Senior Chief Petty Officer
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MarkInTexas last won the day on February 26

MarkInTexas had the most liked content!

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About MarkInTexas

  • Rank
    E-7 Chief Petty Officer

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  • Location
    East Texas
  • Interests
    Genealogy; History; Family, Country Living

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force
  • Hobby

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  1. Thanks, Spotz! I haven't heard of him, but I'll definitely send off an inquiry. You're right about the MIA VSO. I'm just amazed that after all of this time, that they want to pick up the ball. I did do as instructed though, and filed a request for a DRO Hearing. Reckon it can't hurt, and will buy me some time on this attorney process. The VSO's theory in this is that the VA rater is simply not reading the file. He said it happens, and the larger the file, the less they want to research, so he figures a face to face will help, and at least give it one more chance at the VARO level before heading to the BVA. Thanks again, I'll check out Doug Rosinski! Mark
  2. Thanks again, Berta and Broncovet! I have sent out inquiries to the firms mentioned, and we'll see what responses I get. Meanwhile, I got a call from my American Legion VSO yesterday to let me know he is ready to start prepping my case for the BVA if I want to continue. This is the first time I've been contacted by the AL VSO since I signed up years ago. I am the one that usually contacts them for status updates, and they didn't do anything during my case prep, nor the NOD process. Of course, admittedly I haven't asked them to throughout the process, and wasn't sure if it was their job. Now amazingly, since I started this thread I get the phone call from them. The VSO said he also recommends that I send him a 21-4138 to file with the VARO requesting a DRO hearing because he sees quite a bit of evidence that the VA rater overlooked, and feels that a hearing might solve it. I've done as instructed and shot off a request for a DRO hearing via fax to him and to Janesville this evening. He also mentioned that my x-ray and blood work lab results are missing from my C-File record from my QTC C&P examination from August, 2016, but that's a different topic for a different day I guess. Weird that a the C&P report is there, but nothing from the other testing done the same day at the same location. I'm pretty amazed that I've gone all these years hearing nothing, and within the same week that I ask for guidance on here on what to do next, the VSO comes out and says they are ready to start prepping my case. They still have my POA, and I honestly thought I'd sign on with an attorney and terminate my POA with the VSO when I found one that would take my case. I don't know about this whole DRO hearing thing, but I guess asking for it might at least buy me some time to visit with an attorney. I don't know what kind of time I'm looking at between receiving an SOC and SSOC (which still hasn't arrived in the mail yet), and when it's too late to submit evidence or terminate a VSO POA and hire an attorney. I honestly believe sometimes that God has a sense of humor. Thanks again for all your help and advice. Side note, thanks also for the information about AskNOD. I have followed his posts for a while, and bought his e-book early on when I first started this journey, and as I mentioned before, I could haven't gotten as far as I have thus far without his, and all of you folks' guidance through the years. So now on this new VSO "awakening" element, any thoughts on this new development? Mark
  3. Thanks, ShuMan! I hadn't heard of them before, but I'll definitely check them out. Thanks again! Mark
  4. Thanks for the warning on this firm, Allansc2005. I appreciate it. Mark
  5. Thanks for the input so far, y'all. Yeah, depending on the final rating, the retro would probably be pretty significant, considering that my claims go back to June, 2010 and I'm currently rated at 20% so far. Early on in this process, I read in one of he forum discussion threads when there was a debate over whether an attorney was worth it, due to the firm taking 20% or more for representation. Somebody, can't remember who they were, said something that still haunts me about continuing this on my own. When arguing the potential percentage of attorney costs, somebody said that the other individual could continue on their own and collect all of their retro, but that 100% of 0 is still 0. Reckon a legal eagle is where I need to head to. Thanks again or the input so far! Mark
  6. Thanks, Flores! Same to you! Thanks again for your service. Mark
  7. OK Folks, Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading. After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system. I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records. I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File. (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope. I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating. I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO). I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational. I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.) When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate. I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on. My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it. And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now. So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land? Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march. Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others. Mark
  8. It was mentioned earlier that if the C&P was done by VES (Veterans Evaluation Services), that it won't show up on your MyHealthyVet account. Same holds true for QTC C&P examinations. I think that it's linked to something that happened at a QTC site a while back when a veteran didn't appreciate what his examiner stated and may have returned to the examination clinic to voice his/her thoughts and it went south from there. I don't the exact history. Anyone? Anyway, it's gonna take a FOIA to get you C&P examination results if you were sent to an outside contractor, which is pretty common. Good luck! Mark
  9. Take the time to research. Research your condition(s). Research the C&P doctor for obvious signs of "quackedness". Research your C-File and request an updated copy with all new information. Sometimes they'll give you a gold nugget of some important medical report or lab report from your military service that they "forgot" to provide under previous FOIA requests. Request anything and everything from the NPRC. Often, they'll have key records that the VA doesn't bother to retrieve. If you haven't already, get a good IME/IMO done. This might force them to do a reset and send you back into the land of NOD instead of BVA appeals. Good luck and thanks for your service! Mark
  10. Lotz, Yep, I have had that happen before on a few conditions. NOD'd 'em, regrouped with an IME/IMO and hit them again with an IMO from Dr. Anaise. I had a C&P last month for all of the conditions this time around. (Third C&P done so far.). They included all, but the doctor didn't quiz me much on a couple of them. I'm still waiting, but got my third C-File copy and killed time by going through it. Found "new" old medical records and tests that the VA hadn't provided to me in previous FOIA's. You might kill some time by doing a new FOIA for the C-File, and also a request for NPRC documents. It's like fishing. You never know what you might catch when you drop a hook! Meanwhile, I think a good IME/IMO might force their hand. Others on here have had luck with an IME/IMO pushing the wall over and being granted immediately, but in my own experience, it usually triggers a C&P first. You're smart waiting for the actual denial to arrive first, because the doctor that does an IME/IMO can shoot at what they are discounting. Good luck! Mark
  11. Did the C&P examiner himself/herself actually do the addendum, or was it somebody else at QTC, VES, etc that just typed something in at the bottom of the DBQ? That's been known to happen. Some clerk gets word from the VA that the C&P was not to their liking and they ask for "clarification", which means, "change your story". Only often it's not the actual Doctor that does the addendum. Just wondering. You might still be able to use it. Good luck! Mark
  12. I agree with Broncovet. I'd do an FOIA for the C&P examiner's curriculum vitae, and while you're waiting do an online search for his/her credentials and print/PDF what you can find. You could do your NOD or Form 9 Appeal, depending on what stage you are in, and while you are waiting, get an IME/IMO done as quickly as possible. That should hopefully trigger the VA to look at your case all over again with the new and material evidence. Include your online search information, until you get your FOIA fulfilled. They'll probably schedule your for another C&P. I could be wrong, but the VA can't forward on to the BVA until all other associated claims and FOIA requests are adjudicated or resolved. Also do a FOIA for your C-File. You never know that they missed, or what records that are in there that are not your own. (On my 3rd C-File request, the VA "discovered" and included several CBC, Monospot and other tests that they previously said did not exist and were not present you never know.) Last, document everything. I like to scan everything in PDF to a folder in Dropbox. That way I can access it anywhere in case I need to read or access something. It's also easier than hauling around a crate of letters and medical documents. Good luck! Mark