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  1. So my Voc Rehab counselor called and said they were ready to start purchasing Step stool to get in and out of car Kitchen height adjustable so I can sit at my countertops to prep food. Prescription dispenser with alarm. (I asked for a different one than they suggested so I am waiting to hear.) Lumbar cushion for Van. Lift Chair they picked out PerfectSleepChair.com I don't know if that means I'm getting that one or something similar. Zero Gravity Workstation they are offering this one http://www.ergoquest.com/zero-gravity-workstation-0.html which doesn't accomodate my monitors so I asked for this one http://www.ergoquest.com/zero-gravity-workstation-0a.html (I am waiting to hear.) Mobility Scooter Anything over $1200 will need a second approval and anything over $3000 will have to go to a contracting officer. Which is where my Zero Gravity station will need to go. I'll let you know when stuff starts showing up
    7 points
  2. Yours is a great post, and it makes you sound sincere and human. One of the worst people to lie to is yourself, "pretending" as if everything is hunkey dorey. It sounds like you learned from your mistake. It also sounds like you have a "documented" (medically) history of Suicidial Ideations, in your records. You dont have to have SI each and every day! . Symptoms of depression, PTSD, are known to "wax and wane", that is, you have some days which are better than others. We all have those. Its perfectly fine to tell your doctor, "I have SI today", or "I dont have SI today", and still be rated 70 percent or higher, but, as you pointed out you should be honest. To fix that mistake, I suggest you make a "vow of honesty" in the future. Yes, there is a cost for honesty. Sometimes we have to do things we would rather not do, to keep our promises. But, I can tell you, fortunately, I learned that "lesson of honesty" perhaps earlier in life than you did, but that does not make me better than you. I can also tell you that I never regretted telling the truth..even when it hurt. YOU know your symptoms better than anyone. Therefore, my advice is TWO fold: 1. "If" you feel your symptoms include SI, then appeal. 2. However, "if" you can say you have never had suicidal thoughts, then be content with what is owed you, and apply for an increase, if/when your symptoms worsen. Like yourself, I had/have SI, but I dont have mine every day. VA regulations allow you to tell your VA doc your symptoms on your WORST day. You dont have to tell them your symptoms TODAY. Today you may have been to your kids birthday party and had a great time and feel great. When the doc asks "how are you", I state something close to: "Better today, Doc. Last Thursday (give the day/date of your worst day) it was awful. Then describe your worst day. Vets make the mistake, when they go to a c and p exam of answering "Fine" to how are you. Then you have to backpedal the whole exam. Instead, this is your chance to describe your worst day, and you should tell what happened on your worst day. Then, when you have told the truth, you needent worry about a future reduction. You didnt tell the doc you had SI every day, you tell him you had them on your worst day.
    7 points
  3. We are often given bad advice on our VA disability claims, by VA employees, VSO's, or even well meaning hadit members. However, if a hadit member posts bad advice, mostly others challenge it, and even correct it. This rarely happens with VA employees or VSO's advice. Here are my top 10 bad advice statements: (Dont make these mistakes) 1. If you apply for an increase, you will be decreased instead. Its actually difficult for VA to reduce you, especially if you refuse to roll over and allow them to do it. Source: 38 CFR 3.344 2. "Wait" until issue "A" is completed until you apply for "issue B". This costs Veterans retro. Your effective date cant be earlier than the date you applied. (Exception: If you apply for benefits within a year of discharge, you can get an effective date back to your date of discharge) 3. Ignore letters VA sends you. They often contain deadlines for additional evidence, or other deadlines. Keep VA up to date on your address, you may not get letters you need to have! 4. Solely relying upon information a VA employee or VSO tells you, especially if it smells fishy. If you smell fish, chances are good there is a dead fish nearby. Give the advice the "smell test". 5. Solely relying upon information "you were told". I cringe whenever I hear "I was told...." Usually, this precedes bad information. Check this information on hadit, review the CFR's to see if its consistent, or check the VBM (Veterans Benefit Manual) instead. Remember, neither VA employees (nor VSOs) nor politicians keep promises 100 percent of the time. VA will not hold accountable an employee who gives you bad advice. 6. Not reading your decision. Bad idea. How do you know whether or not to appeal it? 7. Not reading or knowing whats in your cfile, and guessing instead. What did your doctor say? Did he WRITE DOWN what he said in his office? Find out and read it. Its your claim. 8. "NOT" enlisting the services of a professional (lawyer or claims agent) when necessary. For example if the retro potential is large, or your claim is complex. Your bias against attorneys can often cost you money. Hiring an attorney "does not" always cost you money. In fact, it should never cost you money...you should get more, much more, with an attorney than without him. While there are many circumstances when an attorney is not necessary, such as your initial claim, when you dispute the decision you got, its a great time to consider your options as far as a representative goes. Not all Veterans have the resources or skills to do their own claim. Did you know that some law firms will "up front" the costs of an IMO in order to win your claim (especially when the Vet can not afford an IMO). Incredibly, there are many "Pro Bono" law firms (such as NVLSP) which do not charge Veterans for their services. Also, EAJA (Equal access to Justice Act) pays many/most Vets attorney fees at the CAVC level). 9. Poor reasearch/no research. Chances are great other Vets have had a similar issue before, and its already been decided by the BVA or CAVC. You can check to see what happened to them so that you either dont make the same mistake as they did, or you can do it the way they did and succeed. 10. Giving up too soon. If you truly feel that you deserve the benefit sought, there is a great time to give up: NEVER! Persistence often pays off when giving up does not.
