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    e-Benefits status is helpful but not definitive. Claims Process – Your claim can go from any step to back a step depending on the specifics of the claim, so you may go from Pending Decision Approval back to Review of Evidence. Continue Reading

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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. Today
  2. <<<<< I think my strongest piece would be a lay letter my mother wrote that details my schizophrenia and ptsd and gives a service connection.>>> Unless your mother is a psychologist or psychiatrist, she is not considered capable of diagnosing you with a major mental disorder. While she certainly is capable of testifying that you are not who you used to be when you entered the service, that does not provide the third ingredient you need to show service connection. I presume you have the first requirement of a bona fide history of psychiatric treatment or a qualified, documented stressor from your time in service.
  3. Yesterday
  4. A successful claim consists of three items. It sounds like you have two at best.
  5. Last week
  6. asknod

    Attorney Fee Eligibility Determination

    Technically, that isn't an appeal to the BVA. It is a disagreement with the BVA's conclusion of law. That's what your advocate is for. When a decision comes out, we have three working days to object and tell them what they screwed up. They fix it without an appeal. In fact, there's a little widget after the decision in VBMS after a rating decision we click on to say we agree with it. If we don't agree, we contact our Change Management Agent and ask them to contact the rater to ask if s/he's illiterate and can't decypher the BVA decision. Remember, they depend on the M 21 to write the decision. They're virtually brain dead without it. While I understand most of you do not have proactive VSOs, they are notified via VBMS that the decision has been promulgated. Under no circumstances can you file a NOA to the CAVC from a BVA decision to obtain DEA. The BVA Judge doesn't "award" a decision. They award an entitlement via a finding of fact and a conclusion of law. The RO is then tasked with writing it up. If the RO refused to give it to you in spite of what the BVA decided, you'd file an Extraordinary Writ of Mandamus to the CAVC asking for relief.
  7. asknod

    SMC (S1)

    Temporary SMC S is most often associated with an add-on for a surgery where VA gives you a temporary medical 100% for a set period during recovery. It is revoked at the end of the temporary period in most cases (or reduced to a permanent rating based on the outcome. Unless VA can find a reason to reduce the 60% or more independent rating(s) that entitles you to the SMC S, you can presume it's going to be permanent. Congratulations, sir.
  8. asknod

