Wednesday, April 1, 2009

MS Bloggers I need your help!

I found out last night that my husband was still technically in the air force when he was diagnosed with MS. He was an inactive reservist BUT he was not discharged until 6 months after his diagnosis.

I am also reading that service men and women who served in "the sandbox" i.e. Iraq have a higher incidence of MS than the general population. Since no one yet knows what causes MS it could have been triggered by a biological agent he was exposed to? Or some vaccine that they gave him? No one knows but people who have been in the desert are more likely to have MS that much seems to be proven.

I found somewhere else that a diagnosis of MS within 7 years of active duty qualifies that service member for 30% disability payments at a minimum.

What I don't know is:
  1. Is any of this true?
  2. Where can I research this?
  3. Who can I call?
I really don't have time to take on even one more thing in my life right now BUT sheesh if these things are true - he is owned for 12 years of back payments for medical disability from the US Air Force and should be eligible for VA medical, etc?

It tires me to think about chasing this down but I think I have to. If any of you great MS bloggers OR anyone with any military knowledge could point me in the right direction I am going to fight for what he is owed I guess.

6 comments:

LISA EMRICH said...

Tricia, I'll see what I can find out. In the meantime, I've left a message to a blogger who is also former Air Force and has MS.

Her blog is at http://msplaques.blogspot.com/ but she also has a Squidoo page and other outlets online. I don't recall if she's blogged about this or not, but I have read somebody talking about it within in the past few months.

I'll keep looking.

LISA EMRICH said...

From NMSS - Are you eligible for VA Benefits?

which suggests that you contact the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Check out this at the VA - http://www.va.gov/MS/pressreleases/Life_Issues_What_Are_My_VA_Benefits_for_Multiple_Sclerosis.asp

and this article - http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706030481

Primarily, I hope that you hear back from Diana because she has been through this.

Tricia said...

I have found some info on the VA website that seems to corroborate the 7 year thing. The % of disability will vary by person and 30% is not a set rule. It also seems that they deny as a matter of fact and require years of appeals to finally get this approved.

I found the VA phone number for compensation and pension and will call tomorrow when I'm off work and have time to discuss with someone. Hopefully they have advocates - people who can help with these types of things.

I have a feeling it's going to be a fight - with my husband as well as the VA but I think we have to do it.

Tricia said...

Wow Lisa - your 2nd comment came while I was typing up mine. THANK YOU for all the help and links. I don't think I'll accomplish much at work today. Doh! :)

Diana "Gkygrl" said...

Hi Tricia:

I am a veteran with MS that is service-connected. I am also rated as unemployable through the VA. The most important thing is the "comp and pension" exam. The doctor found that I had presumptive MS with symptoms that showed up within 7 years of leaving active duty. Find a VSO (Veteran Service Officer) to work on your behalf and gather all of your hospital records. Consider visiting this forum which is excellent (and can answer a ton of your questions):
http://vets.yuku.com/

Diana
http://msplaques.blogspot.com

Jonny's Mommy said...

Wow. That is an interesting theory. What about the American MS Foundation. Maybe they could help? I hope you find some answers. Lisa seems to have a great link up there for you too.