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14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.









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  2. FTCA Attorney

    You can amend your SF-95 at any time during the reconsideration before they make the final decision. Talk to an attorney to see if you have a case or if you need to amend your SF-95.
  3. Berta......as requested. Attached is my IME. I am trying for an increase from 0% on three (Left Cuboid Syndrome, Left Hip/Thigh Impairment and Left Hip Limit of Flexion). Thank you again. IME.pdf
  4. Today
  5. Probably a dumb question.

    Oh my god I filed for aid and attandance and increase from 70 to 100 for mental health.. My claim has been jumping around for last month maybe month in a half.. like every week or 2.. Today just jumped all the way back to gathering dust..lol Just hang in there.. if you use the web chat sometimes you can get them to read the notes.. part of my hold up was fidicuary that was closed after i uploaded a copy of my bank account.. at least that is what the lady in the chat room told me.. it was opened then closed last week.. I have to wait until monday to try get some info for why its now all the way back in gathering dust
  6. Form 526Ez To File For Smc-S?

    Here's how this works in the real VA world. VA tries to use the date you first ask for TDIU. Having a single 40% and a handful of other disabilities that carry you to 70% or greater often elicits an inferred entitlement to IU. Rice v Shinseki drove this home that VA had to, by law, infer it if you qualified in every other respect. VA still hides behind the fig leaf now that an exam (mental in the instant case) will be taken to be the first confirmed knowledge that Retroman was actually truly, too physically or mentally impaired to work anymore. Prior to that Nov. 2, 2017 date, VA didn't have (or so they will argue) constructive possession of that knowledge-hence the date of the exam. It's easy to refute this at the appellate level with evidence of SSDI/SSI (which VA does have constructive access to). If a claim for TDIU existed prior to November 2, 2017, by law from that date forward whenever it can be shown the condition (TDIU) first existed must be the effective date. Rice stands for TDIU being a claim just like an increase or an original claim. VA has to determine if you are entitled to it even if you do not ask for it. Note they cite to Buie v Shinseki - not Bradley v Peake. Buie stands for Retroman's situation. Once RM is TDIU for the earlier batch of ratings and gets a 70% which is a stand alone disease independent of any of the other ailments that constituted his original TDIU, he can supplant the 70% as his primary TDIU and the earlier (former) batch of rated diseases become the basis of his SMC S. Thus their wrong choice of the November 2, 2017 date. By law, they have to award the greater of two ratings in this case (an earlier effective date of TDIU the moment it can be ascertained you qualified for the SMC. Remember, SMC is due and owing the moment it is proved your entitlement exists. You do not have to file for it per se -but sometimes you do. Buie says you can transpose a TDIU or 100% rating and make it the primary then add up the old ones to make the SMC. That gives you a much earlier effective date if your records prove your contentions. VA has to add your ratings up in the most favorable way they can for you. As for that " he wasn't truly housebound"- ignore it. It's a red herring they always throw in. It's the wrong legal standard of review without a balancing discussion of how RM can best benefit from Buie. You didn't think they'd just throw in the towel without a little fishing expedition to see if they can roll you for a few years of benefits did you?
  7. Yesterday
  8. I really need for the biopsy to be done, then send the results... it's taking forever to get things done...I think the doctors had to wait for the cat-scam which was done a week ago.... the same cat scans which were suppose to be done 2x year and some idiot changed it to 1x year. o, the symptoms of liver disease I have had for a very long time were ignored until the blood tests results showed levels 10x higher than normal. Plus the VA specialists and surgeons recommendation that normal progression will be multi-organ failure and cancer for my diseases. I knew what was coming next, but they could not tell me how long. it is not happening as what the surgeons told me. It was not a one time meeting. I was in there for 6 months as they diagnosed my diseases and they told me personally 'Prognosis: Poor' almost always multi-organ failure, cancer, and no chance ever of a successful surgery. I need a report showing the biopsy, and don't have a date, so I am stuck until then.
  9. Holy crap, yeah that would be time and money, if the VA doc wouldn't write a counter opinion. I really do need to really measure if all this is worth the time and aggravation. Frankly Im tired and get carried away when angry and emotional. This whole ordeals just burns me up every time there are road blocks and traps along the road to victory.
  10. @Gastone I concur - however, you and I both know that some of these grunts are hardheaded. Just like myself! I really got pissed when I couldn't get an apt at the VA back in 2015. I tried calling Nashville, and Murffresboro, TN. I got the same answer from both: "We are sorry, Sir, we just have no availability, currently." And they wonder why 22 Vets commit suicide, daily!! I really said, "Screw it!" If they won't help me, then I'll just manage myself. But you are right, they could come back and hit me good. I did see a civilian MH doctor briefly during this time and SW, but it was pretty short. Yeah, they gave me meds, but no real lasting help. That's when I went cold turkey on all help. That was probably about 1.5 - 2 years ago. But since then, my issues have tripled. That's why I recently got asked by my 3rd wife of two months, to please go to the VA and speak with someone. I did just that, on prazosin, about to start therapy, and the Dr. says I am full blown Chronic PTSD. But that doesn't matter - I realize the VA can do whatever they want. Thanks Gastone!! GB
  11. Back Pay? Bertha

    The only way I know of to get a retro amount you seem to feel is due to you is with a CUE claim ( the older 2009 claim info would be in your C file) or a 38 CFR 3.156 claim...that regulation is searchable here. Or you can definitely NOD it if the fecal incontenence was ratable at a higher level in the past..... That would mean going over your medical records carefully. The downloads really don't tell much of the claims background. NODs are for claims that were decided within the one year period after their decision. CUEs rest a lot on what I call the Watergate question: what did they know and when did they know it. It could help you if you do a search at the BVA web site to see how others were rated for fecal incontinence . You did claim it in 2009 but we would have to see that decision and the evidence list to really figure it out if they felt it was not at a ratable level at that point.
  12. RECENT C & P EXAM

