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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/02/2017 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    Someone (VA?) is blowing smoke up your rear end. I can get anyone SC for anything at any time regardless of how many times or when they got denied or in which order. Here's a pertinent example. My Vet goes to Vietnam and loads caskets on departing C-141s at TSN for 8 months. He helps unload wounded from Dustoffs. Finally, it warps him and he begins snorting smack. The AF pulls him aside and gives him a one-time shot at rehab and a clean sheet. They evac him to Wilford Hall MC at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. He is cleaned up but his psyche is irreparably damaged. They 86 him and give him a DD 257 as an incorrigible drug addict with personality disorders. I wrote this in 2015- a full year before I was accredited by VA. https://asknod.org/2015/08/20/the-good-humor-man-at-tan-son-nhut-ab/ He filed for bent brain as he left in '70. VA denied and said his Heroin and ETOH were the cause of his mental disorders. He lost 5 more times to the present (2015). I filed anew last fall and tuned up the claim with a good, rewritten stressor. No buddy letters. No evidence of PTSD or GAD (back in those days we called it Generalized Anxiety Disorder) in service. VA examined him and denied yet again this spring. Denial was for "no dx of PTSD". VA insisted he had a MDD secondary to drug addiction for 48 years. Suddenly, now, there's no mention of all those denials based on drugs being the reason he's bent. I promptly went to my nexus doctors and got a beautiful dx of PTSD due to all those human popsicles in caskets he was loading. I got the shrink to say the drugs were an attempt to self-medicate and good medical treatises on the fact that drug use doesn't cause bent brain syndrome. VA just scheduled a new c&p to rate him on Friday last. Never ever, ever depend on VES/QTC doctors to write a favorable nexus. VA denied for every reason under the sun for 48 years. I won on attempt #6 because it's a simple recipe. If you refuse to follow it, you lose. In the instant case mentioned above, you (dlove74us) are being given bogus info and told to believe it. One thing I have learned in my 30 years of doing this is the need for essential, valid knowledge. There is a lot of incorrect info out there being disseminated to Vets-often by VSOs. Once you understand the "game", you cannot lose. This presumes you have a legitimate claim (but I treat that as a given). VA denies by depriving you of a nexus-not because you are not entitled- but because they are an Insurance Co. That's what they do. They deny and frequently in case nobody noticed. You merely have to get the nexus letter to win-even if you don't get it for 48 years. One trick most do not realize is the old "benefit of the doubt" rule we laugh about. You file. VA denies. You get your IMO and file it with your NOD. VA is forbidden to develop negative evidence against you so the claim is now in equipoise. Equipoise = tie goes to the runner-ergo you win. You may have to go to the BVA on some contentious point of law like a jetgun claim for Hep C. In that case, you hand your IMO to a VLJ rather than a dumb-s__t rater. Bingo, you win. Let VA deny. They have to have a succinct "Finding of Fact" to deny with. Let them develop this finding so you can rebut it with a nexus. Turn their game against them. Once they commit with their negative nexus, you have the opportunity to rebut with your IMO and will win. Sadly, I see many develop their claims and think VA is going to see the light and agree with them. Not. The M 21 was not developed to grant claims. It sounds good but the manual is designed to provide the excuse needed to deny with. I buy my nexus letters for a flat $2,000 apiece. They are always bulletproof. I've had 4 losses in about 1000 attempts since 2008. Reasons? 1) Liar (was never in Vietnam); 2) Liar (admitted to drug addiction in 1993 and then testified in 2014 he was clean as the driven snow); 3) Lied about OTH discharge; and 4) Liar (lots of UCMJ violations for more things than I can list here and most were not LOD). You win because a) you're right and b) you told the truth. If the STRs and the claims file bear out your contentions, you will always succeed. If you failed, you forgot to supply one of the needed three ingredients. If I can get a Vet SC for glioblastoma for Camp LeJeune water and it isn't on the list, then you folks can do it too. https://www.va.gov/vetapp18/files3/1815897.txt I'm not a miracle worker nor do I profess to be one. I use VA's game against them. I suggest you do the same.
  2. 5 points
    You can immediately ask for a different doctor to do the exam. When I say 'flawed', I mean the examiner did not have the expertise to opine on your claim, or the doctor did not have any of your medical records, to include SMRs in many cases, or the doctor failed to consider any other probative evidence that you moght have brought with you to the C & P yet the doctor didn't want to see it--- or the examiner LIED. There are probably many more reasons why an exam can be flawed. This AM I received a call from OAWP-VA-DC, as to the ongoing investigation they are doing based on my other complaint . I have more evidence to send to them-we went over some of the evidence they already have- it is solid to support my complaint-It is a different issue than this post is about- But then I mentioned to the Triage manager the C & P situations I see so many of you here are dealing with. I told him of 2 of my C & P exams (posthumously done on my husband) and am waiting until Jan 15, 2019 for a copy of one of them-to adequately prepare a OAWB complaint. on that matter, which affects so many veterans....and I am sure I am not the only survivor of a vet who has had this problem consistently with the RO I deal with. He was shocked at what one SOC C & P examiner had stated..... I told him this was only one of many C & Ps they did- all wrong, to deny my claims. (all awarded since-yet not the point)) Would anyone here be willing to follow up my next complaint on the C& P problems many here have? If it took a costly IMO/IME to get a full reading of your evidence, and then attain an award, tell them that. If your are in financial diffculties and cannot possibly afford an IMO/IME, tell them that. If they lied about your condition , tell the OAWB that- and give evidence to show that they lied. Be prepared to attach the C & P exam to the email you send to them, and attach any other evidence you feel they might need. I told the OAWB Triage manager I have seen many C & Ps over the years that are highly erroneous and deny many valid claims . Claims that will add to the backlog and if they are valid they should never even be in the appeals process at all. If you prepare a complaint, specific only to the C & P problem, you can refer OAWB to my complaint ( Berta Simmons, NY ) that will be at OAWB on the 16th of this month.I am waiting until the 15th to see if VA will send me a C & P exam I requested.Whether I get it or not the complaint will still be filed on the 16th. I do not really have a dog in this fight because so far I won any claim VA gave a lousy C & P on.I only needed the IMOs I have for one claim. Something needs to be done about this situation.That wont happen with one complaint from a dead veteran's widow. The only evidence I have is my own personal letters and C & P exams from the VA, And the info from NVLSP and GAO-which covers all veterans but is general, and not specific to what many of you really go through with C & P exams, that are geared to what the VAROs want- and that is - to deny the claim.
