Questions about how to use the forum?

Visit our new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

August 14, 2022, 05:56:21 pm

Login with username, password and session length

Recent

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 245790
  • Total Topics: 24535
  • Online Today: 237
  • Online Ever: 1127
  • (January 16, 2020, 04:17:02 pm)
Users Online
Users: 2
Guests: 120
Total: 122

You are no longer alone ...

Author Topic: SSDI approved now what?  (Read 7756 times)

tvilleguy

  • ~ Copper ~
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • People helped 0
SSDI approved now what?
« on: August 31, 2015, 10:16:54 am »
So I was approved quickly through SSDI (20 days) and will be receiving my first payment after my 5 month waiting period. I was told by the rep of SSDI to apply for VA Disability but my disability is stage III Lymphoma and I don't see that as being service connected. Should I still file? Is it worth rocking the boat since I was approved so quickly? Any advise would be appreciated.

Different Perspective

  • ~ Platinum ~
  • *
  • Posts: 3362
  • People helped 640
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 10:33:27 am »
"Is it worth rocking the boat since I was approved so quickly?"

What boat would you be rocking?  Comparing the two programs is like comparing apples and pineapples.  As you point out, the possibility of winning a VA case is up in the air.  Did the attorney suggest how your lymphoma may be service connected?  Agent orange?  Do you have some other disability that can possibly be service connected?

tvilleguy

  • ~ Copper ~
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • People helped 0
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 10:49:20 am »
I never thought about any other disabilities that might have been service connected. I went to war I served my time, I went to school and furthered myself and went into counseling so I could go back and help my fellow Veterans that where not able to move forward as I did. Since everything that I have gone through in the last month or so has moved so fast and was something that I never thought about.  I was looking for a little guidance and "another perspective" to see if pursuing VA Compensation was a viable decision and if so where do I start? I know to go online to ebenefits and start there but should I consult a lawyer or do it on my own? At this point both programs are like mystery fruit so comparing them has no relevance to me.

Bonzai

  • Administrator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 2842
  • People helped 505
  • Mean Administrator
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 10:51:35 am »
Darrell,

The Department of Veterans Affairs will only compensate a veteran for injuries/conditions stemming from their time in the Service.  In order for an injury/condition to be qualified as Service-Connected, you must have a "NEXUS": meaning actual documented proof from your service file (C-File), buddy statements, time and place of deployment, medical records of wounds received, etc...

A Social Security representative is not going to know the ins-and-outs of the VA system.  You need to contact your local County Veteran's Service Office and/or your local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) office.
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

stillhere

  • ~ Bronze ~
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • People helped 2
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 12:29:29 pm »
Darrell-
Nexus is the connection between what happened to you in-service and your current medical connection. A physician can render a nexus opinion after a complete review of the medical history, and that physician can be any physician, not just a VA one.

However, the so-called "presumptive conditions" do not require nexus. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is a presumptive condition for some Vietnam vets, depending on where they were and when they were there. If you're a Vietnam vet, you'll want to visit a service officer and find out if you meet the presumptive. If you do, you then file and you'll be granted service connection. The amount of service connection depends on a number of factors, including the current state of the cancer. They will also consider any residual impacts from treatment.

DAV is one of the many service organizations. I do not recommend them. Most states have a department/agency that offers veterans services, and that would be my best suggestion. They are paid professionals, not volunteers like DAV et al.

The C-file is your VA claims folder that is kept at whatever regional office is responsible for adjudicating your claim(s) for service connection. If you have never filed for service connection, there will be no C-file until you do.

Edit to add link approved by Lit Love

http://statesidelegal.org/topics
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 06:29:06 am by Lit Love »

tvilleguy

  • ~ Copper ~
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • People helped 0
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2015, 01:30:39 pm »
Thank you Bonzai and Stillhere for the information, that is what I was looking for. I am only 45 years old not a Vietnam Vet but an Iraqi Vet. I know there are things like agent orange that have affected people but that is not case with me.  I never tried or intended to use disability for any reason as far as I was concerned I was able to function and move forward but I understand that is not the case for everyone.  I will contact a local representative and see what my options are.  And I hope that those that come after me that are looking for answers to questions that they may not be able to quite form have people like you two who at least attempt to lead them in the correct direction as appose to making them feel like they should never have asked at all. 

