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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • How to get your questions answered...

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    All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.
    2. Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.

    Leading to:

    Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

    Examples:

    • A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
    • B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?

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Asknod Posts

Showing all content posted by asknod and posted in for the last 365 days.

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Last week
  2. asknod

    I do not qualify for SMC s because my PTSD is secondary to my TBI

    Stop for a moment and play Transactional Analysis. I love TA. He said... "I have a PTSD rating of 70% which gives me tdiu and is permanent and total." Okay. First ,we know he thinks he's P&T TDIU for the bent brain syndrome. That's DC 9411 found in mental disorders under §4.130. Now, if he's rated for TBI under DC 9304 Major or mild neurocognitive disorder due to traumatic brain injury, then yes, by operation of law, you would be precluded from saying it was a separate and distinct illness. But is it? He is rated equally for both @ 70%. He says "I do not qualify for SMC s because the PTSD is secondary to the TBI. Is this correct?" Good question. You are being rated for both so VA obviously does not consider it pyramiding. If it isn't pyramiding, then it must be two different disease processes. Who is to say the PTSD is secondary to the TBI? Or arguendo, vice versa? You could legitimately have a fear of the enemy apart and separate from a Disney IED ride in an MRAP. Either one would equally entitle you to TDIU so a study of what is considered "separate and distinct" must be employed. You need a private shrink trained to write your IMO. Where does it say you cannot have scrambled eggbrain for 70% and a separate and distinct rating of 70% for MST? Two separate and distinct disease processes. 1) Organic brain disease/trauma from IED explosive force (physically-caused neurological injury); and 2) genuine PTSD based on a completely different trauma (mental). DC 8045 says: Evaluate emotional/behavioral dysfunction under § 4.130 (Schedule of ratings - mental disorders) when there is a diagnosis of a mental disorder. When there is no diagnosis of a mental disorder, evaluate emotional/behavioral symptoms under the criteria in the table titled “Evaluation of Cognitive Impairment and Other Residuals of TBI Not Otherwise Classified.” Now you're talking two different zip codes in Part 4. First, TBI is rated under §4.124a in the neurological/convulsive as DC 8045 and requires a set of residual disorders like tinnitus, headaches, loss of balance, Meniere's and so on added cumulatively in three categories which includes mental deficits. PTSD, however, is listed under §4.130 DC 9411. So... there is no pyramiding which implies legally that a brain omlet is indeed separate and distinct from a Pretzel brain syndrome. Ergo, I'd sure file for it citing to §4.14 Avoidance of Pyramiding as on point and the correct operation of law (statute) and regulation. You can't have it both ways. Pyramiding is like pregnancy. Either you is or you ain't. Pyramiding is only allowed in order to qualify for r1/r2 but that's another subject. You never get anywhere unless you're willing to turn the box inside out and look underneath it too. I'm sure Mr. Bradley and Mr. Buie never expected to win their SMC (s) arguments but they did indeed and cut new precedence that benefits all of us. This might be one of those cases.
  3. Earlier
  4. asknod

    Ms KNG

    No sir. I mean actual typed electronic notes in the notes section of VBMS, not hand written ones. Those ceased when they digitized everything. See attached below
  5. asknod

    Ms KNG

    Maybe? Shoot, Bubba. That's kinda like Hadid.com Claims 101. If you want to play VA poker, you need to know everything the other guy is holding. In civilian law, that's called disclosure. VA considers it a royal pain to have to give you a copy of the file. STRs and your claims file is a bare minimum if this is a DIY project. I can view my client's c-files in real time on VBMS- even the Rater's notes they leave in your file now. Trust me- those will never ever become part of your actual c- file. Knowledge is finally becoming the way to outfox these jackwads and win quickly. I'm guessing the VA might let you guys into the VBMS computer within the next ten years remotely after a lot of VA "training".
  6. asknod

