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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    WOW!!!! 100% plus SMC and P & T!!!!!!! Thank you for reminding us all to NEVER EVER EVER GIVE UP! Many here have gotten to that point and wanted to walk away but we knew our claims were solid and ,as long as we persisted, we eventually had Success. Sometimes I think the VA claims system is 'cruel and unusual punishment'and was thinking last night of a horrific SOC I got decades ago-I was devastated by what they attributed my husband's death to----I called the C & P doctor up and raised hell with him- only to learn that he had never been given my husband's autopsy! He became very angry with what the VA had pulled on him, and then we had quite a discussion. I had failed to even notice that the autopsy was NOT listed as evidence. The VA even failed to send it ( I had sent them 12 copies of it by priority mail) to the General Counsel for my FTCA case.When that FTCA claim wasinitially denied I called up that C & P doc as well- she was the top Cardio doc at VA Central. She screamed into the phone WHAT AUTOPSY!!!! She too had bee manipulated by th Buffalo VARO. She got a copy of the autopsy from me, and then the OGC lawyer called me up right away to settle with me. My case could have been settled prior to that- by the Regional counsel who wanted to settle with me due to a Peer Review report he had from a Cardio doc, that fully proved my FTCA wrongful death charges-and then the Peer Review report was AWOL!!! VA told me it had Never existed.I had to start all over again with OGC in DC- I found the Non existent Peer review report at the very bottom of my C file-in 2003 and used it for my AO IHD claim. We deal with a lot of incompetency at VA but some of it , as my C file reveals, is deliberate. .
  2. 2 points
    Reductions are something every SC veteran worries about. Its often a fear that keeps vets from seeking increases in disabilities that have worsened or appealing bad decisions. I had my own scare a few years back when i filed for an increase, had a bad C&P on a disability and the VA sought to reduce me which freaked me out. I eventually beat them at their own game but i wanted to put out some information that are preventative measures to stop reductions from occuring or provide the evidence needed to fight them if the VA decides to push it. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet that makes a reduction ironclad, just as there is no ironclad approach to filing initial or increase claims that that VA cant argue with. Since rating is done by humans and humans are prone to fault and bias there is no guarantee with anything only higher or lower probabilities with getting claims granted and providing more armor for the appeals process. 1) Schedule regular checkups I know alot of vets here dont have access to secondary care outside the VA whether its location or money. If you do have the money/insurance outside the VA to see a outside primary care/specialist or can access the VA's choice program to see non VA medical professionals take advantage of that. I am lucky that I have access to this through my employer so outside of my annual checkups/specialists at the VA i go to private doctors at least annually to document the state of my current conditions. I am honest with my doctors and ask them to make detailed notes of each condition i talk to them about and its current symptoms, etc because i need to provide the VA with documentation of my disabilities. It doesnt matter if my condition hasnt worsened i still talk to them or a specialist about it so that i have the documentation. If you dont have access to this make sure that when you do your VA checkups you specifically talk to them about all your disabilities as well, how its impacts you, pain severity, how often it bothers you, etc. If your VA provider DOESNT address something in your medical record make sure you send a secure message through myhealthevet so that it is recorded that you spoke to them about it. 2) Start a Diary I would start a diary, preferrable on a word document or even better on the "activity journal" on myhealthevet and record symptoms, sick days, etc for ALL your disabilities and even things not SC that might in the future be something that is secondary to a SC condition. I prefer to keep these journals on a word doc, you dont have the write a novel just the big things like, "ran today, bad pain in shins after 10 minutes, 4/10 then 7/10 after i walked back home. took naproxen and stayed off for the rest of the day", "back pain after being at work for 2 hours, no relief with 800mg IBprufen and flexeril" This diary especially when its updated on myhealthevet in a timely manner say every month or a couple times a year is great for establishing what symptoms you have been experiencing regularly day by day, week by week or month by month in between doctors visits. The VA likes to take one or two visits where you are stressed, rushed or dont want to be there and answer "fine" to "how are you doing" or "how has _____ disability been " and use that as a justification that you are showing "material improvement" in your condition. The main takeaway is NEVER approach a C&P or ANY VA MEDICAL VISIT as routine. You dont need to stress but always describe how X disability is doing as how it feels on the WORST day not on the best or how you are felling at that moment. That being said meticulous diary entries can help bolster your case you have not experienced material improvement. Regularly updating you myhealthevet journal also timestamps it to show this has been done regularly over months, years or even decades so that a rater cant just say you made it up on the spot, and you can point to that you ahve regularly updated this journal to show over X number of months, years or decades to show what its like with your disabilities on a daily basis. 3) Dont let Medications Lapse Never let your medications with the VA lapse. If you need 3x daily naproxen and 1x daily muscle relaxant to deal with back pain and your med refills show a 6 month gap the VA can make the claim your condition has improved. The VA CANNOT reduce you if your symptoms improve with medication, but if you are not taking your medication it can be an indicator that you are getting better. I know i sometimes get private Rx's not throught he VA and have them lapsed so i document and keep records of those medications (the sheet they staple on the bag with the name, doseage, date, etc) so i can scan and upload as needed for C&P, claims, reductions, etc. the VA may not prescribe the Rx you want so i get why you would go elsewhere but send a message to your primary care stating that you have gotten a Rx through a private physician, ask to be prescribed it through the VA, if they refuse then keep screenshots of these discussions for reference as well so its documented. 4) IMO's are key I know when i got hit with a reduction attempt by the VA my IMO saved me. 100%. no doubt. I had a terrible C&P for PTSD increase, they took me to a deserted wing of this old hospital and scanned me into what i think was the psych wing with no lights, was put in a dimly lit room where a psychologists was on a telecon line. It freaked me out and i wanted to leave, so i rushed the exam to get done. This was my fault, but it resulted in him saying my symptoms had gotten better. I started looking for help and came to HADIT. the best piece of advice i got was about IMO's so i found a psychiatrist who did a full workup and submitted a fantastic IMO. It was hard coming up with the money but $500 vs losing $600 a month was a no brainer. You dont need to get preemptive IMO's thats a waste of money but I would make sure, if possible, that you take a little money out every month and have $1500 in savings for an IMO if this ever happens to you.
