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Second Class Petty Officers
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About BFR

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
  1. No, I just take care of the servers that run the programs that the VA uses. I have nothing to do with the code, so I can't help fix bugs in programming or flaws in design sadly. But I have worked with teams that support things like eBenefits and I've given them feedback based on what I've read here. It's had a small effect a few times, but not a lot. And the VA denies claims by VA employees just as fast and as ruthlessly as anyone else's. And it's harder to get help from VA because so few VA employees have the special clearance to see my file. (This is designed to prevent a coworker from looking at confidential medical records.)
  2. I work at the VA (don't hate me! I deal with the back end computer systems in a data center), and nearly all the FTEs (full-time employes of VA) are prior service. **However** nearly 60% of my office is staffed by contractors. Some are ex military, but I think the majority are not.
  3. (bump) I need to get this claim moving again. Does anyone know an attorney that does a good job?
  4. First, I want to make sure I say Thank You!! Berta. You are such a giving person. I want you to know how much we appreciate your willingness to help all us clueless vets. I wish I could make you the Secretary of the VA. Yes, the IMO was listed as evidence as well as a few others including the records from the VA clinic. I can work on getting these documents scanned and posted, but I'm a mess tonight :)
  5. I was able to get a copy of my Statement of Case, and here are the relevant dates. (How many other guys have said "I wish I hadn't waited so long?") Fibromyalgia (FM)evaluated at 20% Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at 10% 08/24/2010 Claim received. (For increasing FM and CFS) 03/26/2012 Claim considered 04/18/2012 Claimant notified of decision 12/13/2012 NOD received 12/13/2012 De Novo Review election received from appellant 01/15/2013 Appeal Election Letter sent to appellant 07/21/2014 De Novo Review performed. Decision: FM stays at 20%, CFS at 10%. ___ Unbelievable to me given what I thought was an airtight IMO. It looks like I have 2 months to work with, correct?
  6. From what I remember, I filed for the Desert Storm things back in 2009. I got a rating and did a NOD, The answer to the NOD (not sure what it would be called) came in 2014, and there was something about a 30-day window to get new evidence in and have a quick decision. I missed that window, but the VSO said something about a year before it became closed. To answer Berta: Have any of your meds increased since this decision, that would indicate a higher rating might be proper? - Yes, but to be honest the initial ratings were far too low. I had been seeing civilian docs, but starting about a year ago I've made it a point to go to the VA clinic to start better documentation. did you apply for Voc rehab but they said due to your SC school was not feasible? - Voc Rehab: not in a very long time. Back in the mid 90's I got some voc rehab, but none since then. Have you been awarded SSDI since filing this past claim but VA does not know that? - No SSDI
  7. I actually have no idea, Berta. I do remember something about a 30-day window. How do I find out?
  8. So there is this: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/vso-search Which turns up quite a few attorney results in the Austin, TX area. I'm in Round Rock; does anyone in Central Texas have experience with any lawyer for VA claims they can share? Background: I filed a claim for the Desert Storm illnesses the day after Congress made them presumptives (Thank you IOM!!). VA granted me the typical low-ball percentages, I did a NOD that got nowhere in 2014. Now I have a year (right?) I lost the 30-day window because I was dumb enough to believe my VSO rep who was retiring and didn't care much (full disclosure: he is said to have been very good in his prime, but I guess after so many years....) Current ratings: - PTSD 50% - IBS 30% (max allowed) - Fibromyalgia: 20% - Chronic Fatigue: 10% - Allergic Rhinitis: 10% - some 0% What I honestly believe I should have: - PTSD 70% - IBS 30% - Fibromyalgia: 40% - Chronic Fatigue: 60% - Allergic Rhinitis: 10% - random 0%
  9. BFR

    Roll Call

    Got my latest denial. Time for round...something. I've lost track now! :)
  10. BFR

    August 1, Roll Call

    [oops, wrong month!]
  11. Greetings all! First, I wish to thank everyone who participates in these forums, especially those who give so much time in moderating them. You are a blessing to all of us. My question may have been asked before, but I'm not able to locate the threads, so forgive me if it's redundant. I'll put the actual question up front and supporting information after to save your time in case the answer would be the same regardless of the situation. The Question: Given what I think is my timeline (<10 years) should I submit the new evidence? I understand that i may delay the VA's next ruling. However, what bothers me is the effective date; if I submit new evidence *now* instead of waiting for a ruling in a year or two will the effective date of the new rating be today or be backdated to the original NOD (December 2012)? Current situation: Both reps I've worked with over the years have encouraged me to apply for C&T, but I've refused. I will work until I cannot do so any longer, but I feel the symptoms increase and there's something inside of me that tells me that I have less than 10 years left. Eventually I'll have to consider their advice, but as long as I can contribute I WILL. I will work until I cannot. History: I have a rating from VA that started at 10% and has increased to 80% over the years. As a 19D recon scout I was in combat in Desert Storm (and other places) and filed for the "presumptive" conditions of IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Fibromyalgia (FM) two years ago when Congress changed the law about them. Another presumptive is "skin conditions." I have a 0% for eczema from 1992, but since then have developed two types of skin cancer. I'm currently on a chemo routine to reduce them. My current rep filed a NOD requesting the denovo process in December of 2012 because I believed my IMO was quite specific (my rep gave me very clear guidelines and examples of "va speak," and my doctor followed them exactly), and I believe that for at least for the CFS and maybe the FM CUE applies. You know the deal--the typical VA lowball for the opening round. I have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter, and I earn a decent living. The wife has a part-time job but they depend on me as the primary breadwinner. We live modest lives, and are able to put away a small bit into savings each month. It could be more, but we tithe to our church and will continue to do so.
  12. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Berta. Here are the answers to yours: - I will take your advice and wait for the outcome. I just wish the VA wasn't so slow. (Don't we all!) - I didn't think so on the eczema and dermatitis, but it was worth asking. - How do I get a copy of the C&P exam? - Re: 1996: I think I only submitted a self-reported statement requesting a service connection for CFS. I dont know if CUE could be invoked, but who knows...it's an illness that pretty much relies on self reporting for diagnosis since there is no test for it. - Yes, I'm employed. At the VA of all places . I intend to be employed somewhere until I simply cannot function well enough to hold a job. That day will come, and IMO much sooner than it should because of these problems. - What is SMC? (Is there a list of acronyms on this site? I see a lot of them and understand some, but many are beyond me.) With much thanks, Ben A very interesting site! thank you for sharing it. I do wish it had a better search engine. It is a wealth of information. Ben
  13. BFR

    August Roll Call

    Present and sober. Well, mostly
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