    Attorney Fee Eligibility Determination

    Why would a Vet appeal a favorable finding of fact to the CAVC? The Court would declare it moot as there is no case or controversy. (38 USC §7262) <<<(This only applies to cases at the CAVC.)>>> It also applies to the CAFC and the SC. (38 USC §7292).
  9. Waco is most definitely doing claims, Buck. I know because I have not one, but two clients there. A very sick Huey door gunner and an 11 Bravo who ate a satchel charge. Same for Houston. With any new technique at VA, it takes them a while to get up to speed. Promises are always made and then the inevitable "Gee, we didn't foresee that..."" comes out. I do know that a lot of VAROs who are doing RAMP are sitting around doing nothing and waiting for business. Considering they are supposed to have it running up at the BVA by February 2019, I worry. I almost did a RAMP for one of my clients. After some deep thought, I decided to continue on the traditional path to ensure I win. Get this. My CMA here in Seattle actually called me and asked why I wasn't taking advantage of this gift to Veterans. Aruuuh? Gift? How about denial of due process and failure of the duty to assist? I said it in March 2018 at the San Diego NOVA conference and I'll say it again. RAMP is a cruel joke. Unless you have incontrovertible proof you are right and the evidence to prove it, you will not prevail. It's nothing more than a shortline railroad to a quick denial to clear out the backlog. If the Examiner still feels s/he is correct, you're doomed until you get a set of eyes on it who know what they are doing. The only time I encounter that is if I talk to the rater or DRO personally and explain it to them. About then, the light bulb goes on and they says something silly like "Oh. I guess I never thought about it like that. I'll fix it immediately and get out a letter to you. Sorry." Remember, they trust a computer-not their brains. VA raters nowadays do not know how to rate claims. They trust the M 21 totally. The M 21 is at least a year behind on just CAVC precedence alone. Ever hear of §1114(j)? It's the new SMC for TBI and a revamping of our 100% schedular/TDIU ratings. VA just "reinvented" it several months ago and published it in the Fed. register last week. Merry Christmas, from Bob Wilkie.
  10. Earlier
  11. Something I can say from doing this for 30 years is VA employees, for the most part, are compassionate. However, the older they get, the more power they accrue. With that comes cynicism. I've encountered a few bad apples in Jackson Mississippi and Seattle. By the same token, I've got a lifelong DRO friend in Fort Harrison who will move heaven and earth for my Vets. Ditto for San Diego. Most are handcuffed by the M 21. The Ft. Harrison gal tried to award my client both a 1/2 and a full step bump up from L to M 1/2 but the M 21 forbids it and would not let her promulgate it that way. She said I got one or the other but not both. Oddly, she said, it didn't say why but wouldn't allow it. This is what you are up against. Granted, some of these folks' IQs are room temperature but that doesn't mean they are inherently evil. The problem was with former Comp. and Pen. Director Tom Murphy gerrymandering the M 21 into denying what we should be granted. He got spanked for cheating and was demoted to the St. Louis RO as director. I feel sorry for you folks in Missouri now. I just did an appeal for a Vietnam Vet who lost the use of his lower extremities due to Prostate cancer metastasizing into his leg bones. I tried the new Jensen defense relying on §3.809(c). (see CAVC # 15-4788). The DRO said "No dice. We don't recognize Jensen as precedent". I got an AOD on the docket to the BVA and a few months later, the BVA judge grants LOU and cites...wait for it.... Jensen and §3.809(c). Don't be disparaged by this. You are dealing with a computer, not vindictive VA pukes for the most part. If you are right, you will prevail. If you have really good legal help, you'll win sooner. Face it. There are about 1000 of us who do just VA claims for a living. Check out the NOVA site for a list and start calling them. By law, we cannot solicit you. Always remember. DROs will only bargain with you verbally which is why the DRO in WV asked Shawnkatt1 "what it would take" to buy him out. They will only bargain on the phone or verbally as it's not permitted by law. I do it frequently but never on an email. As for Victor Ray, if you get a VA attorney who has access to VBMS, s/he can see everything. Nothing is hidden. If the Army doesn't send it to the NPRC in St. Louis, that is not VA's fault. If the VARO shreds the records, that's another thing entirely. I've only caught VA on that once (spoliation of the c-file). They paid dearly. Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem You win with evidence and facts. Don't waste your time trying to prove the Army or VA did something wrong. I liken it to what my policeman friend says. "When I respond to a bank robbery, I shoot the money first. Then I worry about the other guys. We never let the money leave the crime scene. " You want to win your claim. After you do that, you have the rest of your life to go after them for equitable relief. I have to be frank with you folks. The law is on your side. You will always win if you do it in the right order. You need three things. I file with no evidence whatsoever. They will deny me anyway. I buy an IMO. It's $2 K. I file the NOD with the IMO. I let them show their cards with the denial and I instantly know what they want to approve it. DBQs are for chumps. Never hand one to a private doc and ask him to fill it out. Have him write it on his stationary. I used to put Tickle Me, Elmo stickers in the upper right hand on my filings to the VA back in the 90s and 2000s. Yep. They're still in my e-file in color! I used to have 100 + 40+10. I experimented with a few claims to test out the theory. I'm now 100+100+60+40+30+10+0+0. I could legitimately file for my back and get another 60+20 bilaterally for radiculopathy but it won't get me more money. So now I do claims for you guys. This is a recipe-just like baking cookies. Don't try to re-invent how to make flour or sugar. Happy Veterans Day to all of you and thank you all for being so kind as to serve your country.
