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USMC_VET last won the day on December 1 2015

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  1. Congratulations! i just got my 100% P&T recently as well and I know the feeling
  2. roger to all @brokensoldier244thsaid Can the VA get most/all of that information, sure. But if you have it why make the process take longer than it needs to, claims take enough time to finish why add to it with dragging your feet on anything you have. As he said they pull your military/VA stuff anyways, but when I make claims i always pull my own copies and insert them into my claim with a explanation on the cover page of what that evidence shows in support of my claim. I try to make it easy for raters to see what i want them to see and they can verify the authenticity of that document seperately but they dont have to word search old military scans for keywords. As far as your VSO goes,I would be leery. If he/she is not pushing you to pull all the evidence you can find, get supporting statements, etc thats a big red flag. A claim is two parts... 1) Linking to you service, ie in service event, something that happened to you while you were in that is causing the issue you have now (as well as documentation its still present/current diagnosis). This gets you the SC, the VA is admitting that the disease/issue you are experiencing now is directly related to military service. Thats the big one 2) How it affects you. This is what influences your %. You need to not only say "I have PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc..etc..." but you need to get statements from as many people as you can. Wife, friends, coworkers, boss, whoever is willing that can attest to how your condition affects you both personally and at work. It needs to be as detailed as possible. Everything from short temper over small arguments, checking locks on the house at night multiple times, difficulty concentrating at work, poor work performance, missed deadlines, counselings from your boss, firings, etc. Everytime you have not gone to a fair or family reunion because of anxiety, crowds, etc. The VA needs to know how your condition inhibits you from experiencing life in the way you would have had you not gotten this Service Connected illness. It may seem too personal, invasive, etc. but the more information you give them the better they will be able to make a fully informed decision on your claim. Likely your C&P exam will be remote with a VES/QTC psychologist and when you are setting up that appointment with them ask them for a email address that you can send information to the examiner. Send those sworn statements from yourself, family and friends. If you can make sure you relay to the examiner all the information you have down there. This is just my personal experience but I only used a VSO once and a VA appeals lawyer once. Both times i was dissapointed which isnt a knock on all VSO's or attorneys, but I ended up doing all the work and the only thing i found them good for was VBMS access. You CAN do all of this yourself. We can converse offline/messaging, but heres a short run down of how i do my claims 1) i gather all the information i can. download VA records, get your C file (if you have previous claims/ dbq/exams), military records & private med records. I have a filing cabinet at home where i keep a copy of all my records and update my VA med/private med records every 3 months with printouts of the doctors notes, exams etc (along with PDF versions on the computer). Find ALL relevant information you can and scan it into seperate PDF files 2) i have a cover sheet that i create with every claim before i send it in that looks like this... --------------------------------------- Evidence List for New Claim of __________ Note: You will see in the top left hand corner BATES NUMBERING (i.e. 000001, 000002, etc.) to denote page number. A total of XXX pages of evidence is to follow this cover page listing all the evidence to be considered. Contains names of files uploaded and how many pages per file and brief description of evidence contained. I REQUEST THAT THIS LETTER AND ALL EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BE INCLUDED IN MY C FILE. TOTAL INCLUDING THIS EVIDENCE LIST, PAGES OF EVIDENCE: (XXXX) SWORN DECLARATION OF NAME: 2 Pages Overview of Dr. Trippi report and request to revaluate my rating to reflect an increase that is supported by evidence within the report. SWORN DECLARATION OF NAME: 2 Pages Overview of current issues since the 2015 report SWORN DECLARATION OF NAME: 2 Pages Statement of issues seen by spouse. PSYCHOSOCIAL EVALUATION BY DR. _________: XX PAGES Evaluation by Dr. _______in 2015 indicating severe impairment due to PTSD PRIVATE PHYSICIAN NOTES BY DR. ________: XX PAGES Evaluations and notes of Dr. _______ for the period of 1/1/2013-1/1/2017 for counseling and mental health care relating to PTSD, indicating severe impairment of personal and work ability due to PTSD symptoms. