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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/25/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Okay folks this is not a question but an observation about attitudes of former government lifer VA raters, DROs and some VSOs. There is an AO SOB 30 year former DRO and then VSO on another veterans benefits forum that is fanatical about several items. He maintains over and over and over again that an IMO opinion are not private doctors medical opinions but instead VA requested medical opinions from outside doctors to clarify issues in order to make a claim decision and according to VA definitions he is correct. HOWEVER for many many many years both veterans and VSOs have referred to private civilian doctors medical opinions on behalf of veteran claimants as also IMOs and there is also truth in this and absolutely nothing wrong in using this term IMHO!!!! This same AO also lies and says that CUE errors are extremely rare and CUE claims nearly impossible to win for the vet. Again this is BS and he is saying VA raters/DROs never commit any serious errors in their claims decisions when in fact thousands of BVA/court public decisions have found thousands of errors in VA raters initial decisions over many decades and many of these were serious errors to include CUE. His typical lifer government attitude is on full display in a great many of his post to younger or new naive veterans and I feel sorry for them and there are others like him on that particular forum. Over a period of 30 years filing my own mostly successful claims and appeals including CUE I have read hundreds of BVA and court decisions and many vets won their claims on appeal due to them having to pay for a private doctor IMO when in fact the VA raters/DROs denied their claims with these private doctor IMO opinion statements. He and others like him are always dismissive of these private doctors and lawyers who represent veterans in their appeals. Lifers are Lifers and they always stick together in their arrogance towards us other unclean vets. This is another example of something stinking smelling bad anti veteran attitude in D.C. unless of course you are a member of a special veteran groups. This is the end of my truthful rant and I enjoyed it very much. The above info from me is strictly my personal opinion and in no way legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO.
  2. 3 points
    "I just became qualified" You may have just met the prerequisites for applying for TDUI, but that don't mean you can/will get it. I get the TDUI forms from the VA with all of my decisions after I went over 70% a few years ago. You don't need to do anything in my opinion, The VA is not going to give you TDUI without you applying for it and seeing a examiner (C&P), and if they do, just tell the C&P examiner that you are working and plan to continue to work. That should put the stamp on that, Just sayin, Hamslice
  3. 3 points
    Finally, I am able to post into this forum thread!! I noticed on Ebenefits today that I am now rated combined at 80% from 30%. My mental health claim was processed and I was awarded 70% for that claim. Awaiting letter to arrive as well as retro. I cannot say enough how helpful this community has been during this process for me and my family. It is a huge blessing and a relief for us all. We thank all of you who contribute to these forums and urge you to continue! Donation and Subscription to follow! Keep fighting!
  4. 3 points
    This is a tough one due to no documented in service incident (stated medically as neck/back injury. However you do have an incident. Possibly can a neck/back specialist take x-rays or MRI (to confirm current injury) and can he opinion the incident more likely than not started the current injury. Its possible to have an incident and it starts a tear, strain, or arthritic condition years later. GOOD LUCK.................... NEVER GIVE UP.
  5. 2 points
    I have no mental health ratings, and I do not have a stressor, etc., for PTSD,, and feel I don't have PTSD. When I read the criteria for PTSD @ 10%, I met that with the exam for the OCD that was denied, and I feel I do have OCD. I can't find any criteria for OCD, but would imagine some overlap, or the old VA rule where they use what fits your problem best, but I suppose they don't do that with PTSD. I'll do some more poking around. Thanks, Hamslice GB Army, I retired a year ago and have been busier than when I worked. Not sure how I got everything done when I was working. LOL., I should be around more.
  6. 2 points
    so i was wrong. they did actually put a description in the letter saying why they only gave me 0%. but like i said- nothing in Ebennies for months now. so we submited HLR last month to get this resolved. do i have to wait for that to be resolved before i can send in a NOD or request for increase? which/what/how should i go about this? thanks guys
  7. 2 points
    Congratulations! Don't forget to update the % in your profile. It is still showing 30%. Also, you might consider any secondary conditions. They can be related to your current SC disabilities -or- side effects of medication used to treat them. If they happen to give you medications for your MH disabilities, and those side effects negatively impact intimacy, you may qualify for SMC-K, which is a little over $100/month more, but does not go towards calculation of your combined rating percentage.
