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  1. So my Voc Rehab counselor called and said they were ready to start purchasing Step stool to get in and out of car Kitchen height adjustable so I can sit at my countertops to prep food. Prescription dispenser with alarm. (I asked for a different one than they suggested so I am waiting to hear.) Lumbar cushion for Van. Lift Chair they picked out PerfectSleepChair.com I don't know if that means I'm getting that one or something similar. Zero Gravity Workstation they are offering this one http://www.ergoquest.com/zero-gravity-workstation-0.html which doesn't accomodate my monitors so I asked for this one http://www.ergoquest.com/zero-gravity-workstation-0a.html (I am waiting to hear.) Mobility Scooter Anything over $1200 will need a second approval and anything over $3000 will have to go to a contracting officer. Which is where my Zero Gravity station will need to go. I'll let you know when stuff starts showing up
    7 points
  2. Yours is a great post, and it makes you sound sincere and human. One of the worst people to lie to is yourself, "pretending" as if everything is hunkey dorey. It sounds like you learned from your mistake. It also sounds like you have a "documented" (medically) history of Suicidial Ideations, in your records. You dont have to have SI each and every day! . Symptoms of depression, PTSD, are known to "wax and wane", that is, you have some days which are better than others. We all have those. Its perfectly fine to tell your doctor, "I have SI today", or "I dont have SI today", and still be rated 70 percent or higher, but, as you pointed out you should be honest. To fix that mistake, I suggest you make a "vow of honesty" in the future. Yes, there is a cost for honesty. Sometimes we have to do things we would rather not do, to keep our promises. But, I can tell you, fortunately, I learned that "lesson of honesty" perhaps earlier in life than you did, but that does not make me better than you. I can also tell you that I never regretted telling the truth..even when it hurt. YOU know your symptoms better than anyone. Therefore, my advice is TWO fold: 1. "If" you feel your symptoms include SI, then appeal. 2. However, "if" you can say you have never had suicidal thoughts, then be content with what is owed you, and apply for an increase, if/when your symptoms worsen. Like yourself, I had/have SI, but I dont have mine every day. VA regulations allow you to tell your VA doc your symptoms on your WORST day. You dont have to tell them your symptoms TODAY. Today you may have been to your kids birthday party and had a great time and feel great. When the doc asks "how are you", I state something close to: "Better today, Doc. Last Thursday (give the day/date of your worst day) it was awful. Then describe your worst day. Vets make the mistake, when they go to a c and p exam of answering "Fine" to how are you. Then you have to backpedal the whole exam. Instead, this is your chance to describe your worst day, and you should tell what happened on your worst day. Then, when you have told the truth, you needent worry about a future reduction. You didnt tell the doc you had SI every day, you tell him you had them on your worst day.
    7 points
  3. We are often given bad advice on our VA disability claims, by VA employees, VSO's, or even well meaning hadit members. However, if a hadit member posts bad advice, mostly others challenge it, and even correct it. This rarely happens with VA employees or VSO's advice. Here are my top 10 bad advice statements: (Dont make these mistakes) 1. If you apply for an increase, you will be decreased instead. Its actually difficult for VA to reduce you, especially if you refuse to roll over and allow them to do it. Source: 38 CFR 3.344 2. "Wait" until issue "A" is completed until you apply for "issue B". This costs Veterans retro. Your effective date cant be earlier than the date you applied. (Exception: If you apply for benefits within a year of discharge, you can get an effective date back to your date of discharge) 3. Ignore letters VA sends you. They often contain deadlines for additional evidence, or other deadlines. Keep VA up to date on your address, you may not get letters you need to have! 4. Solely relying upon information a VA employee or VSO tells you, especially if it smells fishy. If you smell fish, chances are good there is a dead fish nearby. Give the advice the "smell test". 5. Solely relying upon information "you were told". I cringe whenever I hear "I was told...." Usually, this precedes bad information. Check this information on hadit, review the CFR's to see if its consistent, or check the VBM (Veterans Benefit Manual) instead. Remember, neither VA employees (nor VSOs) nor politicians keep promises 100 percent of the time. VA will not hold accountable an employee who gives you bad advice. 6. Not reading your decision. Bad idea. How do you know whether or not to appeal it? 7. Not reading or knowing whats in your cfile, and guessing instead. What did your doctor say? Did he WRITE DOWN what he said in his office? Find out and read it. Its your claim. 8. "NOT" enlisting the services of a professional (lawyer or claims agent) when necessary. For example if the retro potential is large, or your claim is complex. Your bias against attorneys can often cost you money. Hiring an attorney "does not" always cost you money. In fact, it should never cost you money...you should get more, much more, with an attorney than without him. While there are many circumstances when an attorney is not necessary, such as your initial claim, when you dispute the decision you got, its a great time to consider your options as far as a representative goes. Not all Veterans have the resources or skills to do their own claim. Did you know that some law firms will "up front" the costs of an IMO in order to win your claim (especially when the Vet can not afford an IMO). Incredibly, there are many "Pro Bono" law firms (such as NVLSP) which do not charge Veterans for their services. Also, EAJA (Equal access to Justice Act) pays many/most Vets attorney fees at the CAVC level). 9. Poor reasearch/no research. Chances are great other Vets have had a similar issue before, and its already been decided by the BVA or CAVC. You can check to see what happened to them so that you either dont make the same mistake as they did, or you can do it the way they did and succeed. 10. Giving up too soon. If you truly feel that you deserve the benefit sought, there is a great time to give up: NEVER! Persistence often pays off when giving up does not.