    Ms KNG

    Buck, I make no SC argument for a claim that was never filed. I merely discuss how some Vets give up before they get there because VA denies again and again. I see a lot of Vets come to this subject (CUE) and try to hang a claim on thin air. CUE is absolutely the most difficult to prove and the most misunderstood of all. Very, very few win not because they have no merit but because they argue it wrong. And come on, Gastone. I rag on VSOs because they essentially try to help Vets but won't even raise a finger (as we do) to learn the applicable rules. I hope you realize you and a few others here are waaaaay smarter than the average VSO by a long shot. How can you help a Vet if you only know how to fill out a form or lick the stamp for the envelope? Yes, there are absolutely brilliant VSOs out there but they are rare as hen's teeth. The average Vet will never get one to rep him. There are only 350 of us agents to go around. I feel like Obi Wan Kanobi training a Jedi. I worry that I might screw up and turn an idiot loose on Vets' claims. I've taught two so far and they stick to elementary claims work-not heavy duty CUEs or SMC. I would love to see you take the test and become one. I think you would be great.
  7. asknod

    Ms KNG

    Who cares about a SF 93 if you do have STRs showing a specific injury or disease? It doesn't even need to have a name. The STR can declare R/O (rule out) patellofemoral injury ( or whatever) and it might turn out to be a miniscus tear. Always remember, you are not a doctor nor are you expected to be. By law, (Layno v. Brown 1994) you can always legally say "I have an owie on my knee from service". What you cannot say is "Pardon me, but I seem to have a meniscal tear in my right knee." If the STRs say so then Bingo. SC for knee disability. VA will try to use the SF 93 against you if it is there and they use it against you if it isn't. Six of one- half a dozen of the other. Change your game and work around it. Remember always, there was a SF 88/SF 89 when you entered. It's a testimony to the fact that the Presumption of Soundness attaches except for deficiencies "as noted". So if it says both your knees were 5 by, and your in-service STRs document a LOD knee injury, then Boy howdy-you're gonna be SC'd for Knee(s) eventually. If VA gives you any shi(f)t and denies, you go buy a Nexus and slap them down with it. We always win. You can't really lose. It just takes way longer if you don't follow the recipe from the get-go. Seriously, folks. How many of you read about a LOD loser here with legitimate records of service incurrence? I've been doing this since 1989 and the denied list is due primarily to lack of entitlement or bad paper. You may have to go to the CAVC as I did to prevail but you will always prevail-well- assuming you have a savvy legal mind or above-average legal counsel. That, of course, rules out about 98% of VSOs. No insults intended but I just base it on what I read at the BVA decisions site. VA Lions-85, Christian Vets-15. That's what this site is all about. Never get caught up in a singleminded path to benefits. Always expect setbacks or detours. Have alternative pathways, secondary conditions and an extra IMO in reserve. In VA poker, you bet like you only have two aces, not the 3 and a pair of 8s you're holding. You wouldn't believe the evidence I pull out of my hat at DRO hearings. How about showing up with 50 of the 176 pages of STRs VA forgot to go get (at the NPRC) in 1970 when you filed for SFW in 12 muscle groups? I made them go get their own copies. They thought I was lying anyway. How about a 1969 General Courts Martial onion skin transcript in the original Blue Folder showing a major altered state and they denied you a year later in 1970 for Bent brain when you got out. The idea is to roll their socks down. I like it when they suddenly suck their lower lip in and moan a little bit. I don't just do this to help Vets. I do it for the entertainment value. VA should never have pulled my string in 1989... and 1992...and 1994-95 and 1998... and 2007, 2008, 2010,2011,2014, 2015,2016, 2017 and now in 2018. Now it's a p*issing match, folks. What can I say? They accredited me and gave me access to the VBMS. How stupid can you get?
  8. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    It's better to research something before opening the piehole and making pronouncements that others may follow to their own detriment. The Google Search bar, or any search engine for that matter, gives you a wealth of information. In fact, Hadit has numerous discussions that encompass SMC in all it's iterations. Search and ye shall find. Or, you can be lazy and misinform others. Remember, a forum model like this has no filter to erase misinformation. You must be responsible. If you do not know the answer, it's best not to hit the reply button and expose your ignorance or harm others. Here's a quick study on SMC that will hopefully help newcomers to better understand the ins and outs of SMC. It is one of the most absolutely misunderstood subjects in VA law and takes several years to wrap one's noggin around. More errors are committed by VA raters on this one subject than any other. https://asknod.org/2013/02/27/special-monthly-compensation-what-is-it/
  9. asknod