  3. 5 points
    Start a new thread and I'd answer that Buck. I don't want to get any warning points or teach bad habits to newcomers about "taking over" a thread. Suffice it to say, after 5 years, they'd better have a darn good reason to schedule not one-but two exams- spread out over six months/year to show you have not only improved but maintained the improvement. If they don't, I win them at the BVA for not doing two exams. But with my new-found knowledge and techniques, I don't even need to get in that 4-year backlog nightmare. It's easier to spend $2 K of my client's money and get that IMO to rebut VA's contention right after the FIRST c&p where VA is saying you're a candidate for the Boston Marathon. I call for a DRO hearing on the record and whack 'em up side the head with the new IMO and they sit down and shut up. You'd end up paying me a wad for taking that appeal upstairs and the 4-years @ 20% you'd have to pay . I don't want your money. I'm too busy. I'd rather come here and teach you how to DIY.
  4. 4 points
    https://www.informnny.com/news/blue-water-navy-vietnam-veterans-act-passes-house-of-representatives/2003742731 Maybe there will be no need for the Secretary to pursue fighting the Procopio decision........ This is Big news but all I have so far........
  5. 4 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.
  6. 4 points
    I got my retro today.it was three days after closing.Now can plan for daughters college in two years.
  7. 4 points
    I am a Veteran Service Representative for the Dept of Veterans Affairs for compensation on the rating side. For those unfamiliar with my job, there are two key figures processing compensation claims. RVSRs (raters) and VSRs; they do the medical side and we do the administrative side. Essentially my job is to do everything but rate the claims. I have seen some on here disputing the merits of DBQs. That being said, I think that is foolish to advocate that DBQ's for musculoskeletal exams are the only worthwhile DBQs to submit. One very worthwhile one to submit is Sleep Apnea. Yes, the VA will do it for free, but if you have a decent insurance policy, you can get DBQs done for a $25 co-pay w/ a medical opinion. I get that that not everyone has good medical insurance and that that is a disadvantage for some, but for those that do have it, that is one course of action to take. One might make an argument that you could even essentially write up a medical opinion and save them the legwork and have them edit it to their liking...........don't like the opinion........go to the next doctor and only submit the ones that are favorable to you. If you want to really cement your claim, get cross disciplines to and do multiple DBQs i.e. have an orthopedic surgeon and a podiatrist do foot and ankle DBQs and medical opinions. Have a chiropractor and an orthopedic surgeon do your knees, back, neck, hips, shoulders. Want to get sleep apnea, well, get a handful of "buddy statements" from people that you served with on active duty written on 21-4138 forms so that they become affidavits if you have no complaints/treatments/sleep study while on ACTIVE DUTY, submit them so they become part of your "C-file", see a sleep specialist for a sleep apnea DBQ, get a medical opinion for direct service connectedness...........make sure that he sees the buddy statements.........if you legitimately had sleep apnea in service, your buddies will make adequate statements. Then, if you have PTSD, see a psychologist and try to get sleep apnea secondary to PTSD. Double whammy. Lots of studies out there to corroborate that. Make sure that you have your C-file. Doctors filling out DBQs are supposed to have access to your C-file to adequately make a medical opinion. If you don't care about the medical opinion, then don't worry about it. For presumptive issues such as gulf war i.e. chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal, I wouldn't even bother trying to get a medical opinion as it will not carry much weight. Again, DBQs accompanied by medical opinions, especially in number, are in your favor for getting a favorable decision. Don't like the PTSD rating that you just got last month............go right away and get a PTSD Review DBQ and Medical Opinion by a Psychiatrist, Ph.D. Psychologist or a Psychologist under a Ph.D. psychologist. Learn about the M 21-2 references.............google is your friend. Learn about the rating references...........google is your friend.............. Don't want your claim held up............take your damn time when filling out all of your paperwork and make sure everything is filled out completely and send us everything from the get-go. I would suggest doing an intent to file call the 1800 827 1000 number, fax in a 21-0966 form etc. That way everything will be back paid to whenever we receive that. Take your time filling everything out. If you want to claim dependents, have a 686c form filled out............every damn line that is there fill out.........don't have the information........get it.........I am guessing that you can get it quicker than 15-30 days, so get it. Have birth certificates of your kids and marriage certificate for your wife. We don't need social security cards....just numbers. Have records from private doctors scanned and ready to submit. If you have copies of your Service treatment records, DD 214's, OMPF (Personnel FIle) scan them and have them ready to submit (we still have to send out for them, but if we can't retrieve them, then we have them there ready to use as a last resort. If you are wanting to claim aid and attendance, have those forms scanned and ready to submit. Wanting to claim PTSD, have a 0781 or 0781/a scanned and ready to submit unless you were in combat and it is easily verified. Wanting to claim IU, have an 8940 and 4192 filled out and scanned ready to submit. I would also suggest making a brief (5-6 sentences at most) statement on a 21-4138 for each contention you are claiming; be specific with what you are claiming.............don't say foot pain..........be more specific i.e. pes plan (flat foot)..........when did it start.......was an injury involved.........where did you initially get treated..........where have you continued to get treated............etc... When filling out the 526ez be specific............ especially if you were in the reserves or the guard..........tell us the name of unit you were with, current address and contact information. If you have a line of duty reports (again, guard and reserves) better believe that you should submit those. It pays to take your time. You will be more likely to have a quicker turn around if you take your time and do everything completely. If you don't like your rating, don't appeal it right away...........that should be the last resort. Send it new and material (relevant) information. Do not get disheartened. For direct service connected exams, we can generally only send you out for exams if there is a complaint/treatment/injury in your service treatment records for a contention that you are making. Secondary connected issues are different. This is why it is highly intelligent for anyone wanting to file a claim to actually be in possession of their service treatment records BEFORE filing for a claim. It would also be intelligent to have a copy of your Personnel records which you can actually get off of DPRIS which can be accessed via va.gov or e-benefits if you got out of the service within the last twenty or so years. If not, I would recommend downloading an SF 180 form and sending it out.........hopefully the government shutdown won't slow it down too much. Once you have all of that done, sit back, relax and have a cold one. Believe it or not, people sending out original claims (first time claims) that have everything put together and in which the claims are not overly complex i.e. 35+ contentions w/ aid and attendance, IU, 4142/4142a etc ad nauseum, are actually having exams ordered for them within 2-3 weeks of the claim being received. Best of luck.