    6 points
  4. It says you are missing "Caluza element number 2"...an "in service event or aggravation", and, Caluza element 3, Nexus. In a nutshell, you need to appeal to the BVA, like about 80% or so of the other Vets who were denied and have to appeal. You "may" need an IMO/IME with clearer nexus which would point to the in service event. Welcome to the VA hamster wheel of delays, denials, lowball, and hornswaggling the effective date. You have to keep fighting.
    6 points
  5. Hey everyone, I called the VA earlier today to sort out a question. I got ahold of probably the most helpful VA employee ever. He gave me a solid tip for when you need more information about your status than their usual scripted answers. If after their scripted status answer they don't provide any extra useful information, ask them to check the program "Case Flow". According to the rep this is where all the detailed status and notes are kept. He also said if you ask them to look, they are supposed to, including what is written in the notes. This is how I have found out exactly what people have been up to in my appeal. Hope this helps, just having a real idea what the VA is actual doing relieves some of the stress that comes along with dealing with the VA. -After searching about this system, it seems this is only for appeals, and came about as part of AMA.
    5 points
  6. I just received approval of 5 disabilities I've been working on for over two years. 30 to 80%. Certainly couldn't have done it without the help, knowledge and support I've gotten from all the great folks on Hadit. But even though anxiety can get to you at various stages of the disability process, you just have to "keep at it." A denial is a road block, not the end of road. If it happens, read and understand your decision letter and get back on that horse. Just wanted to let folks know that if I can do it, anyone can. And should. And, as a reminder, I have sent in a donation to Hadit to help keep it going. Anyone who can afford it should, especially if you win and get a decent amount of back pay. So thank you all for helping veterans everywhere.
    5 points
  7. This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA. VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
    5 points
  8. I am down to do $25 a month starting next month.
    5 points
  9. I WOULD ASK FOR MEMBERS TO SEND IN WHAT THEY CAN & IF MOST OF THESE VETERANS ARE LIKE ME I CAN'T AFFORD TO SEND IN 150.00 DOLLARS A MONTH, I AM LUCKY TO SEND IN 100.00 A YEAR OR EVEN 50.00 . I THINK A 150.00 A MONTH FOR EVERYONE IS WAY TO MUCH FOR THE AVERAGE VET. SO maybe if some of the members can send in what they can and don't hurt themselves, it all will add up..all of us that stay on hadit should donate what they can and not hurt their family's this should be at least be enough to keep hadit up and running. (jmo)
    5 points
  10. I usually come to answer questions, but I started out asking them. I dont often get "stumped" anymore, at least not when it comes to benefits. However, I still have areas where Im still "weak", such as on DIC and widows benefits, thank God we have Berta for that. Im pretty sure I have answered at least 12,000 questions. Years ago a school teacher told me, "You dont really learn something until you try to TEACH it." I have won all my benefits, back to 2002, even tho multiple Vets advocates, including more than one attorney, said that would not happen. Persistence, preperation and knowledge seem to work when other stuff does not.
    5 points
  11. I would say go for it. And to say you are not qualified for it does not seem to be the point. You are 100% disabled and they should be helping you out if you needed it. Just like when I asked my doctor for a pillow to help with my rotator cuff. I sent her the pillow I wanted and in two weeks it was at my door. I would go for, what is the worst they can say No?
