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  1. vetquest

    vetquest

    Master Chief Petty Officer


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  2. GBArmy

    GBArmy

    Senior Chief Petty Officer


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      668

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      1,357


  3. Vync

    Vync

    Master Chief Petty Officer


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      456

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      5,224


  4. paulstrgn

    paulstrgn

    Subscription Holder


    • Points

      425

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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/31/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Buck, you sir are also greatly appreciated. When I found this site like others, "I was mad as hell and I couldn't take it anymore." I remember the quote but I don't remember who said it. This site is somewhat therapy for me. Plus I can glean a little about my own claim. Never could I imagine that so many veterans would be going through some of the same situations. Even some are so dang close to my claim I can swear that someone is looking at my claim and posting or responding to my post and it is scary. Maybe it is my paranoia but they are real close. Dealing with some of the Sugar Honey Ice Tea I had to go through, I don't want any other veteran/person to go through it. I went way below rock bottom and I am still trying to crawl my way out/up. The disability is just one factor but when you add losing your family and your home it makes thing even harder. I know there are some horror stories out there about what some veterans had to go through while VA decided their claim/fate that you would really not believe and really not want to hear because of the true gut punch feelings that would just make you sick.
  2. 6 points
    Just a month ago I hit 90% from 30%, literally a month later got more back pay and generated a benefit letter on ebenefits. They upped me to tdui permanent and total disability. I went from almost losing my house two months ago to being debt free. Thank you everyone who answered my questions and helped.
  3. 6 points
    Geeky, this is a White House call if I ever heard one. I would have lost it half way thru. Un believable!!!
  4. 5 points
    Buck, Everyone's story is different, but our adversary remains undetoured. With your help and all the help of others on here, I too find hope and I trudge on, Thanks, Hamslice
  5. 5 points
    Bob was a Naval Radio Intercept Officer at the Consulate when the poop hit the fan in Hue during New Year's '68. He got his first V for Valor that week and learned how to operate a M 79 too. He may be Navy but he's my neighbor and he's a Vietnam Vet. Enough said. I took him on in Spring 2017. I didn't do it for the money as much as I did it for the mental exercise in calling b---s--t on the VA examiner. They whacked Bob from 100% for myelosuppressive disorder (MDS), a nasty form of leukemia from Agent Orange, down to 10% for anemia. He got his bone marrow transplant from his sister but it didn't sync. He went on heavy duty Prograf and the secondaries kicked his a-s. I fought him back to TDIU in 12/2017 and that's when they dug their heels in. I went up to the BVA with a shiny IMO saying DC 7003 leukemia , Note 1 says "other therapeutic procedures"... such as phlebotomies and Prograf. VA countered with a new rating of 100% for DC 7525 for s/p leukemia but no earlier effective date. We got 7 months of 100% and 26 at SMC S. It was a nice b***hslap to the Bozos who screw us. The $2 K IMO was well worth the investment. Notice Judge Cherry Crawford avoided the precedence of recognizing the definition of "other therapeutic procedures" in favor of finding it was an error of law to reduce when VA had not shown any medical evidence of improvement. I just sat and watched what they did in VBMS and struck back instantly each time before they could even mail it. We had the BVA hearing 9/20/2018. It was advanced on the docket and we had one remand of about 4 months. For BVA, this was almost lightspeed-seventeen months. Green BVA Grant 2-26-2020 redact.pdf
  6. 5 points
    I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the DAV. Keep in mind that not all reps will behave like that. Start here: https://www.va.gov/disability/how-to-file-claim You can start filing online via that link. You'll need to create an account. The most important thing is to do an "intent to file". You are telling the VA you plan to file for one or more disabilities. Think of it as holding your place in line (i.e. effective date). If you win your claim, it will be effective back to this date. Keep in mind the VA will pay benefits from the first day of the month following your effective date. You will have one year to formally submit a new claim. If you don't open a new claim, your effective date is lost, but you can still apply later. You can use the year to gather records pertinent to your claim. Before the end of the year, be sure to formally apply! If you served in the Gulf War, check this out: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp There are a number of "presumptive" illnesses related to service over there. There are some limitations and a deadline for the issues appearing, so don't wait until it is too late. You can file for anything you want, but the VA will evaluate evidence while making a decision. Look for any issues you feel were related to service, but preferably issues you have the ability to potentially tie back to service. If you have any medical records from the first year after leaving service, those can be very helpful. You can also file for secondary conditions. For example, if your back hurts, but you also have sciatica you think is caused by your back pain, you can file for both. Don't forget side effect of medication used to treat those disabilities. The military was famous for prescribing NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, etc... for musculoskeletal issues. If taken for too long, it can cause acid reflux, which can also be claimed. You can file for each condition, but I recommend also clearly stating that you are also filing for any related secondary disabilities. If you file for a very specific issue, the VA will focus solely on that. It can be helpful to be somewhat vague. For example, instead of filing for lower back pain, consider filing for "spine problems". That would cover both lower back and the neck (the VA treats them separately). Gathering records is important, but may take time. If you don't have these, it is good to try and obtain them. You can help the VA to help you. 1. Military personnel records If you have a VA account, you can request these online. See #3 below for another way to get them. 2. Service treatment records You can request these from your VAMC's release of information office. It may take four to six weeks to arrive. 3. If you received any treatment through the VA, request those records You can request these via VA's healthevet web site: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/home Once you register, it can be found via their Blue Button feature. 4. If you were ever in the VA system, it might be a good idea to request your claims file (i.e. c-file). This will take months to come in. They even can provide it on CD/DVD instead of paper. https://cck-law.com/blog/va-c-file-claims-file When you apply, never send the VA any original documents. It is helpful to keep those stored in a safe place. Don't expect the VA to get your claims right the first time. They are known for making mistakes, but claims are very often won on appeal. If you get a a 30%+ rating and have dependents, don't forget to file a dependency claim. Don't forget to ask questions. Don't forget to search the forums and explore the blogs. You might find answers to your questions before you ask them.