  3. 2 points
    This (inferred claim) is also possible.As much as some like to bash on VA employees, there are a lot of us that actually try to help veterans within the constraints that we are saddled with. I have caught 3 errors this week that caused 2 claims to wait for over 2 months for exams (due to covid) that they didnt need because I found buried on page 100-whatever of their medical records entries (in one case) for something they were already 0% SVC connected for, making the claim not a NEW claim but a simple increase request, and they had evidence already of record. I was able to change it from 'pending exams' to RFD and have it rated that day. In another, I waved off a veteran from applying for a job (that I had seen in their phone weekly checkin notes on their VAMC records) because I could see that they had a pending approval for IU that they hadn't gotten the letter for, yet. So I emailed them. I explained IU and told them it was their choice, but I felt they should have all the information before making the decision to take a job because they needed one economically and it was causing them a lot of stress and anxiety.
  4. 2 points
    Same here bro. But I had the IMO in hand when I went into the C&P for a PTSD increase. Thought I would save her some time. She got pissed and did her damnedest to discredit my Psycs IMO. Except she failed. I immediately upon getting my hands on the C&P filed a complaint with the VARO. Three follow up C&P's later, 100% P&T.
  5. 2 points
    Congrats! Benefits include: • At 100% TDIU you have restrictions as to income. • Full healthcare with no copays at 50% or more. • Travel pay at 30% or more. • Dependent's pay at 30% or more. • VR&E at 10% or more. • Base IDs (Exchange/Commissary/MWR) for Veteran and dependents unless you are retired military. • VA dental or with VR&E or SC mouth or jaw injuries. • Possible SSDI (Time Limited!) • S-DVI waiver of $10,000 life insurance at 100% IU or SSDI (Time Limited!) • CHAMPVA (dependent's medical) if you are permanent (P&T) unless you have TriCare. • DEA (dependent's education) if you are permanent (P&T). • Federal student loan forgiveness or with SSDI. • VADIP (VA Dental Insurance Program) for Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare • VADIP (VA Dental Insurance Program) for dependent's if CHAMPVA eligible • Space-A Flights (Cat VI) - Veteran only • Non-VA ER if you are permanent (P&T) • 3 free non-VA Urgent Care visits per calendar year at 50% and above • Check if you are also permanent as in P&T. • Don't forget, you may be reviewed in the future! Keep all your doctors informed of every rated conditions! • Hearing aids and eye exams and glasses are included with VA Healthcare. • Here is a link to all the federal benefits. https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/derivative_sc.asp • Don't forget each state has benefits also and may include tax exemptions, tuition waiver and more. Here is a link but check your state VA website for more details. https://www.va.gov/statedva.htm
  6. 2 points
    Received my SSOC today. I had one rating go from 0 to 10 percent and one rating go from 10 percent to 20 percent. Just checked and money will be deposited on Monday. Now I may try for my tdiu the worst they can say is no. Thanks all
  7. 1 point
    I would trust IRIS to follow through. I was just awarded 100% and downloaded my benefits letter from VA.gov, award dollars were wrong on the benefits letter. I fired off an email to IRIS and two days later my benefits letter reflected the correct amount. I'm sure others will chime in.
  8. 1 point
    Earlier this month, I submitted a supplemental claim. Today, I went on va.gov to see if it showed up yet.
  9. 1 point
    Congratulations! Not sure how you are thinking but as long as you continue to work, you don't qualify for TDIU. TDIU (Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability) this benefit is for those veterans who disability(ies) has not reached 100% and their service connected disability(ies) make them unable to work and unemployable. VA would then grant them TDIU. If you did decide to leave/quit your job, you would still be rated 100% P & T SMC and you would not qualify for TDIU because it would simply pay the same rate.
  10. 1 point
    Vync, I'll have to try that myself. But it really is little or no usable info you get from Peggy. Once in a while you get some rep who usually is a veteran or at least understands where we are coming from and offers some good intel, but really that hasn't happened to me very often. I called on a supplemental claim last week and got a really green rep. She told me that the claim moved to BVA and asked if I wanted to be transferred to someone in the group. Now you and I know that can't happen; the VA can't send it directly to the VBA; the Veteran has to decide on that path. So I played along and said sure, transfer me. The next rep was really put out that is what I was told. After dancing around for a while she said that it was "just about" at "decision;" no letter cut yet. I called my VSO and had her check thru VBMS. Nothing happening and no indication of any decision coming in what she could read. My point is, we tell people on this site all the time that calling Peggy may make you feel like you are getting info, but it is limited, inaccurate, out of date or just plain wrong most of the time. But I admit, sometimes is fun.
  11. 1 point
    @RBrogen It sounds like you might be dealing with two issues here. 1. Your c-file and any document authored by the VA is considered part of the record -- even if the documentation is not present before the person at the VA who makes the decision on your claim. I have a HLR/CUE idling at the VA for this. My C&P doc performed an exam, but misplaced the results. I was brought back a couple of weeks later for a second exam with the same doc and was granted 10%. Years later, I got my claims folder and found the original exam notes. I also found a radiologist report that they completely overlooked, so it's kind of a one - two punch. If successful, my initial rating will be increased to 20% or 30% depending on how they read the evidence. 2. The VA says when we file a claim, we must identify the benefit that is sought. My initial C&P exams from 20+ years ago included diagnosis of other issues, but the VA only made decisions on the specific things I claimed. They didn't bother to even consider if the additional diagnosis' were considered to be a secondary. It's a case of the VA doing as little as possible just to get the paperwork off their desk.
  12. 1 point
    I know; first time I saw that on mine I had to laugh too. Ebennies isn't going to tell you anything else on your status until the very end. Call peggy every few weeks and see if they can tell you anything.
  13. 1 point
    7 years, 3 trips to the BVA one trip to CAVC finally awarded 100% effective Oct 2014. There are still two claims awaiting adjudication at the BVA, one should give me an earlier effective date and the other is listed as a compensation issue . Thanks to all of the contributors on HadIt. Oh, they have the monthly award wrong on my downloaded letter, it's off by a little over $60 so that needs to be dealt with. It never ends.
