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Buck52 last won the day on March 27 2017

Buck52 had the most liked content!

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About Buck52

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    Helping other Veterans and watching my grand-monsters grow up! Vietnam Veteran

    To care for him who shall
    have borne the battle
    and for his widow
    and his orphan."
    ~Abraham Lincoln

    If you smoke STOP NOW its not easy and its never to late please don't let open heart by pass surgery be a good motivator to Quit.

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  1. Should I file a higher level review or just appeal it? I'm at 100% barely, and everything I applied for approved. Based on medical evidence connecting in service incident, treatment, buddy statements and MD opinion more likely than not. I do not care if they review all other claims, as I have sufficient evidence to back them up, or have the means to get more if needed. Maybe you can make heads or tails from this link below? https://www.va.gov/decision-reviews/higher-level-review/
  2. Chronic Pain Syndrome & Your VA Disability ClaimPain is considered to be chronic when it is present for six months or longer. Chronic pain usually begins with an injury or illness and can end up causing complications. Unfortunately, these complications can, in turn, make the chronic pain even worse. The combination of chronic pain and the resulting complications is known as chronic pain syndrome. A veteran with chronic pain frequently develops problems beyond the physical pain they endure. Chronic pain can cause symptoms such as the following: Reduced activity Impaired sleep Depression Suicidal ideation Social withdrawal Irritability Memory and cognitive impairment Relationship problems Helplessness Hopelessness Substance abuse Anxiety As the above list of symptoms shows, veterans with chronic pain suffer from more than physical pain. This is backed up by multiple medical studies proving that chronic pain has a direct effect on the brain. These studies have looked at how the persistent perception of pain interferes with the natural balance of activity in someone’s brain. Chronic pain can result in anxiety, mood disorders, and cognitive impairments such as difficulty concentrating, difficulty focusing, and difficulty making decisions. The physical pain and resulting secondary problems associated with chronic pain significantly diminish a person’s quality of life. VA Ratings for Chronic Pain The VA does not have a specific diagnostic code for chronic pain. In order to receive VA disability compensation for chronic pain, the symptoms caused by the chronic pain disorder must be ratable. For example, oftentimes a veteran’s chronic pain will cause depression. In that case, the veteran’s chronic pain would be rated according to the rating criteria for general mental health disorders. Keep in mind that, in order for symptoms of chronic pain syndrome to be ratable, the source of the chronic pain must be a service-connected condition. For example, a veteran with a service-connected back condition suffers from chronic pain. The chronic pain causes the veteran to become severely depressed. Because the chronic pain developed out of a service-connected condition, the veteran can receive VA benefits for the depression caused by his chronic pain. In other words, the depression is secondary to the veteran’s service-connected condition. Evidence for Your Claim One of the most helpful things a veteran can do for their claim is to get a private doctor to write a medical opinion. VA disability claims involving chronic pain often benefit from getting a medical opinion from a private doctor due to the complexity of the condition. The doctor should discuss the medical research regarding the effect chronic pain has on the brain. Make sure the doctor specifically relates any symptoms of chronic pain to a service-connected condition. For example, if a veteran has a back condition that is service connected, and a shoulder condition that is not service connected, the doctor needs specifically relate any symptoms associated with chronic pain to the veteran’s service-connected back condition. This does not mean that a doctor has to state a veteran’s service-connected condition is the ONLY cause of any symptoms of chronic pain. Taking the example further, if the veteran with a service-connected back condition and non-service connected shoulder condition has depression as a result of the chronic pain he is in, it’s likely that the depression is somewhat attributable to both conditions. In situations like this, the veteran’s depressive symptoms are likely “inextricably intertwined” with the back and shoulder condition. In other words, it’s impossible to tell which condition is the true cause of the depression secondary to the veteran’s chronic pain. As long as a doctor thoroughly explains this, the veteran can still receive service-connected for his depression secondary to chronic pain. Lastly, don’t forget applying for individual unemployability. Veterans with chronic pain not only have physical impairments that affect their ability to work, they also have mental impairments associated with chronic pain that further impact their ability to work. As mentioned above, medical opinions are extremely important. An opinion from a private doctor can help show the specific limitations a veteran has due to their chronic pain and due to any secondary problems that are present as a result of the chronic pain. For example, a veteran with an orthopedic condition will likely have limitations impairing their ability to sit, stand, lift, walk, etc. All of these factors affect their ability to secure and maintain a job. However, that same veteran may have chronic pain as a result of their orthopedic condition and develop depression. In that case, the veteran may also have mental limitations such as difficulty concentrating, anger problems, inability to get along with co-workers, etc. It is important to show how both the physical and mental limitations affect the veteran’s ability to work. * Source : Hill & Ponton Disability Attorney's
  3. Once a record or notes are entered into the veterans C-file it can not be taken out, the veteran as 10 days to request =the amendment to his record if not and the record is entered into the Veterans C-file the records can't be taken out what so ever its there the remainder of his life time. EVEN IF THE VETERAN IS ADJUDICATED TO A RATING AT A LATER DATE... IF THE BAD RECORD IS IN HIS//HER C-FILE its there to stay.
