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    • Buck, I just replied to a new member here and remembered in my reply, that many many years ago I fought a VARO decision but I gave up on pursuing it because I was working on a re opened claim (that became my most important claim with the VA). But if a claimant feels something is wrong with any RO decision they should NEVER give up. Years after my few attempts to get the older decision corrected , I had forgotten about it, but the Regional Counsel was asked to verify the FTCA issues in my past claims -due to my re opened death claim, and he immediately went over my whole C file, saw the letters I had sent to them with legal evidence on the issue I gave up on, and he called a CUE on them. They had to pay me over 40 Thousand in retro.I should have Cued them myself and could have...but I  was battle weary from the other claims I had. If VA made any CUE on those past decision you have, the CUE will be found in their Reasons and Bases sections and in the Evidence list. On CUE we have to narrow our focus solely to what was in VA's possession at time of alledged CUE, and if VA used all of our probative evidence, and if their error manifested an altered outcome, detrimental to us (meaning they owe more cash.). I posted a CUE for another member the other day. There are more templates here as well. We can help more when we see the actual words of the VA. There is  no time limit for CUE.  And these types of 'claims'( CUE isnt really a claim at all, it is a 'frontal assault' on a RO or BVA decision, mean we have to take the time to really go over the issues carefully, and be careful how we word the CUE we file and be very specific when we define the regulation(s) they broke.    
    • No.  Unless you have a court order forbiding contact with an individual or agency, then they can not stop you.  We are not under orders to "obey" general council.   This said, you dont want to irritate them and remember, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.   If you have given POA to another (such as an attorney), then the VA does not want to deal with you..only with your attorney.   Likewise, if you have a VSO, the VA often passes the buck and tells you to contact them for answers.  Yea, right.  Like we can get VSO's to return our calls.   Its understandable the attorney does not want you dealing "behind his back" and needs to fully be "in the loop" in everything regarding your case.  Its an embarrassment to him if stuff is going on he does not know about..its his job to know!    You really dont want to alienate your attorney, if you have one, by doing stuff behind his back.  Let the attorney do his job, and contact him with questions, not the RO, or a VSO.   I simply suggest you call Dennis Shepard, and ask him to explain, why he does not want you contacting the RO.  My guess is that it is for reasons I mentioned above.  However, does this attorney represent you?  State VSO's may have some legal representation for Vets that need it, and you could be one.  I had a pro bono NVLSP attorney, who represented me.  
    • Roger that Gastone..when I finally did get to view it  they watched me like a hawk  was  very hard to concentrate on what I was looking for. I am glad the C-file's are being digitized  I got mine in on Monday of this week The C-FILE CD came as a single PDF File - All content was scanned and placed into a single Adobe Acrobat file (.PDF) - which was nothing but images; being they were scanned.  Fortunately, I had purchased a copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional and it has the feature to take the PDF and search the images for text recognition characters and gave me the ability to search the PDF file as a text file - the only downside is it does not understand majority of handwriting, but does pick up some that is neatly written.  This sure makes it  easier to find  things.  I have  All this information  in my lap-top and the orginal CD-rom I put up for safe keeping. .......Buck
    • "So my question is: Can the VA General Counsel stop me from talking to them or even emailing them? I came down with pancreatic cancer after being exposed to radiation from the HAWK Missile System." I believe  Dennis Shepherd is a staff attorney for Tammy Kennedy, Office of Chief Counsel, VA-Nashville Tennessee. Do you have any documented statement from Shepherd? OGC district lawyers have very little involvement with the claims process. A Regional Counsel caught a CUE in a past VA decision for me. I had fought them on it long ago but then just gave up.Something I never did before.One should NEVER give up. I was too involved in re opening a claim at that time. It was an unusual situation for the RC to even look into because I had re-opened a claim, but ,due to the circumstances, he had to verify something with them and the OGC in DC, and he called the CUE on the VA right away. It was a large monetary retro award. Still I never heard of anything like you stated....for a staff attorney to get involved in this type of issue.   Obviously if VA checked the wrong Branch of service you were in, something is amiss. Can you scan and attach their denials here, as to their Reasons and Bases part and the Evidence list.? (Cover your name , C file number, etc etc.)  
    • Buck52 thanks for the info, I saw the pay chart that is current for time being for compensation. For what's allowed to me as a single vet no kids or spouse it is 836.13. My question was just if I was gonna be paid again in Aug. but thanks for the information. My claim is under review again for adding compensation and should be decided by the the nd of the year. Just wanted to make sure I didn't over spend just in case you know. But yeah, my letter said I awarded that much and so does my ebenefits account. Glad I had my paperwork and files and everything sorted and documented. Made everything go smooth with no hitch. Thanks again for the help boss.

