Matthew Hill: Hello and welcome to the Hill and Ponton VA video blog. I’m Matthew Hill with Carol Ponton. Today, we’d like to talk to you about a new form or a new law, as people have seen it, with individual unemployability. It’s caused quite a stir. But in reality, it’s not that big a deal, thankfully for veterans.
Carol Ponton: If you were awarded unemployability or IU in the past, you’ve always had to complete a form every year that details how much you worked or whether you worked or not. And if you didn’t do that, the VA would take away your unemployability. So, every year, veterans are prepared to get that form and fill it out.
Carol Ponton: A new law has come into effect saying you don’t have to do that anymore. What the VA is going to do is they’re going to look at your social security records and if earnings show up there, that’s when they’re going to get with you and have you explain that. So, please don’t get upset that you don’t get this form or be worried that you’re going to be cut off, okay?
Matthew Hill: Right. And unfortunately, it’s like the telephone game when it goes around. Veterans hear from someone else who heard from someone else that, oh, the unemployability laws have changed and it’s very frightening. This is not a substantive change. It’s just how they record. Actually, it’s easier for you, now, instead having to fill out the same form every year, talking about what you did work-wise last year. You don’t have to do that anymore. They are going to do that electronically by checking your social security benefits.
Carol Ponton: However, if you are working and you’re making over $12,000 a year, please note that you may not be eligible for unemployability. So, just because you don’t have to report it, don’t think that it won’t affect you. You don’t want that to happen. And then the VA comes back when they finally get your social security record, which could be three years from now, and say, “You owe me all that money.” So, it doesn’t change the law as to whether or not you could work and what work is. It just means you don’t have to fill this form out anymore.
Carol Ponton: If you are working, you need to notify the VA right away. And even if they keep paying you, you need to know you’re going to have to pay that money back. Be honest about what’s going on. But I had all of my clients, they’ve called me one after the other, saying, “I haven’t gotten that form. I’ve heard something about forms. What is it I’m supposed to do?” So, we just wanted everybody to know you don’t have to fill the form out anymore. And that’s a good thing.
Matthew Hill: One last thing to do for the VA.
Carol Ponton: Yeah.
Matthew Hill: Well, thank you for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you on the space again soon. Thanks.