  12. Regrettably, I have to disagree. If you disbelieve me, try a VSO out and tell him you want to file for entitlement to both. Pension (taxable) is for Vets who served during a period of war for non-service connected injuries. See 38 CFR §3.3 Compensation (non-taxable) is for chronic service connected injuries in the line of duty for Vets who served more than 24 months See 38 CFR §3.4 See also §3.1(k)(l); §3.151(a); §3.155(b)(2). You are not entitled to "double dip". Either your injuries are SC or they are NSC. You are certainly entitled to the higher of whichever you qualify for. For argument's sake, I can't imagine a Vet opting to fight to get pension when he qualifies for 100% compensation (or more). As for AIA (?), the person posing the question (AndrewDC) only mentions Aid and Attendance. He is entitled to tax-free Compensation so would have no need to seek a taxable Pension. Ergo, why would he or I discuss possible entitlement to pension-based AIA you mention? I've been doing this 30 years and never heard of Aid IN Attendance. Perhaps you could cite to a 38 CFR? I can't find it. Aid and attendance is described in 38 CFR §3.352. It specifically cites a nonexhaustive list of the deficits needed to qualify for A&A. There are three "grades" of A&A. SMC at the L rate is basic A&A. R1 is the first of two stages of a higher level of A&A. R2 is the highest level of A&A awarded. See also §3.350(h) §3.352(b). Perhaps what you are thinking of is Aid and Attendance in reference to Pension which is an additional payment every month when not in a medical facility at government expense. The same disabilities must be met as in §3.352(a) but makes no provisions for entitlement to the higher levels of Aid and Attendance at the R1 or R2 rates (§3.352(b)). The amount is also taxable. Pension is a means-tested entitlement. Pension with A&A is also means-based. Unlike compensation entitlement, it is taxable so any Social Security income, income from a union pension, or stocks and bonds are deducted from the total VA pension award amount. Here's the link to the VA site but I see no mention of Aid IN Attendance--- https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp <<<Aside from that (and I admit this is a SWAG) is that Aid and Attendance is only available for one who meets the eligibility criteria for a VA pension.>>> Cite? Here's the dead giveaway as to why you cannot file for both comp. and pension as it is explained in the prelude on the VA form instructions. Read VAF 21P-527EZ (for pension) https://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=21P-527EZ. Note the form states " Use this notice and the attached application to submit a claim for veterans non service-connected pension benefits." Whereas on the VAF 21-526EZ, the prelude clearly states: " Use this notice and the attached application to submit a claim for veterans' disability compensation and related compensation benefits." I grant you VA is lost in space, but I've never heard of having two different forms to fill out to pursue the same financial entitlement. Before 2014, the old 526s stated you could use the 526 for either a compensation or a pension claim-but again-never both simultaneously. But I could be wrong... Just because I haven't heard of Aid In Attendance doesn't mean I'm right by any means. Pension is not my strong point, Sgt. Stelmo. For that reason, I don't do pension legal work. VSOs, on the other hand, do very good Pension work, burial benefits and the like. In fact, my knowledge of pension law is what I needed to pass the exam to become an agent. I leave pension to the experts. My law focus is strictly on Compensation beyond 100% and the higher levels of SMC. andrewdc seeks SMC L for A&A which is right down my alley. And, since this question was in the VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum area, I actually answered it from a compensation-only angle. Truth be told, the pension angle never entered my head.
  13. You cannot, by law, be entitled to both pension and compensation entitlements. The DBQ attached to the original post discusses the neurocognitive disorders and other ailments sufficiently to provoke a VA investigation into the possibility of incompetence. As the Vet's wife is not a doctor and has no medical training, her letter is not useful for proving entitlement to A&A. Only a doctor can make that pronouncement. VA would be remiss if they failed to investigate and the Veteran later injured himself or others. On page 3 of the DBQ under History, the examining physician makes the statement that he (the Veteran) is no longer able to manage his financial affairs. This is the smoking gun that has provoked the fiduciary quandary. It's the same question asked on #27 of the 21-2680. While this particular Dr. doing the DBQ is qualified to make an assessment of incompetence in the first instance, she is not asked to, nor required, to do so on a DBQ. As for entitlement to the A&A, again, it is granted when entitlement is shown to exist-and not a moment sooner. The DBQ states he is still working albeit on the verge of being let go and also states he should not be driving a motor vehicle. If you are still denied yet again, please contact me for possible representation before the VA. As I mentioned, I do this for a living and have a good working relationship with the Veterans Administration. It's a recipe-just like baking cookies. You have to have all the ingredients. It appears you do but VA is not in the habit of throwing money around. It's $3866.24 they are going to start paying. Obviously, if they can delay or get out of paying it, they will. And always remember, if you use a VSO like DAV, VFW or the like, their Congressional Charter demands they assist the VA-not you. I'm accredited and listed at the VA's OGC site-or feel free to call me at my office (253) 313-5377. Email is gagraham51@gmail.com. Best of luck in whatever you choose.
  14. The only way VA can propose incompetence would be if a psychiatrist or other medical professional determined you were not competent. This is a major decision and one that carries many implications-including the loss of the right to keep and bear arms. At some point, someone had to fill out a 2680 that indicated you were not in need of Aid and Attendance. That determination was made by someone. I suggest you go to your VAMC and visit the Release of Information Office (ROI). Ask them for a complete copy of all your VA medical records to date. In there, you will probably find a 2680 or a similar CAPRI medical record saying much the same that is asked on the 2680.
