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  1. 3 points
    Persistence pays off! Background: In 2002, I "was told" by VFW that I should drop my claim. In 2004, I "was told" by another VSO that I should "settle" for 0 percent hearing loss and not appeal. In 2005, I lost my home waiting on VA to process my benefit claim. In 2006, several attorney's told me "I didnt have a case". In 2008, I filed a "Special Handling Request" due to mishandled evidence by my VARO. It was "quietly" denied by my VARO. In 2009, I was awarded 100 percent, to 2007. I appealed the effective date. In 2012, I got a remand in part, partial grant, partial denial. In 2013, other lawyers told me I had no case. In 2013, the VARO said I should be happy with 100 percent or they could reduce me. In 2017, I was awarded TDIU, with another 2 years of retro. My attorney declined to represent me in an appeal, so I asked others. I hired an attorney today, after at least 5 attorney's told me no, that I had no case THIS week. Im gonna win this earlier date..I "feel it" Persistence pays off when all else fails.
  2. 3 points
    Only for (no colds, head aches, bloody nose or stubbed toes) actual Emergency Room Stabilization, unless further care is authorized by the Vet's VMC. This is not an automatic, the Vet if conscious upon admission to the Non VA Hospital Emergency Dept or his surrogate must notify the Admission staff of his VA VMC needing to be contacted for his Emergency care. This must be done almost immediately, if not sooner. Document the VMC contact person's name and position for verification of Required Notification. Once the Emergency is stabilized, a VMC Admission Honcho will determine if the VMC has a Bed and facilities/DR's to address the Vet's post Emergency Care. The VMC will arrange ambulance transportation to the VMC if necessary. Failure to follow the required VMC Notification requirement with in a couple days of the Emergency Admission could result in a Denial of VA Emergency care payment. I get all my general care and Rx's from my VMC but when it comes to invasive medical procedures or life threatening surgeries, I'd opt for the Pros located at the Top Private Hospitals with 1000's of procedures under their belt. Medicare with a full boat B plan (no Rx coverage) covers everything with no Deductibles or Co-pays, for about $150.00 a month thru ARRP's United Healthcare
  3. 2 points
    Yes..if you talk to a lawyer, a VSO, and a VA employee, you get 3 different answers. Trust the one who gets paid by you working for you.
  4. 2 points
    I had a recent BVA decision and sent the decision to 5 attorney's PLUS one that was currently representing me. They all declined to represent me. Bummer. However, the 7th attorney agreed to represent me, AND, today I got a letter from another well known big name firm who also agreed to represent me. Moral: Dont give up on your claim.
  5. 2 points
    While it probably does not matter, I tend to favor asking for the highest percentage allowable by law. The VA is supposed to do that anyway. However, its possible to hornswaggle oneself by trying to be "too smart" and telling the rating specialist how to do his or her job. Some will be offended at that suggestion. While others may find it helpful, I think its likely to backfire. Reason: You dont have the training of a "Rating Service Representative" You may not know about bilateral factors, and a bunch of other stuff, too. While I wont insult any Vet who does this with success, sometimes its better to be thought a fool in silence than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt. Sometimes, less is more. Remember, the VA "does not care" what YOU think the rating should be. Supposedly, its all about whether or not you meet the criteria. However, it may be helpful to point out how you meet the criteria for x percent, by citing medical evidence (Dr. "z" on an exam dated..11-12-2008 stated the Veteran "has abc symptom" consistent with the criteria for x percent)
  6. 2 points
    I will persevere in my claims also. Thanks for the encouragement
  7. 2 points
    Awesome, you give them hell Broncovet!
  8. 2 points
    Under the rating schedule, all mental health disorders, once service connected, are rated the same, and are based on symptoms. For rating purposes, it does not matter if you have PTSD, MST, depression, bipolar, etc. While your doctor can diagnose multiple mental health disorders, for rating only ONE set of symptoms will be used. In other words, you wont get a rating of "total occupational impairment" for both PTSD and depression for example. If you are talking about treatement also, I am pretty sure the VA treats all of them (and I will include complexPTSD) close to the same: 1. Their first line is pretty much pills. 2. Therapy sessions. 3. From the VA standpoint, these 2 consist of 90 percent or more of the therapy. The VA pretty much "doesnt go" to alternative therapies. There are many. Exercise. Magnetic Therapy. Aroma Therapy. Massage Therapy (Healing touch). Nutritional Therapy. Chirpopractic Therapy. Accupuncture/Accupressure. Holostic Therapy. Enzyme Therapy. I have even seen "horse therapy", and people swear that works..you go to a horse farm, and ride the horse and build a relationship with your horse. There are many others, I just can not think of them now. Some people even benefit from a trained dog, and companiion. At the very least the animals can provide relief from lonliness that sometimes occurs.
