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PapaJahn

Award Letter Received...confused

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Well, it finally happened.....

I received my rating letter and I can't complain! I do have a question that the VA (800#) refuses to clarify.

Background info:

17 April 09: Filed claim

May-Aug 09: Butt-load of CP exams

30 June 09: Retired USAF

24 Sep 09: Received check from US treasury...no annotation as to reason (assumed it was VA Comp)

25 Sep 09: Called VA 800# and confirmed check was first VA comp. Woman stated decision letter would soon follow.

28 Sept 09: Received decision letter...100% with SMC added, effective 1 July 09

Here's where I am confused...called 800# a couple of times and have gotten conflicting anwers.

The first page has my monthly entitlement amount- $$$$$, followed by the payment start date - Aug 1 2009.

The following page states: "Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

If logic prevails.....I was entitled to benefits for July, August and now September. Since the first check wasn't cut until 23 Sept it should have been for July and August entitlements....correct???

Well, my first check was equal to one months' benefit....which month it was for wasn't annotated on the check. So, I call the infamous 800# to seek clarification. Woman stated that check cut was for Aug and I wasn't entitled to July because of the "payment start date" wasn't until 1 Aug. After discussing MY interpretation of the letter, she backtracked, agreed, and stated another check had been cut and was in the mail. She stated Oct 1st payments hadn't been processed for anyone yet, so this check must be the other month of retro pay and I that I would receive another check on/about Oct 1st...3 months, 3 checks.

Great...issue solved...so I thought.

Got another check in the mail today...just as she promised. One small glitch....the check is dated for 1 Oct and is annotated with "09 Va Comp for Sep".

So, back to the 800# again, different representative. I repeat the process from the previous conversation.

The young man I spoke with didn't have a clue. At first he disagreed with me...then he agreed...then contradicted himself by saying the check received today was both back pay AND October's payment...A complete idiot. I asked if I could have his name and speak to his supervisor he said NO to both and I could just call back to get another representative. I repeated my position and he says "OH!" and agrees, once again. He places me on hold to double check and then someone else gets on the phone and "tells me how it is". I was stunned at her rudeness. She stated the check received today, dated 1 Oct is for my September entitlement. The previous check (dated 23 Sept) was for Augusts' entitlement and that I am not entitled to anything for the month of July, because my payment start date wasn't until Aug 1st. She refused to speak any further and hung up on me.

So, i guess their final position is that the start date of Aug 1st IS the same as the effective date and than I am not entitled to any comp for the month of July.

Soooo, for any of you patient enough to read through my ramblings...are my assumptions correct or are these VA reps correct? If I am correct what do I have to do to get the rest of my retro pay?

I really hope I made myself clear and thank anyone for their input on this issue.

PapaJahn

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Well, it finally happened.....

I received my rating letter and I can't complain! I do have a question that the VA (800#) refuses to clarify.

Background info:

17 April 09: Filed claim

May-Aug 09: Butt-load of CP exams

30 June 09: Retired USAF

24 Sep 09: Received check from US treasury...no annotation as to reason (assumed it was VA Comp)

25 Sep 09: Called VA 800# and confirmed check was first VA comp. Woman stated decision letter would soon follow.

28 Sept 09: Received decision letter...100% with SMC added, effective 1 July 09

Here's where I am confused...called 800# a couple of times and have gotten conflicting anwers.

The first page has my monthly entitlement amount- $$$$$, followed by the payment start date - Aug 1 2009.

The following page states: "Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

If logic prevails.....I was entitled to benefits for July, August and now September. Since the first check wasn't cut until 23 Sept it should have been for July and August entitlements....correct???

Well, my first check was equal to one months' benefit....which month it was for wasn't annotated on the check. So, I call the infamous 800# to seek clarification. Woman stated that check cut was for Aug and I wasn't entitled to July because of the "payment start date" wasn't until 1 Aug. After discussing MY interpretation of the letter, she backtracked, agreed, and stated another check had been cut and was in the mail. She stated Oct 1st payments hadn't been processed for anyone yet, so this check must be the other month of retro pay and I that I would receive another check on/about Oct 1st...3 months, 3 checks.

