It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Bipolar Disorder Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-06-2006, 10:46 AM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

My husband is probably going to be out of work for the next six to eight weeks. His company doctor has changed his meds, and his psychiatrist wants him off the road for the next six to eight weeks until he is stable.

He has applied for short term disability through his work, and we are hoping to hear back from that soon. I am worried about losing our home. We were already behind due to his excessive spending when he was in his manic stage. The mortgage is a VA home loan. Can they help us out in some way?

We might not be able to afford the meds while he's not working, even with disability. Can the VA help with that?

I'm just trying to cover my bases with this, and I really don't want to lose everything we have worked for over the years.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ma
Posts: 259
distroyed HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Not trying to be a jerk in any way but you mentioned that his Dr. wants him off the road. Does that mean he drives for a living? couldn't he get another Job even part time to help cover the bills? My wife is wacked out with BP and on an anti psych drug and sleeping pills, but still manages to hold a 40hr a week job

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 07-06-2006, 11:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Yes, he's an over the road truck driver. He is willing to get a part time job, but in this area, it can take a while to be hired at one. So, even if he applied, he might not get called back to a job for several weeks, which would almost defeat the purpose since he's only going to be off for six to eight weeks.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 06:19 PM   #4
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 21
ejayne HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Tamara if your husband is a veteran he should be able to get free meds if he goes through the VA clinic nearest you. Sometimes takes a long time to get an appointment with them. You have to use their dr's and hospitals but free is a good thing even if you have to make a long drive to get help. You just have to go through their system.

 
Old 07-06-2006, 08:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Hi ejayne. He is a veteran. He was in the Navy and served in Desert Storm. We are going to have to check into getting him in the system.

 
Old 07-07-2006, 06:09 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Belleville, Il, USA
Posts: 664
NodiGoiterGirl HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

My husband was in the Navy and applied to receive VA disability last year. He had been out for about 6 years. It took about a year before he heard from them but he got 50% disability. As far as I know that is the only way you can receive benefits from them. He now gets $750 a month and can still work if he wants to. He applied for their vocational rehab program which helps you find a job and will pay for you to go to school. That is another 8 week wait. He lost his job with computers and is actually thinking about being a long haul driver. He can't decide though. While this doesn't help your immediate problem, it could help you in the future. I would definately try to get that disability even though it takes a while.
Nodi

 
Old 07-07-2006, 08:54 AM   #7
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Thanks for all the help. He called his VA mortgage rep and they are going to help us with the mortgage. That eases my mind a lot.

We are preparing the papers for the short term disability. That will go to his work on Monday. Thanks again for the advice.

 
Old 07-07-2006, 11:50 AM   #8
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southern Ohio, USA
Posts: 6
buckeyeblu HB User
Exclamation Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Hi Tamara,

From your post, it sounds like you have two immediate problems and one long-term goal. Your husband needs VA psychiatric care and medication....pronto! You need to deal with your mortgage company....pronto! And, he needs to apply for a VA disability rating for his (I assume bipolar disorder). (Even if his bipolar is non-service connected). That's the long-term goal.

I've been in the VA healthcare system since 1972. I have three disabilities. Two are service connected. The third is bipolar disorder. This is the disability for which I receive a 100% non-service connected monthly compensation. I currently have a claim in with our State's VA Regional Office to try to get my "service-connected" disabilities raised to 100%. I'm doing this because it would mean more money than what I currently receive.....and different rules apply when receiving a service connected monthly pension versus a non-service connected monthly compensation. However, if a veteran can be awarded any percentage of disability, whether service connected or non-service connected, that veteran is entitled to receive VA benefits.

Also, it doesn't matter if the veteran is disabled!!! Every veteran is entitled to healthcare and medication through any VA medical facility. But, if the veteran doesn't yet have a disability rating, that veteran will need to go on a co-pay system or use his/her private health insurance to help the VA offset the costs. In fact, two of my close neighbors go to the VA just because the medication is less expensive. They're retired and can no longer afford the high cost of their prescriptions. Neither of these veterans have any VA disability rating.

During the past several years, I've heard that it's getting harder, and taking longer to get into the VA system. I don't mean to come off sounding like a "know-it-all", but I've "been there/done that" for so many years where the VA is concerned, that I've learned the ins and outs, and a few shortcuts along the way. Through the years, it's become a "mission" of mine to help any veteran I come across who expresses a need for help with the VA. I've helped veterans get into the VA healthcare system quickly .....after they were told by the VA that it would take many months. Some of these veterans had been out of the military since the Viet Nam era. Some had service-connected disabilities, but were being cared for by family doctors. I've literally taken veterans to the VA and helped "walk them through the initial process".

I've also helped veterans write out their "claim for a disability percentage", or a "claim for an increase in disability percentage" by wording it in such a way that it at least gets some attention. Of course, that doesn't always mean that the veteran is awarded the compensation. It only means that I've found a way to cut down on the waiting period.

The quickest way to get into the VA healthcare system is to go to their emergency room!!! This means that you can't just go to a VA clinic. You'll need to go to a VA hospital. Your husband will need to take a copy of his DD-214 (discharge papers from whatever branch he served in). If your husband can't find his DD-214, look around your house for anything that proves he served in the military. Eventually the VA will provide him with a new copy of his DD-214, if necessary. He will also need to take his most recent paycheck stub and proof of insurance (if you have insurance). And if you have anything "in writing" from his regular doctor (the doctor who told him he'd need to take time off from driving), you should definitely take that, too. That particular letter will be worth its weight in gold. It shows the urgency of your situation! Also take with you the bottles of all medications your husband is currently taking. (Even if they don't relate to bipolar.)

