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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/21/2018 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Buck, you sir are also greatly appreciated. When I found this site like others, "I was mad as hell and I couldn't take it anymore." I remember the quote but I don't remember who said it. This site is somewhat therapy for me. Plus I can glean a little about my own claim. Never could I imagine that so many veterans would be going through some of the same situations. Even some are so dang close to my claim I can swear that someone is looking at my claim and posting or responding to my post and it is scary. Maybe it is my paranoia but they are real close. Dealing with some of the Sugar Honey Ice Tea I had to go through, I don't want any other veteran/person to go through it. I went way below rock bottom and I am still trying to crawl my way out/up. The disability is just one factor but when you add losing your family and your home it makes thing even harder. I know there are some horror stories out there about what some veterans had to go through while VA decided their claim/fate that you would really not believe and really not want to hear because of the true gut punch feelings that would just make you sick.
  2. 6 points
    Just a month ago I hit 90% from 30%, literally a month later got more back pay and generated a benefit letter on ebenefits. They upped me to tdui permanent and total disability. I went from almost losing my house two months ago to being debt free. Thank you everyone who answered my questions and helped.
  3. 6 points
    Geeky, this is a White House call if I ever heard one. I would have lost it half way thru. Un believable!!!
  4. 5 points
    Buck, Everyone's story is different, but our adversary remains undetoured. With your help and all the help of others on here, I too find hope and I trudge on, Thanks, Hamslice
  5. 5 points
    Bob was a Naval Radio Intercept Officer at the Consulate when the poop hit the fan in Hue during New Year's '68. He got his first V for Valor that week and learned how to operate a M 79 too. He may be Navy but he's my neighbor and he's a Vietnam Vet. Enough said. I took him on in Spring 2017. I didn't do it for the money as much as I did it for the mental exercise in calling b---s--t on the VA examiner. They whacked Bob from 100% for myelosuppressive disorder (MDS), a nasty form of leukemia from Agent Orange, down to 10% for anemia. He got his bone marrow transplant from his sister but it didn't sync. He went on heavy duty Prograf and the secondaries kicked his a-s. I fought him back to TDIU in 12/2017 and that's when they dug their heels in. I went up to the BVA with a shiny IMO saying DC 7003 leukemia , Note 1 says "other therapeutic procedures"... such as phlebotomies and Prograf. VA countered with a new rating of 100% for DC 7525 for s/p leukemia but no earlier effective date. We got 7 months of 100% and 26 at SMC S. It was a nice b***hslap to the Bozos who screw us. The $2 K IMO was well worth the investment. Notice Judge Cherry Crawford avoided the precedence of recognizing the definition of "other therapeutic procedures" in favor of finding it was an error of law to reduce when VA had not shown any medical evidence of improvement. I just sat and watched what they did in VBMS and struck back instantly each time before they could even mail it. We had the BVA hearing 9/20/2018. It was advanced on the docket and we had one remand of about 4 months. For BVA, this was almost lightspeed-seventeen months. Green BVA Grant 2-26-2020 redact.pdf
  6. 5 points
    I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the DAV. Keep in mind that not all reps will behave like that. Start here: https://www.va.gov/disability/how-to-file-claim You can start filing online via that link. You'll need to create an account. The most important thing is to do an "intent to file". You are telling the VA you plan to file for one or more disabilities. Think of it as holding your place in line (i.e. effective date). If you win your claim, it will be effective back to this date. Keep in mind the VA will pay benefits from the first day of the month following your effective date. You will have one year to formally submit a new claim. If you don't open a new claim, your effective date is lost, but you can still apply later. You can use the year to gather records pertinent to your claim. Before the end of the year, be sure to formally apply! If you served in the Gulf War, check this out: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp There are a number of "presumptive" illnesses related to service over there. There are some limitations and a deadline for the issues appearing, so don't wait until it is too late. You can file for anything you want, but the VA will evaluate evidence while making a decision. Look for any issues you feel were related to service, but preferably issues you have the ability to potentially tie back to service. If you have any medical records from the first year after leaving service, those can be very helpful. You can also file for secondary conditions. For example, if your back hurts, but you also have sciatica you think is caused by your back pain, you can file for both. Don't forget side effect of medication used to treat those disabilities. The military was famous for prescribing NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc... for musculoskeletal issues. If taken for too long, it can cause acid reflux, which can also be claimed. You can file for each condition, but I recommend also clearly stating that you are also filing for any related secondary disabilities. If you file for a very specific issue, the VA will focus solely on that. It can be helpful to be somewhat vague. For example, instead of filing for lower back pain, consider filing for "spine problems". That would cover both lower back and the neck (the VA treats them separately). Gathering records is important, but may take time. If you don't have these, it is good to try and obtain them. You can help the VA to help you. 1. Military personnel records If you have a VA account, you can request these online. See #3 below for another way to get them. 2. Service treatment records You can request these from your VAMC's release of information office. It may take four to six weeks to arrive. 3. If you received any treatment through the VA, request those records You can request these via VA's healthevet web site: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home Once you register, it can be found via their Blue Button feature. 4. If you were ever in the VA system, it might be a good idea to request your claims file (i.e. c-file). This will take months to come in. They even can provide it on CD/DVD instead of paper. https://cck-law.com/blog/va-c-file-claims-file When you apply, never send the VA any original documents. It is helpful to keep those stored in a safe place. Don't expect the VA to get your claims right the first time. They are known for making mistakes, but claims are very often won on appeal. If you get a a 30%+ rating and have dependents, don't forget to file a dependency claim. Don't forget to ask questions. Don't forget to search the forums and explore the blogs. You might find answers to your questions before you ask them.