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I make sure that the total number of pages is noted, along with each piece of evidence that i am submitting for the claim and what it contains. The rater can easily scan through and see what i am submitting and roughly what its saying in support of my claim. I also include the pages from my VA/Military record. He can then check independently for that document in his copies of my VA/Mil records to verify im not bullshitting him. This way if my claim goes south and after the decision i make a request for my cfile i can see and make sure ALL the information i submitted was included/uploaded and considered. It does happen that key pieces of evidence are missed for one reason or another. Say my claim is granted but at 30% when it should be 70% and they say in the decision there is no evidence of severe impairment, i can then, in the appeal, point to the evidence that was sent showing there is and heres where it is, etc etc. 3) After I get all my evidence together I combine them into one PDF (or sometimes i have to do multiple "pieces" since ebenefits only allows 25mb per upload) and then i shotgun submit it. a) I send it via FAX to my Claims intake Center b) I upload and submit it via c) I send it CERTIFIED MAIL WITH RETURN RECEIPT to the evidence intake center. It may seem overkill but i take no chances. With the Certified Mail you have verified proof you submitted on the day you did (in case there is a clock ticking for your ITF or Appeal) and with the return receipt you have proof it was received by a VA staff member. I send ALL my claims/evidence, anything of importance between the VA and myself this way. 4) Sworn Statements are important. I Use the following format. -------------------------------------------------------------- SWORN DECLARATION OF NAME STATE OF YOUR STATE § COUNTY OF COUNTY § Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, I, NAME, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing statement is true and correct: 1. "My name is NAME. I am more than eighteen years of age, of sound mind, and fully competent to make this affidavit. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth below.: 2. I have known _____ for 8 years and since........ 3. Executed on 1/01/2020 Signed: ___________________________________________ FIRST LAST ----------------------------------------------- With a sworn statement it carries the penalty of perjury if you lie, where a classic buddy statement does not. I have no proof raters give it more weight because of that, but I think they do. Use this for yourself, spouse, friends, family etc. Have them write detailed statements on how they see X affecting you. if they knew you before the miltiary have them describe how youre different now vs then. 5) It does happen that sometimes a VA doc or examiner doesnt note down something we said or wrote down something in a way we didnt mean it or say it. I have expressed things in exams that never got checked off on the DBQ when i get my C file months or years later. I have found great benefit in IMO's but other admittedly have not or balk at the cost. To me its worth it for big claims that will significantly increase your rating with bigger retro. If you can find a local neurologis, psychologist, podiatrist, whatever that will do a DBQ and write a nexus letter, great. I will also say that its important to find well accredited doctors to do this. In my experience the VA is like the military, whoever is the higher ranking medical person will win out in the rating. If you have a NP write you a letter or do an exam and they have a MD that disagrees, youll lose or vice versa. This is why I like IMO's because they are most often board certified with alot of years of experience and good bonafides that most VES/QTC/VA examiners do not have. The latest IMO i got was for OSA secondary to PTSD. now the nexus letter and IMO doc used the same evidence, studies & arguments i submitted years before that and was denied, but when a MD makes the same argument it carries weight...and I won. This is just a breif'ish overview of how I do my claims, but I think its possible for every vet to do claims on their own. Some VSO's are good, some are bad, but NONE of them are going to give a shit about your claim as much as you do, so own that and do the work
  3. After a couple of failed claims early this year i bit the bullet and forked over $1500 for Dr. Anaise who wrote the nexus letter that my PTSD aggravated my Sleep Apnea due to nightmares and other sleep disturbances that caused me to rip off the mask during the night. I filed as a Supplemental Claim in April and had the decision letter, granted, by June.