  7. 5 points
    This is a short article from 2015 which discussed how the Caluza ruling introduced adversarial factors into the VA's non-adversarial claims process. Daniel L. Nagin, The Credibility Trap: Notes on a VA Evidentiary Standard, 45 U. Mem. L. Rev. 887 (2015). https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/27814585/Nagin_CredibilityGap.pdf?sequence=1
  8. 5 points
    My name is Linda. Alex agreed to help us with my husband aid and attendance claim. After zero help from va and other veteran organizations, my husband found Alex on this forum. Although we have been difficult at times, Alex has been on our side and shows this wisdom in all communications. We trust him and know our appeal will be eventually grAnted. We also believe Alex will endure my husband receives every benefit he deserves. Happy new year to all and when you are at wits end with va, you have a sincere and strong advocate with Alex.
  9. 5 points
    A couple months back before I received my decision I started preparing for the appeal I knew I would be filing. That is how little faith I had in the VA caring about we the veteran. One of the things I did is I went through the entire M21-1 and documented every CAVC precedent case that the VA cited. I did this because I wanted to see what the rater was seeing. I could not understand for the life of me why so many obviously bad decisions were being handed down. I think the bottom line is that the wrong type of people are hired as raters. I think raters should have some kind of legal background. They do not need to be lawyers but I think paralegals would be a good idea. There have been more than 3500 precedent setting decisions from the CAVC since 1989. Now we need to concede that all of them are not favorable to the veteran but I have learned that in a lot of cases even though the veteran lost a case it some rules were established that assisted other veterans. The document I created has about 200 or so decisions cited in the M21-1. Considering the fact that there are more than 3500 precedent cases out there I think it is safe to assume the VA purposely left out decisions that would make it almost impossible to deny veteran claims. Case in point. I know of 14 precedent setting decisions that state the VA cannot ignore or give no weight to outside doctors without providing valid medical reasons as to why. Most of these decision are not cited by the M21. It is important that we do our due diligence to make sure we do not get screwed. I think the M21-1 is incomplete because there is too much information we veterans are finding on our own to get the benefits we deserve M21-1 Precedent setting decisions .docx
  10. 5 points
    I am in the same boat as you @Vync It also sucks to know it will not get better, but only get worse as the years go on. I am now trying to set myself up to do what i can when i can and not over do it! I will say that is very hard for me as I have never had to ask someone for help. I was always able to Ogre my way through things. I hope one day they find a way to fix a few of these issues.
  11. 5 points
    Amazon Prime Membership Discount As part of a Veterans Day special to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military, Amazon is proud to offer $40 off one year of Prime membership to all Veterans and active military from Nov. 6-11. The Veterans Day promotion discounts the Amazon Prime membership fee from $119/year to $79 for one year. This is a one-time discount and the membership fee will return to standard pricing upon next annual renewal. New and existing Amazon Prime members are eligible. If you are a Prime member, this purchase will extend your membership by one year. Visit the link above to learn more about the terms and conditions. Here is the link below. There are other discounts listed but this one got my attention as a Amazon Prme memeber. https://www.va.gov/opa/amazon.asp I just did it and it was easy to do.
  12. 5 points
    Hello all, It took me years to finally submit my first claim to the va after exiting the service in 2012. I had no idea what I was doing and had no idea that I was entitled to anything, I just knew I had problems and they were getting worse. I started out getting rated 30% in 2016, then got to 70% in 2017. And finally this month I was officially rated 100% sc. I keep logging in to make sure the rating is still there. 10% tinnitus 30% IBS 100% PTSD And a few more still pending. I still have to battle for P&T but I’m grateful to have a site like this with fellow veterans so willingly to help with their experience and expertise. So thank you and any tips or guidance for me would be extremely appreciated!
  13. 5 points
    I'd like to thank Theresa for letting me help other Veterans on this site. Some eventually come over and ask for representation if they keep losing. My Vet Ed here was not one of them but he regularly read the site posts The other three last week all began here. Hadit.com is an excellent resource for those novices who know very little and are eager to win their claims. For those who cannot fathom the ins and outs, there are always folks who will carry the water. I'm honored to be one. https://asknod.org/2019/09/05/vba-portland-ed-the-lrrp/
  14. 5 points
    So I got the news this past Friday that I've been awarded 100 P&T after my last series of ratings that were in process (still have 2 deferred items). I'm in such shock that I was able to accomplish it on my own (with the help of HadIt/Reddit -- my VSO didn't lift a finger to do any work for me), especially after being told for several years that without any copies of Service Treatment Records that I couldn't file a claim. I got out of the Army ~9 years ago just happy to have a DD-214. I attempted to get copies but the shoddy medics at the Aid Station where I out-processed said that I didn't have anything in my records folder. Over the next several years I sent numerous requests to the Archives that resulted in responses saying that my records weren't found but I'll always remember the VA Rep during my out-processing say that "if you deployed, you're guaranteed at least 10%." I know there are no guarantees with the VA but that kept the fire kindling going over the years. It wasn't until a stroke of luck last October that I somehow managed to find Tricare Online and was able to log in with my eBenefits/VA.gov credentials. Low and behold, a bunch of medical entries ranging from first arriving at Ft. Benning up until my Phase II Exit Exam Physical were there. I immediately printed it out and saved a digital copy! I know it seems silly after the fact since I now know the VA will retrieve their own copies of STRs but it was finding those artifacts online that motivated me to register with a VSO and file my initial Intent to File in October 2018. I spent the next few months organizing my evidence and researching (soooo much researching posts, eCFR, and M21-1) issues that I wanted to claim that others also referenced in their posts on the various Vet forums. In February 2019, I finally submitted what I believed to be my FDC after gathering all my private medical records and organizing them neatly along with a couple private doctor DBQs, my STRs, and several Statements in Support of Claim. There were a few hiccups along the way in that I was incorrectly rated at 0% for a few issues which I submitted a Supplemental Appeal for correction (which was successful). All said and done, my first round got me to 93% with one deferred issue. While waiting for a C&P