Bonzai

  • Administrator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 2842
  • People helped 505
  • Mean Administrator
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 02:58:10 pm »
I will say that I used the DAV for my initial application regarding service-connection for my injuries/conditions.  I was initially awarded only 10% service-connected rating, but the DAV kept at it and my disability rating was increased slowly over the years until it reached 50%.

The National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. (NOVA), that is a not-for-profit educational membership organization incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1993. NOVA is a national organization of attorneys and other qualified members who act as advocates for disabled veterans.  I consulted one of them, and he agreed I met the criteria for a much higher rating.  He typed up a letter of disagreement with the rating, and sent it off to the VA.  Imagine my surprise when I received a letter from the VA stating my rating was increase to 100% service-connected permanent and total.  Then imagine my greater surprise when I went to his office and asked him how much I owed him.  He just smiled and thanked me for my service.  Not all NOVA advocates work for free, and you can look up their website to see if a NOVA representative is near you.
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

Lit Love

  • Global Moderator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 4391
  • People helped 371
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 03:31:14 pm »
Thank you Bonzai and Stillhere for the information, that is what I was looking for. I am only 45 years old not a Vietnam Vet but an Iraqi Vet. I know there are things like agent orange that have affected people but that is not case with me.  I never tried or intended to use disability for any reason as far as I was concerned I was able to function and move forward but I understand that is not the case for everyone.  I will contact a local representative and see what my options are.  And I hope that those that come after me that are looking for answers to questions that they may not be able to quite form have people like you two who at least attempt to lead them in the correct direction as appose to making them feel like they should never have asked at all. 

There were lots of questions after Desert Storm where I lived, about what exactly the men and women deployed from our local base had been exposed to--my ex husband was deployed at the time.  There was certainly the impression that some type of chemicals had either been released on them or that in the battle chemicals had caught fire and resulted in massive clouds of fumes.  I know our local Command denied it at the time, even though there were some that seemed to be getting very ill in the months and years after they returned.  I haven't kept up with it over the years, but was anything ever exposed? 

Bonzai

  • Administrator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 2842
  • People helped 505
  • Mean Administrator
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 04:13:47 pm »
OK - This is not easy to answer, so I will quote quite a bit from the VA's website.

Quote
Gulf War Veterans’ Medically Unexplained Illnesses

A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems.

VA refers to these illnesses as "chronic multisymptom illness" and "undiagnosed illnesses." We prefer not to use the term “Gulf War Syndrome” when referring to medically unexplained symptoms reported by Gulf War Veterans. Why? Because symptoms vary widely.

A NEXUS or Military Service Connection is not needed provided that the veteran meets the following criteria:

Quote
For VA benefit purposes, Gulf War service is active military duty in any of the following areas in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations at any time August 2, 1990 to present. This includes Veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010) and Operation New Dawn (2010-2011).

See:  http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/index.asp

I hope this helps any veteran in need!

"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

tvilleguy

  • ~ Copper ~
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • People helped 0
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 05:48:47 am »
Thank you Bonzai and Litlove, I now have a better understanding of what I need to do and what direction I need to take. I see that based on my current condition it may be possible to file based on the fact that my Lymphoma, along with some other things that I have gone to the VA for and has been recorded could fall under one or two of the categories listed for what was called Gulf War Syndrome and undiagnosed illness like my sleep apnea, fatigue, and disturbed sleep in which I was being treated for through the VA. I see that the closet NOVA rep is about an hour away from me but it will be worth it to get it right the first time. Once again thank you to all that gave positive feedback.

On a side note, because I can't bite my tounge, please if you don't have anything to say that is going to actually help those of us coming on this fourum to actually find some type of possible answers and help navigate through this system please find another outlet for your snarky remarks. I went through and read the responses being given by one person (no names mentioned) and they are not helpful at all.

Bonzai

  • Administrator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 2842
  • People helped 505
  • Mean Administrator
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 07:50:54 am »
The VA is NOT going to suggest to you to apply for Service-Connected disability for any of your conditions.

