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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/27/2017 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I just left RO and was told that my finished BVA grant was floating around the RO and she could not tell me where. I guess I should start floating She also said to me that the retro may go back to 04 if the judge gave more probative weight to doctors opinion back in 04. In the judges decision she did reference fast letter 13-13 which I looked up and it explained that if a veteran claims a disability as totally disabling and submit the form stating that. Apparently the VA no longer consider increased claims as an automatic claim for TDIU. It would be great if they went back to the original opinion stating that I was unable to secure gainful employment and that I was advised not to work again. But hey I'll jjust float like the rest
  2. 1 point
    Crossing my fingers for you! Be sure to check your mailbox and bank account daily for the good news to materialize.
  3. 1 point
    Hey Commodog, I hope this information helps you out. I have been going to the VA for more than 20 years and my wife is a surgical RN who did her residency at my VAMC (now she realizes I was not bullshitting her about all the stories about VA red tape). Most important - focus on this first: Regarding your medications, you do not want to run out. Double-check to see if the scripts you need have been renewed. If not, the first thing I would do is try to get an appointment before you run out. You can also go to the clinic as a walk-in, but it might cost you an entire day. You might be put with a Nurse Practitioner or another doc instead, but you need your meds renewed. Please keep in mind that some meds are worse than others when you run out. Don't give your doc the only copy of your documentation and don't assume it will make it to the records office either. I submitted some medical release medical records authorization forms and learned later that they got lost in the mail. I went directly to my VAMC's Release of Information Office and signed new copies. They did let me know it would take them a little bit to get it scanned into the system. Many docs have assistants, nurses, or students/residents who are designated to read/respond to secure messaging. My VA primary care doc never responds to my messages, but her RN does. At my VAMC, I have had horrible docs, nincompoop docs, scatterbrained docs, overworked docs, unorganized docs, and even some great docs. Please realize this doc is offering to do something nice for you. Having a doc offer to write a statement on your behalf is very reassuring, but for something like this I would not rock the boat just yet. It might be worth it to go through your progress notes to see if your doc wrote your recommendation in an addendum or documented. If you were asking her to fill out a DBQ, that might take a bit of extra time because it is a very field heavy document. Good luck!
  4. 1 point
    Just list them all and claim primary for all of them that come to light during active duty or the first year post discharge. Since you retired you should claim everything, if you sneezed claim it. If you twisted an ankle 18 years ago, claim it. Things get rated 0 because they dont cause pain yet, and everything that happened during active duty should be primary service connection. Go to the VAMC, get them to put every ache and pain in the medical record because the minimum rating you can get with pain on movement is 10%. When they send you for a C&P, if you didnt document a condition, claim it and amend your claim later. The key is just get it on paper. Make a note at the end stating that if any of these are not considered primary, that they should be considered secondary to any of the other conditions that are found to be primary. That way you dont give them an out because you make an additional inferred claim. An "inferred" claim is one not specifically identified by a claimant, but supported by the evidence. The real key is that if it is documented w/in 1 year of discharge, and you claim it they should give it to you. The part where you spent 20 years and retired means that they have to give you what you can document. After that 1st year is gone, its much more difficult because then you have the burden of proof of SC to jump through. Right now, before the 1 year expires, you have an open door and should throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, even if it only results in a 0% compensation because in 15 years, that could change.
  5. 1 point
    No but if there is no AO DMZ link I dont know what basis the claim could be filed on...but nothing is impossible. Did he serve in Thailand or Vietnam or on any ship in the 7th fleet during the Vietnam war,and if so, when and where and what is the ship's name. He does have a AO presumptive that caused his death so the AO would be the main focus and his SMRs and 201 personnel file might reveal much of the info you need as to whether or not he was exposed to Agent Orange,. Thank you for helping your Aunt.