  14. 1 point
    Case Number:20-3907 Docketed: 06/05/2020 Luis Negron-Ortiz v. Robert L. Wilkie Appeal From: Department of Veteran Affairs Fee Status: dfh "On June 5, 2020, the petitioner, Luis Negron-Ortiz, through counsel filed a petition for extraordinary relief in the form of a writ of mandamus compelling the Secretary to take immediate action to implement a December 6, 2019, Board of Veterans' Appeals decision that granted a disability rating of 20% for right and left lower extremity diabetic peripheral neuropathy and a 70% disability rating for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), both throughout the claim period, and a total disability rating based on individual unemployability from January 1, 2009; and remanded the issue of entitlement to an effective date for PTSD earlier than May 30, 1997. Petition at 1-2, 8; Appendix at 9-18. The Secretary responded to the petition on June 18, 2020, and asserted that a VA regional office issued a rating decision on June 15, 2020, implementing the awards. Secretary's Response at 2-4. Later the same day, the petitioner filed an unopposed motion to voluntarily dismiss the petition. Motion at 1. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the petitioner's June 18, 2020, motion is granted. It is further ORDERED that the petitioner's June 5, 2020, petition for extraordinary relief in the form of a writ of mandamus is DISMISSED." https://efiling.uscourts.cavc.gov/cmecf/servlet/TransportRoom?servlet=CaseSummary.jsp&caseNum=20-3907&incOrigDkt=Y&incDktEntries=Y Maybe the petitioner sent a copy of this writ to the VARO---I cannot tell if that caused the RO to act swiftly on his claim or not- and I assume he still has an EED claim still open. Very unusual to see this type of situation.The veteran, upon receipt of the award ( this also was a hardship case) correctly filed the Motion to dismiss the Writ.
  15. 1 point
    Karl If you were wounded but the award wasn't submitted by your CO, this is what I found for procedure: on https://www.hrc.army.mil/TAGD/Purple Heart 2. Any member of the U.S. Army who believes that he or she is eligible for the PH, but through unusual circumstances no award was made, may submit an application through the member’s chain of command to the Commander, USAHRC, ATTN: Awards and Decorations Branch (AHRC-PDP-A), 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5408. The application will include the following documents: DA Form 4187 (Personnel Action) (Only required for Active Component, Army Reserve, and National Guard); Chain of command endorsement (through the first general officer in the Servicemember’s current chain of command for Servicemembers currently serving); Deployment orders or Mobilization Roster; Officer Record Brief/Enlisted Record Brief/DA Form 2-1, 2A, 2B, or 2C; One-page narrative describing the qualifying incident and the conditions under which the Servicemember was injured or wounded; Statements from at least two individuals other than the proposed recipient who were personally present, observed the incident, and have direct knowledge of the event. Alternatively, other official documentation may be used to corroborate the narrative; Casualty report (if applicable); SF 600 (Chronological Record of Medical Care); and, DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) (if applicable) My question is if you received a Bronze Star for that same action, wouldn't that citation also include the fact that you were wounded in that action. You may have an easier time on getting this corrected if you can get statements from your CO.
  16. 1 point
    So let me understand this. You had a warrant and had no idea of it? Or did you just not report in or go to court like the paperwork stated? I know normally if you get a ticket of whatever nature it is there are instruction along with what you have to do. Any time there is a bench warrant they will inform you at you legal residence. It sounds like you need to ask a lawyer a few questions, because without that Felony status being removed it sounds like they will keep coming after you! I know I had a ticket before joining the service and the judge ripped me a new one for not showing up. He was like it was $300 bucks why did you not pay it? it is was just $60 if i would have taken care of it. When you let legal things fester they only get worse. In this case it sounds like you need to talk to someone about the law and see if you can ask for some sympathy or something.
  17. 1 point
    Peaches1962 Congrats! It's been a difficult process for you but at least now you will now receive the compensation that you should be receiving, and that is worth a lot more than just the bucks. We hope you can hang in here and help others with what you have learned; help your brothers and sisters thru the process too. When you get your back pay, we hope Peaches that you consider donating a little also so we can continue. Best of luck!
  18. 1 point
    Two new updates, I did in fact find out that they assigned my effective date correctly, so there will be no more fighting them on this claim! Retro-pay already showing through the DAV so it should be hitting my account next week sometime. AND the best news of all, my rating is not actually TDIU, they assigned a scheduler 100% P&T so I am truly DONE with all of it for good! I am incredibly thankful to all of you here for your support and encouragement on this one; I felt so defeated and you all really made me feel like I could get through it, so thank you!!
  19. 1 point
    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! That's why you have to have your c-file before your BVA appeal because the RO can delete certain documents, it's all digital, and you would never know it. Now if you appeal the BVA decision to the CAVC, you get a chance to agree to what's in the record before the agency (RBA), and ask that other documents be added, but the RBA probably is not your entire c-file. The General counsel picks what documents are going to be in the RBA based on the issue before the BVA that the judge made the decision on, but if you two can't agree, then the court has to decide it. Further an appeal to CAVC is adversarial so a good experienced veterans appeals attorney who has done at least one CAVC appeal, and at least one before the CAFC is essential- or a pro se veteran who's on top.of his case and the law. This is not legal advice but my experience in going through this. The CAVC uses the ''clearly erroneous'' standard but there can be no plausible reason found for the BVA's decision or it won't be remanded.
  20. 1 point
    Hello all my fellow comrades, Even through my sicknesses and illnesses physically and mentally, I'd stilled persevered. There were times that I'd surely wanted to give up, and I'd felt like that's what they wanted! We are warriors on the battlefield, off the battlefield and amongst life. Never, ever QUIT!!! The fight has just begun and the war isn't over! Keep your head up, and maintain integrity. I would like to thank everyone for their awesome input with helping me to obtain such a rating. There were times that I'd needed to be away from this forum due to extenuating circumstances that needed my attention and of course, literally was boggled down doing research to strengthen my claims. Once again, thank you all and l'll definitely be paying it forward, to include a donation to this great platform. The following are my results as of today, June 22, 2020.
