lotzaspotz

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lotzaspotz last won the day on September 13 2016

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About lotzaspotz

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    E-7 Chief Petty Officer
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  • Branch of Service
    Husband is retired USAF Air Traffic Controller

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    Northwest Louisiana

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  1. I have a question, if anyone here can assist. Have any of you been awarded a compensable rating (at least 20%) for a ventral (abdominal) hernia, even though you were never formally prescribed a belt/truss? The reason I'm asking is the VA is interpreting DC 7339 (ventral hernia) at the 20% disability level as requiring a prescription for a belt. However, the rating criteria doesn't state that a prescribed belt is required - what it does say is that the need for a belt is "indicated." What is the legal definition of "indicated?" Usually, when the VA requires something of this nature, it clearly says so. Also, I found a Board appeal where the veteran was awarded 20%, but clearly stated during a Board hearing that he didn't wear a belt. His appeal for an increase to 40% was denied, but the Board let him keep his 20%. This rating hadn't reached the 20 year mark, either. Thanks for any additional information you may be able to give.
  2. If the goal is to reach a 100% schedular rating from a current 90% rating, you'd actually need another 50% to get you to 95% (not 10%), which would then be rounded up to 100% schedular (not TDIU). Yes, a $10,000 invoice payable up front is a very steep hurdle to clear.
  3. Yes, that was my initial reaction. Sometimes, the veteran needs to ask for it instead of waiting for the VA to make the first move. I don't know if the original poster actually asked for it or not. If not, try it.
  4. Yes, I did so, too. Worked like a charm. The writ was denied as moot, after the writ dislodged the appeal out of the AMC, which was the whole point of filing it.
  5. Newnan has been closed down. http://www.gardberglawfirm.com/2016/06/va-closes-newnan-georgia-evidence-intake-center.shtml
  6. Yeah, the original determination was a denial. I'm not a big believer in DRO reviews, so my experience with them is limited. The denial letter was useless as far as trying to figure out reasons and bases, it just made declarative statements without explaining any reasoning behind them.
  7. Just checking on what the VA stated to me, that being, there will be no SOC issued in response to an NOD already filed until after the requested DRO review has taken place. Is this correct?
  8. Here is a link to veterans compensation rates: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/resources_comp01.asp Dependant compensation information: http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/dependency-and-indemnity-compensation.html#2
  9. Yes, the same thing just happened to my husband. We filed a claim based on secondary disabilities caused by medications for primary service connected disabilities. I swear the VA didn't read that it was secondary, since the initial denial just pointed to the fact that there were no symptoms or treatment reflected in his service medical records. Well, of course there isn't, he hadn't been taking those meds yet. No C& P exam was scheduled, so we sent in an NOD and are waiting for the Statement of the Case for details.
  10. We have claims from 1993 that are still pending after having traveled up and down the RO/BVA/CAVC remand ladder several times -- more than twice-- probably more like four. So twice is not unusual. The problem we run into is when the RO and/or the C&P examiner are unable or unwilling to follow the directives in the remand decision. The RO goes along with an inadequate exam (even after we've challenged it as inadequate), the BVA goes along with it, we appeal again to the CAVC, and they again remand everything back down the ladder. Sometimes, even IMO's won't blast things loose. The more time that passes from the original date of claim, in our case 23 years, the harder it is for examiners to evaluate the condition as it existed at the original date of claim. They use the excuse that they can't adequately opine on the condition as it existed in the past without resorting to mere speculation, while reporting on the condition as it exists at present. That, on top of the fact that their real area of medical expertise may have nothing even remotely having to do with the condition being evaluated, invites a remand.
  11. Just my opinion, but I would suggest that your doctor also explain exactly how the Xanax that you take to treat PTSD causes YOUR sleep apnea, specifically. What is it about that medication that leads to sleep apnea? Add what clinical evidence exists to back him up, like in a journal or something like that, then have him attach his curriculum vital (aka resume). VA raters who review these forms are not healthcare professionals and need things spelled out in plain English.
  12. There have been a number of veterans who have contacted me locally to talk about this process, newly engaged disabled veterans. I find that their motivation levels vary, depending on how serious they are about seeing this process through. I give them a homework list of what they need to gather for me to review. There's a little legwork involved in that, as we all know. I try to tell them where I think we can stress the strengths of a claim and shore up the weaknesses right from the start. The people who are truly invested in their success stick with me through long periods of time and all had claims granted in the end, including a few CUE's (if one wants to talk about the negative aspects of the claims process,that's a great example). I've also had people never contact me again after our initial visit, or go part of the way down the road, but decide later on that even with someone helping them carry the load, they are no longer willing to continue. Believe me, Buck, that if we had someone like you helping us way back when, we would have done exactly what you told us to do immediately. Jump? Sure, no problem. How high and how often? To one of your points, Buck, today, I received the rating denial from the Evidence Intake Center in Wisconsin re. claim we filed for which there was no C&P scheduled (waiting for the details in the SOC). I sent a formal diagnosis of ED from a board certified urologist. It said "erectile dysfunction." The EIC states there is no diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. All the Caluza triangles in the world wouldn't have addressed that issue. Boy, will my husband's urologist be surprised at that, lol. I sent the prescription list plus their side effects, which was left off the Evidence list altogether. We were told my husband completed a form to give POA to a VSO, which never happened. Plus, we were told a December 2015 rating decision was considered, Great, except for one thing -- we didn't receive a rating decision in December 2015. Not too long ago, we received a VCAA notice for a knee claim. News to us because we never filed one. My point is that these things happen, despite being well prepared. We have the tools here to deal with them. The Board and the Court exist for good reason, if a DRO review doesn't work out well for the veteran. We do the best we can at the onset, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I don't think we disagree on that point, and admittedly, I don't have anything more to add, so thank you to everyone for allowing me to give you my point of view.
  13. I would like to add to that list Alex Graham, aka "asknod" and his blog at www.asknod.org, who often (like today) joins hadit's podcast. Today, it's at 1600 Pacific Time, 1800 Central and 1900 Eastern (Mountain Time and what Arizona does with time zones has always confused me, not meaning to ignore anyone there on purposes, lol). If you're new here and have never tuned in, please do so sometime, it gives hadit another dimension to assist you. You can call in with questions, too. Broadcasts are archived if you can't listen live. Hadit offers many research tools in its library besides this Forum to help us.
  14. With all due respect, Buck, I don't look at individual posters here as being positive or negative. I look at the experiences they describe that they have actually had to work through in terms of being positive, negative, or sometimes a mixture of both. We can cherry pick the easier ones, the ones that flowed logically, and never speak of the more challenging ones, when we had done everything according to textbook and got shot down in direct defiance of a regulation or two in 38 CFR. Or, we can realistically describe what really happens out there. I've said many times that the more stubborn of us, the ones who spend years seeking justice more for the principle of the thing than the money (or simply because the VA seriously ticked us off), have learned to develop a strong stomach for tolerating the journey. The longer people stick around here and read our questions and answers, the more likely they will realize that these situations can occasionally get complicated and, in fact, may happen to them. I never found things confusing when I first got here, the good, bad, and even the apparently insurmountable odds everyone discussed. I found it enlightening, encouraging, and, most importantly, enabling. Hadit gave me the tools I needed to structure a defense. It's still doing that. So, what I chose to talk about here was not meant to discourage or confuse newly engaged disabled veterans from taking on what is more than likely going to be a long-term project. It's to say that if they get denied, they shouldn't blame themselves for missing something even if they've done everything right. Having a Plan B ready as I think you said is an excellent strategy and sometimes becomes necessary but, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.