re-exam for that issue, I decided to file a second claim to cover a few extra things that I didn't put in my initial claim due to not knowing about secondaries and presumptives at the time. I submitted a couple more private DBQs and had two more C&Ps in August. Shortly after, I received my decision which stated I was 100 P&T and sure enough, I am now able to generate a Commissary Letter and Benefits Verification that both state that I am considered Permanent & Total. Definitely a huge thanks to all of you here. Without this site, I would never have been able to read all the archives of posts from people with similar claims to try and see how things may play out or how I could better present or position myself during the claims process. A couple of tips to leave everyone while I try to sort out what kind of benefits I'm now eligible for: Don't worry about how long you've been out for. Only worry about your health, its relation to your service in the military and presenting your case in a clear and concise fashion. A Statement in Support of Claim DOES provide a SIGNIFICANT advantage. I've read several places that say the VA dismisses this form. It may or may not be true, but where it has helped me out the most is during my C&P exams. I ALWAYS brought copies of evidence that applied towards my C&P exam that I was at. Each and every time, I was very courteous and let the examiner know that I made copies for them because I know the VA doesn't always tag all the info to send to them. A well written Statement in Support of Claim helps not only the Examiner be able to check boxes but it also gives you a voice after you leave the exam. During C&P exams, don't be afraid to (politely) speak up and ask if you can reference your evidence so that you can give them the correct information. I always made it a habit to turn to the page that I wanted to read from, angle it towards the examiner and trace the sentence, diagnosis, or date with my finger. This usually triggered the examiner to comment on how great it was that I was able to have adequate evidence that supported the exam. Thanks again everyone and good luck!
  15. 5 points
    What input would you like? You've given no details. VA, while sometimes an intolerable pain in the ass, doesn't just remove a rating for no reason and not without at least a few letters of warning about reduction, and how to appeal.
  16. 5 points
    Sounds like Sgtwish is entitled to some extensive SMC. Eventually,when the PD involves the lower extremity balance, you begin falling down. At that point most neurologists are willing to concede you have effectively lost the use of your lower extremities. If the shakes in the hands prevent most use functions like eating, taking medication, etc. you would require the aid and attendance of another. With those two "conditions", you would be entitled to SMC R1 At $7,896/month. I just got a Vet that last month. Especially if VA has all the records at the VAMC.
  17. 5 points
    I filed my first VA claim in 2013. Most of the claim was denied however I did receive a 20%sc which shortly after changed to 40% after they ruled on another item that had earlier been deferred. I immediately filed an appeal and shortly thereafter another claim for new conditions. The new claim was completely denied and I immediately filed a second appeal. Hoping I would win one appeal and be able to reach a 70%sc and qualify for TDIU I went ahead and applied for TDIU even though I was still just 40%. I figured I might at least be able to get an earlier effective date if approved. It too was denied. I filed a third appeal. So for about 6 years I’ve watched 3 separate appeals work their way through the system and when the first one got to The Board they also addressed the other 2 appeals at the same time. I won all three of my appeals and I am now 90%sc/w TDIU paid at the 100% rate and my letter says it’s Permanent & Total. This is a huge life changer. Never give up the fight.
  18. 5 points
    July 11th? Do you have a time machine?
  19. 5 points
    I just wanted to share that sometimes we need to be a squeaky wheel to get our BVA cases moving. I had filed an appeal to the BVA October 2018 under the then RAMP program. I had also filed a FOIA request for my complete C-FIle. The FOIA request was completed mid March 2019, unfortunately the pending FOIA case had caused my appeal to fall out of processing (originally my appeal showed to be with a judge since 1/7/2019 with an estimated completion of 1 - 2 months) . I had called the BVA 800 number back in mid May wanting an update and at that time I was told my case was with FOIA. I informed them that the FOIA has already been completed in mid March and asked them to put my case back into production. I called again last week and was told by the representative that the case was back with a judge. I called again today to see if anything happened with my case, I know it is law clerks that actually prepares the cases for the judges and once completed then the judge makes a decision. When I spoke with them this morning I was told it was still with FOIA, I held my tongue and told them that last week I was told it is with a judge and now I am being told it is not. I asked him how is the vet to know whats actually going on with their case if they keep getting different answers? He did not have an answer and apologized. Once again he sent a message to FOIA informing them I had already received my FOIA response and to release my case so it can be assigned to a judge again. After the call needless to say I was very frustrated and decided to email the Secretary of VA, instead I decided to email his Chief of Staff with my concerns. I explained my frustration and simple asked could she please assist with getting my appeal put back into production. I received a response this after from Ms. Mason the Chairman of the BVA letting me know that a mistake was made by FOIA in updating my case and that my case is now assigned to a judge. The response also had a cc to the Chief of Staff. I am one of those who log into Vets.gov and ebenefits on a regular basis just to see if anything has changed on my appeal. My point to this long post is that sometimes as vets we need to be that squeaky wheel. Also keep in mind I did not send the email right away I tried to use the system as it is meant to be used. But when your case falls off the rail don't be afraid to email those in charge. If anyone wants to do what I did I will suggest that when you send emails like this be respectful and keep your emotions out of the email. Simply state your facts and what you are wanting assistance on. I did not ask to have my case approved I only asked that they help to get the case back into production is what happened in my case. Be polite and keep it professional after all the people you email are human like us. Hope this helps others with their claims.
  20. 5 points
