October 4, 2012

Income Increase and Achilles Update

The cast is OFF! YAY! Except I can't put full weight on my leg yet.  The surgeon was all gung-ho about me walking in a walking boot and not using my walker/crutches.  I went to take a step and OUCH!!!!! Uh, no.  Still need the crutches to support me walking.  I am trying each day to put weight on it, but it's pretty frustrating.
I know it's going to take time, but to go one day walking (even with the chronic pain), to no weight at all for close to 6 weeks and then to 'walking' again and not being able to stinks.
Plus, my calf muscle has atrophied so much that I can't tell you how long it's been since I saw my leg that skinny! lol.  It also means I have no strength.
Time will tell how I do.

On a happier note, J finally got his VA Benefits all squared away!
In May 2010 we filed for his benefits for disability (which he should have done when he got out of the Navy in 1997...c'est la vie). In June 2011 they said, yes, you have Tinnitus and we'll give you a 10% disability rating (which is $127/month as of right now), but since you didn't 'show up' for your appt at the VA hospital for your shoulder claim, it's DENIED.
Well, we never received an appointment for his shoulder.  We sent the appeal back (which you have to do within a year or you have to start over) and told them that J would be in Afghanistan but would be back in Oct - Nov 2011 and to please reschedule the appointment.
Literally a week after J went back to Afghanistan they sent the appointment date. *le sigh*
So, me being his Power of Attorney, I called to cancel the appointment with the VA Hospital, who told me "when he gets back, just have the local office reschedule".
Sounds easy right? WRONG.
A couple of months later we got another letter stating it was DENIED because he didn't show up again. *LE SIGH*
Another appeal letter stating what had happened and that we 'respectfully requested another appointment when he returned after May 2012".
They FINALLY got it right.
He had his appointment in August, and the doctor agreed that J's shoulder was not right since his injury and surgery by the Navy in 1996.

We got the news yesterday that his disability rating has increased from 10% - 30% which means that he also gets a dependant rating for me (yay for being married! lol).
So instead of $127/month it will now be $435/month.  We also have a pending deposit for the backpay all the way back to May 2010 (minus any pay he's already received) of $8,444.

J and I need to have a 'chat' tonight on what to allocate the funds to.
Since we have debt again, we need to discuss where it will go.
We have already decided a few things.  J will get some 'fun money' since technically it is 'his' money (although I did all the work for it :P), we will finish out our 'vacation/cruise' money for January, and we will put some into the 4% certificate that we opened a couple of weeks ago.
We will also send some to my parents who loaned us some money when we first got married to help out.  There's never been a written "you must pay us back or else" but today, my mom assumed that we are 'in a position to pay them back' now.....and we're not really, but they don't know that.

But that's another story for another time.


ND Chic said...

That's awesome. My husband used his GI bill after he got out of the army and it took us over 6 months to get it without having a major hold up. They take so long to get anybody money.

~Carla~ said...

Awesome! I'm so happy for you guys! Looks like you have a great plan of what to use the $$ for! :)

Louise said...

glad you're on the mend and that the money seems to sorting out at last.