Benefit Letters?


Hey Jim, I’m like a lot of other veterans in the I’m TDIU and have been for 15 years. Michigan is great for TDIU/PTD and property taxes as they consider both tax exempt. I’m trying to move to Florida and they do separate the two. I’ve seen where you have said that you can design or adjust your benefits letter, but I didn’t see that anywhere. I just printed off mine today. Any suggestions?


Jim's Reply:

I'm retired in Florida. My career 'Old Corps' USMC father was a native Floridian so this was always home to me even though we lived many other places. I learned from him that Florida is an outstanding place for military veterans and retirees to live. The benefits are plentiful and the respect shown by most citizens is a nice touch. And yes...I understand that Michigan is also a terrific place for military veterans. Although there's that weather thing...

If you can ignore the hurricanes, alligators, lizards, boas & bugs (and lately the hottest summers on record), Florida is a nice place to live!

Plus...Florida has a well deserved reputation as an interesting place to be. The people here are (ahem) unique. When you have a moment and need to be entertained, do a search for <florida man> or <the villages> and be prepared for most anything.

I've had to download the letters you need and found that this set of instructions and tools worked well for me. I'm not sure where you may have printed a letter from but this tool gives you the options of inserting and deleting certain phrases that can cause problems. For the TDIU vet the phrase that causes problems is anything that references your base rate...the TDIU vet has a service connected disability rating of 60%/70% or greater as a 'base rate' and anytime a tax assessor sees that they question whether you are 100% service connected as required (you are). You are able to use the tool to delete or modify certain verbiage (the base rate) that may hang you up without changing the end result or intent of the document.

The document you want should say that you're rated at 100% service connected but should not reference the base rate.

While I can't offer instructions beyond what you'll find at that link above, I found that it took a couple of tries to get it right. You must be properly registered to use eBenefits and that can be a challenge...documentation protocols to get your account are designed for security and can take a while to get set up.

The VA computer system remains clunky and seriously in need of attention. You'll learn that to get where you need to go in your eBenefits account you'll be redirected from site sign-in to another site sign-in any number of times, not always successfully. Patience and Persistence are your best friends when in eBenefits. Take pen & paper notes as you go...passwords and such. You'll thank me.

I urge veterans to use a desktop or 'real' computer with a reliable and fast Internet connection when navigating VA sites. Trying to access and work within eBenefits from a phone or pad is as frustrating as anything you can imagine and the end result is usually a fail. In fact, you'll often need both a real computer and a smartphone to access eBenefits because VA is doing a secure two-tier identification log-in on most products. You may have to accept a unique text code to get properly logged in every time you access the site.

The VA web sites are particularly sensitive to ad blocking and popup blocking extensions that you may have installed in your web browser. When you're redirected from page to page, you'll need to continually check and turn off any installed extensions that may interfere with how the letter generator functions. This will also include any virus blockers that you may have installed...these types of add ons are notorious for interfering with the functions of many complex web sites.

If you're willing to jump through the hoops required to use your eBenefits account, you'll be able to print the letter you need for the Florida tax folks. If you're coming to the NE region of Florida, let me know when you're here and the coffee is on me. Good luck sir.