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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/15/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    A little old lady told me that if the devil keeps ya busy, it keeps you away from Gods work. I didnt realize it years ago, but that enlistment contract gave me an insurance policy just in case I got hurt. I went for 35 years and never realized it existed. My spine was screwed up something terrible, and it kept me from doing what I really wanted. It kept me from working hard, and I did work like a dog when I was motivated. When everything was falling apart in the end, someone told me that the VA should deal with my back problem because it was from way back where it started in the Army. That began an incredible journey to where I am today. I really am disabled. It took a year or so to finally come to terms and understand what that meant, but its ok. I can still get around, do things I really want, but some things I will never do again, like run, or even walk fast. If you put it in your mind that you are 100% disabled, it can destroy you. I wont let it stop me, I go to a gym now and use an elliptical. I can go 4 thousand yards on a rowing machine pretty fast. I keep hope up, and if I have a bad day and life knocks me down, I get right back up ready for anything else life throws at me. If you quit, it will kill you. Fight the good fight gentlemen, stand up and be counted. Its our hearts that make us men, not our injured bodies!
  2. 1 point
    Have not seen anything solid online. Here is the official link to Convalescence disability. It has not been updated since Jan 2018. https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-special-convalescence.asp
  3. 1 point
    Chevron deference (in regulations) can only extend to what Congress has not explicitly addressed. Just because Congress did not specify that ILP is a one-shot deal, the Secretary is not free to refashion a new interpretation. Another aspect few recognize is that if VA has a documented history of deciding claims (or interpretation of 38 USC §3120), it counts heavily against them should they attempt to refashion a new interpretation. They have to justify why the newer "interpretation" is more applicable than the old one. I severely doubt they could do that if called out. I just refiled a NOD with the Director VRE on the denial of a larger greenhouse. In it, I also NOD'ed the missing 240VAC composting water closet and the two-year subscription to Lexis Nexis VBM they authorized.
  4. 1 point
    Do you want the bad news first or the good news first? I'll give you the good news first. You have nexus letters for physical conditions and that's good, because when one doctor says you have a condition and a C&P examiner gives you an unfavorable exam the TIE must go to the veteran. That's the good news. Here's the bad news. If you don't have an in-service diagnosis for depression and anxiety, unfortunately, it will be denied as a direct-service claim. There is another way to get it granted on a SECONDARY basis. But, it's going to take some work on your part and time.You will need to service-connect your knee and lower back first. Depending on the severity of your knee and lower back conditions, if either or those or both keep you from achieving "activities of daily life" or(ADLs) ;such as exercise, work that requires bending, squatting, etc. this can cause or aggravate depression and anxiety. To Secondary connect a condition you must meet these requirements: 1. Must have a service-connected disability 2. Current diagnosis of disability 3. Nexus of opinion stating the minimum threshold phrase "at least as likely as not" and a rational linking #1 and #2.
  5. 1 point
    Code 5055: If the entire knee joint has been replaced by a prosthesis, then the condition is rated 100% for the first year after the surgery. After the 1-year period, the condition is given a permanent rating. If there is weakness and severe pain with motion, then it is rated 60%. If the pain is not severe, but does limit the range of motion, then it is rated under code 5256 if it is frozen, or under codes 5261 or 5262, discussed below, if it is not frozen. The minimum rating for a total knee replacement, however, is 30% regardless of how much motion it has. Get the claim in within a week of your surgery. send all the documentation and diagnosis with the claim and your surgery schedule. Easy to upload it when you submit after you put in intent to file on the EBenefits web site. You wont get an actual rating until after the surgery, and the 1 year period following. The 100% will kick in the date of surgery, your payment starts the 1st of the following month for a year. The second surgery will be the same, except you should collect SMC for that one, probably S-1/2.or better.... No need to get another nexus because your knee's are already SC. This is a request for increase. Might have been done several years back as your knee's got worse, but thats water under the bridge.
  6. 1 point
    Mental Health diagnosis from NON VA providers are ok unless its PTSD. Do you see anyone outside of the VA for anxiety and depression? How exactly is the anxiety and depression linked to your active duty service. Can you document the reasons that you think caused this condition? Without a little help, even the MH experts can not do this. You have to have laid out a solid case that you believe in before the MH experts will even try to help. VA docs really hedge against making statements even though the VA policy tells us that they are responsible to do so. I think its an inside joke on veterans to be honest.