  4. USAF K9 You can file as many claims as you want one at a time or all at once. your choice. don't forget the ITF Claims (intent to file) To get a P&T Rating a Veteran needs a S.C. Condition that is not expected to improve in his/her life time, the condition may be chronic or of nature, and no future exams scheduled ,this is what they mean by P&T the veteran is permanently totally disabled the rest of his/her life.
  5. You should have medical reports about all this in your files the C&P Examiner will not take our/your word for it, so the evidence needs to be in front of him/her to read, you can tell the examiner that you never mention all the crisis hot line calls to your therapist or provider each time you called it so they all may not be documented ect,,,ect,,, you quoted '' Also, I scratch and pick at my skin to create scabs I can further pick at and cause pain (face, legs, and arms mainly) which has caused too many scars to count (ongoing issue, so have current lesions as well as old scars). Besides these, I pull out my hair (eyebrows, legs, and arms) for the same effect/result. Would these be examples of self harm'' ( yes) you need a ptsd diagnose from the VA and all the medical evidence you can get all your MH RECORDS THERAHPY SESSION notes , everything needs top be documented as proof of evidence. as for as dressing up just go to the C&P Exam like you would normally dress , if I had scars that was a result in my behavior self inflicted I'd make sure the examiner sees this. just be honest and answer the examiners questions honestly and if you don't know the answer just simply say you don't know Remember favorable medical records is crucial as evidence to win claims. Note* PTSD is rated by the severity of your symptom's and # of symptoms =10% - 30%-50%- 70%-100% Again depending on your symptoms
  6. Yes, it is grounds for filing a PTSD while in the military if it traumatized you which more than likely did , you need to check with your VA MH Clinic if you have been diagnose for PTSD Then yes file a claim. who did the hysterectomy? VA Dr? or outside private Dr's? either way you should check with an experience attorney and file a law suite VA would be a 1151 claim https://hysterectomyinformation.blogspot.com/2009/09/woman-awarded-5m-after-unnecessary.html
  7. Its up to the examiner ?? , you can take your son and when you get there the examiner will come out and meet you and usually introduce him/her self, its then you need to ask the examiner if your son can come in with you. if your son knows about your behavior I personally think its good he go in with you. Just answer the examiner questions honestly. After the exam the examiner will send his/her report to the VA- R.O. This is where they decide where your claim goes to be adjudicated. is this C& P Exam at your VA? or is it contracted out by the VA?
  8. yes sounds like you got this but its easier said they done , we never know what the VA is going to do? you should be approved and back to your EED On the Increase, just have to wait and see what happens? While waiting for your BBE get a hobby started go fishing or get your mind off your claim, the suspense will kill you.
