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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/20/2019 in Posts

  1. 5 points
    July 11th? Do you have a time machine?
  2. 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.
  3. 4 points
    Now I will add my 2 cents to the question... As many have said, you have the right to file any claim you want to file. I was told by so many people in the past, that once I was awarded TDIU I should never file another claim, because the VA will reevaluate every one of your conditions each time your file, this is just not true and don't let anyone scare you into this belief. At the time I was awarded TDIU. I had four separate ratings, two were 10% ratings, one was a 30% rating, and one a 60% rating. I did not stop there, and why would I when so many conditions where highlighted in my active duty medical records that I had not claimed yet, due to ignorance of the system when I medically retired. Since my initial rating I have been awarded a TDIU rating, I have been bumped to a single 100% rating, ( apart and separate from my TDIU rating ) and have received 14 other ratings from 0% to 50%. I have received adapted Housing ( which today is a $70,000 grant, I have received the Auto Grant which today is about $20,000. I was awarded 1 K award, and I have A&A at the L 1/2 step. My dependants have received the benefit of not one but two separate Chapter 35 awards with different start dates ( 1999 for TDIU and 2007 for 100%). I never even knew it was legal to get more than one chapter 35 award. Also, as we age, our conditions get worse with time. A back strain becomes degenerative disc disease and will bump a 10% rating up. Torn meniscus of the knee eventually results in arthritis of the knee and a seperate rating. And lets not forget about the damage a VA surgeon can do to someone when they have surgery for a service connected condition. There are so many valid reason to continue your quest for any condition that you feel should be service connected. My situation could be the highlighted as the poster child for continuing to file claims. And to this day I continue my quest to be receive increased ratings and new ratings for some medical issues. I have had people tell me why would you pursue a claim that only awards 10% its not going to result in any more compensation...but when I decide to file a claim I am not looking to get a 10% or 40% rating, I am looking to get service connected which is the hardest thing to do. After getting service connection then I pursue the rating I think I am entitled to, if I haven't already received it. I may have 9 10% ratings, and alone they may not amount to much, but when your start combing the 60% , 50% 40% and even 30% ratings you may achieve another 100% rating, and the nine 10% ratings will help you get to that second 100% rating. Also, don't forget the special monthly compensations that you may end up with, such as Housebound or Aid and attendance and the different levels of Aid and attendance as well as multiple K awards. Finally, you could end up being eligible for a free life insurance policy because your rated TDIU or 100%, or disabled veterans mortgage insurance, which you can only get if you are awarded the adapted housing grant. And for those that are really hurting they now have the caregivers program where a family member ( or anyone you designate) as your care giver receives a monthly check based on the amount of help you need, and this program has just recently been approved for all disabled veterans. Another benefit for those that have a TBI, is a higher level of Aid and attendance that only those with a TBI ( Depending on the severity) may be eligible for. And remember, you never know when or if the VA will decide to take back that TDIU or other rating. So additional ratings are one way to insulate yourself against losing your compensation. If you just sit back after your TDIU award, you will never know how much compensation you may lose, but if you continue to file and achieve new ratings you may just be surprised how fast the compensation dollars add up. Together with the compensation & ancillary benefits you may live very comfortable. Finally, wouldn't it be nice to leave your spouse financially secure when you leave this world with the mortgage paid off, and a monthly check from DIC or survivor benefits , especially if she/he stood by you and cared for your during the hard times, for me this was my greatest motivation. You served, and your quality of life has been diminished because of that service, you owe it to your self and family to continue to file claims if you feel they are valid.
  4. 4 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.