  8. 2 points
    Just got off the phone with Peggy and was told that I will receive another letter from the VA. From what I was told is the SOC is the DROs decision and now the ROVA wrote up the decision and calculated any back pay I was entitled to. The new letter was sent on 1/16/2020 so now I need to play the waiting game for the BBE.
  9. 2 points
    Paul, you've won the "veterans lottery".
  10. 2 points
    Well that is a cluster. I always do the mailing portion and I upload everything on Ebenefits to my claim. I believe you can also upload on VA.gov. Never give them an inch! I learned this a few years back when their decision made no sense and I was like what the heck did you look at? I would page number the corner of each page so they can see if they are out of order. This way if you have to appeal all the information is there! There might not be anything else you can do but give them the entire document again.
  11. 2 points
    lol I'm with you brother .... strap a frick'n Evinrude motor on the back of that puppy, full throttle and beach that bitch!
  12. 2 points
    I have to somewhat agree with what he said as if you don't tell them every little detail then it will hurt you in the end. I was scared to tell them I was hearing voices, and I did not want to talk about the flashbacks I was having because it did not want to relive them. For whatever reason saying the right details might be a better way of saying it.
  13. 2 points
    If you were treated for and/or prescribed sleep medicine such as valium or secondal or others while in service then this can serve as evidence of osa sleep problems incurred on active duty in service. Unlike VARO the BVA routinely recognizes treatment of symptoms without an actual diagnosis in service as valid evidence along with other information from you and your VA and or private medical records, etc. etc. Page 108 to 109 in section NVLSP manual (2006 edition) states the above info I just said as valid medical evidence of in service event. NVLSP or National Veterans Legal Services Program is a very reputable advocacy recognized organization that played a major role in obtaining Agent Orange benefits for Vietnam vets. Above info from me is not legal advice but based on my 30 years of personal experience and filing my own claims and appeals.
  14. 1 point
    I think this is important enough to post this here also. Here is VA official training and research study from their National PTSD Center clearly stating the negative effects of trauma PTSD on the physical health of veterans and apparently discusses the many different types physical problems directly related to PTSD. There is another veterans benefits forum run by former VA raters, DROs and VSOs that constantly tell veterans that PTSD does not cause Sleep Apnea and other physical illnesses and this is pure lying BS. They constantly tell vets that their problems are due only to weight gain and or life styles, and or aging and not PTSD or Agent Orange exposure, etc. etc. Of course many raters also ignore their own VA evidence as in the above lengthy VA training guide. For over 30 years I have read many medical journals and BVA decisions that also recognize the adverse physical health effects of PTSD on vets and civilians such as firefighters, police and EMS personnel. I have not read the entire lengthy study but will do so soon. My info is not legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO etc., etc. https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AK3o0K6Q4AXU-AY&cid=F26A831414B07043&id=F26A831414B07043!292082&parId=F26A831414B07043!250343&o=OneUp https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AK3o0K6Q4AXU-AY&cid=F26A831414B07043&id=F26A831414B07043!292082&parId=F26A831414B07043!250343&o=OneUp
  15. 1 point
    Congrats ! One of guys I know just got rated 100% also I don't who was happier me or him.
  16. 1 point
    I would second this. I generally do the math and calculation manually which....takes time lol. Would be interesting to see if there is one, however, I feel there may be a lot of variables involved in such a calculator. Perhaps too many to create an accurate calculator based on individual circumstances? I may do a little googling later when I am more free.
  17. 1 point
    This is why there is a need for the BVA and CAVC because the VA tends to make their own rules. However I will say this. If the VA cites the M21-1 in a decision for denial that IMO is immediate grounds for a CUE. When a rater makes a decision they have to follow all applicable laws. I have never heard of a decision where the M21-1 was cited. That does not mean they will not deny things. They will use the wording in the M21-1 as their interpretation of the law but in the end will have it overturned and case law to establish medical necessity.
