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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/18/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    "I just became qualified" You may have just met the prerequisites for applying for TDUI, but that don't mean you can/will get it. I get the TDUI forms from the VA with all of my decisions after I went over 70% a few years ago. You don't need to do anything in my opinion, The VA is not going to give you TDUI without you applying for it and seeing a examiner (C&P), and if they do, just tell the C&P examiner that you are working and plan to continue to work. That should put the stamp on that, Just sayin, Hamslice
  2. 3 points
    This really gets my blood pumping! I hate to hear this kind of logic. When I hear it all this is, is a VSO not wanting to do their job! There is always a risk no matter what you do. I was told this back when I was at 40% not to rock the boat! That is when I was like what about all these other things and they were like just be grateful for what you got. I was like there is no way! After some digging I found out this way of logic is straight BS! Be honest and the truth will set you free! Will the VA have set back, for sure. In the end keep fighting them until you are satisfied you are receiving the level you are disable too! Never stop fighting! This is just my opinion, so take it for what it is worth.
  3. 3 points
    Finally, I am able to post into this forum thread!! I noticed on Ebenefits today that I am now rated combined at 80% from 30%. My mental health claim was processed and I was awarded 70% for that claim. Awaiting letter to arrive as well as retro. I cannot say enough how helpful this community has been during this process for me and my family. It is a huge blessing and a relief for us all. We thank all of you who contribute to these forums and urge you to continue! Donation and Subscription to follow! Keep fighting!
  4. 2 points
    Don't worry about pyramiding at this point. let the VA figure that out! I am an IOF/OEF vet and I finally decided to take on this fight back in 2012. This is a long hard fight and the advice given above is priceless!!! I would look through the presumptives and I almost bet you have more than you realize. Yes this does fall under the gulf war! Make sure you start your claim before the end of the month. You have a year to finish it. Also did you get the anthrax vaccine? I know there were some bad batches of this given out and some of us got the short straw with that crap. Also not all VSO are this way and I found a good one after 3 years into this fight at the VFW.
  5. 2 points
    You don’t get paid for the month that the rating takes effect.
  6. 2 points
    I have no mental health ratings, and I do not have a stressor, etc., for PTSD,, and feel I don't have PTSD. When I read the criteria for PTSD @ 10%, I met that with the exam for the OCD that was denied, and I feel I do have OCD. I can't find any criteria for OCD, but would imagine some overlap, or the old VA rule where they use what fits your problem best, but I suppose they don't do that with PTSD. I'll do some more poking around. Thanks, Hamslice GB Army, I retired a year ago and have been busier than when I worked. Not sure how I got everything done when I was working. LOL., I should be around more.
  7. 2 points
    When I won my BVA I just did the calculations in MS Excel, I had to figure out what I was rated and what the new rating would be. It was a pain but it was within a few dollars of what I received from the VA. I found mine to be more accurate than using the retro calculators. JMO
  8. 2 points
    Foxhound6 Way to go! Congrats, man. 30% to 80% is nothing to sneeze at. And take Vync's advise. Don't leave anything on the table; put in for whatever you have coming.
  9. 2 points
    so i was wrong. they did actually put a description in the letter saying why they only gave me 0%. but like i said- nothing in Ebennies for months now. so we submited HLR last month to get this resolved. do i have to wait for that to be resolved before i can send in a NOD or request for increase? which/what/how should i go about this? thanks guys
  10. 2 points
    Congratulations! Don't forget to update the % in your profile. It is still showing 30%. Also, you might consider any secondary conditions. They can be related to your current SC disabilities -or- side effects of medication used to treat them. If they happen to give you medications for your MH disabilities, and those side effects negatively impact intimacy, you may qualify for SMC-K, which is a little over $100/month more, but does not go towards calculation of your combined rating percentage.
