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Post in New BVA Grants
While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims".  For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.  

I hate that its that way.  The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.  

Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!

My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.

Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
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I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even  reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and  nothing about stressor,

This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
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I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

You all made that possible. Thank you.
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Help HadIt.com stay online buy a subscription
If you can afford it and want to help hadit.com consider buying a subscription this gives you as free viewing of the site and allows me to budget in subscription payments.
 

You can try it for 1 month for $5 or get a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.

Subscribe here https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/
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VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
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The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



------



Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
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Wonderful news way to hang in. I hope this gives you some well deserved peace. 

If HadIt.com has helped you or you believe in it’s mission then please donate even $1 helps. I hope HadIt.com has provided $1’s worth of help to you. Imagine waking up and there is no HadIt.com it could happen and that is why I’m asking for your help now.



 



Our traffic is going up and so are our expenses, however revenues have gone down and so I am reaching out to you to see if you can help me keep Hadit.com up and running.
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https://community.hadit.com/searching-for-va-claims-information-on-hadit.com/

 

Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
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How to get your questions answered...


All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

Tips on posting on the forums.

Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


Leading to:

Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

Examples:

A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

Note:

Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
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Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment...
A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment go to https://www.hadit.com I'd like to see how the server handles a lot of traffic. So if you have a moment click the link and i can see how things are going on the back end.
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It's time to ask for help from the community. If you can help with a gift it would be very appreciated.

Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. 
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Howdy all,

The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
nervousness.
c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
open and stop my disruptive snoring.
k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
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The higher level Reviewer wrote and told me my buddy letters were clear and competent to establish continuation of service connectedinjury, incidents (events) or diseases that occurred in service after finding several duty to assist errors. After having all buddy letters add the certifying statement s to them as requested and sent in I awaited approval. Case is closed now. However, it closed Thursday, April 9th and mailed out April 10th. Today is Sunday, April 12th. 

 I dont see any changes on ebenefits that reflect 100% rating. Does this mean VA lied and I was denied, after submitting the requested info for approval? I'm awaiting my letter now and watching my bank account for deposit since calling the 800-827-1000 reps say they cant open my letter to tell if an award was granted or rating change. They say nor is their system stating updates since case closed the same day I called on April 9th and case closed. Any answers?

SSGTUSMC88

Update:

My lawyer received the decision letter before I did. I was denied on all of my contentions, and my lawyer sent in the form to appeal to the BVA.

I find this disheartening because one of my issues (migraine headaches) are clearly documented in my SMRs and even on the separation physical exam the physician wrote “Migraine headaches (severe).”

My SMRs also showed the frequency (3-5 per month) and intensity (prostrating in nature) of the migraines with documentation of laying down or sleep was my only relief.

Sumatriptans did not help at all. After I left service, I was also diagnosed by a VA neurologist with migraine headaches.

Then I had an IME w/ IMO with a board certified specialist who provided a nexus with “at least as likely as not related to his military service” in regards to my migraines.

I just feel defeated, and my migraine headaches make me suicidal to the point I have suicidal ideation on a daily basis.

I do no understand how the VA can deny service-connection when the evidence is cut and dry.

The C&P exam for my migraines was done by an NP who incorrectly applied the VA definition for migraines and opined “veteran does not have chronic migraines. Chronic migraines are 15 migraine headaches per month or more.”

Migraine headaches are not rated that way, which to me is clearly a CUE.

I just feel so broken.

Update 2:

Just talked to a representative for my lawyer.

I was basically told my lawyer is going to write an argument letter and present it to the BVA hearing judge - citing VA rules, regulations, and other similar cases of how my claim has been unfairly rated by the RO given all of the probative evidence.

The motto of “deny, deny, deny until the veteran quits or dies” is alive and well.

It should not take a veteran to present their case before the BVA to get it right.

It is downright insulting and a spit to the face when a veteran clearly has current disabilities (that are presently being treated) that were diagnosed while in-service and documented in their SMRs.

I find it funny how my least documented disability in my SMRs (patellofemoral syndrome in both knees) was granted when I first filed my claim in 2018. 

Now I know first-hand how most or some of you feel in hadit.

So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

Hopefully, I get good news.

Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 

Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

     So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  

"Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  

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