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toomnyhats

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About toomnyhats

  • Rank
    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday 12/22/1961

Profile Information

  • Location
    Minnesota
  • Interests
    Family, computer programming, sewing, reading, researchaholic

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    100%
  • Branch of Service
    USAF Active Duty (1986-1990), US Army Reserves (1991-1995)
  • Hobby
    Computer programming, Sewing, Spending time with my Family, Researchaholic
  1. Great idea! I did that with my DD214 when I first got out of service. Peace of mind. Thanks! toomnyhats 🎩
  2. Thanks Buck! I got an M + a K which resulted in the amounted shown. Since our youngest just graduated it will go down slightly but I encouraged her to start going for her Masters in enough time to beat the 26 year age limit. She turn 22 in July. 1. Getting something from the evidence intake center today - not sure what that is (I have informed delivery so I can peek ahead) Maybe that's the "coding sheet") 2) Good idea...hadn't thought about the envelopes 3) Scanned it all in my computer and hard copy to go in our fireproof/waterproof safe 4) Check √ 5) Check √ Called St. Louis about retro and she said first thing is to fill out application. They will generate a letter where we will then put the dates in that the girls were in school which match my 30 month decision period 6) Check√ They actually do it at at the Army reserve unit right next the the VA medical center I go to so that's convenient. Also, apparently need spouse's birth certificate, our marriage certificate, spouse's social security card 7) Check √ Ready for mail today 8) Check √ Ready for mail today. They denied me the first time because I have a heart arrhythmia but it is treated only because I feel them (symptomatic only - no risks or disease). I'm being proactive and sending in my last cardiologist note stating no heart failure and echo showing excellent ejection fraction and function. 9) I'm going to call vehicle registration today but I think my state only offers tax exemption, not registration exemption but I'll take what I can get :) 10) Not many bases close to us but I look forward to a little R&R at Elsworth AFB in the Black Hills (about 8 hours away). A couple of lakes with cabins and rental equipment for kayaking and other things. Thanks much - I am thrilled and will pray that those waiting move quickly through. Thanks for the checklist - those help a lot :) toomnyhats 🎩
  3. Yay! Finally got the envelope. I've attached the redacted version for any input, advise or comments. Your experience is valued!! Thanks! toomnyhats toomnyhatsRedacted.pdf
  4. Holllie Greene - I totally agree with you and now that is has sunk in, I know that we'll have forms and paperwork to do but I'm feeling much more like everything will fall into place. I spoke with my PVA rep and we most likely won't pursue the neurogenic bowel because we don't want them to start questioning anything else. Mine was a complicated case because the aggravation started in service but because cervical degeneration comes on slow, as my IMO doctor pointed out, he would not expect me to seek treatment other than home remedies, thus nothing in str. He laid the entire case out very well in his letter and I think that was what tipped things in my favor. Apparently, there were quite a few docs involved in this decision. The granting of the bladder was probably a cue because they granted due to spasms I had 3 days after my c-section in 1988. Technically, it is related to the neck but I'll take it however I can get it. My PVA rep was extremely pleased and said the letter went out today which will include the automotive grant info, SAH info and Educational benefits. So, I'm just thrilled and ready to enjoy the reduction of stress on my family and I. Blessings!! toomnyhats
  5. I believe it is an M or M-1/2 based on amount awarded. I don't have my packet yet. But once we connect the neurogenic bowel, I believe it will go up to O. In the meantime, while I've been waiting for my claim, for the last 2 years, I've had home care by contracted providers under the basic non service connected health care benefits. Can I keep those even though I'm now 100% P&T with an SMC assigned. I would like to keep those services and supplement by hiring additional help. Sorry to be so confusing :/ Thanks for you help! toomnyhats 🎩
  6. Still one unanswered question that I can't find the answer to. I agree that the possibility of an SMC of an O is there but that will take time. Right now, I have standard veteran benefit of home health and homemaker coming into my home weekly to help share the work my husband does for me. I'm wondering if I can keep using that and then use the extra granted by SMC to hire an additional PCA. In other words, do I lose that basic home care benefit that every veteran is eligible if I have an SMC award. Thanks! toomnyhats 🎩
  7. Thanks much Jumpmaster! We're planning a big family dinner out very soon to celebrate :)
  8. Thanks Navy04! As we age, it will relieve so much of the care taking tasks from my husband! I had a great PVA rep and a big Hand from above!!
  9. Excellent information Berta. She seems to meet all the criteria so if she can get retro that will help her tremendously with the mountain of debt. It also might spur her to go on to get her Masters (if that's covered) since she will turn 22 this July, she would have time. I've already opened the links and will start looking. As I told Buck, once I get the "envelope", I'll redact and upload so I can benefit from everyone's expertise here :) Thanks again! toomnyhats 🎩