  21. 1 point
    Hello everyone As seen in the title, this is my claim. According to the VA the three elements to get an exam for secondary claims are: lay or medical evidence of a current disability or symptoms evidence of an SC primary disability (which substitutes for the in-service event, injury, or disease), and indication that the claimed secondary condition may be associated with the primary disability. With this claim I have submitted a personal statement of my symptoms, a diagnosis of mental health disorders, and a letter from a psychologist attributing my mental disorders to service connected tinnitus. I'm just wondering if based on the VA requirements if I have enough to get a C&P exam from the VA? Thanks y'all Mover1993
  22. 1 point
    Congratulations!
  23. 1 point
    Congrats on the win. You're right . . . Never Give Up!
  24. 1 point
    Hey brother, HLR is still pending as of now, been going on 5 months. I'm not entirely confident, but I wanted to try HLR before submitting a CUE. I try to post all updates in my original thread so it may help someone out some day:
  25. 1 point
    I finally got an extraschedular rating on my left hand. I went from 20% to 40% with backpay.
  26. 1 point
    Metformin Recalled for Possible Cancerous Chemical June 1, 2020 -- A recall of the widely-used diabetes drug metformin was announced by drug maker Apotex, due to possible high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is believed to cause cancer in people. The recall for all lots of metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets 500 mg from Apotex comes after one lot tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had higher NDMA levels than allowed by the FDA. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20200601/metformin-recalled-for-possible-cancerous-chemical
  27. 1 point
    As the first veteran to be granted AO exposure at a post or base inside CONUS, I am asked many questions. The most prevalent question is," how long is AO toxic after application", for the purpose, and in the amount, needed to win an AO claim outside of Vietnam and Korea. The short answer is that there is no answer. In order to win my claim I had a statement from the world's foremost agent orange expert who states that once AO enters the sub soil, 100 years. On the other hand, some experts reply that it quickly evaporates in the foliage and tends to never make it to the ground, and even if it does, the residuals are not detectable and are non toxic after three days in sunlight. The real answer is that, after application, Agent Orange remains toxic after application for as long as you can get can an expert to to say that it is! That expert needs to back up his expert opinion with a sound rational supported by experience, education, and/or scientific principles. It seems as though the VA uses the expert opinion of their choice to deny claims, while the DOD and the US government use a different expert opinion of their own choice to award untold millions for cleanup of toxic soil in Vietnam, fifty years after the fact! Where are your environmental experts, and how do you locate them? They are the top toxicology professors at the numerous colleges and universities across America. How do you get a statement from someone with such glorious credentials? Do your DD and research to find out where such professionals are located and email them. Tell them what you need and why you need it. I emailed the top five toxicology professors across the US and received three highly probative statements. One of those experts who wrote a statement worked for the CDC. in Atlanta GA. and had been involved in AO research. If you can get that kind of expert evidence in your claims folder, it is unlikely that the VA can refute it and you didn't pay $10.000 for the expert opinion. You will still face a uphill battle that I would expect to only be awarded at the BVA or COVA. Be mindful and aware, it takes three elements to win your direct exposure AO claim. You still need to have a diagnosis of one of the AO recognized disease and at least one well written nexus letter. I would suggest several nexus letters. I had thirteen nexus letters and never paid more than a medicare co-payment for any of them. As there is no presumptive of exposure outside of Korea and Vietnam, you will need to show exactly how, when, and where you was directly exposed to AO. If you don't have one of the diseases on the AO list, but you are convinced that your disease may have been caused by AO exposure, anywhere, at any time during service, you then have an uphill and almost insurmountable battle. Not an impossible scenario but definitely not a task for the faint of heart. You will need rock solid IMOs and IMEs. You will need to be tenacious and focused, do your research and respond with all of the DD that it is going to require of you. My advice on a claim like that is that if you don't intend to finish it, then don't start it. There are opinions that most AO claims have already been filed and decided long ago, so why would I be posting something like this? Just wait until the proposed new AO conditions are added to the AO list and you will understand, new claims will come out of the woodwork, and that is the reason why I went to the trouble to post this information.
  28. 1 point
    JPX31 Whoa!!! No, you should not try to down grade your ratings, unless you used fraud to get them. Absolutely not. You raise your right hand go where they tell you to go and do what they tell you to do. You go in at 100% ready to go. If your service results in you coming out less than that, the VA owes you. Your wife is correct. On top of that, the VA gets about $240 Billion a year budget. Do you really think that if you turn $ down, it is going to make any difference to them to give to someone else? Not. But one very serious note of caution. Don't expect anything until you get a decision letter in writting. Verbal stuff just doesn't result in the same final decisions often times. Conrats; you earned it!
  29. 1 point
    I have had over 150 removed now and any time you tell them it is painful or uncomfortable it is covered. I know I don't pay for them anymore, but when I saw a private doctor the nurse told me about this once they code it this way the insurance has to cover the cost. As for cancer if the doctor has given you a referral because they think something is wrong then 99% of the time this is covered. Someone could have coded it incorrectly.
