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Old 25-07-2014, 22:12   #31
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

It doesn't make sense but i suppose that is how it is. I have a relative who was in the Army 3 years, retired as an officer with an 80% disability but seems perfectly okay to me, no ongoing health issue. Gets his benefits and makes about $120,000 a year in an office job.


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Old 25-07-2014, 22:20   #32
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

If I were a manual laborer with disability insurance and hurt my back, I could collect. It would not necessarily stop me from holding a desk job. And someone watching me day to day might not have any clue that my back is too weak to do heavy lifting.

Basically, our servicemen have excellent disability insurance.




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Old 26-07-2014, 04:35   #33
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SwabbiePost.
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:07   #34
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

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Originally Posted by dohenyboy View Post
I just want to understand how this works, and I have been reading the regulations but have not found an answer. Maybe someone can point me to some resources.
vets.yuku.com is a great resource for all things related to veterans disability information. It's recommended reading for any veteran (disabled or not). Most vets aren't aware of the benefits they are entitled to after being discharged.
The majority of veterans who have been rated with disabilities have conditions that are not visibly apparent. The VA has a lengthy and thorough rating system that involves helping vets attain "gainful employment." My personal experience led me through vocational rehab, earning my degree and attempting to hold several jobs that fell well within the scope of my education and experience before being rated at 100%.
My particular disability does not, and with my stubbornness, will never stop me from following my passions and dreams. I've hiked the AT, solo paddled almost the entire coast of Maine, backpacked several European countries and I know many disabled veterans who have accomplished much more than I could ever imagine doing. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Along with the many groups that advocate for veterans benefits such as the DAV, VFW, etc., there are many groups that help disabled veterans and civilians overcome obstacles that might otherwise seem challenging or even impossible. Check out the Sail to Prevail programs.
I hope this helps answer your questions.
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:13   #35
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, SwabbiePost.
Thanks! I've been lurking these forums since my dream of sailing and living aboard started about 2 years ago. There is so much valuable information from very experienced sailors in these threads. I wasn't until reading this thread and thinking that I might actually be able to contribute something back, that I decided to register. I'm glad I did.
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Old 29-09-2014, 20:56   #36
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Thank you all for your insight, experience and wisdom. I've been off the grid for a month but I'm now back. It's looking much better now (much thanks to you) I have a court date in 10 days and although my son stole a chunk of my savings I'll be heading down asap to find my boat, might even take a hop down from Hill AFB. The nice part of going solo now is that I don't need to find a boat that makes anyone else happy..... just me and I prefer the basics.
(might as well use all that survival school education haha)

Thanks again and I'll keep posting my status
Brian
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Old 29-09-2014, 21:33   #37
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Glad you're back, Gator Bait.

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Old 29-09-2014, 22:07   #38
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

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Originally Posted by Gator Bait View Post
Thank you all for your insight, experience and wisdom. I've been off the grid for a month but I'm now back. It's looking much better now (much thanks to you) I have a court date in 10 days and although my son stole a chunk of my savings I'll be heading down asap to find my boat, might even take a hop down from Hill AFB. The nice part of going solo now is that I don't need to find a boat that makes anyone else happy..... just me and I prefer the basics.
(might as well use all that survival school education haha)

Thanks again and I'll keep posting my status
Brian
Might want to start an account with USAA Credit Union. You need some connection to the military to join but everything is online and the VA likes direct deposit.

USAA

Online banking when cruising is a big OK. I would suggest you get a boat in Florida and spend some time cruising in the Keys and the Bahamas. It will get you up to speed seamanship wise and is close to the states while offering great sailing locations. It is quick and easy to get to the many VA hospitals in Florida with cheap plane flights from the islands and you can rent a car if you are in the Keys for a quick trip to the main land.

After a year (or more, you may really like just sailing there) you will have a much better feel for what it is like not only cruising but dealing with the paperwork modern life requires.
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Old 29-09-2014, 23:19   #39
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Thanks tomfl. I have direct deposit through a base credit union, I agree (they had me open the account 2 years before it started).
I grew up in south Florida on so I'm familiar with sailing down there so it would be a comfortable and familiar place to get back into it. A friend and I first sailed to the Bahamas when I was 12, played the "I'm staying at a friends this weekend" (hope my dad don't see this haha) I know I'm not going to be heading out of the Jupiter inlet right away (watched Sailboats twist and sink with the current right in front of Sinatra's house) as for the VA, I have a map of all military bases with a marina that can handle a sailboat (unfortunately not MacDill) with a transparent overlay of VA hospitals. That's why I'm considering Kessler AFB in Biloxi. They have a new marina that can hold up to a 60' sailing yacht, $5 a night regardless of size and when I did the math it was $120 a month for a 32'. There is the newly redone gulf coast VA hospital less than a mile outside the gate. It has a dock but it's shallow.
Figured id start there, hit Tampa on my way to the keys (my dad dove with Mel Fisher back in the day) head up the east and take my dad fishing then Bahamas, BVI...... hit up the VA in Porto Rico and just go where and when its fun.
I drove a KW all 48 and Canada for years after I got out with over 500k logged miles, before GPS or cell phones so I look forward to it, running with others, etc.
But I'll have GPS this run

Brian
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Old 17-10-2014, 08:53   #40
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

I'm 90%, 'Not Employable', basically 100%. I'm moving from Erie, Pa to St Pete soon. My shrink is setting up a new shrink in FLA. My titanium shoulder joints are "NON-SERVICEABLE", so the VA just ignores them. Basic meds are serviced through clinics, pick one, and other services through VA Hospitals. My shrink states that Tampa/St Pete have good facilities with a high number of former service members. I have relatives there and could probably use their addresses if necessary, but when looking for a marina, post boxes there will be an issue.

