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      Hadit Podcast Radio Show 'Tonight'' 7:00 pm EST.   05/04/2017

      Just a Reminder for all you vets that have questions you need an answer to  please feel free to call in to the show tonight and ask your question/question's  John Basser and Jerrel Cook Will be glad to take your call. The # TO CALL 347-237-4819..After you get in just hit the number 1 Tonight they will have Hadit Elder Member Asknod  (Alex) as there guest Host and he is very Intelligent with VA  Claims and VA Related Information, if anyone can answer your questions it  is Alex. so call in to the show tonight  John & Jerrel will make * you feel at ease* you will be glad you called In...I promise ya.

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  1. 7 likes
    After 23 years of fighting, two CUEs, five BVA decisions and three trips to the CAVC, I finally forced VA to acknowledge and fix the correct effective date ( March 1994) for my second 100% schedular rating for porphyria cutanea tarda. No more money but they can never reduce me or take away the rating. VA is fond of waiting until you're at 19 years and 6 months and then requesting a new c&p exam to show you got better. Bingo, Out goes the 100% and in comes 60%. 260% of my 290% is now 20-year protected and can never be reduced or rescinded. It was never about the money. They pissed me off forever when they said I was never in Vietnam. You can call me late for dinner but never call me a liar. With this last and final correction, I officially end my VA claims filing career.Well, until the next disease or injury pops up.
  2. 6 likes
    CLAIM FITNISHED TODAY...100% PERMANENT AND TOTAL PTSD/MST ! I WAS EARLIER RATED FOR 30% FOR EACH ANKLE AND TINNITUS. SO....130% TOTAL I WILL POST A TIMELINE LATER! I AM BLESSED!
  3. 6 likes
    My Successful VA Claims Story Thanks to all on this site who have shared information, web site links, successes, failures, delays, processes, procedures, and advice. Your advice helped my complete my claim on-line with zero issues. I didn’t post or comment on any threads while I was in the process, but waited till all was done; now I have time to comment and return the favor and answer any questions. At the time of my retirement in 2001 after 20 years of service, filling a claim was the farthest thing from my mind. Sure I had aches, pains and scars but I was 39, didn’t feel disabled and honestly didn’t want anything to delay me from getting out on time and honestly felt there were more deserving of compensation. It took me several years to understand I did have injuries that affected me and I should file a claim. I was also going thru a divorce, custody battle, relocating from overseas, looking for a house and a job to pay for it all at the same time. Luckily I was successful on all accounts. Fast forward to 2015 I finally decided to start my claim after close to 15 years. After reading numerous postings and threads on this site and reading the length of time people have waited and hearing the horror stories associated with so many claims, I decided that while there are some very knowledgeable, dedicated and helpful people and agencies out there to help with claims that no one probably cared about my claim as much as I did. I went to work learning the process and reading the CFR cover to cover and read it again and read it again (did I mention I read it again). Obtained my records, civilian and military and made a list of each condition no matter how small that I believed I had solid enough documentation on. I then got busy making medical appointments for each the conditions I claimed. I did these one at a time to ensure everything was correct before moving on to the next. After each Dr. Visit I scheduled another appointment with the sole purpose of having the Dr. Complete VSARD. (This process took me approx. 8 months) After submitting claim on e-benefits I started preparing for my C&P Exam. Simply made an outline for each item I wanted to address and had copies of everything I submitted (which I was glad I brought with me, three items had not been uploaded to my file). The C&P exam was painless and professional the Dr. simply asked questions on each issue and did the exam to confirm what had previously been submitted. My appointment lasted 3.5 hours. I recommend you be patient and quiet while the Dr. reads your C-File and types notes for each condition and completes a VSARD for each. Don’t distract them let them work. I know I make errors typing if someone is talking at the same time and my claim was too important to have something missed by me talking and asking questions while they are typing their medical opinion. They take the issues one at a time and complete each before moving onto the next. You will be afforded a time at the end for questions, take notes of questions that pop into your head and save them to the end of your appointment. My Dr. was very thorough and took her time for each issue. Honestly I was blown away by the way I was treated at the Houston, VA after some of the horror stories I have read about C&P exams. I simply followed advice I came across from those that were successful with their claims and treated the C&P Exam like a business meeting. After the Doctor introduced herself the conversation basically went like this. I simply said...”Thank you for making time to speak with me today, Have you been given time to review my file for the following conditions”? Gave her a list of my claimed conditions (I listed all 10 on one piece of paper). She said all but these three. I then showed her the screen shot where they had been submitted and gave her paper copies which she appreciated. (Later in the exam she was able to retrieve them from the system as it was uploading slowly that day) At the end she asked what questions if any I had, I had two or three that I wrote down for clarification which she answered. I simply thanked her for her time and left the appointment. Recommend getting an account on the VA Blue Button, my exam notes were online in two days and after reading the Doctors notes I knew my claim would be just fine. My time line is below. Dec 1 2016 Claim submitted Dec 4 2016 Under Review/Gathering of Evidence Jan 25 2017 C&P Exam Mar 08 2017 Initial Review Complete/Preparation for Decision March 20 2017 Moved back to Gathering Evidence March 27 2017 Moved to Pending Decision Approval March 28 2017 Preparation for Notification March 28 2017 Complete awarded 90% Thanks again to all those that posted info and advice! Best wishes....OSC (SW) Retired
  4. 5 likes
    Hi Everyone, As I wait my fate after a DRO hearing (been 16 months) rather then worry about it, I took Broncovet advise that he has given to keep myself busy. I just came across this bill called the "Veterans Appeals improvement and Modernization Act". The bill is expected to pass late summer as it as bi-partisan support (both Democrats and Republicans). It is expected to speed up and shrink the claims process by creating "three" lanes of appeal. Lane #1 "Local Higher level Review Lane' would allow a adjudicator to review the same evidence considered by the original processor. Lane #2 "New Evidence Lane" , veterans can present new evidence for review and have a hearing. Lane#3 "Board Lane" where jurisdiction is immediately transferred to the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA). Another factor of the bill is to improve original claim decisions notices so they more clearly inform veterans and advocates of the reason behind original decisions. This will help determine whether to file an appeal, and which lane to choose. Congress claims with the new bill they can cut average wait time for final appeal from five years to 125 days! The only thing that could derail the bill, if member of Congress decide to attach other non popular initiatives on to the bill. They don't feel it will happen. So late summer is considered the target date for passage.