  5. 4 points
    You have a relatively unique situation having a single 100% MH rating, 100% P&T status, and working in a secluded environment, which might be constituted as a "protected work environment". In 2017, CCK Law Firm won a precedential ruling which required the VA to spell out what qualifies as a "protected work environment" because §4.16 was not specific enough. Keep in mind §4.16 appears to have been written to apply to TDIU veterans, not regular P&T veterans. The ruling appears to create a grey area which you might be able to swing in your favor if the VA proposes to reduce you. This is kind of lengthy and I could be wrong, but should be interesting. If I made any mistakes in interpretation, I welcome feedback from other members. Here's what I used to believe: I was under the impression that if one has a single 100% MH disability, by definition, that means they are completely socially and occupationally impaired. I have read numerous posts over the years reiterating the same thing with advice that if the VA finds you working then they would potentially propose reduction to 70%. That was based on the VA's interpretation of one being "substantially employed". §4.130 Schedule of ratings—Mental disorders. However, CCK Law Firm won a precedential decision regarding "protected work environment", which might cover your situation. This is a very interesting read. https://cck-law.com/news/cck-successfully-argues-precedential-decision-protected-work-environment/ §4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual. CCK's win ordered the VA to define and clarify what constitutes "protected work environment". That was in 2017 and it doesn't look like the VA has updated §4.16 since 2014. Keep in mind that §4.16 appears to be written for veterans who are TDIU, not 100% P&T. https://cck-law.com/news/protected-work-environment/ The above article goes into some potential explanations of what constitutes a "protected work environment" and much of it sounds like your situation. The interesting thing is what is said in §4.16(a). It states that "Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment" and goes on to state that protected/sheltered work environments are considered "marginal", too. I wanted to give you some more information on "protected work environments". It appears that a lot of the examples provided by CCK's article may pertain to "reasonable accommodations", per the ADA. These are modifications to work policy or environment that allow someone to overcome a disability limitations to perform a job. For example, I am 100% P&T, and have disability ratings including 30% MH rating plus separate neck/back ratings. I work as a computer programmer, but my disabilities were causing me some real problems at work. The cubicle environment was aggravating my hypervigilance and the distance from my disabled parking spot to the cubicle was extreme. My employer fought this pretty hard for years, but my doctor provided medical justification for some changes based on hypervigilance, cognitive impairment, and physical mobility. They eventually implemented the changes and I was able to be productive again. They moved me to a private office with a door that I keep closed. It is adjacent to the building entrance/restrooms and they exempted me from in-person meetings (I call in to those instead). It's like I am a full-time telecommuter, except I perform my work from the office. I do encounter other people during the day in the building, but it is casual and not work related, so it does not interfere with my ability to concentrate. If you want to learn more about accommodations under the ADA, look up the Job Accommodation Network. They have a hotline you can call to get more information. Lets assume the VA sends you a proposal to reduce your rating because you are found to be employed and have annual income above the poverty threshold. You go to the C&P exam. The VARO reviews the findings and proposes reducing you to 70%. You could then argue that you work in a protected work environment which is classified as "marginal employment" under §4.16(a) and CCK's precedential ruling. The VA could then approve you for 100% TDIU given the circumstances. The odd thing is you are back to where you were initially percentage-wise and financially. If they do propose to reduce, it might be worth it to take this approach and try to convince the VA that they could potentially be going through a lot of effort for nothing. Once the VA officially defines "protected work environment", hopefully it will clarify things.
  6. 4 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.
  7. 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
  8. 3 points
    Yeah, me too. The sent me a letter saying they cannot process my claim unless it was sent on the correct form despite sending me to a C&P exam. So, I sent the supplemental form and am still waiting. Crazy... The CUE claim should be interesting. I wonder if they plan to turn those around in 125 days or less like everything else...
  9. 3 points
    Geeky gave the best explanation of TDIU, SMC's, and the options you probably will ever see.. Save it and use it to explore further on what you can or will do. And as Shrek said you really have to look into the future. You are a young veteran but someday, some new secondary conditions are more than likely going to show up. Put in the disability claims as they come up. If you earned compensation for a disability go and get it; you already have paid for it.