    You are not alone! You will never be alone! This trauma caused you pain in a way some of us here will never understand. I have had my own demons to slay over the years some I knew I had and others were so ingrained I had no idea how to deal with them. This story has nothing to do with your experience, just to give you some tools to deal with trauma. I was born into a Cult. I was brain washed from a very young age. The abuse to place over 18 years until I finally left. I had to leave behind my 11 siblings where I was living(Knowing I would be allowed to have a relationship with them). I left in 1999/2000 and joined the Military in 2001. I had never had time to process what had happened to me as a child. I did not realize my dad was having sex with his daughters. I was always taught to suck it up and be a MAN! I was told there is no one who can help you! There is only you! Almost everything I was taught from a young age was a lie!. I blamed myself for many years and was told I was the problem and how could you do this to your family? I have dealt with this by allowing myself to feel again. I had blocked myself behind so many walls I was hollow inside. I did not love myself or anyone I was in a relationship with. I allow myself to remember! I allow myself to cry! I allow myself to forgive me! I allow myself to love! It took me a long time to realize how to love myself, I had told myself I was not worthy of love. Letting yourself back into your life and forgiving yourself are the hardest part of trauma. The events happened and they will not go away. The pain is there and will not go away. You have an injury no one else can see, it is so deep and painful. I had a wound like this and I found a friend who helped me heal myself. My wife had a lot to do with it, but in the end the friend was me. I was causing the wound to stay open and fester, I did not want to get better. I wanted to pain because I deserved the pain. I was to weak to deal with it. I just want you to know we are here for you and you are loved! You have support from all of us here!
  21. 5 points
    Paul is right about needing a space where you can come after you have had defeat or a win. I know my wife gets sick and tired of me talking about my fight with the VA. For her all she sees is me spending a bunch of time not doing things with her in her mind productive things. At the end of the day for me this is a personal fight as I have had my health taken from me. I am also doing this, because in 5-10 years there is no way I will have the energy to fight this hard. My wife told me for years I would never get to 50% and now we are looking at 100%. She sometimes understands how bad it is, but I am pretty good at hiding the pain most days. I will say it has changed a bunch around here now that we have been this far down the road. I think she is finally understanding I have limitations. She is also very supportive of my issues. I just don't want to always weigh her down with my crap. As for this site is great to come here and see I am not alone, and there are those who are where I was at and other who are where I want to land. I am glad I can give back some of my experience to make someone else's life easier! Remember we make up less than 1% of the USA. We have a unique bond and we all support each other. I also find it a blessing there are those out there who have never fought in a war who are willing to fight (for years) through a court case to help us be able to take care of ourselves! Thank you to all of those who help us here without any knowledge of getting paid at the end of the day. It would be very hard to work knowing there was a chance to never get paid and to put so many hours into a persons case. My hats off to you and keep up the fight!
  22. 5 points
    I first found this forum after I started my claim Aug 7, 2018. This was 10 years after my discharge. I had done everything I could to stay away from the military after my experience and had never even been to the VA before this year. I prepared my claim myself and was concerned I would be denied. I posted my c and p exam results here October 31, 2018 and members commented on their thoughts of success or failure, and said I would get about 50%. I then took my exam results to the Veteran rep here at my local unemployment office who told me ultimately I would be denied and should appoint a representative and prepare for appeal. I choose the DAV and left with my spirits a little crushed, but after reading people stories here I knew I had to remain hopeful. Nov. 29, 2018 I received an email from the DAV with the Decision that had been made even before I could see it. The email stated I had been service-connected at 70% PTSD permanent, also approved for TDIU and Dependent Education, but Ebenefits still said pending approval. So again I came to the forums for assistance and posted a copy of the email. I was met with congratulatory responses and assurance that the email was legit. @GeekySquid then messaged me a ton of information about benefits that were now available to me. It was from that information I was able to start the process of getting my life back on track. Im currently working with VR&E also known as Voc Rehab, to go back to school. Geeky told me they would give me hard time but to be persistent and it paid off my counselor has approved my long term goal of a Masters Degree. I can not put in words how thankful I am for this forum and its Members.
  23. 4 points
    I have verified through ebenefits that my NOD through the legacy system is granted. It took several years but it shows that the VA granted an EED of ten years minus a month.
  24. 4 points
    Please let someone know about this examiner. This is BS. Remember you have the right to challenge an exam.
  25. 4 points
    Man o man o man, sorry guys, I guess that human part has been kicking me around for a few years. I did win my BVA CUE EED but the local VARO low balled me so bad I over looked it or I couldn't Believe it. After re-reading my VARO decision letter, on back of one of the rating sheets it states that "VA made a CUE". The VA gave me an effective date that I felt was still wrong. I was so upset I think I filed a NOD the same week I got my rating decision. Yes, this is all taken care of due to my recent grant for an earlier effective date, I still can't believe it. This time VA didn't call it a CUE, BVA decided that my original claim was never final and gave me the earlier effective date . This is the correct effective date, now all the local VARO have to do is get the correct retro pay. My recently BVA grant take my effective date back even further then my CUE EED.
  26. 4 points
    If I understand you correctly, you were denied on a few claims. Went to a lawyer and he appealed the SA claim, but not the others. And apparently will not appeal the others for you. I would appeal the others on my own before the 1 year rule runs out, without a lawyer, and then see what happens. I would not let the 1 year pass. I don't know how lawyers work with claims as I have never had to use one, but I would think you did not have to let him appeal for you unless you agreed to them just doing the one issue. You should have said thank you and found a lawyer that would have taken all of your appeals. The lawyer must have known that by taking just one issue it would put you in a bind. Doesn't sound like a very good VA appeals lawyer to me. But what do I know. My other thought is he took the slam dunk and knows that if you quit him, he still gets part of your win, and he didn't want to deal with the harder (more work) appeals. IDK, Hamslice
  27. 4 points
    From what you are saying I would say to file for TDUI and increase in PTSD. Now if they go to scheduler and you get 100% you would not need the TDUI, but they would figure that out. I would look up what you need for to submit for TDUI and make sure it is in there for the increase. I would also file today as if you do not you will miss a month.
  28. 4 points
    Normally you will not get a reduction but that does not mean they will not try. When I was appealing TDIU the VA called one of my disabilities service connected in error and another rated incorrectly. They wanted to sever and reduce my disabilities. Needless to say they got caught in a blender and wound up not getting their way. The VA is not your friend and will sometimes do everything in their power to make your life miserable. They claim to be a non adversarial that is there to help the veteran as best they can, believe that at your peril.
  29. 4 points