  15. AndrewDC The best thing to do is to have a VA doctor do an A&A exam on you. Download the VA Form 21-2680 and take him a copy to fill out. They generally can do it while you are there for a regular checkup. If you do not use VAMCs, have your local private care provider in the community fill out and sign the 2680. The answers to that form will determine whether you qualify for A&A (SMC at the L rate). Here's the link to it. https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-2680-ARE.pdf As a note of caution, be careful how you answer # 27. A "no" answer will result in VA appointing a fiduciary for the Veteran and controlling how his funds are spent. It also takes a while to establish a fiduciary and VA will hold up the payment award until the Fiduciary Field Examiner makes a home visit. It's a paperwork jungle to avoid if the Veteran is indeed competent. I do this for a living (SMC) and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.
  16. The short answer-- In a situation like this, when you do the reopen 7-8 years later and win, you then introduce the earlier effective date as a NOD. I've had to do this several times but the win on the reopened claim(s) is the ticket to getting your shoe in the door and it doesn't require doing it under §3.105. It's a viable pathway to the EED because it is inextricably intertwined with the reopened claim. This falls under the Standard Operating Procedures outlined in the Segmented Lanes model of adjudicating claims. An Appeals coach is permitted to adjudicate inextricably intertwined claims in the first instance during an appeal in spite of their not being developed to their optimum and properly appealed. Please refer to the M21-1 Manual III. i. 1.3a for guidance. See also Harris v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 180 (1991). This provision comprehends conserving scarce judicial resources so as to better allocate resources to other deserving Veterans. P.S. Look at Fenderson v West and "staged ratings". This is the only time you can contest an earlier effective date. If you filed 7-8 years ago and won the claim but did not contest the earlier effective date within the golden year to file the NOD, you screwed up. VA will say you had ample time to protest... but you didn't. VA contends that means you agreed with their findings of fact.
  17. Good point Buck. I have used that argument in front of BVA Judges. I didn't discuss the later IU scenario above. You can have a combined rating made up of lots of ratings that add up to 100% w/ VA math. That would be called a "combined 100% rating. The prime reason I don't like 100% combined is if you ever get called back in for a new c&p within the 20 years and they discover you somehow managed to get better, they can and often will reduce your rating. It might knock you down to the point where you even no longer qualify for IU. Always remember Buie v. Shinseki (2010)-the order in which you are granted claims is immaterial. What is material is that you can rearrange them to gain the highest and best rating. For SMC S, remember too that a TDIU can suffice for the total rating if it's at least 70%. That's how I get a lot of Vets their SMC S.
  18. Many of you do not recognize there are two distinctly different 100% ratings-be it for PTSD or any disability. If you are rated a true 100% schedular for your disease, and have been granted Chapter 35 DEA benefits, you can go back to work. On the other hand, if you are rated 70% and granted TDIU at the 100% rate, and also granted Chapter 35 DEA benefits, you cannot go back to work. There is one narrow exception if you are employed in a "sheltered" employment such as a family business where they include you on the payroll. By being TDIU, you are forbidden to work period except as I mentioned. If VA sees your SSI earnings show employment, you will lose the TDIU and have to pay it back. After 20 years at any percentage, they cannot reduce or take away your rating. If you were rated at 60% for 20 years and then attained 100%, only the 60% would be protected. I fought VA for so long that when I finally won, both my 100% ratings were protected.
  19. You can win any claim with an IMO that connects the dots. The catch is the $2 K cost for the IMO.
  20. VA has changed the way they decide claims. With the introduction of the new RAMP program, there are twelve less ROs deciding regular claims. They are brokered out around the country using the National Work Queue (NWQ). St. Paul, Roanoke and Philadelphia have become "super-VA" rating centers. Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta and a few others no longer do claims of any sort (other than RAMP). I'm not sure about Portland but I do have several clients there who seem to be getting their claims done locally. As Navy04 points out, at this time of the year there are extra pressures like homelessness or medical exigency that put others ahead of the rest to the front of the line.
  21. I think you miss the big picture. VA is an Insurance Company. They pay out claims. They are the only Insurance co. in town. Either you play by their rules or you lose. The c&p doctor cans say whatever he wants to. You will never succeed in making him out to be incompetent (see Presumption of Regularity). If he says he reviewed your records, then he did in VA's eyes. <<<<.my VSO in the initial claim request asked for either causation or aggravation to either PTSD/MST or IBS. The rater only asked for a medical opinion of causation. Also, we did submit literature to support the claim. >>>>> In a VA claim, you present evidence to support your claim. You cannot, as a matter of law, demand VA prove your causation or aggravation. All they can do is review the EOD and if it supports your contentions, you win. Ignoring the IBS is implicit denial (Cogburn). If you didn't bring any evidence or IMO to the claim, then deciding it on the merits of anything, including IBS, is beside the point. No tickee-no laundry. <<< Also, we did submit literature to support the claim.