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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/24/2015 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Veterans, After reading some posts here and other sites and even on some BVA decisions. we veterans need to remind each other that in cases where there is Retro (any amount!) that is money and benefits we should have had all along and not a gift! In my case like many of the Vietnam generations we wanted nothing from the VA! And basically that is what they gave us, Nothing! Now because of so many of our brothers and sisters dying they were politically forced to recognize that a bunch of us deserve and NEED help. The politically push is what did it after so many dying! I can remember when I got back from Nam for me it was adios amigo to the Army. Even though when I mustered out I had acquired a significant hearing loss while serving, so much so that they weren't going to let me out without a waiver and keep me for two weeks. I then had no idea what that meant and signed the waiver and got out. Fast forward 13 years and I am married with a kid just born with a bad heart problem and need constant care and I couldn't hear him when he cried! So I went to the VA hospital thinking well they will give me some help to fix this problem which had gotten very bad in just 13 years. I asked for help and some how another I ended up in the C&P office to get a hearing test and then they said they would get back to me. I had no idea what that meant? I just wanted some hearing aide help! Well being as I just started my family money was tight especially with my son's problems and now I needed to buy hearing aides and have a testing done just so I could watch him. After about oh maybe a month I get this one page letter from the VA saying like 3 words total, No Service Connection found! Now that really floored me and brought tears to my eyes among other things that I said screw you comes to mind! So I packed up my lost faith and started working two jobs and we finally made it but it was not easy. Even if I just had the money for my aide and the doctors tests that would have helped! I grew very bitter about the VA, Army and Government altogether! Then comes Agent Orange and all the politics and Computer sites Like Hadit and suddenly the VA was forced to give us our benefits we should have had all along! Now I have a case for my hearing loss that if approved by the BVA will give me a sizable retro BUT IF they do I will not be half as excited or thankful for their help because they did not help me when I needed it BAD! I hope everyone on this site and guests reading this post know that I am thank full and would fight again for my Country but bitter tastes are hard to swallow! Stillhere Moderators I needed to vent/rant!
  2. 3 points
    Yeah those waivers were phony most of the time.... They tried to get the vet to believe they had to sign the waiver and also believe they could not ever claim for comp for whatever the waiver disability involved. What a crock of crap. You are right Compensation is not a gift. It is payment from our grateful nation for your sacrifice of mind or body,,solely due to your military service. I think that fact alludes most of the people in the VA system. . .
  3. 2 points
    The only reason IU exists is because the VA has only updated their rating schedule a tiny bit since WWII. Rather than create a modern comprehensive rating schedule, the VA resorts to this accounting trick called IU. When a vet is unable to work because of his/her service-connected medical conditions, there is only one justifiable rating-100%. IU awards are often granted using another gimmick called "rating by analogy" which goes something like this: "Well, we don't have a rating scale for your particular medical condition; so we will rate it using another condition that WE, not medical science, feel is similar or just make one up. This can ultimately save a great deal of $ for the VA because of the "hammer back" traps involved in a IU rating. I have been rated by analogy since 1973 (42 years), and IU since 1980 (35 years) with P&T added in 1985 (30 years). I have two pages from my medical records framed and hung on my wall: (1) States that I don't suffer from the condition I am rated for, therefore my condition does not exist so I cannot be disabled by it signed by a VA doctor; and (2) Another official VA document which concurs with the first stating that my previous exam (by the first doctor) showed no disability signed by another VA doctor. My benefits were discontinued based on these two documents. The vindictive VA even sent that reversal award to the SSA who followed suit and rescinded my SSDI. I have always considered this event to be my "Pearl Harbor" in my continuing war with the VA. After I discovered that my medical records had been illegally altered to conform to the denial AND after I physically assaulted doctor #2 (Don't ever do this! I was very lucky not to go to prison!), the war began in earnest. With the world's 3 leading authorities on my side (one of which was willing to attend my hearing at his own expense) combined with my possession of "the originals" of my original unaltered medical records and heavy Congressional intervention, I won every battle thereafter. However, the amount of time, energy, and money I had to expend destroyed any chance I had to succeed with Voc-Rehab. I will never forgive them for that! After accounting for inflation, my total disability income is only $5.82 per month more than the day I left the Marines in 1973. Gasoline pump price was $0.36 gal. The job (along with and the included equity) I lost in 1980 which prompted the IU rating (I was given three months to get my medical condition under control or leave the company) would have made me a multi-millionaire over the course of the next ten years. I will never forgive them for that either! Whether you have a 100% schedular rating or 100% IU rating, you lose the opportunity to accumulate generational wealth--particularly if you have a family. No 401(k). No Retirement accounts. Etc. Etc. And as we all know, there is no compensation what so ever for the lost quality of life caused by our disabilities. I doubt very many vets served in order to get wealthy, but we should at least be treated as adults and fairly compensated for our losses. Veterans make up the largest voting block in the nation, but even though we are shamelessly used a props for election photo ops and are the target of choice for budget cuts, have a completely dysfunctional VA, a majority of us vote against our own best interests every election. I doubt that will change in my lifetime. If we don't collectively hold our elected representatives accountable then they will never hold the VA accountable and round and round we go.
