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View Full Version : Early Retirement and VA Disability Question



snowman
12-13-2013, 05:37 PM
I am considering taking the early retirement option they will be offering for FY14, but I have a few things to consider. The first major obstacle is that I took the REDUX retirement plan, which I understands takes another full % point off the calculation for retirement pay under TERA. What I do not know, is how to calculate the exact % of what that pay would be. If someone could point me in the direction of a calculator or let me know what a 18yr MSgt who took REDUX would get if retiring early that would be much appreciated.

Second part, VA Disability Claims, how do they work? I have several issues that are curtsey or happened during my tenure at big blue, is their a chart to find out what % you'll be at? For example I've been diagnosed with Corrosive Acid Reflux/GERD. I've been taking medication for years now, I also take medication for heart palpitations. I've "heard" that acid reflux is auto 30% but i've never seen that in writing, no idea about my heart condition, any know where I can see the conditions chart? If such a thing exists, and is there anything I should be considering for VA claims or just major stuff such as I mentioned above. Thanks in advance.

Measure Man
12-13-2013, 05:52 PM
I am considering taking the early retirement option they will be offering for FY14, but I have a few things to consider. The first major obstacle is that I took the REDUX retirement plan, which I understands takes another full % point off the calculation for retirement pay under TERA. What I do not know, is how to calculate the exact % of what that pay would be. If someone could point me in the direction of a calculator or let me know what a 18yr MSgt who took REDUX would get if retiring early that would be much appreciated.


Second part, VA Disability Claims, how do they work? I have several issues that are curtsey or happened during my tenure at big blue, is their a chart to find out what % you'll be at? For example I've been diagnosed with Corrosive Acid Reflux/GERD. I've been taking medication for years now, I also take medication for heart palpitations. I've "heard" that acid reflux is auto 30% but i've never seen that in writing, no idea about my heart condition, any know where I can see the conditions chart? If such a thing exists, and is there anything I should be considering for VA claims or just major stuff such as I mentioned above. Thanks in advance.

You can look at the VA Disability Rating schedule to get "an idea" of what you might be rated at. link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/bookc.asp#k

Heart palpitations, I dunno, I have an Atrial Septal Aneurysm in my heart and was denied disability for that becasue, "this condition is usually congenital"...meaning I was probably born that way and it wasn't caused or aggravated by my service. But, I never even knew I had it until about 11 years in service. So, I dunno if palpitations are something that you just have always had or if it came up during service.

As far as other things...if you have scars on your face, neck, head...put those in. If you have any "trick" fingers, toes, joints, etc. that click, lock, or move funny. The best thing to do is to contact a veteran's advocacy group, such as the DAV or AMVETS, or your state/county Veteran's rep and have them help you....they will go through your med records and look for things you might not think of and they'll help you fill out all the claim paperwork. Do NOT depend on people who actually work for the VA, as they are prohibited from guiding you towards additional claims...they can drop hints and some do, but for the most part they aren't allowed to tell you "hey, you should claim this or that."

sandsjames
12-13-2013, 06:16 PM
If at all possible, speak with the VA rep ON BASE. Don't bother going down town to a VA rep there (if they are different). I've found that the person on base is always willing to attempt to claim more than the off base VA rep. May be just my experience...not sure.

efmbman
12-13-2013, 06:55 PM
Good advice above. I would add this: do a fully developed claim. Some may try to talk you into doing the other route... don't. FDC makes you the plaintiff, meaning you gather supporting documentation for your claim. The regular claim process places the burden on the VA to request documentation from the Air Force... how motivated do you think they will be? 6 months out, request a complete copy of your medical records including radiology reports and lab results.

If you like, PM me your base and I can let you know if your base has a VA intake site (as sandsjames mentioned). They are very useful.