No matter where you contact the VA, you have a 50/50 chance of getting a lazy, slow, bored idiot. Her name will be Laquisha or Herman. You will be nice to them when dealing with them, you will not make a stink. You WILL go to the patient advocate after finishing with these impossible people, they will help.

I had a "Behavior Flag" for a couple of years. Every visit I had to see the VA cops. They turned out to be the coolest people working at the VA. Every computer you stood in front of, giving your name and 'last four', the operator of said computer would see your flag. GREAT SERVICE! Never got a NO answer for two years. I don't recommend doing it because you wont be able to go to clinics.

As far as the VA itself. Use a service organization, they are all good. It takes time and three tries to get your address changed, next of kin changed, sex changed. Let someone else deal with it, they ENJOY it.

Steve, former 11H2V
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Old 18-10-2014, 09:44   #41
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

I use the UPS box system for a address, never had the VA question it.
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Old 22-12-2014, 06:14   #42
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Hello, I know this is an older thread so hope this will reach you. I am also 100% SC P/T from Desert Storm. I am leaving in July 2015 for the Caribbean. I plan to take a year or so with my family to get to the USVI to settle permanently. You had a number of questions so I will address what I know for sure.

You can record a "traveling" status with the VA that you currently are enrolled. This is important because if they schedule visits for you, C&P exams, etc. they always do it in the region that you are enrolled. Putting them on notice that you are traveling is good so that they don't do that. It would be prudent that you do an exam once per year, somewhere there is a medical facility. The VA maintains a long list. Keep in mind that the VA maintains a strong presence on US territories. 100% gets you a lot of things. I would do the following if you haven't yet:
1. Register on Ebenefits. You can see everything here and print many needed items while you are traveling. You can order meds, etc. You can update a mailing address from time to time as needed. You can view upcoming exam requests by the VA and reschedule as needed.
2. Get your DV military ID for you and your family on a base in the US before you leave. This will get you access to any base world wide. Take your 100% letter and birth certificates, marriage license, etc. and they will print them on the spot.
3. Enroll your spouse and kids in ChampVA. This is free insurance. They can be seen at many private doctors and VA clinics. Remember that if you need medical care at a private location while outside the US, The VA will pay or reimburse you for it- just like in the states.
4. You need not have a mailing address.
5. Disability pay is nontaxable abroad or in the states. It is specifically excluded on IRS forms and if that is your only income, no tax or reason to file. If you reside in a US territory, no tax or reason to file with the IRS for anything. Once you establish residency in a territory, you file a form with the IRS to advise them that you are no in a state and they understand that no further IRS forms will be required.
6. Direct deposit goes through as normal and you get your money.
7. You can settle anywhere that is not on the US list of countries where you can't collect military or SS benefits and get your money. The list isn't long and I doubt that you would settle in one of those countries anyway.
8. If you are unlikely to get much mail you may want to get a stateside address for a mail drop like someone stated. If you are in a port for sometime, you can pay for the mail drop to bundle up your mail and send it to you. You fill out forms to authorize this. A relative or close friend is a good idea bc they can open your mail and send you a message.
9. US Coast Guard provides free transport on space A status for you and your family if you have an ID Card. This is a cool option and free. There is no option outside of CG at this time.

I don't know how much money you need but my pay plus SSDI is enough to use and save substantial amounts while I am on my boat. I am enrolled in school FT and using the VA Vocational Rehab program for online school now and while I am aboard. I think the VA knows that disabled vets travel and they aren't giving me a hard time. Your exam schedule is more a reflection of your disability and requirement for future exams. None of my disabilities are subject for improvement and I am PT forever with no exams. I am currently evaluated with the VA for 130% scheduled SC by their standards. That may not be the case with you. I would stay away from advice from the DAV and VFW. Find doe vets that have done what you are considering on forums and verify the advice you get. If course there are a lot of people with opinions who haven't actually done what they are advising. Good luck Brother.
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Old 22-12-2014, 07:11   #43
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, robert.hamic.

Great post!
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Old 22-12-2014, 09:32   #44
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

A reputable mail service, like St. Brendan's Isle (FL) these days can also offer to have your mail opened, scanned, and available to you via email or web access. Which can be very useful if you don't expect a lot of mail (charged by volume) but whatever comes, just might be very important to you.
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Old 03-04-2015, 16:14   #45
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Re: Disabled Veteran needs advice

Apologies for my absence (been working on the boat and no wifi. Very good laid out points. Unfortunately they dropped me from traveling status due to one Dr's notes that I met once where they stated they thought I was moving to buy a house so all of my doctors dropped me and I've had to enroll in the Tampa area. How long did it take for your SSDI take? I've found the office closest to Hernando Beach but it's a long cab ride

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