Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Trump Budget and Individual Uemployability

The Trump Budget and IU

There are rumors that the Trump budget will force everyone who is of retirement age (62) off of IU and on to Social Security alone to save money. This would mean a massive cut for seniors on  Individual Unemployability who need it the most. Most vets would lose over half their income.  
  This won't fly, and I will tell you why. If you are unemployable, you are considered 100%. Just because you lose the IU because of budget cuts does not mean you are suddenly employable.
  The VA would have to review every single case based on the level of disability, (even if they are eligible to collect Social Security because many people work past retirement age), and probably have to make everyone drawing IU before the budget cut 100% schedular.
  You are not suddenly employable once again just because they cut your funding. And if you are too old to work by then, they just can't cut your money and benefits to save funds. So you would switch from say 80% IU to 100% schedular. Same-same.
  I don’t think the cuts will ever happen, and if it does, I believe those already on IU will stay there based on their age.
  In my own case, I’m 70 years old. I'm 130% disabled (combined 90%) but next February I will have 20 years on IU rating. After 20 years of the same rating the VA is not supposed to be able to cut your percentage. You stay that way for life.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Diet Soda: Is It A Killer?

Diet Soda Killer?
I've seen two articles this morning on how bad a diet soda is for you. You have to be shitting me. All along they say you shouldn't have sugary drinks and now they are saying diet soda causes strokes and dementia...but when all the factors like smoking, age, weight, current medical problems, and health are figured in...the figures don't mean anything and are inconclusive. So in the end it's all bullcrap, probably promoted by the sugary drink manufacturers and the sugar growers.
They should be concentrating on the effects of mixing prescriptions and the many ingredients in the flu shots they now keep trying to push on people, who in nine out of ten cases get the flu anyway. Seems to me they would cause dementia and strokes more than any ingredient in diet soda.
At age 70, I have a case of Type 2 diabetes, which they say is from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. I was exposed to it...but I never got diabetes until I started taking blood pressure meds, some of which make your blood sugar go up and down. So I quit drinking regular soda and switched to diet. Now they are saying diet soda can kill you?
When I first got back from Vietnam, normal blood sugar levels at the VA were 140 or under. Then it went down to 130. When I was diagnosed it was 125, and that day my blood sugar was 126. Years later, it was an automatic service connection, but since I was already 100% service-connected, the extra 30% didn't matter in the long run. Pretty soon they will have blood sugar levels down to 100, and anything over will be diabetes and you will have to take meds...and the only people happy will be the ones who own the drug companies.
Live your life. If you like diet soda, drink it. They don't really know what causes anything, and sugar is a lot worse for you than no sugar.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

PTSD: Temporary Improvement

PTSD: Temporary

You’ve been fighting a long time with symptoms of PTSD, and after the VA grants your claim, you are told that your compensation may be cut in the near future due to a temporary improvement  or even just an improvement.
  I tell veterans not to worry about this. PTSD is a lot different than a physical disability. Certain physical conditions do show improvement, and the rating percentage can be reduced at some point. But with PTSD, any long term improvement is not likely to happen (at least improvement that would deserve a rating cut).
  When you are first service-connected for PTSD, you may be called in for the first couple of years for a Comp Exam, but this doesn’t mean you are going to lose your percentage.
  The VA is so swamped with claims right now from the new wars that an easily settled PTSD claim is not going to be called back in any time in the near future. That would just add another claim to the already full docket.
  Also, the VA cannot cut a veteran with PTSD for any short term improvement without considering the entire claim history.
  One veteran who is currently 100% for Individual Unemployability was told that he would be called in for a future exam because ‘improvement was anticipated with continued therapy’.
  Just because a veteran improves on a temporary basis (there is no permanent long-term improvement of PTSD) does not mean the veteran is all of a sudden capable of holding a job, or spending months or years in some Voc Rehab training program. Still, it would be best for the veteran to continue therapy, or start therapy again until the condition is made permanent.
  The VA must follow regulations in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) before reducing the percentages of any disabled veteran.
  Veterans who have held a rating for less than five years are protected under several rules. According to the CFR, the VA must find that there has been an improvement in the level of disability before reducing the percentage rating. The entire history of the disability must be reveiwed. The evidence must show that there has been some positive improvement in the veteran’s ability to live and work. (Improvement does not mean such silly things as your ability to walk your dog down a public street or playing cards once a year...such excuses have been used to cut veterans by saying their social interaction skills have improved).
  Any attempt at reduction must also include a current Compensation Exam covering the issue of the disability. A Comp Exam for PTSD which does not include the issues bothering the veteran is not valid.

  Veterans with PTSD can expect to keep their percentage without fear of reduction