  30. 1 point
    A little background first on this specific claim to provide greater context for the readers. I had no idea that i had OSA until i got married and through the years my wife has told me about how i would snore really loud, stop breathing at night, choke, etc. pretty standard stuff for anyone that has it. I had buddies in the Marine Corps who told me the same thing after our first deployment, but i had always chocked it up to my dad snored so i snored, the stopping breathing thing was weird but i was 18/19 so your health isnt a primary concern and BAS is only for bones sticking out. I got out in 2006 and didnt make a claim for OSA until 2016. First i talked to my primary care then was referred to a VA pulmonologist. He ordered a sleep study and the VA fumbled it sending me to a private facility and did a in home test. When the results came back i saw in my VA health record the Pulmonologist was terse with his message saying he wanting a in facility sleep study so a month later i did mine at the VA overnight. I was diagnosed with Mild OSA and given a CPAP. When the CPAP arrived i spent a month trying to get it to work but every morning it would show only 45-60 minutes of time. I have nightmares at night, some i remember some i dont but would rip off the mask or when i woke up would be so worked up i didnt put it back on. I do cycles of trying it for awhile and stopping for awhile, giving it a chance because my wife is worried about the OSA and its health effects. My claim history was this, as i stated i made my first claim in 2016 and was denied. I reopened the claim (when that was still an option in 2018) and was denied again. What i submitted was bascially the VA medical record showing that i had it, that i was ordered a CPAP and sworn statements by myself, my wife and buddies in the Corps that stated they saw symptoms in 2003-2006. I had NO nexus or medical proof that it began in service I made a mistake in 2019 when it was denied again and NEVER filed a NOD as i kindof gave up when that and other new claims for increases were denied, but I DID make a intent to file back in July 2019. I was out of the VA regulation changes loop and didnt know that they had gotten rid of reopening and moved to the Supplemental evidence route so in February through April i decided to really focus on making a quality claim since my 2016/2018 claims were more shot in the dark hoping that the VA would just grant it. I went to specialists in the field for the claims i was making and got updated diagnosis of symptoms and effects, got my sworn statements (which in my opinion has more 'umph' than a buddy statement) more detailed in terms of observed symptoms, timelines and effects upon my life as well as i went out and got two IMO's. The first IMO was for PTSD from Dr. Elaine Tripi in Michigan whos IMO got the VA to drop their attempt to reduce my rating in 2015/2016 (and i suspect it was because her IMO made a case for an increased rating). In that IMO she detailed my history, current symptoms, etc as well as opined on how my PTSD affected my OSA symptoms and how it interfered with its treatment. I also got a IMO from Dr. Anaise who wrote a lengthy (near 50 pages) on how my OSA is aggravated by Tinnitus and PTSD and interferes with my ability to go to sleep, stay asleep and interferes with my treatment. When i submitted the claim (reopen was still available as an option on ebenfits) my new claims, increase and "reopen" were all lumped together as one big claim and sent off in April. As a sidenote whenever i send my claim i do so through ebenefits as well as fax AND send CERTIFIED MAIL WITH RETURN RECEIPT. i keep a copy of the USPS receipt with tracking, Cert Mail receipt and the return receipt and staple that together with my hard copy claim evidence in a folder for each claim ive ever made. The VA has a way of "losing" evidence and if you ONLY submit via ebenefits, regular mail and/or fax you cant prove they received it per say. This DOESNT mean they wont pretend they didnt get it but what it does is allows you to prove upon appeal that YES you did send it in the time window necessary for your claim AND that they did receive it because the return receipt shows Jim VArep did in fact get it on such and such day. So if you get denied its really important to look at your cfile after to see what evidence the rater actually looked at and if they dont have ALL the evidence in that file you can appeal on those grounds in conjunction with more evidence if necessary that X doctors exam or IMO proves your case, wasnt considered AND the VA had received it. So a few weeks after i submitted it, the VA sent me the normal letter stating they had received my claim for X,Y,Z New & increased claims but i didnt see anythign about OSA which was weird. a week later i got a letter from the VA saying that my claims for OSA were not new, had been denied previously and were not on appeal and gave me a list of options. I chose Supplemental Evidence since the IMO's were "new evidence" to be considered and met the criteria and it had been over a year since my denial so i couldnt submit a NOD and get the backdated effective date. This was my fault. One i gave up in 2019 and didnt file a NOD to hold my place and Two i didnt keep up to date with new VA regs regarding reopened claims, etc. Since that supplemental claim was received on 4/24/20 (todays date is 6/18/20) I have had two psych exams and two records reviews through QTC (private company the VA contracts to do DBQ/exams). The first pysch exam was related to my request for an increase for PTSD back in April and in May i had a NP contact me who was reviewing my med records for OSA and had follow up questions regarding my condition both current and past. In that conversation i talked about how i never went to go get checked because i never knew what OSA was at that time, thought it was normal to snore, etc., how BAS is frowned upon in the Marines for things like that, my history with it since i got out up to now and how my nightmares make me rip off the CPAP at night. I did ask her if she had seen my imo, other evidence and she said no JUST my medical record. I know examiners arent raters and all but I find it weird that VA will deny IMO's as valid if they dont "review veterans entire file" but will accept something from a examiner if its negative when only their VA med file is shared. Its great advice to always bring your evidence with you to a exam but given the current COVID situation ALL of my exams thus far have been telephone or video. I asked her what the exam was specifically for or what they asked her to examine and she said it was basically whether or not my OSA was service connected and occured in service. I do believe it was but i was making the claim as SECONDARY to PTSD and/or Tinnitus as an aggravation which she was unaware of. I fired off some angry messages via the IRIS system to the VA regarding this (no idea if they got included in my record or reached a rater since the only response i got was "thank you for contact us heres how to make a new claim"). Within the last 3 weeks i had a 3rd & 4th "exam". The third was a MD who was reviewing my records as well and asked alot of the same questions, she was also unaware this was a secondary claim for aggravation and had seen no evidence submitted or my entire file so i went through it with her again. The 4th exam was another psych interview which i was told was to examine my secondary claims to OSA, but knowing the VA i knew it was basically another review of my ENTIRE PTSD claim ive had as well. Vets should be aware that even if a exam is about something specific any evidence or statements made that can negatively effect an existing general disability & will be held against you. This was quite clear when he just asked about current PTSD symptoms and never ONCE asked about my OSA, etc. So i had to bring that up myself. VA.gov check claims hasnt been updated since a week after my claim submission. my OSA claim has said "we dont know your status" even now and my other new/increased claim stopped after "request for more information" (i.e. requesting new QTC exams). So ever few days i check that as well as ebenefits to see if any of the DBQ's show up in my blue button (none have but im guessing because QTC doesnt have to update the way in house VA does). Finally today i see on my disabilities list that OSA was granted secondary to PTSD for 50% bringing me to 90% with an effective date of 4/24/20. I know that this ISNT the same as a letter from the VA but i know someone who is a VA rater who has been giving me updates on my record so im 99% certain this ebenfits update is accurate. The takeaways are this. 1) Do the damn research and work the claim yourself, no VSO or rep is going to care as much as you do. You care about your case, they have 15,50,100 other vets whos cases they are working and even if they are a great VSO/rep they cant possibly give a crap as much as you do. dont hope the VA just "gives" you the rating you deserve make it so they cant NOT give it to you with the proper evidence. 