    6 points
  4. It says you are missing "Caluza element number 2"...an "in service event or aggravation", and, Caluza element 3, Nexus. In a nutshell, you need to appeal to the BVA, like about 80% or so of the other Vets who were denied and have to appeal. You "may" need an IMO/IME with clearer nexus which would point to the in service event. Welcome to the VA hamster wheel of delays, denials, lowball, and hornswaggling the effective date. You have to keep fighting.
    6 points
  5. Hey everyone, I called the VA earlier today to sort out a question. I got ahold of probably the most helpful VA employee ever. He gave me a solid tip for when you need more information about your status than their usual scripted answers. If after their scripted status answer they don't provide any extra useful information, ask them to check the program "Case Flow". According to the rep this is where all the detailed status and notes are kept. He also said if you ask them to look, they are supposed to, including what is written in the notes. This is how I have found out exactly what people have been up to in my appeal. Hope this helps, just having a real idea what the VA is actual doing relieves some of the stress that comes along with dealing with the VA. -After searching about this system, it seems this is only for appeals, and came about as part of AMA.
    5 points
  6. I just received approval of 5 disabilities I've been working on for over two years. 30 to 80%. Certainly couldn't have done it without the help, knowledge and support I've gotten from all the great folks on Hadit. But even though anxiety can get to you at various stages of the disability process, you just have to "keep at it." A denial is a road block, not the end of road. If it happens, read and understand your decision letter and get back on that horse. Just wanted to let folks know that if I can do it, anyone can. And should. And, as a reminder, I have sent in a donation to Hadit to help keep it going. Anyone who can afford it should, especially if you win and get a decent amount of back pay. So thank you all for helping veterans everywhere.
    5 points
  7. I would say go for it. And to say you are not qualified for it does not seem to be the point. You are 100% disabled and they should be helping you out if you needed it. Just like when I asked my doctor for a pillow to help with my rotator cuff. I sent her the pillow I wanted and in two weeks it was at my door. I would go for, what is the worst they can say No?
    4 points
  8. Just wanted to let you guys know my wife was approved for the A&A went into effect Dec 29 2020. yahoooooooooo its not that much added to my monthly comp but believe me every little bit helps. SO if you have a disabled spouse that needs the help of another person file the A&A claim for her just submit her medical records and a Dr describe her medical conditions and why she needs the assistance of another person and lay statment from your spouse. she had two of her Dr 's to write up her a letter about her disability that render her the help she needed and we also included some Images and MRI;s she had they used them as part of her evidence.. &..her her lay statement. We wanted to Thank everyone that supported us and helped out with this claim Ms Berta , J basser, Pacmanx1 , GB Army, broncovet,Alex, brokensolider Ms T bird and others Thank you All & God Bless
    4 points
  9. Hi Smokie Welcome to Hadit. The VA rolls up and combines disabilities where they can and then gives the highest rating based on all the rated symptoms you have. Once they grant the disability you can't claim that same disability again as symptoms of another disability. That is called pyramiding. It happens quite often with MH disabilities as it can be hard to definitely say the symptom is connected to anxiety as opposed to depression, for example. So they give the higher rating but you can't get two seperate ratings for the same disability, in this example MH. See https://cck-law.com/blog/pyramiding-how-to-avoid-stacking-your-va-ratings/ Just a thought but did you also put in for a hearing disability seperate throm the tinnitus? If not, you should consider; it would be a separate disability than tinnitus. Check and see if you actually claimed it.