>>>>> By "literature" do you mean internet articles which do not refer to you personally? An IMO is a specialty item. It applies solely to you and no one else. Your VSO's letterhead says he is accredited by the OGC- the same as me. That fact, in and of itself, is scary. I really don't care if someone has appeared on Hadit as a guest. That fact doesn't automatically impart he or she is knowledgeable of VA law. VSOs have what is called a "group coverage" under the umbrella of one Senior Veterans Service Officer who is accredited by the OGC. He can have 250 of these worker bees helping him. He has passed the same test I have and he is ostensibly versed in VA law. Your individual representative has probably not passed that test. As such, he has no "pedigree". It appears you are not well-acquainted with the process either-nor should you be. That's why you sought out legal help. I read about this claims game for two years before I even began to understand it. By that time, I had 18 years into losing. I studied it for ten years before I sat for the exam. I now do it for a living as everyone on Hadit probably knows. Trust me when I say I wouldn't waste my time giving you bogus advice that will not help. There's only one way to win your claim-the right way. Any effort wasted in waiting to "see what happens" is going to prolong your wait for a win.
  22. I fully understand your claims posture (i.e. Fibro 2ndy to PTSD/IBS). Nevertheless, even though your contemporary service medical records have no entries for fibromyalgia, the probity, and subsequent value, of any IMO hinges on the reviewer (i.e.the RA Dr. or MH provider) having surveyed each and every document from beginning to end. You will note in the C&P doctor's form on page one that s/he checked off the box stating they had reviewed the VBMS electronic file (your claims file) or the Virtual VA file. That's called ACE (Acceptable Clinical Evidence) I think there is some confusion here. I keep asking you if the doctors reviewed your claims file. A claims file is not the VAMC's medical records file on you. The C&P doctor reviewed all your files-both VAMC Dr. notes and the Navy medical records from the time you served. If your VAMC doctors have not, or never will, review your Navy service medical records, the VA will continue to deny you forever. If these same VAMC doctors are unwilling to quote from, and send in recognized, peer-reviewed studies pointing to a strong correlation between Fibro and PTSD, then you will be denied forever. I tell my clients to watch Judge Judy for a month to get the gist of law and evidence. On page 7 of the c&p exam, in Section IV -Medical Opinion,, the doctor clearly stated: "there are no medical records or studies showing a direct or causal relationship with the two conditions." Part of submitting a claim is submitting evidence that supports it. Here, the VA-contracted doctor says you did not submit any evidence to support your contention that the fibro is secondary to PTSD. That is what is necessary to win. Your VSO, who works for VA, knows you need three things to win. We also teach these three elements to each and everyone who comes to Hadit or asknod- 1) disease/injury/risk factor or presumptive in service; 2) same disease/injury now; and 3) a nexus letter connecting the two. (Caluza v. Brown 1994; Cf. Shedden; Hickson et al). You basically have only #2- a current diagnosis of Fibro. What you need is #3- a legitimate Independent Medical Opinion (IMO/IME/nexus). At a minimum, your IMO doctor has to connect the fibro to the PTSD with sound medical principles (and recognized studies-not internet articles) all doctors can reasonably agree on. See 38 CFR §3.310. I would talk this over seriously with your VSO. If you say "What about the Caluza golden triangle?" and he looks back at you like a deer in the headlights and says "Who's Caluza?", you may want to reread what we're trying to teach you in this thread and rethink your legal strategy. I always benefit from getting the denial and seeing what they used for the rationale. It's easier to make a battle plan when you know why they denied you and what they used to determine it with. Best of luck.
  23. <<<<< I didn't hire any doctor to write letters and my VA doctor's have all my medical records, so they know my medical history.>>>>>> Are you saying you gave them all your service medical records or simply that they have all your VA VistA (CAPRI) records? There is a major difference. By operation of law, VA Hospitals are not allowed to store and view your military treatment records so I doubt they have your military service "medical history". If you tell a doctor what happened to you in the military, unsubstantiated by any service treatment records, that is simply your version of events attenuated through your perceptions of what you say happened. It isn't corroborated by anything on paper. In VAland, they call that "history" as in "the Veteran contends..., or Veteran avers... or Veteran claims..." I could claim I got Hepatitis C on my third alien abduction from the colonoscopy they gave me. I don't think they'd believe me unless I showed them the pictures or the records. Lay testimony, while useful, must still be supported by evidence. <<<I contacted my RA doctor and we talked with my representative on the phone as well. By the end of the call he was confident enough to link my PTSD/MST as aggravation to my Fibromyalgia.>>>> I apologize. From the way it was written, I inadvertently took it to mean that by the end of the call, your accredited representative was confident enough to link the Fibro to a MH or IBS problem. I only saw one nexus letter from a doctor and a DBQ. While I wish you the very best in your claims, I merely point out problem areas I have encountered in the past that you may want to have your representative address.
  24. Redact your 2680 for us and let's see what you have. If a real MD did it, they may buy it. If Nurse Nancy signed it, maybe not. A rapid adjudication can only mean one of two things-either you won or you lost. Duh. Welcome to VAland. If you are severely disabled, they do them in a hurry but that's no guarantee of a win. You still have to meet the §3.352 requirements.