  18. 1 point
    VA didn't just give away cpaps, they are expensive. If he has one, it's medically necessary.
  19. 1 point
    Hi Taylor; welcome to Hadit. EED's can be totally confusing. You can be denied, receive an amended amount on appeal and yet still have an incorrect amount awarded, etc. Some my disagree, but with your complex situation and with all the variables, I would talk to a good lawyer who specializes in that part of law. IMO. It might cost you 20%, but 80% to you can be a lot more than you trying and getting short changed again. IMO.
  20. 1 point
    Ok, great! I'm glad you won that. I'm in the process of filing a similar claim as you listed above. Same thing, great IMO and am now just waiting. It's good to see sleep apnea secondary to fibro win. Thanks again for all of your previous posts, very informative. Waterboy
  21. 1 point
    sounds like my story! cept my wife was the one that convinced me to fight and restart everything. keep up the fight and never give up
  22. 1 point
    I hope the Hadit family is doing ok. I know fellow Veterans have been waiting on appeals longer than me but I am very disheartened as to how the system "works". I will keep hanging in and I will never give up. I just had to vent. Have a nice weekend.
  23. 1 point
    UPDATE- The DAV sent me a physicians questionnaire so that my VA treating Dr's can fill out attesting to the fact that my SC Disabilities were static and permanent (I have the form if any fellow vets would like a copy, just send a DM). I had my VA Psych Dr fill it out, and he confirmed the TBI and PTSD were static with no chances of improvements. My Primary Dr. filled out the form for my other remaining SC Disabilities and he agreed that everyone single SC Disability was static and permanent. I submitted the forms to the VARO asking for a P&T rating....fingers crossed. Should hear back from the VARO within the month.
  24. 1 point
    According to M21-1, it appears to have something to do with how they classify and route things. I found an article on mail management and HLRs. https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000014111/M21-1-Part-III-Subpart-ii-Chapter-1-Section-B-Mail-Management?query="rating control" https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000100824/M21-1-Part-I-Chapter-6-Higher-Level-Reviews-HLRs?query="rating control"
  25. 1 point
    I never knew the value of an EED myself. I believe the reason the VA does not do this is for cost savings. The same as delay and deny. In my EED case the VA saved $40,000 by giving me an EED that was not at the time of disability and I am still fighting it.
  26. 1 point
    For over 20 years I have been rated with 70% TDIU PTSD by VA and been thru many C&P Exams by VA psychiatrist and PHd psychologist so from my experience of also filing mostly successful my own claims and appeals here is my info. In order to be service connected for VA compensation for PTSD you must receive at least one and/or initial diagnosis of PTSD from an actual VA psychiatrist or VA Psychologist with a PHd in Clinical psychology. Unlike other mental illnesses VA requires this for vets to be service connected. Having private diagnosis from private doctors is helpful for sure but will not get you SC for PTSD on its own. However knowledgeable other vets to include former VA raters and DROs and VSOs have said that if a C&P examiner diagnosis you with anxiety instead of PTSD then this is okay as VA will only rate you for one mental illness regardless of what it is called. Of course the maximum rating for Anxiety may be less than PTSD. For example PTSD is rated as 30, 50, 70 or 100% only. My information is not legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO.
  27. 1 point
    They call it a C&P, but it really is just an examination and questionnaire for you. Same with burn pit registry exam. It will be in your VA record. If you have any of the Gulf War symptoms, then let them know. I have IBS and Fibromyalgia (catch all diagnosis for wide spread body pain). Hopefully you don't have to drive to far for this. But you do want it on record.
  28. 1 point
    GMANN Good advise from broncovet if it fits your situation: First, if whatever your disability was is what you still have right now, and, if you could get a doc to give you a IMO that says the condition you now have is a result of your s-c event and the condition is should have been established back in 1977, you could appeal using a lawyer. The back pay would be significant for 40+ years. If your condition doesn't show that it should be rated now at 20%, the only way you could win is if the diagnostic codes where changed from when you were first rated. What was the basis for denial?