  5. 5 likes
    I just got this email from my brother: "Hi Berta, Congratulations! You should be very proud of yourself. I don't follow politics very much, but I saw something about the VA Hotline on TV at a Wendy's yesterday. Its great that the White House recognizes your accomplishments. Berta, I know you obviously have a lot going on.. Sometimes I'm sure it it seems like too much, at once, but the good thing is that you are on top of it, If you cannot call me for the time being I understand. I'm just glad I didn't sign anything." ( He had a legal issue...not a vet) I wonder what channel it was on I only watch Fox ..anyone know.........I hope they gave out our web site link.......they have it
  6. 5 likes
    Most Vets know well the 20 year protections, and even the 10 year protections for service connection. But, some of you may not know about your "5 year Protections", that also apply to P and T. I will include the entire regulation, then list the 5 year protections "in list form" 1. Exam (to reduce) must be COMPLETE (including that the doc read your history). 2. Ratings subject of ""temporary or episodic" improvement will not be a basis for reduction. NOTICE THE "EG" which means, "for example". It does NOT mean you have to have one of those listed, they are used as examples and are not intended to be the complete list. You can have something wrong with you from stuff that is NOT on the list, which could also be subject to "temporary" or "episodic" improvement. Just because you feel better today, does not mean your disability went away. 3. The VA has to show "material improvement" under "ordinary conditions of life". 4. Examinations less full and complete than those on which payments were authorized or continued will not be used as a basis of reduction.; Dont overlook this one. "or continued" means if you get a rating decison "continuing" your rating, then VA has to show "actual improvement" from the time they continued your rating, in a rating decision. That means even if you got better, but there is not evidence you got better SINCE YOUR LAST DECISON, then someone in Va has already decided to continue your rating and res judicata prohibits VA from going back and revisiting that decision absent CLEAR Unmistakable Error.
  7. 4 likes
    I had a very bad habit of checking E-benefits almost daily. Yesterday I was shocked to see I had been awarded 100% P&T. If you are going to be addicted to E-benefits take my approach, "don't get upset and never expect anything" it will come eventually. Today I want to say thank you to so many people on this forum for responding to past posts I have made and also to the ones I just learned from reading theirs. I am truly blessed that in comparison to so many, my NOD for increase was decided in two years and a week. I know that many have been waiting longer, but NEVER GIVE UP. Now I have to find out what all the benefits are that comes with this award. I know they vary from State to State and I am in SC. I am going to need to get ID cards for the wife and I, now she won't have to wait until our daughter is in town before going to the commissary LOL. I just want to say God Bless you all and I will still be lurking around. I truly am still in shock!
  8. 4 likes
    Second appeal never left they RO they were preparing the SOC and changed their mind...Im now Permanent and Total paid at 100% with the first appeal at the BVA with ahardship at the VLJ and another intial FDC claim which I just finished my DBQ the doctor separated my TBI PTSD and Chronic AD. It's been a long 7 years but now some rest thank you All from this website I owe my whole claim to the answers I've gotten..!
  9. 4 likes
    This could mean a few things. Most CAVC decisions are decided by a "single judge", but in rare cases they are decided by a panel. A panel is 3 judges selected by, I believe, the Chief of the Court (currently Judge Davis). Typically, a party moves for a panel decision when a) they are denied by a single judge or b) they have an issue that they think is better done by a panel (see below). Judges can also "sua sponte" - meaning on their own motion, not from a party - send a case to a panel. Here are the reasons why that might happen: 1) Decision would establish a new rule of law; 2) Decision would modify or clarify an existing rule of law; 3) Decision would apply established law to a novel fact situation; 4) Decision would constitute the only recent, binding precedent on a particular point of law; 5) Decision would involve a legal issue of continuing public interest; or 6) Decision which would resolve a case in which the outcome is reasonably debatable. If you tell me your docket number at the CAVC, I am happy to take a look and give you my best guess as to why it's going to a panel. If you are interested, here is a post that explains single judge and panel decisions from my Veterans Law Blog: https://www.veteranslawblog.org/court-of-appeals-for-veterans-claims-law/
  10. 3 likes
    I am 70 percent P&T and on IU bringing me to the 100 percent rate. I was working when I was awarded because my position is outside my industrial and academic background. I lost my position paying me 90 K a year several times I am highly intelligent but I have a hard time sometimes. I think that I am actually 100 percent but have not been rated as such at this time and I will work to change this to 100 percent as time moves on. The CFRs are really confusing and there are so many people that tell you that you cannot work when you have PTSD. I can tell you with the internet, ability to work from home, and caring support that you can work. I have family help me when I have trouble completing my work. You can also write books, blogs, create products, etc. do things that help you make money when you are sleeping so if you are not able to work it is working for you. I also find it helpful to help others in my situation. There is the term peer support specialist and coach. You can help people by sharing your coping skills and get paid. Just because someone has no limbs does not mean that they cannot work. The same is true for mental disabilities I mean everyone watched "A Beautiful Mind" right? How about the Hicks Bozeman. To say that someone cannot work because of a disability is discriminatory and negligent in nature. Especially PTSD! Of course you can work you just have to find the right type of work for your disability and personality. I tried not working and it made my symptoms worse. I need to feel like I am making a difference by helping in some way. Hopefully together we can stop the people that are speaking from a place of opinion instead of personal experience or law. Compensation is for the money you could have earned or a life that you could have enjoyed it is not income replacement like social security. Also I had a Vietnam friend that worked his whole life. He did pretty well for himself and many times the SWAT team would come to his house due to his illusions. Work was great for him. It kept him sober and allowed him to burn off some steam on the farm and the community supported him. He eventually locked himself in his RV and lit it on fire. At times Dennis was great other times not so much. He did have consistent problems and work was a form of therapy. Therapeutic work keeps all of us with PTSD from jumping off a bridge. I hope this helps! All my love to all of you!
