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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/06/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I was once cut on at the VA when I was indigent. It was done by a doctor in training. They used a punch to excise a skin lesion. When I told the doctor they could stop now, the doctor got testy and asked how I knew so much. I told them that they were scraping the bone in my ankle and I could feel it. They diagnosed it as Kaposi Sarcoma and told me I had aids, which was untrue. I have had other operations on the outside for service connected issues because the VA did not think that the operation was necessary. I have Tricare and use it over VA care as my VA doctor says it is better for me that way. I guess I as one would not be sorry to see VA Hospitalization go away but I think it is necessary for some vets. The VA is the least best option but the only option for some.
  2. 3 points
    I would first file an HLR myself if the new HLR's are taking less than a year, then I would go to the BVA. Your rights are allowed in a greater detail by the BVA but it can take several years before they get to you. Your chances are better at the BVA with that said. It is up to you at this point, knowing that the BVA process is longer. In your statement there is a word missing in the last sentence of the first paragraph. Otherwise it looks good.
  3. 2 points
    Wow...that is beyond scary. I am glad you asked for the second opinion. One should always ask for a second opinion no matter where they are seen when they want to cut you open.
  4. 2 points
    @vetquest That's scary. Reminds me of the late 1990's when the VA told me that I needed open heart surgery to correct a heart issue. I asked for a second opinion from someone who wasn't in med school. Turns out I just had indigestion.
  5. 2 points
    First I would suggest that you start a migraine diary asap. These are used by doctors to judge the seriousness of your migraines. It is a pain but it does help, you can find many on the internet. Be honest at your C&P but let them know what your worst day is like, do not say I am doing great. "I am good today but earlier this week I had a migraine that sent me to bed." The same for your feet and PTSD. I might also try to get some buddy letters from your manager at work if they are willing. This shows the seriousness and financial impact of your disability. I lost my job of 25 years over losing too much time off from work and not being my best while at the job due to my disabilities and the medications that were necessary. It took me ten years, this will hopefully not happen to you, to get my case through the BVA which granted TDIU and full benefits. The BVA cited employer letters as one of the highlights of evidence that showed I was not able to perform my job due to my disability. No you are not special but it is trying none the less. Loss of income and pain are not good for the mind or a good way of living. It creates it's own stress and this is something that you need to look after. If you were not depressed when you begin working with the VA, you will be when you get done. Good luck drawing good doctors for your C&P's and keep us apprised as to the results. Sometimes, many, you will get denied by the RO with a poorly done rating. Never quit at this point, always appeal if you are not given the full benefit that you deserve. Go to the BVA if necessary. It is a long process but the BVA reads your evidence and applies it much better than the RO.
  6. 2 points
    I had a similar experience with SA, the VA used a PA to give an opinion and I had two MD opinions. The VA went with the PA opinion and ignored my two MD opinions, same at the HLR. It took the BVA to approve my SA, they actually read my medical opinions. Even though I prefer to go the HLR route (its faster) GB is right the BVA would probably be your better route. Now if you get the right senior rater who actually reads your evidence then they would approve it at the HLR level. I am assuming you are filing all this within one year of your decision. Good luck!
  7. 1 point
    That's great to hear. I'm in Illinois. The tax office said shed date it for jan 1 2019 so not sure if that means I'll get back what I paid this year. Also thank you. It was crazy, 4 years got 90%, 3 weeks later TDUI 100% pay with P and T. I couldn't believe it. I was about two weeks from losing my house, then I see my bank account and almost passed out lol.
  8. 1 point
    When I got 100 P&T the effective date was 8/2018 (I won a BVA decision in 7/2019). Now I live in Virginia and when I turned in all the paperwork to the county and then sent it to my mortgage company, the mortgage company adjusted my payment to eliminate the property tax. I am also going to get a refund from the state back to 8/2018. But long story made short, your tax liability should stop as soon as the mortgage company processes the paperwork. Congratulations on getting to 100% P&T!