Chief_KO
12-13-2013, 10:56 PM
Agree with all above. I would start a year early. Get a copy of your medical records, don't worry you can get the remaining months of records later. Go page by page through your records to 1. Make sure they're yours and 2. Make a list of everything you've been seen for. The VA has a form for you to request copies of any private doctors you've seen as well, either as a referral or on your own. Yes, a referral should be in your AF records...but ya never know what might be missing. Claim everything, list all your surgeries while on AD...VA will schedule your Comp & Pen (Compensation & Pension) physicals to determine the amount (if any) you will be rated for each disability. Each is rated separately, when the VA totals them up they start with the largest first then apply each in decsending order...it is not a total of each.
Make sure you list all the same things you are claiming with the VA on your AF exit paperwork. There is one form that you submit and your PCM will sign off on.
Will you be staying in the same area/state? Folks I know that were moving with retirement had more problems (delays) than if you stayed local. I filed my preliminary 6 months before retirement (with records up to that time) along with my final filing when on terminal leave (with the additional records) and received my disability payments one month after retirement. It varies greatly state by state (SD is very good), and I chose the DAV to be my advocate and was thoroughly impressed (results to vary).
There is no secret other than taking ownership and making sure you claim it all upfront, even a rating of 0% is good...0% can always go up.
Once your retired it is very hard to make a new claim.

RetC141BFCC
12-18-2013, 04:58 PM
Also do not take NO for an answer. Look the VA turns down about 40 percent of the claims. They also like to give 0 percent awards. As I retire you need 50 percent in order to get both your pension and VA disability. There is a great website run by Vets for Vets. It is totally free. Again just remember if the VA turns you down and you do not appeal within 1 year you lose that claim. I will help anybody here with a appeal its real simple to do. I do a lot of volunteer work with Vets screwed over by the VA just PM me and I will help you.
website I would like you all to review is
www.hadit.com
Tell them Jim Mac sent you

jdintn
12-31-2013, 07:02 PM
I read all the comments. For what it's worth, I retired from active duty over 47 years ago and applied for VA disability Aug 2012. Was approved 1 Nov 2013. I too, have GERDS, but have it pretty much under control by taking nexium once a day and was approved for 10%, but this added to other disability ratings, so list everything you have been treated for. That is good advice from other replies and definitely go through DAV or some group like them. And make sure you complete the form that shows your wife and/or dependents. I didn't do this until my claim was approved which stated "we are paying you as a single VET". I'm still waiting for this to be processed.

VFFTSGT
12-31-2013, 10:16 PM
I am considering taking the early retirement option they will be offering for FY14, but I have a few things to consider. The first major obstacle is that I took the REDUX retirement plan, which I understands takes another full % point off the calculation for retirement pay under TERA. What I do not know, is how to calculate the exact % of what that pay would be. If someone could point me in the direction of a calculator or let me know what a 18yr MSgt who took REDUX would get if retiring early that would be much appreciated.

Second part, VA Disability Claims, how do they work? I have several issues that are curtsey or happened during my tenure at big blue, is their a chart to find out what % you'll be at? For example I've been diagnosed with Corrosive Acid Reflux/GERD. I've been taking medication for years now, I also take medication for heart palpitations. I've "heard" that acid reflux is auto 30% but i've never seen that in writing, no idea about my heart condition, any know where I can see the conditions chart? If such a thing exists, and is there anything I should be considering for VA claims or just major stuff such as I mentioned above. Thanks in advance.

There is no auto anything with the VA.... I was rated 10% for Hiatal Hernia with GERD. I do not believe I was rated appropriately according to the law (Title 38) and considering appeal.

Use the wrong word, use a different word, the provider doesn't check the right box, the rater doesn't review something right, etc. and your claim will be rated wrong. One word can make the difference between a good and bad rating.

Some conditions are not listed in the chart. Those conditions are rated analogously with conditions on this chart.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=38:1.0.1.1.5&idno=38

VFFTSGT
12-31-2013, 10:23 PM
You can look at the VA Disability Rating schedule to get "an idea" of what you might be rated at. link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/bookc.asp#k

Heart palpitations, I dunno, I have an Atrial Septal Aneurysm in my heart and was denied disability for that becasue, "this condition is usually congenital"...meaning I was probably born that way and it wasn't caused or aggravated by my service. But, I never even knew I had it until about 11 years in service. So, I dunno if palpitations are something that you just have always had or if it came up during service.

As far as other things...if you have scars on your face, neck, head...put those in. If you have any "trick" fingers, toes, joints, etc. that click, lock, or move funny. The best thing to do is to contact a veteran's advocacy group, such as the DAV or AMVETS, or your state/county Veteran's rep and have them help you....they will go through your med records and look for things you might not think of and they'll help you fill out all the claim paperwork. Do NOT depend on people who actually work for the VA, as they are prohibited from guiding you towards additional claims...they can drop hints and some do, but for the most part they aren't allowed to tell you "hey, you should claim this or that."

You should appeal that. If the VA cannot prove you had it prior to service, you should be rated for it.

