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About ATCJen

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. It's been awhile since I'be been on this site and I just saw your post where you received 100% and wanted to say congratulations. I too am 100% for MST and was also in the Navy. I know it's been a little while since you got the 100% and wanted to see how you were doing with it. What I mean is that it's good that we got 100% cuz we deserve it because of our symptoms and what had happened. But it is hard for me to say that I am a disabled vet because 1. I feel bad for all those who didn't get processed and win claims so I guess I have some sort of "winner guilt" which it isn't about being a winner, but rather winning in the VA system. and 2. When I tell people that I was in the NAVY they don't see how as a female I could be 100% disabled. Do you have these thoughts? Or is it just me? Never knew someone else that got 100% so I am asking you, because your the first person I've been able to talk about it to. Anyhow, congratulations again and sorry if I am asking to personal of questions...

  2. @flores97 @HorizontalMike @pete992 Thank you for the input. in your experiences, do you all think opting for the DRO route still supports the decision to hire a lawyer? Its what I am considering over the traditional appellate review process. For some reason I feel it will be "easier" that way in my circumstance. Maybe I'm wrong. Help me figure it out, please? Here's my "circumstance": My husband is active duty and we will be PCSing to god-knows-where in about a month and a half. It's either WA, CA, or VA. He's an aviator and they get orders at the last imaginable minute. I know I have to update my addresses with both the benefits and medical sides of the VA as soon as I move. I also know I have to register at the new VAMC. What I don't know is what this will mean for this appeal. Does it mean anything at all? Will it just "transfer" to the new VARO once I'm in the new system? Should these circumstances affect my decision to choose a DRO?
  3. Thank you! I feel like the paperwork is nothing i can't handle. The part about the EAJA I did not know, so thank you so much for that @pete992
  4. ^^^^ Good advice here. It's how I got an increase (10%-50%) and permanent status for migraines. FDC with a DBQ filled out by your doc.
  5. Hello, Shipmates. I am beginning this NOD journey this week and I am wondering what experiences you guys have with lawyers that specialize in VA claims and appeals? Mainly, I am wondering what a lawyer can do for me that I can't do myself? Can they get me through the process quicker? What exactly can they do? Off hand I want to say "not much" other than fill out the paperwork and file on my behalf, but what good does that do me? I have my wits about myself and I'm able to fill out the paperwork, gather evidence, etc. I've always opted to act pro-se as much as possible. I handled my own divorce, my children's name changes (10X more complicated than a divorce, believe it or not) Am I being shortsighted? 4 years of 100% back pay is substantial and I wouldn't mind paying a lawyer if they actually helped me with something I could never do myself. Does any one have any experiences they can share with me? Background: I won a claim 100% scd for MST/PTSD and that was half the battle. The other half is that the VA closed my original claim for this 4 years ago without ever notifying me. I'm filing for the original 2011 ED. They claim I WAS notified but i moved or ignored them because their mail had returned to them unopened and that they tried calling me ONCE and my phone was disconnected. I have proof to the contrary of both of their statements which I submitted for their review along with my ptsd/mst evidence. They ignored it. Now I have to fight this.
  6. @Vync Thank you s much for your support throughout this ordeal. I have not seen my cfile, but I've had a request put in for it since September/October I believe. I live nowhere near a VARO and I'm unable to drive an 8 hour round trip to walk in and request to see it (I hear that's an option). Since you are looking for info on the CUE process, here is a good website that has information on how to decide between filing a NOD or a CUE. It explains the process very clearly. Much more clearly than some other pages I've read. I'll copy and paste the article below and also include the link. It talks about how to appeal for an EED, but it also explains the CUE process a bit as well. It's a good place to start learning about this. :) http://www.veteranslawblog.org/earlier-effective-date/