  6. 1 point
    No its never to late, she will need medical records for evidence and death certificate, but mostly what she will need is medical proof of his death if the prostate cancer killed her hubby then she can file a claim useing the nehmer A.O. Presumption they should service connected by his military service and medical records dates and places ect,,ect,,. Ms Berta is the expert on this she can help out here tremendously
  7. 1 point
    https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/locations/korea.asp “Veterans who served in a unit in or near the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) anytime between April 1, 1968 and August 31, 1971 and who have a disease VA recognizes as associated with Agent Orange exposure are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides. These Veterans do not have to show they were exposed to Agent Orange to be eligible for disability compensation for these diseases. VA and the Department of Defense must determine the Veteran’s unit operated in the DMZ area and the Veteran was physically there.” Korean War veterans or their survivors, who served near the DMZ within the date criteria above have continued to prove their AO claims. Here is a recent AO award due to Prostate Cancer. The veteran did an excellent job of proving his exposure as there was some question as to his unit in relation to the exposed DOD units. https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/files1/1607362.txt I have posted the units involved, available under a search here and if you search the BVA for Korea DMZ Agent Orange you will see how these claims are handled. Was he service connected for anything in his lifetime?
  8. 1 point
    PlumbBob: Do NOT claim "Gulf War Illness" as your disease. You need to claim each issue separately, but say they were connected to the Gulf War, so something like "IBS as a presumptive condition for exposures during my Gulf War service" or something like that. My very best advice is to take the time to do it right the first time, and take a look at the Self-Help Guide on the website for the National Gulf War Resource Center. It is the very best and most updated guide to getting claims done for GWI. You can find it here: http://www.ngwrc.org/guide/ngwrc-guide.html Best of luck. Dr. Dave
  9. 1 point
    Over X dollars, reward needs 3 signatures, never went that high so dont know how long they take. Check 2 things, Ebenefits and call Peggy (800-827-1000). One or the other should tell you what your claim is doing. It should be in appeal status or closed. At the least, peggy should get your BBE resent if the case is decided. If you cannot get the info, go to the regional office if you can. They should be able to provide you with the final decision letter, without that letter they wont pay a dime.
  10. 1 point
    Until you see it in black and white I would not trust a word your DRO or VSO says. I thought I had won a CUE via the DRO until the DRO was overruled by his boss. You need the formal decision letter to be sure you are not being jacked around here. Do you have a letter from the VA saying you are approved for TDIU with effective date? If you won a CUE do you have the same letter source? In a DRO Hearing the DRO can say anything but until you get official notice I would not be sure. Sometimes CUE claims can upset the VA's apple cart. They would not approve my CUE because it would have allowed about ten million vets to get EED's on their claims. I know that RO claims don't set precedents, but someone would know that a vet got something.
  11. 1 point
    Great answer from VYNC. As long as you can continue working with your PTSD, by all means do so. If/when you can no longer bear it, and are forced to give up your job, then you can seek an increase. There are some circumstance where you could get a higher rating, however, if your symptoms worsen even if you are still working.
  12. 1 point
    Agent Orange: You are overthinking this. While I certainly agree that VA does not always act in our best interests, it is POSSIBLE that it indeed happened THIS TIME. Until you find out better, you need to accept that the VA is asking for "additional information" to get a higher rating, that the C and P exam was inadequate. Indeed, if you think the VA "developed to deny" your claim, that is, asked for more information when it already had enough to give you a good rating, then you can challenge that. But you cant challenge VA in what you think they will do. Let it play out, and see if you get a bad result, first. You may be suprised.
  13. 1 point
    ArNG11 and Vync, thank you both! Being slow minded I forgot to list you in my thanks post but both of you have helped tremendously and I really appreciate it.
