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  1. 5 points
    Sounds like Sgtwish is entitled to some extensive SMC. Eventually,when the PD involves the lower extremity balance, you begin falling down. At that point most neurologists are willing to concede you have effectively lost the use of your lower extremities. If the shakes in the hands prevent most use functions like eating, taking medication, etc. you would require the aid and attendance of another. With those two "conditions", you would be entitled to SMC R1 At $7,896/month. I just got a Vet that last month. Especially if VA has all the records at the VAMC.
  2. 5 points
    I first found this forum after I started my claim Aug 7, 2018. This was 10 years after my discharge. I had done everything I could to stay away from the military after my experience and had never even been to the VA before this year. I prepared my claim myself and was concerned I would be denied. I posted my c and p exam results here October 31, 2018 and members commented on their thoughts of success or failure, and said I would get about 50%. I then took my exam results to the Veteran rep here at my local unemployment office who told me ultimately I would be denied and should appoint a representative and prepare for appeal. I choose the DAV and left with my spirits a little crushed, but after reading people stories here I knew I had to remain hopeful. Nov. 29, 2018 I received an email from the DAV with the Decision that had been made even before I could see it. The email stated I had been service-connected at 70% PTSD permanent, also approved for TDIU and Dependent Education, but Ebenefits still said pending approval. So again I came to the forums for assistance and posted a copy of the email. I was met with congratulatory responses and assurance that the email was legit. @GeekySquid then messaged me a ton of information about benefits that were now available to me. It was from that information I was able to start the process of getting my life back on track. Im currently working with VR&E also known as Voc Rehab, to go back to school. Geeky told me they would give me hard time but to be persistent and it paid off my counselor has approved my long term goal of a Masters Degree. I can not put in words how thankful I am for this forum and its Members.
  3. 4 points
    Geeky, this is a White House call if I ever heard one. I would have lost it half way thru. Un believable!!!
  4. 4 points
    Now I will add my 2 cents to the question... As many have said, you have the right to file any claim you want to file. I was told by so many people in the past, that once I was awarded TDIU I should never file another claim, because the VA will reevaluate every one of your conditions each time your file, this is just not true and don't let anyone scare you into this belief. At the time I was awarded TDIU. I had four separate ratings, two were 10% ratings, one was a 30% rating, and one a 60% rating. I did not stop there, and why would I when so many conditions where highlighted in my active duty medical records that I had not claimed yet, due to ignorance of the system when I medically retired. Since my initial rating I have been awarded a TDIU rating, I have been bumped to a single 100% rating, ( apart and separate from my TDIU rating ) and have received 14 other ratings from 0% to 50%. I have received adapted Housing ( which today is a $70,000 grant, I have received the Auto Grant which today is about $20,000. I was awarded 1 K award, and I have A&A at the L 1/2 step. My dependants have received the benefit of not one but two separate Chapter 35 awards with different start dates ( 1999 for TDIU and 2007 for 100%). I never even knew it was legal to get more than one chapter 35 award. Also, as we age, our conditions get worse with time. A back strain becomes degenerative disc disease and will bump a 10% rating up. Torn meniscus of the knee eventually results in arthritis of the knee and a seperate rating. And lets not forget about the damage a VA surgeon can do to someone when they have surgery for a service connected condition. There are so many valid reason to continue your quest for any condition that you feel should be service connected. My situation could be the highlighted as the poster child for continuing to file claims. And to this day I continue my quest to be receive increased ratings and new ratings for some medical issues. I have had people tell me why would you pursue a claim that only awards 10% its not going to result in any more compensation...but when I decide to file a claim I am not looking to get a 10% or 40% rating, I am looking to get service connected which is the hardest thing to do. After getting service connection then I pursue the rating I think I am entitled to, if I haven't already received it. I may have 9 10% ratings, and alone they may not amount to much, but when your start combing the 60% , 50% 40% and even 30% ratings you may achieve another 100% rating, and the nine 10% ratings will help you get to that second 100% rating. Also, don't forget the special monthly compensations that you may end up with, such as Housebound or Aid and attendance and the different levels of Aid and attendance as well as multiple K awards. Finally, you could end up being eligible for a free life insurance policy because your rated TDIU or 100%, or disabled veterans mortgage insurance, which you can only get if you are awarded the adapted housing grant. And for those that are really hurting they now have the caregivers program where a family member ( or anyone you designate) as your care giver receives a monthly check based on the amount of help you need, and this program has just recently been approved for all disabled veterans. Another benefit for those that have a TBI, is a higher level of Aid and attendance that only those with a TBI ( Depending on the severity) may be eligible for. And remember, you never know when or if the VA will decide to take back that TDIU or other rating. So additional ratings are one way to insulate yourself against losing your compensation. If you just sit back after your TDIU award, you will never know how much compensation you may lose, but if you continue to file and achieve new ratings you may just be surprised how fast the compensation dollars add up. Together with the compensation & ancillary benefits you may live very comfortable. Finally, wouldn't it be nice to leave your spouse financially secure when you leave this world with the mortgage paid off, and a monthly check from DIC or survivor benefits , especially if she/he stood by you and cared for your during the hard times, for me this was my greatest motivation. You served, and your quality of life has been diminished because of that service, you owe it to your self and family to continue to file claims if you feel they are valid.
