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Will my rating decrease while on TDRL if condition improves?

Alex4621

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Recently had my first follow up. I was told by the doctor, that because I have been enrolled as a student and working per diem, that the Navy med board may decrease my compensation rating. I was placed on TDRL on 28 July 2020, and really was just utilizing my VA benefits and got a 16-24 hour a week job to help me with structure.

Is this a significant thing? How will it negatively impact me?

VA disability: 90%
Navy disability: 70%
 

RonG

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Recently had my first follow up. I was told by the doctor, that because I have been enrolled as a student and working per diem, that the Navy med board may decrease my compensation rating. I was placed on TDRL on 28 July 2020, and really was just utilizing my VA benefits and got a 16-24 hour a week job to help me with structure.

Is this a significant thing? How will it negatively impact me?

VA disability: 90%
Navy disability: 70%
Often, the TRDL rating will change when the retiree is reevaluated. The VA rating rarely changes in conjunction with the reevaluation.

One has to have a DoD rating of 30% or more to qualify for DoD disability retirement and TRICARE.

The reduction of a VA rating is a complicated process.
--First, there is a proposal to reduce.
--The veteran has 30 days to request a hearing
--The veteran has 60 days to present evidence as to why the reduction should not be made
--The VA evaluates the material
--If the VA decides to reduce, another letter is generated and the reduction will be effective the first day of the month following 60 days from the date of the letter.

Ron
 

oddpedestrian

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Your DoD rating may be decreased but not your VA you probably waive all your retired pay for VA compensation anyway am I correct? As long as you maintain a 30% DoD rating you will keep your retiree status and Tricare benefits. Based on what you posted here I say its 50/50 they will reduce, you working at all and going to school are strong precursors that your condition has improved.
 

Alex4621

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So I am collecting VA and DOD compensation because I had 15 years of active service and my ratings were high. The doctor is still maintaining in the letter to the PEB board that I still have chronic and severe PTSD and depression, and he will also emphasis that my work is only per diem.
 

RonG

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Hello Alex,

Since there are no comments about you qualifying for another type of retirement in addition to the disability retirement, I infer that your retired pay is reduced dollar for dollar in the amount of VA compensation received and you do not receive CRDP. Is that an accurate analysis?

In 2019, I mentioned to you:

Re: Acceptance of VA compensation

Basically, it is not a matter of which is higher. To receive VA compensation, one must agree to waive retired pay dollar for dollar in the amount of VA compensation received. Often there is retired pay remaining that the retiree keeps.

Example with VA compensation of 2000 and retired pay of 3000:
3000 retired pay minus 2000 VA compensation = 1000 residual retired pay
The retiree would receive
--1000 residual retired pay
and
--2000 VA compensation

Another example:
Example with VA comp of 3000 and retired pay of 2000:
2000 retired pay minus 3000 VA comp = zero residual retired pay
The retiree would receive
--zero residual retired pay
and
--3000 VA compensation

Ron
 

oddpedestrian

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Correct thats why he warned you they may decide to reduce they make the decision not him. The VA probably wouldn't bother you but the DoD just want to see if you are adapting ok as a civilian most service members with high MH ratings under the TDRL program are not doing anything much other than some volunteering and treatment, reductions stem from service members working or school. Just have to wait to see what they say.
 

Alex4621

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sorry for the late response.

So yeah, RON G, you are correct. I am collecting 90% compensation from the VA and DOD residual retired pay.

If there is a reduction on the DOD side, will the VA increase to compensate? What else should I do to prevent the reduction?
 

chaplaincharlie

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MH ratings are based on occupational and social impairment. The ability to work, even part time, may result in a decrease in a MH rating.
 

RonG

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sorry for the late response.

So yeah, RON G, you are correct. I am collecting 90% compensation from the VA and DOD residual retired pay.

If there is a reduction on the DOD side, will the VA increase to compensate? What else should I do to prevent the reduction?
Hello,

Your VA compensation does not change under those conditions; it will be the same each month for the most recent rating awarded.

If your DoD percentage goes down, your residual retired pay will decrease also; possible to nothing.

Preventing the reduction of DoD? I know of no method. One can appeal the reduction, but I am not involved in those type processes. Recommend visiting with @chaplaincharlie
and/or @oddpedestrian

Ron
 

oddpedestrian

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It may be premature to figure out a strategy now since no decision has been made but your attorney would have to figure out a way to state that you haven't been substantially gainfully employed which is technically true.

I think the hardest part would be explaining the school unlike the VA the DoD is a little bit more realistic with this. Going to school means you have an intention to be gainfully employed at some point in the future often service members give silly answers like "I just wanted to stay busy" or "I just needed something to do" this wont fly but if you want to appeal your MEB attorney will craft the answers more appropriately.
 

Alex4621

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Thank you all for the advice!

Yeah, it just seems a little backwards to give a servicemember compensation, then re-evaluate service member for service, deny them continuing service because they are still too messed up for naval service, but reduce compensation because they are using earned benefits with part-time school and working just enough to stay above the poverty level.

I went ahead and contacted a MEB attorney for more advice.

Thanks again!
 

FmrArmyAvatr

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It may be premature to figure out a strategy now since no decision has been made but your attorney would have to figure out a way to state that you haven't been substantially gainfully employed which is technically true.

I think the hardest part would be explaining the school unlike the VA the DoD is a little bit more realistic with this. Going to school means you have an intention to be gainfully employed at some point in the future often service members give silly answers like "I just wanted to stay busy" or "I just needed something to do" this wont fly but if you want to appeal your MEB attorney will craft the answers more appropriately.
-just to state in my situation, I was working full time during my DOD reevaluation, but did have new medical problems show up since I started working. This helped show I was having trouble adapting to normal life. So if any of your other medical problems have gotten worse, be sure to include that during your reevaluation. Like oddpedestrian said, your attorney knows how to state this. Too many people think they know more than an attorney does, so they forgo seeking legal help. When I was offered PDRL at an increase, I still had the attorney read it and tell me it was good. Words and wording mean everything for DoD and VA ratings.
 

RonG

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Thank you all for the advice!

Yeah, it just seems a little backwards to give a servicemember compensation, then re-evaluate service member for service, deny them continuing service because they are still too messed up for naval service, but reduce compensation because they are using earned benefits with part-time school and working just enough to stay above the poverty level.

I went ahead and contacted a MEB attorney for more advice.
Thanks again!
Hello Alex,

With regard to your "backwards" remark,
--the VA rates an individual for all service connected disabilities and the rates are found in the VA compensation tables. VA Manual 21-1 and various laws determine how an individual is rated.

--the DoD rates an individual for disabilities that cause him to be considered unfit for further service. The computation formulas are in DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 1 [the multiplier is the higher of the DoD rating percentage or the longevity multiplier]

--I doubt that either agency pays attention to the overall total amount one receives as long as the applicable laws are followed. In other words, "fairness" is not a consideration.

As Chaplain Charlie indicated, "MH ratings are based on occupational and social impairment. The ability to work, even part time, may result in a decrease in a MH rating."

Good luck,
Ron
 
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