asknod Elder
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asknod last won the day on January 11

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About asknod

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    E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday 04/01/1951

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    USAF/ Air America
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    VA Nonattorney practitioner. HCV 100%; PCT 100%; anemia 60%;Cryoglobulinemia/Fibromyalgia 40%, Scars 30%: Tinnitus 10%

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  • Location
    Gig Harbor, Washington
  • Interests
    TR-6 Sports Cars, old guns that go rat-a-tat-tat.

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  1. VACOLS tells where your claim is in it's development or appeals stage. It stands for Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System. CWINRS ( Corporate Waco, Indianapolis, Newark, Roanoke, and Seattle) is the VR&Es pet computer but will often contain a lot of useful info-especially about disability and work capability for TDIU based on national statistics. Information is where you find it. Lots of us are doing the extensive background check and signing up for remote VBMS access to Vets' c-files from home.
  2. Actually, just viewing the c-file will have everything VACOLS and Cwinrs has in it. No need to chase around to all the computers looking for development. If they are as close as "preparation" for anything, it will be at the front of the .pdf. Always remember. VA likes to reduce before you get your five-year substantial coverage. It's harder to reduce you after you get five under your belt. VA likes to show up after 19 years and 5 months on TDIU folks and whack them with a reduction ( such as from 70 to 50% on bent brain syndrome). They'll then give you a raise on another injury/disease to keep you within the TDIU range(over 70% combined) but it restarts the 10 year DIC clock on your spouse.She finds out about this about four months after you die and they refuse to give her the DIC. Been there-done that one. One of my clients got whacked down from 100 to 70 like that in 89 at 4 yrs and ten months. He was getting seizures from eating 16 different brain meds so he quit eating them. VA said if he wasn't eating them then he must have gotten better. He had to fight all the way to the BVA to get it back in 91. They didn't give him two exams and couldn't show that it was going to be a permanent improvement. Some of us feel VA "cheats" at this reduction game. My suggestion is to get a law dog before you go to the BVA on appeal if you can't head it off. If you are using DAV or even have them listed as the POA, you must believe the earth is flat. No insult intended, but they(DAV) have the power to okay anything on your claim without even asking you if it's hunky dory. Could be you'll read about it on eBennies after it happens next month. I'd send in a rescission letter voiding the 21-22 post dated back to last month to be safe.
  3. Something your "POA" (I assume it's a VSO) is overlooking. If VA fails to comply with the remand, you are always free to file that boatload of documents you describe with the BVA. I certainly would if the VA 8 has been issued and it's docketed. You can ask for a waiver of review (filed as a letter with the VLJ) in the first instance at the VARO and ask the Judge to decide it with what you have submitted yourself. The beauty of this is thus. The BVA is more backlogged than any can imagine. They have over 60,000 claims a year coming up for appeal. 79 VLJs can crank out 1.2 appeals a day if they are simple. They have 180 working days to do this each year Do the math 79 X 1.2 +180 = ?). The backlog is metastasizing like cancer there. If you allow the VLJ to remand it, it adds a year minimum to your appeal and usually nothing more than a lousy SSOC to show for it. If you allow BVA to decide it, you'll get a better decision much sooner. Nowadays, VLJs are actually better judges than those we had ten or twenty years ago. Approximately 30 or more read Hadit and asknod regularly and are stand up folks. Several are friends of mine and we talk regularly. They come to the NOVA conferences so we get to meet them and buy them a drink and pick their brains. If your claim holds water, they'll grant- if for no other reason than to "up" their production. Remands are time alligators for everyone concerned-both the BVA and the ROs. Never make this harder than it has to be.
  4. Actually, just viewing the c-file will have everything VACOLS has in it. No need to chase around to all the computers looking for development. If they are as close as "preparation" for anything, it will be at the front of the .pdf.
  5. Call up the VA director at the VARO. Tell me which RO and I'll give you the phone number. That presumes you do not have a VSO rep. If you do, call him/her and ask them to go onto the computer and look up the answer to your question in your c-file.
  6. When I get to a DRO hearing, sometimes I spring a 526b on them to highlight an inferred claim. I can squeeze out an "informal" comment made at a C&P exam into a claim a lot of times. There's a lot of tricks out there we can use. Never live in the same box. Think outside of it. If you are within suspense dates, it isn't a CUE though. It's a mistake. Remember, CUE is a motion to revise a final decision. If it isn't final, it's far easier to change.
  7. Roger that, Buck. Anything you desire monetarily from VA, be it a dependency issue or a claim for increase currently requires a 526EZ to upload it into VBMS. I expect that will change just as it did when they came out with the 21-0958 for NODs. We already have the VA 9 for a substantive appeal but even that was optional up until the inauguration of the VBMS. That pretty much covers the three most important phases of a VA claim so it's a start. Eventually you'll be doing so on line like posting on Facebook.