    SMC K or SMC K1

    38 U.S.C §1114 grants SMC at the (k) rate. 38 CFR §3.350(a) grants the identical same thing -SMC at the (k) rate in VAspeak. VA idiots annotate that in many different formats that vary from the AOJ , the BVA or even the Court. Thus, SMC K is identical to SMC (k) is identical to SMC K(1) or K-1. It is earned by the loss of one or more of six enumerated items unless you are androgynous.Then possibly seven (eight?).
  10. asknod

    SMC K or SMC K1

    Wrong. You'd get SMC at the (l) rate for loss of use of one hand and one foot plus SMC at the (k) rate. VA would list it on your confirmed ratings as SMC (p)(l +k). I use the lower case (l) but some may misread it as representing the number one. (l) is the way Congress expresses "SMC at the "L" rate with a lowercase L expressed as (l). SMC (l) is granted for (b)Ratings under 38 U.S.C. 1114(l). The special monthly compensation provided by 38 USC 1114(l)is payable for anatomical loss or loss of use of both feet, one hand and one foot, blindness in both eyes with visual acuity of 5/200 or less or being permanently bedridden or so helpless as to be in need of regular aid and attendance. SMC is like the Mississippi River. It even flows backwards in time to the day you first got that way. You can even pyramid legally. SMC is like an Erector set. You build it. You are limited only by your own imagination and ability to see it.
  11. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    That, sir, may be. My expertise is Vietnam, AO, SMC at everything but the (t) rate and Hep C. I have one §1151 case pending on a NOD. I just won one on glioblastoma due to Camp LeJeune even though it's not on the list (https://asknod.org/2018/03/22/bva-two-american-kids-growing-up-in-the-heartland/). Remember, VA claims are basically all the same except for §1151s. You need three ingredients to bake VA cookies. Too bad we didn't learn all this until 1994 in Caluza.
  12. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    There are four flavors of A&A. One is the first tier or SMC(l). Next comes r(1), then r(2). Last but not least is SMC r (t). It is staged into several tiers with the highest equaling the payment of r(2). Because the Veteran is from whom the entitlement flows, all funds are paid to him for disbursement unless he has a fiduciary. With a divorce, his ex-spouse loses her spousal entitlement. With no caregiver living in the home, Mr. 88 loses the smc r(t) and drops back to SMC (s). If the caregiver were someone other than the spouse, the $ would be paid to him/her directly. Buck is correct. If a new caregiver was found who could live there 24/7 and be trained by VA to provide the function, he would be entitled to the smc r(t) again. It would not require a relative but that would be optimal here probably. Again, VAF 21-2680 is rather pointed in what constitutes the requirements to attain A&A and especially any A&A at the higher tiers. CAVC precedence says you have to have "most but not all" of these problems listed in order to get the $. But if you only have one risk, it almost always has to be bedridden or blind. VA is pretty sticky when handing out these big ticket SMCs. I'd say there are less than 5,000 r (1) & (2) ratings out there. One thing no one discusses is r(t) is considered "transitional" as in 'you're going to get better some day and won't need it.' I've never done a r(t) yet, just a couple of r(2)s and and 3 r(1)s. I aced them all. With the PTSD rated for over 5 years, it's "substantially protected" but that's no guarantee. One thing I've found is the more screwed up you are, the less chance of getting dunned by a c&p and reduced. I did see a Vet get whacked at 19 years and 4 months. He fought to the BVA and got it overturned. These guys are vicious. Remember that.
  13. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    Sure, Gastone. I just read his first post at the top. His wife left. Sayonara SMC (t). No caregiver = no dice. So... He says he is currently SMC (s)with a K-about $3380/mo. I could see him maybe being entitled to a 100% schedular for the PTSD but you have to be prepared to go up to the BVA to win it and especially any A&A. VA is going to choke and puke. Most guys work with VSOs and most VSOs would refuse to file it because they are good buddies with the raters and were taught never to help a Vet do this. Most don't even know what SMC is. Most attys. would shy away because he already has P&T- there's no money in it. There are about 800 Vet attys. you can turn to and 350 of us agents. That's a whole lot of you folks chasing good legal help. I have clients literally show up dying and asking me for help who have already been waiting at the BVA two years. Their VSO forgot to ask for advancement and never filed a Waiver of Review in the First Instance to prevent a remand. With the above disabilities mentioned, even if, arguendo, he got the 100 for the bent brain, he still has to show he meets the requirements of §3.352 regardless of what kind of fiction the good doctor writes on the 21-2680. VA wasn't born at night. They'll ask for a c&p. Does PTSD prevent you from feeding yourself? Does the MDD prevent you from attending to the wants of nature? If so, who changes your diaper? Bedridden? Can't dress yourself because your brain isn't working right? Can you heat up a Hot pocket in the microwave? Need help bathing yourself in the tub/shower? If all you can rustle up is you may be a danger to yourself or others, VA would have you declared unable to manage yourself or your affairs and assign a fiduciary to "be your financial caregiver". There are a lot of possibilities at play here. Pick the wrong one and you'll wish you hadn't. You can't recall a bullet... or a VA claim. If you are living all by yourself and asking to be rated essentially as burnt toast and need A&A, VA is going to ask themselves if you are playing fast and loose with the dictionary. To get into A&A, the very essence of it is what it means-AID & ATTENDANCE. If you have no Attendee to perform the Aid, how is it you could even make it to the doctor to have him fill out the 2680? Forget that 100% homie, it's time for domiciliary care.That's VAspeak for nursing home. My advice is to get married again pronto and only then mount up the posse and file for the (t). In cases like this the r(t) caregiver stipend is the greater benefit than SMC (l) for Aid & Attendance and already a proven need. Never try to reinvent the wheel.