  9. 2 points
    Congratulations! Now the bad news. After a BVA Grant, the VARO has to "implement" the Board's decision, and this means at least 2 things: 1. More delays..you dont get paid until its implemented. This CAN be quick, or it can take a while. My guess...1 to 6 months. Could be more or less..I have had 4 BVA decisions. 2. The board decision is likely for service connection ONLY, this means the VARO will decide a disability percentage, and an effective date, which you may have to appeal either or both of these if you dont agree. Yea, I thought so the first Board decision also..mine was in 2003..that it was over. In my case the Board was a "full grant of benefit sought", which the RO decided was "0 percent". YOurs could be radically different. 3. For reasons above, still, congrats, but dont go spending your money just yet. It will be a while. Once, I got the money from a board decision in just a couple weeks. 4. To try to get advance notice, you can sometimes check the AB8 letters at ebenefits. While ebenefits is unrelaible, the VA does not want people with letters stating they are rated "x" percent, unless that is true.
  10. 1 point
    They said they are reviewing something I had sent to the President. I CCed him on some suggestions I have made to Secretary Shulkin. One thing it could be is my suggestion for a Fast Letter on CUE within the appeal period. "I suggest that a Fast Letter be prepared to go to all VA Regional Offices and all Veterans Service Organizations, stating that: Upon receipt of any Regional Office decision that contains a valid and legal CUE either due to a violation of the VCAA ( 5103 Waiver) ,thus due process violation, that caused a CUE to occur in the decision, or due to the wrong diagnostic code on the rating sheet or due to any failure to consider probative evidence the claimant has supplied to them, or any other legal error that was detrimental to the claimant, the claimant and/or their POA representative should file a CUE claim immediately, asking the VA to correct the error. The Claim must conform to C UE criteria as to identifying the exact legal error and how that error is detrimental to the veteran. I suggest as well to add this: The traditional NOD one year timeframe will stop until the CUE claim is decided. The traditional NOD time frame will only begin upon receipt by the claimant and their POA of the decision on the CUE, that will include full appellate rights. One cannot prepare an adequate NOD when a decision contains a CUE to their detriment. (NOD Notice of Disagreement)" (source-my letter to Sec. Shulkin) Or maybe it is about some FTCA /1151 stuff......most of my last letter to POTUS and Trump was about that issue. VA makes many errors in initial decisions......and if they are legal errors to the claimant's detriment, there is no good reason for those errors to require a NOD and then the long wait for the NOD to be decided, and even at that point the legal error might follow the claimant to the BVA....causing a lengthy remand. A fast letter requiring vet reps and VSOs to seek any CUE in recent decisions, could stave off-in my opinion, much of the backlog. I gave a newspaper reporter some sensitive info recently- maybe that is what the email is about. I sent them a copy of my initial 1151 death award.It is chilling to read. (That VA issue, I have personally deemed as "Area 1151" ).... The actual stats for 1151 claims awards are hidden by the VA and 'absorbed' into their direct SC comp stats.That way not the public nor Congress ever knows how many awards are made under 1151 to vets they harmed or to their survivors because VA medical care caused their death. Since the WH has all of my contact info, I assume I will hear more on the important issues I have written to them and to Secretary Shulkin about. I have had only 2 real responses over the last 25 years from any past VA Secretary ,that actually did some good, and an email from one of them but that was just chit chat about Vietnam as I recall...we had a mutual friend. But things have changed since then, hopefully for the good.
  11. 1 point
    Winner, winner "Turkey Dinner"... Hamslice Good on you!!!!
  12. 1 point
    Glad to see a lot of cases that have been won here although many have taken way too much time. The wheel does turn but slowly. I won my appeal and was awarded money back to May of 2015. I had filed for 3 contentions in May of 2014 and was awarded two of them and this one was denied. Couldn't quite understand why this was denied and filed for reconsideration. That too was denied and filed the nod before the year was up. I'm asking why the award wasn't dated back to 2014 when all 3 of the contentions were filed? Thank you for any clarification on this and good luck to everyone.
  13. 1 point
    @Andyman73 Thanks for the followup...just to let you know I was SC for 70%.
  14. 1 point
    If you are "in remand", then you can submit new and material evidence under 38 cfr 3.156 B to reopen the claim, for any issues still under remand. You can not appeal a claim in remand, because its not "finally adjuticated". Its like appealing a claim where no decision has been made, they always tell you to wait until its decided. You have to wait until the remand is carried out. Yes, I know its frustrating when VA wont comply with the judges order in remand. Its a Stegal violation. If they wont comply with the remand, then you can try a writ of mandamus to compel compliance with remand. Caution, tho. You need to give the VARO "time" to accopmplish a remand that is supposed to be given expiditious treatement. Of course, the courts dont define that. And the VARO/board will say..."Gee that backlog is rough isnt it...to bad its taken 3 years for a remand, but we are working on thousands of other Veterans claims, just like you". The court always buys that excuse. If you plan on filing a writ, make sure you document contacting the VARO about non compliance with remand order. Several times. Otherwise your writ will be denied straight out. Your writ will almost certainly be denied regardless, but the judge can order the VARO to "answer" the writ. That is what you need. If the VARO "answers" the writ, then they will usually say something just like the sentence quoted about the backlog and they are working on it. But, this will force their hand.