  11. 2 points
    @paulstrgn It varies. It used to be a couple of days per month, but now it is about half a day per month. My employer provided accommodations under the ADA for another disability which coincidentally works well for migraines. I manage my own schedule. I am in a private office where I can keep the lights off and closed window blinds. If I feel an episode coming on, I can reschedule my work so I can lay down until it passes. They are also very flexible with allowing me to leave for appointments. However, because I am gone means nobody is there to do my work, so it is waiting on me when I get back. They did get me some help so if I am covered up the work will be assigned to other coders. I thought about filing for an increase, but that would mean I would have to go through all the headache of requesting reasonable accommodations. My employer makes us do this for each disability. I would work through HR, print out some form for my doctor to fill out, take it back to HR, and then they *might* approve it. With me being already at 100% P&T, there wasn't much reason to go through that extra headache.
  12. 2 points
    It reminds me of Monopoly, "Bank error in your favor. Collect $50."
  13. 2 points
    Now if I can just keep winning the "veterans lottery"!!!!
  14. 2 points
    Just got off the phone with Peggy and was told that I will receive another letter from the VA. From what I was told is the SOC is the DROs decision and now the ROVA wrote up the decision and calculated any back pay I was entitled to. The new letter was sent on 1/16/2020 so now I need to play the waiting game for the BBE.
  15. 2 points
    People are strange. And some really are jealous. I worked for defense company and had 25 years in when I retired, so I get a pension. It's not as much as from SS but it's good. A "friend" said to me that I was lucky that I get 2 retirement checks. I just said "lucky" had nothing to do with it; it was a choice I made. You had the same choice, but didn't do it. The response was yea, well I wouldn't work for a Defense Contractor. All I said was, yes ,that was your choice, and just walked away. Whatever benefit a veteran choices to receive is his or hers alone; it is a VETERAN's benefit. No other class of citizen can receive a VETERAN benefit. It was earned. You earn benefits. When some starts down that path and they are retired, ask them if they receive SS benefits. They say of course. Ask them why; shouldn't you leave that for someone else who "really" needs it? It's the same; someone who collects SS has earned the benefit by putting taxes into it their whole life. They have EARNED it. We veterans have earned our (inadequate) benefits by putting ourselves on the line. People are strange. And some are jealous.
  16. 2 points
    That is so true, the extra money is nice but I would be happy to give it all up not to hurt anymore. We gave up a lot by going into the military, we sacrificed our bodies and mind for our country and others made the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives! Shrek your wife should not feel guilty for what she thinks are handouts, our country should be the ones who feel guilty that there are so many men and women of the armed forces that need this assistance. We have earned everything we get, its not charity and it’s not a hand out it’s what we earned!!! I have been told by coworkers that I am lucky because when I retire from the federal government, I will get three retirement checks (my military, from work, and SS, they don’t know about the VA). I tell them that they could have had the same thing if they were willing to join the military and stick it out for a retirement check. They don’t say anything to that. We have earned what we get from the VA by our sacrifices and we should never feel guilty about what little money we may get. I thank all the men and women who made the sacrifices in the military for my family and I to enjoy the freedoms we have!!! Bronco I am with you on the truck payment vs smoking cigarettes, they made their choice. I would rather have the truck!
  17. 2 points
    For the headaches do a 30 day log to show how bad it is and give them a copy. Next yes they will have you lay down for the Knee. Shoulder you should be standing. Here is something important to remember when you are in there. You tell them when it is painful! When you first feel the pain not when you get to the point you are about to cry. They will do a few tests on each one and just be honest. Don't try to man up on this test as it hurts you in the end.
  18. 2 points
    Paul, you've won the "veterans lottery".
  19. 2 points
    On your next request you might also send them copies of two of your photo IDs such as current drivers license and VA VHA health care card with your photo of course. Although not required it will defeat their standard deniel that and implication that you are not the vet requesting your own C-file. The GD VA is full of never ending dog tricks to frustrate us vets.
