Posted on Aug 9, 2021
First you must have a physical before you leave the service and have a copy of all of your medical records. You need to see the VA rep. at your transition center, to determine if you have any compensable injuries or conditions that where occurred during your time of service. Then the VA rep can give you an estimate if you have any. If you have a combined disability from 10 to 50%, that portion will be tax exempt from retirement pay. If you are getting out without retiring, then you will possibly get a disability check based on the VA's criteria. However if you have a single injury or condition service related rated at 50% or more then you will be able to collect both your retirement check and a disability check If you are retiring. At any rate you must read and follow the governing criteria.
I made the mistake of not making a copy of all my medical records when I left the service the first time. I had been involved in a 5 ton wrecker accident in October 1973. I had my right side slammed against the passenger door and hitting my head against the window which shattered. I had some pain but did not think long term what issues I would ever have. Fast forward to 2021 and I am out in a farm field with my metal detector. I find a grapefruit sized rock and toss it to the edge of the field. I feel a snap and shooting pain in my right shoulder and down my right arm. Again I ignore it all and move on. I wake up early most mornings and one morning in March 2022 I think that I am having a heart attack. My right arm is throbbing and the pain is shooting down my right arm. I go to my primary doctor and she suggest that I go see a orthopedic specialist, I get an appointment and finally see my orthopedic specialist for a consult. He checks to see how well I can lift my arm and reach around my back, reach up, down and all around. He suggest that I get an MRI. I get scheduled for the MRI and get the report, partial torn rotater with bone spurs and arthritis. I am now scheduled for surgery July 8th. Had I have had copies of my medical reports I could show reason to link this injury to my active duty time. I guess win some and lose some! ;-) I SALUTE All My Fellow Veterans!!! GOD Bless America!!!
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