  7. 5 points
    This is a short article from 2015 which discussed how the Caluza ruling introduced adversarial factors into the VA's non-adversarial claims process. Daniel L. Nagin, The Credibility Trap: Notes on a VA Evidentiary Standard, 45 U. Mem. L. Rev. 887 (2015). https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/27814585/Nagin_CredibilityGap.pdf?sequence=1
  8. 5 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.
  9. 5 points
    My name is Linda. Alex agreed to help us with my husband aid and attendance claim. After zero help from va and other veteran organizations, my husband found Alex on this forum. Although we have been difficult at times, Alex has been on our side and shows this wisdom in all communications. We trust him and know our appeal will be eventually grAnted. We also believe Alex will endure my husband receives every benefit he deserves. Happy new year to all and when you are at wits end with va, you have a sincere and strong advocate with Alex.
  10. 5 points
    A couple months back before I received my decision I started preparing for the appeal I knew I would be filing. That is how little faith I had in the VA caring about we the veteran. One of the things I did is I went through the entire M21-1 and documented every CAVC precedent case that the VA cited. I did this because I wanted to see what the rater was seeing. I could not understand for the life of me why so many obviously bad decisions were being handed down. I think the bottom line is that the wrong type of people are hired as raters. I think raters should have some kind of legal background. They do not need to be lawyers but I think paralegals would be a good idea. There have been more than 3500 precedent setting decisions from the CAVC since 1989. Now we need to concede that all of them are not favorable to the veteran but I have learned that in a lot of cases even though the veteran lost a case it some rules were established that assisted other veterans. The document I created has about 200 or so decisions cited in the M21-1. Considering the fact that there are more than 3500 precedent cases out there I think it is safe to assume the VA purposely left out decisions that would make it almost impossible to deny veteran claims. Case in point. I know of 14 precedent setting decisions that state the VA cannot ignore or give no weight to outside doctors without providing valid medical reasons as to why. Most of these decision are not cited by the M21. It is important that we do our due diligence to make sure we do not get screwed. I think the M21-1 is incomplete because there is too much information we veterans are finding on our own to get the benefits we deserve M21-1 Precedent setting decisions .docx
  11. 5 points
    I am in the same boat as you @Vync It also sucks to know it will not get better, but only get worse as the years go on. I am now trying to set myself up to do what i can when i can and not over do it! I will say that is very hard for me as I have never had to ask someone for help. I was always able to Ogre my way through things. I hope one day they find a way to fix a few of these issues.
  12. 5 points
    Amazon Prime Membership Discount As part of a Veterans Day special to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military, Amazon is proud to offer $40 off one year of Prime membership to all Veterans and active military from Nov. 6-11. The Veterans Day promotion discounts the Amazon Prime membership fee from $119/year to $79 for one year. This is a one-time discount and the membership fee will return to standard pricing upon next annual renewal. New and existing Amazon Prime members are eligible. If you are a Prime member, this purchase will extend your membership by one year. Visit the link above to learn more about the terms and conditions. Here is the link below. There are other discounts listed but this one got my attention as a Amazon Prme memeber. https://www.va.gov/opa/amazon.asp I just did it and it was easy to do.
  13. 5 points
    Hello all, It took me years to finally submit my first claim to the va after exiting the service in 2012. I had no idea what I was doing and had no idea that I was entitled to anything, I just knew I had problems and they were getting worse. I started out getting rated 30% in 2016, then got to 70% in 2017. And finally this month I was officially rated 100% sc. I keep logging in to make sure the rating is still there. 10% tinnitus 30% IBS 100% PTSD And a few more still pending. I still have to battle for P&T but I’m grateful to have a site like this with fellow veterans so willingly to help with their experience and expertise. So thank you and any tips or guidance for me would be extremely appreciated!