  8. 4 points
    My own BVA appeal was granted on several issues back on October 31st, with two small remanded conditions. Waited until mid-December to call to check on the status with Peggy, and was told that my appeal was back at the Houston VARO, and they had no further information from there. I’m at 80%, so I’m still good during the wait for the remaining granted conditions and retro, but I also feel the aggravation that others feel knowing that initial claims have been ripening on the vines for years, only to sit for a few more AFTER the BVA grants awards. If you want to watch for the pot to boil though, set up a VA.gov account and you can access your “place in line” while you wait for your appeal, along with the VA’s guess on how many appeals are in the VA system, something like 179K today. They seem to update it after every work day, and for some reason, there is even a small update on Saturday afternoons. My place in line numbers only change like 50-100 per day, but I’m hoping that this has only been a slow down because of the holidays, and that next week things will begin to move quicker. I would figure that between the AMC and all of the VARO’s working on appeals that they could get veterans and their grants/remands taken care of much more effectively. Good luck to you all, and have have a safe and healthy New Year! Mark
  9. 4 points
    Funny, the Marines taught me this. Several years ago when I got TDIU my lawyer wanted to quit (as I would be taking time at the RO or BVA that another veteran needed) and I wanted to press on. We pressed on and I was awarded 100% P&T at the RO with SMC S. I still wanted to press the issue but my lawyer said we should quit, he had just gotten paid. I ended my relationship with my lawyer and filed a NOD for EED of SMC S. I also found out that my lawyer had written a letter to the VA stating I was done with my case and to not return it to BVA. I cited to the VA that my lawyer no longer represented me and I wanted my case to go back to BVA. I have had more luck at the BVA the five times I have gone there. I just received the BBE from BVA today. They gave me a 6 year EED on my PTSD and awarded tinnitus. I cannot receive more compensation from the VA for this but my PTSD is now only 9 years from being locked in. The RO is still working (if you can call it that) on my EED for SMC S, which I believe is stronger after my new BVA decision. Lawyers can help a lot if you are caught in a situation where the VA is flouting the laws as they were doing in my case. Even so, they may not always give the best council after getting paid. VSO's more so should be questioned. Some do a really wonderful job but others are just collecting their pay (many from the VA). Do not be bullied or scared into not appealing to the BVA or ending your case prematurely. There are several reasons: You might get reduced if you appeal : You are taking the time at the BVA that another veteran needs : You have been awarded enough : You should feel lucky to have won : etc....
  10. 4 points
    This is why I always do a travel board hearing instead of a videoconference. First, the VLJ is sitting 4 feet away from my client. S/he sees every eye movement and his/her sincerity. Somebody promoted me to attorney but I'm not. I filed POA and request for SMC R1 on May 15th. Got the denial on 6/25 and filed the NOD a week later. VES came to his home for the c&p on 7/11. Ft. Harrison issued the SOC on 8/05 and I filed the VA 9 a week later. They certified it to the BVA on 8/11. I asked the BVA for an Advance on docket 8/28. I got it a week later on 9/09. They gave me the Board hearing on 9/18 but I had to bring the client here (Seattle) from Montana. Apparently, Montana doesn't do Travel Board hearings-just video. They issued the decision 10 days later on 9/28. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how VA justice should work. See? Being a pain in the a-- works. That's how I like to litigate. You are only limited by your mind when you set out to do something. Moser BVA grant 9-28-2018 redacted.pdf
  11. 4 points
    Ramp win. sub 15 May 2018 closes 7/25/18 increase in disability from 40-60% for radiculopathy left leg
  12. 4 points
    Thank you Hollie- I would not have the knowledge I have except the VA screwed up every single claim I had, and even my veteran daughter's one and only DEA claim ( which Mommy fixed in a heartbeat and that only took three weeks. My husband had no problem at all getting 30% SC PTSD 1983. But that went fast because the head of Newark Psyche dept VA, wrote a buddy statement immediately for him ( he was incountry as a psyche treating Marines who had done a horrific "volunteer" job in Vietnam and managed to get that specific stressor out of my husband who was waiting at the VA to be arrested. (long story there he he) No arrest, they filed his claim the same day and told him he had PTSD. Whe he asked what it was they told him to go to a Vet Centerr- he thought he was the only Vietnam vet who came back "crazy" (his words) . Va started to screw around with his 2 claims,pending when he died. I inherited that stuff and their attempts failed. One beautiful October day 23 years ago, which seemed like a normal day, he asked me to promise to continue to help vets and to go after the VA if they killed him---( he meant his pending 1151 claim)I said Honey I will do those things of course but the VA isn't going to kill anyone.....this was a few hours before he died, no warning at all ( diabetic pN) Sudden death syndrome..... I went into the barn yesterday and still seem to see him collapse there. FTCA settlement 1997 ( they did kill him) I also went to a Military school and graduated with Honors 2007 ( America Military University) because I needed to learn all the nuances of tactical warfare maneuvers - and battlefield command, and it sure has helped me here and personally to fight the VA's War of the Words. ( I was their only civilian and only Chap 35er at that point-VA paid for the whole 9 yards )and AMU accepted my prior college transcripts to them. ( I was Phi Theta Kappa) If the VA had not given my husband, our daughter and me as his survivor , so many problems, I would definitely not have the knowldge to be here. God rectifies bad events with Goodness and Wisdom
  13. 4 points
    Happy Thanksgiving to all my Hadit.com friends.I don't file very many CUE claims but when I do, I drink Dos Equis beer and turn on the fire hose as I did here trying to get something to stick. Boy howdy did it stick. Every error I pointed out was duly noted and addressed. The gentleman I represent is severely disabled. VA did their level best to take advantage of his pro se wife's absence of VA knowledge and deprive her husband of his lawful benefits. She filed for advanced A&A SMC (t) but he served in Vietnam-not post 9/11 and is not entitled to (t) by law. Fortunately, she found me here on Hadit and contacted me to right this injustice. Instead of inferring the obvious entitlement to SMC r(1) rather than (t), they continued to deny for years. I immediately realized she needed VA to acknowledge the diagnosis of Parkinson's/LOU of lower extremities due to AO first and then put the carrot in front of them to lead to SMC (o) and then the pyramid to r(1). They chose to call it CUE which I disagree with but the result is still identical to what I sought. If his spouse had filed for Parkinson's in 2012 when they first figured the loss of use out, his effective date would have been 2012 and his retro would have been about $450 K for those five prior years. As it was , I was able to get it back to 3/2016. I'm debating filing a NOD on this one. Naw-just kidding. Ladies and gentleman Vets, this is exactly why Theresa invented Hadit.com and why I began asknod.org in 2008. What you don't know can hurt you. I'm blessed to be able to help others. I live that sentiment daily. I only wish these assets had been available to me in 1989. Win or Die (trying) r1 redacted.PDF
  14. 4 points
    Persistence pays off! Background: In 2002, I "was told" by VFW that I should drop my claim. In 2004, I "was told" by another VSO that I should "settle" for 0 percent hearing loss and not appeal. In 2005, I lost my home waiting on VA to process my benefit claim. In 2006, several attorney's told me "I didnt have a case". In 2008, I filed a "Special Handling Request" due to mishandled evidence by my VARO. It was "quietly" denied by my VARO. In 2009, I was awarded 100 percent, to 2007. I appealed the effective date. In 2012, I got a remand in part, partial grant, partial denial. In 2013, other lawyers told me I had no case. In 2013, the VARO said I should be happy with 100 percent or they could reduce me. In 2017, I was awarded TDIU, with another 2 years of retro. My attorney declined to represent me in an appeal, so I asked others. I hired an attorney today, after at least 5 attorney's told me no, that I had no case THIS week. Im gonna win this earlier date..I "feel it" Persistence pays off when all else fails.
