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Senior Chief Petty Officer
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MarkInTexas last won the day on March 31

MarkInTexas had the most liked content!

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141 Excellent

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About MarkInTexas

  • Rank
    E-7 Chief Petty Officer

Profile Information

  • Location
    East Texas
  • Interests
    Genealogy; History; Family, Country Living

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force
  • Hobby

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1,827 profile views
  1. Not sure if this helps, but during my last rating bump, the retro arrived in two separate instances. The first looked like it was for my base retro, and the other looked like it was for my dependents. If the numbers aren't right, and they won't budge after you talk to them, you may have to NOD them on the dependent portion of the award. Have a great weekend. Mark
  2. I'll ditto on Wayne's comment. Doctor Ellis and his staff are professional and know their stuff. They conduct an in depth examination and write a great IMO. Worth the trip! Have a great weekend and Happy Veterans Day to all next week! Mark
  3. MarkInTexas


    I have both. I use the DS login mostly to access my Ebenefits and VA health/scheduling information. The ID.me portal is interesting and I believe they are restructuring it again with a few improvements. I like their appeals information page because it gets my hopes up when Ebenefits tells me that there is no change in the weather. Always doubt the accuracy of both, but the ID.me gives you that "a tooth fairy just left a quarter under your pillow" feel. Have a great week, and don't forget to vote! Peace out! Mark
  4. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, y’all!
  5. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, Wayne! Happy Easter! Mark
  6. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, L! Ya gotta laugh at the whole process sometimes, or it will drive a person over the edge. Have a great Easter weekend! Mark
  7. MarkInTexas

    VA Secretary took trip with VA $$$

    I’m still new to the VA medical system, and have only been using it less than a year now. I only really have experience it’s their outpatient clinic here, and have not had anything extensive done like surgeries, etc. at the VA. I like the idea of no co-pays or deductibles in the VA system now that I finally broke over that edge. I’ve had private insurance through my employers most of my life after leaving the military, and those all had monthly premiums and co-pays/deductibles for office visits, prescriptions, procedures, etc. Having the option of using a VA card like a Medicare card at private doctors and pharmacies sounds great though, and would be a great option when VA facilities aren’t close. I have my Community Choice card, but have never tried it. Maybe I’ll know enough after a few more years of using this VA system to be able to talk about pros and cons. Y’all have a great Easter! Mark
  8. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, Buck!
  9. I had an IME from my Oncologist, who treated me for the past 19 years now, and a very positive DBQ from a VES contract doctor who did the original C&P examination for me, as well as good STR's and civilian medical records. The VA back then, shot me in the back, disregarding the IMO, and simply rescheduled me for another C&P with a VES nurse practitioner, who knew how to play the VA game. (The original "good" VA doctor was a D.O. who had also retired as a Colonel in the USAF as a doctor, and knew his stuff, and apparently didn't last long in the VA C&P world.) I reached out to Dr. Ellis for an IME/IMO for multiple conditions, U.S. mailed my entire medical file with an explanation of the claims I had, and made the drive to Oklahoma City. His IME/IMO helped me get kick started to bring my rating up a notch, although the VA still balked on much of it, I managed to break through the gate. Later on down the line, Dr. Ellis even referred me to a VA attorney, who I later contacted after I gave up on my American Legion VSO. Then I used Dr. Anaise, who allowed me to e-mail all of my documents to him, and who provided an amazing IMO based on all of the medical evidence, IME/IMO's previously obtained, with legal basis for each of his opinions. I did not retain him as my attorney, although he is a practicing lawyer who can represent in the BVA/CAVC system, and for this medical opinion, he charged a flat one time fee. What I liked about Dr. Anaise was that he also made inferences to secondary conditions that I did not think of, and for which my actual attorney jumped on, resulting in a major increase in rating. As I mentioned in previous posts, I still have a long way to go to move the ball all the way, and to retain my original EED on those old conditions. Using a good attorney is a lesson I learned late in the game, but early on I placed trust in Dr. Ellis and Dr. Anaise, and I have to say that I recouped any IME/IMO fees, travel/hotel/fuel costs, U.S. mail costs, etc. in that very first retro check. What I learned is that Dr. Ellis and his staff are family-oriented, treat you comfortably and professionally, and will work back and forth with you until you have a satisfactory IME/IMO to submit to the VA. I also learned that although Dr. Anaise is much more straightforward and all business, if you have the proper medical evidence, he can write an exquisite IMO for you for a flat fee, and if you do want to retain him as an attorney he will do it, for the same percentage fee that other attorneys charge. As I said, I only used his services for an IMO, but it had enough ammunition to help me and my actual attorney get things moving. Have a great weekend! Mark
  10. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Another update.......finally got my BBE in the mail, so that's done. Confirmed everything I see in eBenefits and in my payments, so I guess I can breathe that final sigh of relief. Also received a small check in the mail yesterday from the Treasury Department for a refund on the VAMC co-pays I have paid on medical going back to this latest EED date where they brought me up to 80%. I had to contact the VAMC billing folks to ensure that my new rating was in their system, and while they were updating it, I also asked for a refund for the co-pays. (Yes, you have to ask them to do the audit so that you can receive the refund.) After a few days, the check arrived. The march forward continues on to the BVA now on the outstanding conditions and original EED. Good luck to all of you and thanks once again for the help and support I have received on here through the years. Have a great weekend! Mark
  11. MarkInTexas