  5. 4 points
    For those looking at buying another home. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, when the new law takes effect, the VA will not cap the size of a loan a veteran can get, paving the way for veterans to buy higher-value homes. The other change that comes with the new law will affect fees for some veterans. VA charges most veterans a "funding fee" when a VA loan is issued. Veterans receiving any VA disability benefits are exempt from the funding fee. https://www.military.com/money/va-loans/new-law-allows-you-get-bigger-va-home-loan-without-down-payment.html
  6. 3 points
    That's a good idea GeekySquid...
  7. 3 points
    DROs beg me to use a 526 EZ to accurately capture the Vet's name, rank, airspeed and tail number in all those squares they are putting on the forms now. You can also file it on anything that floats your boat by law. VA has told us in the last month they are coming out with a new form for that in the very near future. Define "near future". Until then, you can buy one of those metal cutting computer-driven doomoflotchies and file it on 1/64" steel plate. Just keep the sheets down to 8.5" X 11". My favorite is those endless paper towel roles in VAMC bathrooms. Just keep waving your hand in front of the IR sensor until it's long enough...
  8. 3 points
    Now its a new waiting game for them to finish up the rating and back pay (I am thinking positive).
  9. 3 points
    vetquest I would keep calling them and asking when will this be resolved. I would also call at different times of the day since they are a 24 hour operation. When I was having problems getting an answer I actually spoke with a supervisor who elevated the request at the other end asking for a response. Now mine was about a claim but I did get a response within a few days after that call.
  10. 3 points
    Isn't it ironic how a "tech" problem has delayed implementing a program for so many disabled veterans yet they can find ways to implement other things?? I call BS..........
  11. 3 points
    I have been lurking on the board for 7 yrs. and would like to thank all who offer there knowledge to help. After 6 plus years I have finally been SC'd for sleep apnea. Just received award from BVA 8/23/2018 claim started 7/11/2012. Now on to the secondary items.
  12. 3 points
    The law for agents is identical to attorneys. §14.628-34. I don't know of any representative that supplies free paper or filing fees. I, and 99.9% of my compadres, charge for airline tickets and hotel to fly back for a Travel Board Hearing at your RO. NVLSP is a pro bono outfit as is the Vet's Pro Bono Consortium. They're totally free. If you can get a rep to pro bono you, fantastic. Remember, I did this from 2008 to 2016 charging nary a dime. Cupcake and I now donate 80% of our wins to paying power bills for "underemployed Vets" , the food bank or rent help locally. That's called "paying it forward". In my case, it's called buying your way into Heaven with some good Karma. Seems I might be a little skinny on that after two tours in Vietnam. When a rep (agent or atty) gets your POA, s/he can request a copy of your c-file from the VA. We actually prefer to have the latest "edition" rather than one you have that may be a year or more older. However, why bother? I can see it on line in VBMS within a month of signing the POA. Obtaining a c-file is becoming an arcane exercise in wasted time in the new electronic universe. Every one of those agents are bound by the same regs I am. A VSO can lie, cheat and tell you to give him a $100 Home Depot card for his assistance. He might get counseled not to do it again. If I charged you 25% instead of 20%, VA would come down on me like a cheap new polyester suit and take my accreditation away-forever. I might get away with 33%-but only up at the CAVC-and only if it's extremely complicated in front of a panel or en banc. Speaking of which, I'm planning my trip back for oral arguments on 18-938. I decided to rep myself.
  13. 3 points
    It has been an AMAZING accomplishment and probably THOUSANDS have been helped. I am always happy when a new member joins to tell us us, that as a guest, they got all the info they needed and joined to tell us they Succeeded! We have many here with the expertise and experience that outweighs much of what they get from VSOs and vet reps. And many who begin to help others once their claims are resolved. Just about every one here has expertise in their own field of disability that they can share will similar claimants. It has been a wonderful and very productive 21 years!