  11. 3 likes
    Ok, so are you saying you have a scheduled C and P exam, just a few weeks after your getting P and T? Go to the exam. Dont even think about missing a C and P exam. Reserve ONE hour, every week, for nothing but worrying. During that hour, worry about your reductions, your finances, your health, your kids..heck even worry about getting hit by an asteroid, or getting struck with the Bird flu. However, for the "other" 167 hours in each week, dont worry about any of that stuff. Instead of worrying, occupy your mind with something productive, like one or more of these, or think up your own: 1. Call a friend you have not called for a long time. 2. Reconnect with your spouse. 3. Visit your grandchildren. 4. Go to the zoo. 5. Go fishing. 6. Read a great book. 7. Make something with your hands, like turn a pen on a lathe, or what ever you like to build. 8. Go talk to a manager of a resteraunt and tell the manager about a waiter or waitress that gave you excellent service. 9. Go to church. 10. Do something nice for someone else, for no good reason. 11. Help someone else. Spend some time figuring out how to do just that. Give them a kind word, if nothing else. When you help someone else up the hill, you get closer to the top yourself. 12. Quit a bad habit. 13. Start some new good habits. 14. Learn to play chess, or, if you already know, then get a book and study to improve your skills. 15. Help another Veteran with his claims. 16. Find someone who is worse off than your self and help them. You may have to look in a nursing home. You will find people worse off than you, and many will be glad to see you, especially if you are nice to them and spend time with them. Any one of these 16 things will be better than worrying and accomplish more. Save your worrying for that ONE hour, per week.
  12. 3 likes
    PTSD wannabees are few and far between. We are seasoned claimants here and we know right away when we get a PTSD impostor posting. VA knows too- the problem is it often takes them too long to check out stressor info and also they do get deliberately altered DD214s....wit citations and medals the veteran never got. I NEVER listen to negative crap. If I did I would be in the crapper by now myself. And my husband's service connected death would have NO HONOR. 1151/ death by VA FTCA has no honor at all..... I am member of Mil.com and missed that.....will check it out.
  13. 3 likes
    I agree with Tbird. They make it sound like its simple stuff..you go to the doc, fill out some forms, and in a couple weeks...poof...you are 100 percent PTSD. Probably 100 vets get lowballed (or "no" balled, that is denied, or delayed forever which often amounst to the same thing) to every one who gets ratings they dont deserve. While this happens, most of the time it happens is because of corruption on the inside of VA.
  14. 3 likes
    Its up to you. 1 year of retro, at 100 percent is around 30 grand, depending upon the number of dependents, the year, and if or how much you already received. For me, I would appeal a year "mistake". You may be able to ask VA to cue themselves, and point out the error. Its worth a shot.
  15. 3 likes
    Its not unusual for VA to ignore a claim or a cue claim. VA has "0" accountability and they simply do whatever they please with no one to answer to. The VAOIG will go after Veterans, but they leave their own alone. Its the fox guarding the henhouse. Yes, I think you should file a NOD and ask for a DRO review. Sure, maybe some request may help and it does sometimes, but some people win the lottery, too. As Berta says, you can "ask VA to cue themselves" and they might, too, but regardless you want to file a NOD before the year is up no matter what.
  16. 3 likes
    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
  17. 3 likes
    If Berta did not make this clear (I think she did), make no mistake: NO 21-8940 = No TDIU. Some time back the VA allowed us to apply without a 21-8940, as long as we had all the applicable evidence, but that has been changed. They came out with a memo a few years ago that stated that any IU claim absent the filled in 8940 would be denied. The Regs are clear: It does not matter how much we deserve benefits, if we dont give them the applicable forms/evidence they need, it WILL be denied. Filling the required form is mandantory. My suggestion is to file a nod, and submit the completed 21-8940
  18. 3 likes
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/how-are-vets-supposed-survive-without-iu-if-they-do-not-have-ss-credits-offset-loss Sign up. How are Vets supposed to survive without IU if they do not have SS credits to offset the loss? Veterans get IU because they can not work. If a Veteran is on IU for 10 years, they dont contribute to SS. Without SS contributions, SS payments are the bare minimum for Those who sacrificed. If this plan to deny IU after SS eligibility continues, it is only fair for the Government to contribute to SS for those who qualify for IU. The program should be phased in so not one Veteran is hurt. This is not only fair to Veterans, but to the general public contributing to SS as well. It is not fair to Veterans because the disability was incurred as a result of their service to our nation. For our nation to even consider doing this to any disabled Veteran is a disgrace.
  19. 3 likes
    Veterans who were awarded IU/TDIU status were unable to remain gainfully employed through retirement age through no fault of their own. They missed out on the opportunity to build their retirement nest eggs through normal means like savings, pensions, and investments.
  20. 3 likes
    Absolutely Not...don't worry. It would astonishing if VA ever tried to reduce you, based on that premise and I would kick their ass. You will find the groups are Very helpful- the vet centers are great too...I had a friend who was scared to death to go to a vet center (Vietnam,, GSW never comped,never applied)- he and his cousin were at a big parade for the Vietnam vets after the war, in Honolulu to be honored and when he asked where the other Hawaii Vietnam vets were, he was told only he and his cousin came back alive. I saw his DD214 and Mil stuff..the real deal .....he was so scared he never went back to the vet center, yet he had horrible nightmares almost every night. It is perfectly normal to be apprehensive of being with other veterans with PTSD. You will be fine.And keep any MH appts too. VA thinks if a vets gets PTSD comp and doesn't get any treatment for it he or she is "cured" of it....so they can try to reduce.
