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Afraid to get a job and lose disability.

BCN59

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Title of this post is my conundrum. 100% VA/Army with Major Depressive Disorder and some other maladies mixed in for about 6 years now. Couple suicide attempts. I have good days and bad days, but the good days are really more like "okay," while the bad days are difficult to describe. I mean it when I say I'm a little surprised that I've made it this far and am still breathing.

Treatment-wise, nothing has worked. Twice I've developed great relationships with VA therapists who really seemed to understand and help me only to have them leave (one had to move to a different state for family reasons; the other was given a better opportunity somewhere else). I've been shuffled through 7 different therapists and 4 psychiatrists due to administrative crap out of their control. Continuity has been hard. But I'm still taking a ton of different meds, in the process of trying to get another therapist (waiting on the VA), and have regular appointments with a psychiatrist, etc.

Basically, the depression or whatever TF is wrong with me has been "treatment resistant." But I don't have P&T disability. I'm not even sure if it's possible they'd ever allow that since depression is considered "unstable."

Bottom line is that I'm afraid of trying to get a job. And when I say "job" I mean more than working part time at a book store or something; I'm talking about something that would help me regain some semblance of the sense of purpose and meaning I had in uniform. I don't want to lose the disability help because there's a good chance things won't work out, and then I'm screwed and have to try getting the same help again, which will take god only knows how long. My "support system" is negligible. If I were to hit a valley during employment and have to quit, I'd be screwed. I'm also reluctant to embarrass myself/put my employer in a difficult and awkward spot/etc.

I don't really know what to do. But I figured I'd ask. Maybe someone has experience with this, or knows a way to fix to keep the disability help.
 

RecruitingSUCKS

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Are you talking specifically about va disability benefits? Or also unemployment/social security?
Are you classified under individual unemployability or just 100%
 

BCN59

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VA disability, although I do receive SSDI. I don't think I'm classified under individual unemployability, just 100%. I'm sorry for not being more specific, I just don't know enough and don't have anyone to ask.
 

RecruitingSUCKS

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VA disability, although I do receive SSDI. I don't think I'm classified under individual unemployability, just 100%. I'm sorry for not being more specific, I just don't know enough and don't have anyone to ask.
From what I understand if you are not under IU and not on the TDRL then you shouldn't be concerned about loosing your va. Ssdi has programs like the trial work period that seems it would perfectly match your situation. IIRC it's 9 months that you can try to work somewhere and the ssdi with be reduced by the money you make but if you find your unable to work you don't loose your benefits for trying.
 

BCN59

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I don't think I was ever switched from TRDL to permanent, though. Six years now. Or at least I was never notified. So I'm really concerned about that.
 

BCN59

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Is it even possible to be moved from TD to PD with depression as the primary malady?
 

tony292

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If youre 100 % permanent and total and you have no future exams, you can absolutely walk away from the VA and work to whatever extent that is for you. Go see a Psych doc that’s not a part of the VA.
 

RonG

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Re: "I don't think I was ever switched from TRDL to permanent, though. Six years now. Or at least I was never notified. So I'm really concerned about that."

It is my understanding that one can be removed from the TDRL if they miss a scheduled reevaluation examination. They would not be automatically transferred to the PDRL.

If you are still officially considered to be in a retired status, DEERS would have your information.

Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)


DMDC/DEERS Support Office (DSO)

Toll-free: 1-800-538-9552
TTY/TTD: 1-866-363-2883
Fax: 1-800-336-4416 (Primary) or 1-502-335-9980 (Alternate)


Update DEERS Online <---LINK

I have copied a couple of SMEs with this message.

---
Ron

cc: @chaplaincharlie @tony292
 

chaplaincharlie

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If you are P&T with the VA you can work. Since you have SSDI you are limited as to how much you can make

If you start working after being approved for SSDI benefits, you may no longer be eligible if you earn more than $1,260 per month from your work.
 
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