    There are 2 ways to get TDIU: 1. Schedular 38 cfr 4.16a 2. Extra schedular 38 cfr 4.16b. Number 2, is much more difficult to obtain than number 1. You can read about the schedular requirements, here: This is what Gastone was referring to, that is, an extra schedular (4.16 b) TDIU 4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual. (a) Total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned, where the schedular rating is less than total, when the disabled person is, in the judgment of the rating agency, unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities: Provided That, if there is only one such disability, this disability shall be ratable at 60 percent or more, and that, if there are two or more disabilities, there shall be at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more, and sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating to 70 percent or more. For the above purpose of one 60 percent disability, or one 40 percent disability in combination, the following will be considered as one disability: (1) Disabilities of one or both upper extremities, or of one or both lower extremities, including the bilateral factor, if applicable, (2) disabilities resulting from common etiology or a single accident, (3) disabilities affecting a single body system, e.g. orthopedic, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular-renal, neuropsychiatric, (4) multiple injuries incurred in action, or (5) multiple disabilities incurred as a prisoner of war. It is provided further that the existence or degree of nonservice-connected disabilities or previous unemployability status will be disregarded where the percentages referred to in this paragraph for the service-connected disability or disabilities are met and in the judgment of the rating agency such service-connected disabilities render the veteran unemployable. Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment. For purposes of this section, marginal employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran's earned annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold for one person. Marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a facts found basis (includes but is not limited to employment in a protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop), when earned annual income exceeds the poverty threshold. Consideration shall be given in all claims to the nature of the employment and the reason for termination. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501) (b) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation Service, for extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran's service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue. [ 40 FR 42535, Sept. 15, 1975, as amended at 54 FR 4281, Jan. 30, 1989; 55 FR 31580, Aug. 3, 1990; 58 FR 39664, July 26, 1993; 61 FR 52700, Oct. 8, 1996; 79 FR 2100, Jan. 13, 2014]
  13. You need to appeal the decision by filing a NOD disputing the effective date, citing the evidence you mentioned. Effective dates are the later of the "date you applied" or "facts found". Apparently the VA "thinks" the first time you were diagnosed is 2017. Check your records to see if this was diagnosed in 2009, that is, if the VA is correct. (I dont know what your records say). However, "even if" you were not diagnosed until 2017, you can still appeal arguing you had the same symptoms since 2009, if that is indeed the case. The 2017 doc "SHOULD" have given a date as to when you were diagnosed, sometimes "by history". Often they dont do that so they use the date of the c and p exam. Think about it, tho. This suggests you applied in 2009 "in anticipation" that, in 2017, you would become incontinent. I doubt that happened. Instead, YOU had the symptoms earlier, just no diagnosis. You have to have a "current" diagnosis, but I dont think you need a 2009 diagnosis, just symptoms. Diagnosis change, sometimes. Again, check your records, and base your appeal on: 1. The evidence. 2. The symptoms. 3. Point out you meet the Caluza elements: a) CURRENT diagnosis b) in service event or aggravation (unless its secondary to another SC condiition) and c) nexus or medical link between a and b. I would allege that you HAVe a current diagnosis, and that your symptoms began in 2009, if indeed, you can cite evidence to same. Its not all that unusual that it sometimes takes docs a while to diagnose a condition...all while you are having symptoms...this is why it says "CURRENT" diagnosis. My guess is you will prevail on your appeal, provided that you do a good job citing the applicable evidence and resubmitting evidence if necessary. If you resubmit evidence under 38 cfr 3.156 it should give you an eed. You can/should consider an attorney, especially since this is a lot at stake.
  14. I ask for TDIU before my MVA of 1990 which took out my back. Probably TDIU will be dated from the 1990 MVA because that is when SSDI is dated from. But to get TDIU from that date I have to either get it linked to just the TBI which made me a safety hazard for most physical jobs because of the absence seizures that were misdiagnosed as "pseudo-seizures" at the time. So I have to get a positive ruling on either. SC of the MVA because of the safety hazard or the elimination of physical jobs such as a Class A driver, welder or such other work I had minimal experience in. I didn't pursue those jobs even before the MVA because I knew that at times I wasn't a safe driver from about 1983. I didn't know why until the MVA in 1990. I just knew I had too many close calls when I felt "foggy brained" which was too much of the time. I was usually all right driving to work but had to wait until the fog cleared before going home. Slept in the office a lot.
  15. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

    Yes it is, and thank you to everyone... Hamslice
  16. Skin Cancers Service Connection

    If you are service connected, meaning you were treated for actinic keratosis, cancers and/or precancers while on active duty or within a year of eaos or retirement, you may get compensation. The rating is based on the area of damage, much the same as dermatitis is computed. If you have cancers like Squamous or Basil Cell, you get an additional rating for the scars. If you have melanoma, you can get 100% only while you are being treated (chemo and/or radiation). After which it is rated by the scars left. The important thing for me is...if this ultimately ends my life, I want it documented so my wife will be taken care of. This is how it was explained to me. I developed severe actinic keratosis and dermatitis while on active duty and it is well documented. I get 10% for the dermatitis and I am waiting for a C&P for the AKs. They didn't do due diligence and fill out a DBQ for the AKs when they did the dermatitis...go figure. I didn't specifically ask for it...even though it was painfully obvious. I hope this helps and I will post the future results.
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