You need to make a list of all your conditions, and when they started for the NOVA representative to review.  They will know what is else may help i.e. to get Sleep Apnea as a Service Connected condition, a buddy statement that has "I served with xxxxxxx from xx/xx/xx to xx/xx/xx, and during that time period, he had a terrible snoring problem" can help.  A NOVA representative will also get a copy of your Service records, and when you apply for benefits, they all go into your claims file (C-File).

I went through my C-File, and found that although I had been diagnosed with hypertension on multiple occasions while I was in the Service, I was never treated for it.  I applied for Service-Connection and was award 0%, but any cardiac problems I may develop in the future are covered as secondary to Service-Connected hypertension, because I went 17 years without it being treated.  This was important to me, because spouses are not entitled to Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for the first 8 years a veteran is 100% Service-Connected, unless they die of a Service-Connected related condition.

A second bit of information is that there are those veterans who try to fake out the system.  So much like Social Security, the VA has its fair share of scammers clogging up the disability system.  I run into them all the time at the VA.  In waiting rooms or the smoke shack, comparing notes on what they have tried to get or increase their benefits.  A common theme of theirs is to claim PTSD, of which I have also been diagnosed with.  I have never claimed to have it, but the experts tell me I do; which additionally is a red flag to them as denial is common.  They want to send me to PTSD treatment, but I tell them to give the treatment space to the young veterans just coming back, who haven't had 20+ years in learning how to live with it.

Last of all, I would like to address your concern that some members make snarky remarks.  Applying for disability benefits from Social Security and the VA are two separate processes.  The Social Security Administration requires that a person is totally disabled and incapable from working at a Substantial Gainful Activity level, while the Department of Veterans Affairs will and often does award percentage degrees of disability, and compensate the veteran accordingly.  Knowing that you're disabled and proving it to each of the agencies requires different methodologies.  There are harsh realities to be faced in either event, and some members just state cold hard fact. 

We on SSDFacts, have a lot of knowledge to assist others with their Social Security disability claims; which is what the site is here for.  Please see your Private Messages for a site that will assist you more than we can in applying for Service-Connected disability.
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White

stillhere

  • ~ Bronze ~
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • People helped 2
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 09:05:17 am »
Getting a grant of service connection for anything that might fall under Gulf War Syndrome is quite difficult. Don't be surprised when you learn that the comp & pension  examiner attributes the etiologies of your claimed conditions to things completely unrelated to your service, which makes possible a speedy denial.

There are only two specific conditions that are presumptive to gulf war service; Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In addition, there is a group of so-called "functional gastrointestinal disorder" such as IBS, that qualify as presumptives. Finally, there is the nebulous "undiagnosed illness" category, which in my experience, yields very little in the way of grants for service connection.

It is rare (but not impossible) to be rated for CFS or fibro, and even rarer to be rated for something else that falls under the "undiagnosed" category. If some condition has a diagnosis, even a wrong one, then it is not "undiagnosed". Make sense?

There is  a well known Yuku forum that is very useful. Send me a pm if you want the link, as it appears that direct linking from this forum is not allowed.

tvilleguy

  • ~ Copper ~
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • People helped 0
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2016, 10:00:00 pm »
Even though this is an old post I wanted to give an update.  I filed for VA Disability on 8/29/2015 and came here to ask for some advice..I received some good advice from a few people.  As of 3/19/2019 I was approved at 50% SC.I don't know if those that did offer good advice are still watching the board but thank you.  I also received my first SSDI payment Feb 2016 (5 month waiting period) and expect back-pay for VA any day now.  Just wanted to say don't give up the fight it is possible to win and live the best possible life that you can.

grove800

  • ~ Platinum ~
  • *
  • Posts: 713
  • People helped 38
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2016, 10:59:52 pm »
Thank you for the update and great advise.  Wishing you the best.  I also want to thank you for your service.
😊

Bonzai

  • Administrator
  • ~ Platinum ~
  • ****
  • Posts: 2842
  • People helped 505
  • Mean Administrator
Re: SSDI approved now what?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2016, 11:12:08 pm »
This brought back some old memories!  I'm so happy you were awarded your Service-Connection   :Celebrate16:


Oh, BTW, I'm still here and there and everywhere at times - part of my Bipolar Disorder   :Main04:
"If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?"
"All the way to the scene of the crash!" - Ron White