  4. 2 points
    A simple letter revoking the POA that you gave to this service organization is all that is required. The VA accepted this from me in 2012. The statements this rep made to you are BS in my humble opinion, in desire to keep you as client. I would revoke this VSO immediately, but this is just my opinion. You are your own best advocate, and use Hadit for questions AND help!
  5. 2 points
    This particuliarly irritates me! "patient refused services." Etc. Past years practices involved dropping "consults" when they aged out, fulfilled or not. VA Current efforts Calling veterans concerning more recent unfulfilled requests for service ("consults"), months after the initial request for service from the veteran or the veteran's pcp. In my experience, going back over a decade, if I really need timely medically related service, it's often been necessary to obtain it via outside VA services. It also has been necessary to have a treating physicians informal advice concerning delay in order to decide to try to get the VA to provide or fund outside services. The last call had to do with getting a vision related consult. There was quite a delay between the initial request, so, I ended up having to make an appointment on my own to see an optometrist that I had used in past years. A few days before the appointment date, (naturally), the VA calls to offer an outside appointment. (The VA WILL eventually tell the veteran where and who will fulfill the appointment.) No "choice" is given the veteran. Since the current VA scheme is to use the choice program vendors, rather than fee paid vendors, (evidently that's lower cost, etc.) the veteran must then go through the hurdles to see if the providers on the choice list are acceptable. This is a far cry from the fee paid scheme, where the veteran can ask the VA to pay for services to be rendered by a specific provider, assuming that the provider and the VA agree on the fees, which generally follow Medicare fee allowances. Thursdays hearing exposed a long standing serious problem that the VA has had. MANAGEMENT The heart of the problem is quite basic in nature. You have services that must, by law, be provided to veterans. Then, there is a very rigid and somewhat detailed budget passed by Congress. The dichotomy is that the budget does not allow use of over-funded line item money to be used for under-funded ones. A comparison might be what happened decades ago within DOD- Seems that USAF funding shortfalls drastically impacted operations. 50% of certain "front line" aircraft types were non mission capable. Pilots had training flight time cut to the point that only basic flight skills could be marginally maintained. (Forget about combat related skills, equipment capability, etc.) Yet, there was plenty of money for other areas. End of rant for day!