  15. 3 points
    Well, sir. Imagine this scenario. I get to work at 0800. Sometimes I have to get up and call VA raters and DROs and ask them why they screwed my Vet(s). If they're in St. Pete's, I have to get up at 0500 to call them. I also get calls from them answering my emails. I have to write legal briefs for upcoming travel board hearings before VLJs. I don't have any office staff to do it. Even if I did, I'd still be researching a claim-sometimes on Westlaw which costs me $59 a minute to access. Many big outfits use paralegals (unaccredited) to do intake and communicate with the Vet. It's not that we don't want to talk but that it isn't always feasible. I keep my caseload down to about 100 and it still eats all my time. And yes. I talk to every one of my clients if they call unless I'm with another Vet -but I'm the rare exception. If your atty. is winning your claims and they are very difficult, then 33% is a bargain. I won a Vet $188 K a year or two ago. He was pissed I got $37 K. That was 20%. If I'd lost, I would have gotten 20% of zero dollars even if I had worked my butt off. He still got $151 K but feels like I screwed him. That's the down side to helping anyone. Murphy's first law is " No good deed goes unpunished." As most know, I generally take those funds to offset the cost of helping other Vets for free... There are good attys and bad ones. Too bad they don't have Win/ Loss records!
  16. 3 points
    That is the best attitude to have. My attorney received ten years equivalent when he only represented me for five years. It is hard to see that much money go away but focus on what you gained. Without an attorney I might have gotten nothing.
  17. 3 points
    Also, if you complete VR&E. You’ll likely be expected to return to work. AF retirement+Federal retirement+100P&T= find something else worth doing with your time. The VA and service organizations could use your talents. Congratulations too!!
  18. 3 points
    I will first say that I have hired a lawyer three times in my life and been royally trounced two times. I lost many thousands of dollars at my medical board due to my lawyer. The third time is when I hired a lawyer at the BVA. He was able to shake some things loose for me and get things going more than once. I believe he earned his pay for nothing other than explaining the system to me. Once my claim was completed and he got paid he told the RO not to send my remand decision back to the board for final approval. I was perplexed by this and fired him and requested my case be sent back which was the right decision. What I have learned by dealing with lawyers is that you are the best advocate for your case. Interview any lawyer you are thinking on hiring and try to ascertain what makes them tick and then stay on top of them. If I had to do it all over again I would have hired the lawyer I hired again. I guess one out of three is not too bad when dealing with lawyers.
  19. 3 points
    OldSoldier. Broncovet is dead on. The process has gotten easier, especially if you have all of your ducks in a row. You should look at the SMC and see which area first your circumstances the best. From what has recently happened to me, it is dropping the 5 star evidence and then a C&P is done. Took about 20 minutes. As for the fight it does not get easier, and it does suck to have to fight them so much. It feel like a handout, for whatever reason we went in healthy and did not leave the same way. There is a reason that soldiers have such a high disability rate. There is a reason GULF WAR VETS have 5 presumptive conditions which one or two of them can cover hundreds of conditions. Also remember you part of the 1% of those in our country that will see war have probably see some awful things, which other Americans will never see. So fight for what was taken from you! We are all here to help our sisters and brothers!
  20. 3 points
    Moderator, you might want to Pin this somewhere, as this seems to be a recurring trend. I have given out this information to others, but I will post it here so that others can find it rather than searching through the forum. First and foremost, claiming and getting sleep apnea secondary to PTSD or Mental disorder is not easy. I have personally seen more lost than won, however, it can be obtained and I myself have personally received it. If you had sleep apnea diagnosed while in active duty, it is usually a slam dunk........for the rest of those trying to get it, it could require a lot of work. I suggest trying to get it both direct and secondary service connected. It is easier to get sleep apnea as a direct service connection obviously, however, most Veterans do not get it diagnosed while in service. Best way to get that resolved is through buddy statements. I suggest getting 3-4 (I personally had 7-8) or more. Do not have them only say that they saw you snoring.......that is great and all, but that is not a symptom of sleep apnea.......it is incidental. They would need to say that they saw you gasping for air, choking, etc. Preferably roommates. If you were deployed, it would be easy to have many people saying that they saw/heard this as you would have more than likely been in an open bay setting at some point in time. You can also have your spouse write up a statement. This all needs to be during active duty periods of times and dates need to be included. M21-1 reference III.iii.2.E.2.b "Types of Evidence VA May Use To Supplement or as a Substitute for STRs" allows for buddy statements to act as STRs for medical evidence.........if they are certified "buddy" statements or affidavits.............having them written on VA Form 21-4138 solves this issue as it has the appropriate verbiage written near the bottom. Under M21-1 reference III.iii.1.B.7.a and 38 CFR 3.200, it meets the certification criteria..........problem solved. From my experience, getting all of the buddy statements needed can take longer than you originally anticipate....plan ahead. Now, for secondary criteria. Have you ever been diagnosed with alcohol abuse (it is frequently written as "ETOH")? If so, has it been attributed to your mental disorder or did it exist prior to that and is it considered willful? If you have been diagnosed with alcohol abuse, and it is attributable to your mental disorder, guess what, alcohol consumption is attributable to sleep apnea. would suggest that you start doing your own academic research. You might be able to locate peer-reviewed academic journal articles (those are the types of articles that you want to submit) through https://www.researchgate.net/. If not, another alternative is using a college database to search academic journals through. Ah, but you need to be a college student to use the database to search academic journals through. One might make an argument that you could register for classes at a local community college (you can even register online nowadays without even stepping foot on campus) and even register for "late start" classes, and have access to the aforementioned database immediately (hint hint, look in the academic journal Chest); one could easily find within a 60 minute search at least 5 appropriate and recent journal articles clearly establishing a link between specific mental disorders and sleep apnea; there is a clear link between PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and especially schizophrenia. One might make an argument that you could simply then disenroll from the classes that you enrolled in by the date specified in order to get a full refund, thereby being charged nothing. Save the academic journal articles as pdf files, and create a work cited page (bibliography) for them in APA format (google is your friend.) You now have a choice........... Submit your claim with the buddy statements, mental health notes from a private provider, and evidence that you have and go with either a VA exam or vendor exam (whichever is given) or you can get an IME and IMO from private providers. If go the latter route, I would schedule one with a sleep specialist, why, because sleep apnea is their specialty. Pulmonologists also fall within this scope as well, though I suspect that you will have better luck finding a sleep specialist believing there to be a link between mental disorders and sleep apnea. You will get a Sleep Apnea DBQ and an IMO. Make sure that you have your C - File first as an examiner is required to have access to it and state that they have seen it on the DBQ for it to acceptable proof to the VA. I would also get one from your psychologists/psychiatrist (Make sure that they are a psychiatrist or a psychologist.....if a psychologist, they need to be PsyD or Ph.D., or under the observation of a Ph.D.). Make sure before you solicit those medical opinions, that you acquire "buddy statements" from 3-4 (or even more) people with whom you served. Roommates would be best, or people who slept in close proximity to you.........again, this is only if you believe that sleep apnea developed while you were in Active Duty service. Make sure that they are written on VA Form 21-4138. Make sure they say that they witnessed clear symptoms of sleep apnea i.e. gasping for air, choking sounds, moments where they visibly or auditorily could determine that you ceased breathing etc. Remember, you will want the sleep specialist and the psych professional to have your academic journal articles and buddy statements. Once you have all of them, solicit your medical opinions from the two aforementioned providers. Ideally, you would love for the IMOs to say that they believe that you could be both direct service connected for sleep apnea or secondary due to mental disorder, possibly even say that the mental disorder and sleep apnea aggravate one another (which there is medical evidence to support.) If you opt to go the route of getting the private IMO and IME, you will obviously submit those with your claim, and all medical records from private providers pertinent to sleep apnea and your mental health treatment, buddy statements, academic journal articles, and a nicely written statement written by yourself on a VA Form 21-4138 talking about the issue at hand and summarizing everything concisely. Mention everything that you are providing that you wont to be considered for the claim, and when the issue first manifested.
