From ALS Bites

I’m a Pensioner Now


VA sealIt is official today. I received a letter to inform me that because my ALS is classified as “presumed service-related” I will receive a disability pension from the Veteran’s Administration (VA). My initial disability rating is 30% (the lowest awarded for ALS), and I am to receive $421 a month effective as of March 8, 2011—nine days ago1.

This amount of money won’t change anything right now. I’m still able to work, and this isn’t quite enough to retire on.

Proposed rule 2900-AN60, which is in the “final rule stage” and expected to go into effect by May of this year, will “[revise] the evaluation criteria for ALS, to provide a 100-percent [disability] evaluation for any veteran with service-connected ALS.” When it does, I will see an immediate increase in my monthly award amount to $2,823 (this is tax-free, “net pay”). Still isn’t close to what I make working, but will be enough to at least consider going half-time.

As I lose functionality, “special compensation rules” will increase this monthly amount considerably.

Additionally, all of my ALS-related healthcare needs will be covered by the VA for the rest of my life.

As Joann said, unless it is true that the four years I served in the peacetime U.S. Navy (1980-1984) actually caused my ALS, I am very lucky to have served. Many, many PALS (Persons with ALS) are financially devasted by this disease. I am very fortunate that this, at least, will not be the case for me.

Recent ALS Bites:
DATE TITLE
05/12/2017 The Eyes Have It
08/04/2016 YFALS National Corntoss Challenge
07/18/2016 Scopolamine Blues
03/06/2016 Dragon Me Down
02/12/2016 Five Years In

   or see the  Complete ALS Bites

1 After my clinical examination at the VA hospital on in May, my disability rating was fixed at 60%, and my monthly payment increased to $1064. Still no news on rule 2900-AN60