  10. 3 points
    VSO's are known to routinely say this and some veterans repeat it. It is based on the reality that indeed until you are P&T and have passed some milestones the VA can change your rating. It is not until you have been rated for 20 years that the only way to reverse is if YOU defrauded the VA. That said, ignore those naysayers. By default everyone here believes you told the VA the full truth about your conditions. Based on doing that you really have a limited chance to be reversed. IT is a hard thing for VA to approve. TD/IU are actually two different things. We refer to them in a shorthand as TDIU which implies they are joined. IU can be transitory in the overall. For example if you have a physical condition that the appropriate equipment can help you overcome the inability to work comes on the market you MIGHT get full time job and keep it for more than a year (which is the baseline measure the VA must use to roll back IU). The same holds for MH conditions. With proper training, the theory is you can get better and sustain employment. Going to school DOES NOT preclude you from getting or being on IU. The VA will argue and many veterans will tell you different but the facts are not on their side and you can search the BVA cases to find those that support the position that going to school is NOT proof that you can sustain a job in a permanent way. -------- Let me be clear, if you are currently unable to work due to your service connected issues then do file for TD/IU or file for an increase with is also considered a claim for TD/IU or at least is supposed to be. If you get bumped to Schedular, then you are golden. There is no more of the tracking of your income or employment that happens with TD/IU. you can work all you want as 100% schedular no matter what your service connected ratings are for. If you do get bumped to TD/IU DON"T STOP training or college. Once you complete the training / school and get a permanent job. Then you have to hold that job for at least 1 year to have your TD/IU status downgraded, and frankly at that point it would be legally right for that to happen. Don't let VocRehab tell you that they have to stop your training. They don't and if they try you will then file a NOD against that decision. As far as I know, they cannot stop your training while an appeal is in process. You can take this claim all the way to the CAVC or First Appeals Court. which should give you the time to finish, get a job and prove or disprove your ability to keep a job. SMC(s) has two forms, the first is Statutory and second is physically being limited to your home. you don't state which you have. You can get SMC(s) on TDIU. Statutory means you have a single 100% rating (including TDIU) and a separate set of ratings, not related to the body systems of the 100% rating, that amount to 60%. If you have Statutory SMC(s) and a 100% Schedular rating working is not a problem. If your SMC(s) is based on being actually housebound then working outside the house is a problem, but tele-work/remote work/independent work that does not require you to leave home should not be a problem. you will have to seriously document those exceptions to keep the SMC(s) based on physical limitations of housebound. TD/IU however means you can only earn up to the poverty level income for a single person that year (and no it does not matter if you are married or have dependents for that particular limitation). With TD/IU your income will be monitored. If you complete VocRehab and get a job you will have a year to prove you can substantially maintain employment before they reverse your TD/IU award. In that time you might and I only mean might, need to file for increases which could bring you to 100% Schedular which moots your TDIU as long as that mooting won't affect your SMC(s). If mooting TD/IU or bumping you to 100% Schedular reduces your SMC(s) then the VA is supposed to leave you as TD/IU to maximize your VA compensation. This could become a problem if you complete VocRehab and get a full time job that pays more than poverty level wages.
  11. 3 points
    That's a good idea GeekySquid...
  12. 3 points
    I have jumped the gun before and someone other than me could have helped. I will in the future ask for help!
  13. 3 points
    Well I choose the informal route did want to wait for transcripts of hearing. Me an dro talk for 2 hrs beening send back for 3 comp exam told they be done by next week yea right lol I think I got the smc for my hand When I ask if I will be getting my benfits he said u sure didn't need vso. An smile I feel good Told decision should be done 60days Last I call white house hot line over my issue dro told they got to get my case done so we will see.
  14. 3 points
    Berta, Bronco is dead on here! You truly are a blessing to those of us who have been in the mud and bleed for our country! You are the true meaning of what it means to serve those who have served! I just want to add to Bronco and say THANK YOU! We know we can never repay your time or effort, but know we are so grateful to you!