  15. 1 point
    JF, as is sometimes the case, it seems some of us missed the part of your original question, "Initial Claim." Unless the VA SC Claim (paper or E-File) has changed, there really isn't a section for you to ask for a specific SC % Rating. If in your opinion, your Medical Evidence is somewhat vague or less than strongly supportive, completing a VA 21-???? "Statement in Support of Claim" may be beneficial.
  16. 1 point
    If you opted out of the VA Program, good luck on getting the VA to pay anything. sounds like the VMC was never notified either by you or the Private Hospital Intake Clerk/Supervisor. What is the amount that you're on the Hook for? Of the (3) forms of Payment for non VMC ER services, private Ins and Medicare are much faster than VA. Biggest mistake a Vet can make is to hand over the Medicare or Private Ins cards if he wants the VA to be contacted for coverage. All Hospitals that except Medicare patients must also accept all Vets covered by the VA. The Hospital billing Dept is only concerned with getting their ER Bill paid the fastest way. Many a horror story has been told regarding Vet's getting $40K Hospital bills that they thought were going to be covered by the VA. Hospital Billing Screw-up or Vet Screw-up, it doesn't really matter. No quick fixes are available if the VMC wasn't notified.
  17. 1 point
    Normally, I'd say asking for a specific percentage is a waste of time as VA assumes that you are asking for the maximum award for any particular disability. That said, I have done it and won. I was awarded 20% radiculopathy for both left and right arms resulting as secondary to my lower back SC. The possibilities for this disability are mild, moderate, and severe. (10-20 and 30%) The C&P report clearly stated "moderate" but the VA rated it as "mild". I filed a NOD requesting the 30% rating for "moderate" and won without having to go to the BVA.
  18. 1 point
    I re-read the decision and still find no evidence of any legal error (CUE). If you do succeed on a re -open for your heart condition, and if it was at a ratable level in the older decision ( I saw no rating as NSC at all there) you might have a CUE basis.....might....but I dont think it was at a ratable level in the older decision. The best thing you can do is re=open with N & M evidence,which I would think would include any past ECHOs and make sure your service nexus is clear to the VA.
  19. 1 point
    PAR When a C&P exam doctor focuses on your childhood and upbringing that is a glaring red light that means the VA is searching for a non service connected cause for your disability. If you did not file a NOD on your first denial it may be tough to get an EED for your PTSD. However, if the VA made the exam you got the total reason for denying your first claim and ignored your evidence you might have a chance. I think you may need some professional claims help. Please never discuss your upbringing with the VA again since this is the oldest trick in the book to deny a claim. I know because many years ago it happened to me. Stick to what happened in the military. Don't mention any other things that happened before or since military. You might try and find a lawyer to help you with this or at least to tell you if you have a chance. When you speak to the VA just imagine you have been charged with murder and you are being questioned by the police. Would you just blab and answer leading questions or would you get a lawyer? All this stuff happened to me with the VA, so I understand you trusted them a little and they showed you their true face. I would definitely try and get the EED back to 2014, but realize you may be in for a fight. A reasonable mind would grant you the 2014 date but we are dealing with the VA and with money they don't want to spend. When it protects them they stick to the letter of the law.