  14. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    I see your argument only as to the two possible ways to be awarded SMC at the (s) rate. Using your model, I would say if you are going to number them, then there are two forms of SMC (s)- i.e. SMC (s)(1) which is the standard 100+60% route as described after the number (1) in the Statute. The other method to attain SMC at the (s) rate could be characterized as (s)(2) because a (2) precedes the method describing being diagnosed by your PCP as "substantially confined by SC disabilities". Now that numbering system makes sense. So why SMC S and SMC S (1)? I see above you suddenly just began using SMC (2). What caught my interest was the first comment you made on Tuesday @ 0401 AM: "I don't see how you qualified for SMC S or S (1)." "Or" is a disjunctive conjunction that separates two different things like "you need 100% +60% more OR you need to be substantially housebound." Using 'or' above makes S unequal to S(1). I didn't say anything earlier but above you referred to SMC (s) as a schedular rating. "You indicated an SMC S, not an S (1) Scheduler. Not a big deal." From this I misunderstood you to say there were two different "rates of $ payment"-i.e. SMC (s) = $X but (s)(1) Schedular = $Y (a higher or lower dollar figure than SMC $X). The number "-1" in (S-1) in ebenefits is simply a counting tool for a VA confirmed ratings sheet. When VA rates you, they always crank out a form called a "Confirmed Rating Decision". I attached one below. First, all your SC schedular ratings are listed with the diagnostic code and the dates of ratings for each separate disability. After that, they list any NSC ratings. Then on the next section they have a SMC "worksheet" that shows all your SMC ratings. I'd have to hunt a SMC sheet up later but I will if any would like to see it. Each one is listed and numbered along with date of entitlement. These are awarded above and beyond any and all schedular ratings. If you get a copy of your c-file, you'll find these documents. VA doesn't mail these out to us with our decisions. Say you lose your right foot at the ankle you get a 40% rating. But.... you also get SMC(k). If you have more than one qualifier for a SMC(k) "award", you'd get paid $105.61 for each and every one on top of any schedular ratings you have coming from the Part 4 VASRD. It's like legal pyramiding. So....Some of us have loss of use of a creative organ annotated as (SMC K-1), add loss of, or loss of use of, one lower or upper extremity and you have (SMC K-2) = $211.22, add loss of both buttocks (SMC-K-3)=$316.83, add loss of use of one eye (SMC K-4)=$422.44 et cetera. You can have up to 8 SMC(k) ratings and each pays $105.61. SMC(s) works far differently. I am rated SMC (S-3). I have two 100% schedular disabilities, a 60% schedular disability and independent schedular ratings of 40%+30%+10%=62%. The 60% schedular disability is secondary to one of my 100% disabilities and cannot qualify as a distinct, separate disability independently ratable at 60% or more or I would be (S-4). Unfortunately, the rate of payment for (S-3) is the same as SMC (s) as described in 38 USC §1114(s). It seems to me that you are confusing SMC (S-1) on ebenefits as SMC S(1) and SMC (K-1) as SMC(K)(1). That doesn't make sense as there is no listing anywhere in §1114 for a SMC (k)(1) or arguendo, SMC (K-1). SMC (k) merely lists a number of possible qualifying disabilities but they are not specifically numbered. The only place in §1114 where you see arabic numbers used as a suffix after a letter is (r)(1) =$7,419.88 and (r)(2)= $8,510.79. And boy howdy you can't miss the difference in your bank account if you are getting r-Anything every month. The term "schedular" will always refer to a rating between 0% and 100%. Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) is awarded after all schedular percentage ratings from 0% to 100% have been awarded using §4.25. SMCs are not part of, nor will they be found, in the schedular ratings located in 38 CFR Part IV (VASRD). Could be that's why VSOs never heard of them. It is a munificent reward from Congress above and beyond any schedular ratings to remunerate us for the degree of inconvenience and added costs of living caused by our disabilities. Hence the gradual increase in disabilities beginning at 38 USC §1114(k) and culminating in (r(2). Or, to keep it simple, the fewer of those 2,000 body parts you were born with, the higher your SMC award. Not trying to pick an argument with you Gastone but SMC is already more twisted than the Mississippi River. You have to keep it simple. For all reading this, the simplest answer is there are two, and only two, ways to attain SMC (s) but there is only one payment amount. It makes no difference if you call it SMC S, SMC S-1, SMC(s), SMC (S-1), SMC (s)(1),(2) or §3.350(i)(1),(2) as they all pay the exact same thing. But what you cannot do is append the suffix "schedular" to it because there is no "degree" of SMC(s)-i.e. "Yep. I'm at 10% SMC S but My VSO just put me in for an increase to 30% SMC S scheduler". If you use 38 CFR §3.350(i)(1),(2), you can read the exact same thing for (s) under (i)(1) and (i)(2). And just because a VLJ says something is legal, doesn't mean it is. If that were so, me and about 6,000 attorneys would be out of a job. So would the CAVC, the Fed. Circus and the Supreme Court for that matter. Words mean something in this business. Look at the difference between 'refer' and 'remand'. I've seen judges and the ROs hamburger Vet appeals for years over that mistake. When I wrote my blog on SMC, I purposefully used Mr. Potato head as an example. Once you get to SMC (l), each subtraction of a body part increases the SMC level assuming they are all SC. Aid and Attendance is one of the hardest things in the world to understand on a good day and each case is unique for its subset of disabilities or combinations. This is not so for SMC(s). It's like being pregnant. Either you is or you ain'ts. Don't make no difference how you got there. CRS #1.pdf
  15. asknod