  29. 1 point
    Hello All I would like to thank everyone over the last several years for the information I received an the encouragement to move forward with my claims. I just reviewed ebenefits this morning and was awarded 60% for CAD, this will put me at 100% P&T Scheduler. I still have a few claims pending BVA review. I wish everyone here good luck with your claims and keep fighting to get want you've earned, I know most of us would rather not have the health issues.
  30. 1 point
    He could do the HLR, and, if it happened to be denied, he would have up to a year from the new denial to submit new evidence or submit to BVA with or without any additional evidence.
  31. 1 point
    Hello VYNC Thanks for your input, now it is all wait and see want the out come will be.
  32. 1 point
    @awgv001 Yeah, that nexus template is very promising, but it is focused on direct SC, not secondary. I recently asked a non-VA specialist for a nexus and provided a rough draft based on that letter, but also included the nexus level jargon such as "as likely as not" and pertinent treatment records.
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    No questions here - I would just like to submit a copy of this particular form to help Veterans obtain a Nexus statement! Please read the details to these pages carefully, and ensure each component of the statement is filled out (Ex: A statement that only has an opinion, but without a rationale will not work if you try to use it for your claims!) This has helped myself and a handful of other Vets time and time again get SC for their contentions time and time again! Thanks Hadit! Don't forget to pass this along to others! NOTE - FOR SECONDARY CONNECTIONS - You’ll need to submit evidence of: The new physical or mental disability from a medical professional or layperson (someone who’s not a trained professional), and A link between the new disability and the disability we’ve already determined is service connected. Usually we need medical records or medical opinions from health care providers to support this link.
  35. 1 point
    Here's what I do. Print these two pages I have attached to this message - take it to your VA Doc's, especially any specialists you see. They have a right to refuse in procuring a Nexus, however, if they say "No" or "It's a conflict of interest" or some other jargon/fake reason --- they can't stop you from requesting to see another VA doc with the same or greater credentials to do it instead. The new doc will have to review your records etc etc. of course. I'm going to create a post where this can be easily discovered by the other Hadit members, as this particular form has helped me during my journey from 40% to 60%, to 80% and then currently (as of jan 2020) 90% - with still more to go. NOTE - FOR SECONDARY CONNECTIONS - You’ll need to submit evidence of: The new physical or mental disability from a medical professional or layperson (someone who’s not a trained professional), and A link between the new disability and the disability we’ve already determined is service connected. Usually we need medical records or medical opinions from health care providers to support this link.
  36. 1 point
    UPDATE: C&P completed. I think it went well ... Fortunately I was in a 'flare-up' and it was noted. I was also told that the C&P docs cannot refer to it as Agent Orange ... It has to be referred to as a 'herbicide' ... Doc was also impressed that I survived so many heart proceedures ... And she sided that the vets should be told if VA knows they have been exposed ... to a herbicide. Fingers crossed on the SAH grant as I want to build a 'Dude Ranch' for 'herbicide' survivors ... I have a social worker coming to my home this month for VR ILP. My five acres sits on an 18 acre private lake. Pretty sure I will be 100% after this last C&P and would like to setup a non-profit to help victims of 'herbicide' exposure. Also checking out the V.A. medical 'Foster' home program. It only makes sense for my particular situation, as I live alone am and pretty sure I will be getting Aid and Attendence as it has been suggested by my last ILP doctor. It only makes sense as one can do just as much for two or three https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/Medical_Foster_Homes.asp
  37. 1 point
    @RBrogen I both mailed in a letter and used the forms and mine got delayed due to VA confusion. With the appeals changes in 2019, VA employees believe there is a correct form for everything. @Dustoff 11 found in M21-1 where it clearly states that no specific form is required. However, the VA assumes there is. Please consider calling the WH VA Hotline and complaining that the lack of an official form and their confusion caused your claim to be unnecessarily delayed. If we don't let them know there is a problem, they won't fix it.