  9. I BELIEVE THEY CAN COME AFTER US AT ANY TIME IF THE CHOOSE TO RATHER OR NOT YOU ARE P&T...AS FOR AS SITTING UP A C&P EXAM NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VA & never miss a C&P Exam if your sent the notice. The 20 year rule is the only exemption (jmo)
  10. Can a Veteran Earn an Income while Receiving VA TDIU Benefits? To answer this question, we need only look to the law. For those of you that don’t know what TDIU is, I encourage you to read this post to get a basic understanding of the 2 types of TDIU Benefits. To those of you trying to win your VA TDIU Claim, I encourage you to consider whether a copy of the VA TDIU Field Manual, or the VA TDIU eBook Package – will help you understand and improve your VA TDIU Claims. 38 C.F.R. §4.16(a) – the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that states the requirements for eligibility for TDIU Benefits, states the following: Total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned, where the schedular rating is less than total, when the disabled person is, in the judgment of the rating agency, unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities. Now, as I’ve discussed before on the Veterans Law Blog, the law does not clearly define what substantially gainful occupation is. But the law DOES define what Substantially Gainful employment IS NOT. Read the rest of 38 C.F.R. §4.16(a): 38 C.F.R. §4.16(a) – Marginal employment shall NOT be considered substantially gainful employment. For purposes of this section, marginal employment generally shall be deemed to exist when a veteran’s earned annual income does not exceed the amount established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, as the poverty threshold for one person. Marginal employment may also be held to exist, on a facts found basis (includes but is not limited to employment in a protected environment such as a family business or sheltered workshop), when earned annual income exceeds the poverty threshold. (emphasis is mine). So there you have it – the 2 ways that Veteran can earn an income while receiving VA TDIU benefits: when the employment is “marginal” and when the employment is “sheltered”. We’ll look at them in more detail, below. You might ask “Why” a Veteran is allowed to earn an income in these 2 scenarios while receiving TDIU Benefits. Truth be told, I have no clue why Congress wrote the laws this way when they wrote them – someday I’ll dig into the legislative history to understand it. But since Congress allowed it, there is NOTHING wrong with Veterans getting Marginal or Sheltered Employment income while receiving TDIU Benefits. #1: Marginal Employment & TDIU Benefits. This is the type of income that many Veterans are aware that they can receive even after being granted TDIU Benefits. Simply go to the US Bureau of Census website, and look up the “poverty threshold for one person”. (Click here to see the historical poverty ratings tables from 1959 – 2015). You will see that, for 2014, the poverty threshold for one person is $12,316 per year (if you are under 65), or $11,354 (if you are over 65). Each year, the VA will ask you to verify your employment (or lack thereof) to determine whether you are eligible to continue to receive TDIU Benefits. They typically require that you use VA Form 21-4140 or 21-4140-1 to do this report. The VA does cross check 2 databases that I know of: Social Security databases that record your work/income history, and IRS databases that record your family income on your annual tax returns. Word to the wise: if you are telling different income stories to different federal agencies, you are playing with fire, and may even be committing fraud. If you indicate in this form that your income is higher than the poverty threshold, a proposal to reduce your TDIU benefits will be forthcoming. It’s one of the few times that the VA acts with a sense of purpose – when they want to STOP paying you. #2: Sheltered Employment & TDIU Benefits Another way that Veterans can earn an income while receiving TDIU Benefits is by participating in what is called “sheltered employment”. There are many ways that your income can be considered “sheltered”, but 2 that are clearly identified in the regulation itself: Family business Sheltered Workshop (these are supervised workplaces for adults with a physical and/or mental handicap) Now, just because you are working for a family business doesn’t mean your job is considered “sheltered employment”. It has to be what the regulation refers to as a “protected environment”. A protected environment occurs when the employer makes special accommodations to employ and provide an income for a family member or a disabled worker. This happens quite a lot – a family business, to reduce its tax burden or simply to help another family member, pays a disabled Veteran family member an income that they would not otherwise be able to receive. How can you tell if there is a protected work environment? What kind of questions would you ask, and what kind of evidence would you need? If you can get answers to these kinds of questions – typically in an affidavit by the business owner or the executive in charge of hiring/staffing – you will have a much stronger proof of entitlement to TDIU benefits even while earning an income well above the poverty threshold in a sheltered employment situation. 