  20. 1 point
    I think this is important enough to post this here also. Here is VA official training and research study from their National PTSD Center clearly stating the negative effects of trauma PTSD on the physical health of veterans and apparently discusses the many different types physical problems directly related to PTSD. There is another veterans benefits forum run by former VA raters, DROs and VSOs that constantly tell veterans that PTSD does not cause Sleep Apnea and other physical illnesses and this is pure lying BS. They constantly tell vets that their problems are due only to weight gain and or life styles, and or aging and not PTSD or Agent Orange exposure, etc. etc. Of course many raters also ignore their own VA evidence as in the above lengthy VA training guide. For over 30 years I have read many medical journals and BVA decisions that also recognize the adverse physical health effects of PTSD on vets and civilians such as firefighters, police and EMS personnel. I have not read the entire lengthy study but will do so soon. My info is not legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO etc., etc. https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AK3o0K6Q4AXU-AY&cid=F26A831414B07043&id=F26A831414B07043!292082&parId=F26A831414B07043!250343&o=OneUp https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=!AK3o0K6Q4AXU-AY&cid=F26A831414B07043&id=F26A831414B07043!292082&parId=F26A831414B07043!250343&o=OneUp
  21. 1 point
    @blahsaysme2u I also get an error. However, I do not get an error when I go to www.ptsd.va.gov/professional. I get a page that is visible to the public. I tried to look it up on archive.org, but they don't have that page archived. This leads me to believe that the link may be internal to VA employees only. I did a google search for it: https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS813US814&sxsrf=ACYBGNQ9pBpyydYOlq3btUjIIRV8Jq0gcQ%3A1579900132216&ei=5FwrXtXaDIym_QbVpI2oCA&q="www.ptsd.va.gov%2Fprofessional%2Fptsd101"&oq="www.ptsd.va.gov%2Fprofessional%2Fptsd101"&gs_l=psy-ab.3...3627.4216..7275...0.2.. And it shows the course as the second link, but I get a 404 error not found when going to the link. It is possible that the link may have been public briefly, long enough for google to start cataloging it, but not long enough for google to cache it. Some of the other links provide direct references to it, but it appears to be targeted to providers, not the public: https://www.veteranscaucus.org/va-resources-for-community-providers-and-their-patients/ This link has an actual slideshow, but includes a disclaimer that the opinion is of the presenter, not the VA. Near the end, it includes a link to the same PTSD101 course. http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/assets/doc/BH/bh/2019symposium-meyer.pdf And this one is almost humorous. It is touted as "veteran resources" and points to the online training module (that we veterans cannot use). https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/training/xus/crcl/employmentdisabilities/Common/html/vet_resources.htm And here it is in the Homeland Security Digital Library, again pointing to a page we cannot reach: https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=725425
  22. 1 point
    Sounds like a good plan. Crossing my fingers for you. The VA relies on the fact that veterans are not familiar with their system. Sometimes it just takes some research to locate details which might help prove them wrong.
  23. 1 point
    Based on the link I provided, it should be in the c-file. I sent separate requests for my claims file and my STRs. It never hurts to cover all the bases.
  24. 1 point
    Just got off the phone with Peggy and my DRO Review for migraines is "Pending Final Review" is what she said and it is good news. She then asked to verify my address, so i guess the wait is almost over.
  25. 1 point
    Congrats ! One of guys I know just got rated 100% also I don't who was happier me or him.
  26. 1 point
    Hi all, The 4138 that came with your RAMP decision is no longer valid to appeal those decisions. I believe the final date those were accepted was April 26, 2019. That said, I regularly see those claims opened and then cancelled, because a) not everyone knows the rules, and b) the rules have changed since the implementation of AMA. Your 10182 is the valid form to use to appeal to the BVA for a RAMP decision - or any decision issued on or after February 19, 2019. You can send the 4138 in if you want, but it should be (hopefully will be) ignored. Good luck with your review! Phury
  27. 1 point
    I would second this. I generally do the math and calculation manually which....takes time lol. Would be interesting to see if there is one, however, I feel there may be a lot of variables involved in such a calculator. Perhaps too many to create an accurate calculator based on individual circumstances? I may do a little googling later when I am more free.