  6. 2 points
    Congratulations. As mentioned, Chapter 35, and a bunch of other benefits require P and T. However, after your condition has "stabalized" (that is, you have undergone treatment for 5 years) there is a great chance you can get P and T. How long ago was your effective date? It may not be all that long for your "5 years". P and T is not automatic after 5 years, but it is difficult for VA to say, "It isnt permanent", when its gone on for 5 years. If I do something continiously for 5 years, then that usually means I will be doing something similar in another five years. There are "protections" for ratings at 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years, with the latter the most protective. There is also a protection at P and T, which is the same as the 5 year protection. Essentially, to reduce a 5 year protected rating (or P and T), the VA has to show you "actually improved" under ordinary conditions of life (that is, working). See 38 cfr 3.344
  7. 2 points
    Here's my take on nexus letters after fooling around with what does and does not work. https://asknod.wordpress.com/6051-2/ VBA has inveighed on the VHA doctors and forbidden them to write anything more than the day-to-day progression of the disease /injury. In 2010, VBA ruled only VA shrinks can dx PTSD. You need to get outside the VA system to get a DBQ. The DBQ merely lists what your physical condition is for rating purposes. DBQs were never meant to be discoveries of how you got disabled. Remember always that a C&P is much like a DBQ. Most C&P doctors are not there to make the all-important decision of whether it is or isn't service connected. That job falls to the VA Examiner back at the RO. Your job is to upstage him or cut him/her off with your doctor's nexus to rebut VA's. Any doctor can make a subjective opinion if he/she is well versed in the subject. They have the training. If you get right up in their face and demand a nexus, they probably won't do one. VA doctors sure won't. Presumptives are very valuable. They go hand in glove with you being exposed to the danger. Proving I was in Vietnam was the only way I can even put in a claim for Porphyria. Being a combat Vet makes my testimony incontestable. Between the two, it's almost a guarantee of SC. You make the assumption that this is an honest VA poker game and it is not. VA does not throw in the towel until they don't have a leg left to stand on. No nexus equals no dice. Sounds like you don't have a nexus or have failed to point out 3.317's applicability to your claim, sir. <<<<<The c&p exam was a good one. She just confirmed that I had both. No opinion.>>>>>>>>> See the problem? A DRO is going to make the same denial decision absent you finding a doctor to say the magic " It is at least as likely as not that Mr. Rude 1122's fibro and IBS are due to his exposure to _______________ while he was in-country." I'm not asking you to believe me but that's how I got there. J1VO.
  8. 2 points
    Presumptive exposure to anything, be it bending atoms on Bikini Atoll, to Agent Orange in the Republic of Vietnam or to the Gulf War(s) alleviates one simple facet of evidentiary law. It does not equal a free pass. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (COVA) affirmed basic Federally recognized law in 1994 (Caluza v. Brown) that three things were needed to win a VA claim. These were well-known rules among the poohbahs since 1918 but not to the rank and file Veteran. 1)Disease(or risk of exposure to)/injury in service; 2) same disease/injury now ; and 3) a doctor's letter cogently tying the two things together (nexus or IMO/IME). Nowhere on a DBQ will you find that magic IMO box. If you do not provide one-guess what? VA will be mighty happy to oblige you and provide their own. 85% go against you. When you present a claim, you list all these important items. Staple a 21-4138 to a Doctors nexus letter and say Attached find exhibit A nexus letter from Dr. ___________. I tell all my Vets to get several. Most of them win right then and there before VA wastes years on phony denials. If VA suspects you're a Patsy, you're toast. Presumptive exposure is merely a box you check for in-theatre exposure. It grants you the right to advance to consideration for that presumptive because you were exposed. It in no way alleviates you from the responsibility of finding a medical doctor/PA-C/ ARPN or their equal to opine that indeed the fibromyalgia is undoubtedly a cause of Disease #A and #B due to presumptive exposure because a clear medical link has been identified and it is covered by 3.317 -- https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.317. Winning a VA claim is like football. You never want to be on defense. The idea is to keep your enemy off balance and at a strategic 3 to 1 superiority in evidence submittal. When I was in the military, they taught us to bring guns/ammo plus a shit ton of air support to our daily Rocks, Paper and Scissors matches. To me, a denial is usually proof that you relied on someone else, actually believed VA is nonadversarial and Veteran friendly, were not well-enough acquainted with the game yet or your nexus letter fell flat like a souffle. Many of you do not know that if you were in combat and have a medal to prove it, that you are given the combat enhancement of 38 USC 1154(b) whereby everything you testify to concerning the event that precipitated your disease/injury is the absolute, unvarnished truth and cannot be impeached unless you start in talking about chemtrails and those chips VA inserts in our necks to do the mind control thing. 1154(b)acts much like another "presumptive" in that it automatically means we do not lie. You don't usually get into combat situations unless you reeeeeeeealy love America. Credibility is a big part of the benefit of the doubt in these things at that point. Giving certain Vets presumptives lightens our evidentiary burden but does not absolve us from providing the linkage that wins the claim. There are no Chutes and Ladders in this game.