  14. 5 points
    I'd like to thank Theresa for letting me help other Veterans on this site. Some eventually come over and ask for representation if they keep losing. My Vet Ed here was not one of them but he regularly read the site posts The other three last week all began here. Hadit.com is an excellent resource for those novices who know very little and are eager to win their claims. For those who cannot fathom the ins and outs, there are always folks who will carry the water. I'm honored to be one. https://asknod.org/2019/09/05/vba-portland-ed-the-lrrp/
  15. 5 points
    So I got the news this past Friday that I've been awarded 100 P&T after my last series of ratings that were in process (still have 2 deferred items). I'm in such shock that I was able to accomplish it on my own (with the help of HadIt/Reddit -- my VSO didn't lift a finger to do any work for me), especially after being told for several years that without any copies of Service Treatment Records that I couldn't file a claim. I got out of the Army ~9 years ago just happy to have a DD-214. I attempted to get copies but the shoddy medics at the Aid Station where I out-processed said that I didn't have anything in my records folder. Over the next several years I sent numerous requests to the Archives that resulted in responses saying that my records weren't found but I'll always remember the VA Rep during my out-processing say that "if you deployed, you're guaranteed at least 10%." I know there are no guarantees with the VA but that kept the fire kindling going over the years. It wasn't until a stroke of luck last October that I somehow managed to find Tricare Online and was able to log in with my eBenefits/VA.gov credentials. Low and behold, a bunch of medical entries ranging from first arriving at Ft. Benning up until my Phase II Exit Exam Physical were there. I immediately printed it out and saved a digital copy! I know it seems silly after the fact since I now know the VA will retrieve their own copies of STRs but it was finding those artifacts online that motivated me to register with a VSO and file my initial Intent to File in October 2018. I spent the next few months organizing my evidence and researching (soooo much researching posts, eCFR, and M21-1) issues that I wanted to claim that others also referenced in their posts on the various Vet forums. In February 2019, I finally submitted what I believed to be my FDC after gathering all my private medical records and organizing them neatly along with a couple private doctor DBQs, my STRs, and several Statements in Support of Claim. There were a few hiccups along the way in that I was incorrectly rated at 0% for a few issues which I submitted a Supplemental Appeal for correction (which was successful). All said and done, my first round got me to 93% with one deferred issue. While waiting for a C&P re-exam for that issue, I decided to file a second claim to cover a few extra things that I didn't put in my initial claim due to not knowing about secondaries and presumptives at the time. I submitted a couple more private DBQs and had two more C&Ps in August. Shortly after, I received my decision which stated I was 100 P&T and sure enough, I am now able to generate a Commissary Letter and Benefits Verification that both state that I am considered Permanent & Total. Definitely a huge thanks to all of you here. Without this site, I would never have been able to read all the archives of posts from people with similar claims to try and see how things may play out or how I could better present or position myself during the claims process. A couple of tips to leave everyone while I try to sort out what kind of benefits I'm now eligible for: Don't worry about how long you've been out for. Only worry about your health, its relation to your service in the military and presenting your case in a clear and concise fashion. A Statement in Support of Claim DOES provide a SIGNIFICANT advantage. I've read several places that say the VA dismisses this form. It may or may not be true, but where it has helped me out the most is during my C&P exams. I ALWAYS brought copies of evidence that applied towards my C&P exam that I was at. Each and every time, I was very courteous and let the examiner know that I made copies for them because I know the VA doesn't always tag all the info to send to them. A well written Statement in Support of Claim helps not only the Examiner be able to check boxes but it also gives you a voice after you leave the exam. During C&P exams, don't be afraid to (politely) speak up and ask if you can reference your evidence so that you can give them the correct information. I always made it a habit to turn to the page that I wanted to read from, angle it towards the examiner and trace the sentence, diagnosis, or date with my finger. This usually triggered the examiner to comment on how great it was that I was able to have adequate evidence that supported the exam. Thanks again everyone and good luck!
  16. 5 points
    What input would you like? You've given no details. VA, while sometimes an intolerable pain in the ass, doesn't just remove a rating for no reason and not without at least a few letters of warning about reduction, and how to appeal.
  17. 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.
  18. 5 points
    I filed my first VA claim in 2013. Most of the claim was denied however I did receive a 20%sc which shortly after changed to 40% after they ruled on another item that had earlier been deferred. I immediately filed an appeal and shortly thereafter another claim for new conditions. The new claim was completely denied and I immediately filed a second appeal. Hoping I would win one appeal and be able to reach a 70%sc and qualify for TDIU I went ahead and applied for TDIU even though I was still just 40%. I figured I might at least be able to get an earlier effective date if approved. It too was denied. I filed a third appeal. So for about 6 years I’ve watched 3 separate appeals work their way through the system and when the first one got to The Board they also addressed the other 2 appeals at the same time. I won all three of my appeals and I am now 90%sc/w TDIU paid at the 100% rate and my letter says it’s Permanent & Total. This is a huge life changer. Never give up the fight.
  19. 5 points
    July 11th? Do you have a time machine?
  20. 5 points
    I just wanted to share that sometimes we need to be a squeaky wheel to get our BVA cases moving. I had filed an appeal to the BVA October 2018 under the then RAMP program. I had also filed a FOIA request for my complete C-FIle. The FOIA request was completed mid March 2019, unfortunately the pending FOIA case had caused my appeal to fall out of processing (originally my appeal showed to be with a judge since 1/7/2019 with an estimated completion of 1 - 2 months) . I had called the BVA 800 number back in mid May wanting an update and at that time I was told my case was with FOIA. I informed them that the FOIA has already been completed in mid March and asked them to put my case back into production. I called again last week and was told by the representative that the case was back with a judge. I called again today to see if anything happened with my case, I know it is law clerks that actually prepares the cases for the judges and once completed then the judge makes a decision. When I spoke with them this morning I was told it was still with FOIA, I held my tongue and told them that last week I was told it is with a judge and now I am being told it is not. I asked him how is the vet to know whats actually going on with their case if they keep getting different answers? He did not have an answer and apologized. Once again he sent a message to FOIA informing them I had already received my FOIA response and to release my case so it can be assigned to a judge again. After the call needless to say I was very frustrated and decided to email the Secretary of VA, instead I decided to email his Chief of Staff with my concerns. I explained my frustration and simple asked could she please assist with getting my appeal put back into production. I received a response this after from Ms. Mason the Chairman of the BVA letting me know that a mistake was made by FOIA in updating my case and that my case is now assigned to a judge. The response also had a cc to the Chief of Staff. I am one of those who log into Vets.gov and ebenefits on a regular basis just to see if anything has changed on my appeal. My point to this long post is that sometimes as vets we need to be that squeaky wheel. Also keep in mind I did not send the email right away I tried to use the system as it is meant to be used. But when your case falls off the rail don't be afraid to email those in charge. If anyone wants to do what I did I will suggest that when you send emails like this be respectful and keep your emotions out of the email. Simply state your facts and what you are wanting assistance on. I did not ask to have my case approved I only asked that they help to get the case back into production is what happened in my case. Be polite and keep it professional after all the people you email are human like us. Hope this helps others with their claims.
