Jump to content


  • hate-ads-subscribe-now.jpg

  • Ad
  • Ad
  • 14 Questions about VA 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

  • Ad

Recommended Posts

In January 2015 I was granted a SAH housing grant and my higher level of AA was remanded back to the RO for more documentation b/c they stated Veteran may be entitled to a higher level if they get information from a company I hired to come in a help take care of me but unfortunately I could not keep them as the cost was way too much so instead I rely on less expensive means, family and a nurse I hired on a 24hr care as needed basis.  My question is since I was granted the housing grant and from what I can read, the requirements for a higher level of AA, R-2 are the same as it is for the housing grant so why would they grant me a housing grant and not a higher level of AA??  I am at the M rate now.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


<<<<  b/c they stated Veteran may be entitled to a higher level if they get information from a company I hired to come in a help take care of me >>>>>

Never sit around and wait for VA to "get" anything from an outside source. More guys have lost with that mindset than I can count. Get it yourself. VA has to pay them for copies and they will refuse to. You can get them free via HIPPA. 

Criteria for a housing grant do not carry into the ratings field. I've seen that argument fall flat like a souffle. The requirements for a specific SMC like M are stated in 38 CFR 3.350. If, and only if, you qualify with two of any of the criteria for SMCs L, M, N or O/P, and IF one of them is Aid and Attendance, you can march smartly into R1. If you require far more care, you get R2. The criteria are all laid out in 3.352(a). Specially Adapted Housing grants are not ratings criteria, per se, like Part 3 and Part 4 of the ratings manuals. 

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok let's see, I was granted Aid and Attendance at the L rate back in 2003, and then after I appealed for a higher level of Aid and Attendance I was granted an L 1/2 rate but on CUE they raised it to the M rate in 2012 because I had a 100% rate and a 60% rate.

"Entitled to SMC-P(M) on account of entitlement to the statutory rate payable under 38 USC 1114(l) with an additional disability or conbination of disabilities, bladder incontinence, degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, left lower extremity radiculopathy, left upper extremity radiculopathy, diabetes mellitus, degenerative joint disease of cervical spine due to back injury, hepatitis C, right upper extremity radiculopathy, degenerative joint disease, thorzcic spine, and radiculopathy with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, right lower extremity independently ratable at 50 percent or more from October 29, 2010."

Since 2010 I have been diagnosed with loss of use of both legs and my left arm and my appeal is back at the RO and has been since January 2015.  I have had two doctors state that if I did not receive a higher level of Aid and Attendance then I should be in an institution or nursing home care.  Right now I am paying a nurse to come in or live in if she wants to in order to care for me plus I have my wife, kids and brother giving support also but their time is limited.  It cost a lot of money to have her come in daily, more than I can really afford but I have to eat and use the bathroom.  They never rated me for loss of bowel control even though I have that and have it bad and I don't know if it is too late to get that in the record or not.  I have been granted SAH and they bought me a Van, used and I know you say it doesn't matter all I am saying is they recognized the fact I don't get around too well.  Is there anything else I can do to give support to my claim now or just let them go ahead and rule on it???


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I please get a response to my post??  I realize everyone is very busy but I am on a deadline and need to get this in the mail.  Thank you for your help thus far

and please take care...


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This forum is manned exclusively by volunteers, who donate their time to help others.  You have already received a response by one of the very best, Alex.  I have nothing to add except this.  

Apparently, you are in a remand from the Board.  This means you can submit new evidence.  Have you ordered a copy of your Cfile so that you know exactly what is in it, and what they say?  If you dont, you are flying blind and need to get your hands on the C file pronto.  

If you have ordered your cfile and have it available, and you are certain the VA has your favorable evidence in its possession, then the chances are good your favorable evidence was not read, a very common occurance.  

You can try resubmitting favorable evidence, or, if you lack compelling favorable evidence, then you can try an IME/IMO.

Often independent docs are not familiar with the language necessary that VA is looking for.  I am not that familiar with the requirements for R-2, but you can search cases where they have been won or lost.  

It sounds like the stakes are high for you.  Is it too late to ask for a hearing?  Asking for a hearing may buy you some time to 1) obtain your cfile  2) get an IME/IMO if necessary 3) obtain professional legal help, that is a lawyer.  

