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Galen Rogers

First Class Petty Officer
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Everything posted by Galen Rogers

  1. Good news. Apparently the audit is done. I just received the remaining retro-active pay. Glad their calculators work.
  2. Howdy, Here's an update on the insurance. I applied and VA denied. Said I was not healthy enough. They based on the fact that I "had" prostate cancer in the past, evidence of too much fat in my blood, and that I had a DVT with pulmonary embolism after a flight returning from the Philippines. They said I can appeal the decision. Still thinking about it. I received radiation treatment for my prostate cancer over two years ago and so far no signs of it returning. None of these items are connected to any of my rated problems. I need to do some research on all of it.Luckily I have a Metlife policy that covers me.
  3. Howdy All, I recently was bumped up to 100% from 90% after most of my NOD was ruled in my favor by the higher level review in the legacy process. So this is definitely not a complaint. The NOD approvals made my effective date 29 Dec 2017. The back pay was supposed to be for around 28 months. Then like 2 weeks later after I received the decision I received retroactive pay. Unfortunately it was only for about 15 months. I submitted an IRIS request about it. So now they are doing an audit. The original claim that I filed the NOD for bumped me from 40% to 90% effective 29 Dec 2017. So they took about six months on that one cause it also affected my military retirement pay. They got that right. The VA rep thinks that who ever submitted the NOD details for retroactive pay saw all of the original stuff and probably made a mistake on the dates. So food for thought, if you are successful and get bumped up that requires retroactive pay double check it. If it's not correct let the VA know. I used the "Retro Pay Calculators" that I found online via Google. Not foolproof but pretty close. I'll post an update when I get one.
  4. My appeal will be at the BVA/Law Judge level. Some folks have said you don't need a lawyer at that level. But my appeal deals with an earlier effective date roughly 10 years in the past. So I feel I need a legal eye to make sure I don't miss anything especially since common sense has no real effect in issues with the VA.
  5. Howdy All, I am considering going with a lawyer to appeal the NOD denial of moving my OSA effective date. I have read the VA allows them to charge between 20% and 33%. By chance is there an average I can expect? Also any recommendations on possible lawyers?
  6. broncovet what life insurance is it. I just looked at eBenefits and the S-VDI is like $0 a month for me. I did not see anything that was listed as free.
  7. The knowledge shared here on HADIT is superb. Thanks to all the folks here like Berta, Broncovet, and Buck52 for the knowledgeable advice that has been provided. The VA low balled me on several issues over the years. And outright denied many of my valid claims. Thanks to the advice and resources provided here I resubmitted valid claims and then submitted a NOD for what they either denied or low balled. The folks here helped me connect to Dr Bash for my NEXUS letters which helped put me over the top and definitely helped me get my sleep apnea granted. I also heard of "ASKNOD" (Alex Graham) here. The biggest thing I learned here is that we are responsible for our own success or failure and to never give up. We have to do our own research and we can't depend on our VSO to do it. So now due to the help from folks here, ASKNOD, and Dr Bash I am rated at 100%.
  8. Howdy all, The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs: a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression. b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and nervousness. c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches. d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches. e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety. f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion. g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness. h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache. j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway open and stop my disruptive snoring. k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches. So could you all take a look and let me know what you think. Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
  9. Howdy All, Mostly good news. My VSO emailed me the SOC. But when she logged into VBMS she also found a rating decision letter. Basically they approved everything on my NODs except the challenged effective date for my OSA. They did not increase my existing 10% rating for each knee due to my meniscus being ruptured in both but they actually added a separate rating for each knee for instability so I effectively got my increase. They even granted my bilateral upper radiculopathy that they originally said I had to file a new claim for. The RO on the decision stated it was in fact a CUE and approved it. The decision letter rates me at 100% now with an effective date of the original claim (29/Dec/2017). So now I have submit my VA Form 10182 and check box 11b so I can submit additional evidence. I will probably hire a lawyer for this one or at least have them take a look. So overall can't really complain. Everyone thanks for the advice and comments.
