

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:20 AM

One job you can get and not be hassled is to work as a SO. For me I work uncompensated to help people obtain benefits. I am currently 44 wins 0 loses and 1 who dropped claim after returning to work.

I tell people I work for the government but they don't know it. I work one on one, help fill out forms, secure information to help with claim, encourage the claimant and babysit to make sure they make their appointments.

When they win I encourage them to find a hobby or volunteer work as almost everyone I know in this situation was a hard worker in real life.

#13 Vike17

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:48 AM

Peter,

One thing to keep in mind, if you're 100% schedular and working as an SO, accredited or otherwise, the VA has no problem with that. However, if you're 100% IU and working as an accredited SO, volatarily or paid, the VA may look at this as the veteran being able to some type of work, in this case, an office job. Now, if you're 100% IU and helping veterans with their claims on your spare time and are not their official Power of Attorney, then the veteran will stay off the VA's radar screen. Just a thought!

Vike 17

Edited by Vike17, 26 July 2006 - 09:50 AM.


#14 babycatcher

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:49 PM

Hello again,

I couldn't find this thread! So far, this has been a tough site to navigate; I only got here when I noticed the link in an email after searching around the page for a couple hours. I figured there had to be some responses...Hi Wings! If there are tips for the site, I'd appreciate it.
OK, questions: the hospital job is a few times a year, usually, at $300 each time, but it's been more than a year since they used me. The babycatching is also 3-5 a year, do the prenatal care in an office I rent one day a week and mostly don't use, and then attend the women at their home. I am nervous as I type, am I safe here sharing my info? I would like Magoo, Vike to have all the info, I know Wings has lots of knowledge in these areas, but I have my fears (surprise, surprise). Are there known snipers here? There is more to this around the onset of the award...let me know if it's OK....

#15 Magoo_Mr.

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:46 PM

.

babycatcher:


I used to worry about snipers (as you call them) back in 1999, when I first started here.

But ... I have long learned ... give as much (straight up) info to as many here as possible and you will get the best answers.

You might not like the answers ... but, at least you will know where you stand and what direction to take and that is your best position at this point.

You are already on the VARO radar screen and just don't give your exact location, SS No. and where you hide your door key .. if that makes you feel better.

There are a lot of brains on here a lot better than mine ... I just try to use common sense when my brain cells are firing.

You need to try to somehow honestly minimize your .. "whatever you are doing".. and get through this mess ...then don't do it again.

The tax records are the only thing that is set in stone .. that I see so far.

Everything else is OPEN to intrepretation .. and it will be your position to honestly minimize that position.

Got my drift ???


... Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... :)


PS .. All of us have had to make some giant lifestyle changes and I am still learning that ... even at this moment.

.

#16 Wings

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 10:16 PM

Hello again,

I couldn't find this thread! So far, this has been a tough site to navigate; I only got here when I noticed the link in an email after searching around the page for a couple hours. I figured there had to be some responses...Hi Wings! If there are tips for the site, I'd appreciate it.
OK, questions: the hospital job is a few times a year, usually, at $300 each time, but it's been more than a year since they used me. The babycatching is also 3-5 a year, do the prenatal care in an office I rent one day a week and mostly don't use, and then attend the women at their home. I am nervous as I type, am I safe here sharing my info? I would like Magoo, Vike to have all the info, I know Wings has lots of knowledge in these areas, but I have my fears (surprise, surprise). Are there known snipers here? There is more to this around the onset of the award...let me know if it's OK....




Babycatcher,

Snipers: Yes and No lol! You are being honest and you have more to gain by asking these questions NOW rather than later if the VA ever decided to audit your claim.

The first thing that comes to my mind is - 1) that your earnings are marginal and 2) you may greatly benefit psychologically (rather than financially) by your present career services. I myself might ask my shrink/advocate what their opinions are about continued, albeit limited involvement in the medical field, delivering babies ;-) This type of limited social activity might be just what the doctor ordered and s/he can substantiate their opinion with a letter stating as much. If you have a PTSD counselor in your corner, your marginal (not gainful) current earnings could be written off as mental health THERAPY. JMHO.

The best way to navigate Hadit, for me, is to go to the home page of the discussion forum: http://www.hadit.com/forums/

then see upper right side of page these options

My Blog My Controls View New Posts My Assistant New Messages

CLICK ON View New Posts

~Wings over and out ;-)

#17 babycatcher

 
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Posted 26 July 2006 - 10:45 PM

OK, Thanks Magoo,

More on the births. I'm in the northern part of a western state with a large summer based cash crop, if you get my drift, so most of my clients do not use insurance. Or I should say I don't take insurance, and most have the cash available to pay, $2500 for the total package. The form I have to fill out wants info on the last 12 months, and my lousy memory keeps me from being able to freely recall how many births in that time, my fearful procrastination keeps me from looking up the charts.

The thing is, this is work of my hearts desire. I guess I could be a free midwife, so as not to lose my calling, because sometimes the idea that I will be present for a new life in the next month or two is all that keeps me hanging on. Someone asked my ratings: can't remember the breakdown, but PTSD, migraines, IBS. And these things continue. I can pretty much count on a migraine after a birth if I've been up all night, but that's OK a few times a year, for the joy. My PTSD is only worse with the state of the world, and now this.

About the award: I got the 80% in '99, and this great VSO (wish he was still around) really encouraged me to file for the IU. I had a high paying, busy job as a nurse midwife where I was burning out, headache problems, and struggling with the docs-can u say authority problem?-I guess he saw the writing on the wall. I got laid off, and he left for a counselling job, and I forgot about the IU. I worked here and there, and then took this clinic job that was only 2 days a week when the award came in Nov 02. I kept that job til the headaches, (and another bastard MD) KO'ed me in Mar 03. I was in a new county, and the VSO helper was like "well, let's see what happens" Now here in 06 they want me to tell about 03, so it's like everything is coming down.