  21. 3 likes
    This is not the 1st time IU has been on the chopping block. The Bean Counters see a very large savings by eliminating and or cutting IU to Vets that also receive SS Bennies. In the past, the proposed cut has always gone by the wayside and chances are it will this time also, but you never know. Best to be prepared and proactive, contact your Congressman and Senator. Midterm elections are coming up in 18, best to give them a piece of your mind now rather than cry later. If there was ever a supporting reason for continuing to file Claims after being rated IU, this proposed cut is right up there. Remember how good it felt to finally get your IU T & P No Future Exams? I'll tell you, when you get a subsequent 100% Scheduler P & T NFE a few years later, oh what a relief that is. Semper Fi
  22. 3 likes
    Hi All, I must first give thanks to God for without his blessing I wouldn't be here. I was first rated at 30% from Jan 1993 until July 2013 right after I got out of the Air Force. File a claim July 2013. Rated 50% July 2013 until October 2014 then another claim was awarded to put me at 60%. Rated 80% on November 2015 from a NOD I did from the 2013 award. File a few other claims August 2016 and won those claims which put me at 100% P&T. I just got the award letter yesterday! I would like to thank the many members of Hadit for all the great information I have received here. I still have a NOD pending and an appeal at the board. As I have read here don't stop after you are awarded 100% P&T because if you have other issues from the military and don't claim them and die from them the VA will not award your dependents. The fight will be that much harder for your dependents to file a claim after your death. Never give up the fight!
  23. 3 likes
    Yippee Coastie ! 2 years and a week is not bad at all. The wife and any kids are eligible for CHAMPVA ( a fabulous benefit) and Chapter 35 ( wONDERFUL) too If you have adult children who attended a VA approved college during the EED date,- then depending on their age and other factors the VA might have to reimburse their tuition. I am parsing that info because it is explained in detail here elsewhere. I have a question when you get the decision. When VA awarded me DIC with these benefits above, they enclosed 2 Chap 35 apps, one for me and one for my daughter (who had just joined the USAF. No mention of CHAMPVA.) However the VA sent me a separate letter stating I might be eligible for CHAMPVA and how to find out. My point is that CHAMPVA is handled separately from the VARO and they have their own web site where application can be made. My question is, when the decision comes, does it mention CHAMPVA or instead, a letter will come separately. (I hope) The letter I got ( this was many years ago EED from VA was 1991) on CHAMPVA didnt have much info but it would be great if the RO at least puts their internet link these days in 100% P & T awards. Coastie ,your profile quotes the Bible: "IN ALL THY WAYS, ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL GUIDE THY PATHS. PROVERBS 3.6" . Many of us prayed for you when you asked (in 2015 I think) and it takes time but God sure does answer prayers. My church Prayer Warrior group always prays for veterans and their families and with me in the group I often ask for prayers for the VA as well. I am almost afraid to even mention that here . God put me into veteran's advocacy and it has made my husband's untimely death have great meaning and Honor.not to mention it sure helped anyone here with AO DMII, IHD, FTCA, I151and CUE, DIC, accrued etc etc
  24. 3 likes
    That is Great News!!!!!! Persistence and the right evidence will always Prevail!~ All we have to do Jfrie- is to live long enough to see that happen. I knew this would turn out OK..but then again I am never sure what VA will do ..I am glad I lived long enough to read this post. "separated my TBI PTSD and Chronic AD" Good !!!! TBI is a physical injury to the brain, PTSD is an emotional response to trauma. They don't have the same Diagnostic and they are not the same thing at all.... 100% P & T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW . when you can- let us see the decision, we can tell if they did the EED stuff right.Meantime take a restful break and enjoy this Victory!!!!!! I will eat a goodie to celebrate your victory and do my "FU VA dance" .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. 3 likes
    Did the VA know you are now unemployed? If so they should have made a statement regarding TDIU....and even enclosed the 21-8940 form for you. I assume that you might have become unemployed after you filed the claim and didnt let them know. By all means file for SSDI. If SSDI solely awards for PTSD, that will be prime facie evdience of TDIU. Meantime if VA awards TDIU upon receipt of the TDIU app, that is prime facie evidence for SSDI. The SSA works a lot faster than the VA does. They-SSA-awarded in mere months for my husband's PTSD ( He had 30% VA SC rating-Vietnam Combat vet) VA awarded 100% P & T for SC PTSD.....he had already been dead for almost 2 years by then. Make sure that SSDI learns of any TDIU award you get and make sure VA knows of any SSDI award you get-if it is Solely for PTSD.
  26. 3 likes
    Worrying about this wont make it go faster. If your claim needs a "tune up" to make it go faster then give it one. It sounds like this is an increase, since you are apparently already 30 percent VA will schedule your c and p exam in its usual unhurried, super slow way, the same way it does everything else, except VA employees paychecks which are on time, right every 2 weeks no matter what. You cant fix ebenfits, its too unrelaible, and dont even think of trying to second guess ebenefits. Buying a lottery ticket is more reliable. What you can do is to worry about your claim every saturday, between 4 and 5 pm, and not at other times. If you need to reschedule your "worry hour", then make an appointment to reschedule it at least a week in advance. Then, dont worry at other times, save it all for your worry hour. You make that appointment with yourself. To tune up your VA claim: 1. Order your cfile and make sure it has all your information and that its correct. 2. Make sure both parts of VA has your current address: VBA and VHA. 3. Re read all your decisions and make sure you are not missing any deadlines, or other information such as dependents. Fix those if you are. 4. Order a "fidget spinner" and spin it on your finger instead of worrying or fretting.
