Master Chief Petty Officer
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Vync last won the day on November 5 2016

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About Vync

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    E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday October 15

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    Ft.Living Room, AL

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. I know what you mean. Our VAMC does not have a chiropractor, so I am considering using the choice program to pay for the one I use outside of the VA. Do you think your VAMC will cover this for you via the choice program? Congratulations to you and your wife! We just had a little boy back last November, but he was 2 months early and doing great.
  2. I hope they are able to somehow get you approved there. I wish you the best of luck. My VAMC (Birmingham AL) recently expanded into a second building which is about six city blocks away. They run shuttle buses, but It stinks when they schedule appointments on the same day at both locations.
  3. Going from 90% to 100% is pretty tough, but possible. You should be able to continue submitting new/secondary/increase claims until you are officially 100%. If you think about it, a lot of military-related disabilities do not improve short of having surgery. Even when you reach 100%, it is possible to continue filing, especially in the case of SMC. 100% scheduler This is when your combined rating finally totals up to 100%. You can work if you want/able. May also get additional state benefits. 100% P&T Same as 100% scheduler, but the P&T doesn't really mean Permanent and Total. It's more like a nickname they use when your condition is not expected to improve, or you have held a 100% rating for a long time, , or your deemed in pretty bad shape. You get an ID card, but also CHAMPVA and Ch. 35 education benefits for dependents. You may also get additional benefits from your state. 100% IU This is when you typically have a rating less than 100%. Your service-connected disabilities prevent you from being able to work. If approved, you get bumped up to 100%. You have to submit an income form annually to remain eligible. If you qualify for this, then you should consider also filing SSDI if you are not already approved for that. I think you get an ID card and possibly state benefits, but no CHAMPVA or Ch. 35 educational benefits for dependents. 100% TDIU Same benefits as 100% P&T plus 100% IU. I think you might have to submit an income form annually, but only for a while. Would have to look it up.
  4. There are a few possibilities. ยง4.20 Analogous ratings http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38: This allows the VA to steer toward rating criteria closely related to the claimed condition. For example, if a vet filed for "eye problems", and then it was medically determined that he had "glaucoma", then they would use rating criteria for glaucoma and change the claimed condition to match. In some cases, the C&P examiner may have been requested to diagnose any additional conditions and determine if they are related to service. I'm short on time right now, but here is a link to the regulations governing adjudication: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=c2fa387c2fcd344d668f8882c4d6ca0c&mc=true&node=pt38.1.3&rgn=div5 And another useful link on VA precedent opinions: https://www.va.gov/ogc/precedentopinions.asp
  5. Don't miss your C&P appointment. Don't be late. Get there early. Only provide copies the medical records, not originals. Some examiners will happily accept documents you provide them, but others may refuse. Sometimes multiple exams may be needed, even for a single claim, but scheduled at different times or dates. I had an exam one day, but came back the following week to have imaging done. Research further on Hadit about C&P exams, especially ones relating to your claim. There are topics/posts about what to expect, what to do or not do, and other Veterans' experiences. Look up the DBQ relating to your claim. The exam should be similar to the DBQ. Some exams may take only five minutes while others may take an hour or more. If your exam is for a condition with a rating based on limited range of motion: - The examiner should use a "goinometer" to measure, not try to eyeball it - Let them know when the pain starts and when the pain gets worse during the movements Good luck
  6. What Gastone described is pretty typical nowadays. Some veterans may become SC and never never be re-evaluated again. When you become SC or win an increase, check your letter carefully. In some cases, it will state that you will be re-examined in the future because your condition is expected to improve. This tends to be the case for temporary 100% claims. For example, if you had surgery for your SC condition then they would wait a few months or a year and then schedule a re-examination to see if it got better. In some cases, your or a VA physician may state that the condition may not, will not, or is expected not to improve, which would help the VA consider the disability as static. If you lost a limb, that would be considered static, but every now and then you may hear about the wierd cases where the VA wants to re-eval an amputated limb, like they expect it to somehow have gotten better...
  7. 1. The VA uses professional and social limitations found during the C&P exam (or from the DBQ) as the rating criteria, not GAF scores. Here is the rating criteria: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38: That table will read like stereo instructions. There are a bunch of and's, or's and semicolons. The service-related conditions in each section dictate the percentage. For example, if you are on SSDI and unemployable due to a car accident after you left the military then they would not count that. However, the symptoms related to your MDD/chronic pain would be factored into your 30% rating. 2. I'm not a bilateral expert, but here is a link to the bilateral factor rules: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38: It sounds like you may be on to something. Hopefully someone with more knowledge of bilateral factor in how it applies to shoulders will help.I assume your question is regarding this for considering the possibility of an IU rating: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38: The VA often gives low-balled initial ratings. Any time you get a rating % from the VA, I alward recommend comparing the rating given in the letter against your medical treatment records, C&P results, DBQ results (if any), and the award letter, and then make sure they provided the correct percentage as indicated rating criteria for each specific disability (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div5;node=38: Additionally, many veterans often overlook or do not know that the side effects of medication that is used to treat your SC conditions. You can file claims on those too. Some good examples are NSAIDs (ibuprofen, motrin, etc...) or pain meds (i.e. codeine, lortab, norco) jacking up your digestive tract (i.e. GERD, constipation) or depression meds causing your hydraulics to fail (i.e. ED) when you really need them to work. Please note that winning an ED claim will result in an SMC-K award (about $100/mo), but it is not be counted toward your total rating. Better than nothing. I hope this information helps you out.
  8. I don't know if the former prez had any direct involvement in this one. Who knows, but I can imagine it being a case of clothing allowance claims having a higher approval rate than regular claims. Can't have high approval rates for anything, so they had to adopt a policy increasing their initial denial rate.
  9. Mine is still stuck on appeal from November 2016. When the VA clothing allowance policies were updated a couple of years back, it became evident that common sense is not so common. Moving a bunch of braces into the deny initially category because they "tend" to not wear out clothing is a poor way to go about it. No idea about the creams though... I don't use them to treat an SC condition, but it does sound worth pursuing.
  10. SC at 0% is still a good thing. If those conditions ever meet criteria for 10% or higher, you can file for an increase.
  11. I tried to keep the questions related to the original topic, as I had a feeling they might be asked at some point. Also, I was curious about them myself. Thanks Berta!
  12. Thanks Berta. Two more quick questions: 1. If the appellate period has expired, is the only option a normal CUE? 2. If the decision was appealed, does it make any difference?
  13. Berta, Is there any difference between "asking the VA to CUE themselves" vs. filing a CUE claim? Are they one in the same?
  14. Congratulations!!!
  15. Thanks Andyman, My father also retired from 25 years in the Army right after I graduated high school and I was in the Army not too long after that. I still keep up with a few people I went to HS with. Any chance you might have some good friends who knew you then, later, and now?