    4 points
  10. A MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY Toxic Exposures Announcement Today, I announced two very important decisions that will affect millions of Veterans who served in the Vietnam War and in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. It is important to note that the process by which these decisions were made is just the first step; this will be an iterative, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-driven process to identify potential presumptions of service connection. Many of our Nation’s Veterans have waited a long time for changes to presumptions of service connection for benefits, and I look forward to working with the VA Toxic Exposure team to implement changes such as the following as swiftly as possible. The first decision concerns the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of those conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This implements provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (P.L. 116-283), and VA will apply the provisions of court orders related to Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which may result in an earlier date for entitlement to benefits for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. Vietnam era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim and will receive a letter from VA on the status of their claim. The second decision involves Veterans who served in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. After a thorough review of the scientific evidence around toxic exposures, including the report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, I am directing initiation of rulemaking to consider creating presumptions of service connection for chronic respiratory conditions associated with exposure to airborne hazards during military service in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the covered periods of conflict, which may include asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis. Our approach to this process will be holistic, and we will base our decision on science, in fulfilling our responsibility to Veterans who may have suffered disability due to their service. These decisions will affect millions of Veterans and families, and I encourage everyone in VA to always keep in mind the tremendous impact that we will be making in their health and quality of life as we go through these processes. I look forward to working with you as we further our goal of improving the lives of all Veterans. For more information, please go here: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures - Public Health (va.gov). Denis McDonough
    4 points
  11. Andrea: Welcome to hadit. I split your post into a new post so that you may get more responses. In the future, please ask a new question in a new topic, its less confusing to people who respond. This is my respones to your question: It sounds like you have received a proposed reduction based that your condition has improved. In the past, I "counted on" ebenefits uploads submitting new claims, and, even with a confirm number, VA said they received no such claim. For that reason, I recommend ALSO mailing your new evidence. Yes, it takes longer, but you can send it certified mail return receipt requested and be sure VA receives it. I have had 2 proposed reductions, and I beat them both (the reduction never happened). You have the right idea, respond to the proposed reduction AND ASK FOR A HEARING if necessary. I would recommend you write a clear, concise letter as to "why" you dispute this proposed reduction, maybe something similar to this: Use your own evidence, exams, dates, and circumstances, this is just an example" RE: Proposed Reduction Dated mm-dd-yy I am in dispute of the proposed reduction as my condition(s) have not improved, contrary to the above Proposed Reduction letter. Instead, on exam date mm-dd-yy, Dr. J reported "the Veterans symptoms have gotten worse, noting (new symptom1, new symptom 2)" Further, this does not meet the criteria for reduction in 38 CFR 3.344 as follows: 1. The VA cited a "single" exam, which was less thorough than the c and p exam which granted benefits. (cite day of c and p exam). ....other reasons it does not meet the criteria in the following regulation: Have you been rated 5 years or longer, or are you P and T?
    4 points
  12. I am really excited and surprised to learn that I finally reached my 100% P&T SMC from the VA. I just wanted to express my appreciation to this website reading about others success and not giving up. I was truthful with my disabilities to my C&P examiners and when I doubted my issues would not be looked at seriously I found that they were. I often think about how I wish I would have done this years ago. I know back then that I did not understand the system and that all I needed were my medical records (enlisted and VA) along with understanding how my illnesses/issues were connected. I always thought that being female in the military was really hard, but proving your disabilities afterwards seemed unimaginable. However, I did it and now I am 100% P&T SMC. I am not going for TDIU because I really love my job and have no intention of quitting/leaving at this time. Thank you HADIT for assistance with my guidance in this process!!!
    4 points
  13. Just keep it short and to the point- highlight how it affects you in a meaningful way without too much vagueness. If you can't walk more than 50yds, say that with an example. If you can't drive because of drowsiness, or have fallen asleep at inopportune times, give examples. If you have guy/girl problems, briefly indicate how/why they are worse or what they relate to (pain, lack of performance, discharge, stuff like that). All of this makes it easier for us to find it in your records. Certain medical words jump out at me when I read through these, and these are the words I start with doing CTRL-F searches through your medical stuff. Don't self diagnose yourself or go to Web MD to look up what you think you have. Just call it whatever your doctor does. If you have some dates of treatment at various places that are not VAMC make sure you have a 21-4142/21-4142a filled out with those providers so the records can be requested. There isn't a format- its in your own words, just give a good summary of whats going on with each disability are claiming for increase. If you are submitting your own private medical records, be a dear and highlight or write in the margins or something for the high points (images, diagnosis, relevant Dr. Statements, etc).
    4 points
  14. Thanks all!! You have all spoken honestly and as I am a veteran, actually an "oldie", with a new screen name, with Hadit, what you guys said is what I told him and his family!! I used Hadit in the early 2000's and in 2004, I won my 100% P & T bc of the help I received here! I'm am very grateful!!! Thank you again everyone!! Ill pass your information on but as y'all said, HE has to follow thru with the fight!!!
    4 points
  15. I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for the work and time you've all put in here on this board and community. I've just had my final two C&P exams and for the 1st time in over 30 years I was able to speak about my depression and experiences while on Active Duty. As some may know from a previous thread, I was awarded 10% for Tinnitus (unexpected!) And I am so thankful for that! May seem small but to me, it's major because it feels like I am 'seen, heard, and have help now. My final two exams were for Depression, PTSD, and my feet. I am so thankful for the 10% rating and this board that just having the exams is fulfilling for me! So, thank you for your work and time here, you have helped more people than you realize. My final two exams are completed and my final percentage is in the works (if any). I will keep you all posted, in the meantime, thank you and please keep providing support. My goal is to give to Hadit and support any way I can.
