Have you ever wondered how the VA came up with the combined rating that it gave you?  Have you ever noticed that 1 + 1 does not equal 2 with the VA?  One of the most common complaints we get from veterans is ‘How in the word did the VA get the combined rating that they did with all the ratings I have?’

When it comes to service connected compensation claims, the VA takes the view that it should not add whole numbers together to get your rating but, instead, the VA takes percentages of percentages.  It is as if the VA says if you are 10% disabled then you are 90% healthy.  Therefore, the next rating is not added but is used to take a percentage of the ‘healthy’ 90%.  So for a veteran with two 10 ratings the first ten percent rating would be 10% of 100, which is 10%.  The second ten percent rating would be 10% of the 90% (again the ‘healthy’ percent of the veteran), which is 9%.  So the combined rating would be 19%.  The percentages are all rounded up or down to the nearest ten percent.  Here, the rating would be rounded to 20%.

The combined rating system doesn’t favor the veteran when he gets closer to 100%.  It gets harder and harder to get that higher rating, especially once a veteran is over 50%.  For instance, if a veteran has two ratings of 50% and two of 20% the combined rating is 80%.  So even though 50+50+20+20 equals 140 in real math; it is only 80 in VA math.  One can’t be more than 100% healthy, thus the rating system in place.

The difference that it leads to in compensation is huge.  According to the VA compensation rating table, a veteran, with no dependents, rated at 80% would receive $1,551.48 per month.  A single veteran rated at 100%, on the other hand, would receive $2,903.83 per month.  This veteran receiving a rating of 100%, which is only 20% greater than the 80% rating, gets almost 100% more money a month!

There are other factors that make the ratings change too.  For example, if a veteran has a rating on each leg or each arm then those ratings are combined together and give the overall combined rating an extra boost.  Also, if a veteran has too many ratings on one arm or leg then VA stops counting those ratings.  Further, a veteran can step up to 100% through total disability due to individual unemployability.  That veteran must show that he cannot work and that he meets a certain rating.

If you have any questions on your VA disability percentage, would like to add other issues, ask for a higher rating, or wonder how to get rated under the IU, don’t hesitate to contact your Veteran Service Officer. 

If You Served, You Earned!
George W. Smith
ALRDOC Service Officer

 


Homeless Veterans Outreach Program (HVOP)

I cannot over emphasis that our individual members and Chapters are the ground roots for this program, and the most important element in making this program successful. Our Riders are who will be making the vast majority of initial contact with the homeless veteran’s, and have the greatest chance of making a difference in their lives.

 

We are not here to recreate the wheel and start yet another program, but the ALR DoC HVOP is envisioned to assist local agencies such as the VA, non-profit groups, local governments, and so on. Our role would best serve our homeless veteran target groups by lending assistance to already up and running groups. Boots on the ground so to speak. But we need to be able to reach out to these veterans and work on getting them into one of these already established programs.

 

So what can we do?

  • The first thing is to be prepared to approach and talk with them. Don’t just ride up to them, give them an outreach package and ride away. Be sincere and talk with them on a personal level.
  • Carry outreach packages on your bike. Simple things like contact information, basic toiletries (soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, wet wipes etc.) that they can use.
  • Know how to vet their story. This sounds callous, but one of the biggest scams is people taking advantage of the passion people have for helping veterans, so they invent sob stories in the hope of bilking people out of money.
  • Some of the things you may want to consider asking:
    • Are you a Veteran?
    • Do you want help? (You may be surprised how many don’t want help)
    • Do you have a military ID, or VA ID? Do you have any ID?
    • Do you have a DD-214? Does the individual even know what a DD-214 is?
    • Which branch were you in?
    • When were you in?
    • Where did you go to Boot Camp?
    • What was your MOS or NEC? 
    • Were you deployed, if so, where, when, and how long?
    • Do you have family who are willing to take you in?
  • For more information on what you and your Chapter can do, please don’t hesitate to contact me, or the HVOP Committee Chair, Erik Lindgreen (e-mail me, and I will get him in touch with you.

 

V/Respectfully,

 

Randy Brenneman

Vice President

American Legion Riders

Department of California


10/28/2017
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

This is our last ride for 2017.  Come and enjoy the ride.

Thank you for your support.

10/21/2017
8:00 am to 4:00 pm

*** Postponed ***

This event has been postponed until further notice


Flu Season is here! Veterans protect yourselves and get a NO COST flu shot!

The cold and flu season is upon us and the Department of Veterans Affairs has once again teamed up with Walgreens Pharmacies nationwide to allow all veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be able walk into any of the over 8000 Walgreens nationally (and the Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York metropolitan area) to receive a vaccination at no cost.  Vaccinations will be available through March 31, 2018.

Veterans wishing to receive the no cost vaccination simply need to present a Veterans Identification Card and a photo ID, at any participating Walgreens to receive the vaccination. The Group ID is: VAFLU

In addition, after the Walgreens pharmacist administers the vaccine Walgreens will transmit that information securely to VA where it becomes part of the patient’s electronic medical record.

VA is committed to keeping Veteran patients healthy, and during this flu season, vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu.  No matter where you live, visit your local VA clinic or Walgreens to get a no cost flu shot.  

Please share with your Posts and/or any veteran you know that might be interested.

George W. Smith

ALRDOC Service Officer


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10/21/2017
8:00 am to 4:00 pm

*** Postponed ***

This event has been postponed until further notice



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10/28/2017
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

This is our last ride for 2017.  Come and enjoy the ride.

Thank you for your support.


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