  8. Negatory, Loyal. Look at it like this. You have everything you need for SMC S but they fail to grant. In the new VBMS world, you have to go through a generated 526EZ claims portal (Janesville), to be read into the system. Face it. If you're going to Hell, you'll have to go through Janesville. You can thank Rep. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House for that. It's his home town. He made VA to put it there. After they discover you're right, they grant SMC but probably effective the day the claim was filed. We're talking a horribly poor computer program. You must then file the 0958 NOD (Janesville, of course) asking for the EED for the system to "see" the NOD. That generates an auto reply saying they got it (eBennies or by USPS). A year or two later, you get in the queue for the OK corral DRO hearing/ Review to sort it all out. This is what is called a "reconsideration" by the VA. But remember, even then it can never be CUE because the seminal test for CUE is always a decision that is final and the suspense date for a substantive appeal has expired. SMC is awarded "at such time as the preponderance of the medical evidence dispositively proves the entitlement". As such, a failure to award it is a brain fart, not a CUE. The failure to grant the proper EED is not a CUE but merely a failure to read the regulation in a liberal nonadversarial fashion and if the evidence is in equipoise, the higher of the two ratings will be awarded. CUE is a road less traveled for good reasons. Why go there when you can use the regs as written to accomplish the same thing using 2017 technology? Don't overthink it. VA law is horribly simpler now and does favor us if you learn how. I just saw a VSO using a 21-4138 form to file a new claim at the Vet Center last week. With a ball point pen. I went in with a client to get their files. The VBMS system cannot read a 4138 even if it's typed. It's not "VBMS-friendly" with little boxes for the letters. As of now, there is no specific form to file for anything- even CUE -without using a 526 EZ.
  9. "2. If the decision was appealed, does it make any difference?" No, if the appeal was denied as well or actually even if it was awarded ,but it still appears to have a legal and detrimental error in it. Actually, if the CUE was appealed and denied, the proper venue is before the BVA if you wish to reopen the CUE on new grounds, Berta. You always present your motion to revise to the party who last adjudicated it. If it was never appealed, you do not file at the BVA but rather the AOJ.
  10. SMC is awarded when proven it is due by the preponderance of the evidence of record. There is no filing date or suspense date. If you were due SMC HB (SMC S) any time after your medrecs prove you were 100% P&T and unable to work, that is the effective date. It can be filed as a CUE but not treated as a CUE, per se, because there can never be a claim for it nor a denial and a year to appeal it. Any time you want to file for SMC S based on HB, they must go back, examine the evidence and pay you from the date it can be determined you were unable to work. Period. Sadly, VA is expected to intuit your entitlement. Unfortunately, unless you're missing all the legs and arms etc. they do not perform this test. That's what your VSO is for. Somebody needs to teach them how to do SMC, Buck.
  11. Tune in tomorrow afternoon for the how and why of DRO hearings. Tips and tricks. Where to find N&ME to present. What works and what doesn't. How come he won and I didn't ? and more
  12. Since every claim is unique- and thus every CUE by extension, will be unique, I have always tried to summarize what is NOT CUE first in order to filter out all the wheat from the chaff. It's far easier to understand what you cannot win nor ever will than to ask "Here's my situation. Do you see a CUE in it?" One of every 10 CUE claims wins. Many ongoing claims are claimed as CUE while the claim is still contested. Vets tend to call any error CUE even if it can be corrected in a NOD or on appeal. The standard rule is the older the CUE (and the higher the value of the error in retro payment), the less chance of a win unless you fight to the CAVC. Most Vet attorneys, for this reason, don't like to accept CUE claims unless they see a glimmer of success and a high-dollar return for the ensuing knife fight in a dark alley with VA over it. Raters and VLJs are not well-versed in CUE law and tend to give it a boilerplate denial. Here's a good primer on what is not CUE to save time asking the same questions over and over concerning this.
  13. Berta, You will note that VLJ is still in the dark about "housebound" being defined as "substantially confined to the home". Howell v. Nicholson contradicts that and is the defining definition of what SMC S was invented to compensate.
  14. Always remember Clemons v. Shinseki. We are not trained in the arts of psychiatry so we cannot self diagnose. We are not expected to be able to decypher the difference between depression and PTSD-or, for that matter, a schizoaffective disorder. Always best to claim MDD and let the brain boys figure it out. They're all rated under the same Diagnostic code anyway.
  15. Actually, Kgosi, with VBMS, your claims file is on line now. You just need a VA attorney or agent with access to the database. He/she would need your VA 21-22a and a POA on file to access it. You can give a partial POA for them to view the c-file without giving them permission to represent you. I'm in the process of getting approval for access to do so. They do a CBI on you and you have to do the security training "school". Then they issue you a email address to use. You have to use an isolated, designated computer for this all by itself. Lots of rules but who cares? Real time access to a c-file is important. What if they didn't get your N&ME you filed last week? You can see the up-to-date record instantly 24 hours a day. They might even have this on eBenefits by 2036.