  25. The answer, sadly, is no- the documents you attached to your post have little or no probative value in a court of law. The DBQ shows the medical specialist reviewed your claims file whereas the VA doctor did not. That, right off the bat, kills the nexus letter. Reonal v. Brown. In order to be probative, a nexus must say more that "it's SC". It must then give reasons and examples of peer-reviewed studies the doctor relied on to reach his conclusions so others may review it for its probity. The nexus letter states: " This condition is likely related to PTSD as several studies..." At least as likely as not is the minimum legal standard of review. Later the doctor does say it's at least as likely as not but gives no cites to peer-reviewed articles he referred to. You cannot have two different determinations of degree of belief that something is related to service. Either it's "likely" or else it's "at least as likely as not". As for your VA agent writing you a nexus letter, he would need to be a medical doctor or Registered Nurse with a two-year degree to write it. If he doesn't know this, you may want to shop around for new legal help. Remember, IMO doctors write their letters a lot differently than practicing physicians. They review any and all medical records, including your service and current ones. No serious doctor would write a nexus based on nothing more than what the patient recites to him. Fibromyalgia, secondary to PTSD (or any major mental disorder) is attainable but there's a recipe for a winning nexus. Get all you records and give them to the VA doctor who wrote the nexus. Let him/her review them and cite to the medical studies s/he mentioned showing the relationship between the PTSD and the fibromyalgia. Present it to the BVA Judge on appeal and you will win. Here's an attached example of how I file. I ask for benefit of the doubt but I have quite a bit of argument to back up the benefit of the doubt argument. As you can see, I always get more than one nexus too but the professional one is always the chicken dinner winner. Best of luck. Filed IMO to BVA 1-8-2018 redacted.pdf
  26. I just did an A&A claim for a Vietnam Vet following a loss of use of lower extremities award on 9/28. It was final yesterday. I filed the original claim 5/15. It went to the BVA on 9/18. Depending on if you are seriously disabled, they will do them in a hurry. I do a lot of guys who are terminal and generally get top drawer service for them. I pray your VSO is as equally aggressive. Ask him to have the RO "flash it" in VBMS under your profile folder. If you have major medical issues that require AA, you deserve to get advanced on the docket. Best of luck, sir.
  27. The highest schedular rating he lists is 70%. Perhaps 100% combined? If enough of the overage above the 100% is related to an independently rated disease or injury, he might qualify for SMC S. Looks like he's TDIU.
  28. Chevron deference (in regulations) can only extend to what Congress has not explicitly addressed. Just because Congress did not specify that ILP is a one-shot deal, the Secretary is not free to refashion a new interpretation. Another aspect few recognize is that if VA has a documented history of deciding claims (or interpretation of 38 USC §3120), it counts heavily against them should they attempt to refashion a new interpretation. They have to justify why the newer "interpretation" is more applicable than the old one. I severely doubt they could do that if called out. I just refiled a NOD with the Director VRE on the denial of a larger greenhouse. In it, I also NOD'ed the missing 240VAC composting water closet and the two-year subscription to Lexis Nexis VBM they authorized.
  29. You do yourself a great disservice if you do not read the regulation before querying Hadit readers. § 2.7 Delegation of authority to provide relief on account of administrative error. (a) Section 503(a) of title 38 U.S.C., provides that if the Secretary determines that benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs have not been provided by reason of administrative error on the part of the Federal Government or any of its employees, the Secretary is authorized to provide such relief on account of such error as the Secretary determines equitable, including the payment of moneys to any person whom he determines equitably entitled thereto. (b) Section 503(b) of title 38 U.S.C., provides that if the Secretary determines that any veteran, surviving spouse, child of a veteran, or other person, has suffered loss, as a consequence of reliance upon a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of eligibility or entitlement to benefits, without knowledge that it was erroneously made, the Secretary is authorized to provide such relief as the Secretary determines equitable, including the payment of moneys to any person equitably entitled thereto. The Secretary is also required to submit an annual report to the Congress, containing a brief summary of each recommendation for relief and its disposition. Preparation of the report shall be the responsibility of the General Counsel. (c) The authority to grant the equitable relief, referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, has not been delegated and is reserved to the Secretary. Recommendation for the correction of administrative error and for appropriate equitable relief therefrom will be submitted to the Secretary, through the General Counsel. Such recommendation may be initiated by the head of the administration having responsibility for the benefit, or of any concerned staff office, or by the Chairman, Board of Veterans Appeals. When a recommendation for relief under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section is initiated by the head of a staff office, or the Chairman, Board of Veterans Appeals, the views of the head of the administration having responsibility for the benefit will be obtained and transmitted with the recommendation of the initiating office. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 503, 512) [ 37 FR 22864, Oct. 26, 1972, as amended at 49 FR 30693, Aug. 1, 1984; 54 FR 34981, Aug. 23, 1989; 68 FR 25504, May 13, 2003]
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    • Military Service Records - Military personnel records can include DD 214s/Separation Documents, service personnel records found within the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), and medical Records. Military personnel records can be used for proving military service or as a valuable tool in genealogical research.
      • 0 replies
    • So I've been in a basic power chair (Q6 Edge) since 2015. Late 2016 was also fitted for a TiLite TRA manual (also keeping powerchair). 2017 was approved by Tampa VA for clothing allowance for lower. 


