Finally got a letter from the VA regarding my service connected compensation claim. I’ve been assigned a 30% rating, which I’m not too happy about. It’s like they ignored everything that was happening with my leg, and simply looked up what rating was next to “hip fracture.” I’m going to meet with the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) this week and file an appeal.
Thanks to solid advice from a reader, I was able to submit my paperwork to the VA for disability compensation. Thank you Don!
This morning I went to the Disabled American Veterans office and met with a Service Officer who helped me with all the paperwork. Not even 30 minutes later I was finished. I should hear from the VA in a week telling me they received my information. After they retrieve my file from the Department of the Navy (which will take about a month), they will schedule an orthopedic appointment for me. The VA orthopedic doctor will evaluate me, then submit his findings, and the VA will give me another disability rating.
So why am I getting a second disability rating?
The military rates only conditions determined to be physically unfitting, compensating for loss of a military career. The VA may rate any service-connected impairment, thus compensating for loss of civilian employability. Another difference is the term of the rating. The military’s ratings are permanent upon final disposition. VA ratings may fluctuate with time, depending upon the progress of the condition. Further, the military’s disability compensation is affected by years of service and basic pay; while VA compensation is a flat amount based upon the percentage rating received.
Did you know that candidates separated from the Marine Corps are never given a DD 214 or any other kind of discharge papers? According to my disenrollment letter:
You are separated as a Officer Candidate Disenrollment, Code JFW1. Your description of service is “entry level separation.” Members in this status do not receive a discharge certificate or characterization of service at separation.
So things are at a stand-still until I receive official orders to TDRL. It turns out because I don’t have (and won’t be getting) a DD 214, nobody is able to register me. All they can tell me at the national VA headquarters and at the local level here in Boston, is that cases like mine are handled at a regional level. Try calling your regional VA office and the call will go straight to the national headquarters.
A Marine Officer who graduated OCS in 1967 found my site and offered some excellent advice to getting things worked out. He recommended I get in touch with my local Disabled American Veterans. Let’s hope they will be able to assist me with the VA.