    PTSD increase A&A added

    Whoa there, cowboys. What's a SMC (s)(1)? Last I checked, there's one SMC (s) authorized by Congress https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/1114 (s) If the veteran has a service-connected disability rated as total, and (1) has additional service-connected disability or disabilities independently ratable at 60 percent or more, or, (2) by reason of such veteran’s service-connected disability or disabilities, is permanently housebound, then the monthly compensation shall be $3328.70 For the purpose of this subsection, the requirement of “permanently housebound” will be considered to have been met when the veteran is substantially confined to such veteran’s house (ward or clinical areas, if institutionalized) or immediate premises due to a service-connected disability or disabilities which it is reasonably certain will remain throughout such veteran’s lifetime. You see? There's only one (s). There is no new, improved secret (s)1. The statute is unambiguous on its face. SMC (s) = $3,328.70 for a single guy or $3,494.51 if you are married. The conjunctive is "and". You need 100% (or TDIU)"and" 60% or more. The disjunctive is "or" as in "Or" you need a permanent housebound profile for the rest of your life to qualify without that extra 60% or more. The next step up from SMC(s) is SMC (l). That is more commonly known as the first tier of the Aid & Attendance ratings. It's followed by (r)1 and (r) 2. (l) if the veteran, as the result of service-connected disability, has suffered the anatomical loss or loss of use of both feet, or of one hand and one foot, or is blind in both eyes, with 5/200 visual acuity or less, or is permanently bedridden or with such significant disabilities as to be in need of regular aid and attendance, the monthly compensation shall be $3700.43
  16. asknod

