38 year old disabled vet worried about benefits


hi Jim. I have a quick question. I am rated 100% for TBI with 30% migraines as secondary. 30% ptsd , 40% back, 10% tinnitus. I also receive SMC-S because of the 100% plus others adding up to over 60%. I am currently a federal technician with the IL National Guard but,  as soon as I am medically discharged from the military,  I will also be medically retired from my job. I am only 38 so that in itself is scary. sorry just wanted to kind of give you a brief rundown of my situation. my TBI is from multiple IED blasts from 2004 but wasn't serviced connected for it by the VA till 2016. the VA says that this isn't permanent and has scheduled me for a reexamination in feb 2019. I was just wondering if there is a way that I can get this switched to P&T without going to another stressful C&P exam based on the fact that it happed 15 years ago and my symptoms have not gotten any better and if they haven't after 15 years don't think that they will. I just keep hearing horror stories about the VA dropping ratings after getting reexamined and don't trust that it wont happen to me. With being forced to retire,  I will be taking a pretty big paycut and being a single father of 2 boys (ages 10 & 11) and not working,  I really need every penny from this point on. is there anything that I can do or do you have any suggestions for me that may help?

Jim's Reply:

There is nothing you can or should do other than go to the exam and prove that there hasn't been any substantial or measurable change in your rated conditions. The horror stories you hear about vets losing ratings are those who push VA to get P & T or raise ratings unreasonably. It's usually best to go along with the process and don't try to short circuit what VA has to do. It's very unlikely that the exam will change anything for you in terms of your benefits if you haven't improved. However, because of your relatively young age it's difficult for VA to rate you as permanently 100% disabled. Rating entities like VA, SSA and work comp insurance people don't like to call us permanently disabled before age 55. The SSA wouldn't award you SSDI since you're working. This is a sort of throwback to the old saw of if you can sell apples on the street corner, you aren't permanently disabled. You should go to the exam and wait for the next letter. You may be surprised to get rated with no more future exams and you're done. If there are any issues, then's the time to appeal. Preemptive strikes aren't a good idea with VA.