  7. 1 point
    One would believe so but we can never be sure. If you are denied again make sure you take your case to the BVA. The BVA seems to be the place where a lot of claims are settled in the favor of the veteran. It seems the RO's are in the business of denying claims.
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    VR&E insists now (since 3/31/2014) after their revision (illegally) of the M 21, now the M 21-R, that you only get one shot at this in your lifetime. I've nailed two and have more in the chute as I write. If Congress didn't proscribe it, then it is not law.
  10. 1 point
    I mentioed recently that I was contacted by the Accountability Office VA AO WB, due to a complaint I filed at the WH hot line this past June. In my recent submission of evidence to them- I mentioned how many of us get lousy C & P exams -that often force vets and survivors to obtain costly IMO/IMEs before the claim will properly succeed. Every postumous C & P exam the VA did on my husband for the past 24 years was not only faulty but they omitted the probative evidence to support the claim. But this is not the prime issue I have with the Accountability office. It would be great if veterans or survivors of veterans ,who get a C & P exam that is faulty-complain to the Accountability Office: https://www.va.gov/accountability/process.asp Their email is in that link. If I am asked for more info on the C & P situation by them, I have my past C & P info to send to them as well as the fact that they ( my VARO woud not even read my $4,000 IMos from Dr Bash. The BVA did and awarded) They also witheld the autopsy frm a C & P doctor and withheld it from General Counsel, until I found out. The autopsy was my most probative evidence for wrongful death( I had no IMO for the FTCA case) I have a copy of my H VAC testimony on that. But my actual complaint is what I want them to resolve. It has nothing to do with lousy C & P exams. It would be great if others would file a complaint with them in their email,if they get a deficient C & P exam tat denied your claim.. Tell the OAWB as well how much it cost you to get a real doctor prepare a solid IMO/IME to get a proper resolve, if that was what you had to do.
  11. 1 point
    C & P examiners are one of the biggest reason for denials. I am waiting for a copy of the actual postumous exam that was incorporated into a denial on a 1151 claim I had pending. After receipt of my CUE the VA reversed to an award in mere weeks- less than a month- But the evidence list for the denial noted a VACO cardio review in detail, that supported my FTCA case and also this specific claim. it is difficult for me to accept the C & P rendition in the denial, and I asked for a signed copy of the actual C & P and the examiner's qualifications. There is no one in the VA's C & P list who has the extensive expertise that this VACO doctor has. When I get the copy of the actual C & P , I am sending it to the Secretary of the VA. If I dont get it,. Wilkie will get what the VARO put into the denial, that it said. Maybe my RO made the whole thing up. It is absurd that vets have to obtain IMO/IMEs that can be quiet costly in some cases, to prove their claims to the VA . However that is often the only way to succeed. A good IMO /IME doctor will follow the IMO/IME criteria here at hadit and also point out the deficiencies in any bogus C & P exam crap you get.
  12. 1 point
    VHA providers often refuse to diagnose medical conditions. i have screened positive multiple times for PTSD by VHA MH nurses. No diagnosis of PTSD by them. I reported ringing in my ears for years to VHA providers and no diagnose of tinnitus. I had a spinal MRI done due to chronic back pain and three VHA doctors stated they reviewed the MRI results and all reported I had no abnormalities. I obtained a copy of the actual radiologists report of my MRI and discovered that my pain was coming from a herniated disc pushing 1 cm into my thoracic spinal cord. I was Baker acted by the VA in October 2017. I had called the Veterans Crisis Line for help and they sent the cops to involuntarily institutionalize me. Was released the next day and the vA was ringing my phone off the hook to come see their shrink. I complied and the shrink asked me what happened and I said I had a total meltdown. He responded that I was just having a pity party. No more VA so-called medical care for me. Sometimes C&P examiners will make honest mistakes, but oftentimes their DBQs ignore the facts when giving an opinion. The raters at the regional office will afford more weight to an opinion that is against granting service connection/or an increase even when the STRs directly contradicts the rationale that the examiner used to form the unfavorable opinion against a veteran. Don't believe in the fairy tale that a tie goes to the veteran if you have two C&P exams, one favorable and the other not favorable. The regional office rater will find the unfavorable opinion more persuasive, and promptly render a denial. Favorable evidence is ignored by my regional office raters, and this is especially obvious, now that I am at the precipice of obtaining TDIU or a 100% rating. The VBA has a lot of tools in their shed that are implemented to deny benefits to veterans. You have to get in the trenches with the VBA, and fight when they do wrong. My fight for my benefits will go on. .
