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    • Well, we need more information.  You said he had an appeal since 11/12.  Is this the NOD date, the decision date (RO), or the date you filed the I9?   Did you even know you were required to file an I9, or your appeal will be considered abandonded?   To get to the Board you have 2 steps: 1.  File a Nod on a RO decision within a year. 2.  File an I9 within 60days of the receipt of the SOC.       If you did not complete BOTH these steps, you wont be going to the BVA.  You should have had a docket number long ago, after you filed the I9.        Did you move and not give VA your address??  Rememeber there are 2 VA's:  VAmedical and VA benefits.  Changing your address with one, often does not affect the other.        You need to take some action here.  This is what I recommend: 1.  Send an IRIS email, asking for status on your 11/12 appeal.  Keep a copy of their response.  2.  Did/do you have a VSO?  Did he file any of the papers for you?  Does he have copies?  Ask him the status.   3.  You need to find out if a)  VA dropped the ball  b) Your VSO dropped the ball, or c) if you dropped the ball, for example, by not filing the I9, or by not supplying VA with requested/needed evidence, or not keeping your address current.           After you find these things out, we can direct you better what to do. 
    • Obviously, the VRE officer is going to ask, "How come you are 100% P and T, and want to go to college to persue a career?"   With VA, SGE is defined as the poverty level earnings in a 12 month period.  So, technically until you earn about $12,000 you do not meet the SGE criteria.  VA regs discuss SGE in a fair amount of detail, stating that "marginal" employment does not disqualify a Veteran from TDIU.  "Marginal" employment is employment that does not generate at least 12,000 per year.   They even have a special exception if you are in a type of family business.  In other words, if you had PTSD, but your family owned a business and allowed you to stay on the payroll to go to doc appointments and the like where a "non family" employer may not be willing to put up with it.   You dont have a lot to lose:  If you persue your career goals, the VA should not take away your benefits until you have been working for a full year, and achieved SGE, and, even then, it would take some time to make such a reduction happen:  They have to give 60 days notice, and, we all know the VA does not move very fast.  It could well be 2 or more years before they do a reduction proposal, especially since you are not TDIU and do not have to report income each year, like TDIU recipients do.  
    • Let me make a correction.  I was trying to say p&t instead of tdiu.  My husband is like the rest of you guys that went to nam.  Enlisted 5 days after graduating has.  17 yrs old.  He did a total of 20 yrs between navy and Coast Gaurd.  Then he did18 yrs in law enforcement.  I think he worked enough. Couple of other jobs in between.  
    • I think you should go to the VASRD: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=e01889934e16ee0751373657d3b13a6e&mc=true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38cfr4_main_02.tpl And check the rating criteria that compares to your specific diagnostic code,just in case you need it. But I do see what you mean as to the 100% and the doctor stated this disability has rendered you unable to work. I just hope the VA does not confuse the 100% statement with the >3-5 METs part. Hopefully this will go well for you and the doc made the proper nexus statement.
    • It should be, I had a surgery that went wrong in post surgical room I almost died. Maybe they had to ask a psych expert? 

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dereekbanks

Claim Timeline - Atlanta Varo

10 posts in this topic

July 07, 2011

Claim filed for:

  • memory loss
  • insomnia
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • hypertension (claimed as hypertensive vascular disease)
  • sleep apnea
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • major depressive disorder
  • chronic adjustment disorder

    and I asked for and increase in my sc condition:
    • s/p low back injury with posterior (small) disc herniation and IVD at L4-L5 with degenerative changes at L1-L2
    • L4-L5 spinal nerve involvement with paralysis
    • left lower (claimed as back injury)

October 14, 2011

Received brown envelope with several documents that read:

"Complete and return an enclosedVA Form 21-4142, Authorization and Consent to Release Information...

Send any treatment records pertinent to your claimed condition(s),especially those which are recent

We need evidence showing that the following condition(s) existed frommilitary service to the present time: chronic adjustment disorder, major depressivedisorder, generalized anxiety disorder, sleep apnea, hypertension (claimed ashypertensive vascular disease), post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia,memory loss

As we consider your claim, youmay submit evidence showing that your service-connected L4-L5 spinal nerveinvolvement with paralysis, left lower (claimed as back injury), s/p low backinjury with posterior (small) disc herniation and IVD at L4-L5 with degenerativechanges at L1-L2 [[has][have]] increased in severity…

We need specific details of thecombat related incident(s) that resulted in post-traumatic disorder (PTSD)…"

You may be entitled to compensation at the 100 percent rate if you areunable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation because ofyour service-connected disabilities. If you believe you qualify, complete,sign, and return the enclosed VA Form 21-8940, Veterans Application forIncreased Compensation Based on Unemployability."