    4 points
  16. Last year, Covid forced me to stay home, so that means its off to see family and grandchildren in Texas, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia, Ohio and Colorado this year. I just got back from Georgia, seeing my 9month old grandaughter. Im thinking of putting her picture up for me, she is much better looking than I am. She is my 9th grandchild, 10th if you count another gal who had a baby from our church who calls me "grandpa". Maybe I will even start a post "cutest grandchild" and we can vote who has the cutest grandchildren. But it would hardly be fair because I have the cutest. This means I wont be here much this summer, and even into fall. Many of you will need to step up and answer questions. If hadit has helped you, step up and help others. Try and research your answers with case law and regulations as much as possible to make them as accurate as possible. Other posters can do a search and look for previous answers, especially those who are posted by Berta. I will be back when I can,but dont expect a lot the next several months.
    4 points
  17. Dont lose hope. Almost all of us are in your same boat. "If" VA followed all their rules correctly, we would have to fire the entire BVA as well as the CAVC, as there would be no need for these organizations if VA fully complied with their rules each and every time. Almost all of us eventually won our benefits only after some sort of appeals. Be happy you know where to go if they deny you.
    4 points
  18. I will only add that many have suggested to get a sleep study to get a C PAP machine. I may have missed it because it is too important that the reason to get a C PAP machine is because sleep apnea is a silent killer. The individual goes to sleep, and they never wake up because they stop breathing while they sleep. Contact your doctor and ask for a sleep study as soon as possible, it is that important.
    4 points
  19. You posted: Its a lie. You do not need a "diagnosis" on active duty. Instead, what you do need are the Caluza elements of: 1 CURRENT diagnosis. You do not have to have a "diagnosis in service". Allow me a single example refuting the "diagnosis required in service" myth.. Many Veterans have contact Hepatitus C during the military. "There was no test" for Hep C, back then, it was "NonA Non B" hep, test and you didnt need that either. Is it your fault that medical science improved and they can NOW better test and diagnose issues that were not diagnosed in service? 2. In service "EVENT" or aggravation. You may need a record of "the event", which could be a fall from an airplane! I dont know if this is documented or not, did you seek treatment for it and tell the doc you fell out of an airplane? That should suffice as "event in service". Caluza vs Brown lays it out: You do not need an "in SERVICE diagnosis". 3. Nexus, or docs opinion that your current diagnosis is at least as likely as not due to your fall from an airplane. I agree, TDIU is a good way to go "if" you are not working due to SC conditions. Get the Caluza elements and get SC. Did you appeal the old denials? Are they over a year old? If less than a year, file a nod. You can cite the Caluza elements, claiming the fall as an "event". The BVA will check the Caluza elements. I have read hundreds of BVA decisions. Many/most cite either "the Caluza vs Brown" elements have been (or not been met).
    4 points
  20. RG935: (Berta is a widow of a Veteran). Berta, has made it well known she does not give out her private email address, and responds only in the public forum. While some hadit people here DO give private advice, Berta has made a choice not to "give out" her private email, and she has reasons for that. I agree with her choice. "If" her advice is good for Veteran "A", then its also good for other Veterans, (in somewhat similar circumstances) as well as other Veteran advocates, many of which learn from her. I personally have read thousands of Berta's posts, responded to some, and have found her advice "nothing but helpful". As recently as this year, Berta advised me to "file an audit of my retro", and gave the department in the VARO to file it to. (VARO finance department). I took her advice and got a very nice retro check as a result. This enables other Veterans, who may also dispute their retro, to likewise follow her advice without Berta responding to each Veteran personally, which she probably does not have time to do. All hadit members are volunteers. We dont get paid to respond. Most of us are Vets, and most of us got help on hadit (often from Berta) and many of us eventually "gave back" by responding to other Veterans, when we have the time/knowledge. The good part of hadit is that its "peer reviewed". In other words, If I disagree with advice given, I post it but do not attack the personality of any poster by calling names. (You'r a liar!, You are an idiot! You are a moron, etc. etc. ) Instead, we "speak our peace" about "why" that advice may not be the best for that Vet. While we do have disagreements, they serve as peer review and raise the level of knowledge.
    4 points
  21. Speaking of Christmas, what a wonderful gift you could give by donating to hadit.com. I do not have much but donated $50 to help the thousands of veterans who use this site. If everyone could donate even $5 to $10 what a difference it will make for veterans!