  15. 3 points
    But even if you were allowed to continue driving, should you? If you are loosing consciousness don't drive!
  16. 3 points
    Oh Happy Day!!! To piggyback on a phrase acesup used, (The Eagle Has Shit), let me repeat (The Eagle Has Shit). Six times in one day. Yes, 4 months 2 weeks and 1 day since my BVA Grant I am finally paid. Let me say to the folks who run HADIT, I discovered and came on board with you all at the end of my appeal but I have not been able to stay away since I discovered you all. I tell all my vet friends about this site. You people are awesome and you do amazing work. Please keep it up !!! Thank you HADIT for all you do!!! To all the Vets Keep fighting. Never give up....
  17. 3 points
    what state are you in? The reason I ask is each state has separate resources for homeless or near homeless veterans Shrek is right, the do move quicker when a child is involved. Besides calling the White House and your Congress-people, contact your State Veterans Administration tell them you are on the verge of being homeless ASAP.
  18. 3 points
    Daily I would be in touch with your VSO/WH/Congressperson/anyone who can help you move this alone. There are also nonprofits in areas who will help Vets, and they will typically go above and beyond when a child is involved.
  19. 3 points
    Splinter, it looks good for you. You are permanent and total, with SMC's. You can continue with the job you love and won't be penalized. Keep up with your treatments and keep the faith.
  20. 3 points
    I would say anything you can show to give them the clearest picture of how bad your condition is.
  21. 3 points
    Not in my opinion. It sounds to me that your asthma prevents any physical occupation. It does not prevent any sedentary occupation. At your age just try to imagine collecting disability for the next sixty years while sitting on the couch. I think that is a recipe for depression or insanity. I encourage you to get all the disability you are entitled to, but to also find something to do with your life.
  22. 3 points
    In May 2019 I submitted a new claim for 6516 Chronic Laryngitis with Dysphonia The C/ exam was on 28 June , I knew when I saw the C/P exam on Monday 1 July that I had won the claim, ( its listed on ebenefits as of yesterday as being rated 10% ) and I also knew that I was going to have to appeal it because the darn examiner did not indicated that I can only whisper.... without a whisper the two conditions are rated 10% with the whisper they are rated separately at 10 & 60%.... This new system is quicker I cannot deny this.. but they are making stupid mistakes which requires more work on the veteran and it will be years before the proper rating is awarded. since 2016 I have acquired 4 new ratings 50%, 40% 10% 10% combined to 80%.. . ( rounded up from 75.7) prior to that I have additional ratings of 60% , 30%, 10% , 10% , 10% , 10 % 10% .. combined @ 80% ( rounded down from 83.4) Combined all the above ratings come to 95.53 ( but the calculator won't add in the last 10% rating) I also have a separate rating of 100%. I have been working on getting all my issues service connected and while I win, I end up having to fight for every award.... In my case I am rated 100% and I have A&A @ L 1/2 and a K award ... already... But I have been working on getting more ratings to get a higher SMC... ( which has not paid off ) . What really makes the system stink is that I am only being compensated for the separate 100% rating ..and A&A plus 50% .... which means I have another 100% but I don't get credit for it at all The rating system sucks because as I mentioned in other postings , three of my ratings 100%, 60% and 50% are all combined into one rating because they are for respiratory diseases. I also have an award of TDIU that was not revoked when I was rated 100%..... It really stinks that I literally have two 100% ratings and a TDIU rating and it doesn't help in getting any more compensation other than the 1/2 step increase in A&A.... The VA rating system is not a fair system.... because in my case I am not being compensated for my total disabilities as apposed to the separate 100% rating.... but I know I am preaching to the choir..... anyway... its nice that did get a new win... Added: I forgot I also have Four 0% ratings... Darn the Military really missed up my body.....