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fireforeffect

Ptsd Inpatient Program Temp 100%

Question

Hi all,

So I've just gone through an Inpatient PTSD Program at the VA Hospital in Lyons, NJ. Had a panic attack at work on August 3rd of this year and was admitted into a 2 week stabilization period on August 4th - started the PTSD program on August 23rd going from the VA Hospital in East Orange to the Lyons Campus. I was finally discharged on Oct. 7th. I had a follow up appointment with an outpatient psych (in a VAMC) and he made the determination for me to return to work on Nov. 5th. So...if we tally that all up it comes out to 93 days (hospitalization and convalescence combined). This total time was all due to my SC for PTSD of which I am rated at 50% for.

Can someone please tell me what kind of temporary 100% disability I can look forward to? Will it cover the 4 months (Aug - Nov)? I have a claim in for it , and this might be a dumb question, but, does the claim take forever like other claims do? I hand delivered my certificate of completion from the program to my regional office in Newark and work with the Military Order of the Purple Heart (VSO) for claim support - anything else I can do?

Plus, I have an increase claim in for PTSD. I've heard so many stories from other vets on what kind of increase I can expect - some have said I'm headed for 100 and others have said I'm probably just gonna get 70% - can anyone clearly advise on this?

I would love to share more of this story: returning home, getting my initial award, struggling with but finally getting some employment and then having severe issues with that employment due to PTSD, being hospitalized and pursuing an inpatient program...maybe we can get some chatter going on this topic. I know some of the vets I went into the program with looked very confused when I mentioned the temp 100%. This is a tragedy. But that's why vets help vets.

This is my first post so, hopefully, I put it in right. Thanks for those who have made this site possible. I've obviously grown tired of waiting and being unclear as to what I should get for a benefit, but, haven't we all?

Hope to hear from anyone soon - thanks.

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Gee-when my husband was in the PTSD inhouse program, they handled the temp comp claim right there at the VAMC. It took just a few months for the check to arrive.

I think they will definitely give you 2 months temp 100% comp- and perhaps more- hard to say-

"I'm probably just gonna get 70%" possibly--- because you are still employed.

The temp comp is paid at the 100% rate -someone here will know the exact amount and it should include extra for any dependents.

"I know some of the vets I went into the program with looked very confused when I mentioned the temp 100%. This is a tragedy. But that's why vets help vets. "

That is awful!!!!! Only one vet who was in the same inhouse program with my husband didnt get any 100% temp comp.

The vets at the inhouse program as well as the VA doubted his stressor story.My husband (combat USMC Vietnam)had to wait months to even get into the program but this vet somehow got in right away and he was not even diagnosed with SC PTSD.

I am appalled to learn that the VA is not handing the temp comp claims as part of this program anymore.

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Thanks so much for your response Berta!

Perhaps I do need to wait a little bit more. I have been in touch with some of the other guys from the program and they've gotten their money already (and they graduated around the same time I did).

My real curiosity was how much compensation would be dished out due to the amount of time I was in there. What's clear is that after 21 days, the compensation can be granted. But, are my two weeks in the stabilization period counted? The convalescent leave time - is that counted too? Your response was you were not sure but I'm sure other vets are in similar situations. And, there was a regional rep that came to the program every other Wednesday. I know I already satisfied the 21 day requirement so I filed a claim with him when he visited. But then I brought my certificate of completion to the regional office and filled out a statement in support of that claim noting the extended amount of time that I was hospitalized for. Maybe I filed too much?

True, since going back to work - which is a bit more do-able now with medication on board (all 9 medications) - probably would deny me of 100% SC. I do have a claim in for the increase for PTSD and a separate claim in for TBI, Short-term memory loss due to PTSD and for my back. I have gone to C&P for all claims noted and, obviously, it's a waiting game. But, some vets have mentioned that if I get an increase awarded, let's say up to 70% from 50%, and I have 10% for tinnitus, that my TBI could be awarded and possibly combine with everything to get to 100%. I'm unclear on this idea too. And, furthermore, I'm unclear on the VA math system that is applied to percentages awarded after you recieve your initial 50%. Not only does the VA make you wait forever but they've cleverly figured out a way to round up/down and short change a compensation award which makes a combined 100% verrrryy difficult to achieve.