Without know specifics of your case, we can not provide specific help.  We can only provide general help.  Specific help requires specific details of your case, General help requires only general information.  

In college they called it "significant digits".  In other words, your answer can be no more specific than the information you provide.  This is why lawyers always want to read your decisions, they dont rely upon your interpretation, else their advice will be no better than your interpretation.   

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dolphin 25, please give me a few days. I'm right in the middle of a Hospice. When they die, I'll be right back to answer this. The long and short is you are entitled to R1 and I'll tell  you why in detail ASAP. Bear with me, sir.

A sends

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By FuryOEFvi
      Preexisting facts: 
      - 100% P&T ( to include 100% PTSD, 70% TBI ) since 2011 
      - SMC-K
      - SMC-S  with two children.
      - two documented neuropsych & forensic workups: TBI residuals well documented, aquired ADHD due to mTBI x3; cognative and social imparements compounded by PTSD. 
      - purple heart 
      Hello all 
      I need guidence. 
      I am having a harder time maintining basic tasks. I am relying more on my relatives and children to help me with items such as laundry, house cleaning and such.  The wife split and and left me and the children. 
      I have contacted my MOPH service officer and am waiting to hear back from him. I am trying to figuire out if I should file for A&A or other SMC. I feel like I am barely treading water. 
      I have read but tired to figuire out SMC -R1 or SMC-T applies... 
      Please advise.
      Fury 1-9 out
    • By Persistant
      I uploaded (last week) some of the decisions my late husband had gotten and Berta spotted a couple CUEs and gave me some help in drafting them.  Berta if you are able to help with a few more questions Please?  
      I have only 2 more days till my year is up from the DIC/Accrued benefits claim where DIC was awarded and Accrued denied saying there aren't any.  At that time also, I intended Substitution but the VA form got separated (my fault) and didn't get submitted. I, however, wrote it into the 21-534EZ form and checked it. I also included a cover letter that said explicitly I was substituting for any and all accrued benefits...  They didn't address substitution in their decision.  Now with the CUEs which aren't an accrued yet, do I need to address those 2 forms immediately before the deadline?
      Here are some questions I still have if you could clarify these for me please:
      A.      Is a NOD for accrued benefits claimed with DIC a year ago needed – to appeal their conclusion that there are no accrued benefits? Would any backpay from these CUEs be considered accrued benefits that I would have to NOD the decision now for?
      B.      Is Substitution needed to do CUE claims or to receive any backpay on them?
      C.      What happens when future presumptions of ao are added to the list going forward (as a surviving spouse) does it affect anything I can act on?
            1.        Conditions claimed before – either rated or denied sc          
            2.       Would conditions listed in the C-File but never claimed come into play ever as a presumptive?
      D.      If CUE is successful:
           1.       then qualifying for housebound or A&A will need to be judged and evidence has never been presented before…
                a.       does the judgement come only from the C-File?  And if so, should I include printouts from C-File to bring attention to issues pertaining to them? 
                b.      Can any evidence be added (from that date and before) since it was never considered before?  And if so, do I include it with the CUE claim?
      E.       IHD was first decided as 30% and went back to one year prior to our first claim – effective 2004…the bump up to 60% was effective   .  But the 100% was effective 2006…Should any of those effective dates be different because:
           1.       SSDI was in place for IHD qualification date of 12/2000  
           2.       TDIU decision being effective 2006 (but he was unemployable per SSDI in 2000?) 
           3.        100% decision?   
           4.       100% effective date adjusted back due to Nehmer 2010 addition listing it as a presumptive
           5.       Combination of all the above?
      F.       Many of the evidence documents we submitted are not in the C-File and none of the forms we submitted are there to prove what we submitted or said.  Is that normal?
      G.     Also, the only SS docs in the C-File are the ones where I outline his conditions and behaviors in answer to the many questions on the intake paperwork for that SS claim.  There’s 4 pages of handwritten (including along margins due to space shortage)  that I doubt anyone is going to wade through but it’s filled with problems he was having.  Should I type it all out and attach it to the handwritten forms?