    4 points
  12. Just wanted to let you guys know my wife was approved for the A&A went into effect Dec 29 2020. yahoooooooooo its not that much added to my monthly comp but believe me every little bit helps. SO if you have a disabled spouse that needs the help of another person file the A&A claim for her just submit her medical records and a Dr describe her medical conditions and why she needs the assistance of another person and lay statment from your spouse. she had two of her Dr 's to write up her a letter about her disability that render her the help she needed and we also included some Images and MRI;s she had they used them as part of her evidence.. &..her her lay statement. We wanted to Thank everyone that supported us and helped out with this claim Ms Berta , J basser, Pacmanx1 , GB Army, broncovet,Alex, brokensolider Ms T bird and others Thank you All & God Bless
    4 points
  13. Hi Smokie Welcome to Hadit. The VA rolls up and combines disabilities where they can and then gives the highest rating based on all the rated symptoms you have. Once they grant the disability you can't claim that same disability again as symptoms of another disability. That is called pyramiding. It happens quite often with MH disabilities as it can be hard to definitely say the symptom is connected to anxiety as opposed to depression, for example. So they give the higher rating but you can't get two seperate ratings for the same disability, in this example MH. See https://cck-law.com/blog/pyramiding-how-to-avoid-stacking-your-va-ratings/ Just a thought but did you also put in for a hearing disability seperate throm the tinnitus? If not, you should consider; it would be a separate disability than tinnitus. Check and see if you actually claimed it.
    4 points
  14. A MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY Toxic Exposures Announcement Today, I announced two very important decisions that will affect millions of Veterans who served in the Vietnam War and in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. It is important to note that the process by which these decisions were made is just the first step; this will be an iterative, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-driven process to identify potential presumptions of service connection. Many of our Nation’s Veterans have waited a long time for changes to presumptions of service connection for benefits, and I look forward to working with the VA Toxic Exposure team to implement changes such as the following as swiftly as possible. The first decision concerns the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of those conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This implements provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (P.L. 116-283), and VA will apply the provisions of court orders related to Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which may result in an earlier date for entitlement to benefits for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. Vietnam era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim and will receive a letter from VA on the status of their claim. The second decision involves Veterans who served in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. After a thorough review of the scientific evidence around toxic exposures, including the report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, I am directing initiation of rulemaking to consider creating presumptions of service connection for chronic respiratory conditions associated with exposure to airborne hazards during military service in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the covered periods of conflict, which may include asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis. Our approach to this process will be holistic, and we will base our decision on science, in fulfilling our responsibility to Veterans who may have suffered disability due to their service. These decisions will affect millions of Veterans and families, and I encourage everyone in VA to always keep in mind the tremendous impact that we will be making in their health and quality of life as we go through these processes. I look forward to working with you as we further our goal of improving the lives of all Veterans. For more information, please go here: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures - Public Health (va.gov). Denis McDonough
    4 points
  15. Andrea: Welcome to hadit. I split your post into a new post so that you may get more responses. In the future, please ask a new question in a new topic, its less confusing to people who respond. This is my respones to your question: It sounds like you have received a proposed reduction based that your condition has improved. In the past, I "counted on" ebenefits uploads submitting new claims, and, even with a confirm number, VA said they received no such claim. For that reason, I recommend ALSO mailing your new evidence. Yes, it takes longer, but you can send it certified mail return receipt requested and be sure VA receives it. I have had 2 proposed reductions, and I beat them both (the reduction never happened). You have the right idea, respond to the proposed reduction AND ASK FOR A HEARING if necessary. I would recommend you write a clear, concise letter as to "why" you dispute this proposed reduction, maybe something similar to this: Use your own evidence, exams, dates, and circumstances, this is just an example" RE: Proposed Reduction Dated mm-dd-yy I am in dispute of the proposed reduction as my condition(s) have not improved, contrary to the above Proposed Reduction letter. Instead, on exam date mm-dd-yy, Dr. J reported "the Veterans symptoms have gotten worse, noting (new symptom1, new symptom 2)" Further, this does not meet the criteria for reduction in 38 CFR 3.344 as follows: 1. The VA cited a "single" exam, which was less thorough than the c and p exam which granted benefits. (cite day of c and p exam). ....other reasons it does not meet the criteria in the following regulation: Have you been rated 5 years or longer, or are you P and T?