    Anyone Use David Anaise Md Jd

    Wayne, good thinking. Yes, I tried to go at it from every angle, and it has paid off so far. I still have a few things on appeal, and thus far I’ve handled it at the VARO level. However, I still have a few things left on appeal with the BVA, so we’ll see what’s over that hill in a few months/years. It’s been a long battle. Good luck, and never give up! Mark
  12. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, Jefmil50! Just an update, retro came through ok, received a bit more retro, plus regular recurring payment on March 1st, so everything is going smoothly. No BBE in the mail yet, but I'll give it a few more days to get here in the mail. In the past, the package always seemed to take more than a week to get from Houston to my part of the woods. Side note, do I need to notify the VA medical center folks about my rating increase to remove the co-pay requirements, as well as ask for reimbursement for the prescription co-pays I have paid out starting with my EED? Or will they automatically do that and refund me? (I'm guessing y'all will tell me that I will have to do that as well.) If so, how do I go about requesting a refund? Y'all have a great weekend! Mark
  13. MarkInTexas

    Ball Moved Again! 80%!

    Thanks, Ham and Pantha! Retro for the additional completed condition hit the bank today. The battle continues for the others. Have a great week! Mark
  14. From what I’ve read thus far, looks like the VA notifies a veteran in the BBE that his/her retro is locked pending the determination of competency. And many other veterans report a new “Predetermination” claim showing up on their eBenefits account page as well. Wonder what the average time frame is from a mental health claim being shown as “Complete” with a BBE being mailed out, and this new “claim” popping up on eBenefits? Many seem to have a real claim being completed or stuck in Preparation for Decision when this new Predetermination of Competency “claim” shows up. Looks like only two guarantees of staying clear of that landmine are if the veteran receives their retro, and if nothing is mentioned in the BBE when it arrived. Does look like the VA does reserve the right to initiate a Predetermination of Compentency within 30 days of granting an award though. Most appear to be veterans who have filed for A/A, 100% increase on a mental health condition or IU. (That’s only based on searches I made here on Hadit and across the Internet.) Wonder about veterans who have never been criminally incarcerated, nor treated, hospitalized, medicated or court-ordered in relation to a mental health condition, and who also maintain jobs, and who have a rated mental health condition of 70% or less? Wonder if the VA throws the dart at them too, even if they do say that their spouse is in charge of paying the bills. (I did see that example brought up all over the Internet too. Scary.) Mark
  15. Gastone, That’s scary! At what point do they notify a veteran of their intent to establish a fiduciary? The veteran gets a letter, or just notices that his/her retro or regular payment didn’t arrive? Surely they have to use more rationale than that a person’s wife or husband takes care of the bills. That’s horrifying! As I read, if the VA does that a person loses their ability to purchase or possess firearms. Mark

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