  4. With a Supplemental Claim you need to file as soon as possible. The date its received is the date the retro clock starts, however whats most important is to have all the evidence you need when you do file it, so my advice is file as soon as you have everything you need. Also remember that the effective date starts the following month so if you file December 1,2,15 or 30 the date is 1/1/2021. so you have over three weeks to get it in. I would make sure you send it before the christmas rush so its received before Jan 1. And with ALL claim stuff make sure that you always send evidence, claims, etc both CERTIFIED with return receipt. THis shows not only that you sent it by X date but the VA actually received it, in case they try to pull shenanigans and say they never got A,B or C evidence. With all my claims I always create a cover sheet listing every piece of paper that i include in the claim. I have it all numbered and on this cover page i give a synopsis of the evidence and what it contains as pertaining to the claim along with the total amount of pages in each piece of evidence so that i can see in a later C file request if all the evidence was uploaded/considered. This way if a key piece of evidence is missing from the file and was likely the reason i was denied i have a good case on appeal that i can point to the fact i numbered all the pages and that you can see pages 1-42 & 46-105 in my c file but 43-45 are missing and never uplaoded, etc etc. I also shotgun my claims and both upload on as well as send via fax and certified mail. Your new claim.... once you START the process online it creates a INTENT TO FILE that saves your retro date and you have one year to file with that ITF. go and just start it now to get that ITF started and then you can finish it 1,2,11 months from now and hold your date. If you do finish that new claim soon they may combine the supplemental and new claim together, but i doubt it.
  5. @broncovet so i understand DIC correctly, now that im 100% P&T, if i die between now and 2030 of cancer my wife wouldnt get anything, if it was related to a SC condition she would. if i die after 2030 of anything then she gets DIC payments
  6. Thanks! Maybe i was misinterpreting that statement, I think it pertains to the kids that they cant be claimed as dependents on the DIC/payments it they are over 18 and are apply for CHapter 35
  7. I was recently given 100% P&T and started filling out the Chapter 35 benefits for my wife as she has wished to continue her education, however i noticed that it says "If you are over the age of 18 once you receive either the DEA or FRY SCHOLARSHIP benefits, you will no longer receive payments of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Pension and you may no longer be claimed as a dependent in a Compensation claim. If you are under the age of 18, on your 18th birthday you will lose eligibility for DIC or Pension payments and you will no longer be claimed as a dependent in a Compensation claim. CAREFULLY READ THE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS ON PAGE 6, ITEM 22 BEFORE COMPLETING THE ELECTION BOX BELOW. YOU ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO DISCUSS YOUR ELECTION WITH A VA COUNSELOR." I am not familiar with this, so does this mean IF she was a surving spouse she wouldnt get DIC payments while she was on Chapter 35 or does this mean if she uses Chapter 35 now she wont get DIC payments if i passed in 10,15,30 years and made her eligible for the 50% of my Disability payment as a surviving spouse?
  8. @sailorgirl80 Im so sorry that what happened to you happened. I have no MST claim experience but I just had my claim close that i submitted back in April, C&P's in May & June for a MH related issue. I also second @broncovetadvice here. Theres a reason that there are multiple cliche sayings like "a watched pot never boils" and its especially true with VA claims. I dont always follow my own advice, but checking1,2,3 times a day on ebenefits will drive you crazy. Set a specific day of the week you will check ebenefits and stick to that schedule. Also while the money from a claim is nice because it validates us in that we are experiencing what we are experiencing and what happened is recognized by the government and they live up to their obligations, it wont ease the anxiety, depression or unease we feel. In my own personal experience hobbies, routine and exercise are a must. heavy exertion for 1+ hours a day plus clean eating, nutritional/vitamin supplements are truly truly a great easer of mental health issues, they dont fix them but they can take quite a bit of the edge off. Combined with therapy, prayer, meditation exercises it can really be the weights you need to tip the scales. Hobbies and routine are important as well, something to occupy your mind as well. routine helps me since it lets you know whats happening, whats going to happen, things to look forward to, etc gives you a element of control over your life that you may sometimes feel is out of your grasp. All that being said everyone is different, thats what works for me all, some or none of that may work for you, but look into finding what those "things" are for you, not just for waiting on claim resolution but for life in general. Also, its important to keep in mind your fight may take longer than expected, denials do often happen and sometimes they are the VA's fault, sometimes ours, so mentally prepare yourself for that so that you arent hyping yourself up for "any day now when this claim closes ill get that retro, pay this off, etc". For me i tell myself i will have to appeal, so when i do its not a huge deal, if i win then its a real great day!
