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HadIt.com Elder
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john999 last won the day on January 15

john999 had the most liked content!

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About john999

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    HadIt.com Elder
  • Birthday 01/09/1950

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  • Location
    Tampa FL
  • Interests
    VA law and history of the Blues

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  • Service Connected Disability
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    history, computers, reading

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  1. If it was me I would at a minimum go for the yearly or sixth month exam at the VA. This keeps you in the system and these dumb asses may actually discover some problem that you are not aware of in time to do something about it. By using the VA I did get SMC housebound which adds a few more bucks. The VA did it all for me by doing a CT scan of my leg that showed some blockage. I had a lump on my leg and the VA did a CT scan on it. I don't think many private doctors would have done this . I don't know if it was bad medicine or good medicine but it worked for me via my friendly PCP. If it is free I am not turning it down, but I would not let VA operate on me.
  2. I agree with both Vync and Seminole. I use the VA just to get some pills and to see their shrink about once every 2-3 months. I just use the VA to keep in the system, but I am not driving miles in horrible I-275 traffic just for a few minutes of PT or any of the other services the VAMC offers. If I lived a couple of miles from the VAMC in Tampa I probably would use the VA for many more services. The area around the VA is known as "Suitcase City" and is a high crime area. I would not live around there for love or money. The VA was going to open a clinic at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, but in the end the property was sold to a community center who bid much more for the property. When the VA tries to buy property around Tampa they are usually outbid by 200%. They are so cheap and so dumb that when they had the opportunity to buy up land to expand services it takes them years to come up with low ball bid and they get shut out of the deal. Let's face facts....we vets are just the lowest priority in the whole system. The lowest janitor at the VA is more important than a room full of 100% disabled vets. What I really get from the VA is a check once a month.
  3. If the VA can make a vet wait long enough the vet has a tendency to die!
  4. Buck I tried to use the VA for evaluation and treatment of my sleep apnea. The pulmonologist only has one appointment date a week and that only early in the morning. I just can't get there that early. The VA hospital in Tampa is huge. They are telling me that they have only one pulmonologist available to serve a couple of hundred thousand vets? it is the same with all the specialists. You can't get to see one unless you are dying. If I could use the VA private care service I would do it if they provided a better quality care that was close to my house. I am not driving 20-30 miles to see a VA doctor when I can drive a couple of miles and use my own private doctor. I have three hospitals and numerous doctors within five miles of my house.
  5. I have a suspicion that if the government supports private care there must be a considerable cost savings. I hope the savings is not at our expense. Every time the government changes the VA is seems I am worse off. I am 100% vet, so my gripe with the VA is the fact they are usually behind current medical knowledge and treatment by 20 years. My other problems is access since I must drive miles for care. If the new VA was actually easier to access I would have fewer gripes. I just don't trust these our VA masters. We are usually the last priority for them.
  6. I have been getting a new PCP at the VA about once a year now for the last 5-6 years. I had a couple of decent doctors back about ten years ago, but it has gone down hill since then. I am not thrilled by the Choice Program dentist and PT therapist I had for a while. The dentist was a crook and the PT people were awful. The VA people in those fields were also poor, so now I pay for those things via my own insurance. I use the VA but I have private medical back-up for all my medical conditions. The VA said I had a heart condition ……… no treatment, so I get care from private cardiologist. I have never seen a cardiologist at the VA. My PCP is supposed to be able to handle that.....ha!
  7. john999

    Just took my C&P Exams

    Just be sure to start your appeals on time if you do not get everything you want. I say have the NOD format ready to fill out and send it in via certified mail/return receipt. Filing claims is a learning process. Don't accept low ball ratings or denials without appealing. I made that mistake many years ago and it cost me many thousands of dollars I am sure.
  8. I have had a rater call me at home, but the reason was to hurry the claim along and not to extend the "gathering of evidence" phase. That is weird. No the VA will not compensate you for your IMO's. Make sure you go to the new C&P exams. After you get your new C&P you might want to read it and get your IMO doctors to write rebuttals to it if you don't agree with the findings. Who knows what the VA is up to doing? If you know what you are up to doing that is the main thing. You have your IMO doctors, so if they make a rating decision keep your IMO's on board as they can read your decision and prepare responses to it. This is how I won almost all my claims. I used three doctors who wrote great rebuttals to the VA's rating decision. The VA even quoted my main doctor word for word in the final decision that granted me TDIU P&T. It is a game they play and you can play it better. You might even ask your current IMO's to refer you to other doctors who will support you with new evidence. You just want to bury them with new evidence if they deny your claim.
  9. Get the IME/IMO and appeal that reduction. If you don't fight a reduction I believe it may encourage the VA to try and reduce you again since they may see an easy target. How did they determine that you should be reduced any way? Get an orthopedist to do your IMO if possible. I also have shoulder disability and it got worse when I had surgery on it. No question that a bad shoulder injury can make it impossible to do most work.
  10. john999

    To CUE, Or Not Worth It?