The reality is, though, I'm not working every day, or every week or month. Theres no way. I don't advertise, but my name is on the door where I've shared that office for 4 years; that should go, you guys are telling me it should all go. :)

Last question: I got the letter saying to expect a C&P, but no appt. I sure don't want to miss it, who to call to find out the date?

#18 Wings

 
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Posted 27 July 2006 - 10:49 AM

I think you may be facing a decision between your midwifery career and your VA Compensation. I also live in the Northern part of a western State and respect that IT'S A SMALL WORLD. The community understands I am a veteran first, and a community member second. It's a sacrifice. I wouldn't want to do anything that would compromise my VA Comp. I have 2 kids that depend on me.

If you are going to have a medical career, it means that you have to invest the time and energy to keep your skills up-to-date. I have heard stories abound regarding midwives that slacked on their education and this made them a liability to the community.

Like I said below, I would definately run this information past my shrink/doctor, and weigh the pros and cons of 'hobby v. vocation'. A HOBBY is a GREAT thing and helps keep the PTSD at the back door, but I could never trust myself to take on the normal day-to-day stressors involved in a medical "practice". It wouldn't be fair to me or to those in my care. I am NOT an emotionally stable person!

Best of luck to you. My first baby was delivered by a midwife and her assistant - at home. I do respect the medical field - and expect those that care for others on the brink of life and death remain truely centered and mindful and continually educated.

All the best! ~Wings

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 11:40 AM

One exception to the 100% schedular rating and employment issue is in the case of mental disorders. The "total occupational and social impairment" criterion makes this the only condition in the Rating Schedule subject to review for employability. While VA can't use Income Verification Match as with IU to check who's working, if a 100% mental vet garners the VA's attention, as in working as a VSO s/he can expect to be reviewed.


Peter,

One thing to keep in mind, if you're 100% schedular and working as an SO, accredited or otherwise, the VA has no problem with that. However, if you're 100% IU and working as an accredited SO, volatarily or paid, the VA may look at this as the veteran being able to some type of work, in this case, an office job. Now, if you're 100% IU and helping veterans with their claims on your spare time and are not their official Power of Attorney, then the veteran will stay off the VA's radar screen. Just a thought!

Vike 17



#20 Magoo_Mr.

 
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Posted 27 July 2006 - 12:46 PM

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Don:


I am 100% PTSDer, 40% back injuries & 10% other ... all combat related and all are P&T & Schedular and I was told (by various VA individuals) that I could work ... even though I could not hold down a job.


With that said ... my SO and another SO (if my memory serves my correctly) told me ... NOOOOO WORK OF ANY TYPE ... while on a 100% PTSD rating ... period.


I believe that you are correct in your assessment of the ..."PTSD Disability Ratings" ... (which is VERY different from all of the other ratings).


Now ... if I was 100% P&T & Schedular for perhaps a loss of 2 limbs ... (example Max Cleland technically was was 100%, P&T, per Schedular .... for the loss of 3 limbs) .... then I could apply for the job that he had as Secretary of the DVA, under the Carter Administration.

Your are VERY correct ... when it comes to a PTSD rating.

PTSD veterans need to remember ... PTSD is PTSD ... no matter if your are picking flowers or being an SO. And being an SO requires a lot more constant brain power than 100% PTSDers would have in my opinion[u].


PTSD is for the loss of some of your brain power skills and NOT for a physical disability.

I would not want a TRUE 100% PTSD veteran, as an SO ... working on my claim !!!!!!!!



FYI .... I have a hell of a time with paperwork and etc. .... and I only post here when my brain is running fast enough to post. Some days ... I am just not able to read, think and post a good .. posting.



Thanks for your informative post ....


... Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... :rolleyes:


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#21 Vike17

 
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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:32 PM

Don,

You are 100% correct! I forgot to point this out. If a veteran is receiving 100% compensation due to a mental disorder and is working in any capacity, then they will more than likely get a look see from the VA.

The 100% criteria for mental disorders is largely based on "social and occupational Impairment.

Vike 17

Edited by Vike17, 27 July 2006 - 01:32 PM.


#22 Magoo_Mr.

 
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Posted 27 July 2006 - 01:55 PM

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To: Vike, Don, Adora, babycatcher, Pete, rickb, Mike, John, Berta, Jim and all:

(I wanted to see if I could get all the posters in order .. a little brain quiz for me .. hope I didn't miss anyone on this thread ... lol ... :unsure: )




This is a great example of how a thread should work.


With everyone postings their own thoughts, info and experiences and then .... boiling all that info down to a a few simple & easy to understand facts.


I sure wish that all the threads worked this well.


With each posting ... I learn a lot from all of you ... thanks ... :rolleyes:


... Magoo .. aka .. Bill ... :blink:


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#23 babycatcher

 
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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:44 PM

To All:

I just wanted to say thanks for the thoughts, ideas and info; all mostly what I know in my heart to be true. Cause I'm just like you all, struggling day to day to get through, and for sure I don't want to be seen as a 'user' of the system. God knows I fought these symptoms long enough with our old friend denial, and I'm a truthful person, which is why I'm having such a hard time with the damn form!

Wings, your idea is about the same thing my VA clinic NP said; she was afraid if I gave up my few births I'd sink deep into the pit we know PTSD can be. So I guess I'll ask for that in writing, put it down on paper AND cut way down on everything, and start saying no. Fortunately my kids are grown, the oldest is over on Okinawa right now. :rolleyes:

Thanks-Babycatcher