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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/21/2015 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I know that the new and improved appeals is supposed to launch in September but I was doing my daily eBenefits check and noticed something odd. On my dashboard, under disabilities, I scrolled to the bottom to see my pending disabilities. I noticed that everything I applied for as an increase was listed twice. For example, I applied for "Individual Unemployability" and it was also listed separately as IU. Some items that were added seemed off, as if there was a rush to put it in-system (total speculation on my part). My CTS major hand is actually my right vs left etc. Anyway, I clicked on the added items and it pulled up as an appeals status with a completion date and status = preparation for decision. I also noticed as some point my file was moved to a temp RO of St. Paul. Just wanted to share with y'all. My appeal wasn't listed anywhere else but this specific location.
  2. 1 point
    Ok, here we go again. Got a call a few days back from a DRO at the Houston VARO. They are doing a de novo review of my case, and scheduled me for a series of C&P examinations, which will be my second round from the VA. Sure enough, got a call from Veterans Evaluation Service, who advised that the VA had contracted them to do my C&P examinations and to do bloodwork. Looks I'll be heading to Houston for the examinations and Beaumont for a blood draw and CBC. (They used VES on me last time too.) Keep in mind, I've been through a prior round of C&P examinations, but this is the first time with a CBC blood draw, and I have on file an independent medical examination and opinion report from the Ellis Clinic and an IMO from my oncologist of 17 years, along with a ton of medical records and SMRs. We'll see how this goes. I'll keep y'all posted on what went on. Looks like I have the examination on July 18 (Saturday) and the blood draw on the 21st. Mark
  3. 1 point
    Hi all ! My hubby got news yesterday that his new combined rating is 100percent ! His sleep apnea was approved at 50 percent that brought him up to 100 !!! I will post more info later . Thank you for everyone who gave advice and encouragement . Keep fighting the good fight .
  4. 1 point
    Buck I think faulty C & P exams that are often overcome by IMOs from real doctors are a form of malpractice. Then again those exams are not a basis at all for 1151 or FTCA claims, unless other things occurred during the exam that raise to that level....which is very usual. If there was a documented data base of what C & P examiners state, compared to the findings of private doctors looking at the same veteran's medical records, maybe that data base would reveal that either the C & P examiners are not appropriate for opining on most disabilities, as they lack expertise in the field of the disability or if they are familar with the disability, , they are poorly trained in medicine, or just burned out, or what the real reason is, in many cases I am sure, they know,that since VA signs their paycheck, that VA wants them to deny as many claims as they can. Oh, I forgot, there is a data base....it is the BVA web site.... it shows how many valid claims, without a strong IMO, will continue to be on the hamster wheel.
  5. 1 point
    Good points, Buck.The vets over 90 receiving IU is quite an accomplishment. Well, one thing we can count on is the fact that pro-veteran groups like VFW, VVA, DAV, and others will rise up and exert their influence if this looks like it might get implemented. The government has plenty of places to cut money. Sometimes the government just needs to be reminded where they should vs. shoul not be looking.
  6. 1 point
    No Idea here! BuuuuuuuuuuuuuT, I would be interested in how you or your Attorney got a DRO Hearing in about 8 months. 3 to 4 years is the norm. I didn't get any type of warning or notification of my DRO Hearing until end of 05/14, with a Hearing date of 06/27/14, approximately 4.25 yrs from my NOD. We need to know what kind of Magic Dust, you sprinkled on your NOD. What does your Attorney have to say, regarding these recent developments?? Semper Fi Gastone
  7. 1 point
    Thanks guys, I guess the reason I ask is I have never had any contact whatsoever with my VSO, re; the VFW regards any of my at least a dozen claims which all went through them. I read on hear sometimes, "I got a call from my VSO", so just curious as to what thoughs conversations are about. I mean, are they helping Soldiers, or just pushing papers, etc... And if they are the "go-to", I must be pretty good at it, because you would think if I was missing something that would make my case better they would contact me. Never been contacted even on my claims that were denied or at 0%. Anyone call their VSO?, and what do you talk about. Hamslice And yes, Hadit has been berry berry good to me..
