Ramp money

Status
Not open for further replies.

MJALSWarrior

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
28
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
12/2017
Country
US
State
SC
City
Charleston
I just learned that you do not have to use the $6800 grant money to build a ramp. All I had to do was have my ALS Clinic nurse put in a consult with Prosthetics and they will take care of it. The $6800 is for door widening, kitchen mods etc.
 

Romeosc

Distinguished member
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
129
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2017
Country
US
State
TN
City
Memphis
I paid for Bath remodel, ramp and incline lift.

What grant??????
 

Atsugi

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
5,189
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
12/2010
Country
US
State
FL
City
Orlando
Romeo, the Veterans Administration has two grants available for veterans who have ALS, if their ALS is determined to be Service Connected.
 

wishmobbing

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
729
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2017
Country
DE
State
Germany
City
Stuttgart
...if their ALS is determined to be Service Connected.
Just a quick hijack out of curiosity: How do they determine service connection? No symptoms before joining or much stricter criteria?
 

GregK

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
2,775
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2012
Country
US
State
CO
City
Colorado Springs
If you meet the minimum Active Duty time requirement, ALS is *assumed* to be service related. One of the very few treated as such.
 

Lscott71

Active member
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
57
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
05/2017
Country
US
State
Texas
City
Fort Worth
Wish-I think it’s a minimum of 90 days active duty.
 

Atsugi

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
5,189
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
12/2010
Country
US
State
FL
City
Orlando
"Presumed" is a better word, in my opinion, because officially, the VA uses the word "presumptive" when they evaluate ALS claims.

For anyone who wants to know about the military connection to ALS and the federal veteran benefits you are eligible for:

A few years after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, during which we kicked Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait, an extraordinary number of veterans began to be diagnosed with ALS, so the government did a study to figure it out. Shortly thereafter, they stopped the study and simply declared that anyone who got ALS who had served anywhere in the world in any military service would be granted VA benefits. They said a diagnosis of ALS would automatically be presumed to be connected to your military service (unless there was proof to the contrary.)

You see, normally if you become disabled by any medical condition, the VA would treat and compensate you ONLY IF you could PROVE that your military service caused or exacerbated the disabling condition. You would submit a claim to the VA, showing proof that A) you had a disabling condition, B) you were serving in the military at the time and place where you got the condition, and C) a "nexus," meaning a connection between the two. In short, for conditions other than ALS, you had to prove that your service "more likely than not" caused your disability.

HOWEVER, ALS is different.

After doing a study of ALS claims, the government decided that no proof was needed. If you had served just 90 days of active duty, and sometime later in your life you became diagnosed with ALS, the VA would automatically presume that your ALS was connected to your service. {ALS is a "presumptive" condition.) They would then compensate you for your diminished enjoyment of life and inability to work in your usual trade. Also, the VA would treat you or pay for treatment. There are also benefits granted to the surviving family, such as payments for a college education.

Currently, a veteran who gets diagnosed with "probable ALS" is automatically granted Service Connection, is awarded "Permanently and Totally (P&T) disabled" status, and is rated as 100 percent disabled. You don't have to prove the service did it to you. You just have to be a veteran, have ALS, and apply.

In the case of ALS, you must have served on Active Duty (for duty other than training) for 90 consecutive days. A letter of diagnosis from a doctor saying you have been diagnosed with "probable ALS" or "definitive ALS" is required. That is all you need to start the ball rolling.

The VA will schedule you for a face-to-face interview with a "Compensation and Pension" evaluater, who will ensure you meet the requirements for the award.

The process is expedited, and so it might take weeks or months to be approved, instead of the usual many months to years that most claims take to be approved.