  23. 3 points
    DROs beg me to use a 526 EZ to accurately capture the Vet's name, rank, airspeed and tail number in all those squares they are putting on the forms now. You can also file it on anything that floats your boat by law. VA has told us in the last month they are coming out with a new form for that in the very near future. Define "near future". Until then, you can buy one of those metal cutting computer-driven doomoflotchies and file it on 1/64" steel plate. Just keep the sheets down to 8.5" X 11". My favorite is those endless paper towel roles in VAMC bathrooms. Just keep waving your hand in front of the IR sensor until it's long enough...
  24. 3 points
    A couple of months ago, my VSO helped me file a 21-526EZ form for my heart attack. I had the heart C&P, but did not receive a decision letter. I called the VA and they were looking into it. I finally get a letter in the mail from the VA: Hmm... I decided to call 1-800 and ask them what they were thinking because I filed for a "new" claim for a heart attack, but did not request review of my old AFib claim. The VA call center agent reviewed the letter and said they screwed up. He sent an IRIS request to the appropriate department asking them to reopen the claim and complete it properly. We discussed the presumption of regularity and he actually knew what it was. He could not find evidence of a decision letter being mailed, despite the claim showing as closed in their system. Because of this, he said if I had additional information to include, I could send it on the usual 21-4138 Statement in support of claim instead of 20-0995 Supplemental claim form.
  25. 3 points
    VA Press release minutes ago July 5, 2019, 03:45:00 PM This link has all the AO presumptives and reiterates the 12 mile limit info I already posted in this forum https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5280 The note here they added might mean they are adding more ships to the AO ships list. "For more information about Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam waters (Blue Water Navy Veterans), visit https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/vietnam-waters/. The updated web links will be live at 4 p.m. EST. Please disregard the content prior to the update." I cant access that link yet to see what the update is. Obviously the regulations will be shaped by HR 299- noo word on Nehmer yet but as soon as I find out, will post that info here.
  26. 3 points
    Indeed! I'm 100% P&T and am not giving up on the additional claims I filed recently. I'm under 55 years of age, so having the extra protection against downgrade can be beneficial in the meantime. Additionally, it's a moral imperative to make sure the government doesn't take advantage of my lack of knowledge of the claims system, like they did in the 1990's.
  27. 3 points
    Time to file an opinion from your doc for an increase with your private medical file. If they tell you, you need a C&P exam after requesting an increase, file a writ of mandamus the next day and tell them to go pound sand. Literally. Also I wrote it out for you since its more likely than not you're going to need it. Writ.pdf
  28. 3 points
    Paul, your wife doesn't know my wife does she? They been talking?
  29. 3 points
    Now its a new waiting game for them to finish up the rating and back pay (I am thinking positive).
  30. 3 points
    A VA examiner (rater) doesn't necessarily focus entirely on the diagnosis offered by a contracted c&p audiologist or even a doctor.. While your husband may well have hg. loss and tinnitus, the examiner may determine it was not incurred in service. We all know they 'top sheet' a claim and rarely delve deeply into the STRs. This is also a test to see if you want to fight. If you do, they'll relent on appeal or a HLR and grant.If not, go to the BVA with all the evidence. Welcome to the VA insurance company. VA is notorious for using the Maxson v Gober argument. If you file 10-15 yrs after separation, it opens the window to the hearing problems being post-service. It's up to you to rebut by showing his job(s) do not entail hearing loss risk.
  31. 3 points
    @Tbird, sometimes you have to do what is best for you. You have been helping veterans for years and now it is time to take some time and focus on yourself. I do not know where veterans would get their information without this website. Stay strong and get the chair, there may be veterans worse off than you but they would be much worse off without this website. Semper-Fi
  32. 3 points
    Tbird, with the utmost respect, you have done a tremendous help for veterans and their families with this site. Your effects have resulted in hope and actual financial gains for countless people. But please don't use the comment "... there are without a doubt more veterans in more severe need than me. " I have to argue with veterans I am helping that it is NOT a money thing with the VA: their budget is $220 Billion this year. If you are in need and have earned a benefit, apply for it. Veterans say all the time, they won't apply because it will take away from someone else more deserving. Nope. In fact, I tell them that if we don't use benefits, not only will they end up eliminating or diminishing them, it will make it harder for the veterans that follow them to get benefits they should get as well.