  27. 3 likes
    I believe your NOD Clock regarding an EED, will start the Date of your yet to receive, Award Letter. You've waited this long, hold off filing your NOD for 4 to 6 mos. I recently 05/16 used an "Official Request for CUE Review," for EED. Attached copies of VMC Med Recs supporting the EED. Within 2 mos (07/16), the new Retro Hit, an additional 24 mos was Deposited. Within a week of filing the "Request for CUE Review," it showed up on my E-Ben as a New Claim. I was discussing my probable NOD with a retired former RO DRO, that now works for my VSO. He recommended the "Request for CUE Review," sounded righteous, so I faxed the VMC Med Recs to him. He filed it that afternoon. Check with your VSO RO HQ, discuss your situation regarding your EED and the Med Evidence supporting your EED. Request they file the "CUE Review Request," on your behalf. Should be able to walk it, right down the hall to the RO intake desk. Semper Fi
  28. 3 likes
    Bills like this are introduced often by members who are budget hawks, have a beef against veterans, or probably both. Most politicians do not want to be tagged as anti-veteran. Since CRDP went into effect quite a few years ago, nobody has been able to get rid it of. It is possible that these efforts could be successful at some point, but nobody knows when or if it would ever occur. The Congressional Budget Office typically includes CRDP as a chopping block item in their cost saving reports. But one thing the pencil neck bean counters fail to realize is that military retirement pay is an earned benefit of service. VA disability pay is also a completely separate benefit unique to veterans. The bean counters try to rub their sticks together and whine about it being the same, but they are truly two different things. Although I am not a retiree, I wholeheartedly believe that forcing a retired veteran to have a 50% or higher rating to qualify is a ripoff. The right thing to do is for a law to be passed that all retirement and disability can be collected regardless. The second thing they need to do is pass a law that bans the CBO from including CRDP on the chopping block recommendations. I hope this helps.
  29. 3 likes
    This is wonderful news! But you are right-money cannot really ever compensate trauma and the term "in harm's way" can involve many horrible situations in service.( or even at the VAMCs-as I well know) I hope you have some sort of peace and closure to this ,FN and that you can enjoy this victory and true recognition of what you went through. And please don't hesitate to help others with similar claims. Encouragement goes a long way and your award is an encouragement to others,even regardless of the type of claim they have , with the VA. Nothing is impossible.
  30. 3 likes
    Note I have complied this list and was using it for myself as I went through the items. Its best to copy and paste it maybe print it out and check list it as you go through it. If I missed something please feel free to add it. There are programs out there that help pay for special adaptive items for vehicles and items within your house and more. I didnt add those here sorry. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS WHEN RATED 100% DIS-LABLED BY THE VA There are two catagories boxes that they can check TOTAL AND PEMENENT or NON-TOTAL AND PEMENENT If the total and permenant box is not checked, you can be re-evaluated and pecentage cut. Note: Some may apply for lesser ratings of 30% or more. This volunteer listing is not fully comprehensive so be sure to check things out with the VA. A veteran can be rated 100% “Total” without being “Total and Permanent” (T&P). This usually happens when VA considers a disability may improve. You can tell if a 100% grant is Total and Permanent as the decision will approve “Dependents Educational Assistance” and “Chapter 35 Benefits”. ----0.0 Found a program that pays for my upkeep for my spouse. ----- http://www.caregiver.va.gov/index.asp The site has everything there it takes a little navigating to figure out the eligibility area, or click my link. http://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/support_benefits.asp 0.1) ADD Aid and Attendance condition) 0.2 Veteran T&P Student Loan fee waiver https://disabilitydischarge.com/ If you are totally and permanently disabled, you may qualify for a total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge of your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation. If you receive a TPD discharge, you will no longer be required to repay your loans or complete your TEACH Grant service obligation. This section explains more about TPD discharge. 1) VA Co-Pay Reimbursement: If you have been paying Co-Pays and your new Rating Decision is retroactive then you can ask VA to reimburse you for those payments back to the date of the rating. - 2.1 College Fee Waiver The College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of veterans may be eligible. O 2) Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA): http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/survivor_dependent_assistance.asp http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/benefits_resources/rates/ch35/ch35rates100113.asp This first proves that VA has deemed your disabilities to be "Total and Permanent" (T&P). It allows your spouse and children to be eligible for certain educational benefits. A child is authorized 45 months of accredited schooling. VA presently pays a monthly stipend of around $XXX link above XXX for a fulltime student. They can receive guidance counseling, tutors, etc. If VA deems it needful, a student may receive an extension on the initial 45 months. A qualified student is usually 18-26 years of age, but I've seen some using the benefit up to 32. Usually the latter is based on a large retroactive benefit granted to the veteran. If a child has been in school and then the veteran receives a retroactive benefit that includes that school dates, then the student can file for reimbursement for the months that he/she qualified on the retroactive date. A spouse can also qualify for schooling. Keep in mind that this is the student's or spouse's benefit drawn on the veteran's grant. The student/spouse must handle all of the paperwork. 0 3) ChampVA Health Insurance for the Spouse and Dependent Children: This is an excellent benefit for the spouse/children. Veterans must receive our care at the VA, but our dependents can receive their care in the private sector. Please DO NOT delay on applying. ChampVA is located in Denver, CO and they are very easy to work with. ChampVA is the spouse's benefit so she will have to coordinate with them. Of course any parent can coordinate for dependent children. The spouse will use the veteran's Claims File number (in upper right hand corner of the VA Rating Decision letter) in order to make the initial ChampVA application request. VERY IMPORTANT: If a spouse/children have had any out-of-pocket medical expenses during the time of the veteran's retroactive grant period they can submit them to ChampVA after being approved and ChampVA will reimburse the expenses. This can be a substantial amount if there have been health issues with the spouse and/or children. NOTE: ChampVA does not cover Dental, Eyeglasses and Electives. VA Health Administration Center CHAMPVA P.O. Box 65023 Denver, CO 80206-9023 (800) 733-8387 Fax: (303) 331-7804 Email: hac.inq@med.va.gov Here is their website where can look over the benefits: www.va.gov/hac ChampVA has a "Meds by Mail" program that is very good. A new law was passed awhile back that gives the spouse "ChampVA for Life". There are stipulations if a divorce is involved. 