  20. 1 point
    This link contains a lot of info and links at the bottom of the page contain resources for non-VA regular and emergency care. https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/nvc_for_vets.asp Like you, I am 100% P&T, have private insurance, but not medicare. I have actually used non-VA emergency care a few times. Before the new VAMC opened in Orlando, FL, I got really sick and needed to travel by ambulance, have tests, and was admitted. When the hospital staff came by to collect my insurance cards, I told them I was covered by the VA and the VA covered all costs --eventually. I notified the VA when I was released. When the bills started arriving in the mail, I found none were paid by the VA. I called a couple of the providers and the VA denied because I was not registered in their system. They were right, I was not registered in the VA health care system in Florida. I had to call that VAMC and get setup. It took a lot of letters, phone calls, and about six months total for the VA to eventually pay for everything. Now if a VAMC is nearby, the rules change a bit: Scenario 1 I went to my local non-VA primary care doc. After some tests, I was told I needed to get ambulanced to a hospital for specialized heart treatment. Because I was within range of my VAMC, I told the EMT to take me to the VA and to bill the ride to the VA. I was admitted and treated. When I got out, I called the VAMC and let them know. They said to fax the bill to them when it comes in the mail. It took the VA about three months to pay that. Scenario 2 I had a bad reaction to something and went to the non-VA ER a couple of miles from my house. They quickly loaded me up with meds and I woke up three days later in ICU. During that time, my wife called the VAMC. They asked if I could be ambulanced to the VAMC and treated there. The doctor said I was too sick to travel, so I ended up staying in the non-VA hospital for about a week. I had to submit billing paperwork like the other times and it took about four months to get everything paid. The VA does not cover any of my other visits to non-VA providers unless special circumstances are met. The Choice Program and Fee-based care program can also be used in certain situations or if you qualify. I have a situation now where my VAMC does not have a qualified pain management to perform a special procedure. It has been this way since near the beginning of the year, so they outsourced my care. It has been nothing but red tape, so we decided to pay out of our own pocket to get the procedure done externally. Good luck!
  21. 1 point
    @SergeantQ, Glad to hear this! You're absolutely right, shouldn't take that much longer! After my exam with the QTC for a psychological exam...it only took 2 weeks to get approved and 4 days to get paid afterwards.
  22. 1 point
    Every SC Claim filed is considered by the RO Rating Dept as a Claim for the Maximum Award available, to include 100%, IU and any SMC that the"Evidence of Record" supports. You asking for a specific SC % has no impact on your Claim but if it makes you feel better, do it. If eventually you get Awarded an SC at a Rate Lower than you believe is supported by the "EOR", then you immediately file an Official Request for Rating Review attaching the "EOR" that supports the SC % you think is correct. If the above doesn't result in an SC Increase within 3 - 4 months, it's then Time to File your NOD requesting a DRO "HEARING!" You actually have to request the DRO Hearing in writing, otherwise you get a Review, no face to face. There is a a New Fast Track RO Appeal procedure that Buck52 posted about last week, it appears to be similar to the DRO Review, minus the DRO. Once you choose it, you're locked in, DRO Reviews or Hearings are off the table. If Denied again by Fast Track Rating Dept Review, your next stop is the BVA Hearing, some 2 to 4 years down range.
  23. 1 point
    The VA is obligated by law to use the Dx code that gives you the highest rating. When they evaluate the rating, they will check all Dx codes related and compare them and you get the Dx code that gives you the greatest benefit available.
  24. 1 point
    When ever someone asks "how does VA...." Well, "the VA" does things just the way VA wants to, regardless of the regulations. You can check the schedule of ratings for the criteria, but as to whether or not VA follows that criteria is anyones guess. If they dont follow the criteria, you can likely appeal successfully.
  25. 1 point
    Jfrei, It is my understanding that when a 100% rating is awarded for a TBI claim, the SMC S is automatically applied. That is most likely why you have it. They are not inclined to award the L rating unless you put in a claim for the increase. From what you have written in the various posts the past few months, it does appear you are eligible for SMC L. I don't think you need a lawyer to be successful in getting that award, unless you put in a claim and it is denied. A good VSO will be able to help you with this. It is not an unusual or complicated claim and you seem to have good medical evidence. You just need to put it all together so it is an "easy read" for whichever decision officer's desk it lands on. Google your county VSO office and see who is available and ready to help explain to you what needs to be done and will help you through the steps. I helped my vet make the increase from S to L about 2 years ago and it was much easier than putting in the claim for his TBI! It was also a faster response. I believe it took around 2 months. GO and GET ER DONE!
  26. 1 point
    I have, in the past, made note of my symptoms objectively by referencing my treatment notes (by date, usually) and after I have a list of them I correlate them to whatever percentage rating they fall under. If its higher than what I have then I request that in my claim by saying something like "the following symptoms all fall into the range of *whatever percentage*, and I am currently rated at X. My treatment notes indicate a progressive worsening of my disability *whatever they called it in my prior award letter. " and fall under a higher percentage of *Y* I am requesting an increase in my current rating to the next applicable percentage, see notes and attachments.. (and I print off my MyHealthVet notes to PDF and cut and paste the high and low points into a word document that I print and include, along with dates for each) and leave it at that. Over 14 years I got to 100% this way, along with a few job losses, and losing a house (not because of VA, but because of my inability to process things timely and getting to the point of foreclosure due to not paying). I was at 70% total for 2nd longest period of time (4 yrs) and before that I was at 50%. When I requested 100% I also requested IU along with it, as I had been let go from my job due to health reasons and performance problems related to that, which I also talked about with my psych and included a few memos and emails from work about performance and sanctions. IU/, than 100%, was granted to me two years ago over a span of 4 months where I was IU first, then got a second decision back amending the first where they just changed it to 100% P/T instead. That claim took bout a year and a half all told to wind its way through.
