VA Individual Unemployability


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Good afternoon, all. I have a question for those who have gone through the PEB process and subsequently filed for VA Individual Unemployability.

I am in the later stages of IDES for Fibromyalgia and MDD. Over the past year and a half my ability to work has decreased greatly. I am unable to both work more than a few hours a week and manage the number of weekly medical appointments I have. I'm just trying to make it through each day at this point. I do not see how I can manage my medical care and work a normal job. I am considering filing for VA IU and I believe my docs would backup this claim (I have always been a workhorse but have slowly been widdled down to barely working at all.) This is not something I take lightly, but as I look at job postings and knowing I cannot work more than three hours without sleep (one of a list of limitations), my employment prospects are bleak. My question is timing: The VA is currently rating my IDES claims (I have been found Unfit), when is the best time to file for IU? Do I have to wait until the process is complete and I am out of the military? My worry is the long wait for the claim to be processed and time without a full paycheck. I am certain I will not be receiving 100% and would like to get the ball rolling on IU as soon as possible.

Thank you all for your input/advice.


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Just make sure you meet the rating requirements for IU I believe you will be good if you file within one year from service they will most likely send you to another examiner to opine on your ability to work.


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In my experience, you will absolutely require at least a medical opinion or expert vocational assessment on how your disabilities limit your ability to sustain/maintain substantially gainful employment, both physical and sedentary. Start on this now. I would apply for IU immediately upon discharge. The more assessments the merrier. I've found it's not often necessary to be under the care of any certain specialist (the VA has told me that a doctor's opinion is a doctor's opinion), and a life-long treating (family) physician's "expert medical opinion" can carry a lot of weight. DBQ's (Disability Benefits Questionnaires) go a long way, especially if the doctor reflects on the document itself that the disability impacts your ability to work. It helps to be prescribed current medications, been under that doctor's care for a while, and ensure that they both review your entire medical record (C-File) and write that they did so. The medical opinion needs to clearly list your conditions, symptoms, medications and side effects, impacts and limitations. Your medical opinion or vocational assessment must then specifically state that "the veteran is most likely than not unable to maintain substantially gainful employment due to his/her service-connected disabilities. There should be no room for doubt.
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