Some of you read in the General Claims Section that along with my September 2008 Rating Decision of 100% P/T for Dysthymic Disorder with Hashimoto's
Encephalopathy [a very rare condition, as I understand it and just now rated SC, having been denied since 2000], they proposed to rate me, "Incompetent
for VA Purposes."
This was based upon the Psych Doc's evaluation of me at QTC in Alexandria as part of the C&P Exam, and I'm certain the rater also looked at my condition, along with the fact that I also qualify for SMC-S under the Housebound Criteria [100% P/T with a separate combined rating of 90%] -- I know, I'm a mess since the Gulf War, but some days are better than others, and we simply have to do the best we can where we find ourselves...
Along with this came the warning that I was about to lose my right to purchase firearms because the VA reports those they find incompetent to the FBI. Now, I haven't touched a firearm in years, but I'd rather not give up this right...
They gave me 30 days to request a hearing on this issue, and I was able to obtain a letter of support from my VA PCP and simply made another formal statement that I disagreed with this proposal and that I indeed can, "...understand the amount of VA money I get [sic]..." In this statement I also told them that my wife and I are good stewards of any and all funds we receive and that we have a good credit rating; have never been late on a house payment; I don't drink (it's hard enough to concentrate without alcohol on top of everything else these days) nor gamble my money away -- and that I do not need, nor will I accept, a fiduciary to handle my VA funds.
I don't have the letter yet, but I called the 800-number this morning, and the counselor said it's in the mail and they'll release any funds they were holding pending this determination.
For those to follow, seek good counsel to build your package (DAV in my case -- thanks, guys for the advice), and then present your case in the most positive light. Sometimes you'll win.
p.s. While I don't feel that I need a fiduciary currently, I believe that for some veterans, this is a good program. There might also be one or two veterans who have no business carrying firearms, but that's another discussion... *grin*