1) Did they employer provide any special accommodations (especially if they are not required to by the Americans With Disabilities Act) to accommodate the employee with disabilities? These accommodations are most commonly adjustments to the work schedule, the work environment, or the work duties. I have not handled a case yet where a major employer, covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, provides an accommodation to a 100% disabled Veteran as required by law to do. This is an interesting question as to whether or not the employment could be considered sheltered when the company has a legal obligation to enact accommodations. I am not aware of any VA precedent on this topic – if you do know of a precedential case on this topic, don’t hesitate to let me know! 2) If the employee leaves the company, will the business hire a “similarly situated” person to fill the position (i.e, another worker with a disability)? There are 3 scenarios here: Scenario #1: If the business plans to modify the Veteran’s position after he or she leaves so that there are no longer accommodations to the work duties, environment or schedule, then you can make a pretty good argument that the employment is sheltered. Why? Because it appears that the position may have been created or modified just for the disabled Veteran. Scenario #2: If the business plans on continuing the accommodation, then its a pretty good argument that the position itself – and anyone that holds it – is sheltered employment. (Many employers do this for the tax advantages available to certain types of “sheltered workshops”). Scenario #3: If the business plans to eliminate the position after the disabled Veteran leaves the job, then it is most likely “sheltered employment”. None of the above scenarios are absolute: the more evidence you can show that an employer created a job for a 100% disabled Veteran – whether for “feel-good” reasons, tax incentives, or any other reason other than common business reasons, the stronger your case of showing that your position is “sheltered employment”. 3) Is there evidence that another business in the same industry would NOT hire a similarly situated employee, and pay them a similar income, for the same type of work? What do I mean here? If your family business pays you $50,000 a year, while allowing you to come in to the job “only on the days you feel up to it”, look to other businesses in the same industry to see if they would pay that same salary to an employee that comes and goes at will. Where do you get evidence of this sort of thing? Honestly, you would hire an economist to prepare an expert report on the nature of the employment and whether or not it is sheltered, based on a survey of the particular industry. This type of expert report can get really expensive, so I would not typically do this unless it was really questionable whether the employment was sheltered or not, and there was a lot riding on the outcome. Frankly, providing evidence that answers Question #3 is probably a bit “over the top” in most Sheltered Employment claims. Legal Advice in Sheltered Employment situations. Be VERY careful with the Sheltered Employment rules. They are not frequently applied, many in the VA do NOT know about them (or don’t understand them when they do know about them), and the Sheltered Employment Rules can lead to serious consequences if applied incorrectly. I’m not telling any details here, but I know of a couple Veterans who have been charged with criminal fraud for collecting TDIU benefits while getting an income and doing nominal work for a family member’s business. These charges usually will not stick – as the US Attorneys that prosecute these crimes have far less understanding of VA regulations than even most VA raters or Board Hearing Officials. But you’re going to have to pay a criminal defense attorney to make it go away, and the VA ain’t repaying your attorneys fees. That said, it is ALWAYS BEST to get legal advice – call a VA Accredited attorney and ask for a consultation – if you are considering earning income above the poverty threshold and want to know if it is or is not considered “sheltered employment”.
  11. It can be any time usually with in a month depending on how large retro you got coming? if its $$ 25.000.00 or more it will take three signatures from the top and that will take a while. but usually only about 2 weeks to a month. When this happens is anyone's guess ?When the VA gets off their A*** and finishes your claim (jmo)
  12. Proving Sleep Apnea Secondary to another S.C. Condition it hard to prove on your own you need a qualified Dr to render his pro opinion that it is likely as not the cause or related to your S.C. Condition. It will help if this Dr examines you and reads pertains medical records, a home sleep study my not go over to well with the VA Rater, , so just because you have a C-PAP Don't mean they will approve you to be secondary s.c. for sleep apnea or give the automatic 50%. It will take a qualified Dr to give you a good nexus between the s.c. condition that causes your OSA. He will need to go into detail as why this happens ect,,ect,,,
  13. Yeah I learned over the years never trust a C&P Examiner for his/her word. ''I'll take care of it'' or'' I am not the one who makes the decision'' , ''I will study your C-File Before I write up My report or Fill in the DBQ''.......Usually when an examiner tells a veteran that kind of thing usually spells trouble for the Veteran. (DENIAL)
  14. I Roger that Paul! and I don't blame you my friend.
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