  9. 1 point
    Thanks to Hadit and other great Vets on here, that is why we love and enjoy helping each other, as the VSOs, DAVs and Other Vet Programs, either don't know what they are doing or saying, or over worked and under manned. Good luck and we are always here for you
  10. 1 point
    It is best to get the copies yourself and send them in initially along with a signed release of information authorization form. The VA will 'look' at what I sent, but then request copies from the docs to 'verify'. Don't send the VA your life history. Only send what is pertinent to your claims and make sure it is clearly highlighted in yellow or orange, but do not alter the content. If the rater receives the Encylopedia Brittanica, they are less inclined to actually review all of it. Yeah, it's their job, but they have been known to cut corners...
  11. 1 point
    Well, the VA still owes all of us for the suffering we faced dealing with the claims and health system.
  12. 1 point
    Regardless of what the DAV does, or does not do, you are ultimately responsible for your claim. I have had both really great and really awful results from the DAV. A lot about the DAV has to do with the quality of the rep. The DAV will help any veteran, even if you are not a paying DAV member. What I ended up doing was researching my claims on my own and with the help of the great team here at Hadit. When I had everything ready to go, I took it by the DAV, they reviewed it, and we discussed it. I heeded their advice, but submitted my claims on my own. There are some benefits of having the DAV as your POA. The reps at the VARO have more access to the inner workings than I did. Sometimes they were able to find out what was going on with my claims. I have since switched my POA to my state VA representatives and have received very good service. I considered switching to an attorney, but like you mentioned, they told me not to until after the VBA.
  13. 1 point
    The clock is tic, tic ticking. Forget about your VSO, IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIF he sent the evidence in, fine. At this point, having received your recent VA Demand for evidence letter, time for you to take over. If you send all Medical Evidence that is currently in your possession and it turns out that your VSO did what he was supposed to, where's the harm? Let the VA figure it out, don't get a Denial because you didn't supply the evidence. Certainly won't be the 1st time the VA has received Duplicate medical records. Semper Fi Gastone
  14. 1 point
    I responded to her as soon as I got her email. I sent her part of the writ.
  15. 1 point
    Early on, I tried to use the states DVS. That sort of was OK for submitting a simple one issue claim. Beyond that FORGET IT! Same problem, never returned calls, etc. It also worthy of note that the state reps at the VARO are also service org reps. The state and the VA pay part of the expenses, and salary, since the reps are state employees. I have no idea what the service orgs pay or don't pay. In my county there also is a DVS rep. The major use is in the tax abatement process. The tax assessor does not accept the VA's 100% T&P letter. The DVS rep generates yet another letter, based on the VA letter, then the veteran takes both to the tax assessor. One more unneeded step in the process!
  16. 1 point
    Hi Buck, That is exactly what I have done. We will see if it makes a difference.
  17. 1 point
    During the C&P for my back the PA doing the exam noticed limited ROM and numerous muscle spasms while preforming the ROM tests. The spasms are a new featuring I haven been displaying recently, my wife is getting me set up with a private PCP since she is a nurse to review all VA documents and MRI imagery.
  18. 1 point
    rootbeer, If you been experiencing severe chest pains recently and more frequently Then this is why I suggested that you go to your VAMC ER as soon as possible &let them know about your chest pains. Records or not its always better to be safe than sorry. ......................Buck
  19. 1 point
    Sign a medical "release of information" to each of the affected docs/hospitals and send it to VA, by the deadline, keep a copy and send it certified mail return receipt requested.