    4 points
  22. I've been reading topics for a few weeks, and decided to share, maybe this can motivate some of you to start or continue your claim. I was a very successful Marine, Guide, honor graduate, 300 pft'er, Iron man, top of my class, followed orders to the T, leader, honored to serve my adopted country AMERICA, as a first generation immigrant from Colombia, South America. Not to go into details, I was honorably discharged three years in... it was catastrophic to me, I felt shame, failure... guilt. Many hospital stays, loss of all hope and finally distancing myself completely from military and VA for 20+ years. Nothing ever really changed, I just bottled it all in and changed jobs at least once every year +... highly technical, but not good working with others.. in the last three years, lots of things have gone down hill. I started a claim two years ago and just let it sit, out of fear of being labeled again, out of being cast in the shadows of mental disorders. My world spun out of control again and I panicked. I had been volunteering, taking out disabled veterans on outdoor trips and one vet told me, Jaime, it's ok, go file your claim and at minimum get some help through it. I took his advise to heart, as he meant it. All I wanted was some relief from this pain and guilt, 20 plus years of suffering in silence, pain, hurting, crying, nightmares, hallucinations ... just awful sadness. It's hard for me to write this, but I want all of you that read this to know that I found I was not alone, in reading what you all go through, I found common ground and my guilt has settled a little. I received my 100% P&T within 3 months with little effort, through my records and accepted that it's ok to not be ok. I was only asking for medical support and now I'm working through medications and support, it's not easy, I still hurt, I still feel like I failed my brothers. Even though most people that win their claim feel success, I don't feel success, but I feel it's a step in the right direction, it was extremely difficult for me, still is. I hope this brings those of you hope, I hope this testimony shows that the VA system will be there for you and all you have to do is ask for it. Thank you, Jsim, USMC.
    4 points
  23. Just wanted to share this with everyone as I prefer to give credit where it is truly due: After I won my recent claim, with this forums help for my mental health my brother-in-law, an Air Force vet, began to look at his mental health more seriously. With guidance I received via these forums, I helped by advising him on how to develop his claim and he submitted everything on Jul 1 2020. Today, he received a lump sum deposit from VA. Upon later review of his VA.gov account, it had been updated to reflect his mental health as secondary to his current back claim and was awarded 70%. Bringing him to 80% combined (30% for back). My sister and her family are greatly appreciative of everyone here who has contributed to the forums, as I explained to them where my new found knowledge had come from. You guys are the real helpers!
    4 points
  24. Checked Ebenefits today! Finally!!! I have 100% on the circle at the top and checked the letters and it says I am P&T! Thank you all for the help over all of these years! It was a rough ride! Now to fight for the backpay!
    4 points
  25. I just proved that a 23 yr old veteran likely had/has non-malignant parathyroid nodules and hypothyroidism due to exposure to HF radio as hull tech/damage control team for a 270 day cruise under 3.309 and 3.311. Two hours well spent. Hows your day going?
    3 points
  26. mb76 You need a current diagnosis and a statement from the audiologist saying that the disability originated from trauma that occurred while you were in the service. You don't have to have a hearing loss along with your tinnitus; they are separate disabilities. However, now days, it is very difficult to have a rating higher than 0% for hearing, as the standards for disability are quite high (severe.) IMHO, the majority of veterans that file both will get the tinnitus at 10% but be only 0% for the hearing loss. Get the diagnosis from you own doc, then you should have a "buddy letter" form 21-10210, describing what action caused your tinnitus. If you can get someone to also submit another buddy letter, maybe a battle buddy or family member or close friend that can attest that you showed the symptoms during or shortly after your service time, that will go a long way. Unless you really have a severe hearing loss, I wouldn't appeal hearing. Also, start getting evidence on your headaches; get a current diagnosis and get meds from your doc. Start keeping records/log for frequency, duration and serverity of them. I wouldn't submit as secondary NOW to your supplemental claim for tinnitus, but build a case for after your appeal. Build evidence; you can use Migraine Buddy app if you want; I just kept a paper log for 3 months. You may be able to get a disability later for that. If it is messing with your mental health, like causing anxiety or depression because you feel isolated because it interfers with your group participation, hearing issues in crowds etc., that can result in another secondary. If you can get a doc to prescribe some medications for the tinnitus, that could also help (doesn't happen a lot.) So, as you see over and over you need 3 things for a successful claim. 1) a current diagnosis, 2)an event or injury in service (I assume your str's do not mention anything on your tinnitus. If you did, request a copy of them.) and 3) a nexus or connection between the first two. Your diagnosis and comments from your doc and your buddy letters. Good luck.
    3 points
  27. 'I'D SEE A SPECIALIST and have him to read your medical records and examine you and ask him to give his medical opinion to what caused this back injury and he needs to state I have read this veterans medical records and examine him, it is my medical opinion this veterans back injury is likely as not incurred while he was in the military, describe the event in question (what happened that caused your injury) ect,,ect,, This should be a fairly easy to prove if this back injury happen to you while in the military or LOD Then you reinjured your back while you were deployed they should be a medical record on this you need to get these records. You should be able to keep your date the date you first filed especially if you filed for this Injury one year from your discharge thats all in your favor. Dig up your service records. request your C-file...if you don't want to work your own claim Hire a Experience level headed VSO or VA EXPERINCE Attorney now that you been denied you can hire an Attorney/VA Claims Accredith Claims Agent. It could be possible your attorney fees will be paid by the VA.. Elder member and hadit Mod ,BRONCOVET can chime in on that he knows how the veteran can get his attorney fees paid by the VA. IF AND WHEN YOUR SERVICE CONNECTED AND GIVEN A RATING , YOU STAND TO RECEIVE A HEFTY AMOUNT OF BACK RETRO PAYMENT. Get on this ASAP.