  21. 5 points
    You are not alone! You will never be alone! This trauma caused you pain in a way some of us here will never understand. I have had my own demons to slay over the years some I knew I had and others were so ingrained I had no idea how to deal with them. This story has nothing to do with your experience, just to give you some tools to deal with trauma. I was born into a Cult. I was brain washed from a very young age. The abuse to place over 18 years until I finally left. I had to leave behind my 11 siblings where I was living(Knowing I would be allowed to have a relationship with them). I left in 1999/2000 and joined the Military in 2001. I had never had time to process what had happened to me as a child. I did not realize my dad was having sex with his daughters. I was always taught to suck it up and be a MAN! I was told there is no one who can help you! There is only you! Almost everything I was taught from a young age was a lie!. I blamed myself for many years and was told I was the problem and how could you do this to your family? I have dealt with this by allowing myself to feel again. I had blocked myself behind so many walls I was hollow inside. I did not love myself or anyone I was in a relationship with. I allow myself to remember! I allow myself to cry! I allow myself to forgive me! I allow myself to love! It took me a long time to realize how to love myself, I had told myself I was not worthy of love. Letting yourself back into your life and forgiving yourself are the hardest part of trauma. The events happened and they will not go away. The pain is there and will not go away. You have an injury no one else can see, it is so deep and painful. I had a wound like this and I found a friend who helped me heal myself. My wife had a lot to do with it, but in the end the friend was me. I was causing the wound to stay open and fester, I did not want to get better. I wanted to pain because I deserved the pain. I was to weak to deal with it. I just want you to know we are here for you and you are loved! You have support from all of us here!
  22. 5 points
    Paul is right about needing a space where you can come after you have had defeat or a win. I know my wife gets sick and tired of me talking about my fight with the VA. For her all she sees is me spending a bunch of time not doing things with her in her mind productive things. At the end of the day for me this is a personal fight as I have had my health taken from me. I am also doing this, because in 5-10 years there is no way I will have the energy to fight this hard. My wife told me for years I would never get to 50% and now we are looking at 100%. She sometimes understands how bad it is, but I am pretty good at hiding the pain most days. I will say it has changed a bunch around here now that we have been this far down the road. I think she is finally understanding I have limitations. She is also very supportive of my issues. I just don't want to always weigh her down with my crap. As for this site is great to come here and see I am not alone, and there are those who are where I was at and other who are where I want to land. I am glad I can give back some of my experience to make someone else's life easier! Remember we make up less than 1% of the USA. We have a unique bond and we all support each other. I also find it a blessing there are those out there who have never fought in a war who are willing to fight (for years) through a court case to help us be able to take care of ourselves! Thank you to all of those who help us here without any knowledge of getting paid at the end of the day. It would be very hard to work knowing there was a chance to never get paid and to put so many hours into a persons case. My hats off to you and keep up the fight!
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 5 points
    First and foremost, it would always behoove you to write out support of claim statements for each and every contention that you are filing a claim. Make sure to bring a copy of this with you to your exam. It would be highly intelligent to have any paperwork that would be critical for your examiner to have pertaining to your claim on hand with you when at your exam. Case in point, when I went for my sleep apnea exam, my examiner stated that they couldn't find the sleep study. I knew that it was in VBMS (the system that stores all documents and the system that VSRs and RVSRs aka raters use to process claims) as the VA not only sent me out for the sleep study to a third party, but I also submitted the results as part of my evidence that I was building and submitting for my sleep apnea claim. However, there was no issue because I simply handed her a copy of my sleep study because I had it on hand. I literally had a thumb drive with all x rays, MRI images, radiology reports, C File, buddy statements, support of claims etc, and paper copies of any relevant information that could potentially be asked for. For hearing loss and tinnitus exams, know what can and won't give your statement more probative value. Yes, your MOS/Rate will be taken into account. So will combat. If you can prove via DD 214 i.e. Combat Action Bage, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medic Badge, Purple Heart..........you get the idea, they are awards that can concede combat exposure. This gives more probative value to any of your statements made concerning hearing loss. However, keep in mind, with regards to hearing loss, they primarily look at audiograms.............entrance and exit audiograms, and any audiograms that you provide up to 12 months after service..........much beyond that, one can't likely connect that to service. If one shoots guns recreationally, rides a motorcycle to work, uses power tools regularly etc, this also throws other factors into the equation that could affect hearing loss. For tinnitus............if you are claiming tinnitus, I honestly don't know why one would show up to the exam and say that their ears aren't ringing, but it happens all of the time. Another common phenomenon is that people didn't complain about it in service or go to get treated for it (there is no treatment really for it other than trying lipoflavinoids or newer hearing aids that can block it out via white noise.) However, there is one little-known thing about tinnitus......it is essentially the only illness that a Veteran can actually diagnose themselves. Here is the most important manual reference for tinnitus claims.............it clearly says that you do not need a diagnosis of tinnitus in service so long as you provide a competent lay statement indicating that you had it while in service AND you get it diagnosed later on (hint hint........get an exam done privately.) III.iv.4.D.3.b. Requesting Medical Opinions for Tinnitus A medical opinion is not required to establish direct SC for claimed tinnitus if STRs document the original complaints and/or diagnosis of tinnitus there is current medical evidence of a diagnosis of tinnitus or the Veteran competently and credibly reports current tinnitus, and the Veteran claims continuity of tinnitus since service or there are records or other competent and credible evidence of continuity of tinnitus diagnosis or symptomatology. Exception: An opinion may be necessary in the fact pattern above if evidence suggests a superseding post-service cause of current tinnitus. A tinnitus examination may also be necessary if the STRs do not document tinnitus but there is evidence establishing noise exposure or another in-service event, injury, or disease (for example ear infections, use of ototoxic medication, head injury, barotrauma, or other tympanic trauma) that is medically accepted as a potential cause of tinnitus, and there is a competent diagnosis or competent report of current tinnitus. Notes: Under Jandreau v. Nicholson, 492 F.3d. 