Not to sound so money-hungry, but that significant amount of time in the hospital left me high and dry. "Hurry up and wait" is almost non-applicable - I can't afford to hurry right now.

Thanks again, maybe there's something I can do to get this moving along.

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Newark is one of the better offices we have re time for claims getting processed. As you went in for PTSD, we usually consider an increase in whatever the disability was that caused you to be admitted to the hospital in the first place for either paragraph 29 (hospitalization in excess of 21 days) or paragraph 30 (convalescence). The temporary 100% can be dished out beginning when you were admitted and extended to up to 3 months without need of a veterans service center manager review...they can grant longer if the evidence shows you need more than that. As for your PTSD evaluation, since you are still employed, chances are you will not get the 100% disability since you are still at a job.

As for the VA math...i never liked regular math, let alone this kind! But we have a calculator program that figures it out for us so that there's no human error re combining the evaluations. If you give me a tally of all your disability evaluations now (not what you expect to get) i can try to figure it out for you.

Thanks so much for your response Berta!

Perhaps I do need to wait a little bit more. I have been in touch with some of the other guys from the program and they've gotten their money already (and they graduated around the same time I did).

My real curiosity was how much compensation would be dished out due to the amount of time I was in there. What's clear is that after 21 days, the compensation can be granted. But, are my two weeks in the stabilization period counted? The convalescent leave time - is that counted too? Your response was you were not sure but I'm sure other vets are in similar situations. And, there was a regional rep that came to the program every other Wednesday. I know I already satisfied the 21 day requirement so I filed a claim with him when he visited. But then I brought my certificate of completion to the regional office and filled out a statement in support of that claim noting the extended amount of time that I was hospitalized for. Maybe I filed too much?

True, since going back to work - which is a bit more do-able now with medication on board (all 9 medications) - probably would deny me of 100% SC. I do have a claim in for the increase for PTSD and a separate claim in for TBI, Short-term memory loss due to PTSD and for my back. I have gone to C&P for all claims noted and, obviously, it's a waiting game. But, some vets have mentioned that if I get an increase awarded, let's say up to 70% from 50%, and I have 10% for tinnitus, that my TBI could be awarded and possibly combine with everything to get to 100%. I'm unclear on this idea too. And, furthermore, I'm unclear on the VA math system that is applied to percentages awarded after you recieve your initial 50%. Not only does the VA make you wait forever but they've cleverly figured out a way to round up/down and short change a compensation award which makes a combined 100% verrrryy difficult to achieve.

Not to sound so money-hungry, but that significant amount of time in the hospital left me high and dry. "Hurry up and wait" is almost non-applicable - I can't afford to hurry right now.

Thanks again, maybe there's something I can do to get this moving along.

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If you are working and you have a rating of less than 100% for physical problems it is going to be very hard to get to the 100% rate. I am rated 90% TDIU. I have 7 SC disabilites and the closer I get to 100% the harder it gets. VA math makes it hard. If you can get a rating of 70% for PTSD/TBI that would put you in a good position the day you find you can't work anymore. It will make getting TDIU much easier than starting at lower level of disability. The maximum you can get for a mental disorder and still be working is probably 50-70%. If the VA grants 70% then know it is a matter of time before you pull the TDIU plug.

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Are you saying that when you enter the inpatient program you can put in for your temp 100% and they will begin paying you then or once the 21 days have passed. Also how long does it take to get it processed once you apply, is it like a regular claim or is it faster. Please advise and thnx in advance.

Newark is one of the better offices we have re time for claims getting processed. As you went in for PTSD, we usually consider an increase in whatever the disability was that caused you to be admitted to the hospital in the first place for either paragraph 29 (hospitalization in excess of 21 days) or paragraph 30 (convalescence). The temporary 100% can be dished out beginning when you were admitted and extended to up to 3 months without need of a veterans service center manager review...they can grant longer if the evidence shows you need more than that. As for your PTSD evaluation, since you are still employed, chances are you will not get the 100% disability since you are still at a job.

As for the VA math...i never liked regular math, let alone this kind! But we have a calculator program that figures it out for us so that there's no human error re combining the evaluations. If you give me a tally of all your disability evaluations now (not what you expect to get) i can try to figure it out for you.

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