  28. 1 point
    VA is so petty. so frustrating. they rated me for headaches at 0% even though i have 15 headaches a month with at least 2 being "prostrating". in my letter they say headaches rated at 0% but then didnt even address them in the rest of the letter. then i go to ebennies and its not even listed- 0% or not service connected or anything- just not listed! of course this is one of my appeals right now. sorry you are having to deal with this bull malarkey buddy but dont give up!
  29. 1 point
    wja5856 The VA is supposed to evaluate your symptoms and provide you the highest possible ratings. That is what they are supposed to do. It isn't what they often do. Be sure you take a copy of your diagnosis with you and ask the examiner if they have seen it and/or would like to have a copy. They don't have to take it and don't push it on them. The rater is supposed to see your complete file, the examiner doesn't have to. If your diagnosis was from a VA doc, you could download it before your exam and it would be there for the examiner to see. But I believe it also opens up your file that may show additional personal info as well, so consider if you want that to happen. If your diagnosis is from a private doc (non-VA) I believe they don't want to consider it, but do their own analysis for MH conditions. Other Hadit member have personal experiences that they can talk to that can advise. Some of your conditions are the same symptoms for different disabilities. Depression may have some of the same as PTSD, so the VA won't give you a disability twice for the same symptom; it is called pyramiding. So you have to show other factors so they don't dismiss multiple symptoms as causing your disabilities.Your diagnosis for depression, for example, has to show you have symptoms that are seperate and exclusive of your other disability symptoms for PTSD. You are going to have to go to the C&P and see what shakes out. Review your decision letter then develop you plan for what is next IMO.
  30. 1 point
    yeah my VSO has already submited for BVA with hearing. one of the lawyers they use will be representing me he said and will assist me with the case. i am jsut so frustrated. i dont want to give up but this is so upsetting and frustrating. i am going to get an IMO as well now with a sleep doctor that will write "as least as likely" service connected given the time frame of discharge and my DX(talked to the dr earlier today about this. i have appointment with them in march.) i am also going to see if he will fill out a DBQ since my VA doctor refuses. thanks for confriming that i am at least on the right track. ill post my BVA argument once it is completed by the VSO and see what you guys think/ thanks gain
  31. 1 point
    This is why there is a need for the BVA and CAVC because the VA tends to make their own rules. However I will say this. If the VA cites the M21-1 in a decision for denial that IMO is immediate grounds for a CUE. When a rater makes a decision they have to follow all applicable laws. I have never heard of a decision where the M21-1 was cited. That does not mean they will not deny things. They will use the wording in the M21-1 as their interpretation of the law but in the end will have it overturned and case law to establish medical necessity.
  32. 1 point
    Sure, if he bought the cpap himself, but if it's prescribed by VA they expect it to be used. They wouldn't have prescribed it if it medically necessary.
  33. 1 point
    VA didn't just give away cpaps, they are expensive. If he has one, it's medically necessary.
  34. 1 point
    Both shrek and GBArmy are correct. I would put together a package of your doctors notes and treatment records with tabs to mark the most important evidence. You can offer the doctor these copies and give these to the examiner, most will accept them. I once had a VA C&P doctor go through all of my records and pull out the most important facts, this is unusual. Most doctors are not given enough time to read all of your records and some of them do not. Be respectful and do not let the examiner upset you. If they allow; bring your spouse with you, if you have one.
  35. 1 point
    Hi taylor, The BVA will take a closer look at your claim and it will probably take them some time. I somewhat agree with GBArmy, but I would wait until after the BVA renders a decision as it could all go your way. Now if it does not and you want to appeal you get to take it to the CAVC in which the VA will pick up the tab for the lawyer at the CAVC level. This in turn can save you a bunch of retro. Now if they do Remand back to the BVA you would be on the hook for that portion, but at that time is good to have someone who does this everyday there to fight for you! Also the BVA can remand it back to an RO and this part can take a year by itself. I am sorry this takes so long, but make sure you keep up on appeals as the back pay if far worth it!