  21. 3 points
    OK, you have nexus and SC already. I am surprised that this exam was used to reduce you from 40% to 20%, especially since your records were not reviewed. That alone can be a game changer at the BVA. I would appeal this and try to get it to the BVA where real lawyers will be reading the evidence. The VA likes to lowball PN ratings it seems. I have some serious neuropathy in my legs and it is rated at 20% also. I just never fought it because I am 100% overall.
  22. 3 points
    They are probably digitizing them, not scanning as in looking through.
  23. 3 points
    My guess would be that yours is not a difficult claim to adjudicate so they were able to get it (almost) finished faster than expected. Based on the info you shared, there's no way they'll reduce your rating. Regarding the term "moderate to severe", it's important to put it in perspective. 90% to 95% of the country is not suffering from two serious debilitating mental disorders at the same time. Here's Dr. Mark's off-the-cuff, unscientific, for-illustrative-purposes only, 11-point "severity scale" that I just typed out as a "thought experiment" to give you a sense of where "moderate to severe" fits on the continuum. Rating - Description 0 - No symptoms, no history of disorder. 2 - Mild symptoms but frequency, intensity, & duration insufficient for DSM-5 diagnosis of disorder. 4 - Mild symptoms that satisfy DSM-5 diagnosis for the disorder. Experiencing symptoms more often and with more intensity - harder for him to say "it's just a bad week" or similar. Wife said he seems dejected, less energy, motivation flags. He'll bounce back for days or even a week or two but that's becoming less often. Calling in sick to work more often. Supervisor said management has commented on his declined productivity. 6 - Moderate symptoms that cause noticeable and significant social and occupational impairment; frequent distress, dispirited; interpersonal relationships strained, even with her children; school functioning has clearly declined. Got a "C" in one course and two Incomplete grades. Decided to hold off on continuing college coursework, even though she is close to earning all credits for bachelor's degree. 8 - Moderate to Severe - frequent painful symptoms much of the time despite assiduously seeking treatment and following his doctors' advice; significant social & occupational dysfunction; probably will need to seek medical leave, reduce work hours, or may end up not being able to work. Psychiatrist has discussed options for "treatment-resistant depression", e.g., ECT (electroconvulsive therapy); the new ketamine-like medication; Lithium; Abilify; etc.; psychologist recommended VA's 6-week residential treatment program for PTSD in Sheridan, WY. 10 - Severe - very frequent, soul-crushing painful symptoms most of the time despite assiduously seeking treatment and following his doctors' advice; substantial suffering is obvious; significant social impairment, and no longer able to work, at least for the next several months or longer. [The above is not an official, unofficial, actual, or real mental health scale. It's just a way to put symptom severity and functional impairment in perspective for illustrative purposes only.]
  24. 3 points
    @acesup I was previously in the same boat. My DRO appeal was granted on July 31, 2018. I learned the hard way that White House phone calls and Congressional Inquiries don’t work. Last month (February), I called the VA 1-800 # like I did everyday, three times a day. And the representative said she would give me the number to the VA liaison for my regional office which is Baltimore. Long story short, her office was directly across from the person who oversees the entire appeals Dept. The liaison took action on my behalf and was quite upset about the whole ordeal. My claim was closed the very next day and money in my account three days later.
  25. 3 points
    I have joined !!!! Hamslice
  26. 3 points
    Congratulations on your win! If you are already setup with the VA to get disability payments via direct deposit, then you might see the retro in your bank account before you get anything in the mail.
  27. 3 points
    I found this document while searching for other information and wanted to share it. I don't know if it was here already or not. I did a search but nothing came up. It is PDF document created but the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) with a list of precedent setting decisions on appeals. The last revision was January 2010 but there is a wealth of information in this document that I think could be of great use to everyone here. http://wicvso.org/mbr_resources/2014_conference_presentations/CAVC_Digest.pdf
  28. 3 points
    Welcome to the Remand boat. My BVA award for scarring at 30% has been awarded and has passed the 120 day window as my VSO told me and said it has been with the RO since October. I have heard every excuse on why they have not done it and I have sent the Fast Letter and I am almost sure they just laugh at it. We are both at the 7 of 17 month wait for the remand to get started and completed. As of right now with this change I am pretty sure it will come with the Remand. You know the awesome thing about my remand is all they want is and update from my offsite therapist and a new physical exam of Dercum's disease. I already got the update for the therapist and sent the release in. As for the disease it is a progressive disease and will only get worse, and they have access to my medical records and can see my 3-4 surgeries a year. So now a 1+ year wait for someone to fax my updated therapist records and 20 minutes with a doctor to see I have hundreds of lumps under my skin and have had 130+ removed. Sorry for the rant, just got to keep bugging everyone and maybe get lucky while still facing the reality it will be a year or 2. I will update if there is any change. Keep up the good fight!
  29. 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.
  30. 3 points
    I'm compelled to agree with you on the evidence part. It outweighs anything else. I stand corrected.
