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  • 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 ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    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

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I do believe I have uncovered a CUE!  Service medical treatment records from Da Nang and Japan Naval Hospital indicate shell fragments received by my brother from Vietnam booby trap explosion lodged in his arm, back of knee, and heel.  Also the military separation physical exam shows scars at all three wound sites.   However, at the time of his C&P exam in 1983, the orthopedic VA doctor indicated there was a metallic foreign body in his heel and stated "most likely from old trauma" and that the Naval hospital reported that "all shrapnels were removed".   From that point forward, the VA completely overlooked his heel wound.  He was granted a service connected disability of 0% for his arm and knee.   No mention of his heel.   At his recent C&P exam last month (filed for re-open claim) they did not x-ray his heel.  This is like the example "a decision awarding benefits based on a single gunshot wound when the veteran had two gunshot wounds is a CUE".     He still carries the shrapnel in his heel -- and limps from it -- and this was mentioned in his statement for the new re-opened claim.    I am anxiously awaiting the new rating decision for his other disabilities -- PTSD, Schizophrenia, etc but this appears to me, as a novice, that there is certainly an argument for a CUE with the VA -- going back to 1983.  Anyone ?

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 "a decision awarding benefits based on a single gunshot wound when the veteran had two gunshot wounds is a CUE".    

That is a quote from

"VetsFirst is a program of United Spinal Association that assists veterans and their eligible family members in obtaining the benefits they are entitled to, deserve and need."


I have a local friend with 2 GSWs.

One GSW was rated at 40% and I think, raised to a higher rating some time ago.

I don't even remember if  he claimed the other GSW but it is on his DD 214.

I helped him with PTSD and SMC, and 1151 and we never discussed the GSW ratings, except the 40% when he also injured the same leg that one was on, at work ( while working at the VA)

I can't tell if the VSO who stated that has any legal reference for the example he gave.

I don't think it is accurate information  because he gave no legal citation.

However, if a past unappealed decision rated only one GSW, and yet the veteran claimed 2 or more GSWs and they were both ratable at a level of at least 10%, then that would be a CUE.

The 10% or more is critical for CUE claims.