      H.      We submitted the whole SS file but can’t prove it.  We even wrote a letter to our Congressman to help us get a particular letter sent to us by SS along with their decision listing a myriad of restrictions to employment they concluded for him.  I couldn’t find it and neither could SS but the Congressman did try for us. I have those communications too, but don’t want to drown them in paperwork with this claim.  Any thoughts?
      Again, thank you Berta. I did try the other people you suggested without success.   
      And thank you to everyone here who has helped  me or does going forward!  
    • By gousto0731
      can anyone tell me how get smc  with 10% service connection  for chronic epididymitis
    • By gousto0731
      can anyone tell me how get smc  with 10% service connection  for chronic epididymitis .
    • By Bugaboo
      I am trying to figure out some information. Is it possible to have Special Monthly Compensation WITHOUT Disability pay? I was under the impression that you got both or you just got disability pay, but never SMC by itself.
    • By asknod
      As promised, I attach a big winner. I've never found so many CUEs under one rock. Kev's DRO reviewer called him up to tell him he knew more about SMC than she did. My name never came up fortunately.
      Redacted DRO for R2 for Kevin.pdf
    • By Navy4life
      I wanted to pass this on and share with all fellow Veteran's.  The CFR for Convalescence is not just for S/C contention as the CFR indicates http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-special-convalescence.asp
      I applied for 100% Temporary Convalescence for my right foot (which is NOT s/c) due to my left ankle (is S/C).  I was told it would be tough so I got all my ducks in a row.  I had my podiatrist write a very good IMO to support my claim.  That the left ankle was the cause of my right foot fracture.  The letter is what I truly believed help this claim.
      I wanted to share this so all Veteran's know that you can submit a claim of this nature even on a non-service connected contention.
    • By Navy4life
      So my DAV rep just called.  I am so happy!!!  I not only got an increase to 70%, I got 100% temporary convalescence for my broken right foot due to my left ankle!  I am so amazed!  I was told so many times that there was no way I would get the 100% because the right foot was not S/C, well I did!  They not only gave me the 100% for 3 months because my left ankle caused the right foot injury, I got 3 months of SMC-House Bound for three months as well!
      My NOD is still pending for my right foot s/c, right ankle, and left toe condition.
      My effective date is January 4th, 2016 for my new 70% rating.
      My three months of 100% temporary convalescence and SMC House Bound is effective July to September 2015.
      I truly believe the IMO from my VA Podiatrist sealed my fate for the 100% temporary convalescence.
      Keep fighting Vet's!!!
    • By Jasonj
      I'm 100% P & T with no future exams (lets hope not) and I've been doing a little research of my own of what other payable benefits I'm entitled to, besides the ones in my letter from the VA like clothing allowance (topical cream), SMC (K) and Education. This is what my ratings look like. Could someone give me any other possible suggestion? 
      60% Dermatitis with Lichen Planus and Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans
      50%Obstructive Sleep Apnea
      30% Adjustment Disorder w/Anxiety & Depression Mood
      30% Migraine Headaches
      10% Cervical Spine Strain
      10% Right Ankle Degenerative
      10% Left Shoulder Degenerative
      10% Lumbar Spine Segmental
      10% Right Shoulder Degenerative 
      10% Left Ankle Degernative 
    • By godelocs
      Is there a specific form which should be used to file for SMC higher than K?  If a veteran meets the criteria for s or r how does the veteran go about requesting consideration for receiving the SMC.  Are there any tips for do's and don'ts when filing for SMC?
    • By babyray
      I am rated at 100% major depression disorder; 10% DJD left knee; 10% DJD left hip; 20% DDD lumber spine; and 30% calcified left quadriceps. I am at 100% plus 60% SMC (S-1).  Yesterday I put in a claim for an increase evaluation of the lumber spine and sleep apnea secondary due to S/C major depression disorder. If  I am granted an increase eval of the lumber spine and granted secondary S/C of sleep apnea, how much will I get? The VA Medical Center dx me with sleep apnea 18 months ago and put a cpap mask on me. Using VA math, how much an increase will I get. Will I get more SMC.?
    • By Dolphin25
      I filed for a higher level of AA in 2008 along with a Special Home Adaption Grant.  In January 2015 the BVA granted me the SHA Grant and remanded the higher level of AA back to the RO.  A request for a new C&P was granted and in September 17, 2015 I was seen by the VA Hosp in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The examiner was a Nurse and still in the Military, he was really kind and nice and since I was taken to the VA via a wheelchair van and had no one to push me he did so with out any problem.  I couldn't do anything, like stand, walk and needed physical help to get on the gurney.  I am unable to stand or walk or use my arms or hands to any degree as my disabilities are spinal related from a broken back in the service from a Helicopter crash.  I already receive SMC at the "M" rate b/c of a 100% rating and a 60% rating plus a whole lot of 10's 20's and 40's. I also receive the K rate. 