    4 points
  16. I am really excited and surprised to learn that I finally reached my 100% P&T SMC from the VA. I just wanted to express my appreciation to this website reading about others success and not giving up. I was truthful with my disabilities to my C&P examiners and when I doubted my issues would not be looked at seriously I found that they were. I often think about how I wish I would have done this years ago. I know back then that I did not understand the system and that all I needed were my medical records (enlisted and VA) along with understanding how my illnesses/issues were connected. I always thought that being female in the military was really hard, but proving your disabilities afterwards seemed unimaginable. However, I did it and now I am 100% P&T SMC. I am not going for TDIU because I really love my job and have no intention of quitting/leaving at this time. Thank you HADIT for assistance with my guidance in this process!!!
    4 points
  17. Just keep it short and to the point- highlight how it affects you in a meaningful way without too much vagueness. If you can't walk more than 50yds, say that with an example. If you can't drive because of drowsiness, or have fallen asleep at inopportune times, give examples. If you have guy/girl problems, briefly indicate how/why they are worse or what they relate to (pain, lack of performance, discharge, stuff like that). All of this makes it easier for us to find it in your records. Certain medical words jump out at me when I read through these, and these are the words I start with doing CTRL-F searches through your medical stuff. Don't self diagnose yourself or go to Web MD to look up what you think you have. Just call it whatever your doctor does. If you have some dates of treatment at various places that are not VAMC make sure you have a 21-4142/21-4142a filled out with those providers so the records can be requested. There isn't a format- its in your own words, just give a good summary of whats going on with each disability are claiming for increase. If you are submitting your own private medical records, be a dear and highlight or write in the margins or something for the high points (images, diagnosis, relevant Dr. Statements, etc).
    4 points
  18. Thanks all!! You have all spoken honestly and as I am a veteran, actually an "oldie", with a new screen name, with Hadit, what you guys said is what I told him and his family!! I used Hadit in the early 2000's and in 2004, I won my 100% P & T bc of the help I received here! I'm am very grateful!!! Thank you again everyone!! Ill pass your information on but as y'all said, HE has to follow thru with the fight!!!
    4 points
  19. I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for the work and time you've all put in here on this board and community. I've just had my final two C&P exams and for the 1st time in over 30 years I was able to speak about my depression and experiences while on Active Duty. As some may know from a previous thread, I was awarded 10% for Tinnitus (unexpected!) And I am so thankful for that! May seem small but to me, it's major because it feels like I am 'seen, heard, and have help now. My final two exams were for Depression, PTSD, and my feet. I am so thankful for the 10% rating and this board that just having the exams is fulfilling for me! So, thank you for your work and time here, you have helped more people than you realize. My final two exams are completed and my final percentage is in the works (if any). I will keep you all posted, in the meantime, thank you and please keep providing support. My goal is to give to Hadit and support any way I can.
    4 points
  20. Last year, Covid forced me to stay home, so that means its off to see family and grandchildren in Texas, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia, Ohio and Colorado this year. I just got back from Georgia, seeing my 9month old grandaughter. Im thinking of putting her picture up for me, she is much better looking than I am. She is my 9th grandchild, 10th if you count another gal who had a baby from our church who calls me "grandpa". Maybe I will even start a post "cutest grandchild" and we can vote who has the cutest grandchildren. But it would hardly be fair because I have the cutest. This means I wont be here much this summer, and even into fall. Many of you will need to step up and answer questions. If hadit has helped you, step up and help others. Try and research your answers with case law and regulations as much as possible to make them as accurate as possible. Other posters can do a search and look for previous answers, especially those who are posted by Berta. I will be back when I can,but dont expect a lot the next several months.
    4 points
  21. Dont lose hope. Almost all of us are in your same boat. "If" VA followed all their rules correctly, we would have to fire the entire BVA as well as the CAVC, as there would be no need for these organizations if VA fully complied with their rules each and every time. Almost all of us eventually won our benefits only after some sort of appeals. Be happy you know where to go if they deny you.
    4 points
  22. I will only add that many have suggested to get a sleep study to get a C PAP machine. I may have missed it because it is too important that the reason to get a C PAP machine is because sleep apnea is a silent killer. The individual goes to sleep, and they never wake up because they stop breathing while they sleep. Contact your doctor and ask for a sleep study as soon as possible, it is that important.