  27. 1 point
    Yikes! I'd say you have nothing to lose by submitting ASAP! They'd have to refute your physician's, especially if the VA exam was mentioned in the IMO
  28. 1 point
    Hi Prettapantha... keep going with the NOD and up on your appointments/deadlines. That’s the way to do it. I would like to say I’ve matured as well, and GOD knows I have but when you dealing with this year after year, at times having no movement for years, it’s bigger than just finding a hobby. It’s bigger than just waiting. Its the principal. It makes u feel like nobody cares and the VA is allowed to deny, delay and ignore you. I know it’s not about me persay but when u in the midst of it - it’s really hard to stay focused and not become your own best advocate. Hopefully you will never have to know this feeling. I really think the VA has made great strides since I put my claim in 2010 so you shouldn’t have any problems. Especially logging into this site. If I had this before I put my claim in - no way I would’ve waited 8 years.
  29. 1 point
    Dont overlook the "OR". If you are unable to work, the qualifications for pension are much easier than compensation. You dont have to prove "why" you cant work, and Im assuming you can not. If you are unable to work for health reasons, then you should be good to go. Of course, I dont know what your health is, and whether or not you can work. However, my guess would be if you are homeless or about to become same, and you could fix all that by simply getting a job, you would have done so already, but I get that is not always the case. If you are getting 30 percent for PTSD, I wonder how many employers are going to say: "Sure, I dont care if you have suicide or homicidal ideations...come to work for us. If it gets too bad, and you act out on it, then we will take care of you then, too." I say that, not to suggest YOU have SI, but I had SI and the vA rated ME at 30 percent..that is, until I appealed and appealed and finally won. However, if you CAN work, then by all means do so. Dont be collecting benfits if you are able to get a job. That will come back to bite you, as VA has a way of finding "malingerers", that is, people who are too lazy to work so they fake illnesses for benefits. Im not one of them...I tried for years to get a job. What I did not get that I was "in denial" about my own physical and mental health, and I thought I could find a job. So, I went through Voc Rehab (through my state, which is a much better program than VA's), and my Voc rehab counselor, after being unable to find a job, used the term "unemployability". I did nt know what that meant so I read a bunch about it, and he was right...I had applied for thousands of jobs and blamed the potential employers, including the VA, the DOD, and every one else, for not hiring me, all while younger and healthier friends were finding work right and left..from the same jobs that turned me down. Mostly your VA pension will be about: 1. Did you serve in the requiste periods of service? 2. Are you unemployed and been unemployed a long time and unable to get a job. Go ahead and do the Voc Rehab plan..and if they find you a job, so be it. You can apply for pension in the interim...dont lie to them...just apply, and dont answer questions they dont ask. "Gee, I have purple hair and nose rings, can I still get pension?" Dont try to do their job for them, apply and let them see if you qualify. If they deny, then you can still appeal. The good news is that pension cases are much much faster than comp. And, if you are homeless or very nearly so, that is usually a dead giveaway. Again, dont try it if you can work, but if you have been turned down an unusual number of times, there may be a reason.
  30. 1 point
    Hi Prettypantha... No, I never left. I was reading and taking notes but too mad and bitter to post.
  31. 1 point
    Thank goodness I am finally in the 100 club. I got so many illnesses I can't name them all, but the one that got me over the top was Fibro. I second connected that to my knee, back, hip, shoulders, joints in my fingers. I also have sleep problem and the Rhomatored doc said this might be the reason I don't sleep weel. Well that's another step, but right now I'm goiing to enjoy this major acheivement. Thanks to all of you for advice, motovation, and encuragement to sticking with it. I know I have a long road to go to maintain my place in the 100 but at least the big part is over. One Team, One feight
  32. 1 point
    I just experienced this:- twice ..... I purchased a home before my IU - was awarded - I sent the original letter to my local appraisal office - took about 2 months and they backdated my "homestead" criteria to before I purchased meaning - I received a check for ANY taxes I paid. - $3500. Blessed I recently sold that home, & the title company told me I would have to pay taxes on the new home but would probably be reimbursed after the first of the year. I proactively sent them the same letter ( notarized) for the IU award and was forgiven all taxes based on my situation :) Hope this helps. "it was simple as downloading the appraisal form for the exemption- notarizing it- sending it " - I then received a letter stating they understood and acknowledged my tax exemption. Blessed Thankful Grateful! Texas Veterans are truly Blessed
  33. 1 point
    Check out the VA Rating Reduction requirements for SCs held less than 5 yrs Vs 5+ years, big difference. If you're under 55, your C-File will be Diary Dated for Review every 3 to 5 yrs. If you file a New Claim, your SCs are reviewable at the discretion of the Rater. You might want to pull all your MHV MH Clinician Treatment Notes, do your Clinicians indicate an improvement?