    Steven You have a difficult road but you can't make the journey without taking the first steps. I am not anywhere close to being an expert on it, but I can offer my opinion. CFS is a very difficult diagnosis to receive from the VA. I believe it is only successful 20% of the time. The problem is they rule it out if they can divert it to another disability and make that non-service connected. The DBQ that is required for eval is 21-0960 Q1 under 38CFR 4.88 The diagnostic code 6354, allows ratings from 10% all the way up to 100%. IMO it is almost impossible to win the claim without a diagnosis from an immune system doc issuing his opinion with medical rationale. We are not medical experts; the diagnosis is very technical. I would suggest you start doing your search for a good doc who understands the VA and what they require to win. And, to answer your question, just file as CFS; let the VA figure it out. My guess is your diagnosis while in the service will not stand up to what the VA is going to try to do with it. Get a good IMO. One other thing. I would send a letter to the DAV headquarters in your state. Tell them in your own words about how you were treated and provide the name if you can. They probably won't do anything on the basis of one complaint, but if there are several, they might. One thing for sure, they won't do anything if veterans don't complain. Do the next guy in line trying to get help a favor. Call the jerk out.
  30. 4 points
    I looked at my bank account online this morning and I had a surprise, I had received money from the VA. Now I had won an BVA decision back on 7/2019 and as far as I know I have already received all the retro pay for that. I had to do an HLR for an EED since the RO messed up the date. But mid-October the HLR was approved with the correct effective date and I received my first retro check. In the letter it stated they held part back while the calculated CRDP. I received that retro check about 5 -6 weeks later. Now I had calculated on what I should get and between the two retro checks it was what I had expected. I have no idea what this money is for, I do have two claims pending (I checked and they have not been decided on yet) so I am not sure what the money is for. I checked eBenefits and it does not show up under payments. I will check again tomorrow but I am just confused what the money s for. I really wish the VA would put correspondence in eBenefits stating what it is for, would it really be asking to mush for them to say why they are giving you money. I am happy to get more money but also confused as to why I got it. Perhaps the VA is giving bonuses…lol
  31. 4 points
    Okay folks this is not a question but an observation about attitudes of former government lifer VA raters, DROs and some VSOs. There is an AO SOB 30 year former DRO and then VSO on another veterans benefits forum that is fanatical about several items. He maintains over and over and over again that an IMO opinion are not private doctors medical opinions but instead VA requested medical opinions from outside doctors to clarify issues in order to make a claim decision and according to VA definitions he is correct. HOWEVER for many many many years both veterans and VSOs have referred to private civilian doctors medical opinions on behalf of veteran claimants as also IMOs and there is also truth in this and absolutely nothing wrong in using this term IMHO!!!! This same AO also lies and says that CUE errors are extremely rare and CUE claims nearly impossible to win for the vet. Again this is BS and he is saying VA raters/DROs never commit any serious errors in their claims decisions when in fact thousands of BVA/court public decisions have found thousands of errors in VA raters initial decisions over many decades and many of these were serious errors to include CUE. His typical lifer government attitude is on full display in a great many of his post to younger or new naive veterans and I feel sorry for them and there are others like him on that particular forum. Over a period of 30 years filing my own mostly successful claims and appeals including CUE I have read hundreds of BVA and court decisions and many vets won their claims on appeal due to them having to pay for a private doctor IMO when in fact the VA raters/DROs denied their claims with these private doctor IMO opinion statements. He and others like him are always dismissive of these private doctors and lawyers who represent veterans in their appeals. Lifers are Lifers and they always stick together in their arrogance towards us other unclean vets. This is another example of something stinking smelling bad anti veteran attitude in D.C. unless of course you are a member of a special veteran groups. This is the end of my truthful rant and I enjoyed it very much. The above info from me is strictly my personal opinion and in no way legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO.
  32. 4 points
    I won an unwinnable claim at the BVA with an IMO. A neurologist stated that my neuropathy was related to a heat stroke, he referenced that cold injuries could cause neuropathy and that these are recognized as such. He further stated new medical evidence that supports that heat injuries can cause neuropathy that will not show for many years. There was more but this is the general outlay of the IMO. He also stated that the VA did not recognize this because they did not do any medical workup or research in my case. IMO's are expensive but at the BVA they can be the difference between a loss or a win.
  33. 4 points
    Did you have the symptoms of said issue? Are they in your service record. The reason I am asking is I have a disease not commonly know (have found 4 cases in bva appeals). Any way if you have the results of the symptoms you can fight to show what it was. Or if they got the name of it wrong. Btw my condition is still not in the rating system but they have something close to it.
  34. 4 points
    I also include more information than they ask for. I have had them include information on the evidence list as duplicates but I look at the previous denial and they were not listed. You can never trust the VA to do the right thing and my records are massive. I therefore include pertinent information that might be overlooked.
  35. 4 points
    It is the same for me, if I did not get a reasonable accommodation from my employer I would be out of work. I am lucky since I work for the government and they are mandated to give reasonable accommodation accept for in a few exceptions. I would gladly give up all my VA benefits to have my disabilities go away, I am tired of hurting as many here are. All I see in my future is pain and losing the ability to do more and more things. As bad as things seem for me I know there are many more on this site much more worse off than I am.
  36. 4 points
    I originally tried to file the 1151 with a vso and they told me no.... I did that on my own.. I don't have a rating yet, at least I don' think so I just looked on my VA/BVA status With my current rating and add these.... and I should be good... I am freaking out (inside my head at 3:20 a.m.) I cannot express much yet, until it is written in stone. as I have a few things to say, not sure if it is wisdom, learning curve, or advice... for now I will leave With Thank you! I truly believe this website (cold way f of putting it,, I mean the people here played a large part). And actually the people here were way ahead of me, and I should have moved sooner on the advice given. But alt he advice here is like taking a full law course for several years, with humor, and a kick in the butt and the good and bad people share all contribute. I am rambling freaking out! Thank you to all, and I hope my struggle gives everyone hope that has a wild and crazy health history that a lot of people said I probably could not do it, but the people that ran the site said the 1151 is good. YOu are 200% right. Thank you ! Steve btw, My wonderful daughter, whom had to pay for their schooling through huge student loan debts, because I had no money, comes to visit for a bit tomorrow. I can tell here there is even a better possibility now of the va paying for here school debt, because they denied me while she was in college al these years, she will have two Masters degrees in her 20's, in a few more months, and owes lots of money for those student loans. She makes good money but owes a fortune. This, I hope will pay retroactive? lots of stuff I don't yet understand... I better shut up and freak out by myself for a while... good night all!