  10. Thanks broncovet. I spoke to my VSO on Monday morning. She said she would get me a copy and email it to me some time during the day. Unfortunately that did not happen. She had just started working from home so it is possible she might have some technical issues. But an email stating such would have been nice. I really try and always look at things with the "glass half full" attitude. Unfortunately it is really hard to do that when dealing with VSOs. I am on my 4th and they all seem to have the same approach. Make the vet continuously beg for their assistance. I also spoke to VA via their toll free number. They can't email me the letter or tell me what it says. They did say that after 10 days if I have not received it they can fax it to me if I have a fax number. I do but hopefully that won't be necessary.
  11. broncovet I see on the VA.gov website that I have a choice to remain in legacy or move into the AMA process. To move into the AMA I have to submit a VA Form 10182 vice the VA Form 9. Anyway that is the way I read it. Am I correct in this understanding?
  12. broncovet my NODs were in legacy. The statement in VA.gov says I can appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals or I can request a hearing by a VA law judge. It does tell me I have to do it within 60 days. I will definitely do that. Just not sure which way to go with it Board or Law judge. Hopefully you all can shed a little light on that question. As for my VSO until the COVID-19 shutdown she would normally respond with in a week. Unfortunately she did not respond to an email I sent about 2 weeks ago. Not sure if they are actually working or not. I plan to call both her and the VA 1-800 number Monday morning EST. Living here in the Philippines definitely has its pros and cons. Overall cost of living is cheaper. My wife and I own a small house here. She is originally from here. The actual plan was to split our time between here and the states. The lock down sort of screwed that up at present. Labor is dirt cheap here ($10 a day for most day workers). A live in maid costs about $120 a month plus room and board. We love the tropical climate. Since I'm retired Navy I can join the Retired Activities Office and that entitles me to a FPO mail box for regular first class mail and small packages (16 oz or less). There is an actual VA regional office in the US Embassy plus an out patient clinic. They will treat only service connected issue. But that is still better than nothing. There is also a TRICARE authorized provide here at the local University Hospital so we are covered there. The overall cons are the small things we take for granted. You can get a lot of products here that are available in the states but you pay a premium (probably double the cost). Some things you can't get like diet Dr Pepper. Regular Dr Pepper is available but cost about $8.00 a 12 pack. Pepsi, coke, RC, Mt Dew are are bottled over here so costs are the same as over there. Medical and dental costs are much cheaper over here. I could go on for several pages on bothe pros and cons. It's not for everybody. So I appreciate all the advice so far and hopefully additional advice on whether go straight to the Board or a Law judge with my appeal form 9. I will come back and post what I find out about getting an electronic copy of my SOC.
  13. Howdy All, Just checked VA.gov and the VA has issued a Statement of the Case (SOC) on my NODs submitted last June 2019. The boiler plate state is as follows: "The Veterans Benefits Administration sent you a Statement of the Case on April 9, 2020. The Statement of the Case explains the reasons why they couldn’t fully grant your appeal." eBenefits shows no changes in my granted disabilities yet so no idea if anything was granted or not. The problem is that I am in the Philippines and can't get any mail from the US due to the COVID-19 shut down over here. I have my mail sent to my FPO mail box at the Manila RAO but the US Embassy and the RAO are all closed to comply with the shut down. I emailed my VSO (SD state Vet Office) and asked if she could send me an electronic copy via email. Can VSOs down load a copy from the VA's system to do that or would that violate VA rules?
  14. I just received the same email. Seems as if the VA can't decide why they removed them. Also I worked in the Federal government for 15 years. If the new form is approved and authorized by the VA secretary then it can be released for public consumption. They are just BSing us on "it will take a year". If the private C&P contractors can use them but we can't then that makes it easier for VA raters to side with their contractors and deny our claims or give us a reduced rating.
  15. Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles.