  9. its easier to produce a series about a fictional woman than bobby fisher and his preoccupation with antisemitism
  10. Raters arent social workers you follow a case for years and years, each claim is worked by multiple raters throughout its life
  11. whoops my bad. I wasnt expecting or requesting P&T so how does that work exactly, is it automatically considered once you reach 100% schedular or otherwise? does it apply to all my disabilities or is it just 1,2?
  12. until i can see the letter i wont know exactly, they are showing on the letter summary on ebenefits that P&T started on 4/24/2020 which was when my supplemental for OSA 50% was won. the claim i just won now goes back to 7/2019 which would make me 90% from July to April and then 100 from April on. Im guessing the P&T is based on my PTSD which has been 50% since 2011 and now 70% since 2019
  13. Yesterday was a great day. I have been working on these claims for awhile and this last year i really decided to do it right and spend the money and time necessary to win that last few claims i had been denied over the years. I was checking my status on and ebenefits and noticed while showed it as "gathering evidence" still ebenefits under pending disabilities when you click "check pending claim" it had been listed as "preparation for decision". As a sidenote i realized that ebenefits had alot more steps in it (gathering -> prep for decision-> pending decision approval -> preparation for notification) while only goes form gathering to prep for decision, so ebenefits can help show in more detail where the claim is at. Anyways. i checked yesterday and it had moved back to gathering of evidence and i was bummed. This claim was started July 2019 and i had finally gotten my in person C&P's 2 weeks ago. I decided to check the Letter section of ebenefits, as in the past that has been sometimes updated faster than everything else and low and behold it showed i had won so i checked "disabilities" again and it repopulated. PTSD - I won my increase to 70% after multiple denials. since 2016 (wasnt continuously pursued since then unfortunately) i had made multiple attempts and after 2 denials in 2017, 2019 i decided to get a IMO again (which i first used in 2015 to fight a reduction). My C&P's were done by both VA & QTC in those past denials and after getting my Cfile i saw that the examiner didnt note down or check boxes on ALOT of the things i had talked to them about. for example i get panic attacks everday and take medication, they check the "less than once per week" box??? Anyways after TWO VES C&P's this year my IMO won out and i finally won this claim. Shin splints - They kept me at 0% but im not going to appeal it now Back - after multiple ER visits and therapy and increases in med doses they finally agreed that it was slightly worse than the original 10% they gave me in 2011 and upped it to only 20%, but ill take it I also had a IBS, GERD & Hemorrhoid claim that was deferred, im guessing until they can do more tests. After this I am now 100% schedular, but they also gave me P&T! which was great! I was impatient about waiting for the letter which was only sent on the 16th so i called the 1800 # and the VA person told me they couldnt send me a digital copy until its past 10 days but he could look at the letter and confirm questions i had and was able to confirm the % & P&T, which was cool.
  14. I was never in the guard so this is speculation, but if i understand title 32 you were activated (on active duty) during the specific time period that you were diagnosed with asthma & OSA? if so then as stated above it shouldnt be a hard claim. If I were you I would make sure you spell this out, in the evidence that you submit. In my sworn statement i would write something like this 1) I was activated from 4/15/2011-5/26/2011 and considered on active duty 2) I was diagnosed by a US Army Doctor on 4/29/2011, during my active duty, with asthma and Sleep Apnea, as noted in following evidence. Then i would scan and include the pages that list your activation dates along with all the notes from that exam visit where you were diagnosed. I you havent already I would request a sleep consult with the VA pulmonologist and get a overnight in house sleep study, if you cant do it through the VA use your tricare and get it done at a private facility this way you can check off another part of the caluza triangle (in service event + current diagnosis +nexus between the two). You should be good after that. Make sure in your sworn statement that you spell out everything, how it affects you, issues with your cpap everything.
  15. that reduction 5 years ago was eye opening to me and lead me to HADIT which i learned a full education on what does and doesnt make a good claim. I know what to look out for etc. in the past the exams for my increases i knew what they should be asking and i came out with a positiive attitude as i knew my 50% rating was severely underrated for years but after looking at the exam notes after the fact i realized that even though we talked about a bunch of things that were going on with me barely half was checked off or mentioned. Which is why i went the IMO route this time.
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