  10. Thanks Buck! I don't have the official package yet...expecting that this upcoming week. When I do, I'll scan in a redacted version. Yes...the P&T benefits are exciting. Going to have to find a close base with a commissary and exchange. But it will be very nice to see our mortgage go down with the total exemption of property taxes. Don't know if I'm allowed to express it here but...God is good!! toomnyhats 🎩
  11. Thank you to all for your information...it is very helpful. I'm attaching a copy of the "disabilities" page from ebenefits since I haven't gotten the big envelope yet. I hope that will give you the info and dates needed for more clarification. My daughter just graduated May 5 (BS Social Work w/minor in Deaf Studies - says the proud mama). She was in school Fall of 2015 through this last Spring semester) so basically the entire time of my 30 months, she was attending University of Minnesota Duluth. I'm a computer-aholic since I can't do a lot of other movement so I will do some research but this time with a sense of relief. If I get nothing else, I feel extremely blessed! Thanks again for everyone's great insight! toomnyhats 🎩
  12. After 30 months I’m finally there! Of course after the celebratory shock wore off I have lots of questions. On 11/30/2015 I was granted 10% tinnitus and 60% Neurogenic bladder. The bladder was granted because my str contained a notation of bladder spasms several days after having a c-section when in reality it was due to my spinal stenosis (pre-existing and not manifested until after discharge). We ask for reconsideration for the neck to get the LOU on legs (in wheelchair full time) and the connection to right arm weakness and bilateral shoulder issues. Denied. Filed NOD, received SOC and filed form 9. I already had a “more likely than not” from my VA doc but I obtained an IMO with same conclusion but it contained the magic phrases, “would not expect medical treatment for minor neck pain during service because degeneration doesn’t happen immediately”, “progressed quicker than natural progression”, plus a “more likely than not, condition was aggravated by service”. Bingo...never went to board - they granted locally. I’m perplexed that they did not grant Neurogenic Bowel (I have an ileostomy and had to have my colon removed). I’m also wondering why they didn’t put two and two together and realize my Neurogenic bladder should also have been secondary to neck. I suspect my rep will deal with those issues. My questions are: 1. Will I receive retro back to the original 11/15/2015 filing date? 2. I was granted SMC of M - does that seem right? 3. My daughter was attending college during that 30 month wait - can we get retro on that? 4. Does receipt of SMC preclude use of standard package home care or is it meant to supplement it? 5. For SMC O, one item listed is “complete paralysis of legs along with loss of bowel and bladder function” Is LOU considered complete paralysis or do they mean complete as in no capability to move them. I can slide my legs on my W/C foot plates but cannot stand or walk. I’m so relieved to be at 100 P&T and appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience provided by this site. I’ve gotten valuable information during what I consider to be a fairly fast trek. Thanks in advance for any light shed on my questions and situation. toomnyhats 🎩
  13. Thanks pwrslm! I was wondering what the CPT codes were. Being a C3 quad ASIA C, makes the cervical neck issue the biggie. That is what was most addressed in my VA docs letter along with my IMO. Both agreed that it was more likely than not related to service. The IMO didn't get submitted until after the form 9 so that obviously triggered another review and subsequent C&P. The doc said at least 3 times that the VA had already connected my cervical neck which might explain why they didn't ask for a medical opinion on it (since they have two already). If we can connect cervical spine...secondaries will cascade explosively given all the surgeries and complications I've had. toomnyhats
  14. I am 60% for neurogenic bladder, 10% for tinnitus. I'm a C3 Quad ASIA C due to a pre-existing condition of narrow cervical spinal canal. First attempt for spine connection failed. Requested De Novo Review..same results. Filed NOD and Form 9. Then sent in a great IMO from a very reputable specialist. This, along with a letter from my VA SCI physician seems to have triggered a C&P exam for neck and back. The exact services ordered were: DBQ MUSC Neck (Cervical Spine)(1), DBQ MUSC Back (Thoracolumbar Spine)(1), DBQ Medical Opinion - MED: MUSC Back (Thoracolumbar Spine)(1), Med - Medical Records/Cfile Review - FILL FIRST (1), CPT 99205 - Level 5 E/M, new patient (60 minutes) (1), CPT 99090 - Analysis of clinical data stored in computer (Claim File) (1) The physician seemed very thorough but throughout the exam/interview, she said several times that the VA had connected my cervical spine. I wasn't quite sure how to take that. Then I really looked at the services ordered above and noticed that they ordered a Medical opinion on my thoracolumbar spine but not on my cervical spine. Is it a leap to think she might be right and the reason they didn't order a Medical opinion on the cervical spine is that they only needed the exam (ROM measurements, function, etc) for assigning ratings? Any opinions greatly appreciated!
  15. Just spent a week getting my first annual sci/d evaluation at the Minneapolis VA. I've been receiving outside care for my sci for the last 12 years. I can't say enough good things about the VA sci/d process. They have it down to an art. Not only was the medical part totally complete and comprehensive, but the staff were professional, kind and caring. I know the VA healthcare system gets a bad rap many times but I believe it is just like the civilian system ... there are good facilities and there are bad ones. I feel blessed to have experienced one of the best. Kudos to Minneapolis!
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