  14. 3 points
    Hi I am a female Army vet and victim of MST. I had found out while at my local VA that I could file for SC for my PTSD secondary to MST. I initially sought out help for the RO Claim coordinator and let the office in a full blown panic attack and humiliated at how I was treated when asking just a few simple questions on how to go about filing a claim. I knew I would never ask another question again at the RO. I stumbled across Hadit while searching the topic on how to file a claim as I was totally clueless about the process and didn't know anyone I could ask. Even the VSO in my area was little to know help even telling me I needed to pay a psych doc. $400 that she recommended she knew and for me to go to and have a DBQ filled out to file my claim. I chose to ignore that advice and began reading up and asking questions on the Hadit site. With the help on Hadit and on the podcast I was able to educate myself and file my claim even as a FDC (Fully Developed Claim). From my date of the intent to file to my 70% SC award it was a total of 7 mos. I wonder if that is a record. In any case, I could not have done it without the help of this site and I am truly grateful there are so many veterans and families of veterans that care enough to give their time selfishly to help another fellow veteran through a very difficult process. God bless, Michigander
  15. 2 points
    File an Extraordinary Writ of Mandamus at the CAVC. Free. It takes 45 days for the Court to whip the OGC into giving you a copy. About two weeks after the Judge gives them 30 days to poop or get off the pot, they'll say " Your Honor, we're mystified as to what the bitch is here. We gave his complete c-file records to him almost two weeks ago. Here's the certified mail receipt with his signature on it. We move for denial of the Writ." Here's a link to 64 articles I've written over the years and includes Ex Writs I've filed for myself (4) and for a client (2). I've also included some really interesting Ex Writs of other friends and neighbors. It'll give you the basics of how. When you file an Ex Writ, you are not the movant, claimant or appellant. You are the Petitioner. Always speak of yourself in the third person- i.e. "Petitioner begs the Court to..." By way of explanation, a movant is one who files a Motion to Revise (CUE claim). https://asknod.org/category/extraordinary-writs-of-mandamus/page/1/ On the other hand, you really only need to use the Court's informal claim process. Unless you have over $2 million stashed in a Swiss bank or the Cayman Islands, it's free. http://www.uscourts.cavc.gov/documents/Rules_of_Practice_and_Procedure_effective_Sept_15_2011_-_Form_4.pdf You can use regular stationary and ask (in simple language) the Court to make the Secretary give you your c-file. Since the Court has never set eyes on it-or you, you will need to send them all copies of any previous correspondence asking for the file. The Court likes it when you have a good paper trail. This also gets the OGC all in a dither and they start trying to get that claims file out to you lickity spit before the Court grants the Ex Writ. By way of explanation, only 11 people have won a Writ since 1990. A word of warning. Never get involved with the OIG. They'll be spending more time looking in your underwear than the bad guys'. Normal turnaround for me on a c file is about three months from the RMC. However, within 30 days of my filing the 21-22a POA for representation, I can see it all on VBMS with no restrictions. For some silly reason, VA gave me a Level 6 access instead of a 4 or 5. It lets me review all the HIPPA stuff unredacted like Psychiatric records. Shoot, I can even look at my own c file! That's a MegaBozo no-no at VA. If you're a VA employee, your VSO or attorney has to be in another state!
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    When I am explaining using a lawyer, I often say this when it fits. "Look, I have a cookie jar here and I will give you a choice. You can have the whole jar, but just the jar, no cookies in it, or, you can have the cookie jar with 80% of the cookies still in it. Your choice.You can do the claim yourself and maybe because it is complicated, you lose, or, you can get someone (lawyer that knows what they are doing)to do it." If it is a complicated case, or the veteran doesn't have the ability to do it, they usually figure it out. Some people just want you to do everything for them, and they can just sit back. Others though just don't have a chance to make it happen if they try themselves. Those are the ones you should be recommending the lawyer to, because if they can't put the initial claim together, then they are even less likely to make the appeal right. IMO.
  18. 2 points
    First thing is take a deep breath. The chances that you will see anyone that really cares is very remote. If it is for a regularly scheduled exam, you need to find out why. I have to drive an hour and a half to mine, and I know that isn't anything for some veterans. I alway check on ebenies to make sure the day of my scheduled appointments. You can also sign up for automatic reminders, text, email and snail mail. Communication with veterans is not a strong point with the VA. It could have been rescheduled, not cancelled so you have to get some answers. Now, if it was for a C&P, then you really have to find out why. If you were rescheduled, it would be difficult to make an appointment you don't know about.You can start by calling the dept. you have the appointment with, but if not known, or you could call Peggy, because whoever you try to get an answer from first is going to hand you off to someone else. And, if you are service connected for 30% or more, I would put in for the mileage; don't know if they would sign off on it, but just to make your point. But don't get too cranked up; it just is going to make it worse for yourself. You can express your dissatisfaction without losing it for something like this.
  19. 2 points
    Preach on, that. Im P/T for MH (MD, as he puts it) along with physical issues. My lower back nerve damage at 42 is bad enough to cause constant continuous pain and discomfort/neuropathy, but not in a safe enough location to warrant operating because if they screw it up ill be using Big Boy depends for the rest of my life, among other things, not just the shields I use now. That bit that Martin Riggs from "Lethal Weapon" says to Murtaugh about having to think of a reason every single day to get up? Yeah, its kinda like that. I really hope, Paul, that you reach out when it gets like that to the rest of us, or the phone line, or a friend, or whatever you gotta do to help get you around those.