  13. 1 point
    Hello group - I had a sleep study in 2007 while on active duty and got diagnosed with "mild obstructive sleep apnea." There was no treatment provided/necessary. I retired from the Navy in 2017 after 25 years of active duty and submitted the sleep study in my claim. Unfortunately, I did not have documented proof of hypersomnolence. In May 2018 I had another sleep study with the result being "severe obstructive sleep apnea," and was prescribed a CPAP which I use currently. This particular evidence was not submitted in my claim package. I just received my VA decision letter on 10/4/18, the VA assigned a disability rating of 0% for the apnea (as expected), but listed it as "service connected." My question is this: I have the medical evidence now to prove I have severe apnea and I'm getting ready to submit a NOD. Do I have to also prove "service connectivity?" or has this been sufficiently established and cannot be taken away by the DRO? Also, do I have to provide evidence that I had hypersomnolence from 2007 to 2018 to prove it's all connected? This will be the tough part for me. It seems pretty straight forward, but I know nothing is ever a slam dunk in this arena so what am I potentially missing? Thanks! Joe
  14. 1 point
    When you write a letter to your congressman or go to their office their staffer writes a letter to the VA so your file is pulled from processing to get an answer. If you are lucky it goes back to where it was, if not it goes to the bottom of the stack. I once had a staffer that was really interested in my case and got a lot done. When she left she was replaced by a blowhard and I also died. It took months to get my case moving again.
  15. 1 point
    Sorry for the above ^^^^^ post, I just could not help myself. But, for me, when ebenifits shows nothing, it means that someone has you case opened and is working on it. I have my claims bounce back and forth a couple times a day when they get near the end. Then disappear and reappear later. Activity is good if you are waiting, because it's moving. Hoping for the best, Hamslice
  16. 1 point
    Ebenifits definition, adjective not able to be relied upon. "he's lazy and unreliable" synonyms: undependable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, fickle, fair-weather, capricious, erratic, unpredictable, inconstant, faithless, temperamental; informalhinky "unreliable volunteers" questionable, open to doubt, doubtful, dubious, suspect, unsound, tenuous, uncertain,fallible; risky, chancy, inaccurate; informaliffy, dicey "an unreliable indicator"
  17. 1 point
    Good luck Sir. I hope this medication works for you.
  18. 1 point
    "If you can get it changed to scheduler you can work though. I don't understand VA logic." Simple, -100% scheduler, I have some medical issues that the VA comps me for that add up to 100% or more, and I can still work. -TDIU, I do not have enough medical issues for the VA to comp me at 100%, so, since I am unable to work, please rate me as if I am totally disabled. To get TDIU, you, the Veteran are saying, I am unable to work, because, I believe, the inverse would be be true, as in, if you were rated TDIU and wanted to work, I am sure the VA would work with you and take away your TDIU. Look at it this way. I am 80%, without anything bigger than one 30% disability. Now, I can't apply for TDIU, nor do I want to because I am still working and can work. Now, a Veteran, who has a 70% disability, but gets more money than me because he says he can not work, so the the VA pays him at 100% rate, but now wants to work. Hmmm, how is that fair? And, I'm not even talking about the other perks that come with 100%. If you want to work, tell the VA you want to work. They will fix it for you. You will get your 70% and have a job, just like me and my 80% and a job. You're getting the extra bucks because you told the VA you could not work, but you want to make more bucks because that was not enough. If you give them back the extra bucks, then you can go make even more bucks. Now the Veterans that are 100% scheduler, well they just have a bunch more wrong with them and they deserve what ever they get. 100% scheduler is not an easy task, nor should it be. Sorry for the rant, but, I just get tired of this question coming up every month, "why can't I work on TDIU?", when its an opt in thing with the VA. The VA will help you with it if you would just let them. Hamslice
  19. 1 point
