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Letters of Investigation for VA benefits

Old 06-22-2023, 05:16 PM
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Default Letters of Investigation for VA benefits

I two friends who received Letters of Investigation from the FAA this week due to them receiving VA disability. Both have been pulled from flying and are having to submit personal and VA medical records. AOPA published an article on this last November or so and said the FAA is working this “special project” in conjunction with the VA. AOPA indicated some pilots are getting “Letters of Correction” which allows the person to “correct” their medical application and then provide relevant records and some, like my friends, are receiving letters of investigation that suspend/revoke their medical and certificates until they prove they are capable of meeting FAA medical standards. I think the difference is whether the receipt of disability was reported on the medical application as to how it’s being handled.
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Old 06-22-2023, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Drifter123
I two friends who received Letters of Investigation from the FAA this week due to them receiving VA disability. Both have been pulled from flying and are having to submit personal and VA medical records. AOPA published an article on this last November or so and said the FAA is working this “special project” in conjunction with the VA. AOPA indicated some pilots are getting “Letters of Correction” which allows the person to “correct” their medical application and then provide relevant records and some, like my friends, are receiving letters of investigation that suspend/revoke their medical and certificates until they prove they are capable of meeting FAA medical standards. I think the difference is whether the receipt of disability was reported on the medical application as to how it’s being handled.
Yep. They have been known to hammer people for failure to report even if the VA disability itself is not remotely disqualifying. They don’t like being deceived.

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Old 06-22-2023, 08:01 PM
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Here we go again

If you still have buds on AD, reach back to them and make sure they understand that FAA medical reporting is not like mil medical reporting. What the FAA doesn't know may not hurt them, but it will land YOUR arse in prison.
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Old 06-23-2023, 11:53 AM
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Default Another today

Originally Posted by rickair7777
Here we go again

If you still have buds on AD, reach back to them and make sure they understand that FAA medical reporting is not like mil medical reporting. What the FAA doesn't know may not hurt them, but it will land YOUR arse in prison.
Another at my workplace received a letter of investigation from FAA today. He isn’t even at the stage of receiving claim approval/VA disability yet but did file a couple months ago. His letter of investigation has asked for all VA and primary care records for specific conditions, all information sought is exactly for conditions he filed with VA. Since he just filed this past year, I’m unsure how FAA is aware, especially since he’s not had to check the block yet on FAA medical if he is receiving VA benefits, unless VA is actively sharing info with FAA? Hopefully won’t be too big of a deal for him, or others, I guess will depend on conditions claimed and whether or not they are disqualifying, such as PTSD.
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Old 06-23-2023, 12:12 PM
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always wondered when this would happen. Met a pilot who proudly told me his "hearing loss" from mortars allowed him to collect disability. Even has a handicapped license plate. I asked him "how does the FAA process that".

"oh, the FAA is a separate animal. They don't need to know"

uhhh

https://www.faa.gov/ame_guide/app_pr...story/item18/y
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Old 06-23-2023, 12:50 PM
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Yikes, what a nightmare for a lot of former enlisted and officers now flying for a living.
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Old 06-23-2023, 05:31 PM
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DoD/VA….we understand we ****ed you up with what we asked you to do. We can’t make it right, but we can provide some fanatical compensation as a sign or thanks.

FAA…wow, you really sacrificed servicing our country. Thank you for your service and sorry you have scar tissue. Unfortunately, you’re too ****ed up so we have to pass on your medical. Thanks, though, you’re a hero and I have a yellow ribbon magnet in my car in your home.

the FAA is a bunch of Btt Fckrs
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Old 06-23-2023, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JBird
DoD/VA….we understand we ****ed you up with what we asked you to do. We can’t make it right, but we can provide some fanatical compensation as a sign or thanks.

FAA…wow, you really sacrificed servicing our country. Thank you for your service and sorry you have scar tissue. Unfortunately, you’re too ****ed up so we have to pass on your medical. Thanks, though, you’re a hero and I have a yellow ribbon magnet in my car in your home.

the FAA is a bunch of Btt Fckrs
Actually they are quite lenient towards the vast majority of VA "disability" ratings. What they don't like is when you lie to them.