  9. 1 point
    Not showing off or anything like it...but I did make another donation because I have been helped by this website. I went from 60% to 100% P&T because of the help I have received from this site and all the amazing members.
  10. 1 point
    Vetquest is dead on here! Follow what he said and you will succeed! Trust me I started out here at 30% and am headed to the CAVC to get to 100% P&T
  11. 1 point
    MarkP Since it is a form of cancer, the VA will usually require another or current C&P to verify that your condition hasn't improved since the last. You have nothing to fear unless that is true. More than likely, I'll bet you wish it were true, but it is what it is unfortunately. Be sure to go to the exam. And, as Richard said, if the VA has updated the diagnostic codes for your condition since you started your claim, they have to give you the highest possible rating between what the old code was and the current one. That's also a good thing for you. Take care.
  12. 1 point
    JKWilliamsSr Appeal to BVA. Too much of a legal hurdle to try HLR; they won't change their decision. IMO.
  13. 1 point
    What you said makes perfect sense and after taking a closer look at the DBQ it is more than likely true. I am going to call the 800 number tomorrow to file a complaint for an inadequate exam. I think this DBQ was done in a certain way to try to avoid following certain required decisions. 1. By stating that I stated that I did not experience any flare-ups this gives the examiner the out of not having to apply Deluca. 2. By stating that I did not report functional loss this gives the examiner the out of not having to apply Mitchell 3. The examiner ignored favorable evidence which is in violation of Nieves-Rodgriguez v. Peak 4. The Examiner stated that there are only 2 clinical visits for my back. I submitted 9 with my claim. However the absence of service records is not negative evidence. Other evidence was available and not reviewing this is in violation of Bucyzynski v. Shinseki 5. The rater did not use a goniometer for ROM testing.
  14. 1 point
    He obtained the IME from Ellis and the C&P likely saw it in the record and denied it. This happen to me as well, when I had the IMO from Dr. Anaise. File a complaint and get a new one.
  15. 1 point
    I assume the PA reviewed your records before the exam and may have pre-populated much of the report in advance. That is a normal practice. However, it sounds like a lousy exam to me. You have a C&P by a PA against SC and an IME (I assume by an MD) for SC. If that's the case, the VA should grant SC based on your IME. The PA failed to contest the more favorable findings from the IME or even entertain the possibility that your obesity was caused by pain limiting your ability to exercise. Additionally, these are the instructions for musculoskeletal exams. The part covering the goniometer requirement gives the VA free reign to assume it was used even if it wasn't (which is BS): https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000014194/M21-1-Part-III-Subpart-iv-Chapter-4-Section-A-Musculoskeletal-Conditions?query=favorable exam These instructions tell them how to handle examination reports. There are a bunch of requirements listed. If any are missed, the report is deemed insufficient. https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000015812/M21-1-Part-III-Subpart-iv-Chapter-3-Section-D-Examination-Reports#4 Might be worth waiting to see what the rating decision says. You might have been granted SC. If you are, then that would be great. The only thing left would be getting the correct rating.
  16. 1 point
    All of the disabilites on the record list were filed for. They had to be broken down and to new/increase and supplemental (reopened) claims. The new/increase claims have been completed and I filed an HLR for issues on those because they pretty much screwed that up. I had some issues that had to be filed as supplemental claims because they were denied back in 2009 so I was past the appeal period. The back claim was one of those claims. I have absolutely zero trust in the VA so when I submitted my claims I uploaded all the pertinent SMRs that were related to the disabilities they were claiming. Everything you see on the IME records list was submitted with my claim. The Civilian records I submitted had an xray report that showed degenerative disk disease in my back. Now one can hope a rater will look at the IME report and evidence submitted and realize the C&P examiner did not do everything that was required but I will not hold my breath on that one. My Ex-Wife is doing a statement for me as we speak to dispute the stupidity of claiming my back issues are related to by obesity. Now while I submitted a statement in support of claim myself showing symptomology since service it is clear they did not looked it. We met in 1999 which was 3 years after service. I had all of these issues back then and at that time I weighed 165 lbs. I should have that statement within the next few days.