0 4) Dental Coverage: All 100% service-connected veterans are allowed dental care. Note: Veterans going through Vocational Rehabilitation are also eligible for some dental care. -0 5) VA Insurance: When a veteran is deemed 100% Schedular or TDIU then VA will grant a $10,000.00 insurance policy and "waive" the premiums. VA criteria states that you must have been granted a "NEW" service-connected condition in the past 2 years to qualify. It cannot be an increase of an existing condition. You have only two years from the time of the decision to apply. Note: VA is now offering this to 70% veterans. The VA insurance division will determine if you qualify. The key on the application is to write "WAIVED" in the monthly premium amount box when applying for the 10K amount. VA also offers other small policies, but I hear they are not very competitive. Call this number and tell them your new rating and that you would like to file for the insurance. It is in Philadelphia: (800) 669-8477 You can file online: www.insurance.va.gov 7) Free or discounted Hunting and Fishing License/Tags: -NOTE- *THIS IS A California benefit* Check your State using the link below: http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm O 8) Property Tax Break: -NOTE- *THIS IS A California benefit* Check your State using the link below: http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm x 9) Golden Access Passport: National PASS ( ALL STATES) The name of this pass has been changed, but the benefits are very similar. If you have the old pass then you can use it as the Federal government will not give you a new one. The new pass is called "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass". The pass allows for 50% off Camping/recreation in Federal Parks. Some State and County Parks will honor it. Here is a link. Be sure to take your Rating Decision letter: www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm Oregon allows disabled veterans (10) free days per month at our State Parks. Some counties have chosen to do the same. Check with your State to see if this is offered. O 10) To check for additional State benefits where you live click on this link: www.va.gov/statedva.htm O 11) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): The DIC "Clock starts Ticking" once a veteran is rated 100% "Total" or "Total and Permanent". This allows his spouse and dependent children under 18 years of age to receive a monthly benefit if: a) The veteran passes of a "service-connected" disability within the first 10 years of being rated 100%. b) If the veteran lives the full 10 years then he can pass of any disability. Currently the monthly payment for DIC is approximately $1,400.00, so this gives the spouse about 1/2 of the veteran paycheck when he was alive. - 12) Travel Pay: (41.5 cents per mile) All veterans are allowed travel reimbursement for scheduled VA appointments if they are rated 30% service-connected or higher. VA will also pay travel pay on a “needs basis”. This means if a veteran is under a certain income level then he/she will be paid for scheduled visits. VA will pay for travel to “Claims and Pension” (C&P) examinations. As I said, this is not exhaustive. We do our best to not only acquire the benefits that are due you, but also to pass along the benefits to other fellow veterans who may not be in the know because VA is not forthright. 13)There is a little known benefit called the “Independent Living Services Program” (ILSP). It is design to assist any disabled veteran to live a better quality of life despite their service-connected disabilities. The program shows up briefly on the Vocational Rehabilitation Form 28-1900. I believe that VA has changed the wording on the form to further disguise the program. In fact, they changed the name to “Independent Living Program”. Here is a link to the VA Form 28-1900: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-28-1900-ARE.pdf You’ll note on the instructions under “Rehabilitation Services” is states the following: “If training is appropriate, VA will provide medical and dental care treatment, employment assistance to get and keep a suitable job, and other services you may need. If a vocational goal is not currently feasible for you, VA may provide services and assistance to improve your capacity for living independently.” The key sentence is in red. There used to be more references, but VA has removed them from the form. Here is a link to the Independent Living Program on the VA website: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/ilp.htm “The Independent Living program is to make sure that each eligible veteran is able, to the maximum extent possible, to live independently and participate in family and community life increasing their potential to return to work. Services may include the following: Assistive technology Specialized medical, health, and / or rehabilitation services Services to address any personal and / or family adjustment issues Independent living skills training Connection with community-based support services”
  31. 3 likes
    what a person has built financially already has nothing to do with disability. if a person were a millionaire and disabled because of a service connected incident, THEY STILL EARNED IT AND STILL DESERVE IT JUST AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GUY who may or may not have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.
  32. 2 likes
    How about a lane number four one that corrects their own Mistake and get it right the first time...
  33. 2 likes
    First off, get the Drs orders telling you not to go back to work for (x) months. 3 is standard, 6 can be authorized...as temporary total disability (100%). Dont wait to put in secondary claim. They have to have the certification that gives you the increase, you get paid from the date there is medical evidence of the condition, or if you put in the claim right after the surgery they will use the date of the surgery as an effective date. Peripheral nerve damage has to be evaluated in light of the rating schedule so put that in same time you put in for temp total disability and the increase, dont make separate claims. If you can get the surgeons office to do your DBQ for both peripheral nerves and spine, so much the better. Just make sure they measure your ROM correctly.
  34. 2 likes
    I absolutely did and i raised quite a few hairs even got her to submit questions into the office of general counsel... she told me they said she had to deny since the retro was triple digits. VA will xxxx whenever they can please believe im no preacher. But I kept calling my DRO she certified appeal to the board in three weeks from the DRO hearing impairment and hardship flagged appeal hearing 5 months decided I actually still contact my DRO office whenever I have a delay at the RO and they tell me why....