    My CUE claim is at the Vet Court's website somewhere. Read if you want to get really depressed. I was service connected for what the VA called a "Nervous Condition" and granted a mere 10% rating back in 1973. The VA did not read or include evidence I submitted via my private doctor which said I had a total disability due to psychotic disorder. I believed at the time that the VA had read my doctor's report but had just decided it was overruled by my in-service record or by medical report from VA doctor made while I was in a VA hospital in 1972. I was too dumb to appeal that initial low ball decision. I spent at least 6 years on my CUE and I had good lawyers. I was denied at the Court and tried to get into federal court but was not heard. When you are dealing with old VA cases it is like opening a can of attack worms. The worms attack you most often. There have been so many rule changes over the years. My CUE was sent back once due to the rules being changed between the time I first filed a claim in 1972 and had my first decision in 1973. The VA was using the 1972 rules, so that cost me another year. After you get your TDIU P&T, or 100% P&T then it is worthwhile to go back and try and find a lawyer to help with your CUE. Both me and my lawyer thought that my CUE was so obvious and glaring that nobody could deny it. We were wrong. 40 years of VA rule changes and smoke can reduce most claims to ash.
  11. I guess one thing to do is to file the NOD on your decisions to start appeal process. Once that is started you can file CUE claims. My CUE took about 6 years to be finally denied. You don't want to wait that long if traditional appeal process would be faster. For additional appeal process to really work you should try and get new evidence of existing disability that was first diagnosed in service like your asthma. Berta is a CUE wiz and hard to beat. For lessor beings I would refer to BroncoVet's list of CUE requirements such as the error being "undebatable". This requirement alone can knock down most CUE claims. Undebatable in my case was that no one could even raise a question about my CUE. Any concerns expressed by anyone at the Court of Vet Appeals Hearing about the nature of my CUE made it debatable. That is really a Catch-22. I had a lawyer with my CUE and we both thought it was slam/dunk just due to the fact that crucial evidence was excluded from my initial claim. However, due to having to abide by 1973 rules I could not prove beyond any debate that VA did exclude my evidence . Most lawyers are just not equipped to really argue a CUE claim, and they don't want to do it. The VA has a host of lawyers who do this all the time and they have unlimited resources. However, if you think you have a good CUE file it.
  12. What sort of situation do you need to be in to get A&A beyond Housebound? I am thinking you need to be bedridden, in a wheelchair or in a nursing home. I applied for special housing needs and was denied because although I am housebound I have use of all my limbs. My reasoning was to VA that would it be better for me to fall and end up in VA nursing home, or to help me now to avoid that expensive fate. VA does not care about that. They just refer to rules that are cookie cutter and mindless. VA is set on denial of claims to save money in the here and now. Never mind future savings. This is why they are always behind the eight ball and cannot provide care and benefits to future generations of vets. No one at the VA actually thinks. They just refer to inflexible rules and hide behind them. Of course, if you want benefits from VA you have to obey those rules no matter how dumb.
  13. john999

    To CUE, Or Not Worth It?

    I did win a CUE claim when I pointed out to VA that they failed to award me housebound status after I received an additional 60% rating on top of the existing 70% TDIU I had for years. With the VA if you don't ask/demand you don't get. I think the VA created the CUE claim to pretend that they wanted a way for vets to challenge past misdeeds and wrong decisions. The CUE language is so restrictive that I really think it should be called "Clerical Error" claims. It is as if you filed a claim for PTSD and the VA changed your claim to a back injury and then denied it. It must be that bad to get the CUE IMO.
  14. john999

    To CUE, Or Not Worth It?

    Acesup Your CUE sounds so much like the one I filed about ten years ago based on my disability rating as having a Nervous Condition dating back to 1971 when I was discharged from the Army. I was granted a 10% rating for a mental condition based just on my service record and a brief stay in a veteran's hospital. I had what I thought was a great claim that included an IME from my private doctor who said I was totally disabled and suffering from a psychosis due to service in Vietnam. What I did not know was that the VA failed to even look at my IME, but swore they considered all the evidence of record. I was only 21 years old and just trusted the VA to have actually considered all the evidence. At that time the VA did not have to list or enumerate the evidence in the record. When you start to deal with these old claims via a CUE you are not granted benefit of doubt. It is purely adversarial and unless the evidence requires no judgement beyond recognizing a blatant error you may lose. The VA rules and regs. you have to deal with are the regs. and rules that were in effect at the time of your CUE. The VA has come an awful long way since the end of the Vietnam War. I also was slapped with the personality disorder DX just to try and make sure I could never file a claim for disability. I did win on that front and I got my general discharged upgraded to a honorable one and got TDIU based on PTSD/Depression. It took 25 years, but I got there. I lost my CUE based on absurd VA rules in effect in 1973. If I had know how important filing an appeal would be I might have won 100% in 1973.
  15. I understand that only "earned income" can count against SC TDIU. I get some passive income from stocks I own, but the VA has never troubled me about it. You know SSA taxes my check at the 85% level just because I have some passive income. I guess dumb azzes at the VA could confuse passive and earned income to cut off TDIU. For instance you get rent from property you own that is passive income. However, if you actively manage properties then that might be considered earned income. Tricky.

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