    3 points
  28. Pootie Tang Welcome to Hadit. The answer is a "maybe." Did you get a copy of your C-file? Get it. You need to find out details of that finding and what the details were on your award. What did you file for specifically (within 1 year of discharge?) Were you treated for PTSD within the first year? It is possibly presumptive. It will be tricky, in my opinion as they will say it was your responsibility to file. IMHO I would get a lawyer; they also have to determine what was the law at the time of the claim. There are several good legal groups referenced here on Hadit.
    3 points
  29. GB, the VA cannot reduce a veteran’s rating based on one C & P exam. The VA would have to send the veteran a letter of proposal to reduce and then go through the process. Even if the VA tries to reduce the veteran’s rating, they must prove that the veteran’s symptoms has improved. Once the VA makes a rating decision that rating stays in place and not likely to be reduced. Yes, the VA does re-examine veteran’s ratings but most of the time this is when a veteran file for an increase or the veteran was awarded TDIU but by the time the VA gets around to re-examining a veteran’s rating the veteran’s rating has already become static.
    3 points
  30. https://community.hadit.com/topic/69514-peggy-for-newbees/ This link videois why we call the 800# Peggy !!!! I realized I made an error- FOIA requests are now centralized: FOIA SERVICE810 Vermont Avenue, NW(005R1C) VACOWashington, DC 20420 Fax : 202-632-7581 Make the point that a lot was done via IRIS- I imagine you have copies of the IRIS replies.I would include them with the request. That is why I always suggest here to get an IRIS hard copy email reply- they can say anything on the phone. FOIAs are centralized by the VA: They will determine where the FOIA should go, when they get it. FOIA SERVICE810 Vermont Avenue, NW(005R1C) VACOWashington, DC 20420 Fax : 202-632-7581
    3 points
  31. If you get a doctor to do a exam for you he/she must say that in their medical opinion you myeloma was caused by your exposure to cancer causing agents while you served your country. You can't have half-steps like "possibly" or "could have". The report from your oncologist is poison. Your oncologist's opinion is probably the reason you were denied. He did more harm than good.
    3 points
  32. Good advice all around from everyone else. Don't forget about side effects of medications used to treat your SC disabilities. If you are given MH meds, they can cause ED, which can also be claimed. Eventually those spine issues may begin to affect your gait, which could lead to neck, knee, ankle, and other problems. I know that I have a tough time sleeping at night due to my back problems.
    3 points
  33. OK, I had to change some of my post. If you have a medical opinion that your service connected mental health keeps you from being employed and you are unemployable due to your service connected disabilities then the VA should grant your TDIU. The VA tries to get away with a lot of things and they do as long as the veteran does not file for a hearing or an appeal. Typically when a veteran request an increase and the VA reduce their rating it is called a mischaracterization of the issue. You can also file for SSDI from the SSA Office.
    3 points
  34. Keep pushing. Call the 800 number and keep on them until they make something happen. Another thing you can do is go to your VA hospital and talk to the C&P officer there. I have had luck with them getting a re-exam much faster.
    3 points
  35. The same thing happened to me seminoles. I thought, "Gee what a nice examiner"...until I read what she said, instead of listening to her "kind" back stabbing words. Police sometimes do that, too. The courts have ruled that a policmen (or detective) doesnt have to tell you the truth. So, they can say stuff like, "Oh, your friend already told us you shot him." "That RAT! He shot them, all I did was load the gun". They know how to get people to turn on their buddies. The examiner is not held accountable to their words, only what is documented, and they make the report. Neither are IRS employees, or VA employees, or generally, VSO's. An IRS employee can tell you, "Sure, you can deduct that". Then, some time later you get the "official' LETTER, telling you the truth. Ditto for VA employees and VSO's. "Gee, Mr. Veteran, you must have misunderstood what I said. I didnt tell you "not to apply", I said "go ahead and apply". Given the courts permit, or even endorse lying, its no wonder why there is so much evil in the world. You cant legislate morality.
    3 points
  36. DSIG Welcome to Hadit. On your question there is in my humble opinion no right or answer here. You can go with your gut and go back to LHI and state your case. If they say no change, then go to your RO. You could also have your cake and eat it too. Why not go to the exam and do your best. Take notes on what went wrong with the exam ex.how long it took, inappropriate questions asked, etc. If you get a favorable exam, you win. If you don't, you challenge the examiner by going to your RO and stating his/her credentials and why it was inadequate, and ask for a re-do. Totally up to you. You have a great deal of an advantage by doing your homework and checking out this examiner; good job by you. Use your knowledge wisely. If you do decide to go and see this examiner, don't tip your hand, because then he can stack the evidence against you by misrepresenting your responses. It is kinda like a free shot at this but do what you feel is going to be the best for you. Best of luck to you.