The monthly cash compensation is significant, and it increases as your ALS progresses. For instance, when you lose use of both legs and an arm, they will add SMC-Special Monthly Compensation. When you become bed-bound, your SMC goes up again. Also, the VA pays for a $10,000 life insurance policy for you. They will give you equipment, such as a power wheel chair and a eye-gaze controlled computer that can be hooked up to control some appliances in your home. They will grant you a significant amount to buy a disabled-modified vehicle. They will give you two grants for your home: one is several thousand dollars to pay for modifications such as a roll-in shower; the other is a major grant of tens of thousands of dollars that you can use to build, buy, or modify a home. Finally, your spouse and children can be paid while attending college--it's about a thousand per academic month.

Of course, there's more. Right now, understand that the VA is divided into three different kingdoms: VBA, VHA, and NCA. The VBA has a big regional office in your state that handles most of the money-type benefits--compensation and education, for instance. Then there is the VHA , which handles the "health" stuff. They have an office at your local VA hospital. The third kingdom, called the National Cemetery Administration, handles funerals, tombstones and burials, of course. There are nat'l cemeteries all over the USA.

The VHA side takes care of palliative healthcare and hospice care either provided by or paid by your local VA hospital. That VA hospital will issue things when you need them: cane, walker, foot orthotics (AFO), wheelchair, shower chair, toilet chair, power wheelchair, electric patient lift, hospital bed, cough assist machine, etc.

The local VA hospital will also give you permanent and portable ramps, or even send a contractor out to build a ramp for you.

The grants have one condition which could be a "catch" for fast-progressing PALS. The grant is only to be provided if the veteran is likely to benefit from it. So if you are facing months of waiting time while your house is being built/modified, and you are not expected to live long enough to benefit from it, the local VA could theoretically deny the grant. Although I've never heard of that actually happening.

For the vehicle grant, there are plenty of disabled van retailers who specialize in selling vans modified for your type of wheelchair. They know how to do the paperwork and they know who to submit it to. The right salesperson can take care of all of this, ensuring you get the best deal, putting out little or no money, and providing a brand new van to you every two years.

VETERANS with ALS are encouraged to 1) download and read the 10-page PDF document at the top of this "Military" subforum called "Guide to Veterans Benefits" and 2) get a "service officer" to help guide you through the process. I highly recommend getting the PVA--the Paralyzed Veterans of America--to represent you and help you out, because they specialize in the needs of paralyzed vets.
 
Last edited:

wishmobbing

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
729
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2017
Country
DE
State
Germany
City
Stuttgart
Holy smokes! That was more than a quick fix for my curiosity. Thank you!
This sounds like the biggest break you could get while having to deal with a miserable diagnosis like ALS. They probably figuered out what it would cost them at the most, ALS still being rare with the higher chances of getting it after Iraq, threw in a good spoonful of decency and decided it wasn't worth the hassle and bad press to fight any single case.
How does it work for families with occurences of fALS? Sounds like the best idea to enroll quickly if you have a 50% chance to have ALS later in life.
 

Nikki J

Moderator
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
8,792
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
04/2014
Country
US
State
MA
City
Boston
Wish there are PALS who have received benefits even after being documented gene positive. They entered service in good faith as ALS risk was not recognized at the time.

Regarding choosing a miliary career for this reason? Aside from it being a huge decision it might be exactly the wrong thng for FALS. We don’t know what makes ALS start in anyone Why does FALS start at any given age? Why is it different among members of the same family? Some genes are not fully penetrant ( including c9) meaning some peoople carry the gene and never get ill. Whatever increases risk in vets might bring on earlier FALS onset or even bring it to someone who would have otherwise escaped and the rules may change

VERY sorry for hijack
 

Atsugi

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
5,189
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
12/2010
Country
US
State
FL
City
Orlando
Wish said: "They probably figuered out what it would cost them at the most, ALS still being rare with the higher chances of getting it after Iraq, threw in a good spoonful of decency and decided it wasn't worth the hassle and bad press to fight any single case. "

I'm pretty sure it's much simpler than that. The VA does not have to make a profit.

I used to work at the VA.