I'm a firm believer in being honest, but not necessarily "honest to a fault" (if you know what I mean). The VA is, after all, a government entity. Which means that they have turned mounds of "necessary" paperwork and "waiting for your turn" into a fine art! LOL!!! When a veteran that's new to the VA begins the "VA Adventure", he/she will be answering so many questions that his/her head will spin. He/she will start to wonder when the "no-nonsense person, who most likely will have absolutely no sense of humor, will finally ask: "And how many times do you use the bathroom each day.....on a scale of one to 10.....10 being the most". My point is.....don't you and your husband lose your sense of humor!

By the way, when you go to the VA emergency room (if you choose to do this), it would be very helpful if your husband is having a manic or depressive episode, or is really stressed out to the point of anxiety. I'm not saying to lie about these things. If he isn't currently displaying any of these symptoms, it would be helpful if he is running low on his medications. (At least his medication for mania.) After all, it really does need to appear to the ER staff that this is an emergency. An emergency doesn't mean a person needs to be bleeding to death or having a heart attack.

The ER staff will ask why you aren't going to your family doctor instead of the VA. At that point....be honest about your financial situation (only as it relates to your husband's medical needs). The ER staff doesn't need to know that you're thinking about possibly submitting a claim for VA disability. Neither do they need to hear about the situation with your mortgage.

*****Please keep in mind that your main objective is to get your husband into the VA healthcare system as quickly as possible. By going to a VA emergency room, you may not walk out with new medication. But, your husband will have become the VA's newest veteran! And if you're really lucky, you might walk out of there with an appointment to see a VA psychiatrist!*****

Regarding your mortgage. If it were me, I would start by doing two things. I believe you mentioned that you're already behind on your payments. If you haven't already done so, how about calling your VA Mortgage Rep and being very upfront about your husband's current medical status. Stress that this is a temporary problem. Ask if they'd be willing to accept "interest only" payments for a short while. I'd tell them that I am currently looking at all my options in regard to any organizations that may be able to help.

The second would be to call my "local VA Service Representative" right away. Unlike the VA emergency staff, with a VA Service Rep you can be totally honest. The VA Rep will have suggestions to help with all your concerns.

There's a lot more I could tell you, but space and time won't allow. So, I'll keep a close eye on this "thread" in case you have more questions.

Good Luck to you and your husband. I hope the best for both of you.

Buckeyeblu

 
Old 07-07-2006, 12:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Buckeyeblu, I posted this message to you in another thread, and I wanted to share it with you again, because it applies even more so now.

I don't have any advice for you about the drugs. I'm not the one with bipolar, my DH is and he was just recently diagnosed. But, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you did with Vietnam veterans. My dad was a Vietnam Veteran and received a Purple Heart for being wounded in action. He wasn't not terribly hurt physically, in fact, he recovered from that quickly.

But, emotionally, that is a different story. I wish he would have taken advantage of any counseling that had been offered, but he didn't. He died almost seven years ago at the age of 52. We aren't sure from what. My grandfather didn't authorize an autopsy, but for several years before his death, he suffered from Agent Orange Syndrome.

Thank you again. I'm sure there are many people you've helped during the course of your career, and since they might not be able to say it, I feel like I should.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm going to read over what you posted to my husband tonight when I get home from work. Thank you again, and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

 
Old 07-11-2006, 08:37 AM   #10
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Shelbyville, TN, 37160
Posts: 138
tamara29 HB User
Re: Does anyone know anything about VA benefits?

Buckeyeblue, we saw his psychiatrist yesterday, who is not affiliated with the VA. He told us that from what he knew of the VA, my husband wouldn't be able to draw disability from them because he didn't have the bipolar when he served. Is this true?

My husband says he doesn't want to draw disability from VA because he is afraid that it will take away from someone who really needs it. Even though his pdoc told him that it was a disability, he says it's not. Ugh, not sure how I can get through to him.

DH thinks he won't be able to get his meds through them either. I'm not sure where he's getting his information from. I believe it's his parents. His dad is retired Navy.

Thanks again, and I appreciate all of your help.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Can anyone answer my questions about getting disability? mzzmodest Disabilities 18 06-24-2011 05:09 AM
Does anyone here (women) have acne related to facial hair? Problem after Accutane,ro hmj211 Hair Problems 2 05-19-2010 11:32 PM
Does anyone here (women) have acne related to facial hair? Problem after Accutane,rop hmj211 Acne 1 01-13-2010 05:23 PM
Has Anyone been terminated by Long-Term Disability Carrier? 02bpainfree Disabilities 3 05-28-2009 07:20 AM
Has anyone been given Tiobec 400 mg in conjunction to ep. reg. meds? mezzedup Epilepsy 5 10-03-2007 05:12 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Abilify
Depakote
Lamictal
Lexapro
Lithium
  Prozac
Seroquel
Wellbutrin
Zoloft
Zyprexa




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



reesie (68), katlin09 (59), Administrator (24), TinoRock (14), bprapcyc (10), thatgirl141 (7), lynnlee (6), annii456 (4), ghelpmelivelife (4), tinkerbell45 (3)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1162), MSJayhawk (991), Apollo123 (890), Titchou (826), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (742), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:22 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!