  34. 1 point
    My exam is tomorrow... and I just looked at the letter for the C&P and the exam time allows for 2 hours and it has a section for the examiner of "Special clinic instructions". Services Requested: DBQ PSYCH PTSD initial (1), DBQ Medical Opinion-BH: PSYCH PTSD initial (1), DBQ Medical Opinion - BH: PSYCH PTSD Initial 2 (1), DBQ Medical Opinion- BH: PSYCH Initial 3 (1), CPT 90791 - PSYC DX Interview XM (1), CPT 96150 - BH assessment, initial, ea unit 15 min, up to 6 units (6) Not sure what any of the above means specifically (maybe I don't want to know), but just an FYI of what my MST/PTSD C&P letter contained.
  35. 1 point
    No Bank Account? VA Direct Deposit regardless of the amount is the only way to fly!
  36. 1 point
    A few things: 1. Did you order a copy of your cfile, and did you have a medical exam where a doc said your cpap "was at least as likely as not" related to (secondary) to your service connected condition(s). That is what you need for secondary service connection. 2. VA awards "increases" when your symptoms increase, not when a doc changes your medication(s). Its about symptoms, not treatment, as treatments can vary.
  37. 1 point
    Also: YOU need to work on finding those records. A reopen due to 38 cfr 3.156 C, should win benefits once those records are found. Alex Graham got shot in Vietnam, and had to prove it as VA did not beleive he went to Nam. He was treated in a hospital probably no longer there. But, he won benefits back to 1994, a massive payday which I estimate to be over a half million dollars. How did he do it? It had to do with persistence, just like I recommend for you, which worked for me. DO A HADIT SEARCH ON LOCATING LOST RECORDS. Dont depend on VA to do that, YOU do it, as VA will almost always disappoint. Its like having the enemy hire a representitive of his choice for you, and they get to pick the battle ground. They have no idea how determined I am, well maybe they do after 15 years. We used to have a hadit member named captain Contanimate, and his motto was "NEVER give up". Alex\s is "Win or Die". Once you understand that VA is gonna fight you, you can hunker down for the biggest fight of your life..VA benefits. Im still in battle with VA, but, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I can even throw the white flag and keep my benefits (100 percent) back to 2004. However, I lost my home due to VA and I want it back, so Im taking it back!!!!!!!!!! SMC s and the last 2 years will be enough for me to buy my home back. So, now, Im no longer the rookie that VA can lie to me and I will beleive them. Im hardened like wood from battle with VA, and I dont put up with their BS. I have answered THOUSANDS of questions from other Vets, with over 3000 "likes", so VA has no idea who they are dealing with. As long as I live long enough, I will win, and will keep fighting until I do.
  38. 1 point
    Tatoo this on your arm, if necessary, to remember it: If in doubt, see the quote above. Frankly, Im very upset they resorted to "cheap shots" to get you to "NOT" seek information/evidence critical to your claim. "It will delay your decision"...that lie is a cheap shot, because "everything" delays your decision. The Backlog delays your decsion. Your VSO delays your decision. The new VASEC delays the decsion. Hurrricane Irma delays your decision. Why hadit moderators, delay your decision, right? No. VA incompentence, corruption, laziness, and bad attitudes delay your decision!! When VA says, "They are set to make a final decision next month"..that is probably a lie, also. I have an email where VA promised me a decision "within 6 weeks" on my TDIU claim..that was in 2004. I got the decision in 2009, and they decided it was moot. I appealed, and the BVA judge agreed with me that it was "not moot". Finally, I got a real decision..in August, 2017...thirteen years after they told me it would be six weeks. What to do: Go to your C and P examiner office. "Ask" for a copy of the exam. Then, if no result, go to your "release of information" office at your VAMC. Always remember: VA is not a unified body, and when one employee tells you no, go back the next day and the next person will likely say yes.
