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About joerohling

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. What does your VSR say about requesting a "Financial Hardship" bump to the front of the Decision Line? The DAV rep I spoke with informed me that if I felt I had a financial hardship to submit a statement and proof, which I did as listed in OP. Just being out of work since 01/17 doesn't necessarily support an IU Award. I understand the basis of IU award and have read the regulations. I also have submitted employer form stating how SC disabilities were the reason I no longer am employed there. I also have gone to the C&P exam where the examiner stated " Total occupational and social impairment" and "I think the evidence, when viewed in totality, strongly suggests that the veteran has difficulties of a breadth and severity that meaningfully prevent him from successful employment and it is more likely the case than not that these problems have the potential to drastically interfere with successful vocational outcomes." How did your 2015 and 2016 Earned Income compare to the VA SGI for under 65 ($12,400)? My earned income was above the SGI as I was doing all I could just to maintain employment. Can't say I've ever seen a Direct SC for Alcoholism. At best, it's usually considered an underlying symptom attached to an MH issue such as PTSD. You may want to review the BVA Decisions for 14-15 and 16 with regards to Direct SC for Alcoholism. I've never seen one but I haven't been looking. Can't recall ever seeing a Hadit post regarding a Direct or Secondary SC of Alcoholism claim, your's is the 1st. I had claimed the alcohol use disorder in support of mental health claim last year based on errant advice from a fellow veteran to connect the dots over the years of self-medicating per MH provider I was seeing. The alcohol use disorder was denied, but mental health approved. I only mentioned this in my statement because the only thing thatr the rater is waiting for is a determination on how the alcohol use disorder and MH diagnosis could be related or if they are seperate. I wanted to point out in my VA notes where it has already been determined less than 12 months ago that these were seperate issues and even more important how my current MH provider. whom I see on a regular basis, has a diagnosis of Alcohol disorder in full sustained remission( been sober for over 4 years) I may have not been very clear in my post, but I guess I am wondering how long a financial hardship expedited case takes on average if they have everything to adjudicate other claimed issues and only waiting for an addendum and what further I can do on my end to be proactive to get this claim decided. I submitted a lot of evidence with the original claim in January that was in my record all underlined and in chronological order that I figured would save the rater time based on the fact that it all has been deemed service connected for the most part, and if not, has a nexus as secondary. I have a legitamite claim with their examiners concurring and because one examiner has conflicting remarks in his exam, I am waiting over 2 months for him to get back to the rater with clarification.,
  2. Question: Does anyone know the typical time frame for the following situation and is there anything additional I can do on my behalf? Background: Have a claim I filed a FULLY DEVELOPED CLAIM in January with intent to file going back to last July with 90+ pages of evidence in organized chronological order and most items claimed are already service connected from September of last year with total of 90%. I did ask for permanent status if scheduler percentage is 100% or asked for TDIU consideration if for some crazy reason not able to obtain the final 10% needed. Have completed 6 C&P exams with one addressing 5 different claimed issues and the last of these being at the beginning of March. Claim went to preparation of decision Mid-March only to go back to gathering of evidence and has been sitting there since, but waiting for a follow up opinion from a doctor that seems to have it on the back burner because it's been since April 10th that the original clarification request was submitted. The clarification is about alcohol use disorder that has already been determined to not be a factor in my claims from last year. I have also been documented many times to be sober for over 4 years now. My exams already completed were favorable for sleep apnea with device and one physicians opinion Total Occupational and Social Impairment as well as favorable on a few other issues. Part of my claim is for temporary total disability due to service-connected surgery March 3 and continued need for walking boot and crutches after complications and unable to work due to all issues combined. Per 38 CFR regs, I qualify without a doubt and everything is in my VA record. I am in a bad spot financially with cut off notices and on verge of eviction possible next month. My claim should come with an increase to scheduler 100% and SMC-S based on all evidence, favorable exams, and current percentage, but in the meantime I'm gasping for air to survive. I submitted another 40 pages this past Thursday with the following statement for a financial hardship and VA Form 21-8049: I request the Veterans Administration to expedite the above referenced claim due to financial hardship that was refereed to in my