  20. 2 points
    I just got a phone call from my VSO who said my RAMP decision letter will be mailed out today. I won an earlier effective date (CUE claim) for my skin condition! I was denied on the PN earlier effective date which I knew was a long shot. My skin condition was rated at 0 in May 2009 and I had an overall rating of 60. In Jun 2017, I was finally increased to 60 for my skin condition. If I had been rated correctly for my skin condition in 2009, my overall rating would have been 80. So the back pay will be the difference between 60 and 80 percent from May 2009 to June 2017 -- not bad. I can't wipe the silly grin off my face. You can see my other posts in the CUE Forum.
  21. 2 points
    Well, right or wrong, I printed out me C&P exam notes today and highlighted areas where he falsified answers that he never asked me. I also noted his signature time of 12 minutes completing the exam and his notes. I then provided a state requesting another C&P prior to rendering a claim decision due to the quickness and errors of his exam. Probably a waste of time though
  22. 2 points
    This is so true lawrencebe. Never trust your VSO 100%. I almost lost five years of TDIU because my VSO did not file the proper form 9 when appealing a decision. He apologized and told me to re-file. I went to two other organizations and they told me to re-file since I had lost my original date. I did some research myself and found that at that time the form 9 could be written on a napkin. I had filed a statement when my VSO sent in the NOD without a form 9. I challenged the VA who said it was too late to file and won my original date.
  23. 2 points
    Broncovet's comment on this topic is inconsiderate, rude, snide, and sarcastic.
  24. 2 points
    Prednisone is a very special drug. It can be a miracle drug if used in low doses for short periods of time. I was on it for a non service connected issue for a year. I got grumpy and mean and developed a hump on the back of my neck. I did not know about the cataracts part though. I now have small cataracts forming in my eyes. Such is life.
  25. 2 points
    Based on what you posted you do not have one condition rated 100% alone so you would not qualify for housebound unless it was based on the actual need. If your heart condition was not service connected.. you will not get housebound either... Now if it is rated service connected, you may get housebound back to the date of the claim but only if it is rated 100%. Housebound can in fact be awarded temporary if you have a temporary 100% rating.. otherwise no it will not happen....
  26. 2 points
    Well, get with it Buck. This board needs you. I need to lose thirty-five and have not been so good myself.
  27. 2 points
    I am glad treatment is working out for you right now. Other times it will feel like it is not helping and you will want to quit. Do not do this. Working with a stress disorder is a long and involved process and there will be ups and downs. I am finally getting a handle on my disorder thirty years after the fact, that is with counseling continuously. I sometimes feel like a professional patient. Some things place scars on your emotions and brain that are hard to find and deal with. Funny thing, last night we had dinner with some friends who we have known 19 years and the wife told me I was finally acting like a normal person. A backhanded complement but a complement nether the less.
  28. 2 points
    @pyrotaz The very first thing you need to understand is a technical one. VA compensation is not like SS disability or getting payments from AFLAK or workmans comp. VA Compensation is the measure of how your circumstances impair the ability to earn an income (over marginal income) for an AVERAGE PERSON. You can be a neurosurgeon and you would evaluated on that AVERAGE PERSON criteria. Understanding that technical fact helps understand the rest of the C&P evaluation process. ----------- Beyond the above understanding------------------- If you are shaking when you arrive you can ask if your wife can be in the room. All they can say is no. If the doctor comments on the shaking, tell them flatly why you are shaking. If the doctor tries to engage you in social pleasantries, don't engage. If the say "how are you today" say scared shitless, angry, anxious, frustrated.. .whatever you are feeling. Do NOT say "It's a great day to be alive". If you feel distrust in the DR. say so. If you feel that exposing yourself will turn people against you or laugh at you, say so. If you feel shame (and you should not but it is common) say that. I cannot emphasize enough that you have to do two things at the same time. 1) BE HONEST! 2) Describe your WORST DAY(S) not your good days. DO NOT MINIMIZE your problems. Don't say " i have dealt with this fine on my own." you will talk yourself out of a rating or an appropriate higher rating. This is not a contradiction. They only know what you tell them and what they observe in the meeting. The reality that days can be good and then swing bad cannot really be seen in the moment. So deal only with your WORST moments as if they are today. Read the DBQs and the rating tables for PTSD and MST!!!!! don't try and say those words exactly ( it will make you sound fake and rehearsed), but understand that the doctor has to hear you and make connections to those words. Each category is NOT exact. You don't have to have every condition outlined in the rating tables. There are many analogous situations and diagnosis for each specific item listed. you can have 3 from column A, 2 from Column B and none from Column C, but