  17. 1 point
    VA care vs private care...... I would never trust the VA to do any surgeries....in fact I would never agree to be admitted to a VA Facility. Speaking to my Nurse just yesterday she indicated that private care is really messed up, she said she wish she were a veteran so she could get treatment in the VA. She indicated in the Temple Texas area that it took over a year to get a medical appointment for a condition she has. I don't know that anyone waits a year to get medical care at the VA. In most cases private facilities will run many test if for no other reason to cover their butts, but along the way they charge large fees. I worked in the computer room of a Hospital once, I saw first hand the cost of private medical care when I printed out patients bills. A good example was $20.00 for one aspirin .. and this was 27 years ago.. its worse now. The problem I see with the VA is that they hire to many Doctors right from Medical school, from any country, as long as they have a Medical License from one of the 50 States. Doctors trained in India, or Guam, or Burma ( yes even Burma) do not have the necessary education to treat me as far as I am concerned. Another issue with foreign doctors is the language barrier, especially for those of us with hearing loss. And still worse the VA employs PA's and NP's because they cannot find enough trained medical doctors to work at the VA. In fact according to my Nurse yesterday, there are over 50 thousand vacant medical positions at the VA yes she said 50 thousand a number that is hard to believe and makes me wonder if the government really cares about veterans. The nurse I spoke to indicated the biggest difference with private vs VA care is that when ever something bad happens at the VA its in the news... but when something bad happens at a private facility, they pay out malpractice claims, and require non-disclosure agreements before any payout... IN other words they both have the same issue but we almost never hear about a private facility malpractice or worse killing someone.... I use VA care because of my disabilities, and the cost associated with care.... I need the prosthetic services for my braces, wheelchair, auto adapted equipment, breathing issue supplies and many other things. This year I spent out of my pocket $10,000 for 2 portable oxygen concentrators, and two home oxygen concentrations, because the VA ( even with my 100% for COPD) will not issue portable concentrators, they are in the dark ages still issuing tanks. My Medicare provider, took my broken concentrator for repair, and tried to stick me with tanks, I never got the machine back and ended up canceling the service and purchased my own. Medicare was paying an astronomical amount of money for these machines that within a 5 year period the provider was getting enough funds to pay for the cost of three machines. And when I complained to Medicare about the provider, Medicare said as long as they provide any oxygen service they was nothing they could do. For me the Actual Medical care at the VA is good and bad....it depends on the doctor you see and the service they provide. Recently I was trying to receive treatment at Darnell Army Medical Center at Urology for a prostrate issue, for over a year the doctor gave me the run around about doing a biopsy, and other tests. This doctor did not even do the finger test, or check my private areas yet he wanted to send me off for a so called virtual biopsy, when no such test exist. I complained about burning constantly... and could not even get medication, I went to the VA urology clinic . this doctor ( PA actually) did more in that one visit to help my condition than a year of treatment at Darnell. The PA determined I had Prostatitis and placed me on Bactrum, which immediately cleared up the burning. This is just one example of VA doing a better job.. now I realize that Darnell is not considered private medical care, but I always was under the opinion that they provided better care than the VA. I was wrong. Another example, My pulmonary doctor at Darnell literally saved my life ( had Multiple PE's this past Feb) .. the pulmonary doctor at the VA almost never listed to my lungs, he would sit there and look at me for 5-8 minutes and refill my meds and that was that, until 6 months later when we would do it all over again. I had PE's for at least 3 weeks, and had made a visit to the VA and even after describing my issue I was ignored and sent home. The doctor at Darnell listen to what I had to say, he admitted me suspecting PE, ran test, and did MRI within three hours of my being admitted they confirmed I had PE's, I was told that I had one large PE with multiple smaller ones. This doctor told me if I had gone home he had no doubt I would have died within two days. No one can state for certain that Private care is any better of any worse than VA care. There are both good and bad doctors in each of the facilities. We always hear about the bad issues at the VA and