    4 points
  23. You posted: Its a lie. You do not need a "diagnosis" on active duty. Instead, what you do need are the Caluza elements of: 1 CURRENT diagnosis. You do not have to have a "diagnosis in service". Allow me a single example refuting the "diagnosis required in service" myth.. Many Veterans have contact Hepatitus C during the military. "There was no test" for Hep C, back then, it was "NonA Non B" hep, test and you didnt need that either. Is it your fault that medical science improved and they can NOW better test and diagnose issues that were not diagnosed in service? 2. In service "EVENT" or aggravation. You may need a record of "the event", which could be a fall from an airplane! I dont know if this is documented or not, did you seek treatment for it and tell the doc you fell out of an airplane? That should suffice as "event in service". Caluza vs Brown lays it out: You do not need an "in SERVICE diagnosis". 3. Nexus, or docs opinion that your current diagnosis is at least as likely as not due to your fall from an airplane. I agree, TDIU is a good way to go "if" you are not working due to SC conditions. Get the Caluza elements and get SC. Did you appeal the old denials? Are they over a year old? If less than a year, file a nod. You can cite the Caluza elements, claiming the fall as an "event". The BVA will check the Caluza elements. I have read hundreds of BVA decisions. Many/most cite either "the Caluza vs Brown" elements have been (or not been met).
    4 points
  24. RG935: (Berta is a widow of a Veteran). Berta, has made it well known she does not give out her private email address, and responds only in the public forum. While some hadit people here DO give private advice, Berta has made a choice not to "give out" her private email, and she has reasons for that. I agree with her choice. "If" her advice is good for Veteran "A", then its also good for other Veterans, (in somewhat similar circumstances) as well as other Veteran advocates, many of which learn from her. I personally have read thousands of Berta's posts, responded to some, and have found her advice "nothing but helpful". As recently as this year, Berta advised me to "file an audit of my retro", and gave the department in the VARO to file it to. (VARO finance department). I took her advice and got a very nice retro check as a result. This enables other Veterans, who may also dispute their retro, to likewise follow her advice without Berta responding to each Veteran personally, which she probably does not have time to do. All hadit members are volunteers. We dont get paid to respond. Most of us are Vets, and most of us got help on hadit (often from Berta) and many of us eventually "gave back" by responding to other Veterans, when we have the time/knowledge. The good part of hadit is that its "peer reviewed". In other words, If I disagree with advice given, I post it but do not attack the personality of any poster by calling names. (You'r a liar!, You are an idiot! You are a moron, etc. etc. ) Instead, we "speak our peace" about "why" that advice may not be the best for that Vet. While we do have disagreements, they serve as peer review and raise the level of knowledge.
    4 points
  25. Speaking of Christmas, what a wonderful gift you could give by donating to hadit.com. I do not have much but donated $50 to help the thousands of veterans who use this site. If everyone could donate even $5 to $10 what a difference it will make for veterans!
    4 points
  26. I've been reading topics for a few weeks, and decided to share, maybe this can motivate some of you to start or continue your claim. I was a very successful Marine, Guide, honor graduate, 300 pft'er, Iron man, top of my class, followed orders to the T, leader, honored to serve my adopted country AMERICA, as a first generation immigrant from Colombia, South America. Not to go into details, I was honorably discharged three years in... it was catastrophic to me, I felt shame, failure... guilt. Many hospital stays, loss of all hope and finally distancing myself completely from military and VA for 20+ years. Nothing ever really changed, I just bottled it all in and changed jobs at least once every year +... highly technical, but not good working with others.. in the last three years, lots of things have gone down hill. I started a claim two years ago and just let it sit, out of fear of being labeled again, out of being cast in the shadows of mental disorders. My world spun out of control again and I panicked. I had been volunteering, taking out disabled veterans on outdoor trips and one vet told me, Jaime, it's ok, go file your claim and at minimum get some help through it. I took his advise to heart, as he meant it. All I wanted was some relief from this pain and guilt, 20 plus years of suffering in silence, pain, hurting, crying, nightmares, hallucinations ... just awful sadness. It's hard for me to write this, but I want all of you that read this to know that I found I was not alone, in reading what you all go through, I found common ground and my guilt has settled a little. I received my 100% P&T within 3 months with little effort, through my records and accepted that it's ok to not be ok. I was only asking for medical support and now I'm working through medications and support, it's not easy, I still hurt, I still feel like I failed my brothers. Even though most people that win their claim feel success, I don't feel success, but I feel it's a step in the right direction, it was extremely difficult for me, still is. I hope this brings those of you hope, I hope this testimony shows that the VA system will be there for you and all you have to do is ask for it. Thank you, Jsim, USMC.