they all can add up to a higher rating What you have to show is social and employment impairment. The more impaired you are, particularly in employment, the higher rating you are consider for. The rater makes that decision NOT the Dr. understand what having a flat affect means. If you have night terrors and have peed the bed, say so and say how often. If you have ED tell the doc you have it and describe your intimacy problems. Are you incontinent during the day or night? use pads? tell the doc what situations make you leak. Yes I know how uncomfortable those conversations are, but ptsd has many secondary conditions, including ED and bladder issues. bringing them up in this initial C&P can help you get a higher rating or exams for those problems. You want those exams. Your exam needs to tell a compelling story of why and how your in service nexus events have harmed your life and income. Understand that saying 'i get mad at coworkers" is not going to get you a rating for impaired employment. Saying Yesterday I tipped over my desk and stormed out because a coworker was whistling and would not stop gives a much better description of the workplace problems (assuming you did that of course). Do you cause confrontations? are unwilling to be alone in a room with people similar to your attacker? do you have flashbacks to the events? do you run from things, metaphorically, physically, emotionally or intellectually? have you been arrested or detained for anger? have the cops been called to your home for a domestic situation? i am not being personal, I am pointing out possible scenarios that the doctor needs to know. I will give you a personal example. I am 100% PTSD P&T. One of my conditions is that I can go to a steakhouse today, and the smell of cooking meat will be delicious, tomorrow I can walk by a burger joint and the smell of cooking meat will make be vomit and run away. This happens in the grocery store and at home. I cannot tell you how much meat I have thrown away. The social impairment is obvious, but work wise this has happened at company meetings, trade shows, luncheons, dinners, award events and even in the air traveling to Europe with a group up C-Suite executives on the company jet. The Dr would not know that unless I described it too him to demonstrate the work impairment. If talking about these things frustrates you, DON"T HIDE IT. Don't attack the Dr, but don't try and pretend you are nifty with the situation and having to disclose this stuff to another human. Don't say "Talking about it has helped me". for gods sake don't say that!!! EVER!!!! Are you or do you suspect you are Bi Polar? Manic? Chronically depressed? these are all common to PTSD. So are drug use/abuse and alcohol abuse. I will also suggest you look at the letter (or online website) for the C&P Doctors Credentials. This is so important these days. The letter should say what type of Dr they are, where they went to school, how long they have practiced medicine, and what type of C&P's they are certified to do. It is a sad fact the VA contractors are often not qualified in appropriate areas that we are being evaluated for. Make sure you KNOW THIS as it affects what you need to do if you have to file a NOD after the rating results are delivered. When you leave the session, have a tape recorder at hand with a long battery life. Dump all your observations about the exam, the questions and the doctor onto that tape. Then go home and type it up and email it to yourself. You will then create what is called a contemporaneous record of the events. Store them both in a cloud account and or a safe. Humans have selective memory and waiting to write down or record information will frequently change what our perceptions were and what actually happened or was felt/heard in the moment. Sorry about the long post and I know it may seem a bit dry and unsympathetic. It is not meant to convey that, but you need to know what is happening and there is no touchy feely way to say it that I have ever come up with. Tell the truth, be honest, describe your worst days not your best day or today (unless today is your worst day) and you will make it through. I can promise you the next one, and there will likely be other exams, will be slightly less fear inducing. Keep coming here, venting, asking questions, developing a support system . We are all veterans and are here because of our own problems. We support each other, even when we disagree on some topics. There is no shame here, no condemnation. We won't ask personal details and you can share as much or as little as you like. Let us know what happens after the C&P. and after the rating decision.
  29. 2 points
    Yes, veterans here do vent. It is a safe place to do that. I was on another board and when I stated a true fact I had several moderators who I believe were raters take me to task because "that would never happen".
  30. 2 points
    I called the White House hotline at 855-948-2311 and complained. I also emailed the regional director about my issues with the C&P. She had someone call me and we spoke for over an hour, I have my new C&P on Friday.
  31. 2 points
    They inform you by setting up the appointment and you get a call from the contractor (VES, LHI etc). There is no formal set up for them to notify you. If the judge sent it back for records then you might not but even then they still notify you so you can help them obtain the records. One thing I have seen is on va.gov they will put in requests and you can view them if they update. Also maybe ebenefits. You should just check once a week and find a good hobby.