  37. 4 points
    I filed an appeal when I got TDIU but was denied the Chapter than includes P&T. It took about a year for p&t to be granted. If you were explicitly denied P&T as part of your claim then appeal that denial. I think I have appealed just about every decision I ever got from the VA because they are almost always do not afford complete relief. A few years after I got TDIU I was granted another 60% for a separate condition. The VA did not immediately grant "S" like they should have done. I had to file a CUE to get that benefit. If you don't ask for it you often don't get it. The VA is sloppy and lazy. If they make a mistake that costs you thousands of buck they don't miss any sleep. The VA is just a machine. We hope to be the monkey wrench.
  38. 4 points
    VA Claims Insider is not accredited. The VAOIG and VA Accreditation are both preparing to drop the hammer on all these fly-by-night "Vet Helpers". Expect to see a Congressional Statute in the works soon making it illegal to poach Vet's compensation checks.
  39. 4 points
    There is considerable info here in this forum on CUE-it is not really a ‘claim’ - it is a frontal attack on a recent or past VA decision, whether award or denial. And explained in many of the articles I have already written-no sense in re- writing what is already here- This is where you need to go if you think you have had a CUE in any past or recent VA decision. https://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/admin21/m21_1/mr/part3/subptiv/ch02/M21-1MRIII_iv_2_SecB.docx The M21- MR link has info as well on 3.156 claims too. A legal error means just that. It could mean the improper diagnostic code, used to your detriment, based on the medical evidence, an improper EED based on established medical evidence , in VA’s possession at time of alleged CUE, or often a violation of 38 CFR 4.6 because VA failed to consider Probative evidence, that you can prove they had.Such as ignoring a probative IMO/IME or ignoring any other type of evidence they had ,that fully advanced your claim. If they mention the IMO/IME in the opinion, that means they did not ignore it- but probably didn't read it well, or, as in my case, over my last CUE, they did list my evidence ( 4 pages -opinion from OGC VACO cardio doctor) but never mentioned it in the decision, They reversed immediately when I filed CUE the next day. The award letter is dated 3 weeks after the denial. A CUE on an improper EED is the same- scenario- the VA failed to consider evidence they had that would warrant a proper EED, of a ratable condition (at least at ten percent, at time of the alleged CUE decision. I could write a book on CUE, because in the past 25 years VA made just about every conceivable error on every decision I got. But what is the point. Everything you need to know is here. My initial denial for AO IHD ,I have brought up to the Nehmer Philadelphia VARO-as well as within info I gave to the VA OIG Counsel who handles their section on audits. I filed CUE and mailed it the next day.(2012) Within 3 weeks they reversed and adjudicated the claim. It was brief,(the CUE) one page, I made a point on how ridiculous the denial was and stated the regulation they broke- 38 CRF 4.6 and mentioned this to the Director of the Philadelphia VARO in a recent letter,to her ( copy sent to the IG) with my concerns of how many other widows of AO exposed IHD veterans got a denial as ridiculous as that one….and they might have never even appealed or had a vet rep who didn’t advise them properly to CUE it.(AO IHD death claim) I might have posted that CUE here- Examples of all sorts of CUEs are here, as well as templates…… and they should never become so involved that they become convoluted. Try to get it all on one page. If it is a CUE on a recent decision, address the CUE as Attention to: and put the alphanumeric there.That alpha contains the initials of the last person who handled your decision. If you need more info and still believe you have a valid CUE and that it is worth pursuing, you can also purchase the VBM by NVLSP , where they have considerable info on CUE and actually on everything any claimant needs to know about the claims process. Chapter 14 of the 2018 VBM-2019 holds 59 pages of info as well as numerous other references to CUE in the VBM index. And if you go to the BVA web site, under decisions, you can search for CUE and why they awarded or why they denied.I learned plenty on CUEs by seeing them in action at the BVA and also the CAVC. NVLSP is a pro bono law firm who won the Nehmer Class Action Case. Do not be easily discouraged if you find you have a valid CUE-if anyone here says you do not have a basis for CUE, ask them to attach their most recent CUE award.
  40. 4 points
    Just got this in the mail today where the VA called CUE on themselves 4 times in one decision as well as adjusting rating for a sympathetic claim. They originally granted me 10% on each knee for arthritis ... I didn't know anything about being able to file for scars. They went back on their own and retroactively granted the scars for a year before which increased the rating I had at that time from 80% to 90%.
  41. 4 points
    Child: 38 CFR 3.57 defines a “child” of the veteran as an unmarried person under the age of 18 who is a legitimate child, a child legally adopted before the age of 18 years, an unmarried stepchild who acquired that status before the age of 18 years and who is a member of the veteran's household or was a member of the veteran's household at the time of the veteran's death, or an unmarried illegitimate child. It goes on to say that a child can also be one who is between the ages of 18-22, unmarried and attending school (referred to as a “school-child”). Additionally, 38 CFR 3.58 includes as a “child” one who is over the age of 18 and who, prior to reaching the age of 18, is found to be permanently incapable of self-support because of physical or mental disability and is unmarried (Referred to as a “helpless child”). Child: Once established as the child of the veteran, additional compensation benefits are payable whether or not the child resides with the veteran. Child custody is irrelevant, but as in the case of the spouse, the veteran must know of the whereabouts of the child in order to report changes of status to VA. There you go, Hamslice
  42. 4 points
    I finally made it to the 100% club, its not P&T but at least it is 100%. The VA got the effective date wrong for the SA and hypertension. They made the effective date 7/2/2019 instead of 7/25/2015. I found this out from looking at eBenefits that it went to 100%. I am also confused on how they rated my BP at 0%, apparently they used past hypertension readings from where I have been seen at Ft. Eustis (the dates were weeks to months apart for these readings). I thought they would have scheduled me to have them taken but I guess not, I need to research this.
  43. 4 points
