Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
September 24, 2020
Question: Hi Jim, I am rated 70% for PTSD . I have not worked for the past 13 months. However, I have received my full salary from my employer through sick days provided to me by my union. Those sick days are scheduled to end in January 2021. I applied for both SSDI and TDIU. I was granted SSDI because the SSA does not deem sick leave as being…
Jim's Mailbag
September 23, 2020
Question: My father was a Vietnam veteran with Type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, and ischemic heart disease. He was just awarded 100% disability in June of 2020 for the prostate cancer (he was already receiving around 50% for the diabetes and ischemic heart disease). He was originally diagnosed with the prostate cancer in December of 2018,…
Jim's Mailbag
September 22, 2020
Question: In May of 2020 my husband of 53 years went off the deep end and knew he needed help. After driving himself 75 miles to the closest Va and waiting 8 hours, the VA doctor had him transported by ambulance to an outside facility that could take him. Due to the pandemic, they could not find a VA hospital bed. I called the next day and was…
Jim's Mailbag
September 22, 2020
Question: I have an IU rating from the VA and a 60% combat rating. The instructions that I have read have led me to believe that I should be compensated 100% combat rating and not limited to my retirement pay. Am I correct in this matter? Also, I believe that DFAS is applying the Chapter 61 Retirees to me.
Jim's Mailbag
September 22, 2020
Question: I am currently at 90% disability. I am thinking of applying for TDUI but here is my question. I do not have a 40% individual rating I do have a 30% with 10%,10%,10%,10%,20%,20%,20% secondary ratings to that 30% rating. Would that meet the guidelines to apply for TDIU?
Jim's Mailbag
September 22, 2020
Question: My son is a recently honorably discharged veteran. He has a severe drug addiction and is 85% disabled. The VA is closed for residential detox that he desperately needs and they will not give him a referral for treatment outside the VA for detox that they currently will not provide until AFTER the pandemic. I carry Narcan as we are…
Jim's Mailbag
September 21, 2020
Question: I got married to a service member and he was unfaithful to me. He called our marriage off 6 months in and I began speaking to a military counselor who told me that I should have been getting a certain amount of money sent home from my spouse to pay for my living expenses. I didn’t receive the payments they told me about. So upon filing…
Jim's Mailbag
September 21, 2020
Question: Jim, I am 90% at TDIU, just recently was sent a big brown envelope stating that a review was done and that they granted me permanent&Total with dependent’s education etc...no more exams. The major portion of my disability is MDD recurring, Question: with not being a complete and total basket case; I would like to take on a Part time…
Jim's Mailbag
September 18, 2020
Question: I am SC for MDD (70%), I worked for the VA for almost 6 years before being Medically Retired (OPM) for a leg crush injury which resulted in a Spinal Cord Implant (does not help) for CPRS (Nerve Disease). I cannot walk, sit or stand for more than 15 minutes at a time without extreme pain/discomfort. The CRPS has exasperated my Major…
Jim's Mailbag
September 18, 2020
Question: The hospital accepts medicare but refused to accept CHAMP VA - what can be done legally?   Jim's Reply: I'd like for you to call them at (423) 408-7400  Tell them that you are under the impression that all hospitals that accept Medicare will also accept CHAMPVA.
Jim's Mailbag
September 18, 2020
Question: Can I get the VA to automatically deduct my alimony payment from my ex retired disabled veterans pay? He tried to leave me with nothing after 20 years and now has missed a payment. I have no way in getting in contact with him. He's in Oklahoma and I'm in Pennsylvania. He filed for divorce and it was finalized in Texas. Please help as I…
Jim's Mailbag
September 17, 2020
Question: Filing for disability took several months before a decision was made. Does the VA, after approval, have to pay for that time - including file date?   Jim's Reply: When a veteran is approved for a claim filed, the effective date of the claim is the date it was filed. Retroactive benefits will be paid to that date.  
Jim's Mailbag
September 16, 2020
Question: I'm 70% TDIU/P&T. Am I eligible for a base ID card?   Jim's Reply: Yes. It's a fairly simple process. Look here for instructions.  
Jim's Mailbag
September 15, 2020
Question: I have severe restless legs syndrome, and was wondering if you have any knowledge if PD-680 dry cleaning solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) has had any neurological affects on those vets who used it. Thank you.   Jim's Reply: TCE has a long history of causing neurological problems. You'll have to ask your doctor if he or she believes…
Jim's Mailbag
September 15, 2020
Question: I'm coming up on 65 pretty soon and was wondering do you have a choice on taking Medicare Part A&B or not? I'm 100% P&T and the wife has Champ VA. I also have Blue Cross Blue Shield. I'm wondering if I should drop that and just take Medicare A&B? Thanks.  
Jim's Mailbag
September 14, 2020
Question: How and where can i get a military ID card? I am a widow, my husband was 100% for over 10 yrs and we never applied for the Military ID Card. I just received my Champ VA card. Tried Tampa, MacDill but have been unable to talk to them and phone message says they are out of paper and supplies, and to make an appointment. I understand there…
Jim's Mailbag
September 14, 2020
Question: I’m 100% service connected disabled. If I move from Massachusetts to Florida will the move effect my payments. Thanks in advance. Jim's Reply:   I'm in Florida and it's one of the more veteran friendly states around. I lived in Massachusetts once and although it was a dynamic and wonderful place to be, nothing compares to the…
Jim's Mailbag
September 13, 2020
Question: Dear Jim, I am TDIU. P and T. I was intubated the first 4 weeks of a 3 months hospital stay.  VA says that since I did not call during first 72 hours, they will not pat for any of my bills. Any suggestions for recourse?  
Jim's Mailbag
September 12, 2020
Question: How do I get assistance preparing a will for myself? Jim's Reply:   I like this service  https://www.freewill.com/    
Jim's Mailbag
September 12, 2020
Question: While receiving TDIU do I still need to submit VA Form 21-4140-1 every year? I should know this, but my memory isn't what it once was. THANKS!!   Jim's Reply: I'm not at all surprised you didn't get the memo. VA hasn't done a particularly good job of getting the word out that the 4140 is no longer required on an annual basis. VA…