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Everything posted by vetquest

  1. SMR's are service medical records and STR's are service treatment records, basically the same thing.
  2. I would reopen your first claim, especially if your doctor is willing to state that is at least likely as not that your sleep apnea is service connected. Your first test may have been inconclusive but your second was positive. You should be able to reopen the first denial with new and material evidence. No, I do not believe your evidence is thin.
  3. @uniccco, do not let this concern you. I have an entry on ebenefits that says tinnitus not service connected and another entry that says tinnitus service connected. I believe it is just sloppy record keeping.
  4. @Spidey, for my C&P's, yes they did two in two months, the doctors did not allow my wife to attend the appointment. I asked and was refused. What I really hate is when a VA doctor, yes they were VA doctors, does a very unfavorable exam and then thanks you for your service. It is like a slap in the face. I have had some of the same problems that you have had. I have neuropathy and the VA just does not get it. I knew I had neuropathy long before it was diagnosed because I was losing feeling in my hands. It now shows up on the EMG/ENT and the loss of reflexes.
  5. I believe it is a great letter, get it sent off. If you have a VSO have them fax it and get the confirmation sheet. Otherwise do as Buck52 suggested.
  6. I told a woman she was eligible for a ALS DIC claim because her husband was prior military. She filed her claim and was more information was requested because the VA claims they were separated at the time of his death. She submitted a state notarized document that they were living together at the time of his death and she was his caregiver. She called me yesterday because she was denied, for being separated at the time of his death. These raters are not reading the evidence.
  7. Not actually. You can request a civilian doctor to fill out a DBQ but normally the VA will have one done at a C&P.
  8. You must have STR's for the condition, continuing care for the condition and a nexus that says it is at least as likely as not that the condition is related to your service. This is why they send you to C&P's to determine if you are in fact suffering a service disability. Sometimes these C&P's go well and sometimes they do not and we need to get an IMO from a civilian doctor to fight the VA with. I had little hope the VA would ever rate me at 100%. I got there by applying and fighting the VA when they denied me the first and second time. I won at the BVA the third time there. Sometimes these cases take years to decide and you will wait to get a fair hearing. Other times they will be awarded right up front. Do not be afraid of rejection at the RO and DRO level. Claims that are obvious get denied and you have to go to the BVA. A veteran fighting the VA must get past rejection, there never is failure unless you let the VA win.
  9. Good luck with getting that compensation, you should get it approved. That is a nasty scar, have you considered filing for a painful scar?
  10. Do not worry about an IMO right now. Get your condition rated and if it is under rated or not rated as SC then get an IMO and request to go directly to the BVA. A strong IMO with a BVA request is a winner, they have evidence of your condition and your appeal and might award at the BVA instead of sending you back to the RO. Request a copy of your medical records and a copy of your cfile before going to the BVA.
  11. @Richard1954, you are correct in this assumption. I have this exact rating. TDIU for a single condition and a 60% disability but also 100% scheduler.
  12. Great advice from Broncovet. Wait for the letter read it carefully and then file your NOD.
  13. vetquest

    Diabetes 2

    The VA says weight gain is not a disability even if your disability lessens the ability for you to be active. Believe me, if they did I would be first in line. You can try but do not be surprised if they deny.
  14. Everyone is right. Normally it is five years but it could be one year to three years depending on what the rater said about your condition. You might not get called back at all. It all depends on the VA and the raters.
  15. Did you miss the exam or was it never conducted? Missing an exam is cause for denial. If there was no exam request one from the VA immediately once you get your letter, or call the VA C&P providers and request one. You can call the nearest VA hospital and request to speak to the C&P examination schedulers. If you missed the exam I believe you need to file a new claim. I could be wrong on that but @Buck52or @broncovet will correct me.
  16. Sounds like it has everything you need except your doctor's credentials. This is important, it gives credibility to the letter.
  17. You need to file your claim within 365 days of the intent to file. The C&P's and decision take place after you file so they are not included in the 365 days.
  18. Spidey, I empathize with you. I left VA care when they stopped "habit forming" medications. My civilian doctor started me on opioids at the lowest dose possible and told me I would get addicted but I would be taking them for life. I do not know what the VA is doing but they are doing it wrong. Have you considered writing your congressman or senator? A good well reasoned letter might be what you need, if the VA gets their back up so be it. You are not there to please the VA. Good luck and Godspeed.
  19. As berta says be honest with the doctors. A PTSD C&P can be very stressful but do not be afraid to show emotions during the exam, some many try to put on a tough exterior but this only hurts you. The doctors can spot someone who is faking but they might miss the point if you tell them everything is great. It is not great or you would not be there. The doctor may ask some pretty personal questions but do not get angry or upset with them and do not raise your voice, this only hurts you. Their job is to get personal. I do not know what else to say, you will do fine if you are 100% honest.
  20. @buck52 Fortunately I have Tricare. It costs money for appointments and medications but I believe it is worth it. I would love to use the VA but they do not administer some of the medications I use and I have had some really bad experiences with VA doctors. I truly feel for you guys who have to use the VA for everything. It seems you have to fight for care at the VA and then they treat you like they are doing you a favor to treat you. I have had one doctor that treated me really well but he was let go. I have had really bad experiences with neurologists at the VA. These are the doctors that can make my day but when they do not care or are not up to snuff they can really mess up your day because of some of the powerful medications they use.
  21. This was proposed to reduce veterans benefits this year as in many other years but as kanewnut stated it was dumped. It will appear again next year.
  22. It is annoying and the bain of every veteran seeking disability. The VA takes too long to make a decision in our cases. My case for IU took 10 years and now I am appealing an EED. Get a hobby and forget about your case for a while is the best advice I can give. The VA forgets about our cases for years.
  23. Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. Do not think of the 20% you will lose, think of the 80% you will gain. I was in a situation where the VA was not going by 38 USC in their decisions. I opted for a lawyer because he had access to the BVA that I did not. He also filed a successful writ of mandamus when the VA was not handling my case in an expeditious manner. Sometimes lawyers are good for something and I think that lawyers that represent vets as a whole are definitely doing a service to veterans.
  24. I think what he is talking about is using the HLR to keep his case current. Once he has the denial he can request a supplemental review after he gets his documentation together. The VA did not appear to think that one trough and he is using the system to keep his ED. Smart move.
  25. I called the VA Whitehouse hotline about my VBMS access being too high for my VSO to access it. It has been thirty days and when I called back they said they would contact me soon. No luck yet.
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