  14. 1 point
    sphynix06 You can ask them to CUE themself but you got to make sure every T is crossed and I's dotted . VA’s failure to give a sympathetic reading to the veteran’s filings by determining all potential claims raised by the evidence, applying all relevant current laws and regulations. Moody v. Principi, 360 F.3d 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2004). ∙ VA’s failure to apply applicable, existing regulations or statute at that time. Look v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 157, 163-64 (1992). ∙ VA’s failure to follow the regulations that govern whether an existing disability rating should be reduced, namely 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.343 and 3.344. Olson v. Brown, 5 Vet. App. at 434; Ternus v. Brown, 6 Vet. App. 370, 376 (1994); Sorakubo v. Principi, 16 Vet. App 120, 123-24 (2002). ∙ VA’s failure to properly apply the Schedule of Rating Disabilities. Myler v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 571, 574-75 (1991). ∙ VA’s failure to apply 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(b) which establishes a presumption of service connection for chronic diseases diagnosed in service. Groves v. Peake, 524 F.3d 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2008). ∙ VA’s failure to apply the regulation that governs conditions that preexist service. Joyce v. West, 19Vet. App. 36 (2005); see also Sondel v. West, 13 Vet. App. 213 (1999) and Akins v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 228 (1991). Unsuccessful CUE Claims Additionally, the following are examples of unsuccessful CUE claims: ∙ VA’s reliance on medical diagnosis in a BVA denial was incorrect in light of a medical diagnosis rendered after the BVA denial. ∙ VA’s failure to fulfill the duty to assist. ∙ BVA’s failure to properly weigh or evaluate the facts (weight of evidence). ∙ Change in the interpretation of a statute or regulation occurring after BVA decision. try to get that bad examiners credentials ...he/she may not be qualified to do a MST C&P and can not give a Diagnoses....if so use that as reason you requesting another C&P Exam with different Dr, you have that right....if a veteran lets things like this go and not fight it they love it. A New C&P and Qualified & a common sense examiner is what you need and I bet you will be approved...depending on your symptoms as for as your rating, but service connection should be established.
  15. 1 point
    Buck. you suggested to use CUE as the last means but I have used it as an IMMEDIATE frontal assault after I got my last two or three decisions. I have not had time to fully prepare something I mentioned here before. I need to request from VA Sec Shulkin to develop a fast Letter that advises how a claimant can request the VA to CUE itself in an unappealed decision within the appeal period.This way all vet reps and vet lawyers who get the fast letter will have an obligation to not only look right away for CUE in any decision, but also to have a regulation to back up a CUE filed in the appeal period.This could reduce the backlog and keep the claim at the RO until they do it right. Oddly enough, even without any formal reg, it sure has worked for me, and two vets here have used this tactic so far. As I mentioned in my HBP 1151 CUE it took less than a month for their reversal of their ludicrous denial. I have 3 CUEs in Word now, which I already sent to the director but have been so pressed for time that maybe this coming week they will be formally sent in. Since my husband died over 22 years ago every single issue VA I had was denied right off the bat and I regret I didnt use this tactic sooner.It would have definitely kept my AO DMI death claim out of the BVA. A 2005 CUE I filed got me a fast double DRO review,but still they ignored my IMos and I chose to take the BVA route, and the BVA certainly awarded the claim and also agreed my VCAA rights had been violated. This tactic and an NOD along with the CUE is what got the VA to reverse the only claim my daughter has had as a veteran. It was for her DEA entitlement certificate. A BIG error, and they reversed 3 weeks after she got the NOD/CUE I prepared and she copied, signed and mailed it to them at the VA Education Department here in NY. Sometimes VA EDU is an oxymoron. I think this vet here has a very good vet rep who was willing to prepare and file a CUE . I think most vet reps are either too lazy or too incompetent to do that....or maybe would be very willing to, if they had a formal regulation to do it with.
