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Thread: checking for eligibility today

  1. #1
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Lightbulb checking for eligibility today

    I was in the navy from 16Dec1980 to 16may1984. Discharged from USS Nimitz CVN-68 with 2yrs15days sea duty, WITHOUT paying me for 42.5 days accrued leave, I still have my discharge Leave and Earnings Statement. Long story about 2 separate but close brain injuries that led to anger control issues that I have had to deal with all my life(not direct service related) but caused problems during my time aboard ship and which led to me requesting 'project upgrade', as it was called at that time, with an other than honorable discharge.
    I was an e4 at one time and tested for e5 but didn't make it due to TOS was too short to compete with the others, aced the exam though.Got busted to e3 for falsifying log books in Nuke school,sent to the Nimitz,we did 2 work-up cruises before deploying to the Med in late 82 for the Lebanon-Israeli Crisis 82-83, we dropped bombs on Lebanon, which was an undeclared action at the time(also unjustified), during which I tested for e4 aced it but evals were too low and just missed it.Shortly thereafter, got busted again. Made it to Jan 84 as an e3 and trouble started and was an e1 at discharge. All of these were fighting related except the last one. ANYway, I haven't had anything to do with the government up until today, when I spent about 45 minutes on the phone answering questions to find out if I am eligible for VA care.
    At first, he said they didn't show any record of service, I stated my entrance date, both delayed entry and active duty, discharge date and duty station from which I was discharged. Few seconds pause and a confirmation, stated 'ok, looks like you qualify...'. 20 minutes of questions and then he says oh, looks like you were discharged with an other than honorable... Yeah, everybody knows that, lol. Bunch more questions, yada, yada, then "I need a DD214"...which is WHY I called because it takes months to get a copy and mine was taken, amongst other valuables, by my ex when I shooed her away. I had thought that was what he had before him on-screen, guess not. Now back to square one, getting a copy of my DD214 which can take many moons. The whole point of this exercise was to get an eval for chair from a more qualified source. I have medicare-medicaid(another qualifier for non-service connected VA care) to pay for it. Every where I go, you get the same questions, are you a vet? Yes I am. I served aboard ship in an undeclared war/action for over 7 months. Did my time voluntarily, WAS going to serve twenty but aholes in my division crapping on everyone made it unbearable. Stories I won't go into here. Suffice it to say our ship had one of the highest rates of project upgrade OTH discharges at that time. I watched 10 percent of my division go before I REQUESTED it. Anyway, we will see what becomes of it.
    And for those who DON'T know, that has been a very popular way of getting rid of vets w/o having to pay benefits/disability for the past 25 years. Don't diagnose their ptsd/related problems and save money. Until they recently passed a law that will give a second chance to most of those.
    I say put the chickenhawks and their families in boots and let them serve, better yet, mind our OWN business like the founding fathers of this nation intended, and bring EVERYONE back to these shores and stop CAUSING all the world's problems..... LOOK! There went a unicorn! I stand relieved.

  2. #2
    My first recommendation would be to contact your local Paralyzed Veterans of America chapter, join this organization (free) and then make an appointment with the local (PVA) National Service Officer. They can serve as your advocate for getting VA benefits in all areas, including filling appeals, etc. as long as you sign a form to give them access to your records. They can help you get a replacement DD-214 as well.

    If you had an other-than-honorable discharge you are most likely not eligible for VA healthcare, regardless of how much time you served, wartime or peacetime. This status can be appealed, but it does take a lot of paperwork and time. Your PVA NSO can help with this as well, and also help you find out if you can appeal any lack of service-connection. Be sure that you also get the paperwork completed to rate you as a category 4 veteran (catastrophically disabled) which should be the rating for virtually all Veterans with a SCI. You can't do this until you clear up the other-than-honorable discharge status though.

    You can find a list for contact information for all the PVA chapters and PVA NSO offices here:
    http://www.pva.org/site/c.ajIRK9NJLc...s_and_NSOs.htm