  36. 1 point
    Hi Taylor; welcome to Hadit. EED's can be totally confusing. You can be denied, receive an amended amount on appeal and yet still have an incorrect amount awarded, etc. Some my disagree, but with your complex situation and with all the variables, I would talk to a good lawyer who specializes in that part of law. IMO. It might cost you 20%, but 80% to you can be a lot more than you trying and getting short changed again. IMO.
  37. 1 point
    So far, I have used this in all initial claims since my first one. I think it persuades the C&P examiner more than the RO.
  38. 1 point
    Using the first post for information, and the listed disabilities as the predicate(s) for potential SMC S, this has a simple explanation. VA likes to take certain groups of ratings "combined" that lead to TDIU. In truth, they are required to presume the Rice v. Shinseki law that once you qualify for TDIU {at 60% (or 70% here or 40% + others that combine to reach 70%)} they have to consider TDIU automatically. Buie v Shinseki then states they have to combine them in the highest manner possible to attain maximum SMC. Here are your listed ratings Major Depressive 70% but receive TDIU 100% Permanent and Total Stress Incontinence 40% Migraines 30% Scars 10% Lumbar 10% Tinnitus 10% Breast 0% Knowing VA's propensity to lowball or screw you, it's apparent they have combined the 40% for stress incontinence with the Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)(70%) and call the combination of those two disabilities the reason to grant your TDIU. Obviously the two are inextricably intertwined because the incontinence is caused by stress which is is provoked by the Primary diagnosis of MDD. Ergo 70% + 40% in VAland equals 80%. Or TDIU at the 100% rate. P&T is granted because you probably are not going to get better. For the SMC calculation, the combo of the rest of your disabilities is 30%+ 10%+10%+ 10%= 50%. You need an additional independent 60% to qualify and you only have 50%. This is why you will not qualify for SMC S unless, or until, you can obtain an increase on the migraines, painful scar or lumbar disorder. Your scars are static and can't be increased unless you want to complain of pain. It is now a separate rating (usually at 10%) for VA standards and stands alone. An increase of 10% would get you to 60%. Your 10% for tinnitus is already at max so that is not available. I've never argued an extraschedular for tinnitus but I suppose I could win one with a good, $2 K IMO. An increase for migraines from 30% to 50% would get you to SMC S assumming arguendo you qualify for the symptoms. Or... keep headaches at 30% and file for increase in lumbar from 10% to 20% - again-presuming you qualify. An increase of 10% to 20% would then combine to 30% +20% + 10% + 10% = 60%. I could add more % choices but not here based on the privacy concerns of the member's medical nature.
  39. 1 point
    Peggy is the name we give to 1-800-827-1000. It's the general info line at the VA.
  40. 1 point
    Ok, great! I'm glad you won that. I'm in the process of filing a similar claim as you listed above. Same thing, great IMO and am now just waiting. It's good to see sleep apnea secondary to fibro win. Thanks again for all of your previous posts, very informative. Waterboy
  41. 1 point
    sounds like my story! cept my wife was the one that convinced me to fight and restart everything. keep up the fight and never give up
  42. 1 point
    I have my general C&P exam next Tuesday, and after hearing so many horror stories i just want to be prepared. For the ROM tests, ive been looking at http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/shoulderandarm.html http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/kneeandleg.html But will the doctor have you lying down or standing up for the knee and shoulder portion? For migraines, how can they test for how many i have other than whats in my active duty records, and the fact ive been on medication for a little under a year now? If anyone has had a C&P exam for joint issues and can recall how it normally goes, id really appreciate it. I only spent 5 years on active duty but dont want to be fighting with the VA once i leave
  43. 1 point
    Awgv001 is correct. Here is the form: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/va3288.pdf Using FOIA for C file requests ,from the claimant , who the C file belongs to , is not needed and will add more time to the request. But the letter does state that they will continue process your request under the Privacy Act. I would just wait for that result. You inservice SMRs and personnel file must be requested from NARA with a SF 180: https://www.archives.gov/veterans and can be done on line. They will give you a form on line to print out, sign it, copy it for your records, and then send it to where the site directs you too. VA Medical Records: This is one way: https://www.va.gov/health-care/get-medical-records/ or https://www.washingtondc.va.gov/patients/roi.asp or https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20180620-get-your-va-health-record-quickly-and-easily As this VA link states: "You can still request medical record information from your VA facility Release of Information Office." They have a form there that you would have to sign.