original claim statement I submitted along with my claim in January. I have been unemployed due to my service connected conditions since January and my wife is unable to work due to having to take care of our 3 children, ages 11, 7, and 9 months old, and taking me to my appointments as well as ensuring that I remember to take my medication daily and remember my doctor appointments. I have exhausted all avenues of income, savings and credit with negative balance in my bank account and am currently in arrears on almost all my bills including cancellation notices for utilities and have been given notice to either pay or face eviction by the end of this month for our living situation. I am currently receiving what little assistance that is available and am submitting proof of that along with this letter. I also and submitting the cut off notices from my utility companies and letter from my landlord. I understand that there is a process of adjudication of claims and that I am not the only veteran who has a claim waiting. I ask that at the very least the Temporary Total Disability claim be adjudicated as I have had surgery on a service connected disability with continued immobilization of a major joint -right foot/ankle- immobilized with removable walking cast/ cam boot since February 17, 2017 with surgery March 03, 2017. I am submitting the evidence documenting this and due to complications, the physician is suggesting a second surgical procedure on the same foot prior to moving on to my left foot. I ask that consideration be made to the outstanding medical opinion request as to the establishment of alcohol use disorder being a separate condition from my mental health issues that was determined by claims examiner Dr. Rudra Prakash 0n 06/02/2016 which was a factor in adjudication of claim filed last year. The opinion on record of Dr. Prakash is as follows: Alcohol Use Disorder is a stand alone disorder - not secondary to another disease. Adjustment Disorder in this case is at least as likely as not proximately due to or a result of Vet's service connected ORIF of Frontal Sinus Fracture/TBI. RATIONALE: Vet sustained Frontal Sinus Fracture in service and that was a major stressor. He underwent ORIF and has service connected disability due to it. Vet continues to have depressive and anxiety symptoms stemming from the stressor and its medical sequelae (pain). /es/ RUDRA PRAKASH Psychiatrist Signed: 06/02/2016 14:09 I have been abstinent from alcohol for four years and have a diagnosis from my mental health provider, Dr. Michael Franklin, whom I see regularly as follows: Diagnosis alcohol use dx in full sustained remission chronic adjustment dx with mixed mood adhd (diagnosed in military after head injury) mdd moderate I would appreciate immediate consideration to this request as my financial situation is dire and my family is in desperate need of financial stability as we face the very real risk of homelessness in the very near future.
  3. Oldtimer, where did you send ROI for your exam to? And did you use a specific template or just a generic FOIA letter? I am needing mine as well and cannot seem to get a straight answer from any of the involved parties (Dr office, QTC, VA, DAV). Each one states I need to ask the other how to get the results. Any help would be appreciated.
  4. So I have a HUGE problem! It is documented in my Military records and am being SC for a surgical reconstruction of my Frontal sinus portion of my skull. However, I was never rated or even thought about it until here recently, looking at the actual injury that caused the fracture(head injury/ skull fracture) that occurred 15 years ago. I basically did not recognize any of the issues (insomnia, depression, anxiety, memory issues, difficulty concentrating) or masked them through alcohol and substance abuse( which use of these did not start until after the injury) until sobering up over the last 2 1/2 years. However, after many therapy sessions my therapist, whom is not an MD, he is confident that all these underlying issues are the perfect example of residuals from the head injury. I do not recall the hospital at Ft. Campbell doing a TBI eval, or being diagnosed with TBI, I think mainly because it was in 2000 and TBI was not at the moment an issue. My psych put in a consult recently for TBI eval, which the MD that received consult denied, stating that because A)the injury was prior to November 2001, B) I did not report symptoms (to VA) until 2008 or later, and C) not combat related, I do not qualify for a TBI screening. He also requests records from outside physicians and will reassess after seeing those. I did see outside physicians for a few years after getting out due to having private insurance and it was so much more convenient than driving 1 1/2 hours one way. I also had some issues that I saw those physicians for that fall in the symptom categories listed above. However, after spending the last 2 days calling these different physician offices, I find out that either the records have been destroyed because they only keep them for so long, or I am not in their system at all. I don't know where to go with this from here. Anyone else had a similar situation? And if so, what did you do to get the situation looked at? I have an intent to file for the head injury and residuals, but do not want to file until I have all my ducks in a row( lesson learned the hard way).