  33. 3 points
    It is referring to an EP 020 which is defined here https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000011474/Appendix-B.-End-Product-Codes-and-Work-Rate-Standards-for-Quantitative-Measurements The EP stands for End Product and the 020 means General: EP 020 applies to disability compensation or service-connected death claims received after an initial eligibility decision has been made. Unless otherwise noted, the EP will not be cleared until all issues raised by the claim have been resolved. so yes your claim for increase seems to be about to be entered into the system, and considering your dates of submission and the word promulgation in that status line, it suggests that somewhere up the line a decision is pending. but again call Peggy to find out more specifically and let us know what they say.
  34. 3 points
    Good luck with getting that compensation, you should get it approved. That is a nasty scar, have you considered filing for a painful scar?
  35. 3 points
    The only reasons you would be scheduled for a second C/P examination for the same issue without asking for a new examination is either the first examiner did not not provide an adequate amount of information concerning the medical issue, or did not provide a reasonable opinion concerning service connection or denial of service connection. The only other way you would be afforded a second examination is if you submitted a Notice of disagreement and indicated that the examiner did not provide an adequate examination in other words you discredited the original C/P examiner with a good argument, and requested an new C/P examiner, and the rating authority after reviewing the examiners opinion agrees that something was not correct the first time around... This is hard to do but I have done it a couple of times, and both times I ended up getting a service connected rating.
  36. 3 points
    vetquest I would keep calling them and asking when will this be resolved. I would also call at different times of the day since they are a 24 hour operation. When I was having problems getting an answer I actually spoke with a supervisor who elevated the request at the other end asking for a response. Now mine was about a claim but I did get a response within a few days after that call.
  37. 3 points
    Filing a claim as ETS'ing is something new to me, it did not used to be that way. They do not give you a C&P sometimes when you have a claim with the information needed to give a rating. If they did not do C&P's did they rate you from your service records? That would be an ideal situation. On the dislocation that is not considered chronic unless you can show it still causes issues other than pain, I agree pain should be rated. On the ones you say previously rated, are they still rated? I would pursue the headaches though.
  38. 3 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!
  39. 3 points
    I agree with bronco, if the military failed to give you an exit exam it's too late to worry about it. I can't remember if had one as well. To do things over I would make sure I kept better records with the medical issues I had in the military as well as the first year after getting out (to be honest I was not aware of the one year rule after getting out that any issue would be considered presumptive). Definitively go through your medical and military records with a fine tooth comb and apply for everything you may be eligible for. Unfortunately if your medical records are hand written like mine it may be challenging what issues you had. Good luck and don't give up!
  40. 3 points
    If you have medical records, xrays, mri's, etc. that show the progression of your injuries, I would bring COPIES, not the originals , with me. Kind of late now, but you could have gotten an additional exam/ eval and a dbq from a civilian doctor as well. If you already submitted all the stuff that you bring next week with your claim, ask the examiner if they have the info and he looked at it, OR, would they like to see what you brought now. You have a lot going on and what I would do is to make sure the examiner has all the medical records he needs to make a decision. Don't push it on him; just offer it because you want to assist them in doing a thorough job.Ask them politely when/how you can get a copy of the exam as well. Remember, don't try to push thru the pain during the exam; try to relate how you act on your WORSE day. Lastly, try to work into the conversation how bad it is, and how it is extremely difficult to work now, never mind 5-10 years from now. I would be good to get positive comments from the examiner about your future unemployability. Think future TDIU. I think your mind set should be positive, but unless you are really lucky and most people submitting claims are not lucky, you should be thinking that you are probably going to submit a NOD because they are going to low-ball you on your claim. Hope I am wrong, but...