  16. 1 point
    It don't matter if this was yesterday or 40 years ago trauma is trauma! the effect trauma has on someone may differ between combat trauma and MST...BUT its all Trauma. You don't need any medical documentation to support your MST Claim but it certainly helps obviously ,but so many never reported this horrible tragic event for reasons of guilt, shame or fear of retaliation or other, However they will use your lay statment. You should be evaluated according to your symptoms. Medical records are your best friend, and evidence...also your lay statment as to what happen and when and where, if you can prove you were there with your ISR's or buddy statements ,close to the dates the event happen, if no actual court proceedings were held then they have to go with your lay statement keeping your lay statement to the actual facts of the issue. This you need to let a VA Phyistrist know! or qualified VA MH Dr. you need to write out your in- detail lay statement of what happen, after that they can read it. A lot of veterans are coming forward now that has had MST to seek the help they need, but because of past shame or just never wanted to talk about it in the past and maybe just wanted it all to go away they never said anything to anyone!... & Its ok to mention this and the VA examiners are supposed to understand that. Usually a prompt C&P Examiner will read your medical records/lay statment of the event (stressors) before the exam and not ask you about it anymore , they can say ''I've read your medical records and your lay statement of the event and I won't be dwelling on this with you today'' ''I don't want to bring back those horrible memories for you '' and just get on with the exam''. Also when you have an C&P PTSD Exam answer all the questions the best you can if you get emotional thats ok but answer the question fairly quickly & the best way you can fully and honestly, this is your chance to lay it all on the line as to how your LIFE has been effected by MST, try to keep your composure but if you can't control your body language then that's ok too but don't over exaggerate. The examiner should know your up set and your trying your best to get through this exam...look the examiner in the eyes when you address his/her questions, looking off in the floor or away from the examiner will only put doubts in the examiners mind (so to speak) do not let that happen. if the examiner is typing then sit quietly and head down. VA Raters will rely on the C&P Examiners report to make a decision...but the good thing is you can disagree within one year after your notified of the decision. This would be basically your in disagreement with the C&P Examiner and let them know why.
  17. 1 point
    Yes, both of my previous diagnosis were from VA psychiatrists. This why I don't understand why the c&p psychologist (not even a PhD) could render such a loose interpretation and sway the VA rater. I was under the impression that the VA rater was suppose to "objectively" review all my records and evidence in making a determination. Yet, in my opinion, the VA rater seemed to make a determination based solely on the c&p exams which clearly don't reflect what is in my VA notes. As far as my in service behavioral changes, I was psychologically evaluated and deemed fit for submarine duty after boot camp. I went from a rating of 3.6 to 1.0 by the time I was discharged any my class standing went from upper 25% to dead last in my training classes. My VSO stated that the rater should have taken this into consideration, but ignored it; hence the CUE. I never reported any anxiety issues, just the asthma. I was too ashamed and afraid that they would dig too far into the mst issue since this was before Don't Ask Don't Tell and give me a bad character discharge. Seems as though me not being brave enough to document the issue in service set me up for a battle with the VA later. What ever happened to being "innocent until proven guilty?" I have been dealing with the issues for decades due to shame and anger. Now when when I finally decide to get help I am treated like a liar and criminal?!?
  18. 1 point
    It seems to me this C&P Examiner don't know what he/she is doing? And may not been Qualified to render a PTSD Diagnose is possible that the veteran suffers from a mental illness. However, I am ethically unable to provide a diagnosis at this time given the veteran's response pattern of overreporting on three objective, reliable and valid psychological tests. Providing a diagnosis would require this examiner to resort to mere speculation and would violate the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Why is he/she an examiner? ''In response to the sleep apnea denial, I called the c&p examiner and asked for reconsideration because his report stated that asthma and sleep apnea are in no way related. I shared with him several articles which stated otherwise and also shared several BVA cases which granted sleep apnea as secondary to asthma. He told me that no one in the fort worth office has ever granted service connection for sleep apnea as secondary to asthma, but that I should refile and request service connection for asthma aggravating the sleep apnea. Huh??? isn't that still a connection in itself? Nonetheless, he stated that he would think about amending his notes to opine that my sleep apnea is at least as likely as not aggravated by my service connected asthma. If he does do this then I won't have to get an imo for the sleep apnea, but I am not to optimistic about his follow through.'' ''My headaches and chronic fatigue is claimed secondary to sleep apnea so I will have to refile those one I get connected for the sleep apnea.'' just because no one in their office in Ft Worth never granted asthma secondary to or related to or any other Type of OSA /S.SA. Is very inappropriate thing to say and then reconsider? That type of statment to me means and its obvious this C&P Examiner is NEW(no experience) in conducting C&P Exams He/she was not confident in them self. As Ms berta mention you need a PTSD DSM-5 MST dx from the VA MH Dept. from the git go. ANY TIME YOU HAVE NEW AND MATERIAL EVIDENCE AND A CHANCE TO SUBMIT IT THROW IT ALL OUT THERE, Never hold back crusual medical evidence that will support your claim. I would Request another C&P with a different examiner!
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