  39. 1 point
    After 50 years I received a 100% disability rating. At 73 years of age I was awarded it about a month ago. Prior to then I received a letter from the Treasury Department stating they didn't have my banking info available if I was awarded a pension. Turns out they did. I had to call the number given to verify it. The gentleman I talked to told me how it can take 6 to 8 years for an appeal. WOW! That was depressing. He said the Washington office alone had 4 or 5 staffers and handled 30,000 claims. I wrote to Senator John McCain telling him what I had learned. With no reply necessary. I turned on CSPAN 2 weeks later to see what was going on with our committee hearings and I hear various Senators pushing bill H.R.2288 - Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. It passed the House and was headed for the Senate. It was to shorten the time period of between 5 and 10 years to one year for appeals. 470,000 appeals waiting for approval. I wrote back to Senator McCain and thanked him today. No reply necessary. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2288?q={"search"%3A["congressId%3A115+AND+billStatus%3A\"Introduced\""]}&r=1
  40. 1 point
    I disagree, always be concerned and proactive when it comes to a VA Fiduciary Appointment Notification. You should be afforded an in-home appointment with a VA Fiduciary Social Worker at some point in the near future. I take it you haven't Appealed the Fiduciary Appointment, correct? You can request that the VA Appoint a Trusted Friend or Relative to serve as your Fiduciary. Keep in mind, they must meet all VA Fiduciary Qualifications, including there own Financial Fitness. There's an Old Saying, "The best way to lose Friends and Relatives, is to lone money." Having a friend or relative act as your Fiduciary is not without certain pitfalls. Semper Fi
  41. 1 point
    "1. My questions are, what will happen when the USASCRR doesn’t confirm stressor by the due date?" I think the "due date" is an arbitrary date they used.....hope so....I think they must make more than one attempt to get a response from JSRRC. The evidence you presented must have been probative for the rep to even guess on a rating.I hope the rep is right. "2. Will I automatically receive back pay from original claim date of July 2015?" It seems you did not appeal the denial of 2015 but re=opened with new evidence in June 2017. If the claim is awarded -that will be the date for retro- June 2017. The older denial might contain a CUE...if they subsequently award the claim.....might.... If so it would be a way to attain a better EED...... Too soon to know. I hope this goes well for you.
  42. 1 point
    I just posted an article on Aid and Attendance in the SMC forum. This is not just for veterans with a wartime pension.It can be considered for spouses as well, to include surviving spouses.
  43. 1 point
    Sidebar addition to above conversation: I highly recommend the CPT program at the VA. Not only does it help, it benefits you by utilizing the techniques that are taught in future situations...invaluable. (for me)
  44. 1 point
    Hello all, Have a question maybe some can help. So it has been now about 2 months since I have had my C&P exam that was set up through QTC. Called a few times to check on status just to see if they had received results from the exam as from what I understand the C&P exam is sent back to them for review and then forwarded to VARO. However, as stated it has been now 2 months and the Dr that performed my C&P exam has yet to send to QTC! Is this a normal time, should I or would it be worth me going back up there myself to check? I understand it can take 3 to 4 months or more in some cases for VA to rate once they receive all evidence but for the doctor to not have even sent back the results from the exam after 2 months?! Just wondering.... Oh BTW, the doctor was a psychologist as my C&P exam was for mental. Called QTC they say they have tried to call Dr, left messages etc. THANKS!
  45. 1 point
    Glad to c you are back on the site, and you got an increase bud. As far as your conditions go, I only got 10% for my knees, even though I had 2 surgeries on right and just waiting to get older to have both replaced. As far as the GERD, I have severe Crohns disease, yet I only rated 30%, about to have shoulder surgery, only 30%, about to have back surgery as well, only 30%. PTSD at 70%, even though served in both OIF/OEF, multiple injuries there, Military put me in Mental hospital for 100 days, yet again on 70%. Sorry for the rambling, what I am trying to say is the VA will always low ball all of us. Vets think that it is so easy to get to 100% SC, as you can tell from my Signature I have alot of high %s and health issues, and it still took alot to get 100% VA. Good luck, and GOd Bless, and hope now you got you a good place to live.
  46. 1 point
    You my friend are my hero for waiting and pursuing for this long. 50 years is a very long time. We have been waiting on my husbands since 2009 and we are right now awaiting a DRO Review and Hearing. Such a struggle.
  47. 1 point
    Howdy Folks! Sorry for not getting back sooner, I had many VA appointments yesterday and today. What I know so far is as follows; I did not yet receive anything in the Mail, but one of my therapists was able to see my rating and info in my demographics file. My ratings are; SC PERCENT 90% RATING DISABILITIES TINNITUS 10%-SC INTER-VERTEBRAL DISC SYNDROME 20%-SC IMPAIRED HEARING 0%-SC PARALYSIS OF SCIATIC NERVE 40%-SC PTSD 70% SC PARALYSIS OF SCIATIC NERVE 40%-SC. A total of 180%, but I do understand the logic they use for awarding 90% ( at least I think I do ) On ebennies my status has reverted back to 'GATHERING EVIDENCE. I wonder if that mean they are still working on my IU. My VA rep told me to fill out that form when I saw her several months ago ( She is a VA employee and very helpful to me) . You folks have been great and I appreciate all of your advice and kind words. I have to say that I am very happy with the treatment I have received from the VA these last few years. It's light years ahead of the treatment I received ( or lack there of ) in the 1970s. Everyone has been most kind, helpful tome, along with being protective of me. I came to trust my PTSD therapist, which is huge for me and most other VETS who suffer from PTSD. I have been able to share things I kept bottled up for almost 40 years. These things ruined many things in my life and I lost the ability to cope with everyday life.