  38. 1 point
    Are you ready to appeal? If so you can fix it there. Redirect them! Make sure you have checked all presumptive conditions and put them all In! What stage are you at?
  39. 1 point
    Yes. It was for me this morning.
  40. 1 point
    This news story appear to be the same deceased veteran, whose widow succeeded in the above BVA claim: https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2010/09/06/el-toro-marine-dead-from-chemical-exposure/ Although this article is old they have reference at the bottom to a web site that hopefully would have more info. Also there are two Facebook web sites: https://www.facebook.com/irvinemadness/ https://www.facebook.com/geinvestigationsaz/posts/mcas-el-toros-tcepce-contamination-purpose-is-to-pass-on-a-heads-up-to-marines-s/162501794030/ I dont do Facebook so cant read them. I searched the BVA under Burn Pits El Toro and found this : "The Veteran is currently diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the right head and neck, with associated residuals, and he was exposed to environmental chemicals during the regular course of his in-service administrative duties while stationed at El Toro in California. A radiation oncologist, in a September 2015 opinion, opined that it was more likely than not that the in-service environmental contaminant/chemical exposure caused the Veteran's carcinoma and associated residuals. Resolving reasonable doubt in the Veteran's favor, the Board finds that squamous cell carcinoma of the right head and neck, with associated residuals, was incurred in active service. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107; 38 C.F.R. § 3.102." "As noted above, the Board finds that the Veteran was exposed to environmental chemical hazards while stationed at El Toro in California. VA received a November 2012 news article discussing the possibility of chemical contamination at El Toro entitled "Dioxin, TCE Drums, U235 and El Toro's Panhandle." The article addressed how in 1999 El Toro was closed, at least in part, due to soil and ground contamination. Activities at the base, including the use of hydraulic fluids, were found to have generated harmful waste residues that seeped into the soil. There were also four landfills located on the base which burned solid waste, oil, paint residues, flammable fluids, jet fluid, industrial solvents, and aviation gasoline." https://www.va.gov/vetapp15/files6/1552324.txt If you can prove that your IHD is directly due to your exposure to burn pits, or by other means,due to your MOS, this would be a good case for service connection, however I believe it would need a very strong IMO/IME to support the rationale that your IHD developed due to toxic exposure. This site is geared to civilian exposures at El Toro but has some links that might help. https://www.civilianexposure.org/el-toro-marine-corps-air-station-el-toro-california/ And this site from EPA lists the toxins at El Toro: "EPA has identified the chemical substances (i.e., hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants) listed below as contaminants of concern (COCs) for the site. COCs are the chemical substances found at the site that EPA has determined pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. These are the substances evaluated by EPA to be addressed by cleanup actions at the site." https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/SiteProfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=second.contams&id=0902770
  41. 1 point
    Oh yes I forgot sometimes I will need to use a different browser like Chrome or any of the others
  42. 1 point
    Good luck and watch some grass grow too.
  43. 1 point
    @Dustoff 11 It looks like @RBrogen's claims are being processed by employees who do a better job at keeping the status current. I have a couple of CUE's in the hopper now and va.gov is running about two days behind the actual status. However, I did have to submit an IRIS to nudge them when mine sat for a week with no update. Compared to when I had a bunch of claims in the system years ago, I do believe they are handling them better than they used to.
  44. 1 point
    As Brokensoldier said MyHealthVet.Gov will provide you with up to date VA medical info pertaining to you with your own web page. In order to have a premium account that provides everything you will need to go to nearest VA health care facility so they can verify your identity and they will assist you in setting up your account.
  45. 1 point
    What you would really need is an IMO from a doctor that links your disability to your diabetes, then you would claim secondary connection. You should not have to spend your hard earned dollars for a civilian doctor to link your conditions but it is a necessity sometimes. I got neuropathy linked to a severe heat injury but I needed an IMO. Sometimes it is a long shot but it can be done. They have to say that they read all of your medical records so have them available. They also have to say that your condition is likely as not related to your disability and provide a rational for this link.