    4 points
  27. Just wanted to share this with everyone as I prefer to give credit where it is truly due: After I won my recent claim, with this forums help for my mental health my brother-in-law, an Air Force vet, began to look at his mental health more seriously. With guidance I received via these forums, I helped by advising him on how to develop his claim and he submitted everything on Jul 1 2020. Today, he received a lump sum deposit from VA. Upon later review of his VA.gov account, it had been updated to reflect his mental health as secondary to his current back claim and was awarded 70%. Bringing him to 80% combined (30% for back). My sister and her family are greatly appreciative of everyone here who has contributed to the forums, as I explained to them where my new found knowledge had come from. You guys are the real helpers!
    4 points
  28. Checked Ebenefits today! Finally!!! I have 100% on the circle at the top and checked the letters and it says I am P&T! Thank you all for the help over all of these years! It was a rough ride! Now to fight for the backpay!
    4 points
  29. Thank you Ms T , had you never got hadit going most of us would not be where we are today and all of us vets old & new We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for that . I am grateful to you for getting hadit going its a wonderful site and after were all gone ,I hope and pray these new young veterans will keep hadit .com strong as it always is. hadit has been a therapy for me when nothing els works except the hot-line # when I am down and depressed and my anxiety gets the better of me and I can't think Hadit and its members make me want to live and be a better man . from what I learned here and help other veterans it just makes me feel so gooood and I come down back down to earth, THERE'S NO BETTER SATISFACTION FOR ME TO HELP VETERANS GET THEIR DESERVED BENEFIT'S.. ...>if any of this make any sense . We'll it does to me and Nothing nor anyone will ever replace Hadit.com. We all own YOU the Thanks Ms T. God Bless You Lady. Buck
    4 points
  30. Today I made it to 20 years with 80% VA disability. Thanks to Hadit and its contributors!
    3 points
  31. OK, I had to change some of my post. If you have a medical opinion that your service connected mental health keeps you from being employed and you are unemployable due to your service connected disabilities then the VA should grant your TDIU. The VA tries to get away with a lot of things and they do as long as the veteran does not file for a hearing or an appeal. Typically when a veteran request an increase and the VA reduce their rating it is called a mischaracterization of the issue. You can also file for SSDI from the SSA Office.
    3 points
  32. Not sure what the outcome will be, but this is a lot better than a straight-out denial. In other words, the VA is given your claim a second look before they make a decision and even though you may get a denial, the second look that they are crossing their (T)s and dotting their (I)s is better than a denied rating.
    3 points
  33. I don't complain about VA that much- for the most part I haven't had some of the issues you guys have had. That said, I used to work IT (15 yrs, almost) from deskside to enterprise level, and VA's IT is a mess. Honestly, its part of why I work for them. I love working claims, don't get me wrong, but my BS is in IT and Systems Analysis with some programming, my MS Ed. is in designing and converting curriculum and systems to run distributed learning (online school). VA's IT is a mess, and OIG agrees with me. My dream job would be to either work in the National training to redesign VA online and continuing educational materials, or to work in IT in general and try to help figure out their IT problem. They throw money at things with no fruition, or it ends up being done half assed by contractors and its never fully implemented or efficient. Our INTERNAL systems are the same way, so I feel your pain, believe me. Part of my work daily is done remoted into systems that look like something from the movie "Hackers" or "Wargames" and they are just about as finicky and slow.
    3 points
  34. LadyMC In my opinion, you are requesting a supplemental claim for an increase. If you are appealing within in a one year of your low decision, you would get continuity to the EED. You may have the basis of a CUE, but personally, I wouldn't be going down that rabbit hole. You have a much better chance of getting the higher and correct rating by new evidence from your doc than to go the legal route of CUE. Others may disagree; you could file a CUE anytime, but the supplemental route is more likely to be successful. Don't even think about the other alternative, HLR; it will not likely get you anything but a a confirmation of their original low ball rating. Be sure to submit using the supplemental VA form 20-0995.
    3 points
  35. You are going to have to channel that anger, frustration into positive energy to fight for your benefits if you want to win. I am sure you have read my posts how the VA and BVA denied my claim for years and when my claim went to the CAVC and they remanded it and then the BVA granted my service connection, stating that the evidence was always in my records. We all know that there are a lot of bad decisions coming from the VARO and the BVA. It feels good when after so many denials you get a rating decision that states that the VA agrees that you have/had a valid claim and that they were wrong and they are going to pay you for your disabilities.