  48. 1 point
    LILS, Since you are now in priority group one, all of your medications are free and you would also be entitled for reimbursement of any copays you paid for VA medications retroactive to the effective date of your increased rating. I can not think of any additional benefits at the present time. You may want to check and see if any additional state or local benefits are available to you for your current rating.
  49. 1 point
    Your amazing. That is a huge amount of really useful information and i just wanted to say thank you. Im new here. I have not claimed PTSD or any other disability since getting out, however i have just recently been looking into it for my families sake. So thank you again really.
  50. 1 point
    It will be rated on Range of Motion (limitations of) with separate ratings for objective neurological impairments or based on incapacitating episodes requiring bed rest perscribed by your doctor. To be rated on incapacitating episodes you have to be SC for IVDS Intervertrebal Disk Syndrome. General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height10Note (1):Evaluate any associated objective neurologic abnormalities, including, but not limited to, bowel or bladder impairment, separately, under an appropriate diagnostic code.Note (2):(See also Plate V.) For VA compensation purposes, normal forward flexion of the cervical spine is zero to 45 degrees, extension is zero to 45 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 45 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 80 degrees. Normal forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine is zero to 90 degrees, extension is zero to 30 degrees, left and right lateral flexion are zero to 30 degrees, and left and right lateral rotation are zero to 30 degrees. The combined range of motion refers to the sum of the range of forward flexion, extension, left and right lateral flexion, and left and right rotation. The normal combined range of motion of the cervical spine is 340 degrees and of the thoracolumbar spine is 240 degrees. The normal ranges of motion for each component of spinal motion provided in this note are the maximum that can be used for calculation of the combined range of motion.Note (3):In exceptional cases, an examiner may state that because of age, body habitus, neurologic disease, or other factors not the result of disease or injury of the spine, the range of motion of the spine in a particular individual should be considered normal for that individual, even though it does not conform to the normal range of motion stated in Note (2). Provided that the examiner supplies an explanation, the examiner's assessment that the range of motion is normal for that individual will be accepted.Note (4):Round each range of motion measurement to the nearest five degrees.Note (5):For VA compensation purposes, unfavorable ankylosis is a condition in which the entire cervical spine, the entire thoracolumbar spine, or the entire spine is fixed in flexion or extension, and the ankylosis results in one or more of the following: difficulty walking because of a limited line of vision; restricted opening of the mouth and chewing; breathing limited to diaphragmatic respiration; gastrointestinal symptoms due to pressure of the costal margin on the abdomen; dyspnea or dysphagia; atlantoaxial or cervical subluxation or dislocation; or neurologic symptoms due to nerve root stretching. Fixation of a spinal segment in neutral position (zero degrees) always represents favorable ankylosis.Note (6):Separately evaluate disability of the thoracolumbar and cervical spine segments, except when there is unfavorable ankylosis of both segments, which will be rated as a single disability. 5235 Vertebral fracture or dislocation 5236 Sacroiliac injury and weakness 5237 Lumbosacral or cervical strain 5238 Spinal stenosis 5239 Spondylolisthesis or segmental instability 5240 Ankylosing spondylitis 5241 Spinal fusion 5242 Degenerative arthritis of the spine (see also diagnostic code 5003) 5243 Intervertebral disc syndromeEvaluate intervertebral disc syndrome (preoperatively or postoperatively) either under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine or under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes, whichever method results in the higher evaluation when all disabilities are combined under §4.25.Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating EpisodesWith incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 6 weeks during the past 12 months60With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 4 weeks but less than 6 weeks during the past 12 months40With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least 2 weeks but less than 4 weeks during the past 12 months20With incapacitating episodes having a total duration of at least one week but less than 2 weeks during the past 12 months10Note(1): For purposes of evaluations under diagnostic code 5243, an incapacitating episode is a period of acute signs and symptoms due to intervertebral disc syndrome that requires bed rest prescribed by a physician and treatment by a physician.Note(2): If intervertebral disc syndrome is present in more than one spinal segment, provided that the effects in each spinal segment are clearly distinct, evaluate each segment on the basis of incapacitating episodes or under the General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine, whichever method results in a higher evaluation for that segment. If all they used were x-rays and they did not test your ranges of motion I would be very skeptical about this rating. All ratings for the spine require assesment and measurment of ROM. What VASRD codes they have SC your disabilities will guide how the schedule is to be used. unfortunately you will not get a rating based on your pain level. However, it is important to be clear with any examiner on the side effects and limitations that your medicines/treatment imposes on you. The rating sounds low but their are many people with intense back pain that have fairly preserved ranges of motion. Best regards, Tyler