    3 points
  37. This is a typical thing the VA does. They will go off the date they see, and don't always look to see what the EED is. You need to file to a review of the EED. I have two in right now where they are off by 2 years. The fight continues and you will win! Keep it up.
    3 points
  38. I agree with the advise given but would make this even stronger. If you can go to claims in VA.gov, go to letters and print out a hard copy of what your husband's disabilities and status are. Or, get a VSO to print this stuff out for you. be sure your latest diagnosis and progress notes are posted in his medical files and bring a copy with you to the C&P exam. Make sure the examiner knows his latest current condition. No need to bring 4 inches of data files, just the current or it won't be looked at.
    3 points
  39. "1. Am I just out of luck because I didn't seek treatment during Active Duty?" Not at all because they say: "2. Under "favorable findings" it states that "a nexus, or link, has been established between your claimed issue and an in-service event". Isn't that the literal definition of a service connected disability?!" Yes it is. "3. What is the error?" Maybe the rater could not read. What have you all seen as timelines and outcomes for this? " That often depends on your next step- Something is wrong here- maybe,in an effort to correct a DTA error, they might have made a typo under Favorable findings.....I am at a loss ... can you scan and attach the actual decision here to contain the Evidence List ? What is the 50% for? Obviously VA had your SMRs when they awarded that claim. Did you have private treatment records and/or VA medical records that the IME doctor based their opinion on? Please cover your c file # , name, address prior to scanning it. When you scan it you can save it into a word doc or pdf and then when you go to the "choose files "thing at bottom of the reply box ,it should pop up as an attachment. When you described the inservice nexus were you able to detail it as to time and place? I have seen VA say to vets that JSRRC could not verify their claimed incident. I told a few vets to write to JSRRC themselves and give them details, and some got the evidence from JSRRC that they needed and succeeded in their claims..
    3 points
  40. My guess is this letter is a "proposed reduction". I simply suggest you respond to the proposed reduction with a concise letter, written on a 21-4138, as to why you should not be reduced. Certainly you can explain that C and P examiner told you that he can not continue with the exam while pregnant. I simply suggest you ask them to refer you to an examiner who will complete the exam while pregnant, OR simply delay the C and P exam until after you deliver. As someone said, you can also ask for a hearing to tell your viewpoint, which should delay this reduction. If you complete the letter I mentioned, and give good reasons, mail it certtified mail return receipt requested to the Janesville center, you should have no further problems, IMHO. You may need to attend a hearing. Given that what you posted is factual, you are highly unlikely to be reduced based solely on the c and p examiner refusing because of pregnancy. I think you will be fine, unless your conditions have had actual improvement.
    3 points
  41. My apologies if I misunderstood your post but you wrote it kind of confusing. If I did understand it correctly you have a total of six(6) disabilities rated as 50%, 30%, 20%, 20%, 20% and 10%. If this is correct then your combed rating would look like: 50% + 30% = 65%, 65% + 20% = 72%, 72% +20% = 78%, 78% + 20% = 82% and 82% + 10% = 84% and then VA math would round down to a combined rating of 80% total. Keep in mind that to get the total number of combined rating you start from the highest to the lowest and the closer you get to the 95% rounded up to the 100% schedular combined total it gets even harder to reach. Not sure how VA rated your insomnia, because insomnia normally falls under the mental health category. To round up or down always comes at the end of adding all rating percentages.
    3 points
  42. For the most part you can run your claim better than depending on a VSO to upload everything. You can't check status like they can because you cant log into your Claims file, so Id keep one around for that, but they have 100-200 cases at a time so when it comes to submitting evidence,etc, its better and faster to label it well/highlight/circle/pg number whatever, and upload it yourself than waiting for them to do it. Its pretty easy to do if your claim isn't super weird, like, having to go to National Personnel for records for a stressor or something- thats taking FOREVER right now. Srsly, like, Ive had some claims pass my screen that have been waiting months now but the NPRCs aren't all staffed or even open in some locations due to covid.
    3 points
  43. I helped with a claim like that-(my former local vet rep asked me to help the vet-( but was messing up my claim at the same time)*** the veteran had been denied many times and even went to the BVA twice with lawyers. ***I fixed that with a complaint to the OGC and to his boss, the Govenour. No one, not his rep nor even his lawyers ever read his SMRS. It took me 3 weeks to decifer them ( Army vet 1960s all handwritten gibberish) and he was claiming his diabetes started in service. Long story- he won his claim. I prepared a lay medical nexus statement for him as to his SMRS and told him to ask his private endocrinologist to support his nexus with copies of his SMRs that I had highighted. The doctor did the IMO for free, checking the SMR and my statement and highighted parts , and he won.After almost a decade . I had to magnify many records, and had to look up many medical acronyms, and go over the SMRs many times-there were not too many pages but they were all difficult to read. His claim had been denied many times and yet he never even tried to read his SMRs himself. I believe a needle in a haystack can be found. There were plenty in his SMRS, but by then I had a background in diabetes because of my pending SMII claim,.It just takes plenty of time and work. The best "certified med rec translater" is often the veteran themselves or an IMO/IME doctor. I magnified the records on my PC, and also used a mirror to see if that would help decifer them. I became familiar with the way a a few doctors wrote entries, and that helped a lot. But let me know if you do find a medical transcriber who could do this for you. Even with the work I did for this veteran, he still needed the IMO/IME. I am not a doctor.