VFFTSGT
12-31-2013, 10:29 PM
I tried to edit my post but I guess this forum still has constant technical issues...

Use the wrong word, use a different word, the provider doesn't check the right box, the rater doesn't review something right, etc. and your claim will be rated wrong. One word can make the difference between a good and bad rating.

Some conditions are not listed in the chart. Those conditions are rated analogously with conditions on this chart.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=38:1.0.1.1.5&idno=38

RetC141BFCC
01-01-2014, 05:41 PM
There is no auto anything with the VA.... I was rated 10% for Hiatal Hernia with GERD. I do not believe I was rated appropriately according to the law (Title 38) and considering appeal.

Use the wrong word, use a different word, the provider doesn't check the right box, the rater doesn't review something right, etc. and your claim will be rated wrong. One word can make the difference between a good and bad rating.

Some conditions are not listed in the chart. Those conditions are rated analogously with conditions on this chart.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=38:1.0.1.1.5&idno=38

10% for Hiatal Hernia with GERD I was rated the same. I did a simple NOD (notice of disagreement.) The VA will low ball you every time. I appealed mine and my rating was changed to 30 percent. Please look at the date of the letter you have one year from the date to file an appeal. If you do not you will lose all rights to appeal. I will gladly help you out a email you a sample NOD you just fill in the blanks. PM me your email.

VFFTSGT
01-02-2014, 01:47 AM
Also do not take NO for an answer. Look the VA turns down about 40 percent of the claims. They also like to give 0 percent awards. As I retire you need 50 percent in order to get both your pension and VA disability. There is a great website run by Vets for Vets. It is totally free. Again just remember if the VA turns you down and you do not appeal within 1 year you lose that claim. I will help anybody here with a appeal its real simple to do. I do a lot of volunteer work with Vets screwed over by the VA just PM me and I will help you.
website I would like you all to review is
www.hadit.com
Tell them Jim Mac sent you

Yeah, that is a good website. There is also http://vets.yuku.com

I sent you a PM. :)

VFFTSGT
01-02-2014, 01:48 AM
Also do not take NO for an answer. Look the VA turns down about 40 percent of the claims. They also like to give 0 percent awards. As I retire you need 50 percent in order to get both your pension and VA disability. There is a great website run by Vets for Vets. It is totally free. Again just remember if the VA turns you down and you do not appeal within 1 year you lose that claim. I will help anybody here with a appeal its real simple to do. I do a lot of volunteer work with Vets screwed over by the VA just PM me and I will help you.
website I would like you all to review is
www.hadit.com
Tell them Jim Mac sent you

Yeah that is a good website!

I sent you a PM! :)

RetC141BFCC
01-04-2014, 04:25 PM
Yeah that is a good website!

I sent you a PM! :)

Sent you a email sorry took a few days very busy at work

RetC141BFCC
01-04-2014, 04:28 PM
Sample NOD for anyone use any questions PM me
Department Of Veterans Affairs
VA Regional Office
(116 N Jefferson Street
THE ADDRESS OF THE OFFICE YOU RECEIVED THE LETTER FROM
Roanoke VA 24016)

Dear Sir

Reply to xxxxx ( PUT WHAT EVER NUMBER IS ON YOUR LETTER)
CCS PUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER HERE
YOUR NAME HERE IE John . Smith (IF MIDDLE INTIAL PUT HERE)


1, I received your letter dated PUT THE DATE YOU RECEIVED THE LETTER. Consider this letter to be official notice of disagreement. I wish that the claims officer use Sec. 4.3 Resolution of reasonable doubt. It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation consistent, however, with the facts shown in every case. When after careful consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding the degree of disability such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant. 2, The proposal for reduction of my left and right elbow with bursitis is unwarranted. I have flare ups on my elbows two to three times a month. A condition is required to be rated on its normal day not its best day.

3. My current rating for Hiatal Hernia with GERD is 10 percent. This rating is way too low.

4, I am appealing the denial of my (xxxxxxxXXX). Use this for any condition you are claiming if more than one list them separately

5, I have not worked nor can I work due to my service connected injuries. I am requesting IU at this time. This is for anybody who is not working due to service connected disability.

6, Thank you in advance for your help in this matter


V/R





John Q. Public
VA File Number put your SSN number here

snowman
01-06-2014, 04:08 AM
why can I only post in this section of the forums