    Camp LeJeune Contaminated Water Claims

    Winning at the VA is like a NFL champ taking on the JV high school team. It's no contest but it sure puts a grin on your face when you do it at the BVA. Judge Powell has been there since ten years before God was born. She's a hard taskmaster but if you build it, she will come. I'm blessed Brett. I just wish my heart wasn't on the verge of crapping out. I could do this for the next 100 years if the good Lord would see to it. And like your disclaimer says-- I'm not an attorney or VSO either but I do give advice and occasionally dabble in law as you can see.
  17. Try this one on. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to help this widow out at the 11th hour. https://asknod.org/2018/03/22/bva-two-american-kids-growing-up-in-the-heartland/
  18. Re too many judges. Up to 1994, there were 20 "sections" of three judges each which were divided up to handle appeals geographically. Back then (from 1960-1994) a "Board" was always three judges (VLJs or Veterans Law Judges). One was always a doctor/lawyer. Colvin v. Derwinski did away with the "doctor as a judge" part of the game and it became three judges alone. In 1994, they began allowing a Board to consist of just one judge to be able to hear more appeals. Until several years ago, we still only had 60 judges. We now have about 120 due to the FDC program and VA shoveling all those claims up to the BVA. Often, due to the length of some appeals, a VLJ may retire who has held a hearing but was not able to render a decision before his/her retirement. A new VLJ steps in and the Vet is allowed to decide if he wants a new hearing before the new judge. In some cases, a Vet has a hearing before a VLJ and then has a hearing before another VLJ over another matter combined with his/her appeal. In these instances, because two judges might decide for and against creating a "tie" situation, there must be a third judge added to ensure a 2-1 decision. A Vet is allowed to ask for a third hearing in front of that added-on judge to ensure due process. Hence we occasionally see three-judge Boards in this day and age. It's very rare though. I've even heard of a five judge board back in 1997. One thing many of you are unaware of. There is an "old school" contingent of VLJs and a burgeoning new group of free thinkers who do not kow tow to the old ways. They are actually real judges rather than shills for the VA Secretary. This is why we're seeing more wins out of the Board than in decades past.
  19. On March 25, 2015, the VA changed the rules on informal claims and began demanding you file a 21-526EZ to protect a true "informal claim". However, your filing for an informal claim prior to that date would predate that regulation. As long as you filed a 21-526EZ or the older, long-form (21-526 or even a 21-527 for pension) within that golden one-year window, it would be viewed as acceptable-IF- you filed the 526 within one year of the informal submission and clearly and unequivocally stated what it was you were filing for. I note you mention you filed another informal/formal claim in 2016. If it was accomplished on a 21-4138, it would be invalid as they quit accepting that as an informal claims document on 3/25/15. VSOs (Veterans Service Organization) didn't get that email for about a year and some still are clueless. The VBMS computer cannot "read" a 4138-especially anything handwritten. Everything must go in on the newer 526s regardless of whether it's a new claim, a claim for increase or even a CUE filing. Any disagreement likewise must be filed on the 21-0958. Remember, there is no venue for reconsideration unless your VSO catches the preliminary decision denial and asks the VA Regional Office (VARO) to correct it based on an error they see. That window is narrow-72 hours. If they do not protest, it's off to the NOD filing on a 958. In my opinion, you have inundated them with too many informal and formal claims and they are confused as to the true status of your informal claim. In these cases they assume the worst and looked at you January 2016 filing you mentioned as a new formal or informal claim. This happens often when you use a Veterans Service Organization. They tend to turn on the fire hose and drown the VA with filings that argue with one another. This clouds the posture of the oldest informal filing and the default setting goes to the latest one. Your rating is protected. They can never revisit the 100% decision. This is a conclusion of law that cannot be revised unless you obtained it fraudulently. I'd definitely go after the earlier effective date as a CUE filing and obtain my claims file to preserve the evidence of the 2013 informal claim before it suffers "shrinkage" or gets lost somehow. Best of luck.
  20. asknod