    3 points
  36. Keep pushing. Call the 800 number and keep on them until they make something happen. Another thing you can do is go to your VA hospital and talk to the C&P officer there. I have had luck with them getting a re-exam much faster.
    3 points
  37. Bottom line: It's PAINFUL, but there is an answer. I (or I should say my wife) have been dealing with this for 10 years. I receive the Helpless Child Benefit as my son is permanently disabled. He has received SSI since prior to his 18th. The transition was relatively easy. Submitted once, disapproved, appealed, approved. Now is where the fun begins. Every three months since his 18th Birthday we receive a letter from SSA explaining his SSI is being reduced by x amount due to HIS Department of Veterans Affairs payments of x. This precipitates a phone call to the SSA explaining the payment is NOT to him, it is to ME and is used to offset the cost of his care PERIOD. Then they reinstate with backpay and the cycle begins again. EVERY THREE MONTHS! The one thing you will absolutely need is a letter from the VA. It has worked for us. The hardest part is that every time you call you will get a new bureaucrat who isn't familiar with this fairly unique situation. I am happy to provide the text of the letter if you want it.
    3 points
  38. If you are $ challenged, I suggest one of my fellow VA agents who provides this service to Vets now. Beth Spangenberg of Valor4Vet.com will work directly with Vets without requiring you have an attorney/agent. This is often the roadblock Vets (or anyone) encounter. Quite simply, too many IMO outfits have been burned by extending credit and not getting paid. Beware the pay-to-play outfits like the one in Florida who prey on Vets. If they offer their work for free with some ungodly financial contract and ask you for your ebenefits ID and password as a condition, don't walk away. Run. For the record, an IMO is an Independent Medical Opinion. You can obtain one without a face-to-face examination in everything but claims for MDD. The VA will require it (any MDD claims) to be denied by one of their own VA-contracted psychs first. Do this before you submit your IMO. At a minimum, your IMO psychologist/psychiatrist will have to "meet" with you which can be done via Zoom or even Facetime. They will also need a complete, recent copy of your claims file in order to opine. An Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) is a tool generally ordered by a BVA Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) on appeal to clarify a poorly written IMO or no IMO at all. If you have a lot of Internet article evidence which preponderates in your favor in a general sense but is not exclusive to you personally, they send out for one. IMEs are done by (gag) Independent medical "specialists" and are most often drawn from the ranks of VAMC doctors. They generally opine against Veterans in all but the most obvious appeals. A VLJ is not bound by any IMO. They usually choose the one with the most peer-reviewed articles cited. They have to follow a certain method to be useful-i.e., more than just data and conclusions with no supportive rationale. Most of VA's IMOs by ARNPs are easy to defeat with an experienced outfit who knows how to write one. The biggest mistake now in the new AMA is to file a 526 with a brand new IMO. VA will get one against you and deny. Then you have to go get a new one to fight them. I file with little or nothing first. Maybe just a 4138 that says "this began when I was in basic." VA denies after a c&p. I then file a 10182 and send it to the BVA. I never waste time doing HLRs. The law says benefit of the doubt. VA gets one bite of the denial apple. Your IMO, if constructed properly, puts the claim/appeal in equipoise and you win. Vets need to realize that the new AMA has created a huge volume of NODs going to the BVA now instead of being done with supplementals or HLRs at the local Fort Fumble near you. When you send an appeal in with an IMO, the BVA is glad to get it off the table. They grant because it doesn't require any IMEs, development or remands. Try this one for size. https://asknod.org/6051-2/ Best of luck to you all. Be safe.
    3 points
  39. The VA will accept whatever is sent to them, but if they look at it and it changes their opinion is something totally different. The VA gets caught up here when you appeal up as they will start to look at all the evidence and not just a few things they think are relevant. I have seen where one opinion will out do 2-3 others as it was what it was originally based upon. Keep appealing and keep fighting. If it does not show it here then it probably did not get used to make the decision.
    3 points
  40. Both. We look for it and so do they. But Ctrl f doesn’t work on everything and we’re still eyeballing hundreds of pages a day in typed but scanned documents ( doesn’t appear as text when searched for) or hand scrawled op reports, sick call slips, abbreviations that aren’t standardized, etc. that being said, we can’t infer a disability and then deny it either. If it’s inferred it’s because a positive grant can be made, even if it’s 0%.