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2007), a layperson may provide a competent diagnosis of a condition when a layperson is competent to identify a medical condition. Tinnitus is a medical condition that a layperson is competent to identify in himself/herself because the condition is defined by what the person experiences or perceives – namely subjective perception of sounds in his/her own ear(s) or head. Therefore, a layperson may establish the diagnosis of tinnitus at any point in time from service to present. However, consider credibility and weight of the evidence in deciding whether to accept lay testimony as proving tinnitus in service or presently. The Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Disability Benefits Questionnaire tinnitus-only examination includes a number of options for examiner opinions on etiology. The examination may be conducted by an audiologist or non-audiologist clinician. Only ask the audiologist to offer an opinion about the association to hearing loss if hearing loss is concurrently claimed or already SC. Know the Disability Ratings before you go into the exam. You will want to check out this website: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/part-4/subpart-B 38 CFR Subpart B For instance, if you have any issues with bones/joints etc, you will want to check out this: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/4.71 and https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/4.71a Know the politics.................. There are some good posts on here about PTSD exams, and I agree with most of what has been said. I must add on to some of it, and some of it is very very crucial. We are Veterans.....that is why we are here. Generally speaking, most of us are going to be politically conservative. Guess what, most psychiatrists and psychologists do not tend to be. Statistically speaking, of all of the MDs (yes, a psychiatrist is an MD), psychiatrists are the most politically liberal (left) of all MD fields whereas surgeons are the polar opposite. Guess what might not be a good idea to do in exams? You guessed it.........bring up politics. In fact, I would suggest that going in there acting like a hard ass would not bode well for you. If you walk in there wearing a MAGA hat, you might want to consider writing up your appeal later that evening. If it is a female examiner (and you're a male), I would suggest not grimacing at them during your mental health/PTSD exam. I would suggest not trying to play the examiners; sure, you can roll the dice and try some of the advice about talking about wanting to kill people all of the time and acting super hypervigilant in the room and making sure to sit where you can clearly monitor all exits etc, but I suspect that most of these examiners see 5-8 people a day and have become very astute on picking up on the bull shit artists and won't think twice about drawing a line through your name rather than under it. I would suggest being truthful.......that doesn't mean that you can't elaborate on your worst experiences pertaining to the questions that are asked, but I wouldn't recommend lying or exaggerating. I certainly wouldn't recommend lying about anything pertaining to your military record either, as while the examiner might be none the wiser, the raters reviewing it are more likely than not Veterans are thoroughly adept at combing through military records i.e. don't tell the examiner that you were an Army Ranger when you were a chaplain assistant.
  26. 4 points
    I have verified through ebenefits that my NOD through the legacy system is granted. It took several years but it shows that the VA granted an EED of ten years minus a month.
  27. 4 points
    I Knew I read it somewhere but it is better to let you read this than me telling you and then can't back it up. VA tried to reduce this veteran's claim while still in appeal status. It is called a "Mischaracterization of the Issue on Appeal." See AB v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 35, 39-40 (1993). There are rules and laws to reduce a rating. To hold otherwise would leave the door open for a possible "chilling effect" in the administrative appeal process, whereby veterans might be afraid to seek higher disability evaluations on appeal, for fear of having already awarded benefits reduced by the Board during the appellate process. See, e.g., 38 C.F.R. § 3.2600(d) (2013) (except in cases of clear and unmistakable error (CUE), a decision review officer "may not revise [an AOJ] decision in a manner that is less advantageous to the claimant than the decision under review"). Such a result would be wholly 2 inconsistent with the non-adversarial claims system. See Douglas v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 435, 439 (1992) (noting the "basic principle of the VA claims process that claims will be processed and adjudicated in an informal, non-adversarial atmosphere"); see also Comer v. Peake, 552 F.3d 1362, 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2009) ("The VA disability compensation system is not meant to be a trap for the unwary . . .").
  28. 4 points
    As Tbird has said Knowledge is Power- and the VA wants to keep us in the dark about the regulations, rating Schedules, the many ways one can claim comp, under different theories of entitlement,etc etc, anything that could help us succeed. This site is evidence of how many have succeeded with that Power from their Knowledge of VA case law, etc and from others here. I have been in the Electronic veterans community since 1988 ( Vet Link NY -modem to modem-very expensive sometimes),Prodigy Vets BBS, with Bill Smith former BVA lawyer, and the great Alex Humphrey (vet lawyer) who was a member here ,until he died.etc etc etc, and the internet has made it far easier than ever ro get the info we need. I regret I missed the Anniversary radio show if one was done- I had the FLU in January- and still have post viral fatigue from it. All of you have expertise! It might be in the field of your personal disability or, in the issues you had with the VA. We learn from helping newbies , with maybe an unusual claims situation, that takes some research, as well as from us hardcore claimants who are hadit members. We must NEVER GIVE UP!