      I received my C&P exam notes a few days after the examination that lasted all 15 minutes and from what I could read the only thing the RO or BVA wanted answered was concerning 2 letters from 2 Doctors about whether there was any conflict in whether or not I need to be in a residential facility or in my home.  Both Doctors stated that if I do not receive a higher level of AA then I should be housed in a residential facility to be better taken care of.  The examiner stated he did not find any conflict and that was basically it.
      Here they granted me the SAH Grant:
      The criteria for entitlement to a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring
      specially adapted housing are met. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 2101, 5107(b) (West 2014); 38
      C.F.R. § 3.809 (2014).
      Now the criteria for the SAH Grant are as follows:
      For a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing, the
      evidence must establish permanent and total service-connected disability due to: 1)
      the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion
      without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 2) blindness in both
      eyes, having only light perception, plus the loss of use of one lower extremity; or 3)
      the loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the residuals of organic
      disease or injury which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude
      locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 4) the loss,
      or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the loss, or loss of use, one upper
      extremity which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude
      locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 5) the loss
      or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or
      above the elbow; or 6) full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in
      contractures with limitation of motion of two or more extremities or of at least one
      extremity and the trunk. 38 U.S.C.A. § 2101(a) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.809(b)
      After reviewing all the evidence and resolving any doubt in favor of the Veteran, the
      Board finds that the Veteran's service-connected disabilities manifest in the loss of
      use of one or both lower extremities as to preclude locomotion without the aid of
      braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair. 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.809 (2014).
      Therefore, entitlement to a certificate for assistance in acquiring specially adapted
      housing is granted.
      In the C&P exam notes the only question the BVA wanted answered is this:
      In rendering the requested opinions, the examiner should
      reconcile his or her opinion with the October 2010 letter from
      Dr. Keller indicating that due to his chronic medical problems
      absent twenty-four hour attendant care the Veteran would require
      a long-term care placement and the January 2012 correspondence
      from Dr. Lippert stating that the Veteran would probably benefit
      from a higher level of care and absent such care, might require
      hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential
      institutional care.
      This is what the examiner wrote in response to the question sought:
      In review, I did not see opinion or rational from Dr Keller in the VBMS or VA medical system records. There does not seem to be a conflict in the opinions or either provider that I can see. They both indicate that assistace would
      be needed but Keller indicates this wasnt arranged he would need full time facility placement.  It should be noted that the client's wife, who was previously a RN and care provider, has significant medical problems and she herself is in need of
      full time care support. Client states his daughter comes and helps them some, but he is paying out of pocket for caregiver to come in daily and help with meals and bathing. I personally am skeptical of the entire evaluation process
      and would suggest an estensive in home Social worker evaluation for feedback on his and her abilities to live safely independantly vs need for long term care facility placement for both of them.
      My question is since it looks as though I have met the criteria for the SAH Grant and the grant and the R-2 require both the same criteria,  then to me it stands to reason if I meet the one then I meet the other. 
      Am I looking at this wrong???
    • By GlassRose1500
      If a Veteran who is 90%, IU P&T meets the requirements for SMC L Aid & Attendance for a combination of SC conditions, it appears that that route to SMC L is NOT PREDICATED on SC percentages. Is that correct? I think it is...