    3 points
  41. The same thing happened to me seminoles. I thought, "Gee what a nice examiner"...until I read what she said, instead of listening to her "kind" back stabbing words. Police sometimes do that, too. The courts have ruled that a policmen (or detective) doesnt have to tell you the truth. So, they can say stuff like, "Oh, your friend already told us you shot him." "That RAT! He shot them, all I did was load the gun". They know how to get people to turn on their buddies. The examiner is not held accountable to their words, only what is documented, and they make the report. Neither are IRS employees, or VA employees, or generally, VSO's. An IRS employee can tell you, "Sure, you can deduct that". Then, some time later you get the "official' LETTER, telling you the truth. Ditto for VA employees and VSO's. "Gee, Mr. Veteran, you must have misunderstood what I said. I didnt tell you "not to apply", I said "go ahead and apply". Given the courts permit, or even endorse lying, its no wonder why there is so much evil in the world. You cant legislate morality.
    3 points
  42. I agree with the advise given but would make this even stronger. If you can go to claims in VA.gov, go to letters and print out a hard copy of what your husband's disabilities and status are. Or, get a VSO to print this stuff out for you. be sure your latest diagnosis and progress notes are posted in his medical files and bring a copy with you to the C&P exam. Make sure the examiner knows his latest current condition. No need to bring 4 inches of data files, just the current or it won't be looked at.
    3 points
  43. This is a deal killer you must fix: "Could" is the deal killer. VA considers this "speculative". I "could" win the lottery and not need any VA benefits. The nexus needs to be in this format: You are gonna need a nexus. Your VSO should have helped you with a nexus. Your nexus can not use the words "may" "maybe" "could" "might be", etc. You need the docs opinion that it "as least as likely as not" due to an event in service. Look in your records, you may already have an acceptable nexus. Or, one of your doctors may provide it "in a language that VA understands", above. Otherwise, you will need a doc opinion to (IMO) to get SC. Now, its similar with TDIU. You need a doc's opinion that your "(SC conditionS) are at least as likely as not the reason you are unable to maintain SGE (Substantial Gainful employment). I suggest you go for both..TDIU, and appeal your denials. Either or both of these may win for you.
    3 points
  44. I'll add this On Anything we file on we need to have our C-file and know what's in it!!! So its good that veterans request their C-file Before filing...this could save a Denial/Appeals. (jmo)
    3 points
  45. yes. The payments are returned from your lender, not the VA, so you can only do it once, per the Lender/Nelnet, whomever's rules.
    3 points
  46. OK 100% scheduler and TDIU pays the veteran the same benefits but P & T is not a rating it is an ancillary benefit granted to veterans once they have reached 100% scheduler or TDIU. TDIU is granted to veterans that cannot not work due to their service connected disabilities. When the veteran is award 100% scheduler, he/she can legally work and make all the money that he/she wants. There are no restrictions. P & T comes together and VA can't/won't separate the two. It depends if your medical evidence states that your conditions are permanent in nature ( Not Likely to Improve). For more information about P & T try looking up VA form 21-8760. https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8760-ARE.pdf
    3 points
  47. If you have a smart phone, you can cover your information and take a picture of the pages and then add the pictures as attachments.
    3 points
  48. According to this, we are looking at "about" 1.3 percent Cola, but It could be better, or worse! However, most noticed food prices went up in the past few months. I am gonna guess 1.5 percent or better. My guess only. https://militarybenefits.info/cola-increase-watch/
    3 points
  49. Rambo 123 Sorry that you have been getting the run a round but as you realize, it is confusing trying to deal with the VA. The short answer is that they feel that there is clarification to be had by having a review at a new C&P. It is further development. Maybe, it has something to do with the conflict between the diagnosis/effective dates? You didn't say when you are scheduled, but I assume it is fairly soon. You should know that it is important to be sure you attend; otherwise you could be denied. You could try to contact the director at the RO who schedules the C&P's and state your reasoning for it not being necessary, but short of that go to the exam and see how it falls out. If it is bad, you can always appeal.
    3 points
  50. #ANYONE touching/reading this Forum or any part of it can Subscribe like I just did at 5 bucks a month. And I do mean "Anyone". IF a "Low Income Senior" who Medicare told; "You are a QMB, henceforth do not pay any medical billing", IF he/she can do this can't you as well? Five bucks a month commitment???!!!
    3 points
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