  32. 2 points
    @MPsgt & @paulstrgn That is a good point! I will say that the individuals context and other disabilities play into that factor. So Paulstrgn has to visualize the scenario and evaluate it himself. consider if he gets TDIU and it is P&T. The P&T is not likely off the bat. maybe in 2 or 3 years. If it is likely in the raters mind to be P&T they are likely to bump to 100% schedular P&T than leave him in suspense simply because of their duty to maximize a veterans benefits. Being 100% schedular P&T does NOT automatically preclude Voc Rehab. A schedular vet can earn as much as they want too while a TDIU vet is limited to the annual national poverty level wage for a single person (no matter how many dependents you have) so schedular is much better. The MR21-1 as I posted elsewhere in this thread says age and withdrawal from the workforce, and retirement are NOT to be considered in a TDIU claim. (VA often ignores that but they are not supposed to) Suppose he applies for and gets VR&E to send him to college for 48 months. His TDIU pays the entire time plus the stipend. That's a nice extra chunk on its own. Consider his 90% rating now and what it is likely to be in 4 years. There is a good bet his degenerating conditions will continue to degenerate in that time. Consider that to reduce/remove the TDIU rating they either have to bump him to 100% schedular, OR after he finishes college, and finds a job, has to perform at that job for at least a year before the VA can reduce the TDIU. Even then they have go through the process, give notice, have examinations and C&P's etc. Paul will then be what? 60ish? are they really likely to send him for all those exams, just based on age it will be less likely than for a 30 year old in the same boat after VR&E. It is all up to Paul what he wants to do, but in my book if you can get the VocRehab, get the stipend and get your degree, then it is worth considering. I know I would do it in a heartbeat and add yet another degree to my collection. Just food for thought
  33. 2 points
    https://speier.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-speier-introduces-bipartisan-bill-restore-military-servicemembers April 30, 2019 Press Release In part: "Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), along with her colleagues Richard Hudson (R-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Charlie Crist (D-FL), and Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2422, the Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019, which would allow military servicemembers to sue the Department of Defense for instances of medical malpractice unrelated to their military duties. Currently, the Feres Doctrine, which originated in a 1950 Supreme Court case, prevents servicemembers from having their day in court when malpractice by military health care providers unconnected to combat results in severe injury or even death. For nearly 70 years, servicemembers have not been able to sue military medical providers after being misdiagnosed, mistreated, or subjected to botched surgeries, even though this malpractice occurred in health care settings in which all other Americans have that right. By creating an exemption to the Federal Tort Claims Act to allow servicemembers to sue the military for medical malpractice, the Stayskal Act would give servicemembers the same right as the fellow citizens they serve to protect. SFC Stayskal developed terminal lung cancer after being misdiagnosed in a military health facility. “The Feres Doctrine is a travesty,” said Rep. Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. “It denies servicemembers who put their lives on the line for this country the same access to the justice system enjoyed by servicemembers’ spouses, other federal employees, and even prisoners. Creating an exemption for medical malpractice is long overdue. I’m thrilled to have a bipartisan group of colleagues join me in addressing this injustice for our servicemembers and their families, who bear the burden of service as well.” The text is available at the above site, and the Bill has not been annotated yet with a number: "To amend chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code, to allow suit against the United States for injuries and deaths of members of the Armed Forces of the United States caused by improper medical care, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Sfc. Richard Stayskal 4 Military Medical Accountability Act of 2019’’. This is great- because there are now 2 Bills -one in Senate ( S 221 - which I have asked the senators to correct) and one in the House regarding VA medical malpractice,the Brian Tally Bill, and I have requested that Congressman Roe support a bill I wrote ,with 4 specific amendents called -"The Rodney F. Simmons VA Malpractice Accountability Act." Malpractice whether in the Military or the VA health care system is obviously unconscionable ! Sgt Stayskal's story is here: http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/north-carolina-green-beret-fighting-cancer-the-government-over-medical-mistake My husband's story is documented with the VA OGC, OAWB, via a White House Hot Line discussion,also documented with Congressman Roe, Senators Gardner,Manchin, Moran, Collins, And Cassidy. in past letters to the HVAC, to past VA Secretarys, discussions I had with former Chair H VAC, Cong. Bob Filner, etc etc, and something better be done. Many of us have veteran adult children. These bills cannot change the fact of wrongful deaths, of veterans, caused by the VA , or as in Sgt Stayskal's case, he is still alive, but the results of the Military malpractice he experienced - will be fatal. We have to think about our nation's future Military men and women who need medical care while they are still inservice, and after service, if they enroll into the VA heath care system.
