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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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SMC-L, S ??


I am 100% IU and 90% over all. Starting a new post as per Broncovet's recommendation.

(1) First, my back rating just went up from 10% to 20%. This was due to thoracolumbar spine degeneration, disc bulging, partial compression fractures T4, 5,and 8. CFR 4.40, 4.45 and 4.59. This was just given June 1st 2017. I am now scheduled for T2 to L2 titanium boron rod fusion next week July 20th 2017. Kyphosis range 50 to 70 degrees. My question, what is available and how do i file for SMC....L,S...?

(2) Second, from multiple previous arthroscopic surgeries on my knee I was given a 0% rating for scar. Is this a reconsideration claim of its own> Or to include when submitting separate claim for back surgery?

(3) Third, I am now rated 50% for depression/anxiety and don't see this improving only worsening. Severe panic attacks including chest pain & shortness of breath have substantially worsened since claim and happen almost daily to the point of "do I go to ER or not" with no cardiac or lung issues found. Passed stress test last week, was told heart & lungs are healthy. I have been trying to control as best as possible but once a panic attack sets in it is rough. This is a newer thing for me, never dealt with this in my life. Been through a ton of stress over the past year due to VA claim problems, how to take care of my wife & son, frustrating job loss from service connected disabilities & 2 failed knee surgeries through VA had to be corrected a third time by non-VA ortho. Very concerned about panic attacks post back surgery, lying in hospital bed with 12+ inch incision and stitches.

P.S. This is not my primary issue, just a side note. Not sure what or how to further address damage (minor crack) VA chiropractor caused to my back during a regular adjustment where he was too forceful - documented by VA radiology & primary doctor, submitted to VA regional. To clarify, back rating increase from 10 to 20% was for service connected back issues, this was not mentioned in their response. Basically no one is being held accountable for this. Has anyone experienced something similar?

Does anyone have any advice on the first three? I trust this site through your experiences. It has contributed to my claim being where it is now, meaning 100% TDIU and 90% schedular. Sua sponte RLTW

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1.  You file for SMC S or L the same way you file for anything else.  The difference is, if awarded, your effective date will be based on the "facts found", not on the date applied, because SMC is always inferred, so you should not have to file, but unfortunately, VA often misses adjuticating entitlement to SMC's.    

     There are 2 types of SMC S (housebound):  The first is "statuatory" housbound, whenever you have a single 100 percent, plus an additional combined 60 percent seperate and distinct from each other.  

The next is SMC S "housebound in fact" if a doctor says you are substantially confined to your home.  But see this:


MY interpretation of "the Howell SMC S" criteria is that if you are NOT working, then you are "substantially confined and can not leave your home FOR WORK".   If you are not working, then you are not leaving your home "for work", right?  

     A and A (aka SMC L)  criteria means you need the assistance of another person, AND, if you read the criteria, that OTHER PERSON can be a family member.  

2.   If you have a 0 percent rating for scars, then you can a) ask for an increase or b) appeal the 0 percent rating if you think you meet a higher criteria.  Read up on the scar criteria,  and see if you meet the higher criteria.  

3.  You can seek an increased rating for depression/panic attacks, and you may well become eligible, if you are not already, for Statuatory SMC S.  Bradley vs Peake is case law which explains a rating of TDIU CAN mean you qualify for SMC S, as a single disability.   There is a lot of talk here on Bradley vs Peake, and you may well qualify for SMC S via Bradley.  It helps to know "which" disabiity(s) VA rated you unemployable on.  Did they say that all your disabilities as a whole, rendered you unemployable, or was it one specific disability, and, if so, which one?  Do you have an additional 60 percent in addition to the disabiliy(s) which rendered you unemployable.  

      Have you ordered your Cfile?  Much better than guessing is what your doc says about you.  We dont always know what the doc "writes down", it may or may not be different from what he tells us.  The only way to find out is to read your cfile and medical records.  

      If you are in the appeal period (within a year of the decision), then it may be a good idea to appeal disputing the entitltment to SMC S, or SMC L, if you need A and A.  You can/should also appeal the effective date, if you think that is wrong at the same time.  

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Hello everyone, **  Thank you ALL of your service to our country!!

I have been reading all of your posts, well, for a long time.  

I am the wife of a Navy Vietnam vet and I have had a heLL of a time getting him to apply for benefits, for years now.  A year ago the intent was filed. 

Just received a phone call today from DAV that he will be going for a VA physical exam, or at least to see a VA doctor.  (I wouldn't think they would be putting him through too much of a PHYSICAL EXAM with IHD = METs at 3.  (!!)  The Regional Office wrote that my husband would be/should be rated at 100% (70 years old, one Mio-cardio infraction and just February had another procedure done for blockage).  

Since I am basically the one doing the research, can I ask if "I" (or hubby) should be asking for this:  Special Monthly Compensation?  

Hubby is unable to work, (gainful employment).  DAV had me list only one disability...(at least for now)...as it was his opinion the IHD would get 100% because of the METs.  

I read your article broncovet but still not quite sure if "I" need to 'file' for Special Monthly Compensation.  Hubby's private physician stated on the VA form that hubby is UNemployable.  

If I posted my question on the wrong page, please someone, direct me to the correct page.  


Thank you all.

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Valpo Vet...

Welcome to hadit!   

Click on the button, "Start new Topic" and your question will likely be answered there as it confuses everyone as to whether Im answering your question or the original poster.  

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

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.

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