I know PTSD, TBI, and Sleep Apnea are all the rage with the VA but things like that will have serious certification consequences with the FAA, and they should.
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Old 06-23-2023, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Drifter123
Another at my workplace received a letter of investigation from FAA today. He isn’t even at the stage of receiving claim approval/VA disability yet but did file a couple months ago. His letter of investigation has asked for all VA and primary care records for specific conditions, all information sought is exactly for conditions he filed with VA. Since he just filed this past year, I’m unsure how FAA is aware, especially since he’s not had to check the block yet on FAA medical if he is receiving VA benefits, unless VA is actively sharing info with FAA? Hopefully won’t be too big of a deal for him, or others, I guess will depend on conditions claimed and whether or not they are disqualifying, such as PTSD.

That's interesting. The last roundup a few years ago was probably done by searching VA financial records... your health care info may be legally protected from extra-judicial fishing expeditions but your financial data is not. They matched VA disability $ recipients with pilots who didn't check that box on their FAA form. Once they have probable cause they can go to town on your medical records.

Not sure how they flagged a guy who wasn't getting paid yet. Unless there's been some legal change to allow that. I've been saying for years it's coming... got to choose between some of your VA beer money or your airline gig.
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Old 06-23-2023, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JBird
DoD/VA….we understand we ****ed you up with what we asked you to do. We can’t make it right, but we can provide some fanatical compensation as a sign or thanks.

FAA…wow, you really sacrificed servicing our country. Thank you for your service and sorry you have scar tissue. Unfortunately, you’re too ****ed up so we have to pass on your medical. Thanks, though, you’re a hero and I have a yellow ribbon magnet in my car in your home.

the FAA is a bunch of Btt Fckrs
Hardly.

If you're happy to collect benefits for a disability, then you do owe the FAA an explanation and documentation as to how you can have that disability and yet still qualify for an FAA medical.

It has nothing to do with gratitude or service. One is not entitled to a medical certificate; like a pilot certificate, it is a privilege. Not a right. It is based on meeting minimum standards. Either you meet them, or you do not. You don't get to substitute paid government service for medical qualification. You must be medically qualified.

If you accept money for disability, you may be medically qualified, or you may not. The fact that you're taking money for a disability does merit explanation of that disability on the FAA medical, and in fact, you have a legal obligation to provide it. End of story.

If you do have a disability that precludes holding a medical certificate (or obtaining a waiver to do so), then prior paid military service does not change the fact. Again, either you're qualified to hold the medical certificate, or you're not. If you're collecting paid benefits and claiming a disability, and you can meet FAA medical standards, then no problem. Disclose your condition, provide the documentation, and move forward. If you are not able to meet FAA medical standards, denial of a medical certificate has nothing whatsoever to do with gratitude. You're not above the regulation. You're not exempt from it. You're not any different than anyone else that applies for that medical certificate. You meet the standard, or you do not. If you do not, you can seek a waiver. If you cannot obtain a waiver and cannot meet the medical standards then you cannot hold a medical certificate.

Don't try to pretend it's anything different.

Having covered that; for those receiving a letter of investigation, it's important to understand that this is a legal document and should be treated accordingly. The purpose of a LOI is not to seek information in order to aid or assist an airman. Any response provided serves one purpose: to serve against the airman. One should not respond to an LOI, regardless of whether it involves a regulatory infraction in operations, or a medical certificate question, without consulting an attorney. That bears repeating: consult an attorney. Do that. Before you respond in any way. Additionally, seek the support of a medical service which provides counseling and support for airmen, in matters dealing with the FAA.This cannot be stressed enough, particularly given that every action taken becomes a part of your permanent, lifetime record.

Do NOT provide a response to an inquiry or letter of investigation until you have contacted an attorney.

If you are not familiar with administrative law and your "rights" with the FAA, you need to understand that you are NOT innocent until proven guilty, anything you say can and absolutely will be held against you, and much of the time, what serves as primary evidence is what the airman has provided to the FAA. This is true of responding to a request about action or a simple enquiry (the moment you respond "I wasn't flying that low," what you've really done is made a legal statement that you were the pilot of the flight...something that the FAA might have been unable to establish until you kindly provided that legal statement to use against you).

Respond under the guidance of legal counsel. Don't respond without it.

Last edited by JohnBurke; 06-23-2023 at 10:20 PM.
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