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    • By Togore101
      Hello everyone I am new to the site. And I recent submit a the dbq for an increase for my PTSD and I trying to understand it but im just not getting it. So I figured would ask you all. Below is what the examiner put in the record.
      Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
      Disability Benefits Questionnaire
      Name of patient/Veteran: =========
      Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      SECTION I:
      1. Diagnostic Summary
      Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      ICD Code: F43.1
      2. Current Diagnoses
      a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD
      ICD Code: F43.1
      b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the
      Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI):
      No response provided.
      3. Differentiation of symptoms
      a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed
      4. Occupational and social impairment
      a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of
      and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check only
      [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and
      b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it
      possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social
      impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed
      c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what
      of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI
      Clinical Findings:
      1. Evidence Review
      Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):
      [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)
      [X] CPRS
      Evidence Comments:
      DATE OF NOTE: MAR 05, 2018
      CHIEF COMPLAINT: "same old same old"
      Veteran is here for 6 week follow up for PTSD, Alcohol Use Disorder,
      unspecified, episodic. At last appointment, low dose venlafaxine was
      added, aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin were continued.
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      so he is trying to minimize arguments at home. He worries he will not be
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      daughter and points to her persistence as the reason they are close now.
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      Alcohol Use Disorder, Unspecified, episodic
      1. Decrease irritability and anger- does not interfere with home or work
      life more than one time per month, ongoing, improving
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      - continuing aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin
      - suggested individual supportive counseling at the Vet Center after Dr.
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      2. Recent History (since prior exam)
      a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history:
      Last C&P PTSD DBQ May 2016
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      Relationship with wife: "We almost got divorced a few times. She
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      b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history:
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      BLUF: I would appreciate some insight or just plain ol speculatin on why the VA raters would submit me for a lumbar strain increase (that I didn’t submit for) while working on my current claim? Also, are secondary conditions disqualified in the 60% calculation for SMC Housebound? I know it says the 60% must be separate from the 100% condition, but how does this work if I’m on IU, with secondary conditions? 
      I’m probably overthinking at 4am but why would they submit me for an increase for a condition when I didn’t ask them, and the increase has no bearing on the final rating due to VA math, unless it qualifies me for SMC, or they believe I should be qualified. I’ve never raised the issue of SMC and I’m still learning about it trying to figure out my claim, and I know they are supposed to do due diligence, but that’s not my first hunch since that’s why I’m still in this process.
      History: I filed a claim in 2015 for PTSD increase and TDIU, was granted increase in 2016 to 70% PTSD, denied TDIU. Combined, 80% with other SC conditions. BBE/VSO said I was denied increase to 100% even though I had a nexus statement from a psychologist saying total social and occupational impairment, at least as likely as not, etc., but they said because I was still employed (I was on long term disability leave but not yet “terminated” and yes they had the relevant evidence through my employer and insurance), and my VA treating provider’s opinion took precedence who didn’t feel my symptoms quite qualified me for total of course, though he‘s a CRNP versus a psychologist and I don’t think he even knows me. I thought they were supposed to take the rating and credentials that favor the Veteran but never mind me. I also survived and was approved for Social Security and life insurance premium waivers during this period without having to appeal, with the same medical information and evidence, with the same VA SC conditions, even coming from VA docs and providers.
      Of course I appealed the rating and TDIU denial (they can decide) in 2016. I also submitted a new claim for secondaries to PTSD, and in my fog, with that claim an increase for PTSD and TDIU, even though I already had those on appeal. I believe I read or was told somewhere (or maybe my brain made it up) that if I submitted new evidence, the raters could look back at the effective date and could EED to the original claim if the evidence shows and close the appeal. Or, they could approve me from the date of the new claim and the appeal could deal with the stuff before that. But what they did was what they are apparently supposed to do (according to Peggy and the VSOs): defer the appeal related claims to the appeal. DOH.
      Current Status: Early this month my claim progressed and I was granted an increase to 30% for IBS secondary to my 70% PTSD, and since I had a pre-existing 10% for nerve condition and 20% for lumbar strain, that brought me to 90%. My claim never went to complete and I never got the BBE, ebenefits bounced around from gathering of evidence to pending decision approval within days of my last C&P (I had one for PTSD and one for IBS). I’m not sure why they would give me a C&P for PTSD if they are deferring that part of my claim to appeal as I was told. Maybe they’re just giving me a checkup because my 30 appointments and inpatient stays and shock treatments over the past year weren’t enough medical evidence.
      I learned of the increase bc I got a small retro and my ebenefits letters and disabilities changed within days, but the claim stayed open. I found out by calling Peggy and VSO that it’s due to an increase for my lumbar strain that someone in the rating chain put in. I do have plenty of evidence in my medical records that show my back is also crap. I got sent to a C&P for my lumbar strain and now I wait in GOE. The C&P examiner, Peggy, VSOs specifically say I was submitted for an increase for my back, not a review. BTW, in ebenefiits in the disabilities section, the PTSD increase is still open, the TDIU disappeared, the IBS is rated, and the lumbar strain doesn’t appear. Yes, I know ebenefits is unreliable and I should find something else to do, but compulsively logging into ebenefits is an activity quite similar to playing a slot machine for me. Every 1 in 10000000 logins I might get a glimmer of hope, and it keeps me going lol.