  16. Howdy all, I submitted a NOD for several reasons on my last claim decision. One of the items was that they did not grant upper Bilateral Radiculopathy connected to my neck injury that they approved. I did not originally request it on my VA claim form but it was listed on my independent DBQ, medical documents provided, and my NEXUS letter. I specifically notified the VA examiner about it also. The VA just sent me a letter stating that I have to submit a new claim for it since I did not originally claim it. The VA should have asked me during the original claim if I wanted to add it from what my VSO rep has stated. If I submit a new claim it will have an effective date of now instead of 2018. Can anyone provide so insight on this?
  17. That sounds logical. The question I would have about that is if the Sioux Falls office is already looking at it would that not stop it? Would they not then send it to the Manila office to actually review and rule on them?
  18. Howdy All, I'm retired and living in the Philippines now. My legal stateside address is in Sioux Falls, SD. Has anyone on here used or interacted with the VA office in the Embassy in Manila, Philippines? I currently have two legacy NODs in the system. I believe they are being reviewed by the Sioux Falls VA Regional Office but not sure. I figure it will be better to leave them alone and not change my legal address to over here yet until they approve or deny them. So just curious at this point.
  19. Thanks for the info. RAMP supposedly died when the AMA took effect in Feb 2019. The VA's website specifically stated that NODs for decisions before that date are to follow the legacy process. I filed my NODs in June 2019 well after the cutoff date. You are correct in that there is an ongoing debate as to if we actually had a choice of which path to follow. So my NODs are now with the DRO in Sioux Falls. The VA Regional office that provided the original decisions was in the Roanoke, Virginia Regional Office. If I'm lucky I will actually get a fresh look at my claims. Only time will tell. My claim for my OSA to be backdated to when I originally submitted the claim for it in 01/2008 is probably the biggest hurdle. They most likely will just pass the buck and make me appeal it to the BVA. I sent a request for an update via IRIS. I'll post updates as I get them.
  20. Howdy all, Due to my last VA decisions being just prior to the Feb 2019 cut off date I had to file my NOD (notice of disagreement) via the legacy process. I filed it in June 2019 and the VA received it on 10 Jun 2019. They ignored it for about three months or so telling me I used the wrong forms. After several emails, phone calls, with VA personnel they conceded I used the correct forms and sent it to my new regional DRO based on my new address in South Dakota. VA.Gov says it is currently being reviewed. The new screens don't give any estimated completion date now. It does say it will take 10 months to 2 years for them to complete the review. I basically disagreed with the ratings on about 4 items, denial on one item, not rating or even mentioning 2 additional items identified in the exams I provided and was given, and then one service connection effective date. I imagine the legacy NODS are taking the back seat to the new process. Has anyone recently had to follow the legacy process like me and if so have you seen any movement with your NODs?
  21. Howdy all. So we are now going on 4 months since the VA received my NODs and supplemental claims. Calling the 1-800 number has proven useless. Submitting questions via their website has proven useless. They are still not listed on my page in VA.Gov as active appeals or anything. They always say they have them and they are being reviewed and then tell me to contact the VA.Gov help desk. But they don't know how and can't tell me how or connect me with them. So continued BS as usual.
  22. Howdy all. I mailed my NODS in and received receipt confirmation. The VA received my NODs on 10 Jun 2019. I followed the Legacy process due to my decisions being prior to the 19 Feb 2019 cut off date for the new process. I have called the VA a couple times now. The NODs and supplemental claims show up in their system but are still not listed on VA.gov. First they tried to tell me that I filed incorrectly with the wrong forms until i reminded them of the guidance listed on the VA.gov website. They looked it, agreed with me and then added notes to that effect and said the NODs are being looked at. I have asked why they don't show up in VA.gov and they have no clue and send me to the Ebenefits help desk. Of course they state they have no visibility of VA.gov and I need to contact that help desk. I am unable to find any number or other contact info for them. Does anyone have the contact info for the VA.gov help desk?
  23. No I did mean when should I see that I have a claim submitted in the website. I know it will take some time for them to even start reviewing it. Does it go from the national intake center to the Regional RO here in Virginia before it is actually scanned to the website?
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