almost never hear about the good outcomes. They each have there own problems but are just handled different ways. Oh and too throw into the mix.. for those of us that are retired military ... the Department of Defense had Incorporated all Military health Care under the Military Health system.. in other words the separate branches do not have control over their facilities anymore. The goal of the Military Heath system is to eliminate all care for retired military in a military facility. The reason is apparent, the Military Health care does not want to treat retirees at all but especially those of us over 65. They will refer you to health care outside the faculty, and then the Tricare office sends you a letter saying they are not responsible to find a place of treatment for those over 65 on Medicare. In the coming months we can expect that most retirees will receive nothing more than emergency medical treatment at military medical centers. Remember the days we were told stay and retire and get free health care for life, for you and your dependents. Yet the Government refused to provide care, and Col Bud Day sued the government for retiree medical care, and before a decision could be made the Government created Tricare for Life... so the courts never rendered a decision concerning life time care. Now we see that Tricare for retirees was not free, and even tricare for life has a price because they tied it to medicare that is if a retiree doesn't take part B Medicare he does not get to use tricare. This isn't free, if fact when we turn 65, (or younger in cases of those on SSD) our cost for medical care goes up, at an age when the income of most retirees is stagnant. We see and hear all this garbage about one payer systems its just never going to happen.. first such a system would cause delays in care, and many deaths but more important the Country cannot afford a one payer system, medical care would be rationed and the sickest would not get treatment.Overall Our Government wants to get out of the Medical Care business because of the cost.
  18. 1 point
    Buck the big problem with that is civilian medical people won't have the time or inclination to "learn" about the problems we have, especially associated or "secondary" issues. For example, say Vietnam veteran; he has diabetes. Is the doc going to be on the lookout for other presumptives not only associated with that disease, like neuropathy, but other A.O. issues not related like heart issues or cancers? It's the same problem with Gilf War syndrome and Burn Pit diseases. It is too high a hill for many docs to climb. Too much work to put in for too few of a customer base. Too much of a learning curve. IMO the VA Medical side is way ahead of the civilian side in this area. Especially in the diagnosis and initial care. Maybe follow-up treatment is often lacking, but they are more likely to discover other issues up front. Of course I am only talking about the Health side, not benefits. That is a different cat all together. If they eliminate VA health care, they will be throwing out the baby with the bath water. Again, IMO.
  19. 0 points
    Great physical and mental harm was done to me and some other Vietnam and Korean veterans at the Temple, Texas VA hospital in 1985 to 1991 as we were used as drug guinea pigs and embarrassing to us training aids in a room full of medical students by a good German VA doctor (without our permission as they were sneaky how they did this). One veteran hung himself in a tree outside our ward the night after he witnessed my ordeal that day and he had been thru this himself. On another occasion in 2000 an Austin Texas VA clinic psychiatrist was found guilty in district court of sexual assault on veteran patients and staff. I was one of his almost victims but left his office abruptly when he tried his hanky panky with me about 6 months before he was indicted for his sex crimes against others. His name was Vagashian (SP??) and his wife then divorced him and his son drove a sports car off a cliff in Colorado after the trial. The Temple Texas VA doctor was eventually transferred to Arizona where he then died at young age of 63 and I am so happy happy. I filed a VA injury section 1151 claim over those incidents in 2000 and received a TDIU P&T award with several years back pay. Because of all that BS I use private medical care (medicare and AARP) for more than half of my health care needs and would never use VA for major anything. One of my nam vet friends died on their operating tables for heart surgery at the Temple, Texas VA hospital. Many years later (after 1991) 7 VA patients died at Temple VA due to breathing tainted oxygen and local crooked JP gave the VA a white wash. There have also been other negetlient deaths at same hospital over the years from 85 to at least 2009. I moved from Texas many years ago. I don't give a F***** damn if they privatize the VA medical system for many reasons.
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