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Can You Rejoin The Military With A Disability Rating

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Each year, you must fill out VA Form 21-4140 stating that you have not secured or maintained substantially gainful employment for at least 12 months, and you are thereby staying within VAs eligibility requirements for receiving TDIU.

Note: After you have filled out VA Form 21-4140, Employment Questionnaire, for 20 years, or after you have turned 70 years old, you will no longer need to do so. At that time, your TDIU benefits become permanent.

Can You Join The Guard Or Reserves If You Have A Va Disability Rating

Its certainly possible. Youll want to start by contacting a recruiter and letting them know you would like to join the Guard or Reserves. Disabled vets join reserves all the time but remember, you are still required to meet the standard criteria, including appropriate weight and age. Your recruiter will take care of processing your application and will submit it to MEPS for a medical review. If your application is denied, you may need to take additional steps, which your recruiter will explain to you.

Although its possible for you to be able to transition seamlessly into the Guard or Reserves, you may require a medical waiver, so be ready for all possibilities throughout this process. You can still get VA disability while enlisted in reserves. More on that in the next paragraph.

Here are some tips on your C& P exam from one of our VA disability lawyers.

Example Of Waiving Va Disability Pay

Lets look at an E-5 with 8 years and a 30% disability and no dependents .

The disability payments would equal $400.93 per month. $400.93 ÷ 30 days in a month = $13.36 a day in VA disability compensation.

The same E-5 would earn $385.80 per drill weekend . So 1 UTA = $96.45.

The E-5 can waive the VA disability compensation of $841.68 . Or he can choose to waive approximately $6,076.35 of military compensation .

Its clear to see from this example that waiving the ~ 2 months of VA disability compensation is the right way to go!

Run your own calculations: Here are the current VA service-connected disability compensation rates, and a current Drill Pay Calculator. Simply plug in the numbers for your situation and run the numbers. It should be quick and easy to determine which pay is better to waive. Note: dont just use 63 days verify how many days of paid military service you had in the previous year.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Which Pay to Waive: VA disability compensation is tax free. Most drill pay will be considered taxable income. So if its close, you may come out ahead if you choose the VA service-connected disability payment. But you would need to bring in a lot of VA compensation pay to offset a years worth of drill pay. In most cases, it is best to waive the disability compensation. But be sure to run the numbers, just in case.

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How Do You Pick Your Paycheck And Verify Your Time When Receiving Dual Payments

When it comes time to pick your pay, you will need VA Form 21-8951, Notice of Waiver of VA Compensation or Pension to Receive Military Pay and Allowances. Whenever you have received dual pay, you are required to complete and submit this form. Although the VA often sends you a copy, it is ultimately your responsibility to complete the form and keep record for yourself.

In VA Form 21-8951, there are four main sections which require your attention. Section I contains all your identification information make sure there are no misspellings or errors to your social security number, VA file number, date of birth, or service number. Section II requires you enter the fiscal year and your total number of training days. Section III is where you determine which compensation, either military pay or VA disability pay, you are waiving. Section IV requires your signature and the signature of your commander or designee.

Keep in mind that VA Form 21-8951 clearly states that the VA will assume that you wish to waive VA compensation or pension for the number of days printed on the front of the form if they do not receive a waiver from you. You can expect them to advise you of any changes and then adjust your award. To prevent the VA from moving forward without your decision, be sure to complete the form in its entirety and submit it within the appropriate timeframe.

Barriers To Military Enlistment

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Remember that in most cases, these are not permanently disqualifying. However, these are factors that you should mention to your recruiter. If you are later found to have lied or not informed the military about your legal or medical past, they might throw you out. Remember that there is no penalty or punishment in talking about your situations with your recruiter, so always check with him/her first.

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How Does The Government Collect Money You Owe

If you have received compensation from the VA during active working days, in most situations, the VA will not outright request this money back. Instead, they withhold any future payments for the duration overpayments were made. For instance, if you inadvertently received one months worth of VA payments while you were on active duty, upon reactivation of VA disability compensation, the VA will withhold one months worth of compensation to bring you current.

If this happens, make sure you track how many days you received dual compensation and be ready to absorb the financial shift during the period when the VA recoups the overpayments. Having full awareness of this period without compensation will position you to better budget throughout the month or months during which you wont be receiving a steady stream of income. With a good plan, you can circumvent any financial difficulties.

You are free to return to active duty or join the National Guard or Reserves even with a VA disability rating. So long as you receive medical clearance, you can move forward with your military career and receive military pay and benefits. Just remember: you cannot collect dual payments and will be required to pick your paycheck using VA form 21-8951 every fiscal year.

Here, one of our VA disability lawyers talks about what we do when we appeal your case to the Veterans Administration.

Can You Get Double Compensation From Both The Va And The Reserves

No, you cant receive VA disability and reserve pay at the same time. Dual compensation is prohibited, and should you accidentally receive a VA payment while serving in the military, you will be required to pay that money back to the VA. Although you can get VA disability while in reserves, you must waive the military pay. Its one or the other.

Dual payments are legally referred to as concurrent receipt. The U.S. Code prohibits service members from receiving dual compensation while on active duty or during inactive training.