2)IMO's are golden. I know not everybody can afford them, i couldnt per say and had to sell some things to come up with the $500 for Dr. Tripi and $1500 for Dr. Anaise, but they were well worth it, without them i definitely wouldnt have gotten my OSA approved. I think have both a MD stating both the phyiscal and mental nexus and a Psychologist stating the pure mental side gave it a one two punch. 3) Along with the IMO go to doctors/specialists in your area and get documented evidence of you issue, ask them to be detailed in the exam notes. I even emailed a couple time asking the doc (this wasnt for OSA but a different claim, but good general advice) asking them to update the notes to specifically include certain symptoms and effects upon quality of life. Having this helps alot, combined with IMO's its very difficult for a random NP to override their findings with one exam or phone interview. Remember the VA is military based in that the ranking officer rules. So if you only have a NP (nothing against NP's this is just how the VA works) from a urgent care saying you have OSA caused by PTSD or that your shin splints are 8/10 pain and they have a pulmonologist, MD or specialist say its only 1/0 and doesnt effect guess who wins. If you have two psychologists but yours has great bonafides and background and theirs has only been practicing for 5 years solely at the VA yours wins. Im not saying dont go to a primary care to document because youll only see a NP all evidence helps but be aware if they pull out a MD who counters that exams findings youre likely to lose. Because they will always want to lean to denial and if their person has more experience or is a specialist that will win over what you submit. Dont give them an option, and even if they do decide to rule against you, you can make a great appeal based on the fact they sided with their NP over a specialist in the field your making a claim for who knows more. 4) Never let claims die. Dont make a new claim until your ready to with great evidence (file a intent to file first though to preserve backpay/effective date) If denied make sure you keep a reminder about the NOD date and when you do file a NOD make sure that is certified mail with return receipt to prove you mailed it/VA received it before the deadline, because if you dont and they can make a case it was received 24 hours after the NOD deadline you lost you backpay date and possibly years of backpay. Now there are situations where claims die but if theres a opportunity to still make it on appeals hire a GOOD (there are alot of crappy ones) appeals attorney and move forward. I know they take 20%+ of your backpay but if you aent comfortable enough to navigate the appeals process its well worth it. 5) stay up to date on new VA regs, Hadit is a great source for this you dont want to be like me thinking that certain avenues are still open and they arent. If I had stayed up to date i wouldve been able to file earlier for the OSA and preserve YEARS AND YEARS of backpay now im only going to get 2 months. 6) I didnt do this for this claim although i should've and kept a diary of when i was using the CPAP, roughly when i ripped it off, data on how long i wore it, frustrations over not being able to wear it, info on my nightmares causing me to rip it off etc. years of diary entries wouldve been a help. I didnt need it in the end but if you cant afford a IMO things like this can help because theres NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH EVIDENCE. A diary is one of the key things that helped me win my migraines case. for months prior I kept a diary of my headaches and effects, then transcribed them into ebenefits health diary. I am not perfect at it but i now write as much as i can as often a i can in this diary about ANY service connected or possibly service connected illness (especially things that could be considered aggravated by a service/possible service connected disability). That way when you are making a claim or fighting a reduction you can pull out timestamped entries for months/years relating to it and it makes it harder for a rater to think you pulled this out your but last month to make a claim. A big thanks to everyone on HADIT. i did alot of research here through the years to help make my claims better and it worked Another big thanks to Dr. Anaise and Dr. Tripi for their outstanding IMO's that helped me win this.
  31. 1 point
    There is a list of MOS's that have 'noise exposure' indicators (high, moderate, low) that is used. If your MOS is on your DD214 or other records we mark those for review for when it gets to rating. The threshold is pretty low for tinnitus and hearing loss, though hearing loss less so because there are actual audiogram results that will be sent back from the exam (or your Private medical records). There are certain things that MUST be done a certain way by your audiologist. You have to have them do a puretone exam (which I think is pretty standard) and they have to use the Maryland Speech Recognition type of exam (for hearing loss). Tinnitus is a pretty easy rating to get provided you have current complaints about it, and were around noisy stuff, or in combat, or under fire at some point if not combat. We flag the exam request with a modifier that indicates the possibility of MOS noise exposure before we send it to exams. ITs not always ringing, either- sometimes its a whitenoise type of static-y sound, and it can come and go in severity in certain situations, also.
  32. 1 point
    IBS is presumptive- if you can show boots on ground anywhere in the SW Asia region prior to Dec 2021 under 38CFR 3.317. I wouldn't try claiming it secondary to GERD- you would have a stronger claim just going the presumptive route. If nothing else, file an Intent to File VA form 20-0966, to freeze the date for the next year. Ive seen alot of these lately- not that thats a bad thing, just what comes across my desk. For me, they are pretty easy claims to move to exams and/or rating (im not a rater). If I can find SW asia within the time fram and you fall under 3.317- 3/4 of my job is done other than making sure your address, EFT, terms of service, discharge characterization, whatever, is correct-and in your case you are already rated for something else so all that personal info and service verification is already done (other than the boots on ground part, that I have to look for to see where you were on duty for at least 1 day in SW Asia/Gulf). I like these claims- while I don't have much of an effect on the end game other than marking your medical records for all the instances I can find of diagnosis and treatment, I can move through a lot of them and at least get you to the exam/rating part. I hate that you have the condition(s) but I like being able to at least get you that far. Its not much, but at least I feel like I helped a little getting you to the exam part if one is needed.
  33. 1 point
    This is Wonderful News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The favorable EED might have been due to the SSDI award..... They ( the RO) gave my husband a very favorable retro date as well-that was about a year before he applied for a higher PTSD rating -as the RO based it on the last day he worked per his SSDI PTSD award. He was dead by then for almost 3 years. They had to send me the retro. VA told me ,my Congresman and two Senators that the SSA refused to release his records. It was a bold faced lie. I fixed them on that with a very long phone call to the SSA in Baltimore. The SSA had relied solely on his VA medical records for the SSDI award.