  31. 3 points
    If you are remanded, I dont see how you can raise a CUE with the BVA at this point-unless they made a CUE in the remand... This is the VA Schedule of ratings, the diagnostic codes etc are about half way down the scrollbar- https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=d6ea1b96ab8aaf3a64646c8f1af44e72&mc=true&node=se38.1.4_1118&rgn=div8 . " My CUE was granted by the RO as service connected back to 1995." Good for you! " But they used the rating criteria (I think) in effect for 2018. " You can check the ratings for the Diagnostic code at the above link. "In 1975, it looks like there was a change to the schedule of rating and another in 1996" What Diagnostic code are you looking for, as to past changes? The BVA might help- under their search feature: https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.jsp It only goes back to 1994 but if you search there under 1994,1995,1996 under the disability and Diagnostic code you might find info to help. For example this is a very old BVA decision-(some of them do involve claims further back than 1994) The decision reflects the changes in the ratings for the disability this vet had: " veteran's tinnitus is rated under Diagnostic Code 6260. The RO rated the disorder as noncompensably disabling effective from October 10, 1995, and as 10 percent disabling effective from April 26, 1999. During the pendency of this appeal, regulatory changes amended the portion of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities pertaining to the ears. This amendment was effective June 10, 1999. See 64 Fed. Reg. 25202 through 25210 (May 11, 1999). When a law or regulation changes after a claim has been submitted, but before the administrative or judicial appeal process had been concluded, the law most favorable to the plaintiff must be applied. See Karnas v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 308 (1991). https://www.va.gov/vetapp00/files4/0031024.txt Have you told us in other posts what the disability is and what the diagnostic code is and was in the older decision? To claim CUE you will need to have the date of the older deision and also the rating sheet they sent with the decision. Also you could search at the BVA for Karnas v Derwinski under your disability- as there could be more there to help you.
  32. 3 points
    The Accountability Act of 2017 has brought changes to the VA. Not enough but it is a great start. " Removals, Suspensions 15 days or Greater, and Demotions Effective from January 01, 2018 thru January 24, 2018" https://www.va.gov/accountability/Adverse_Actions_Report.pdf "Removals, Suspensions 14 days or Greater, and Demotions Effective from January 20, 2017 thru December 31, 2017" https://www.va.gov/accountability/Adverse_Actions_Report_2017.pdf My addition shows 1527 removals, 86 demotions, and 451 suspensions over 14 days for employees who have been charged in some way of deficiencies in their employment,from January 1, 2017 to January 24, 2017. But there was a recent downside to this: https://www.disabledveterans.org/2018/01/29/va-employee-accesses-private-veteran-data-termination-caught-selling/ in part: “Phillip Hill, of Benton, Arkansas, formerly worked as a database manager for the agency in Arkansas. He was caught trying to sell personal data in his possession after termination such as data of veterans, their family members, and VA employees. Hill attempted to sell the information for $10,000 to a law enforcement informant after he was fired from employment December 6, 2017. Despite the termination, Hill indicated he could still access veterans’ personal information remotely. It is believed he was able to do so using either a computer he kept or a server he may have stolen.”
  33. 3 points
    Well, Loyal, this was a Swift Boat twin-.50s tub gunner who carried a terminal diagnosis with a three year punchout date. His Montana State Veterans Affairs Officer had told him in 2000 he'd maxed out at 100% for PTSD so there was no reason to file for anything else. He had the extra 60 for his back since 1996 but nobody told him about SMC S. Fort Fumble must have "overlooked it" quite by accident as he was P&T. That was a big unpaid check unto itself nobody noticed for 18 years. Cupcake had his wife on her Real Estate website and they got to talking about Vets back in 2015. She had his wife tell him to call me. Three years later, when he did call me in May, he told me about the Prostate cancer that had metastasized into bone cancer in the pelvis & lower extremities. He got the 3-year briefing this March. I filed him for back SMC S first with a topper of SMC L for the LOU of the lower extremities. I also asked for, and the DRO blew off, SMC L for Aid and Attendance. The guy's knocking back oxycodone, MS and tramadol (plus Jack Daniels) for the pain. It makes him a bit fuzzy. He falls down a lot from no feeling in his legs. He has scars all over his arms from falling. His private doctors (he doesn't use VA), on September 7th, looked at his recent labs and said they were revising his three years down to six months. They did offer an additional 3 months if he wanted to go back on chemotherapy until he died. He politely declined and said he'd rather die with his hair intact and not puking during his last breath. He called me September 11th and gave me the new schedule. I called the DRO in Fort Harrison after I hung up with him and explained our problem. She cut a DEFCON 1 and faxed it to the BVA. I called them and got his AOD request faxed over. Next thing I know, my Travel Board gal here in Seattle called on September 13th at 1430 and said if I could get him here from Montana, they'd give me a 10 AM slot in front of VLJ Cherry Crawford five days hence on Sept. 18th. We put them up here at LZ Grambo for the night and did the hearing the next day. Their daughter ferried them up north for a week and took them home just in time to get the BBE out of the mailbox. I grant you I've heard of BVA rocket dockets, but this is my personal best. From the May 15th 21-526EZ to BVA grant was a meagre 136 days. I got the decision before I got the hearing transcript. I hope that's the normal for all of us by the time I punch out. Look up a--hole in the VA.gov dictionary. I'm pretty sure there's probably a picture of me by now. Remember those golden words. Leave no one behind...
  34. 3 points
    ... how come we have to FIGHT it for years? And If this is true, how come when the VA loses records, the Veteran is at fault? Good read: Pro-Claimant_Paradox_Widener_Law_Rev_Article.pdf http://www.eagleveteranslaw.com/uploads/Pro-Claimant_Paradox_Widener_Law_Rev_Article.pdf
  35. 3 points
    This forum is unlike any other in its civility, respect for one another and general helpfulness. Learn everything you can so you can pay it forward for others. Always remember, there was a time when I was dumber than the dumbest of you. Sadly, I remained that way from '89 to 2007. I summarized it crudely in the beginning with the logo Win or Die. Now we know how to win so there is no reason to die trying. My website teaches by finding really excellent examples of common errors. I respect each and everyone here for their interest in helping. Always temper that with the suffix "correctly". Collectively, using this site and mine, there is no reason to lose. Your contentions may fall on deaf ears for a spell but eventually, at the next or the highest level, you'll prevail. We always do or you'd see more folks here with never-ending sob stories--- after we gave them advice.