One very simple and somewhat common example: A vet needed to see a doc, but he was mentally/emotionally incapable of going to the appointment. On the phone, he told me doesn't get out of bed--ever. For years. It was just really scary for him to leave his "safe place." So we had a team go to his house, and take whatever time was needed to transport him to his doctor. We probably spent a thousand bucks just getting that guy to his appointment.

Don't leave anyone behind.

Are vets spoiled? Nearly every kid graduates school with an eye toward a good job, a good spouse, some party time, a good house, and a good life. A few people do something different. A veteran is someone who, at some point in their life, handed a blank check to the American people, good for any amount, "up to and including my life."

I wish everyone could get the care that vets get. But that's a political discussion.
 

preacherman

Distinguished member
Joined
Jan 24, 2016
Messages
102
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
04/2016
Country
US
State
IA
City
Thornburg
Holy smokes! That was more than a quick fix for my curiosity. Thank you!
This sounds like the biggest break you could get while having to deal with a miserable diagnosis like ALS. They probably figuered out what it would cost them at the most, ALS still being rare with the higher chances of getting it after Iraq, threw in a good spoonful of decency and decided it wasn't worth the hassle and bad press to fight any single case.
How does it work for families with occurences of fALS? Sounds like the best idea to enroll quickly if you have a 50% chance to have ALS later in life.
It is my understanding that the ALS has to be sporadic to qualify for the VA ratings.
If there is a familial tie, it does not qualify as presumptive.....
 

wishmobbing

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
729
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
07/2017
Country
DE
State
Germany
City
Stuttgart
Nikki, I sincerely hope nobody joins up planning to get ALS. It's more than a commitment.
It's all very interesting and strange to me how other systems work. Thank you all for humoring me explaining so much! Hopefully some people who didn't ask will read it, too.
Mike, the VA sounds like one of the finest American organisations. On our trip down the West coast we couchsurfed with a beautiful person, a Vietnam vet and retired plumber with two bad knees. He spoke highly of his health care because he was a veteran.
 

Atsugi

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
5,189
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
12/2010
Country
US
State
FL
City
Orlando
To my knowledge, it would be highly unusual for someone to know they had FALS at the time it is diagnosed.

Here's a question for an expert: Can a neuro tell if it is SALS or FALS? Seems to me that a special test is needed, and we don't normally get that test.

Another scenario: Let's say grandpa died of ALS, and then later, his grandson gets ALS. Does that definitively prove that the boy's ALS is FALS?
 

Nikki J

Moderator
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
8,792
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
04/2014
Country
US
State
MA
City
Boston
You certainly can’t identify FALS by an exam. If there is a positive gene test it is termed genetic ALS though FALS is often used. I think FALS is defined as possible in the scenario you mentioned Mike. More first and second degree relatives increase it to probable.

I know people receive VA benefits and have positive genetic tests. I will not name them here.

I have read the VA rule and it says ALS...caused OR AGGRAVATED ( emphasis mine) by service. I think you can not disprove that a vet with a mutation did not, due to their service, get ALS earlier or more aggressively than they might otherwise. If the gene is not fully penetrant , as I said earlier, military service MIGHT precipitate ALS in a carrier who would not otherwise have developed it in their lifetime.

There is discussion in the VA guidelines of genetic testing including genetic testing of asymptomatic carriers only if they are SOD1 family. This seems odd as the guidelines acknowledge other mutations.

Also, current belief is that ALL ALS has some genetic basis. People with SALS have some degree of susceptibility that only manifests as ALS when exposed to the wrong series of triggers. Researchers speak of a continuum SALS would be one end highly penetrant forms of FALS the other. Less penetrant FALS in between as it is believed to require a series of triggers in some cases
 
Last edited:

GregK

Moderator emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
2,775
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2012
Country
US
State
CO
City
Colorado Springs
It is my understanding that the ALS has to be sporadic to qualify ...
They never asked me.
And that's the first time I've seen it mentioned.

I don't believe it's the case.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top