  7. Thank you so much! Looks like I have some reading to do @ketchup56 I truly appreciate the gouge.
  8. Hello! I'd like to thank my buddies in the MST forum for the support and help fighting this uphill battle with the VA. I originally filed 12/2011 for this disability and the VA closed my case without notifying me at all, about 45 days later. They said they "tried" to advise me of this case being closed but my phone was disconnected and that i sent their letters back to them unopened. Both of those things are simply not true. I waited for 4 years like a fool thinking this claim was in the backlog but come to find out they closed it. I had it reopened, but the "new" effective date was 2/2015, over 4 years after the original claim was opened. It took me months to re-gather evidence and get expert opinions and my nexus letter from a therapist 10/2015 I turned in all the evidence I had. (Nexus, buddy letter, statements of evidence, statement of MST) 12/2015 I had C&P with a civilian provider. 1/2016 I am rated 100% with housebound SMC for this disability alone. Although I included a statement requesting the original effective date and provided evidence that my phone was not disconnected and that I was in constant reliable communication with the VA at the time they closed my case, they denied my request. In fact, they overlooked my upload of this info so it seems. SO the fight continues, and I'll fight to my last breath for this. 4 years of 100% back pay is a lot and I will not turn my back on this. I am filling out my NOD and sending it in this week. I'll update you guys in like 8 years when this is settled. lmao. My best advice to win your MST case is to have your therapist write a very specific letter. In fact, ask if you can work on it with them. If they are not familiar with the VA's behavioral markers, look it up and provide them with the information. Also, I received lots of good information here, but I also received a lot of discouraging opinions on here as well. Once i uploaded my nexus letter to get opinions and got all kinds of flack for it. My therapist wasn't high enough of a medical pro, the wording was all wrong, the VA was "NEVER going to accept it.." bla bla bla. It really had me discouraged and triggered a really dark depression episode for me. Please take the opinions on here as well-intended suggestions, not as written in stone expert opinions or harsh criticisms. People on these forums DO know a lot, though. So take things with a grain of salt, arm yourself with knowledge, ask questions, but ultimately you are the one thats going to make some important decisions regarding your fight with the VA. I'd also like to note that PTSD for personal trauma (MST) is handled differently than combat PTSD. The burden of proof is different. The forms are different. Use the MST board if you need help and use the resources listed on there for guidance in understanding what is needed for a successful claim. Its what I did. Here is the link to the post that followed me on this journey. FIGHT! Keep fighting! Never give up!
  9. Finally, CLOSURE! Kind of.... You guys, I got 100% SCD for PTSD/Personal Trauma (MST)! They awarded me back pay from 2/03/2015. It's substantial, since I was getting 40% for a part of that time at 50% for another part of that time. YAY! I am happy about the outcome and I'm grateful for the help I received from many of you. Here are the contentions: -I have a re-evaluation in 5 years (I'll cross that bridge when I get to it). -They completely ignored the fact that they closed out my original claim without justifiably notifying me. This claim has been in the works since 12/2011. They closed it a month and a half after i opened it. Mind you, this was at the height of the back log, so for the VA to get a cliam, review it, and close it in 45 days makes no sense at all. Their reasoning was that tried to contact me but my phone was cut off (lies) and that I moved (lies). I provided them with a statement and evidence (VA correspondence, and phone records proving my residence and that my phone has NEVER been disconnected, even the date of a phone call where I confirmed my address and telephone the same week they closed my claim). They didn't care. sigh. You guys, I'm going to fight this. I just don't know how. I'm going to move this portion to another forum to see what help I can get. Should I try directly going the Earlier effective date route or should I go with a CUE? Admittedly, I'm without much information on either process at the moment, but I am working on that as we speak. I'll also post updates here from time to time. Thanks again for all the help, Shipmates!
  10. @Cruzcampo07 Any updates? I hope you are doing well. I've been following your thread and find that our stories are somewhat similar.
  11. It did! I'll go ahead and save the number just in case. Thank you for the tip @GuaymasJim
  12. Ok guys. Here we are, a little over a month after my C&P. I took Buck52's suggestion and contacted the VA and asked them what was up with my C&P exam. They said they'd not received it from the provider. I called the provider, they said they'd turned it in to the middle man (the company the VA hired to send me to a third party provider). SO THEN I called the middle man. They re-sent it to the VA and the next day my status for the claim went from gathering evidence to ready for decision. Still no sign of the exam anywhere. Here's hoping i have a good update for you all here. Thanks again Buck52! ***Edit to add: The VA called me to let me know that my claim was ready for decision and to expect to hear from them in 15-20 business days. Weird. That's the 2nd time I get that call. The first time was an increase C&P I had back in May that settled in September. Has anyone else gotten those calls?
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