Additional clarity is provided in Section 12316 and Section 5304:

10 U.S. Code § 12316 Payment of certain reserves while on duty Section clearly outlines that:

Unless the payments because of his earlier military service are greater than the compensation prescribed by subsection , a Reserve of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard who because of his earlier military service is entitled to a pension, retired or retainer pay, or disability compensation, and who upon being ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days in time of war or national emergency is found physically qualified to perform that duty, ceases to be entitled to the payments because of his earlier military service until the period of active duty ends. While on that active duty, he is entitled to the compensation prescribed by subsection . Other rights and benefits of the member or his dependents are unaffected by this subsection.

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You May Not Be Receiving The Benefits You Deserve The 5

The 5-year rule protects a Veteran from receiveing Veterans disability benefits based on the assumption that their condition has improved over time. Because of this, many Veterans have had their disability scores increased while still seeking treatment for their disabilities. If you are continuing to get treatment and suffer from a service-connected disability, you deserve to continue receiving disability compensation from the VA. If your condition is re-evaluated and your disability rating gets lowered, you can dispute the VAs decision to lower your rating by making an appeal.

Appealing a VA decision can help you keep the benefits that you deserve in some cases, the appeals process can even lead to an increased disability rating. If your rating has gone down after a VA re-evaluation, one of the best steps to take is recruiting a reliable attorney and appealing the VAs decision. An attorney can help you make a successful appeal by assisting you in navigating the often-complicated VA appeals process.

Its Difficult But Not Impossible To Get Your Bad Paper Discharge Upgraded To Honorable Or Get The Reasons For Your Discharge Changed


Some veterans want their discharge changed even if they remain eligible for many VA benefits, because they feel it dishonors the service they provided to their country. Other veterans want their discharge changed because they feel that after serving their country it is grossly unfair that they are denied VA benefits.

There are two different types of military boards that can review your discharge papers. One is the Discharge Review Board , which will be discussed in this article. The other is the Board of Correction for Military Records . Each board has different authority, which is important to understand so you will know where to apply.

It can be very difficult to get a discharge upgrade, even with the information in this article, so it is advisable to retain an attorney after you learn about the basics.

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How Do I Get A Copy Of My Military Retirement Pay

ANNUITANTS REISSUE REQUESTS: Annuitants who did not receive their 1099-R by Jan. 31 of the current year, have questions about their 1099-R form, or need to update their mailing address may contact DFAS by phone at 1-800-321-1080, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST. Their fax number is 1-800-982-8459.

Va Must Notify You Before It Reduces Or Takes Away Your Disability Benefits

If VA sees fit to reduce or sever your benefits, it must first provide you with notice and time to submit arguments or evidence as to why your rating should not be reduced or severed. If VA fails to issue you this notice before reducing or taking away your benefits, you can argue the reduction or severance was improper.

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How Do I Know A Job Is Open To National Guard & Reserves

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In the job announcement look for the This job is open to section. When a job is open to National Guard & Reserves, or those willing to join, youll see this icon: National guard and reserves There may be other groups listed that can also apply.

In search you can also select the National Guard filter. Your results will display all jobs open to the National Guard, reserves, and those willing to join.

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    Can You Still Serve In The Military If You Have A Va Disability Rating

    If youre thinking of returning to active duty with VA disability in 2021, we have good news. A VA disability rating alone does not prevent you from being able to serve in the military. However, the injury sustained while on active duty could be so severe that it prevents you from being able to return to active duty.

    For instance, if you were given a VA disability rating and took time off to get surgery, after healing and physical therapy, you may be able to perform your military duties. However, if, after surgery, you are continuing to deal with limited mobility or an underlying medical condition, you may not be able to perform the required military duties to return to active duty.

    For active duty, you must maintain your ability to be deployable and pass your PT test to be considered eligible to continue your service in the military. So, while a VA disability rating alone does not hinder your ability to return, you should consider the impact of your injury and the possibility of being able to return to active duty.

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    Not All Ratings Are The Same

    If you want to find out whether you can work with a 100% VA disability rating, you need to first find out what rating you have been given. Although many assume that there is simply one rating, the truth is that there are two rating types that can be given, and they have different implications.

    The first rating type is called the Total Disability Individual Unemployability rating and is issued in a percentage form. If on this scale the VA assigns you a rating of 100%, then you are prohibited from having substantial gainful employment based on your disability. The TDIU regulations are outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    However, there is no strict definition of what substantial gainful employment refers to. Consequently, it is fine for veterans to seek marginal employment which the VA defines as not exceedingthe poverty threshold for one person. In other words, those with a 100% TDIU rating are able to work legally but shall not generate any income over the poverty line.

    Do You Get A Dd214 If You Are Dishonorably Discharged

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    In some cases, if a veteran has changed substantially since being dishonorably discharged, he or she can request a Character of Service Determination. This can shed a more positive light on the discharge, but it doesnt necessarily change any access you might have to benefits. The DD214 used to include an SPN number.

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    Discharge Review Board Hearing

    On your application, you have a choice about whether to ask for a DRB hearing or ask the DRB to make a decision based on your application. If you ask the DRB to just review your records without a hearing, and they deny your application, you can then submit a request for a hearing. This gives you two chances to get a favorable decision.

    Sometimes it helps to present yourself at a hearing where you may be able to establish a personal rapport with the DRB. However, hearings often take place in Washington, D.C. and you will not be reimbursed for any of your expenses.

    A disability lawyer may be able to help you decide which course of action is best for you.

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