Disabled Marine Veteran Seeking Grant Money For Vehicle And Housing
(Clinton Township, MI, USA)
I am a 24-year-old disabled Marine Corp veteran. I voluntarily joined the military back in 2005 and had dreams of making the military my life; however, a couple short years into my enlistment I got hurt and was medically separated.
I filed my claim for disability, which included severe problems with both feet and daily pain in both knees and back. The VA granted me a rating of 30% for the problems with my feet, but denied the claim for my back and knees.
I immediately appealed their decision as they where basically saying that my disability and time in the service was worth a whole $348 a month.
Almost two years later with the assistance of a local law firm, the VA granted an increase from 30% to 50% for my foot conditions. However they continued to deny any compensation for knee and back pain.
I filed another appeal for my back and knee pain and the VA scheduled me for a C&P exam, which resulted in the VA doctor diagnosing me with intervertebral disk syndrome and a leg limitation in both legs.
This appeal has been active for almost a year and a half, with no decision being made by the decision review officer.
I now face a very good chance that my case could be sent to Washington DC and that I'll have to wait several more years for a decision to be made.
This is despite the fact that the Regional office where I'm located has all the medical evidence they clearly need to make a decision.
Since my time out of the service I was able to land a job; however, after a couple of years of constant pain and a declining economy, I was laid off and have been since April 2009.
In an attempt to move forward with my life as much as possible, I applied and was accepted into the Vocational Rehabilitation program through the VA and have been attending school since.
Unfortunately even though I cannot complain about the fact that I am able to attend school, I live alone in an apartment complex that to be honest from my own personal experience is not the best place for anyone one with a disability to live, as I have to climb up and down stairs on a daily basis.
My current means of transportation is a 1985 manual pick up which is very unsafe and difficult to drive as I am required to use both feet at all times, which is one of my current disabilities.
I attempted to receive help from the State of Michigan Trust Fund to at least help make this vehicle safe to drive; however, they denied any assistance claiming that the issues with my vehicle are not considered an unforeseeable circumstance.
Since their denial I have had multiple circumstances that have not only jeopardized my safety but others as well.
I also currently face the reality of not having a place to live. I'm currently on disability and unemployment, which I'm going to run out of very soon.
So, it has come down to the point where I must decide to pay bills or put food on the table.
I understand that I am not the only one that is going through hard times, and for that matter there are probably worse situations than mine, however I decided to join the military and serve my country, only to be left disabled, in constant pain, at an extreme hardship financially and with no help from the VA other than the schooling I currently receive.
I would sincerely appreciate a grant that could not only help me financially while I attend school, but also provide myself with safe means of transportation.
A grant that could assist me in finding a better place for someone disabled to live would also be very helpful. I know that may seem like a lot to ask for but at this point I would appreciate any help! Thank You!