  35. 2 likes
    Yes...great advice....if I had never gotten tough with VA they would have walked all over me.. but I had to get tough with EVERY claim I had. At some point a vet has to go as far to the top as possible. Thanks Mike for explaining this. It often takes a big foot to get a thumb out of an a--hole..that goes for our well paid vet org reps as well as the VA.
  36. 2 likes
    Not getting PTSD as SC'd yet...however it is gathering dust on some evaluator's desk right now - and this remark from this "Bruce" person comes across as a slap to the face IMO. What blundering buffoon thinks it is alright to talk about the shame on our Nation that occurs when society turn their heads away, while our Vets are haunted/tortured by PTSD both Combat/MST like it's "the boy who cried wolf"...
  37. 2 likes
    Someone posted the rating schedule here recently for PTSD. And it is in the Schedule of Ratings topic below as well...... Scroll halfway down the page to find the MH rating formula. This C & P exam has service connected your MST. What concerns me is that the examiner correctly stated it excerbated a pre- existing condition. That might impact on the rating......in a favorable way or maybe it wont..... When we can see the decision and the rating we will be able to determine if the rating is correct. Yeah they lowball a lot on PTSD...but sometimes it is the correct rating and not some bogus low ball %. Glad you could post it. Others will chime in. I don't like to make WAGs . (wild ass quesses-because we never know what the VA will come up with. That is why in part that we have a tremendous claims backlog.)
  38. 2 likes
    Boy, this topic started one helluva crap storm! Didn't mean it to. I did file the compensation paperwork on 5/22 and 5/30. The VA consolidated the claims and I have two C&P's, June 20th, and June 22nd. Any suggestions? BTW How do I let the VA know that my employment is sheltered?
  39. 2 likes
    I humbly disagree. If you received a "cover letter" via fax with no accompanying document, dont you think its your responsibility to notify the sender and say, "gee, I got the cover letter, but no attached document..can you please re send it?" In a similar manner, Veterans often send a "proof of mailing" a document. Sure, they could have mailed to VA a Donald Duck Comic book, but, with a post office receipt signed by the recipient, this serves as "proof of mailing" and proof VA received the said document. What is going on here is that VA has presumptive that when a VA official says he mailed something, then the court beleives him. When a Veteran says, "I mailed that". He is not beleived. However, when he has a post office receipt signed by the VA official receiving the letter, then its received. In a similar way, if you have a receipt that your VSO faxed this to VA, then that should suffice. Its called the "presumption of regularity". VA gets it, we do not. But, we can rebut VA's presumption of regularity with a valid document from the post office. Here is my advice. Go ahead and try to get sc for the applicable conditon. When the decision arrives, if the effective date is wrong, then appeal the effective date. If VA says, "we did not get your xx document", then pull out your "proof" it was sent by the VSO. This is my advice.
  40. 2 likes
    I would like to correct my advice: Yes, apply for tdiu and ssdi, but also apply for an INCREASE on your present disabilities, especially if any have worsened symptoms (such as PTSD). The reason is you may be increased in rating for PTSD, up to 100 percent. You see, if you read the rating criteria for 100 percent for mental health disorders, including PTSD, it includes "total occupational" impairment. If you lose your job due to PTSD, then that is a symptom of total occupational impairment. You may well need more evidence if you dont have it, but getting fired because of your ptsd is a key piece of the evidence you need. In other words, if your doc said you got fired from your job due to ptsd AND the doc stated you were unable to maintain SGE due to your PTSD for other types of work as well, then this is highly suggestive of total occupational impairment, that is, a significant part of the criteria for 100 percent mental health disorders.
  41. 2 likes
    They will not consider TDIU without the form filled out. "VR evaluator was an Independent Contractor hired by the VA to do an assessment on what services VR would offer me. As stated previously the the contractor deemed that I wasn't eligible for any training or educational services. They also stated that this was because of my service connected disabilities . They did recommend me for the ILP program and that program determined that there were no services that they could offer at this time." That is critical evidence. VOC Rehab stuff does not always get into claims files. FOIA wont help. Can you contact the actual VR contractor? Or send an IRIS to Voc Rehab? or the ILS people? I dont have time to search for them but the www.va.gov main web site might have the info you need. All my husband had was a handwritten note on VA Voc Rehab letterhead that came here in 1992. He was pissed and almost threw it into the woodstove. It became highkly significant for almost all of my claims after he died, and for his 100% P & T SC posthumous award. They never mentioned his 1993 TDIU form at all. VA cannot award TDIU to a dead veteran.
