Second Class Petty Officers
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About bolt_vet23

  • Rank
    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force
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  1. Something strange is going on because the date on the 526 form is July 2016, however, in eBenefits it shows that it was initiate in July 2015. See file labeled “VA Benefits 2015” and “VA_2015_Claim” and both show the initiation or received date at July 2015. I've also included below auto generated emails from the VA regarding the initiation of my claim, expiration, and final submission. Claim Initiation Notice received Jul 20, 2015 01:39 PM This is a message from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to let you know that we received notification that you started an online claim for disability compensation benefits on 07/20/2015 01:39 PM. Please remember that you need to complete and submit your online claim application within one year of your Intent to File date. If you have questions about the date we received your Intent to File, please refer to the eBenefits Claim Status page or VDC Dashboard. If you do not complete and submit your online claim within one year of your Intent to File date, it will be deleted and removed from the system. If you are a Service member, you are allowed one year from your date of discharge from active duty to submit your claim. _______________________ Disability Compensation Application Is Expiring in 210 Days Notice received Dec 23, 2015 03:07 AM This message is a reminder from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that you have an open application for Disability Compensation in eBenefits that was started on 07/20/2015, but still needs to be submitted to VA. Please make sure you submit your application to VA by 07/20/2016 or else it will expire and be removed from the system. We encourage you to log in to your eBenefitsaccount to complete and submit your open application for Disability Compensation. If you do not want to complete your application, you can delete it or allow it to expire on 07/20/2016. If you have questions about this claim or your VA benefits, please contact your designated Veterans Service Organization, attorney, or agent. You can also submit your questions to VA's Inquiry Routing & Information Systems (IRIS) (, and you will receive a response within five business days. For immediate assistance, please call VA at 1-800-827-1000 Monday-Friday, 8am to 9pm EST. ______________________ Your Application for Disability Compensation Notice received Jul 12, 2016 08:50 AM We are sending this message to let you know that you have successfully submitted your Application for Disability Compensation. Your confirmation number is 54653035. Your submission includes the following documents: * VA Form 21-526: Application for Disability Compensation * VA Form 21-0781: Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) If you have questions or need further assistance, call us at 1-800-827-1000 (711 if you use a TDD). A benefit counselor can answer your questions and provide any additional information that you may need regarding VA benefits or the claims process. You can now track the status of your claim online. To see the current status, go to your eBenefits Dashboard at ( ). his decision document is the weakest one that I’ve ever seen from the VA. There’s no information regarding any of my claims, but only what was and was not awarded. I do not have a copy of the C&P exam. Everything that I have is what’s been posted. Thanks
  2. Hi Roberta, Attached is the response from the VA for my claim, which lacks the amount of detail that I've come to expect from the VA. I've also included the initial claim which has the July 2015 date. Really appreciate your assistance. Bolt 1290_001_Redacted.pdf 526 - Copy_Redacted.pdf
  3. Hi Berta, Thanks for the information. I verified that the 21-526EZ that was submitted online contains the Application Submitted date of 7/12/2016 at 8:50 AM. I have yet to receive the official notification decision in the mail so all I can go off of is what's in eBenefits, the back pay deposit that the VA made, and my phone conversation with the VA today. I'll let you know what the decision says once I receive it. I do have a vet rep and am waiting to hear back from them, but figured I'd throw it out it here too. Thanks again for the info.
  4. I created a claim using eBenefits on July 20, 2015 which established the notice of intent to submit a claim. I have the email from the VA stating that I created the claim for disability compensation. I officially submitted the claim July 12, 2016 and also have the confirmation email from the VA to prove it. My claim was processed which increased my compensation amount. I had assumed that I would receive back pay from July 20, 2015 to the award date, however, when I spoke with the VA they informed me that I only received back pay to August 2016. I have no idea where the August date came from and when I requested additional information, I was told that I need to submit a NOD for the effective award date. This is almost 16 months of back pay that I would not receive so it's not a small amount. My question is shouldn’t the award date be based on when the claim was initiated in eBenefits and not when the claim was was submitted? Thanks for your assistance.
  5. I've been down this path and high recommend that you do your due diligence before submitting a claim. I would definitely create the claim ASAP online so that the pay is retroactive, but you'll need an IMO letter from a doctor stating that it's "more likely than not" SC. I ended up paying for a private IMO letter and then asked my VA doc to write one, which he did. My case is currently being appealed since this documentation was not submitted with the original claim. I had thought that they would automatically award me SC for it since the VA diagnosed me with OSA and issued me a CPAP, however, that's not the case. Good luck.
  6. Morning, Just wanted to let everyone know that after 9 months of submitting a FOIA request for a complete copy of my C&P file, my claim was closed yesterday since it was apparently processed. There was no movement on it up until this week when I decided to have my congressman submit a congressional inquiry on my behalf. I also emailed every organizational account at and notified the Department of Justice FOIA office at Not sure which one ended up pushing the VA to actually do their job, but my claim was closed a few days later. I really regret waiting this long to take action...should have notified all of them on the 31st day after the original submission. Bolt
  7. Andyman73, During an appointment with my VA Neurologist, I brought up how the VA would not grant me service connection for sleep apnea even though it was in my records. He asked if I wanted him to write an IMO. He emailed me the IMO and now I'm waiting on my appeal. It doesn't hurt to ask since they've most likely done it before and just need to update the IMO with your information. Plus, it can save you some money. Best of luck.