      Moved to Battle Creek VA late 2017. Since then was issued new basic powerchair (Quickie P222-SE) to replace broken Q6. Still use TiLite also now can lightly ambulate with Forearm crutches.

      Use crutches 50%, and both chairs 25% each.

      Was approved for 1 clothing allowance this year for forearms crutches for upper.


      Was denied 2nd for chair/lower that was awarded last year because Chief Prosthetic states "powerchair takes precedence, you were issued that so you are to use only the powerchair".

      Also powerchair has gap between seat and leg mounts where clothes do get caught and tear. Clinician was I'll put it back in but"power chairs dont get clothing allowances", and "any review or appeal will only come back to me"

      I was approved for powerchair/custom manual combo clothing allowance last year; How do I word an appeal for the lower clothing allowance this year?

      My local DAV rep at the VA has no clue on how to handle this.

      • 6 replies
    • Thank you.  I’m not exactly sure of how I will file it.  If it is secondary to TBI, would it be pyramiding?
    • I understand what you are saying. Does it sometimes take awhile to update the VA letters and disabilities info online after it closes.....in my case on a Saturday ? Some on other posts on here says no and some say yes so I'm just curious about the inconsistency regarding that if it is yes and no.
    • I understand what you are saying. Does it sometimes take awhile to update the VA letters and disabilities info online after it closes.....in my case on a Saturday ? Some on other posts on here says no and some say yes so I'm just curious about the inconsistency regarding that if it is yes and no.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   


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