  20. 1 point
    Why a day off work? Take all your "Paper Evidence" to an office supply or Kinko's to get copied this Saturday. What, maybe 20 min of copying, right. Then off to USPO, right. If you have your Sxxx in 1 bag, no reason for this to be an all day affair. On the other hand, good luck if you don't have all your Ducks in a row. This appears to be your first SC Claims contact with the VA, most of us have had to learn the hard way, it's all on you. Relying on anyone else can be a costly mistake, resulting in a SC Denial. You can trust (Maybe) but you absolutely have to verify everything done on your behalf, by a 2nd party, VSO or attorney. Time toGet Busy! Semper Fi Gastone
  21. 1 point
    Appears that whatever Hospital or Dr that had your records hasn't sent them to the VA. Like the letter says, it's your responsibility to get the needed records to support your claim, into the VA. Time for you to make copies, get copies, whatever. US Mail, Certified Return Receipt to the VA. DIY, don't rely on your VSO.. It's your claim and your DENIAL if those records don't get delivered. Semper Fi Gastone
  22. 1 point
    Anytime I've had tests done or been seen by an outside provider per the VA's request I've simply asked the outside provider for copies of the chart notes or test results. I've never been turned down. It's really stupid that the VA doesn't want you to have access to data derived from tests they performed on your body.
  23. 1 point
    Still, unfortunately so many us were just alike. Wanting to get on with our lives, never realizing how the VA screwed the Vet when he needed help.
  24. 1 point
    Well, I just submitted the NOD along with two IMO letters (one from my VA doc and the other from a private doc). It's unfortunate that the NOD cannot be submitted online through ebenefits, but instead has to be mailed to the intake center at one of the two locations. I'm hoping that the two IMO letters will force the VA to grant service connection since they both say "more likely than not" that it occurred while active duty.
  25. 1 point
    It seems like a ploy to get as many IU'ers bumped down from 100% to 90% (or less) in order to shave $1163.35 per month times the number of veterans (victims of this ploy). And that's just from a single 10% drop. $2906.83 @ 100% -1743.48 @ 90% $1163.35 There are tons of other areas where savings can be achieved in the VA and throughout government nationwide, but unfortunately they are looking to cut costs in the wrong places.
  26. 1 point
    I believe that taking a lot of meds can cause weight gain or make it harder to lose , those of us that take a lot of meds from the VA and having a hard time with weight loss. It could be the meds were taking especially if your eating right and the right foods and the foods are prepared right like baked cheicken and not fried chicken, if I eat friend chicken I take the good part off the crust'' and just eat the meat part, eat more veggies and eat meats Beans things like that for protein , and green veggies/beans Sweet patato for fiber,Drink lots of water. Just educate yourself as to how to eat the correct prepared foods and the amount you eat. Stop eating fast foods that alone will help you lose weight, get out and try to exercise if your able ..go take a long walk in the early morning, just organize your personal life and tell yourself your going to do this and get healthy Do it for your family & you. I don't have no room to talk because I am 50lbs over weight and most of it is in my stomach and sides....I did join the Move Program at the VA in my 4th week and so for lost 4 lbs a lb a week so for...but I have not started to exercise but I fully intend too. at least get out and walk about 3 miles everyday. If you smoke please by all means try to stop. Try to not stress over things if you can help it. easier said than done I know but think about how much better you will feel to be more healthy than you are now and you may even live longer there's no guartees we will live longer but there are guartee's if you take care of your health you will certainly feel better. Anyway good show guys and Congratulations to Jerrel on his 15 years of being a non smoker! That's Great Buddy. .............Buck
  27. 1 point
    Now this is downright interesting: http://www.attiglawfirm.com/shoot/veteran-survivor-accrued-benefits-va/
  28. 1 point
    Just to add, there are husbands, as surviving spouses, who are also eligible for DIC. I think we had husband of a deceased veteran here many years ago. I posted this BVA award this AM for a deceased veteran's husband here, because it contained some good info on toxic exposure claims, and I posted what I believe is the same IMO doctor's web site info: http://www.va.gov/vetapp99/files2/9915488.txt I heard that Gold Star Wives ( I am a member) has husbands in their membership too. That would sure not surprise me. The president of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) for many years was a man and also his son was killed by a drunk driver.,
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