    @Galen Rogers, I filed an NOD in February through my VSO who faxed the paperwork in. It took several months (three) for the NOD to show up. Do not get in to too much of a hurry though. Once they got it posted, it says 10 to 36 months to process. I bet you can say which is correct. I am in this for the long haul.
  44. 4 points
    This is not a new situation at the BVA. They instituted policies that were supposed to help and it has not done much. The reason the BVA is overstressed in my opinion is that the RO's slam these cases together and do not rate them correctly. Ergo vets appeal their claims to the BVA in record numbers. I do not know the full numbers of cases decided in favor of the veteran but I have been to the BVA three times. On the first time they agreed with my RO's contentions and awarded me those benefits. The second time there were two remands and finally the board decided in my favor on my main contention. This is a national disgrace but every time they try to fix it, it gets worse. I believe the RO's should be ranked on the number of times they are overturned at the BVA.
  45. 4 points
    Now I will add my 2 cents to the question... As many have said, you have the right to file any claim you want to file. I was told by so many people in the past, that once I was awarded TDIU I should never file another claim, because the VA will reevaluate every one of your conditions each time your file, this is just not true and don't let anyone scare you into this belief. At the time I was awarded TDIU. I had four separate ratings, two were 10% ratings, one was a 30% rating, and one a 60% rating. I did not stop there, and why would I when so many conditions where highlighted in my active duty medical records that I had not claimed yet, due to ignorance of the system when I medically retired. Since my initial rating I have been awarded a TDIU rating, I have been bumped to a single 100% rating, ( apart and separate from my TDIU rating ) and have received 14 other ratings from 0% to 50%. I have received adapted Housing ( which today is a $70,000 grant, I have received the Auto Grant which today is about $20,000. I was awarded 1 K award, and I have A&A at the L 1/2 step. My dependants have received the benefit of not one but two separate Chapter 35 awards with different start dates ( 1999 for TDIU and 2007 for 100%). I never even knew it was legal to get more than one chapter 35 award. Also, as we age, our conditions get worse with time. A back strain becomes degenerative disc disease and will bump a 10% rating up. Torn meniscus of the knee eventually results in arthritis of the knee and a seperate rating. And lets not forget about the damage a VA surgeon can do to someone when they have surgery for a service connected condition. There are so many valid reason to continue your quest for any condition that you feel should be service connected. My situation could be the highlighted as the poster child for continuing to file claims. And to this day I continue my quest to be receive increased ratings and new ratings for some medical issues. I have had people tell me why would you pursue a claim that only awards 10% its not going to result in any more compensation...but when I decide to file a claim I am not looking to get a 10% or 40% rating, I am looking to get service connected which is the hardest thing to do. After getting service connection then I pursue the rating I think I am entitled to, if I haven't already received it. I may have 9 10% ratings, and alone they may not amount to much, but when your start combing the 60% , 50% 40% and even 30% ratings you may achieve another 100% rating, and the nine 10% ratings will help you get to that second 100% rating. Also, don't forget the special monthly compensations that you may end up with, such as Housebound or Aid and attendance and the different levels of Aid and attendance as well as multiple K awards. Finally, you could end up being eligible for a free life insurance policy because your rated TDIU or 100%, or disabled veterans mortgage insurance, which you can only get if you are awarded the adapted housing grant. And for those that are really hurting they now have the caregivers program where a family member ( or anyone you designate) as your care giver receives a monthly check based on the amount of help you need, and this program has just recently been approved for all disabled veterans. Another benefit for those that have a TBI, is a higher level of Aid and attendance that only those with a TBI ( Depending on the severity) may be eligible for. And remember, you never know when or if the VA will decide to take back that TDIU or other rating. So additional ratings are one way to insulate yourself against losing your compensation. If you just sit back after your TDIU award, you will never know how much compensation you may lose, but if you continue to file and achieve new ratings you may just be surprised how fast the compensation dollars add up. Together with the compensation & ancillary benefits you may live very comfortable. Finally, wouldn't it be nice to leave your spouse financially secure when you leave this world with the mortgage paid off, and a monthly check from DIC or survivor benefits , especially if she/he stood by you and cared for your during the hard times, for me this was my greatest motivation. You served, and your quality of life has been diminished because of that service, you owe it to your self and family to continue to file claims if you feel they are valid.
  46. 4 points
    You have a relatively unique situation having a single 100% MH rating, 100% P&T status, and working in a secluded environment, which might be constituted as a "protected work environment". In 2017, CCK Law Firm won a precedential ruling which required the VA to spell out what qualifies as a "protected work environment" because §4.16 was not specific enough. Keep in mind §4.16 appears to have been written to apply to TDIU veterans, not regular P&T veterans. The ruling appears to create a grey area which you might be able to swing in your favor if the VA proposes to reduce you. This is kind of lengthy and I could be wrong, but should be interesting. If I made any mistakes in interpretation, I welcome feedback from other members. Here's what I used to believe: I was under the impression that if one has a single 100% MH disability, by definition, that means they are completely socially and occupationally impaired. I have read numerous posts over the years reiterating the same thing with advice that if the VA finds you working then they would potentially propose reduction to 70%. That was based on the VA's interpretation of one being "substantially employed". §4.130 Schedule of ratings—Mental disorders. However, CCK Law Firm won a precedential decision regarding "protected work environment", which might cover your situation. This is a very interesting read. https://cck-law.com/news/cck-successfully-argues-precedential-decision-protected-work-environment/ §4.16 Total disability ratings for compensation based on unemployability of the individual. CCK's win ordered the VA to define and clarify what constitutes "protected work environment". That was in 2017 and it doesn't look like the VA has updated §4.16 since 2014. Keep in mind that §4.16 appears to be written for veterans who are TDIU, not 100% P&T. https://cck-law.com/news/protected-work-environment/ The above article goes into some potential explanations of what constitutes a "protected work environment" and much of it sounds like your situation. The interesting thing is what is said in §4.16(a). It states that "Marginal employment shall not be considered substantially gainful employment" and goes on to state that protected/sheltered