  44. 1 point
    WomanMarine I wish you good luck on your quest for a VA grant for your "Dude Ranch." Why not go for it. Asknod may have some advise on applying for the grant; message him.
  45. 1 point
    I would file an IRIS complaint on item 1, the case being closed without notification. As to the second, I believe that sometimes it takes thirty days for the C&P to get to the VA when it is done by an outside contractor. Item 3 is not to worry too much, Legacy NOD's are taking up to two years and I have read that some HLR's are taking up to a year. As for the 1-800 number not helping much that is the normal route for them. If you are really nice they sometimes will look at VBMS and tell you how things are going but that is not all of the operators.
  46. 1 point
    Very good Cali unfortunately most of us vets must always fight the VA for the benefits we earned and are entitled to by law and evidence as I am doing now as we speak and after 35 years of doing this. This helps to keep me going and you also have proper attitude for doing this. We vets must always be our own best advocate for claims and not depend on A VSO to be diligent and do everything for us. Do keep an eye on your DAV rep as in 1985 to 91 an older DAV rep sold me down the river so I started doing everything for myself in 1998. Another active Veterans Benefit forum will not tolerate any criticism of VA adjudicators or C&P examiners and banned me forever from the forum for making these honest statements about the VA as I just said here. That forum is run by present and former VA raters, DRO officers and lifer military and VSO officer who constantly give out misleading negative advice to other vets visiting their forum and I can examples if anyone wants to know. They never admit the VA raters and examiners make serious mistakes but only minor honest mistakes. Again more BS from that VA forum. Being the old dog that I am i still have access and friends to their forum and can see everything as if i was still a member as there are a few good apples on their forum
  47. 1 point
    We say "Peggy" a lot but we really mean the 1-800-827-1000 # for VA.
  48. 1 point
    Here are YouTube links to a few of the Discover Card "Peggy" commercials. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8L2cI8brzQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lzz8KER520 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxl7-HNDaeg
  49. 0 points
    Hmm... Let's take a step back and look at this in perspective: 1. VA takes heat for initial claims taking forever, makes changes to tackle the initial claims backlog 2. VA hastily processes the initial claims backlog, but causing the appeals backlog to swell 3. VA pats self on back for wiping out the initial claims backlog 4. VA clears an average of about 6,000 backlogged appeals claims per month over a 33 month period from March 2016 to December 2019. Pats self on back. Appeals backlog swelled about 260% during same timeframe. 5. At that rate, the VA will have the appeals backlog wiped out in about 16 months... 6. No information about how many hastily processed appeals were submitted for BVA review... The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. Let's hope it is not another rubber stamp denial train.
  50. 0 points
    Thank you. It has been horrible. There has been a lot of speculation and mean words spoken. I'm trying to remember that my friend may have been murdered, but I don't think it was on purpose. Long story short, he was sucker punched leaving a bar for defending a lady. The man hit my friend, he hit the concrete, had a seizure, had a brain injury, lived on life support for a five days, then was taken off life support. At least I got to say goodbye at the service. At that service I realized that I would never see his goofy grin or his unusually large ears again. That was....devastating.
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