  36. 3 points
    Gastone, my friend I'm afraid you misspeak. Even though I personally do not need the money due to my being blessed, think about this a little more deeply first. There is always a "back story" no one considers unless they walk the walk themselves. When I began doing this after accreditation, I had many waiting who wanted me to help them. A brand new lawyer would not have that luxury. He would hang his shingle out and begin accepting clients. But remember... to get that Juris Doctorate degree, he had to graduate from a four year college and then graduate from three years of law school. My son just did this. VA paid the first 4 years- sort of- at about $925 a month.. He had to rent, eat and pay for electricity/water/trash/car insurance, gas, cell phone service-and whiskey. After graduation, he had to study 4 months and sit for the bar exam. Then find a job. If he'd gone into VA practice solo, he'd have to come up with the $ to lease a place, hire a secretary and equip an office with copy/scan/fax and VBMS access. He'd have to advertise, too. And have to take two weeks of training for VBMS to "graduate" and then 6 weeks for the Criminal background investigation etc. It took me a year from my VAF 21 filing. I had to prove I was medically and physically capable. My son has a Pell grant for his education. It's about $200,000 @4.8% interest annually. A monthly payment is huge- like another house payment. Don't tell Cupcake but I "loan" him $ every time I see him. He can't even afford cable tv yet. Now let's talk about making money. From my first client, a 94 yr. old Marine Infantryman who had PTSD since 1944, I filed a NOD for increase from 30% to 100%. That was after I filed his claim for free. I won with a private shrink IMO six months later. That was another $2 K out of my pocket temporarily. VA makes you wait 60 days just in case the Veteran files a complaint that the lawdog screwed him. They take two weeks after that win date just to enter it into VBMS to begin the 60-day start date. About 70 days later, I call up my CMA Tina and ask when I'm going to see the $. A week later, she calls me back or emails and says I should be hearing from the Attorney/Agent Fee Coordinator (AAFC) soon. A week later I get that call. Dennis says there's a time lag from the time he "certifies" that it is a valid "Debt" the govt. owes me until I'm gonna get the $. Turns out, he just certified it before he called me- but only because Tina assured him it was overdue. Time lag now? Another one month and one week average to seeing it deposited in your account. Oh, and I forgot. VA deducts $100 from us for "VA processing and handling charges". So, from the day of the client's win to the day I see it in my acct. is 107 days -give or take a week. That's just one client sir. I won one at the BVA on 3/18/18. VA rated him 6/27/18. I don't even see the payment to the Vet entered yet. I'll be lucky if I get that by Christmas. Getting your $ out of the VA, if you're a leagle beagle, is like pulling teeth out of a live alligator. Imagine having to call twice a week and remind them they owe you $. That subtracts time from representing other Vets. Trust me when I say the attorney or the agent needs the money just as much as the Veteran does. If it goes on appeal to the BVA, it's going to be four years from the day you filed the NOD, if you're lucky, to get to the point where you wait that extra 107 days for the retro. And to be clear, you don't get the retro for the 107 days. You get 20% -less $100- from the day of the decision in the Vet's favor. And no. We do not get EAJA fees for representation at the BVA-only the CAVC. It's not all champagne and roses by a long shot. Personally, if I didn't have the VA comp/SSI, I couldn't even imagine doing this for a real peanut butter and jelly sandwich living. If I were a real attorney, I'd have to ask myself why I was struggling to get paid 20% 3 1/2 months after a four year delay in justice when I could charge 40% chasing ambulances and get paid two weeks after the insurance co. agreed to settle out of court- and without that stupid $100 donation to the VA Christmas Bonus fund. But I will say you couldn't pay me enough to quit doing this. I hate what they do to Vets. I will die with my fingers on my keyboard.
  37. 3 points
    I suggest all of you who feel slighted by my comments above either reread the posts or look up the word "template". This thread has been hijacked and I am just as guilty as others. For that I apologize. However, I will never apologize for correcting what anyone can clearly see as untruths or outright bad advice. One size does not fit all nor will it ever in VA adjudications. Hadit allows Vets to offer advice on how they solved their dilemma. Using another's technique to win is often like trying to wear another's clothes. Sadly, many Vets discover this when they try to utilize advice at Vet's help sites. While it may be helpful or instructive, it must be taken in context or it may backfire. What we are seeing here is the "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" syndrome" or more succinctly "My advice is correct and yours isn't." Hey, folks. Fly at it but do not insist I agree with your misconstrual of VA law. I do this day in and day out-and most of it pro bono. Most of you do it once or twice and obtain what you seek. You do not continue to keep up with changing statute and regulation. I do not talk down to Vets. I do not give them false hope. I provide a service when they finally have no one to turn to for representation. Virtually all of the Vets I represent are very ill and have had no success with their purported representative at a major VSO. I lost a Vietnam 11 Bravo (LRRP) this morning to respiratory cancer. He did two tours back to back like me. Two BS's with Vs and a PH. I now have the unenviable task of consoling his widow this week, going to his funeral, filing for substitution and getting a nexus to fight it. I do it because if the shoe was on the other foot, he would have done it for me. I met him here. I try to provide general knowledge couched as advice. I do not offer specific advice or counseling because that is against the code of conduct for attorneys and agents. If you disagree with my advice, it helps if you could cite to the specific regulation you feel I am wrong about. Ad hominem (google it) attacks about the need for earplugs are pointless. It is said you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. The adage more than applies here. To tell someone they have to have an IMO in order to submit a winning claim for PTSD is misinformation. To baldly state that CUE is "VERY RARE" is a gross distortion of the truth (read "untruth"). Only a novitiate or someone grossly misinformed would make such a comment. To what purpose? For those of you without a dictionary, misinformation and untruths mean you are giving your fellow Veterans false information. To tell them they need to obtain a PTSD nexus initially from a private source insures they will lose and really damages their chances of success later on on appeal. If you feel the overwhelming desire to give advice, make sure you read the statute and regulation that controls it first. Many of you depend on your fellow Vets here to offer useful information but you endanger all of Theresa's hard work on this site if the advice you offer is useless, inapplicable or worse-detrimental to their claim. That is all I set out to say when I entered this thread. After many years of doing this, my personal experience is that many who suffer major mental disorders are very sensitive to any criticism and consider their particular experiences unique and applicable across a broad spectrum. I certainly do not seek to upset any of you but it's apparent it grates on your ears. Hadit was designed to help all of you, not devolve into arguments about who is "more right" or has a more spot-on experience. I offer my past battles as advice only, and now, my working knowledge from real experience as an accredited Veterans advocate as help for all of you. You most certainly are free to ignore it. Henceforth, I will don earplugs before delving into these posts. I apologize for any who feel marginalized by my comments. My intentions were purely altruistic. P.S. In reference to Buck's comment above. I wish to clarify my aircraft was not shot down. My gomer Air America pilot, Jack Smith had a hangover and made a left turn into a mountain. We went from 75 kts to 0 in just under 10 feet when the A/C stalled and augered into the trees. We actually made it about 1 klic inside Thailand when he pulled this stunt so it cannot be truthfully said we went down in Laos. Besides, Laos wasn't enemy territory. It was neutral but we did a lot of sightseeing up there. Regardless of what Buck says, I am a Veteran just like all of you- no better, no worse, no more or less important than any of you and certainly not unique in any respect. We had a 40% casualty rate with all of them KIA-BNR.