work environments are considered "marginal", too. I wanted to give you some more information on "protected work environments". It appears that a lot of the examples provided by CCK's article may pertain to "reasonable accommodations", per the ADA. These are modifications to work policy or environment that allow someone to overcome a disability limitations to perform a job. For example, I am 100% P&T, and have disability ratings including 30% MH rating plus separate neck/back ratings. I work as a computer programmer, but my disabilities were causing me some real problems at work. The cubicle environment was aggravating my hypervigilance and the distance from my disabled parking spot to the cubicle was extreme. My employer fought this pretty hard for years, but my doctor provided medical justification for some changes based on hypervigilance, cognitive impairment, and physical mobility. They eventually implemented the changes and I was able to be productive again. They moved me to a private office with a door that I keep closed. It is adjacent to the building entrance/restrooms and they exempted me from in-person meetings (I call in to those instead). It's like I am a full-time telecommuter, except I perform my work from the office. I do encounter other people during the day in the building, but it is casual and not work related, so it does not interfere with my ability to concentrate. If you want to learn more about accommodations under the ADA, look up the Job Accommodation Network. They have a hotline you can call to get more information. Lets assume the VA sends you a proposal to reduce your rating because you are found to be employed and have annual income above the poverty threshold. You go to the C&P exam. The VARO reviews the findings and proposes reducing you to 70%. You could then argue that you work in a protected work environment which is classified as "marginal employment" under §4.16(a) and CCK's precedential ruling. The VA could then approve you for 100% TDIU given the circumstances. The odd thing is you are back to where you were initially percentage-wise and financially. If they do propose to reduce, it might be worth it to take this approach and try to convince the VA that they could potentially be going through a lot of effort for nothing. Once the VA officially defines "protected work environment", hopefully it will clarify things.
  47. 4 points
    DROs beg me to use a 526 EZ to accurately capture the Vet's name, rank, airspeed and tail number in all those squares they are putting on the forms now. You can also file it on anything that floats your boat by law. VA has told us in the last month they are coming out with a new form for that in the very near future. Define "near future". Until then, you can buy one of those metal cutting computer-driven doomoflotchies and file it on 1/64" steel plate. Just keep the sheets down to 8.5" X 11". My favorite is those endless paper towel roles in VAMC bathrooms. Just keep waving your hand in front of the IR sensor until it's long enough...
  48. 4 points
    oorah! I hope this message finds you in good spirit. And, if you're on this forum, I'm sure you have questions for which you simply won't find the exact answer to until your claim is complete. Every claim is different and you have your own unique circumstances. You may have the same condition as another veteran who was denied and your claim may be granted. Or, you may be denied while another veteran's claim is granted. Situation dictates. So, don't believe the hype. Stay motivated! Drink water and exercise your mind and body. And, even if you're denied the VA will give you instructions on what you need to do in order to get your claim granted. Here's my story: For years (about 10) I totally disregarded submitting a claim to VA for a number a different reasons. Eventually, I did. I claimed everything that's sore and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I figured the worse thing these guys could say is "No." I didn't write any statements- because I did't know anything about them- no C&P exams, no follow-up phone calls, no VSO, just got the VA form and filled in the blanks.....and, almost a year later, I found it in an old backpack... crumbled and dirty. 1 month before a full year expired, unbeknownst to me, I called VA again to request another sheet. Eventually (8-10 months later) I reluctantly mailed in a claim with written statements and medical records to support. I did my best to paint a clear picture and give the full story of my circumstances. It paid off because, this time I was afforded C&P exams and was awarded 40% for one condition. As for the other condition(s), let's just say we had a "faulty operator." So, I requested another C&P exam because, in short, the first one was penfkd. To my surprise, the VA agreed and offered me another C&P exam with a "more credible" doctor. And, let's just say this particular doctor takes pride in serving veterans. The doc has opined that my condition was "more likely than not aggravated by in-service events" and is "not expected to improve." If I were a gambling man, I'd bet my claim is granted. But, I don't like to gamble. Yet, I've been frantically calling the 800#, anticipating someone will just say "Yeah, xxxxxxx, you're good to go. You should see a deposit any minute now." But, it doesn't work like that, does it? I get a different freaking story every time I call. But, one thing they can agree on is this: A decision has been made on my claim but, it needs secondary signature approval. Whatever that means.. Remember, when you submit a claim: Paint a clear picture Give as much evidence as possible Follow-up Request a C&P exam if you are not offered one (Keep notes) Follow-up Win Sep 2015- Intent to file (phone call) Aug 2016- Intent to file (phone call) June 2017- Mailed in claim Aug 2017- C&P exam Sep 2017- Claim granted/ others pending Oct 2017- 1st check and retro pay (back dated to Sep 2015/effective date) Nov 2017- C&P exam Dec 2017- Claim denied Dec 2017- NOD Jan 2018- Opt-in RAMP Feb 2018- Claim moved to RAMP Feb 2018- Requested Higher Level Review Mar 2018- Claim denied Apr 2018- NOD/ Requested Supplemental Review and second C&P exam Apr 2019- Second C&P exam May 2019- Claim is awaiting secondary signature approval ~I'm sure you're wondering "WHAT ARE YOUR CONDITIONS?" Lumbosacral Strain- 40% Bilateral Pes Planus- Pending Bilateral Foot Condition- Pending TDIU- Pending ~ I'll keep you posted. And, best of luck to all of you on the paper trail. Stay motivated! oorah!
  49. 4 points
    Thank God for TDIU. I had my claim for sleep apnea secondary to asthma accepted 3 weeks ago and was awarded a bump from 30% to 50% which brought my overall 80% up to 90%, with that small raise in pay. Today, VA.gov said this
  50. 4 points
    I think our wives must be related Shrek . My wife loves me and is always there for me and she is always will to listen, but I know she does not understand why I need and enjoy this site. It is where I can be with my brothers and sisters in arms, for we know what we went through and why we did it. We did it for the love of our country! It truly is a personal fight for we have all had our health taken from us at too young of an age. That is why I am for every vet being awarded every benefit they are entitled too. They are not being greedy, they just want what they have earned! I encourage everyone to always keep good notes and write down (in simple language) what your spouse needs to know and do if we should (and we all will) pass away. We also want our spouses and children to get the benefits they have also earned such as DIC. Make sure they know all your passwords! JMO
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