  8. 1 point
    Bottom-line is YES. I receive regular military retirement [22 years]; 100% VA Disability; SSDI; and Federal Employees Retirement [FERS], without any $$$$ offsets. While working as a Federal Employee, I had a 2nd heart attack and was told to submit a request for FERS Disability, which I did. When I turned 62, my FERS Disability was transferred to regular FERS retirement. At age 62, my SSDI was changed over to SS retirement, and there was no reduction in money. In fact, my yearly income statement from SS still shows the income as DISABILITY, which helps with not having to pay any State Income Tax. One good thing about receiving SSDI is that it pays a lot more than regular SS retirement.
  9. 1 point
    Not sure what his rates are at the moment, but I was pleasantly surprised to pay $500.00 for the full IME/IMO for several conditions. That was the full and total cost for services. I also didn't have to pay a penny until I was physically at the Ellis Clinic, and about to have my examination performed. I'd say that they are A+ for these services and cost. Some of my conditions are secondary to others, and he worked up a nexus report for each, linking each to the other and providing his medical reasoning of how each should be service-connected. Now once again, my disclaimer is that I am still in the Land of NOD, and I'm not a doctor, and I don't have anything yet on how potent his IME/IMO was in service-connecting my conditions, but hopefully I'll know soon, and when I do, I'll immediately report back in. Hope I helped! Mark
  10. 1 point
    Dr. Ellis is famous among those who have filed federal worker's compensation claims. There is such a thing as a "Schedule Award" which is a cash award for those who have suffered a work related injury to certain body systems. Dr. Ellis was known as the guy to see if you wanted the biggest award. I think if he is doing VA IME's then you are in good hands. I don't know what he charges but I bet it is worth it. I did not know he did VA claims IME's/IMO's. I know OWCP hated him with a passion because of his large awards to injured workers. I got five awards during my postal career for injuries I had due to work accidents and repetitive stress injuries.
  11. 1 point
    Historically, the VA has NEVER automatically awarded anything it thinks that might be overlooked by a veteran, at least to the ordinary veteran. Further, each award given needs to be seriously looked at to determine if it's correct. Again history is rife with "lowball" awards. Evidently, the RO's get hammered for awarding claims at a rate higher than some informal guideline, likely established to insure that the higher ups get bonus money without too many questions. (Cost savings, don't you know!) I'm reasonably sure that much more scrutiny occurs when the percentages go above some unknown (to me) level. And, I'm still quite P0'd about having to pay 20% of retro to force the VA to play by the "Rules"! Grrr! That alone is enough to inspire veterans efforts to insure that the VA pays everything that it should.
  12. 1 point
    It should be the date you filed, period. Anything else is just the VA screwing you!!!!!!! jmo pr
  13. 1 point
    Actually, all kidding aside, if I could do those things just fine, I wouldn't be here or be fighting the VA.
  14. 1 point
    hahaha.... thanks, actually, good practical advice.... probably the most helpful advice of all.
  15. 1 point
    Awesome! I use mine all the time. Lowe's, Home Depot, Bass Pro Shops, movie theaters, etc... Also, on benefits you can also print out letters that can be used to prove your military service. Here in Alabama, I used this letter from ebenefits to get a disabled veteran license plate and a discount on registering my vehicle. The VAMC ID card is not sufficient for those things. Of course, those type of benefits may vary from state to state.
  16. 1 point
    Just the type of response I needed. I will making a trip from Jacksonville Florida once I finish my packet, and a date for exam is given to me. Thank you, Ole Crusty Drill Sergeant / Paratrooper / Commo Sergeant here.. God Bless us All.
  17. 1 point
    Relax........ I'm sure the blood work is to confirm the condition and the 2nd part will be to notate the residuals from the disability. One thing about this process is medical evidence of undeniable. You will do fine........... "NEVER GIVE UP"
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    We heard back from the DAV . They are approving the rating at 50 percent which brings my hubby to 100 percent ! It does not go as far back as I feel it should but we will take it ! The claim is for sleep apnea. Thank you for all responses .