      Assuming it is correct, and the Veteran also met the criteria for SMC K (for loss of use of creative organ), AND had SC disabilities of 90% (none of which meet schedular "loss of" sight, appendages, etc.) Wouldn't that mean L1/2 plus SMC K?

      And if we assume all of the above except Veteran is 100% schedular, wouldn't that mean SMC M plus SMC K?

      And last question - it appears one must be SMC, O in order to qualify for the higher level of Aid & Attendance, even though they clearly meet all of the other criteria - is that correct? Any known exceptions to that?


    • By Chuck75
      Call/Write "Bob" seems to be effective. I had a series of awards from a long standing 100% P&T to other awards that totaled more than 60% using "VA" math.
      Yet, SMC was never mentioned, awarded, or denied. in addition, long standing appeals were just setting at the VARO (for years).
      After reading the successes others had in getting long standing issues resolved, on a whim, I E-mailed "Bob" about a week ago.
      A couple of days later, this resulted in a call from the VA. This involved rehashing the contents of the E-Mail, and adding other
      details. Recently, a few days later, a second call occurred. I was told that SMC was awarded, and that a five figure amount of retro was due.
      Until I see things in writing, and in my account, I'll have to take the usual wait and see position.
      Both calls were made by VA personnel stating that they were veterans. (Why that was emphasized, I'm not sure.)

      Update! 31 Oct
      A letter showed up today - (From the area VARO) confirming the award.
      There was one days difference between the date on the award letter and the mailing date.

      That almost sets a record! (By the way, the lawyer still gets 20% of retro, even though what happened is due to the email I sent!)

      Now for other denials that appear to be CUE!

      I'm going to have to do some research. It seems that there is law and court history that might be usable to recover the lawyers fee from the government.
      Something about government actions (improper)and inaction that result in loss to a person. The law and case history is usually used when there is no appeal
      practically available. Unreasonable or inordinate delay is considered a loss. The odds are against me, but one never knows!

      Update 19 Nov
      The Eagle flew by and made a 5 figure deposit!
      BUT, it may be that the lawyers cut was not subtracted, or the award was modified after
      I was given the first set of numbers! With the VA, who knows!
      The last word I had was that the retro was being held based upon appeals started before the award was made,
      and that the VARO was sending the appeals to the BVA (after years of delay).
  • Our picks

    • e-Benefits Status Messages 

      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. Ebenefits status is helpful but not definitive. Continue Reading
      • 0 replies
    • I was rated at 10% for tinnitus last year by the VA. I went to my private doctor yesterday and I described to him the problems that I have been having with my sense of balance. Any sudden movement of my head or movement while sitting in my desk chair causes me to lose my balance and become nauseous. Also when seeing TV if there are certain scenes,such as movement across or up and down the screen my balance is affected. The doctor said that what is causing the problem is Meniere's Disease. Does any know if this could be secondary to tinnitus and if it would be rated separately from the tinnitus? If I am already rated at 10% for tinnitus and I could filed for Meniere's does any one know what it might be rated at? Thanks for your help. 68mustang
      • 15 replies
    • Feb 2018 on HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran. Sharing top posts and a few statistics with you.
      • 0 replies
    • I have a 30% hearing loss and 10% Tinnitus rating since 5/17.  I have Meniere's Syndrome which was diagnosed by a VA facility in 2010 yet I never thought to include this in my quest for a rating.  Meniere's is very debilitating for me, but I have not made any noise about it because I could lose my license to drive.  I am thinking of applying for additional compensation as I am unable to work at any meaningful employment as I cannot communicate effectively because of my hearing and comprehension difficulties.  I don't know whether to file for a TDUI, or just ask for additional compensation.  My county Veterans service contact who helped me get my current rating has been totally useless on this when I asked her for help.  Does anyone know which forms I should use?  There are so many different directions to proceed on this that I am confused.  Any help would be appreciated.  Vietnam Vet 64-67. 
    • If you are new to hadit and have DIC questions it would help us tremendously if you can answer the following questions right away in your first post.

      What was the Primary Cause of Death (# 1) as listed on your spouse’s death certificate?

      What,if anything, was listed as a contributing cause under # 2?

      Was an autopsy done and if so do you have a complete copy of it?

       It can be obtained through the Medical Examiner’s office in your locale.

      What was the deceased veteran service connected for in his/her lifetime?

      Did they have a claim pending at death and if so what for?

      If they died from anything on the Agent Orange Presumptive list ( available here under a search) when did they serve and where? If outside of Vietnam, what was their MOS and also if they served onboard a ship in the South Pacific what ship were they on and when? Also did they have any major  physical  contact with C 123s during the Vietnam War?

      And how soon after their death was the DIC form filed…if filed within one year of death, the date of death will be the EED for DIC and also satisfy the accrued regulation criteria.
        • Like
      • 14 replies