    3 points
  44. After they called yesterday to discuss the HLR I filed in July, I checked E-Benefits this afternoon...and it shows I got my rating increase which pushed me to 100% P&T!!! I feel like I should throw a party or something. LOL!!! Now, I'm trying to work through and understand all of the Education Benefits since I have two college-age kiddos (one in and one going in 2021). This is a MAJOR blessing!! It's the one benefit I've really being fighting hard to achieve with time being of the essence. I'm so thankful for this site and all of those on here who have taken the time to listen and post things that help all of us figure out this puzzle. I cannot say Thank You enough!
    3 points
  45. Checked E-Benefits today...I am now 100% P&T. Sweet Jesus, Hallelujah!!!!
    3 points
  46. Yesterday was a great day. I have been working on these claims for awhile and this last year i really decided to do it right and spend the money and time necessary to win that last few claims i had been denied over the years. I was checking my status on va.gov and ebenefits and noticed while va.gov showed it as "gathering evidence" still ebenefits under pending disabilities when you click "check pending claim" it had been listed as "preparation for decision". As a sidenote i realized that ebenefits had alot more steps in it (gathering -> prep for decision-> pending decision approval -> preparation for notification) while va.gov only goes form gathering to prep for decision, so ebenefits can help show in more detail where the claim is at. Anyways. i checked yesterday and it had moved back to gathering of evidence and i was bummed. This claim was started July 2019 and i had finally gotten my in person C&P's 2 weeks ago. I decided to check the Letter section of ebenefits, as in the past that has been sometimes updated faster than everything else and low and behold it showed i had won so i checked "disabilities" again and it repopulated. PTSD - I won my increase to 70% after multiple denials. since 2016 (wasnt continuously pursued since then unfortunately) i had made multiple attempts and after 2 denials in 2017, 2019 i decided to get a IMO again (which i first used in 2015 to fight a reduction). My C&P's were done by both VA & QTC in those past denials and after getting my Cfile i saw that the examiner didnt note down or check boxes on ALOT of the things i had talked to them about. for example i get panic attacks everday and take medication, they check the "less than once per week" box??? Anyways after TWO VES C&P's this year my IMO won out and i finally won this claim. Shin splints - They kept me at 0% but im not going to appeal it now Back - after multiple ER visits and therapy and increases in med doses they finally agreed that it was slightly worse than the original 10% they gave me in 2011 and upped it to only 20%, but ill take it I also had a IBS, GERD & Hemorrhoid claim that was deferred, im guessing until they can do more tests. After this I am now 100% schedular, but they also gave me P&T! which was great! I was impatient about waiting for the letter which was only sent on the 16th so i called the 1800 # and the VA person told me they couldnt send me a digital copy until its past 10 days but he could look at the letter and confirm questions i had and was able to confirm the % & P&T, which was cool.
    3 points
  47. First, the 2018 C & P exam in way to old. Second, it seems that you filed a claim, and it was rated and denied in Jan 2020. You recently filed a supplemental with new medical evidence Nov 2020 and VA has scheduled you for a new C & P exam. It is normal for VA to schedule a new/current C & P exam prior to making a new decision. This is a good thing.
    3 points
  48. FRG vet Congratts on finally winning your claim! That's the great news. Unfortunately, the way to get back pay is you have to continuously pursue your claim. If denied, you have to appeal thru the VA system within 365 days of the date on your decision letter that originally denied you. There is a process called CUE, clear and unmistakable error, that a veteran can try that doesn't have any time limitations. For it to be successful, you have to prove the VA made a significant error on the original decision. If your medical records were in your file all along and the VA approved on your second attempt based on those records "that just showed up" might be an example of a CUE. There are many postings here on Hadit and elsewhere on the CUE process, but if your approval was based on new evidence, not much chance of getting back pay, or EED. It is determined based on finding of fact and when you notified the VA of your injury and request for disability. If you didn't apply for years then it is hard to hold the VA accountable when they didn't know, if you get what I mean. But good going on your award; nice job of not giving up.
    3 points
  49. I call the 1-800-827-1000 and they fax me my code sheets known question ask. You just need the right person to answer the phone and know the rules.
    3 points
  50. Foxhound6 Great news!!! Way to go. That's what Hadit is all about. Learn, win, pass it on. Congrats to you both.
    3 points
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