  42. 2 likes
    I wonder if this would make any difference: §3.951 Preservation of disability ratings. (a) A readjustment to the Schedule for Rating Disabilities shall not be grounds for reduction of a disability rating in effect on the date of the readjustment unless medical evidence establishes that the disability to be evaluated has actually improved. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1155)
  43. 2 likes
    Oh just wait, Berta. I'm hatching my opus- SMC S to April 1970. They gave Johnny Vet 10% for eating a 60mm mortar (One (1) SFW moderate wound) and a handful of zeros for hearing, eyesight. No exam or x-rays.No investigation of TBI/PTSD or organic Brain injury. No neuro workup. Ten minute c&p without auscultation. I responded to the NOD with 167 pages of service medical records under 3.156(c). They never went back to St. Louis to see if there were more STRs. This is the world-class RO legal team you're up against. This is why you'll always win with proper guidance. VA cannot do anything right. You have to find the error, exploit it properly and timely, and take it to the CAVC to win it. If you're adroit, you can get an agreeable DRO and strike a deal before you even turn on the mic in the hearing room. Johnny Vet still has to sign off on it, too, but these folks are as eager to put paid to it if it benefits the VA's interests. Of course, when you have them by the short hair, don't even bargain. I never gave anything up of value as a token to meet in the middle until the ILP Greenhouse last winter. I accepted a 20 X 28 instead of the 24 X 48 but I got two years of Veterans Benefits Manual, a 240 Volt incinerating portapotty, and expensive indoor LCD grow lights. I don't think I sold out. In fact, since they're still lollygagging around and haven't even built it yet, I filed another Extraordinary Writ May 13th. CAVC 17-1450 ( assigned to Bartley again). She did my #16-2098 last year. Coming up on two years. I asked for a panel to revisit Erspamer. Check out my groveling bow from the waist attached below. 2017 CAVC Greenhouse filing in pdf .pdf
  44. 2 likes
    Roc; "I believe" doesn't cut it. What exactly did your VR Denial state as the Appealable reason for the Denial of VR Services? How about posting a redacted copy of the VR Denial Letter and the IU Denial Letter and the PTSD C & P DBQ? Therein, lies the necessary information to mount a successful Appeal. My DRO Hearing DRO (Informal Hearing) told me while we were discussing how pleased I was that he was Awarding me IU, that I would be surprised the number of Vets that apply for IU and are Laid off, out of work due to self-termination or being fired for non-SC issues. The 70% PTSD SC isn't a guarantee of an IU Award, as you recently became aware of. We really need to see the DBQ and the IU Denial Letter. Semper Fi
  45. 2 likes
    I don't see how they want the veteran to pay for the Choice program just seems to me we will have to pay VA for health care insurance or Buck like you said cut congress pay to pay for it . But push your congressman on this issue its not right. We cant let this happen
  46. 2 likes
    I mentioned this to my Congressman (via phone) and told him about the article. He told me if he voted for this proposal his "political career is over". He said any one in Congress who votes for this, is creating "political suicide". We have to watch the politicians. They are as sneaky and underhanded is can be. They would steal food out of a baby's mouth, if they thought they could get away with it. The main thing is to keep the "heat up", constantly. For David Shulkin to even consider this idea, I have lost all respect for him.
  47. 2 likes
    Well, I went and read the whole bill. Everything gets cut, not just Veterans. So, probably not going anywhere. Hamslice
  48. 2 likes
    L, I am so sorry you had to first go through the attack and then have to go through the court experience not to mention his potential parole in 2018...you are in my prayers!! I totally get the being afraid of your own thoughts. My mind rules my me 24/7 and even though I've decided to seek treatment I quite honestly don't see how I would ever function without my thoughts as they are. My thoughts and the everyday measures I take have become almost another identity and at this point I don't see how I would ever let go of them...it is how I get through each day and moment by moment.
  49. 2 likes
    You currently have (2) SC conditions, 40% Hearing loss and a 10% for Tinnitus, right? When you say "Pursue increase in your compensation," you're referring to filing a New Claim for your DX'd Depression, not an Increase for your Hearing Loss? You're 73 and a Nam Vet, no other DX'd disabilities besides your Hearing, congrats on that. No AO Presumptivesjumping ugly by now is kind of a miracle in and of itself. Consider yourself Blessed. Considering the 73 thing, I'd think you would agree, this is not a time for 1/2 Stepping. File the FDC for whatever MH DX you have, you might actually have PTSD, you never know. The Vet is often the last person to know he's been living all these years with PTSD. Your VMC PCP will give you a PTSD Screening Questionaire, this is often the 1st step, then you're referred to the MH Dept for another PTSD Screening questionnaire. Give the PTSD Group Sessions consideration. Semper Fi
  50. 2 likes
    jhorak101, 1) The very first thing your buddy needs to do is write a letter to VA stating he disagrees with this proposal to reduce his benefits, that he wants a personal hearing at his regional office and that he requests no reduction take place prior to his hearing being held. He needs to submit this to the RO and get a date stamped copy of it from them. He needs to do this NOW not in a few days, NOW. Please disregard the poster that stated your buddy can "cry CUE". As no final Rating Decision has been promulgated on the issue, it doesn't rise to the level required to even submit a claim for CUE. 2) A vet can be rated as 100 percent service connected for decades and still not be rated as P&T. The claims issue of P&T must be adjudicated in a Rating Decision just as all other claims issues are required to be. 3) Even if a vet has been rated at 100 percent SC for 20 or more years the issue of P&T does not automatically kick in. P&T must be granted in a Rating Decision. Here are the 10/20 year rules of protection for you. Hope this helps a vet. carlie Borrowed from elsewhere, "10/20 Year Service Connection/Ratings Protection The 10 year mark for is for service connection. A condition that has been service connected for 10 years can not be severed unless fraud is involved. The clock starts ticking for conditions based on the effective date(s). This does not mean compensation can't be reduced. The 20 year mark protects ratings. Absent fraud, disability ratings can not be reduced after they have been going 20 years. See your award letter for effective dates on each disability. Combined ratings are also protected after a 20 year period. Example: You have been rated 50% for Condition A since 1990. You apply for SC for 4 more conditions and VA grants them in 2007. Because of VA granting them your new combined rating is 100% as of 2007. Condition A is protected from severance in the year 2000 and protected from reduction in the year 2010. The new service connected conditions would be protected from severance in 2017 and reduction in 2027. The clock started ticking on your combined 100% in the year 2007 so it would be protected from reduction in the year 2027. If you apply for an increase for Condition A and are bumped from 50% to 70%, the 50% number is still protected from 1990 but the new 70% would start a new clock ticking (using the dates above). Meaning until you have held that 70% rating for 20 years, the lowest they can reduce you is back to 50% based on the fact that it was in effect for 20 years. Even if a rater plugged the wrong numbers and wrongly awarded a combined 100%, they still can't reduce. Again, this is all assuming no fraud is involved. You can do the math by using the effective dates on your award letters. "P&T" can be established at any time regardless of how long ratings have been held (via 100% scheduler or TDIU). If VA plugs all of your conditions and there are no future exams scheduled, then entitlement to Ch. 35 and ChampVA will be granted. If VA determines that there is a chance of improvement, there will be a future exam scheduled and "P&T" will not be established."