    File out your NOD but this time substantiate your claim with these two recommendations below. Although, you have a Dr. saying it is medically necessary to use a CPAP, it's not VA language. (I know, I know...it's ridiculous.) Get your Dr. to fill out the Sleep Apnea Disability Benefits Questionnaire https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0960L-2-ARE.pdf and write a more detailed Nexus of opinion along the lines likes this. To whom it may concern: "My name is Dr. so and so. I am board certified in my specialty. I have been practicing for so many number of years. I have been treating this patient (your name) for x-amount of months/years. I have reviewed this veteran's service-medical records and it is in my opinion that it is "at least as likely as not (equal to or greater than 50% probability) the veteran's sleep apnea was incurred in-service and has worsened requiring a medically-necessary CPAP machine. RATIONALE: According to sleepapnea.org, The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don’t trigger a full awakening. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments. Sleep apnea is seen more frequently among men than among women, particularly African-American and Hispanic men. A major symptom is extremely loud snoring, sometimes so loud that bed partners find it intolerable. Other indications that sleep apnea may be present are obesity, persistent daytime sleepiness, bouts of awakening out of breath during the night, and frequently waking in the morning with a dry mouth or a headache. But none of these symptoms is always present. Only a sleep study in a sleep laboratory or a home sleep study can show definitively that sleep apnea is present and how severe it is. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed sleep apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain rouses the sleeper, usually only partially, to signal breathing to resume. As a result, the patient’s sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality. Sleep apnea is very common, as common as type 2 diabetes. It affects more than 18 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and health care professionals, the vast majority of sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotence, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues. Best wishes on your claim.
  20. 1 point
    I do have a VA disability rating, but it is not IU. I have a friend who works VA disability claims and he told me that I can have a full time job, and still keep my VA benefits since they are not IU. I am hoping this will be the case. As far as SSDI goes, I am willing to just cut the whole thing off. I know they send letters stating that they will let you work on a trial basis. From my knowledge, basically if you are doing well enough to work on the trial period with no issues, it probably means they will eventually reduce or cut your SSDI benefits, which I don't mind since even a full time job at McDonalds would earn me more than my SSDI payments. With the minimum wage being higher where I live, even a basic part time job would probably net me more. So why not just call SSDI and tell them to cut me off outright instead of going through a lengthy process? I'm only concerned that if I do this, my VA Disability would be affected. My friend gave me a long spiel basically saying that my VA Disability isn't a reflection on my ability to work, but how much my disability impacts my life. My personal disability deeply affects me in every aspect of my life and it has messed up alot of things in my life, so I don't see that being an issue of losing my VA disability. But if I DID lose my VA disability, it would make it impossible for me to live my life as it is right now.
  21. 1 point
    I read about one guy who got into thrill seeking and ended up DOA one day. PTSD is a complex issue, not just anxiety and stress but also addictions and emotions. Gambling is an addiction. PTSD may be the primer, but the relief from "winning" makes you feel important and successful. It allows you to put on a mask and for a little bit life is normal. Most gambling addictions can go on for years before causing major problems. Some can become acute and destroy someone's life in short order. This link goes to a journal to an article that talks about this and other problem behaviors associated with PTSD.
  22. 1 point
    Glad you made it thru your exams bud. To me it actually looks good. It is very hard for the VA to grant so many Disabilities in a short period of time, so it looks like the Raters are actually doing their job. It takes a lot to get to 100% as you can see by my signature. Good luck and keep us posted. God Bless!!!
  23. 1 point
    this is insane who'da thunk that the complexity of it all would be hidden so well that nobody would know who is liable for what we submit ourselves through trust to the government because of our injuries serving this nation for this? let alone to not allow us the right for due diligence if we were informed consumers this should be a fight to the finish, the moral implications are huge
  24. 1 point
    Its my belief that they only have the right to do these drug test on you if you have signed a narcotics agreement/contract. Never the less the VA will never get another urine sample from me, from now on I will say I just went, sorry.........................

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