  34. 2 points
    Winston Churchill once said “Never give up, never give up, never, never, never.” This holds true for those that have the invisible wounds of war. Sixteen years after my retirement I received a letter that outlined possible VA presumptions. The letter explained many challenges I experienced and encouraged me to apply for VA disability and the beginnings of denial. I received a 60% rating in 2017 with a service connection date of Aug 2014. However, my main challenge (PTSD) was denied. The denial was because I didn’t have a therapist confirming my condition; they agreed with the stressor. Since I am retired and use Tricare Prime, I went there for therapy and appealed. I was again denied because the therapist was not a certified therapist. How would I know? i was headed to an appeal with the BVA and my VSO (Virginia Department of Veteran Services), specifically Caleb Johnson, helped me get two independent evaluations from a university and a therapist. I entered the RAMP program and received a 50% PTSD rating in 2018 but with a service connection date of Dec 2017. I appealed the date and for an increase in Nov 2018 and yesterday (19 March 2019) received a 100% P&T with SMC (S-1) with a service connection date of Aug 2014. Below is my HLR Ramp timeline: 1.. 1/17/19 CR 26 Apr 19 - 10 Aug 19 2. 1/28/19 PFD 25 Feb 19 - 1 Apr 19 3. 2/6/19 PDA 6 Feb 19 - 10 Mar 19 4. 2/7/19 9 PFN Feb 19 - 11 Feb 19 5. 2/11/19 PDA 26 Feb 19 - 15 Mar 19 6. 2/19/19 PDA 6 Mar 19 - 23 Mar 19 7. 3/4/19 PFD 1 Apr 19 - 6 May 19 8. 3/5/19 PDA 20 Mar 19 - 6 Apr 19 9. 3/5/19 PFN 7 Mar 19 - 9 Mar 19 10. 3/6/19 PDA 21 Mar - 7 Apr 19 11. 3/8/19 PFD 5 Apr - 10 May 19 12. 3/11/19 PDA 26 Mar - 12 Apr 19 13. 3/13/19 UR 10 May - 23 Jul 19 14. 3/15/19 PDA 30 Mar - 16 Apr 19 15. 3/18/19 PFN 20 Mar - 22 Mar 19 16. 3/19/19 Complete As you can read above, there was a lot of bouncing back and forth. Yes, I watched eBenefits more than I should. This site was a source of support throughout my painful wait. This is what I learned: 1. Don’t quit! 2. EBenefits does not accurately demonstarate the RAMP stages. You may see the progress in EBenefits but the stages don’t apply correctly. 3. It is futile to tell a veteran to stop watching EBenefits. What else are they going to do? 4. If you feel like you must call EBenefits (Peggy), they cannot tell you everything they see but some will tell you more than others. I called several times till I at least got some type of information I thought was the most they could give. 5. While I had success with my VSO, it was with Caleb and not with the other people that worked there. So, sometimes you have to ensure your VSO cares. As a matter of fact, after receiving the 50% PTSD an idiot at that office told me to be happy with it. I submitted the HLR RAMP on my own. I didn’t bother to complain to Caleb but he found out and that person’s supervisor called me to apologize. The moral is that you are ultimately accountable for the outcome so don’t give up!
  35. 2 points
    Don't get mad, file an appeal. If you can get to the BVA they will read all of the evidence and usually award. I had this many times were the VA refused to consider all evidence.
  36. 2 points
    Negatory, File a VAF 10182. Here's the link to download the document: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA10182.pdf The new regs say you can jump in after you get a SOC or SSOC. Read up on the instructions carefully.
  37. 2 points
    Submiitted my last claim via EBenefits 31 Aug 2018, closed today on 10 Oct 2018. They even backdated my conditions back to when I submitted notification on EBenefits in May 2018. The Right shoulder will be appealed and new evidence added due to a new MRI that they did last month. Shows labral tear due to when I fell last Jan, should be approved quickly because the C&P examiner should have asked for the MRI before ever giving any opinion. This will cost me but will not increase my rating. Everything here was based on pre-filing prep done by the VA. Make yourself the squeaky wheel so your PCP will get your conditions checked out. They can get xrays and have them read and it goes straight into your medical file at the VA. Nobody can argue with them at that point. Just dont tell the world you are working on claims, if you have legitimate conditions that you need care for just get the care and then when its in process and ongoing you can file a claim without saying a word to anyone. As they verify the conditions your lay statements are the groundwork to a successful claim. Lay statements are second only to IMO's. Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date right lower extremity radiculopathy (claimed as sciatic pain right leg) 10% Service Connected 03/03/2014 left lower extremity radiculopathy with left foot drop 60% Service Connected 01/19/2017 right shoulder tendonitis(claimed as right shoulder condition) Not Service Connected left shoulder labral tear 20% Service Connected 09/16/2016 lumbosacral strain with intervertebral disc syndrome and degenerative disc disease (also claimed as spinal stenosis, low back strain, lumbar strain (chronic), mild thoracolumbar scoliosis, spinal instability) 40% Service Connected 01/20/2017 degenerative arthritis, right knee (claimed as bilateral knee condition) 10% Service Connected 05/16/2018 prostate hypertrophy 40% Service Connected 11/23/2015 limitation of flexion, right hip 0% Service Connected 05/16/2018 limitation of flexion, left hip 0% Service Connected 05/16/2018 patellofemoral pain syndrome, left knee (claimed as bilateral knee condition) 30% Service Connected 05/16/2018 degenerative arthritis, right hip (claimed as bilateral hip condition) 0% Service Connected 05/16/2018 degenerative arthritis, left hip (claimed as bilateral hip condition) 0% Service Connected 05/16/2018 limitation of adduction of the thigh, left hip 10% Service Connected 05/16/2018 limitation of adduction of the thigh, right hip 10% Service Connected 05/16/2018
  38. 2 points
    Vets wait so long because VA employees checks still keep coming even if they do not do their jobs.