    1975 CUE?

    Failure in the duty to assist does not rise to the level of CUE. https://asknod.org/2014/05/02/cue-the-quintessential-elements/
  21. asknod

    How to get from SMC L to R2 in six months

    Email me re your SMC conundrum, sir. I'll be out of the office until next Wednesday. I got an invite to go to DC to be sworn in at the CAVC Tuesday. My business email is gagraham51@gmail.com.
  22. asknod

    How to get from SMC L to R2 in six months

    MS is rated under DC 8018 but only discusses the minimum rating of 30%. Obviously, to get to SMC M either you have other ratings above 50% or 100% which give you the "bump" permitted by §3.350(f)(3) or (4). Needing A&A is a 100% rating in itself which got you to SMC L in the first place. Always understand, SMC is the least understood of all VA entitlements. I've had raters tell me they have tried for years to grasp it but never succeeded. That begs the question "So who did you turn to in order to figure it out?" This is why I end up litigating in this area more than any other. It's also one of the most lucrative for the Vets as SMC is paid once you can prove entitlement-even if it was years or decades ago.
  23. I wonder how many times we have to warn Veterans not to use traditional FAX machines. If you absolutely must, use e-fax and attach the document as a .pdf (providing it isn't the Gutenberg Bible). When filing claims, I d use efax to Cheeseville. I always follow up, however, with a Priority Mail filing right behind it to double whammy it into the c-file. This is illegal according to VA but it guarantees one of them will get in your file and not someone else's. Priority Mail is confirmation of filing and you can track it free if you're anally retentive. It's $6.70 as of last week which is essentially the same as CM3R green card. In the same vein, I would never file on e-benefits as I have heard more horror stories than I care to repeat here of lost, misplaced or misfiled documents that were time-sensitive. Remember who you're dealing with here-apathetic, disaffected GS-8s with a large dose of ennui. Bon chance
  24. asknod

    DIC award !

    I keep getting emails from some of you folks saying your VSOs have been saying DIC eligibility has been decreased to 8 years. Read 38 USC §1311(a)(2). A $272 increase from the basic rate is for application after 8 years. §1318 still requires the ten year minimum. Remember, some spouses get it for their husband dying in service (0 years); others if he dies within 5 years of discharge and still others for being a POW. Remember to read the regs before trying to teach us the regs. Your consideration is appreciated. As for VSOs offering meaningful advice, that's a non sequitur.
  25. asknod

    TDIU IMO

    Interesting info for TDIU folks. For those seeking a higher or total schedular rating, I use Mednick Associates. It's too bad they only work through agents/attorneys though.
  26. asknod

    Cue for anemia, right???

    Only on appeal to the BVA. If they determine it isn't CUE, it's dead in the water absent a trip upstairs to the CAVC. On the other hand, filing a CUE at the AOJ level and not appealing a denial preserves it for a future claim of CUE on the same basis. You can always file a CUE again of a denied BVA decision as long as it is based on a different theory of error.
  27. asknod

    160% = SMC

    However, on the other hand....... if you've lost the use of your upper and/or lower extremities........ and if you wear diapers for incontinence................. and have a Foley catheter in most of the time or perhaps an active PICC line for chemotherapy and/or antibiotics................and need physical therapy in-home to avoid being put into a nursing home............ and all the disabilities and/or needs are based on service connected disabilities............ boy howdy then you qualify for SMC (r)(2) which is $8,676.60 a month (married). That's why they call SMC a "quality of life" entitlement. It's earned when you consider the prohibitive cost of the loss of freedom to move about the country unfettered. Merry Christmas to all the Hadit family. 2018 can only get better.
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