  46. 1 point
    You said you have PTSD and suffer from panic attacks, etc. I noticed from your profile that you don't have any s-c disabilities. Are you working on them or have you been denied? Are you receiving medical/professional help? I hope so; if not, ask for help and there are plenty of veterans on this blog that can help you thru the process. Now, as for your flight insurance policy, like everything we buy it is always "Buyer beware." Did you read the fine print on the contract. It doesn't count what a sales clerk told you verbally; it's about what is in the policy. It more than likely won't cover that type of claim. It may list types that they will expressly cover, like illness, but if you consider that the high anxiety that comes to many people when it comes to flying, if they covered everyone who said that they decided it was too stressful, they would go broke. The only advise I can offer is to read it thoroughly and, if you think it is worth the effort, take them to (small claims) court and/or seek legal advise. But get some help with your MH situation air1.
  47. 1 point
    If you cannot find a doctor who will write such an opinion on your behalf as is the case with many vets such as myself you can still file a claim asking for P&T as I did in 2000 for my long term static 70% PTSD (TDIU). In 2000 I filed several claims including CUE, VA Injury Section 1151 and in 1998 I filed for and received the TDIU award. In every one of these claims I filed from 1998 to 2000 I also ask VARO to award my PTSD TDIU rating as P&T and they did so in August of 2000. I argued that my PTSD was over well over 5 years in existence and that PTSD never improves on it's own (according to medical history of PTSD), my older age, and LT unemployability due to PTSD, etc. There were other arguments that I now cannot remember. There are so called experts on another forum that constantly incorrectly tell veterans they cannot file for or ask for P&T status and that it will only be granted when an adjudicator determines on their own whim that you are entitled to P&T. I call BS on that misleading crap being put out to other vets based upon my own 35 years experience. The VA may consider your request for P&T as a claim for increase and call you in for C&P exam review of your disabilities so be prepared before hand and have all your arguments and supporting medical evidence with you at the exam as the examiner may or may not look at it. Take only copies to the exam and in your claim quote the 38 CFR rules on static disability of over 5 years and your age of over 55 (if so), etc. My information above is not legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal, or VSO but only a vet expressing my personal experiences and opinions. Good luck
  48. 1 point
    I'm not saying this based on any facts, but is suspect a large percentage of VA errors are based on some ty in with a quota system. Like having to meet so many processed over a week or month, or, having to reject more because there is too high of a "winning" number. I'm just saying.
  49. 0 points
    @ROMAD They also jacked up my CUE packet I submitted four months ago. It got held up because the VA wasn't sure if they could move forward on what I submitted or if I needed yet another required form. I work as a programmer in a company that processed electronic data like text files, PDFs, etc... When they get a bundle, they have to separate it out. Think of it like when you buy a house. You have a loan application, credit application, property appraisal, etc... Every one of those documents has to be reviewed and classified/or split out into individual documents based on their type. Otherwise you just have a "bundle" PDF document that contains a variety of documents and can be difficult to search and manage. I am not familiar with the inner workings of the VA's document management system. I have seen some very smooth and well organized systems, but also have seen some that are rather awful. I wish I knew more about how the VA does it. Might have to dig into M21-1 and see if they have publicly accessible procedures for scanning/organizing/filing correspondence they receive.
  50. 0 points
    Hey buddy I haven't been on this site for awhile due to my disabilities. My TBI and PTSD a has gotten the best of me this last year. I couldn't remember my log-in name or password. Finally came across some old print out papers i had with passwords. Since being on herlast i have suffered from severe memory loss. I believe I'm on the verge of probably heading towards dementia or alzheimers disease. ill be 59 years old this March and to young to be going through this. I seen on this site you have assisted alot of veterans with questions. Bless you. I wish I could do the same, but don't want to give them the wrong information. You know i did all my claim on my own, how, god knows, but this website was a tremendous help. My disabilities are, TBI/PTSD-100%, Depression-109%, left knee-10%, right knee - 10 %, Gerd-20%, .
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