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    After I read about the recent changes in the law concerning OTH/injury/benefits, I became interested in getting copies of my records, medical foremost, to see if the head injuries were well enough documented to prove association with obvious changes in my thought process/issues. I have a picture taken after the first one where my head is obviously oblong shaped diagonally, at which time I was thrown from a car through the back glass and onto the pavement, unconscious for over an hour and limited movement for a few days thereafter. I was on leave at the time. Had a collision(couple of months later) during an off-ship baseball game with a shipmate and was knocked unconscious for about 15 minutes and received 4 stitches to my ear upon being taken back to the ship. Headaches and problems for days after that. Both times I THINK it was entered into my medical records as concussion/swelling of brain. All I got was light duty for a few days after returning to the ship in both instances. After I was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2010(+26 years later) all of the MRIs show misshapen skull/brain. I had envisioned a perfect scene in which they could be related as cause of behavioral problem and sort the OTH out. In a perfect world...but in the real world, fat chance. Not really concerned, it has been 32 years since I got out, that was 3-4 lifetimes ago, even the sci seems like 3 lifetimes ago. It won't make a bit of difference in the world, but it has always been at the back of my mind. It's a personal thing. at one time I was a member of PVA and the American Legion, they recognized the Lebanon-Israeli thing back then, the VFW didn't. I think that has changed now, since warmongering has become the national pastime. They were even going to give us the Navy-Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for it. It wasn't on my DD214 along with some schools, various other info on discharge either. Lots of things were going down that were fishy, anywho, thanks for the info and links.
    Last edited by CapnGimp; 08-31-2016 at 07:34 PM. Reason: I spilled ginger root tea on it and had to wipe it off...

  4. #4
    Thanks for posting that Capn. It clears up stuff I've wondered about for years, not about you.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #5
    Congress establishes "periods of war" for VA benefit purposes, not service organizations, and it is very specific (ie, from a specific date to a specific date including time). Service during war-time generally does not make any difference for VHA (healthcare) eligibility...it can make a difference for VBA (benefits) like pension or compensation. Exceptions are things like being a former prisoner of war, or documented Agent Orange exposure.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    Thanks for posting that Capn. It clears up stuff I've wondered about for years, not about you.
    here's a refresher for you...

    https://www.rt.com/usa/337827-va-den...rans-benefits/

  7. #7
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Congress establishes "periods of war" for VA benefit purposes, not service organizations, and it is very specific (ie, from a specific date to a specific date including time). Service during war-time generally does not make any difference for VHA (healthcare) eligibility...it can make a difference for VBA (benefits) like pension or compensation. Exceptions are things like being a former prisoner of war, or documented Agent Orange exposure.

    (KLD)
    I understood this fully from the get-go. However it was one of a myriad of eye-openers for a naive 17-21 year old, fell-for-the-propaganda, young hick from TN at the time. I did get what amounted to a 4 year degree in nuclear engineering in 1/4 the time, Machinist's Mate training, fire fighting and damage control school,qualified all of the watch stations that my rate could, even taught a stint at BE&E while waiting on nuke school based on my self-taught knowledge - think it was a first for the time, a long trip on a BIG boat-tour of the Med and a bunch of countries surrounding it, a few days in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, etc. I absorbed enough in that time to determine self-education in a myriad of disciplines was a lot more thorough than any government supported/public education could ever be. Finally, that all is not what it appears to be...which came a couple years after discharge and having time to sort through everything while sitting in a jail cell on trumped up charges for 6 months. Life throws some massive punches, a few lands and if you float like a butterfly LONG enough, you get to sting the enemy like a bee, by tearing them open and revealing what is TRULY happening.
    I guess I COULD have put this thread in the LIFE category, but it IS a vet thing. Besides, after talking to a VA rep by telephone for 45 minutes in question-response-clarification-response mode and spelling in nato phonetic alphabet repeatedly...brought me back to the general quarters-sound powered phone days lol....naah, it had to be posted here. Once again, thanks for your help KLD somebody ought to give you a medal for your years of service here!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGimp View Post
    So....what's the deal, are appeals routinely denied?
    It says: "...Congress left open the door to benefits for spectrum of discharges between honorable and dishonorable, including ?undesirable? and ?other than honorable....?
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  9. #9
    Appeals are not routinely denied, but can often be if there is insufficient evidence to overturn the previous rating.

    For example, if someone was dishonorably discharged for something like assault or murder, rarely are those overturned upon appeal. A lesser violation, or a general rather than a dishonorable discharge is more likely to be able to be appealed if the person has shown evidence of staying out of trouble and improved behavior since their discharge.

    (KLD)

  10. #10
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    The fact that they refuse to accept responsibility for ruining lives is the first and most obvious wrong. And yes, only a VERY small number get it overturned. That was not the original intention of the founders of the VA after WW2. They knew the fallacy of the war machine and tried to end-run it but the plan failed. Like anything in this life, due diligence in research will show that which has been hidden. This doesn't even take into account the system as a whole is a failure, it's a game for the chickenhawks in the government, life and death for the men and women that fall for the game. Know your history.

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