  38. 3 points
    Hi there! Long time member but haven't been around in awhile. I filed for an increase for PTSD in April 2018. Received C&P last week and my rep called me today to let me know I went to 70% from 50%. My overall 90% rating stays the same but it puts me at 94% now. I intend to file for one more claim in the next few months and if that goes well, I will go to 100%. My C&P exam went well. It was about 30 minutes total but examiner told me I was progressively getting worse. Not sure I wanted to hear that but it's the truth. I am in therapy for over four years now and I am mentally exhausted from it. I just hate feeling like this all the time. What I wanted to mention is that you should always wait until the decision is completed and not try to guess your outcome. My rep was able to read the exam, it was done at an LHI contracted facility and while the examiner checked the box for 30% under Occupational and Social Impairment, his remarks and overall assessment are what increased me to 70%. My point is to not always freak out and think you might get reduced based on the Occupational/Social Impairment box. The entire C&P exam, along with all your history of therapy is what will help you in the end.
  39. 3 points
    Error on the safe side. If you haven't recently provided a 21-4142a, fill one out to the best of your ability and submit via E-Ben or US Mail Cert Return Signature. Better Safe than sorry. Post the specifics of this recent Claim and any redacted Notifications you've received. Are you Scheduler CSC 100% or are you 90%-- with an IU Award?
  40. 3 points
    When you are declared P&T, VA announces this as eligibility for Chapter 35 DEA benefits. They do not say "Miz Hollie you are now 100% P&T" in their rating decision. In VA parlance, there is no such thing as "P&T". And Boy howdy, if you're getting TDIU and decide to take a job under the table thinking somehow that SSA won't find out about it, think again. If you get caught working while on IU, you will quickly discover P&T is most definitely not permanent and total. I've had folks I helped get hauled in at 19 years and 4 months for a c&p to determine if their _________ got better. In VAland, we all know you are Boston Marathon material just waiting for the starter's gun-even if you're DIW. Unless you are 100% schedular for condition X and have been for over 20 years, never assume you are "p&t". Berta actually has far more good info than I on post p&t info. Think of me as Perry Mason. My job is to get you across the finish line with a win. I don't delve into post-decisional details because my caseload is enormous now. So many Vets... so little time.
  41. 3 points
    Hi Tbird, Asknod, and Oceanbound, I hit the trifecta tonight with you all. Thank you for the information. I consider this excellent information an early 25th Anniversary gift. 25 years next week. ...the rep from the VARO confirmed I have had the chapter 35 DEA benefits for over 10 years. Again, thank you for your time and effort, I appreciate it very much. H
  42. 3 points
  43. 3 points
    Go to www.va.gov's main web site, Click on the Contact Us question, then click on Ask a question..you will be directed to IRIS. Fill out the stuff and file this as an IRIS Complaint (the Complaint area is a pop down box.) Tell them what you told us-I forget if IRIS takes attachments-if they do attach anything that supports your complaint. Ask for an email reply so you have hard copy of what they state. It might take 2-3 weeks to here back. If you dont like their response call the White House veterans Hot line 347 237 4819 This is the crap a good vso could look into- I guess you have no one on your POA? Wait----I just read this again- Best to call the WH hot line first ! - since it says "pending dispatch".
  44. 3 points
    So sorry to hear of your bad experience bud. I have had Testicular Surgery, and have Crohns so I know how embarassing those exams can be. Lets just say that we have more in common then I would normally talk about. You do not be ashamed, or scared of what you been thru. You did not ask for this too happen. Did you tell anyone in your unit what happened to you, or have a Buddy Letter? I have had a ton of VA and Civilian Exams, that were uncomfortable or were flight out lied about or wrong. I had a VA Doc state I was a 42 yr old Female Recovering Alcoholic. In fact im 35, Male and never drank or smoked in my life. Took me months to get that out of my VA Medical Records. Just keep fighting, and if your claim is Denied, Reopen New Claim thru Ebenefits, do not Appeal. I dont want to see you sit there for years in the Appeals Process. Good luck and keep us posted. God Bless
  45. 3 points
    38 U.S.C §1114 grants SMC at the (k) rate. 38 CFR §3.350(a) grants the identical same thing -SMC at the (k) rate in VAspeak. VA idiots annotate that in many different formats that vary from the AOJ , the BVA or even the Court. Thus, SMC K is identical to SMC (k) is identical to SMC K(1) or K-1. It is earned by the loss of one or more of six enumerated items unless you are androgynous.Then possibly seven (eight?).
  46. 3 points
    Wrong. You'd get SMC at the (l) rate for loss of use of one hand and one foot plus SMC at the (k) rate. VA would list it on your confirmed ratings as SMC (p)(l +k). I use the lower case (l) but some may misread it as representing the number one. (l) is the way Congress expresses "SMC at the "L" rate with a lowercase L expressed as (l). SMC (l) is granted for (b)Ratings under 38 U.S.C. 1114(l). The special monthly compensation provided by 38 USC 1114(l)is payable for anatomical loss or loss of use of both feet, one hand and one foot, blindness in both eyes with visual acuity of 5/200 or less or being permanently bedridden or so helpless as to be in need of regular aid and attendance. SMC is like the Mississippi River. It even flows backwards in time to the day you first got that way. You can even pyramid legally. SMC is like an Erector set. You build it. You are limited only by your own imagination and ability to see it.
  47. 3 points
    Glad to announce the law in New Castle County Delaware has been updated to anyone who is found to be Permanent and totally disabled by the VA will be granted a residency exemption to their disability exemption standards for property taxes and such. Basically if you just moved here you don’t have to wait 3 years to get this exemption it’s automatically given to you and your new assessment for your home...
  48. 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!
  49. 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
  50. 3 points
    Only for (no colds, head aches, bloody nose or stubbed toes) actual Emergency Room Stabilization, unless further care is authorized by the Vet's VMC. This is not an automatic, the Vet if conscious upon admission to the Non VA Hospital Emergency Dept or his surrogate must notify the Admission staff of his VA VMC needing to be contacted for his Emergency care. This must be done almost immediately, if not sooner. Document the VMC contact person's name and position for verification of Required Notification. Once the Emergency is stabilized, a VMC Admission Honcho will determine if the VMC has a Bed and facilities/DR's to address the Vet's post Emergency Care. The VMC will arrange ambulance transportation to the VMC if necessary. Failure to follow the required VMC Notification requirement with in a couple days of the Emergency Admission could result in a Denial of VA Emergency care payment. I get all my general care and Rx's from my VMC but when it comes to invasive medical procedures or life threatening surgeries, I'd opt for the Pros located at the Top Private Hospitals with 1000's of procedures under their belt. Medicare with a full boat B plan (no Rx coverage) covers everything with no Deductibles or Co-pays, for about $150.00 a month thru ARRP's United Healthcare
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