  39. 2 points
    The military and the VA worked hand in hand together to write DD 257s for General Discharges. The trick was to call it a preexisting condition (personality disorder) that manifested in service. Since it was preexisting, it could never qualify as a true psychological disease-and therefore compensation. I've turned over a bunch like this to get SC but never could call it CUE. It's too long ago, you did not appeal it and it's basically moot. The military and the VA made sure it was called a personality disorder. I, too, have one. Antisocial w/ passive aggressive tendencies. I was booted at 3 yrs +4 months.I don't reckon it had anything to do with two tours back to back in country and 3 Vs for valor. Purely a coincidence. I'd say you were wasting your time trying to win it but it all hinges on the records. If they forgot to issue a SOC in 1974 in relation to a filed NOD, then it's still viable. Every case is unique. Your claims file will be the last word on the subject. It's always worth while to investigate. You may have a chicken dinner winner and not know it.
  40. 2 points
    It's been a year and some change since the last time I posted and I thought about this site almost every day. I'm still 100% p%t smc s, and not sure if I posted it but I was awarded SSDI about 5 months after the VA grant for 100% p&t. My health has fluctuated and been the major issue and reason I haven't posted in so long but it's stabilized hopefully so I intend to post as much as possible. Bronco and Buck, I especially missed you guys and I hope everyone and their families are doing well.
  41. 2 points
    15 pages about a Vet and or Vets thinking using a VSO as an error, usually for their own ERRORS or misuse of an original Claim Filing VSO, just about always places the problem with the VSO. Are you accurate when you consider your VA Claim or Appeal VSO, Attorney or Agent an actual TOOL? Misuse of the most expensive costing TOOL (VA or private, Human or mechanical) is often the fault, if not always that of the Uneducated Vet or TOOL Purchaser. Best to become VA Claims educated and figure out exactly what ERRORS, you the Vet made, then laying the blame 100% on an unacceptable VSO-Rep. Sure the Rep can be a contributor to the Rating Denial, but your failures are being also Finger Printed on the Denial and now has to be corrected, usually adding the 1+ to 3+ yrs RO/DRO/BVA that is now Necessary.
  42. 2 points
    It will be a week before the BBE shows. Hope it is P&T, spouse gets CHAMPVA then. Summary of benefit information Include? Information Value Include the information in this row You have one or more service-connected disabilities: Yes Include the information in this row Your combined service-connected evaluation is: 100% Include the information in this row and the one below it Your current monthly award amount is: The effective date of the last change to your current award was: $3139.67 June 01, 2018 Include the information in this row You are considered to be totally and permanently disabled due solely to your service-connected disabilities: The effective date of when you became totally and permanently disabled due to your service-connected disabilities: Yes May 16, 201
  43. 2 points
    Yeah I'm trying and I'll make it through. I'm too stubborn to do anything else really. My Attorney is pretty optimistic about things so in 2 days I can put this phase behind me. At this point I should be made of diamonds
  44. 2 points
    What to tell a child ? That could also be what to tell a spouse. There is only one answer-the TRUTH. This is a little off the mark on yuour posts but- I had the unfortuate experience of being contacted by local family members of a few veterans-( there is a VAMC 20 miles away from this farm community- many vets live in this area) who were told a 'story' that fell far short of the truth. I went with a vet and his wife and sister once to see a Vet Rep and when I got there, his story completely changed- it had taken me hours to even hear the story from him-and his wife and sister in law kept calling me with more details...it sounded like he had a a good claim but the vet rep called VA and then told the veteran he was not eligible at all for any VA benefits.The vet did not seem surprised- at all. His wife was stunned. I guess he had gotten a Dishonorable Discharge ( he said his paperwork was still in another state so he could't show me his DD214 ) and he never told his wife . Also a local widow who asked for my help told me a far different situation that her husband had about his VA disabilities and his Vietnam experience.....after trying to help her understand what she needed for a DIC claim, I found out she was not even his wife and we are not a Common Law state. And there was no basis for a DIC claim anyhow-
  45. 2 points
    Hi Kelly, Many thanks for your advice, I appreciate it!
  46. 2 points
    Just wanted to let everyone know that even though the examiner said I didn't have these conditions I was still granted them! This goes to show that even if you have a bad c&P exam its up to the rater.
  47. 2 points
    I recived my award on Dec 5,2017 and all of my money plus Retro was in my account on Dec.21 of the same month.
  48. 2 points
    There are also other ratings specifically to females which are outside of the "loss of creative organ" that Broncovet stated. You can follow this link, which also contains all of the rating tables for other issues (just scroll up/down, or search). §4.116 Schedule of ratings—gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast.
  49. 2 points
    It’s been a quick battle to say the least as far as most are concerned but with the help of you all and giving me advice. I am now 100 scheduler P and T with SSDI granted at the bench by the judge... stay the course
  50. 2 points
    Thanks T-bird. And great job on this site.
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