  34. 1 point
    No just filing an increase in already S just want it right so I’m not stressed ablut losing my rating
  35. 1 point
    This is a joke right? You have seen the people on here that served back in the 60's trying to get benefits, right. I have stuff that is going back to 1985. 210 days? I am going to have to wait longer than that for my C-file. Take a deep breath and relax. This site wasn't even in existence when I needed it in 1985.
  36. 1 point
    I haven't been on this site as long as many of you folks and I know far less than many of you. But this site is truly amazing; the amount of knowledge we have collectively is fantastic. It is a source of information and guidance not only for the veteran who is asking the question, but countless more who have the same issues to solve. I think we have to pause every once in a while and think about that. But something else we have to think about is we are all different. Different backgrounds, education, experiences, etc. That is such a gift for this site because it provide sometimes different responses to veterans' problems based on our individual experiences. Sometimes we disagree. Ok, so we disagree. If in our hearts we know the response was wrong, I think we have a responsibility to offer our own opinion so at least the veteran can have a chance of getting the proper advice. But we have to do this in a respectful way. We have got to try and make it not personal. Don't attack the other person; express why your answer would be of greater help. No one spends all this time and effort advising veterans unless they want to help veterans, our brothers and sisters. That's why we are on here folks. And I will tell you something: when we bicker and go back and forth on a personal level, it is aBIG TURNOFF. People read it and say "I don't need this kind of kid stuff" and turn away from Hadit. Guess what, we lose the very people we are dedicated to help. Please take Ms Tbird's advise; if you try and can't resolve, just put them on the ignore list. Or take it off-line by messaging. Or both. I'm telling you this behaviour make the great advisors quit and go away and it drives the very people we try to help away also.
  37. 1 point
    @Vync i appreciate your reply and advice. i will go through the motions. not really a fight. just going to let the evidence say yay or nay. not much i can do
  38. 1 point
    Checked benefits today and I have the assigned ratings I was expecting!
  39. 1 point
    The issue is they set the standard because of medical issues for whatever reason can’t join because of that condition. It is like the army you can’t join if you have scoliosis and for good reason. Bleeding Disorders / Therapeutic Anti-coagulation a. Some bleeding disorders, either acquired or congenital, can be so severe as to be incapacitating and others so mild that manifestations are only apparent following trauma or surgery. As a general rule, the more severe conditions are often of a therapeutic concern, whereas the milder cases are of a diagnostic concern. Many bleeding disorders, however, lie somewhere between these two extremes. b. As with anemias, some bleeding diatheses are secondary or associated with underlying diseases such as chronic liver disease, acute infections or malignancies etc., which may impose employment restrictions of their own. Ch 1995 1A-MD-154-000/FP-000 ANNEX G c. Whatever the cause for the bleeding diathesis, the member is at risk for serious complications from even minor blunt or penetrating trauma; intracranial, retroperitoneal or intra-abdominal hemorrhage is a real possibility and may not be easily controllable even with prompt emergency treatment. d. There are many activities in the military environment which must be avoided by a member with a bleeding disorder, e.g. hand-to-hand combat, contact sports and even the routine activities of ship life if the seas are high. Other considerations include: ! what level and frequency of medical care follow-up is needed? ! what treatment is required? Coagulation factor concentrates or oral anticoagulants (warfarin)? ! what laboratory testing is needed to monitor the course of the disease or the response to treatment? ! is the bleeding diathesis a temporary, self-limited condition requiring only temporary employment limitations or is it a more chronic and life-long concern?
  40. 1 point
    I agree there seems to be a gray area. The VR Feasibility Letter seems to not state you cannot obtain employment. The letter must state this. If there is writing on that letter that does not state this then it is not helpful. You do seem Kanewut to have much negative evidence stating you can maintain feasible employment. That is why it is important to continue having the VA Primary Dr. updated with visits. These visits are in the notes on MYEHEALTH which you can read. The raters look at this. I am not very hip to the appeal process so GBArmy can help you with that. It is also VITAL to have a good VSO. I learned that the hard way. Fired mine and got a dam good one and that made a lot of difference.
  41. 1 point
    A good site to visit is on va.gov https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/
  42. 1 point
    My story is alot like other veterans, i had an issue and didnt go to the doc in service to deal with it and didnt go to doctors after because i was just going to tough it out. I had migraines off and on in service and after and got worse in the years after my discharge. I was finally to the point where i was missing work on days because of them and eating tylenol and 800mg IBprufen like candy. I went to a local NP who gave me a Rx and didnt like it and went to a neuro specialist after. I made a claim at the same time and was denied. So i decided to do it right the second time and got a NOD ready to file and started to work. 1) i started keeping a diary of all my symptoms of ANYTHING that was going on with me from PTSD to migraines. I realized not only for my migraines but there may come a day i need to defend against a reduction for something like PTSD or pes planus (already fought one for PTSD). Alongside that phsyical diary about once a month i would go into myhealthevet and transcribe it into a symptoms/diary on there, mostly because it was then in my health record more than anything else. I recommend this to all vets, you dont need to keep a physical and digital diary like me but at least do the digital one. If they try and hit you with a reduction at some point you can point them to the myhealthevet system and tell them to look at the timestamps to show months, years or decades or inputs. 2) i went to a specialist through private insurance (i know not everyone can) which helped to create more of a paper trail with a medical system that wasnt trying to leave stuff out. Most if not all hospital systems of moderate size allow you to look at the notes after the visit a few days or so later, if not you can request in person, fax, etc a copy of the visit notes and your record. Do so, check to make sure they also noted down everything and contact them to update the record if they didnt write something important down, they are usually receptive to this, just let htem know that you need certain things you talked about mentioned so when you share your files with teh VA they can approve Rx's etc. without having to visit them as well. 3) this is somewhat along with #2 but i didnt get a IMO for this claim, i just had a couple of detailed medical visits to private practicioners that painted the picture the VA raters needed to see. It was very detailed in terms of Rx's given, how many incapacitating episodes i had per month, the lights bothering me at work, headaches at work (severity & #'s) as well as how it affected my work performance. 