• Reply to: Is the VA doing random drug tests?   1 week 3 days ago

    To my knowledge and belief, no disability benefits claim has ever been denied because the veteran claimant has used illegal substances. The law doesn't support that in any way. Title 38 has nothing in it at all that would allow VA to modify benefits because of substance abuse. You can see for yourself.

    http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=5210661cb450d29b832363ffac1ceb2d&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38tab_02.tpl

    If you have a reliable example of benefits denied because of substance abuse, please fill me in with the details: Jim Strickland . I'd really appreciate that. If you can document a case where benefits have been modified because of substance abuse, I'll be forced to change my way of thinking. Go for it.

    VA doesn't perform random drug screens. If you had a drug screen, someone in your clinic ordered it. It was ordered right along with the other blood or urine tests to determine the status of your overall health. That means it is not random.

    When a caregiver orders a drug screen, it is much the same as any other blood or urine test. The provider doesn't need your permission to perform the test and he/she doesn't have to inform you. You aren't informed that you'll be getting a CBC or a SMAC 12 analysis or a urinalysis looking for WBCs, why should a drug screen be any different?

    This is not an issue of your privacy. The test was ordered by a provider in the same way other tests were ordered. The result is no more an invasion of your privacy than any other blood or urine test.

    You have the right to return to your primary care provider to ask why you were drug screened. I'd guess that the provider who ordered your annual tests also ordered a drug screen. He or she may be doing that as a routine for patients they don't see very often. The point is that this was not a random drug screen, it was ordered by a health care provider.

    If you have no substance abuse issues, I don't understand your reaction. You seem to advocate that if a provider has any reason to order a drug screen that they shouldn't be allowed to. That would allow people who have serious health problems because of clandestine drug use to avoid any treatment that may help them.

    The bottom line is that if your doctor orders a drug screen along with a test to see if your blood sugar is too high, both tests are medically necessary as determined by your provider. You don't get to pick and choose the tests you think you need.

    All best,

    Jim

  • Reply to: So, in light of the excessive wait times and the need for our meds today and not 2 to 4 weeks from now, we need to address this issue and correct this flaw.   2 months 3 weeks ago

    After eight years and three months I finally won a case for TDIU. It was a long and arduous process. The VA put me through more changes than I ever thought possible. But my legal team and I persevered. I want to encourage those who are in the process to hang in there and do what needs to be done. Remember to always do the right thing and supply the right and proper documentation. In This age of budget constraints the VA is under pressure. I wish all of my fellow Vietnam veterans Godspeed. M Griffin First Marine Division Vietnam 65-66.

  • Reply to: Difference in Benefits - 100% schedular disabled veteran vs. 100% TDIU disabled   2 months 3 weeks ago

    Sir, I just read this question and answer. This is something I have worried about for my son-in-law, daughter and grandchildren. The IU has always had me confused vs. the Scheduled awards. I have passed this on and will also put it on my Marine website. I do not know if you have ever addressed the issue of 100% disabled veterans and Military Academy attendance. I understand that a P&T disabled veteran's children may get into a Military Academy as preference if the child qualifies with good grades and has a sponsor. Would this apply to IU disabled also? Would this apply to adopted children also? I wish you could write about this if you have not. Semper Fi, Mike

  • Reply to: Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits   4 months 1 week ago

    The A & A program may have variables for each individual veteran.

    Please click this link to learn more http://www.benefits.va.gov/PENSION/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

  • Reply to: Difference in Benefits - 100% schedular disabled veteran vs. 100% TDIU disabled   4 months 1 week ago

    From Jim:

    Yes, it's very likely that your 100% TDIU benefit will allow you to be eligible for most MWR programs. The 100% TDIU rating is generally recognized as being equal to the 100% schedular rating. Many programs like the MWR are selective about whether or not the 100% rating is permanent or temporary. If your 100% TDIU rating is permanent, you should be good to go.

    Details about MWR may be found here http://www.militaryonesource.mil/mwr/overview?content_id=266803