  29. 4 points
    What Buck said above is true! Now you also need to be ready for the reality of what might happen. They could totally ignore anything you give them. They can go off of what the NP says and not say a single word about any other paper work. This is sometimes the truth of what happens and be ready to appeal if/when this happens. I had a slam dunk if they would have read my paperwork! now years later I won but it was a fight!
  30. 4 points
    This was a big week at asknod. I just wish my neighbor John had gotten R2 out of the gate. It ain't over until Secretary Bob weighs in when he reads my email Monday morning. One of the Vets, Andrew, is a member here- or should I say- his wife is. She found me here and I'm honored to have helped her. https://asknod.org/2020/02/22/va-baby-you-can-drive-my-car/ When I came home from Vietnam, I never ever thought there would be a day when I'd say I was proud to have served my country. It was ugly in 1972. Now, I'm overjoyed at the ability to pay it forward. Thank you Lord for the Internet. It's a Godsend to so many who are clueless. Leave no one behind. I still wish I could have named my site What would a Veteran Do? (WWVD). That's what wives are for. a
  31. 4 points
    Please let someone know about this examiner. This is BS. Remember you have the right to challenge an exam.
  32. 4 points
    I'm still here, too! Won one CUE and am drafting up an appeal to a CUE denial. Working on my father's VA claims related to service in Vietnam and a bunch of injuries in service.
  33. 4 points
    Normally you will not get a reduction but that does not mean they will not try. When I was appealing TDIU the VA called one of my disabilities service connected in error and another rated incorrectly. They wanted to sever and reduce my disabilities. Needless to say they got caught in a blender and wound up not getting their way. The VA is not your friend and will sometimes do everything in their power to make your life miserable. They claim to be a non adversarial that is there to help the veteran as best they can, believe that at your peril.
  34. 4 points
    Steven You have a difficult road but you can't make the journey without taking the first steps. I am not anywhere close to being an expert on it, but I can offer my opinion. CFS is a very difficult diagnosis to receive from the VA. I believe it is only successful 20% of the time. The problem is they rule it out if they can divert it to another disability and make that non-service connected. The DBQ that is required for eval is 21-0960 Q1 under 38CFR 4.88 The diagnostic code 6354, allows ratings from 10% all the way up to 100%. IMO it is almost impossible to win the claim without a diagnosis from an immune system doc issuing his opinion with medical rationale. We are not medical experts; the diagnosis is very technical. I would suggest you start doing your search for a good doc who understands the VA and what they require to win. And, to answer your question, just file as CFS; let the VA figure it out. My guess is your diagnosis while in the service will not stand up to what the VA is going to try to do with it. Get a good IMO. One other thing. I would send a letter to the DAV headquarters in your state. Tell them in your own words about how you were treated and provide the name if you can. They probably won't do anything on the basis of one complaint, but if there are several, they might. One thing for sure, they won't do anything if veterans don't complain. Do the next guy in line trying to get help a favor. Call the jerk out.
  35. 4 points
    I looked at my bank account online this morning and I had a surprise, I had received money from the VA. Now I had won an BVA decision back on 7/2019 and as far as I know I have already received all the retro pay for that. I had to do an HLR for an EED since the RO messed up the date. But mid-October the HLR was approved with the correct effective date and I received my first retro check. In the letter it stated they held part back while the calculated CRDP. I received that retro check about 5 -6 weeks later. Now I had calculated on what I should get and between the two retro checks it was what I had expected. I have no idea what this money is for, I do have two claims pending (I checked and they have not been decided on yet) so I am not sure what the money is for. I checked eBenefits and it does not show up under payments. I will check again tomorrow but I am just confused what the money s for. I really wish the VA would put correspondence in eBenefits stating what it is for, would it really be asking to mush for them to say why they are giving you money. I am happy to get more money but also confused as to why I got it. Perhaps the VA is giving bonuses…lol
  36. 4 points
    I was helping a widow of an ALS victim get benefits from the VA. She decided to use a VSO also. When she filed a FDC the VA denied her as for some stupid reason the death certificate stated they were separated at the time of his death. I requested that she cite CFR 3.214 in that she was his spouse but they filed a Supplemental claim with a revised death certificate and two buddy letters. The claim finished last week and she received back pay for about a year and begins receiving benefits this month.
  37. 4 points
    I won an unwinnable claim at the BVA with an IMO. A neurologist stated that my neuropathy was related to a heat stroke, he referenced that cold injuries could cause neuropathy and that these are recognized as such. He further stated new medical evidence that supports that heat injuries can cause neuropathy that will not show for many years. There was more but this is the general outlay of the IMO. He also stated that the VA did not recognize this because they did not do any medical workup or research in my case. IMO's are expensive but at the BVA they can be the difference between a loss or a win.
  38. 4 points
    Bronco is right on here! I have had all 4 of these done to me at some point in my claims. I want to just reach over and slap some sense into these raters! I am just not sure why they feel the need to do this other than it is taught to them. That is the worse part of this is we fought in a war or two and then we have to fight a new war of our health when we get home. I know I felt so much better when I got home, I just never realized or accepted for years something else had happened too me. That I was a guinea pig for all their drugs and whatever else we were exposed too.