I expected to receive all of the above except for the last one. Is it normal for the VA so just voluntarily send someone a for for TDIU when they did not file a claim for it?

October 18, 2011

Went to VA Regional Office and submitted all forms and evidence requested, including the application for TDIU.

Notes:

I filed my claim following the guidelines posted at http://www.howtoassemblevaclaims.com/step_7.html. I included my service medical records, current records from the VA hospital and the outpatient clinic the VA referred me to, where a Psychiatrist officially diagnosed me with all of the mental issues I filed a claim for.

On October 20, 2011 I went to the SS office and applied for SSI and SSDI under the Military Causality Service Case (MSCC) rule which expedites cases for veterans injured after October 1, 2011 while on active duty.

So now I wait. . .

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I've received the same notice several times. I think it's due to my % and the types of conditions claimed/existing/SC'd. At least I know it's an option when the time comes that I can no longer work. I assume by your post that you're not working? Are you retired? I also use the ATL VARO, and have posted some experiences with them and the Augusta VAMC. Don't know if it will help you, but I'd be curious to follow your story as you respond and get your other issues resolved.

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Atlanta VARO uses a lot of "cut and paste". The letter(s) reflect this.

They have been known to include statements that lead a veteran to believe that evidence already existing in the veteran's "C" file needs to be submitted (again).

The reference to TDIU is likely the result of various complaints and possibly some legal actions, and just maybe because the problems surrounding TDIU came to political notice.

The VA was not bothering to tell veterans that they might qualify for TDIU, and the result was that many did not know that they had it available.

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@ Justrluk:

I'm not working. I have not worked since April of this year. . . I did not retire from the military if that is what you mean. I was injured in '02 discharged in '03 and awarded 40% by the VA in '04. I took the 40%, found work and never looked back. Over the years I realized I could only do certain types of work due to my injury and I could never keep a job too long. One day my wife pointed out the numerous problems that I had since my discharge so I eventually went to the VA and started getting diagnosed with stuff I never thought I suffered from such as depression. The side effects from my meds, pain in my back, headaches and memory problems have gotten the best of me. I can't work any more!

So I guess I can say I'm retired.

I am familiar with your posts. I read through them before filing my claim. It was apart of my research when determining if I wanted a rep or not. Thx!!!

@ Chuck75:

I kinda figured it was a 'cut and paste' / generic packet after reading through it because everything they asked for, I submitted with my original statement attached to the initial claim. So before I went to the Regional Office to submit the evidence they requested on the 18th of this month, I simply opened saved file I typed back in July as my statement following the guidelines on the link I posted and hit print. I then grabbed one of the 5 prebundled copies of my medical records walked out the door. In essence, I gave them the same thing twice just in case the first stack of documents got misplaced. I did not know any thing about the political issues surrounding TDIU. I just Googled it and came across some interesting stuff. That makes sense now!

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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Best of luck in your claims! Hopefully, the ATL will take it easy on you...

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Work on your letter for your PTSD, have your wife do one for your symptoms that she has seen since you left the servcie / came home from the war. The AV rates PTSD under chronic adjustment disorder along with depression and all other mental health issues. some of what you have are a part of PTSD. I have worked with some vets out of that RO, do not blow of these letter. If you was near an IED tell them that too. Try and get with some that was in your unit and have them send in letter to tell of the firefight or what ever.

@ Justrluk:

I'm not working. I have not worked since April of this year. . . I did not retire from the military if that is what you mean. I was injured in '02 discharged in '03 and awarded 40% by the VA in '04. I took the 40%, found work and never looked back. Over the years I realized I could only do certain types of work due to my injury and I could never keep a job too long. One day my wife pointed out the numerous problems that I had since my discharge so I eventually went to the VA and started getting diagnosed with stuff I never thought I suffered from such as depression. The side effects from my meds, pain in my back, headaches and memory problems have gotten the best of me. I can't work any more!

So I guess I can say I'm retired.

I am familiar with your posts. I read through them before filing my claim. It was apart of my research when determining if I wanted a rep or not. Thx!!!

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