  20. 1 point
    My reopen claim showed back up after missing on ebennies for over a month but the estimated time of completion says not available by my To at this time. Ro
  21. 1 point
    Found a new and useful addition to the the handy Veteran toolbox...dermatone map...never knew existed. Having some serious lower back flaring and numbness tonight. Had a ESI shot this past Monday. Here is a link to a map that maps your lumbar to parts of the leg and the bottoms of your feet and toes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatome_(anatomy)
  22. 1 point
    Well, just got back home from the C&P down in Houston. It was performed by VES (Veterans Evaluation Services) on contract by the VA. Everybody was pleasant, but the examination was done by a Nurse Practitioner, which I found odd. I guess that these are what they are using now. Hopefully, my IME/IMO from the Ellis Clinic and my IMO letter from my oncologist will help bolster or trump whatever gets cranked out. I brought my SMR's and IME/IMO's, along with some other records just in case he didn't have access to them on his computer, but he refused and said he had all he needed on his computer. He seemed a bit agitated that I brought them, and made the comment that he had thought that the staff was supposed to be telling all of us veterans to not bring records. He interviewed me a while, then had me take off my shirt, peform some range of motion exercises, then shoes and socks, same thing, put back on the shirt, take it off again, put it back on, and then take it back off. After the second time, I figured he was just trying to see how well I could put on my shirt and/or take it off with my arms. Same with my shoes, then more interviewing. As I left, he made a comment that he felt he would be service connecting me for conditions with my back, legs and shoulders, but wasn't sure regarding my cancer. (I have my IMO from my medical doctor who has been my specialist oncologist for the past 17 years to hopefully rebutt any of the NP's "uncertainties". Just hope that they rely more on a licensed specialist "doctor" over that of a NP.) Also have an IMO regarding service connection on my cancer and subsequent surgeries and effects from Dr. Ellis from the Ellis Clinic. I also thought that the DRO rater would be the one making service-connection decisions based on the totality of the evidence. I finally got dressed for the last time....there was a period when my pants were halfway down (so he could take a photo of my appendix surgery scar), my shirt off and I had one sock on and one off and he was still checking my legs....and I had to laugh a little. I must have looked pretty goofy. He also took a photo of my neck where another surgery scar is located to remove lymph nodes years ago, then made a comment that he was e-mailing it to the VA. I didn't know that the C&P guys could simply upload photos in the VA system. Who'd have thought? Or he may have just been posting on Facebook for all I know. I left out, and made it back to my truck and headed home after that. Have to report back in next week for CBC bloodwork next. I'll keep y'all posted on what happens next. (I must confess that I waited until I got back to my truck to tuck my shirt back in, for fear that he would have made me take it off again in his office.) Mark
  23. 1 point
    Yes, you can and should claim SSDI. I was a federal employee so I retired on disability under FERS. Often you may find that once you get SSDI they may have some sort of offset to your disability retirement. However, once you get SSDI you will get Medicare within two years. I think you can get all three without a problem. The problem begins if you are getting worker's compensation. WC usually has an offset to SSDI and possibly your TDIU and disability retirement. I had to deal with that but it is all doable. John
  24. 1 point
    What's interesting Vets is that when I went on the C and P for my sinuses increase, the doc said that he noticed in my records that I had sleep apnea. I currently have OSA on appeal secondary to PTSD and was not thinking much about it that day. He told me that my sinus problems most likely contribute to my problems. He said that he would put a note in the system but was unsure what the VA would do. Well based on his probably note, I filed for secondary service connection. The claim is in the PFD phase so I have my fingers crossed but somewhat expecting a denial. I have well documented sleeping problems throughout my SMRs and currently rated 30% for Sinusitis and 10% for Allergic Rh. I had the ACE C and P with a different doctor but he failed to provide an opinion? He justed basically reviewed the records and filled out the DBQ but did not give an opinion? Wouldn't the VA ask him to do so? What's the point in completing that C and P and not providing an opinion whether or not they think it is likely or least likely that my SC sinus problems contribute to or aggravate my OSA? If an opinion was provided I don't see it in the Dr's notes. It is my hope that the "probably" note holds some weight because it's the only medical opinion, (as weak as it may be) by a qualified person on the subject. I was hoping the VA would go back to the doc that said probably and ask him to elaborate but from what I can see, that was not done. In a wait and see approach like many of you. Will keep you guys informed. I am currently rated at 70% with 100% total in disabilities. The OSA would help me to reach 90%. Holding out hope. calgon
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    I can't really say that I have had a large number of victories with my fight with the VA. However, I have to give credit when credit is due. Even though I am fighting the VA on the bogus ratings and denials I received, my mighty enemy had made a possibility come true. On Veteran's Day, this disabled vet will close on his first home purchase using a VA Home Loan. It does make me happy and sad, but mostly happy and elated for this to be a reality. It's bitter sweet, but I have to give the VA its kudos. VA home loans is a great benefit.
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