  39. 4 points
    It is the same for me, if I did not get a reasonable accommodation from my employer I would be out of work. I am lucky since I work for the government and they are mandated to give reasonable accommodation accept for in a few exceptions. I would gladly give up all my VA benefits to have my disabilities go away, I am tired of hurting as many here are. All I see in my future is pain and losing the ability to do more and more things. As bad as things seem for me I know there are many more on this site much more worse off than I am.
  40. 4 points
    Both, that way you don't have to worry about the c and p examiner forgetting or mixing it up with someone else's.
  41. 4 points
    There is considerable info here in this forum on CUE-it is not really a ‘claim’ - it is a frontal attack on a recent or past VA decision, whether award or denial. And explained in many of the articles I have already written-no sense in re- writing what is already here- This is where you need to go if you think you have had a CUE in any past or recent VA decision. https://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/admin21/m21_1/mr/part3/subptiv/ch02/M21-1MRIII_iv_2_SecB.docx The M21- MR link has info as well on 3.156 claims too. A legal error means just that. It could mean the improper diagnostic code, used to your detriment, based on the medical evidence, an improper EED based on established medical evidence , in VA’s possession at time of alleged CUE, or often a violation of 38 CFR 4.6 because VA failed to consider Probative evidence, that you can prove they had.Such as ignoring a probative IMO/IME or ignoring any other type of evidence they had ,that fully advanced your claim. If they mention the IMO/IME in the opinion, that means they did not ignore it- but probably didn't read it well, or, as in my case, over my last CUE, they did list my evidence ( 4 pages -opinion from OGC VACO cardio doctor) but never mentioned it in the decision, They reversed immediately when I filed CUE the next day. The award letter is dated 3 weeks after the denial. A CUE on an improper EED is the same- scenario- the VA failed to consider evidence they had that would warrant a proper EED, of a ratable condition (at least at ten percent, at time of the alleged CUE decision. I could write a book on CUE, because in the past 25 years VA made just about every conceivable error on every decision I got. But what is the point. Everything you need to know is here. My initial denial for AO IHD ,I have brought up to the Nehmer Philadelphia VARO-as well as within info I gave to the VA OIG Counsel who handles their section on audits. I filed CUE and mailed it the next day.(2012) Within 3 weeks they reversed and adjudicated the claim. It was brief,(the CUE) one page, I made a point on how ridiculous the denial was and stated the regulation they broke- 38 CRF 4.6 and mentioned this to the Director of the Philadelphia VARO in a recent letter,to her ( copy sent to the IG) with my concerns of how many other widows of AO exposed IHD veterans got a denial as ridiculous as that one….and they might have never even appealed or had a vet rep who didn’t advise them properly to CUE it.(AO IHD death claim) I might have posted that CUE here- Examples of all sorts of CUEs are here, as well as templates…… and they should never become so involved that they become convoluted. Try to get it all on one page. If it is a CUE on a recent decision, address the CUE as Attention to: and put the alphanumeric there.That alpha contains the initials of the last person who handled your decision. If you need more info and still believe you have a valid CUE and that it is worth pursuing, you can also purchase the VBM by NVLSP , where they have considerable info on CUE and actually on everything any claimant needs to know about the claims process. Chapter 14 of the 2018 VBM-2019 holds 59 pages of info as well as numerous other references to CUE in the VBM index. And if you go to the BVA web site, under decisions, you can search for CUE and why they awarded or why they denied.I learned plenty on CUEs by seeing them in action at the BVA and also the CAVC. NVLSP is a pro bono law firm who won the Nehmer Class Action Case. Do not be easily discouraged if you find you have a valid CUE-if anyone here says you do not have a basis for CUE, ask them to attach their most recent CUE award.
  42. 4 points
    Just got this in the mail today where the VA called CUE on themselves 4 times in one decision as well as adjusting rating for a sympathetic claim. They originally granted me 10% on each knee for arthritis ... I didn't know anything about being able to file for scars. They went back on their own and retroactively granted the scars for a year before which increased the rating I had at that time from 80% to 90%.
  43. 4 points
    Here’s a nightmare of a claim. The Vet had no STRs in his NPRS file except for his eye records. He admitted snorting the white lady in the late 1980s to a VA nurse in 2015. She immediately wrote down “HCV due to bloody shared dollar bill(s).” That pretty much put a fork in any potential claim. He approached the VFW about filing his jetgun claim in 2016. They laughed him right out the door. No attorney or agent would even talk to him the moment he mentioned the toot. And then he called me. Regardless of what you’ve heard about me, I refuse to arbitrarily deny representation to a fellow Vietnam or Thailand Vet when it comes to Hep C. I was there. I contracted it, too. It almost killed me by 2006. I told him to go ahead and file knowing full well he’d get denied. We obtained an IMO from one of my doctors for free due to his being indigent. It sank like a rock. We filed the NOD and got another "No". After filing the VA 9, we obtained an IMO from a good hepatologist but that was not going to be the winning ticket. I asked for a Travel Board hearing in Oakland so I could present my Vet and his lay testimony in person. We had the hearing March 28th, 2019 at the Oakland Puzzle Palace. The Judge, Matthew Blackwelder, wasn’t very receptive to a grant until he read the IMO while we were sitting there in front of him. He mused and said it was indeed an interesting case. The funny thing about jetgun cases is you could never win them at the local Fort Fumble under the old Legacy system. They’d refuse to grant even if you had a buddy letter from Jesus Christ himself. This one was really no different. We had nothing but lay testimony and some eyeglass prescription records that didn’t say much which was really nothing useful. Worse, he’d had an STD which wasn’t in the STRs because they were AWOL. When all you have is lemons, make lemonade. But...an STD like Gonorrhea leaves antibodies forever. I suggested we hold the record open for 90 days to obtain a blood test showing the presence of same. The Judge said “No need to. I have enough here to make a decision.” I was worried. I took that to mean we had a better chance of winning the Powerball Lotto. I was positive I was going to be arguing this one at the CAVC. We won Wednesday. Of all my wins, this is by far the best. It’s the only one I’ve ever won solely on the strength of the Veteran’s lay testimony . Don’t get me wrong. The IMO was very instrumental in the win but I doubt we would have prevailed without a face-to-face hearing. A picture may be worth a thousand words but a Travel Board hearing is worth a thousand pictures. Steve BVA Win redacted.pdf
  44. 4 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...