4) i had sworn declarations from myself, wife and some buddy's at work along with sick time off from work that helped to put the personal & work effects in context. they were very detailed in how it affected me, my work & my family life and the burdens it placed on them, relationships, etc. the more detail the better. 5) I was lucky in that both of my post deployment questionairres had headaches listed on them, but i dont think thats a must have just a really helpful piece of evidence. without medical record info i think you need to track down a bunch of friends from your unit and have them write down about all the times they saw you have headaches, like every occurence and when you visit a private practicioner show them these and make sure they not in their visit notes that the onset was in whatever years those statements mention so that its a MEDICAL record thing and not a BUDDY statement thing as well. 6) I also in every claim go through my cfile and va/military medical records and search myself for what they need to see. I dont trust raters to find things so i go through pull the pages i want, HIGHLIGHT the sections they need to see and submit that with my evidence. they will still look for stuff to support AND DENY your claim, but at least they cant pretend they didnt see it, you submitted it! 7) when i submit evidence i do so first online through ebenefits while ALSO submitting it in paper via fax and certified mail WITH RETURN RECEIPT to the evidence intake center. certified mail/receipt is key. the certified part guarantees that the VA cant deny you didnt send it, the return receipt guarantees they cant deny they didnt receive it. This doesnt mean they CANT screw up your claim but on appeal after seeing your cfile and what the rater looked at you can make a airtight case that X,Y,Z evidence was provided but not considered. I know its expensive but all important correspondence i send to the VA regarding claims is sent certified. The evidence i send ALWAYS has a cover sheet, where i list that i want this evidence considered for my claim(s) for _____ and then i list every piece of evidence, a brief synopsis of what it is and how many pages that piece of evidence contains. I also spell out that i am submitted X numbers of pages of evidence in total and this way it covers the bases of if i submit a cover sheet saying i have 100 pages of evidence and theirs only 67 listed in my cfile, someone along the way after i sent it screwed up. now this hasnt been an issue yet, but maybe it might. I was eventually, 6 months later granted 30% for migraines, retro back 13 months and EED back 3 years to 2012.
  43. 1 point
    I am not so sure it is about where the doctor is at or what their opinions are. I think this falls more in like with doctors who give a shit about their patients. I have had great doctors at the VA and at private practices. I also have had horrible experiences at both. This is just an example of bad care at the VA. I had my gallbladder removed and I went under at 9:45 AM I was released from the hospital before noon. The nurse said I had gotten up and used the restroom and gotten dressed and I was holding down some food. All of these things were not true. I did not even remember getting dressed as someone would have had to help me. I was still in and out of it as they loaded me onto the wheelchair to take me to the car. I don't remember the elevator but i remember getting in the car. As soon as i got in the car and my wife drove to the street i threw up into her panara bag from the morning. The nurse had already told us we could not go back so we went home. I threw up 4 more times at home. If anyone has ever thrown up after and abdominal surgery it is the worst thing ever!!! I felt as if i had torn everything inside. My wife called the hospital at the VA and the doctor was so pissed the nurse had released me. He checked on me through out the night every couple of hours and no blood was coming out anywhere, so luckily i was ok. Just to give a frame of reference my wife had the same surgery a year earlier and she was in surgery at 9 am and we left the hospital at around 9 PM. We were at a public hospital and got far better care! I also have stories the other way. So my best advise is to get more than one opinion! Also know the basics of what you are talking about with your doctor (Google!) Always advocate or have someone there who will advocate for you!
  44. 1 point
    I don't think Seroquel is a medical diagnosis. However the treatment of the medical issue with Seroquel is. The secondary service connection would be with the injury or sickness treated with Seroquel.
  45. 1 point
    My thinking is that if your dianosis is now in the record, it will be part of your evidence for the coming up C&P exam. If your symptoms as shown by your diagnosis from May 1st show you should get an approval, that of course would be favorable. Your claim apparently was submitted Oct 18, 2018. So, that is how your claim is identified "Oct. 18, 2018."If we have an open claim, we can submit additional evidence right up to the time they make the decision. ( Submitting data late will certainly result in a delay in the decision, but sometimes we have to do it.) As to why there is another C&P exam, it could be for several reasons. There could have been something not noted on the the first C&P exam and the second is done to provide that info. The examiner has to address the "new" evidence from your diagnosis, and that certainly may be the reason. The VA often makes mistakes, but it is better for them to discover them and take steps to correct. Hopefully you will have a favorable results with you new C&P. I wish you well.
  46. 1 point
    Well, if you do get denied again, I would seek representation from a well-known law firm. Depending on how strong your claim is, you might get a law firm that would upfront the cost of an IMO, which you would pay back from your retro. More often than not, claims are won at the BVA level in my opinion. At least at the BVA, a veterans law judge (VLJ) will look at all of your evidence in your C-file.
  47. 1 point
    Good afternoon gents, I was denied for a direct service connection for anxiety. I now want to file a supplemental claim for Anxiety secondary to my service connected Tinnitus. Has anyone ever done this?
  48. 1 point
    Update: ebennies updated. My percentage increased and letters updated as well. Retro pay has not updated as of today.
  49. 1 point
    @paulstrgn since no one has answered you yet I will throw in some info here. If the C&P was done at the VA by a VA doctor you will see it in your My Healthy Vet info. if it was done by an outside contractor it will not show there. You can request it be mailed to you or if you VARO or VAMC is nearby go there and request access and a printed copy. I think the VAMC office is typically called something like Records Management. According to my VARO, Seattle, they don't have anyone or any workstation for veterans to use to look at their VBMS file where the results of the C&P would be located. The DBQ results are also in your C-file but obviously would take time to get to there and more time for you to get it mailed to you, even just the few pages of that particular document. If any of the elders have better information I hope they share it.
  50. 1 point
    there id ALOT of good info here. http://www.danaise.com/understand-the-new-rating-for-back-and-neck-spinal-disability/
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