Great...issue solved...so I thought.

Got another check in the mail today...just as she promised. One small glitch....the check is dated for 1 Oct and is annotated with "09 Va Comp for Sep".

So, back to the 800# again, different representative. I repeat the process from the previous conversation.

The young man I spoke with didn't have a clue. At first he disagreed with me...then he agreed...then contradicted himself by saying the check received today was both back pay AND October's payment...A complete idiot. I asked if I could have his name and speak to his supervisor he said NO to both and I could just call back to get another representative. I repeated my position and he says "OH!" and agrees, once again. He places me on hold to double check and then someone else gets on the phone and "tells me how it is". I was stunned at her rudeness. She stated the check received today, dated 1 Oct is for my September entitlement. The previous check (dated 23 Sept) was for Augusts' entitlement and that I am not entitled to anything for the month of July, because my payment start date wasn't until Aug 1st. She refused to speak any further and hung up on me.

So, i guess their final position is that the start date of Aug 1st IS the same as the effective date and than I am not entitled to any comp for the month of July.

Soooo, for any of you patient enough to read through my ramblings...are my assumptions correct or are these VA reps correct? If I am correct what do I have to do to get the rest of my retro pay?

I really hope I made myself clear and thank anyone for their input on this issue.

PapaJahn

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Papa,

I'll try to explain this and I think when done, you'll be able to understand. I was somewhat perplexed, not unlike yourself, when I received my first check. My confusion was for the same reason as yours. However, after reading this letter a few times, the light bulb finally went on, to borrow the famous analogy.

"Your payment begins the first day of the month following your effective date. You will received a payment covering the intial amount due under this award, minus any withholdings, in approximately 15 days. Payments will then be made at the begining of each month for the prior month. For example, benefits due for May are paid on or about June 1."

This can be confusing as Hell. Your effective date is July, and payment, as stated above, will begin in August, the first day of the month. Your confusion, as it appears to me is that you believe you should be paid for July also, inasmuch as this is listed as the effective date. However, such is not the case. If you would have received your first payment in September, instead of August,you would have a legitimate claim for Sep and Aug, because payment was scheduled to begin in August, first month after the effective date. So, in essence, you have to think of July as merely a date for establishing all further payments and that July itself is not a month in which you will be paid for.

Still confusing, I'm aware, but I hope this helps somewhat anyway.

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I have been on SMC for the past 6 yrs been a 100% now I have recievd a 70% rating I have a appeal in for housebound should I do a new claim on the 100 and 70 or let it ride? Also in my award letter it stated they made a unmistakable era and they changed the statis to 38 usc 1114 subsection p and 38 cfr 3 350 f3 at intermediate between subsection 1 and subsection m what does this mean please

Edited by Lenkl

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Lenkl asked:

“I have been on SMC for the past 6 yrs been a 100% now I have recievd a 70% rating I have a appeal in for housebound should I do a new claim on the 100 and 70 or let it ride? Also in my award letter it stated they made a unmistakable era and they changed the statis to 38 usc 1114 subsection p and 38 cfr 3 350 f3 at intermediate between subsection 1 and subsection m what does this mean please”

The regulations for SMC should have been enclosed with the decision. There is more info if you google M21-1MR Part IV, Subpartii, Chapter 2, Section H.

I am confused too by your question. It looks to me like you sure do get a higher level of SMC than the “S:” award but did the VA's Clear and unmistakable error you said they referred to, give you more SMC comp

under SMC 'P 'or less under the intermediate level l, to M?

If their CUE on themselves didn't favor you, that might well be something to disagree with and include in any appeal.

Have they awarded you Aid and Attendance already?

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