  5. This may be a little long so please bare with me. Background info: In Army from 1998-2001. Had a head injury that resulted in a fracture of my frontal sinus with surgical repair including reconstruction and plate and screws. The injury was the result of a fall off a humvee while setting up antenna in november 2000 (non-combat related). I do not recall whether I was completely knocked unconscious or not. I know that I had a huge gooseegg and very bad headache, but didn't seek medical attention until the following morning after waking up with blood on my pillow from my nosebleed. Once again had surgery next day for this injury. During this time I was also being treated for Bilateral plantar fascitis and was recommended a medical honorable discharge and went through that process as many know. Received severance pay and 10% rating on the plantar fascitis but 0% on the surgical repair of the fracture. I was a young 21 year old and had no idea what was ahead of me in life, but the fact I received 8k severance was all I thought about at the time. Fast forward to the last few years: I began drinking heavily after discharge, using drugs, and abusing pain medication. Lost 1 marriage, on my 4th actual career due to inabilty to maintain employment including 10-15 different jobs in the interim, been to inpatient alcohol treatment, and finally sobered up 2 1/2 years ago by using a 12 step program . Then came the feelings, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating (actually have had this one all along), suicidal thoughts, as well as emotional breakdowns with anger and nightmars resulting in panic attakcs. I almost lost my current marriage because of it. My wife pushed me to seek proffessional help and thats when I began this journey up to this point. I have been advised by a fellow veteran to look at the link between the head injury and my path afterw] the military. So I put in a claim myself without any guidance from a VSO(mistake probably) and have been going through the process since January. I have continued to see MH including Phsychiatrist along with PTSD eval. No one has come out and specificifically told me I have PTSD, however, after looking through my medical records over the last 8 months, it is mentioned mild PTSD by the phsychiatrist as well as my primary care doc. My regular therapist lists my problems as Major Depression Disorder, recurring and generalized anxiety. I also have had diagnosis previously in 2012 of insomnia, anxiey, and depression. The following is what I put in as my claim: · 01/05/2016 (Compensation) · Estimated Completion: 05/15/2016 - 06/18/2016 The time it takes to complete you claim depends on factors like the type of claim and the type of disability claimed. The estimated dates are based on a statistical analysis of historical processing times for similar claims. Some things you should know: · Historical data may not accurately predict current conditions. Your claim may take longer. · Dates may change as the statistical analysis is updated. · Some claims will take longer than the range of dates given as they are based on an average. Submitting the supporting documentation that has been requested quickly and electronically is the surest way to get your claim decided as quickly as possible. · Disabilities Claimed: PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) to include alcohol abuse and Depression (Secondary), headaches (Secondary), open reduction internal fixation of frontal sinus fracture (Increase) · Current Status: Preparation for Decision I had my c&P done for PTSD, mental health and also for the headaches. The PTSD eval was quite surprising to me, as I was very anxious and nervous from all I read. I waited an hour to get in to see the examiner. The exam took a total of 7-10 minutes. He asked where I grew up, What branch of military, and reviewed symptoms he saw in my record. That was it.... I figured since he basically reviewed and recited the symptoms he saw in my medical files and said ok we are done, that it went well but then I got the results and have attached them here as well as the last psych report and problem list. The issue I have is the fact that he has stated no response provide to most of the questions, along with no official opinion at the end, as well as stating the following : It is difficult if not impossible differentiate what portion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnoses. There is a high degree of overlap and comorbidity between the disorders. My C&P for the headaches appears to have been more in depth and looks like there should be an increase there. Can someone with experience please review this and tell me what you think I will receive if anything as well as suggestions of what path of action I should take if denied for the mental portion of this? I did file the claim without really doing my foot work as well as a pretty weak statement (my opinion since researching on this site as well as other sites). I know I haven't sacrificed as much as most disabled veterans, but I was injured while in service, as well as signed up to fight for our country and feel my physical, emotional, and mental health issues stem from this pretty serious injury I sustained while serving. God bless and God Speed! C&P Exam and notes.docx