  41. 2 points
    I originally filed it on VA form 20-0996 and the VA rejected it as not being eligible for that form since my claim decision was prior to February 19, 2019 when everything changed. I called the 800 # also and she told me I need to decide which form to use. The letter I got back in May 2019 for the rejection said to use VA form 21-0958. Now I had sent an email informing them of my CUE and they told me that form 21-0958 was discontinued. They told me to use either form 20-0996, 20-0995, or 10182. I just love how the VA gives misinformation on which forms to use. Just got to love it!!!
  42. 2 points
    Well, right or wrong, I printed out me C&P exam notes today and highlighted areas where he falsified answers that he never asked me. I also noted his signature time of 12 minutes completing the exam and his notes. I then provided a state requesting another C&P prior to rendering a claim decision due to the quickness and errors of his exam. Probably a waste of time though
  43. 2 points
    Well, there goes away another 2 million the VA will not have to treat veterans. Of course if they would have treated this guy they would not have lost the money.
  44. 2 points
    I truly appreciate it and yea the job is basically my lifeline to the real world. Its not the money that keeps me grounded its the knowing I have to get up, I have to be somewhere, people are counting on me. I do not have a TBI, I was tested. I just have extremely bad migraines, insomnia, anxiety, etc. The list of disabilities is long but that's also 20 years of ground pounding in the Corps
  45. 2 points
    Dude you are golden! Work as long as you want and can. I checked your ratings and frankly you are set up for the day if and when you need A&A as well as a future with (l) or (m) if needed. not now but in the future. As an old old old computer geek, I will say that I do suggest that for your future, consider gaining training in data and or web dev/programming if you don't have it. If you do keep those skills current. Not that you want to quit your job, but the reality is your rated conditions are not going to get "better" and the older you get the more problematic they might become in terms of mobility and working for someone else at a location. It might not seem like it now, but trust an old Navy Chief, it will get tougher. If you develop and maintain those skills in web dev and data you will set yourself up to work remotely as an employee or as a contractor or even developing stuff for yourself. Data and web are here to stay and you have 20 years or more that you can work. Don't make the mistake of waiting too long to jump on that train if it interests you in any way. The VA just started a new tech path that the only requirement is having 1 day left of your GI bill and it does not count against your GI bill if I remember correctly. It includes all sorts of certs, boot camps, and testing. Contact Voc Rehab if you are interested in that possible training. The VA has also authorized several national boot camps, on line and in person, for tech over and above that program. Congrats and we look forward to hearing that you got your BBE
  46. 2 points
    Robert. If this is just another "regular" routine exam, yes I would bring them along and ask if you could be P&T as it sure looks like you aren't going to become any younger or better. Maybe the examiner will agree and put you in for it. In any case, make copies, don't give them your originals. Best of luck brother.
  47. 2 points
    I am not disagreeing with the above statement but rather adding that exceptions have and are made if your in some sort of hardship and or you have a congressional inquiry flagged on your file....
  48. 2 points
    I would just make a copy and mail it. You never want to mail originals to the VA, they get lost in a black hole.
  49. 2 points
    So a couple of things I did to get what I needed for pain. I changed doctors at the VA ( you can do this at anytime). Also doctors don't like this, and can be a very good bargaining chip. A good doctor will find a way to get the pain meds you need to cope with the condition. Another thing I did was to get onto CBD oil (the good stuff). I take 100 mg a day and I will tell you my mood is much better on it and far less pain. I am able to take limited pain pill to deal with the bad stuff. Lazuras naturals is a great site and they are keyed in on disability and veterans. Very good discount. Next the VA has a wellness program which includes tones of different things like acupuncture and chiropractic and message along with a lot of other classes. I know this crap sucks, but you can fight them and win!
  50. 2 points
    He got an exam before getting out of the military. What he did not get is a C&P with the VA. Did you file a claim with the VA when you got out? The only way they will do a C&P is if you file a claim. Do you have any service connected military injuries that are bothering you now?
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