Hello everyone! First I want to introduce myself. I am a recent USN retiree, 6 years active duty, 14+ years reserve (with deployment), and a qualified submariner. I am a long time reader and first time poster. I want to give my sincere gratitude to everyone who posts here, the information in this forum is priceless! I will spare you all the medical details, the long and short is: I have a number of chronic service connected disabilities, chiefly IBS and Fibromyalgia, as well as chronic urticaria (hives), scaring secondary to hives, and chronic fissure due to IBS. Utilizing the knowledge I learned here and from shipmates, I worked with my private physicians and prepared a series of disability benefits questionnaires (DBQ) which the VFW submitted on my behalf. My claim process was unbelievably fast- it went from intent to file, to filing, to award in seven months. I was recently awarded the following: IBS 100%, Chronic Urticaria 60%, Fibromyalgia 40%, Facial Scars 30%, Anal Fissure 20%. I was awarded 100% total disability compensation with a Special Monthly Compensation (S-1). I have not yet received my letter, however I can see the benefits in benefits and my VFW rep called me to inform me of the award. I am very grateful for the award, and consider myself lucky based on the stories I have read here. I do have a couple of questions, and in advance, thank you for taking time to read this! 1. I have never heard of anyone being awarded 100% for IBS. I have chronic oscillating constipation and diarrhea, and constant abdominal pain, which is noted in the DBQ. I miss a few weeks of work over a year's time due to inability to eat, compounded with the aforementioned bowel issues. While I am grateful for the award, I do not understand how the VA awarded me 100%. I thought 30% was tops unless the veteran requested an extra-schedular award (which I did not). What do you make of this? Was I assigned a TDIU or something similar without applying for it? Will or can the VA provide an extra-schedular award without the veteran asking for it? 2. My award indicates that I was also awarded SMC S-1. What does this mean? I do not require a home health aid at this time, although my wife did leave her job to assist me with activities of daily living such as cleaning and cooking since at times, I am not able to complete those tasks due to either bowel issues or exhaustion from fibromyalgia. The SMC S-1 code indicates that the award was given due to having a 100% disability (IBS) and a second award of 60% (Urticaria). Is it just standard process to issue an SMC S-1 for someone suffering from two diseases that are over a certain percentage each? 3. Does any of the above legally impact my ability to seek and maintain employment? Again, I do not have my formal VA letter yet, however, the above mentioned awards seem to indicate that the VA issued a TDIU or something to that effect. While I am in constant moderate to severe pain, and the problems are chronic and debilitating, I strongly prefer to try to maintain employment because working and staying active as I can seems to help me, at least mentally. I am afraid that if I quit working and focus solely on my chronic illnesses, my overall life outlook would suffer. 4. Lastly, am I missing anything? Thank you so very much for you time. As I learn more, I will be glad to assist anyone here by sharing what I did (almost of it learned here). Thanks again everyone!