      I Wonder: What difference does it make if I’m rated 20% or 30% for my lumbar strain? Why would this be raised since my overall rating won’t change from 90% either way? Trust me, I AM NOT COMPLAINING AND I AM GRATEFUL, anything they do (and they have been getting faster and more Vet-friendly it seems) positive for the Veteran that saves future agony and torture is an appreciated blessing. It would help in the future in qualifying for SMC, but I don’t qualify with the math now. Just wondering if they don’t have enough to do over there, because in the future I’d probably have to get another C&P. Also, I would have to have another condition at 30% for that math to work out, and I pray nothing else worsens enough for that to happen.
      Does “separate” mean it can’t affect the same body system or it can’t be a secondary condition? Because with secondaries, I could potentially qualify for SMC, and therefore the VA rater would be setting me up for success. Otherwise, it just seems like extra work for them when they could close my case and get their quota numbers and help another Vet...again, not complaining but whoever is on my file seems to be thorough regardless.
      I know they could be doing anything over there, and I’m glad they’re working on my claim, but just for s&g I’d appreciate any guesses or suggestions, and any help clarifying the SMC Housebound math thing please.
      Thank you all.
    • By mrstephens11
      Good news, I filed three CUEs and now have three C&P exams.  Great news, it's with the VES and not the VA.  The best news, I've seen one of these VES Doctors before and he rated the disability exactly correct!
      My question is, since I was given the C&Ps for the three disabilities that I filed the CUEs against, does this mean that the VA is agreeing that they made a CUE?  I understand the exams still have to happen for the rating portion, but does this mean the bureaucratic part of the VA agrees there was a mistake?  Logic tells me "yes, why would they schedule an exam if they were just going to deny the CUE."  However, this is the VA and logic is hard for them.
      Last night I was going through my records to get them ready for the C&Ps.  While I was doing this, I found another CUE that if accepted will net me another 10% back to 2005.  Go through your records, DBQs, and Rating Decision letters, you might have CUEs just waiting to be found!
      Thank you,
    • By hawkfire27
      Please delete
    • By Victor Ray
      A local Kansas City man is suing the VA for $35 million in a malpractice suit, in my words basically, he was treated for 10 years of being misdiagnosed for a mental condition that he didn’t actually have, and it cost him his pilots career. Anyone can google it for accurate details. 
      I made medical treatment record requests while on active duty months before my discharge, but were told they were all lost in transit from Vietnam, when I was medivac’d out. What I did receive at discharge was Form DA 3349 showing P-3 permanent profile for permanent defects under “physical capacity and stamina”. I had what we call now, Chloracne, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, Upper Respiratory Infections with undetermined organisms, Group A Streptococcus, vision problems with eye aches, Migraine Headaches, abnormal Liver and kidney issues with urinating blood, uncontrolled pruritus, insomnia, urticaria, rashes, unexplained fevers, heart palpatations, abdominal pain and cramps, severe bone pain, and on and on.
      I was stuck thousands of times by mosquitos, ate or almost ate some nasty uncooked/undercooked fish, besides drinking nasty water. I probably had Liver Flukes, Filariasis, or Malaria or all of them because I was in a coma most of a week a few months after discharge, and I never recovered from RVN Service.
      My treatment records NEVER WERE LOST, but they were withheld for 45 years, and 6/7 months still are, plus all of them from Japan, about 4 days of test results. The VA has withheld the missing documents and medical board proceedings per FOIA EXEMPTION 5 for a year or two, but now say they mistakenly  spoke when said they were withholding them in the two or three reply’s from FOIA Requests. I still have not received the records I have requested, such as pay records, morning reports, and I am at the point that I actually may need an attorney. I am being reconsidered now, but I was deceived and had no evidence for a disability claim before I was discharged. Being naive and 21, and never doubting the integrity and honesty of the Army or VA, I couldn’t see how I would ever get a disability claim approved. I barely had proof that I was even in Vietnam, but now have proof of a 28 day straight stay in the infectious disease wards. SHOULD I TRUST THE VA TO MAKE THIS RIGHT, OR DO I CONTACT THE ATTORNEY HANDLING THE $35 Million dollar suit? Sorry for being long winded, but a little history makes it clearer. It’s going on four years with Line of Duty, and 100% Direct Service Evidence, but only recently given 70%, but  denied 100% Service Connection that was due in June 1971.Thanks again. 
      Victor Ray
    • By mrstephens11
      If I claimed to be rated for chondromalcia(knee)  and I'm given a rating for flexion limitation and the VA didn't give me a rating for instability, but my knee does give out.  Is it a CUE that they didn't try to give me a rating for instability?  I have evidence of falling from my knee giving out in service and since then.  Can some one cite some case law that would apply to them not giving me a rating even though I didn't exactly claim it?
      Thank you,
    • By desertshield
      If at a RO hearing, the hearing officer determined that a Veteran's previously unknown medical condition, i.e. heart arrhythmia or hypertension, was found so soon after entry, ( about 2 weeks ), onto active duty that in their opinion it couldn't have started in military and therefore denied the claim on that basis, have they in essence made a medical opinion and therefore something that could be contested as a CUE?   
    • By Stick Slinger
      I was never diagnosed in service with OSA. I weigh 220 and I am 6' tall. I am rated at 70% for PTSD and the meds I take add to the OSA. I had my personal Dr. and the Psychiatrist I see both write letters to support that the meds I take add to and cause the OSA. My Dr filled out the DBQ and sent it in as well. I had a failed sleep study results sent in  with my claim. I also have documentation I sent it that back up the fact that OSA is tied to PTSD and is aggravated by PTSD. Then sleeping with the prescribed CPAP machine adds to the PTSD. Just curious if anyone has ever won this claim? I am going to appeal but wanted to get any advise here first if someone has any to share.. not sure if there is anyone who has gone this route before and won?
  • Our picks

    • 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.
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    • 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
    • VA C and P Exam – Do’s and Don’ts – VA Compensation Pension Exam


      The following is written from a VA Compensation and Pension Examiners perspective relating to psychiatric exams. It is a good guideline for all exams but I only did psych exams. I’ve been examined by the VA for multiple problems and this is my format when I go to be examined. A little common sense and clarity ...

      Continue Reading
      • 0 replies