  45. 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
  46. 4 points
    oorah! I hope this message finds you in good spirit. And, if you're on this forum, I'm sure you have questions for which you simply won't find the exact answer to until your claim is complete. Every claim is different and you have your own unique circumstances. You may have the same condition as another veteran who was denied and your claim may be granted. Or, you may be denied while another veteran's claim is granted. Situation dictates. So, don't believe the hype. Stay motivated! Drink water and exercise your mind and body. And, even if you're denied the VA will give you instructions on what you need to do in order to get your claim granted. Here's my story: For years (about 10) I totally disregarded submitting a claim to VA for a number a different reasons. Eventually, I did. I claimed everything that's sore and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I figured the worse thing these guys could say is "No." I didn't write any statements- because I did't know anything about them- no C&P exams, no follow-up phone calls, no VSO, just got the VA form and filled in the blanks.....and, almost a year later, I found it in an old backpack... crumbled and dirty. 1 month before a full year expired, unbeknownst to me, I called VA again to request another sheet. Eventually (8-10 months later) I reluctantly mailed in a claim with written statements and medical records to support. I did my best to paint a clear picture and give the full story of my circumstances. It paid off because, this time I was afforded C&P exams and was awarded 40% for one condition. As for the other condition(s), let's just say we had a "faulty operator." So, I requested another C&P exam because, in short, the first one was penfkd. To my surprise, the VA agreed and offered me another C&P exam with a "more credible" doctor. And, let's just say this particular doctor takes pride in serving veterans. The doc has opined that my condition was "more likely than not aggravated by in-service events" and is "not expected to improve." If I were a gambling man, I'd bet my claim is granted. But, I don't like to gamble. Yet, I've been frantically calling the 800#, anticipating someone will just say "Yeah, xxxxxxx, you're good to go. You should see a deposit any minute now." But, it doesn't work like that, does it? I get a different freaking story every time I call. But, one thing they can agree on is this: A decision has been made on my claim but, it needs secondary signature approval. Whatever that means.. Remember, when you submit a claim: Paint a clear picture Give as much evidence as possible Follow-up Request a C&P exam if you are not offered one (Keep notes) Follow-up Win Sep 2015- Intent to file (phone call) Aug 2016- Intent to file (phone call) June 2017- Mailed in claim Aug 2017- C&P exam Sep 2017- Claim granted/ others pending Oct 2017- 1st check and retro pay (back dated to Sep 2015/effective date) Nov 2017- C&P exam Dec 2017- Claim denied Dec 2017- NOD Jan 2018- Opt-in RAMP Feb 2018- Claim moved to RAMP Feb 2018- Requested Higher Level Review Mar 2018- Claim denied Apr 2018- NOD/ Requested Supplemental Review and second C&P exam Apr 2019- Second C&P exam May 2019- Claim is awaiting secondary signature approval ~I'm sure you're wondering "WHAT ARE YOUR CONDITIONS?" Lumbosacral Strain- 40% Bilateral Pes Planus- Pending Bilateral Foot Condition- Pending TDIU- Pending ~ I'll keep you posted. And, best of luck to all of you on the paper trail. Stay motivated! oorah!
  47. 4 points
    Why not skip the HLR and go straight to the NOD at the BVA? It's just as fast as the HLR and you get real lawyers looking at it-not illiterate GS=10 VSRs. Without new and material evidence to submit to change the decision (assuming no CUE) in a HLR, you might as well go straight to DC. If you lose, the Judge will tell you why and you can turn around and go back to the supplemental lane and submit more evidence to win with. You still keep your effective filing date too.
  48. 4 points
    I think our wives must be related Shrek . My wife loves me and is always there for me and she is always will to listen, but I know she does not understand why I need and enjoy this site. It is where I can be with my brothers and sisters in arms, for we know what we went through and why we did it. We did it for the love of our country! It truly is a personal fight for we have all had our health taken from us at too young of an age. That is why I am for every vet being awarded every benefit they are entitled too. They are not being greedy, they just want what they have earned! I encourage everyone to always keep good notes and write down (in simple language) what your spouse needs to know and do if we should (and we all will) pass away. We also want our spouses and children to get the benefits they have also earned such as DIC. Make sure they know all your passwords! JMO
  49. 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........
  50. 4 points
    I got my retro today.it was three days after closing.Now can plan for daughters college in two years.
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