  8. Thanks. I should note that I also submitted another IMO (approximately 75 pages) from a private doc. I've attached the parts that I think are relevant since the rest are medical references. I don't recall a sleep study prior to separation and can't find anything in my records stating that one was ever given. The pre-discharge exam was performed before I separated so the VA had access to all of my military records. I'm assuming that the VA either didn't look for the results or they never existed. The basis for my arugment is that allergic rhinitis was documented and diagnosed, complaints of snoring were made, but yet the VA did not perform a sleep study. Below are the regulations to support my claim: The VA did not perform a sleep study during the pre-discharge exam as required by the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 VCAA), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a duty to notify and assist claimants in substantiating a claim for VA benefits. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5100, 5102, 5103, 5103A, 5107, 5126 (West 2002 & Supp. 2007); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.156(a), 3.159 and 3.326(a) (2007). AND WHERE: Under the VCAA, VA is obliged to provide an examination when the record contains competent evidence that the claimant has a current disability or signs and symptoms of a current disability, the record indicates that the disability or signs and symptoms of disability may be associated with active service; and the record does not contain sufficient information to make a decision on the claim. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5103A(d) (West 2002); McLendon, 20 Vet. App. 79. AND WHERE: VA considers ALL THE EVIDENCE "in support," or in "relative equipoise"; which provides the Claimant prevails under the Gilbert v. Derwinski authority, as maybe presently codified: "In determining whether service connection is warranted, the VA must determine whether the evidence supports the claim or is in relative equipoise, with the veteran prevailing in either event...". 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107, Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49 (1990) AND WHERE, IF: Any reasonable doubt exist, it is resolved in favor of the Claimant, per VA regulations: "Any reasonable doubt regarding a degree of disability will be resolved in favor of the veteran." See 38 C.F.R. § 4.3. AND BY: Applying the proper "benefit of the doubt" rule(s) as provided in the Title 38 Statues: "When the evidence is in relative equipoise, the veteran is accorded the benefit of the doubt." See 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b). Second IMO.pdf
  9. Attached is a pdf with the VA's original response in 2005, subsequent claim in 2013/2014, and VA IMO letter. The NOD is in progress and I'm pretty hopeful that it will be awarded, but I would like to get the effective date changed to 2005. Appreciate your assistance. Original Claim.pdf
  10. Hello, I wanted to run something by the group to get your thoughts. I separated from the military in 2005 and had the pre-discharge exam completed before I separated. I claimed sleep apnea as heoric snoring, but was not awarded service connection for it. It's currently listed as a disability in eBenefits from the pre-discharge exam. Fast forward 10 years and I was issued a CPAP by the VA after a subsequent claim was denied. I submitted the NOD along with two IMO letters, one from a VA doc and one from a private doc, connecting sleep apnea to heroic snoring and allergic rhinitis (currently service connected). My issue is that during the pre-discharge exam, the doc asked if I had sleep apnea and I told her no since I didn't even know it what it was then. No test was given since I responded no. However, my question is can I request that the effective date go back 10 years since the VA did not fulfill their requirement to assist me in obtaining evidence and an exam? The following is from the VA's regulations: "The CAVC described the requirements as follows: [The VA must provide an examination or medical opinion when] there is (1) competent evidence of a current disability or persistent or recurrent symptoms of a disability, and (2) evidence establishing that an event, injury, or disease occurred in service ... and (3) an indication that the disability or persistent or recurrent symptoms of a disability may be associated with the veteran’s service or with another service-connected disability, but (4) insufficient competent medical evidence on file for the Secretary to make a decision on the claim." Appreciate any assistance.
  11. I've been trying to determine what exactly "systemic therapy" is and have come to the conclusion that it's only systemic if the prescribing doctor states it's systemic. This is based on multiple VA citations that I've read through regarding eczema claims. I've been using triamcinolone and hydrocoristone to manage my eczema for a few years now...both which were prescribed by the VA. I currently have a 30% rating for eczema and was denied 60% since they said it was not systemic treatment. Here's the verbiage from the VA, "Effective August 30, 2002, the veteran's disorder continues to be evaluated under 38 C.F.R. § 4.118, Diagnostic Code 7806, which is now used for rating dermatitis in addition to eczema. A 30 percent disability evaluation is assigned for dermatitis or eczema over 20 to 40 percent of the body or 20 to 40 percent of the affected exposed areas, or systemic therapy, such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs required for a total duration of six weeks or more, but not constantly during the past year. See 67 Fed. Reg. At 49,596 (2002). For the next higher 60 percent disability evaluation, there must be dermatitis or eczema over more than 40 percent of the entire body or more than 40 percent of the exposed areas affected, or; constant or near-constant systemic therapy such as corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs for the past 12 month period." I was prescribed the cream to use on an as needed basis, which is daily. Has anyone had any luck with this?
  12. I've been trying to determine what exactly is "systemic therapy" and have come to the conclusion that it's only systemic if the prescribing doctor states it's systemic. I've been using triamcinolone and hydrocoristone to manage my eczema for a few years now...both which were prescribed by the VA. I currently have a 30% rating for eczema and was denied 60% since they said it was not systemic treatment. Has anyone had any luck with this?
  13. Just curious, but did you request an IMO letter from the VA doc? My VA doc was more than willing to write an IMO letter on the spot for me. I filed the NOD a few weeks ago and am hoping to hear back from the VA soon, but it will most likely be another 6 months.
  14. They'll do a sinus x-ray during the C&P exam.
  15. I'm currently trying to get OSA service connected and ended up getting an IMO letter from my VA doc and a private doc, which cost me $1500. I tried the private sleep clinic route and couldn't fine one willing to evaluate my records and write an IMO. I would recommend meeting with your VA doc to see if he/she will write you an IMO before you pay out of pocket. My VA doc wrote the memo right in front of me and it didn't cost me a thing. If you have to go the private route, the only doc that was willing to write it for me and respond to my emails was Dr. Anaise. You can find his contact info throughout this site and I was very happy with the final product. Now if I just need the VA to process the appeal.