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Second Class Petty Officers
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Richard1954 last won the day on August 23

Richard1954 had the most liked content!

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20 Excellent

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About Richard1954

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class

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  • Military Rank
    SFC Retired

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service

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  1. Thanks for the responses, I had figured that I would remain at 0%... examiner told me to have my hearing aids reprogrammed .... but for me I feel the hearing aids are just an added hassle ... I know all the tricks to hearing better and most don't work. Hearing loss was initially diagnosed in 2005 when I got my first set of hearing aids. I guess what really gets me is normal hearing is at 50 DB and they jack up the word recognition to 80 DB just to rate me at 100% word recognition. I think the system is rigged so that it is almost impossible to get a rating but still they recommend hearing aids. Factually, based on the numbers I have a Severe hearing loss. I suspect many veterans are in the same boat as me. What really sucks is the lack of standards when testing, you have to wear your glasses to decide on a rating for loss of sight, but when it comes to hearing you can't wear hearing aids to decide the rating. What ever became of congress's recommendation that if you wear hearing aids you should get a 10% rating no matter what. I don't even bother wearing the hearing aids anymore, get new aid every 5 years, I just toss them in a drawer until 5 years have gone by and they issue new aids, and the cycle starts all over again. At this point in my life I don't care if I can hear someone or not...... I just stick to myself makes life much easier.
  2. I had a new hearing test conducted at Fort Hood today, the results are as followed: 250 500 1000 1500 2000 3000 4000 6000 8000 L. 20 30 35 45 50 75 70 55 50 R 20 30 40 50 80 80 75 55 55 Word recognition 100% at 80 DB .. it was explained to me that 50 DB is normal hearing level for most people , in my case DB level was increased until I could hear and understand all the words ???? So what the heck is this test really saying ? Even though its worse that my last test 4 years ago it still equals 0% rating... right?
  3. I don't remember so I'll ask were you in the reserves, I ask because no one I know unless they were not in the active service had to wait to get their retirement. I received my retirement check the first month after retirement. For many years, 22 to be exact I took my VA compensation over my retirement because it just made things easier. Now I receive both combat related compensation and my va check and pay no taxes on either.... but for years like many retirees I did not get a retirement check instead taking va comp.
  4. Lets just agree to disagree.. I have used military Commissary's and Post Exchanges all my life..( yes as a teenager Army brat to my now 64 years of age) Over the years things have changed, but one truth is that the Commissary was more often than not the better place to shop. In 2002 I was using the Fort Bragg Commissary, which is one of the largest in the system , the selection was great, and the prices were as stated before almost always better than outside the gate. Now we use Fort Hood, and while we see fluctuation in cost of different items, the overall cost are always less then the local Walmart or Sam's. Heck, I still get my hair cuts on Post at $10.25 just because I know when I walk in what to expect, and I buy all my appliances on post with a big savings considering no taxes and sales, they can save you a lot of money. At one time AAFES had their own repair faculties which cost less, now Firestone is on base and the cost are no better than the local off base Firestone. But Overall you will get a better deal each and ever time at the commissary. I don't know how anyone could save if they are driving 183 miles to get to a commissary, as I said, we live in a GI town just to use the benefits. As to the Post Exchanges unless you are making a large purchase its doubtful you will actually save, most items are brand name, and the selections are few, for example Sam's or Best Buy offer better savings on a computer than the Post Exchange... Clothing forget it, unless we were in Germany we never bought clothing at the Post Exchange.
  5. Tricare medical benefits is not subject to any offset .. when used with Medicare all of your medical cost are paid and there are never any out of pocket expenses.
  6. I don't think it is 7% that really sounds high. I think its actually 3-5 percent, ( but I don't have a receipt to look at now) But it is called a surcharge. The surcharge is in place only for non-food items. It is to help offset the cost of bags, and other items. The fact is the Commissary is not in place to make money. It receives taxpayer funds to help offset the losses.
  7. That simply is not true. As a retiree, I have used these benefits for years, in fact the commissary and Medical benefits are the only reason I chose to live in a "GI" town. The greatest benefit to the commissary, is the cost of meats, and many brand name items. My wife actually tracks the cost of the commissary vrs the local WalMart, and Sam's in many not all but the majority of the time the Commissary offers the greatest savings, then next Sam's club. Every time an item cost less at the commissary, my wife will put the savings in a jar, and at the end of the year we have had as much as $900 to spend at Christmas.
  8. No only those with a 100% rating will be granted the privilege... Over the years I have argued against this because it is one of my earned retirement benefits.
  9. I have been retired for 32 years in all this time I have never used space A. First I hate to fly, bit more important I just wound't want to fly on a noisy, cold and uncomfortable military plane. Now with the US being at war for almost 20 years, the longest war in history it is almost impossible for a retiree to use the privilege anyway. I live near Fort Hood, and to my knowledge anyone with an Id card can use the Gyms, I have never heard of a gym being reserved for active duty only.
  10. You have to have a Military ID just to get on base, and the ID card will indicate if the benefit is authorized or not.
  11. On August 13, 2018, the president signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. Although the NDAA is primarily a legislative vehicle for the Department of Defense (DoD), it contains several provisions that pertain to service disabled veterans and their families. Space-available travel on DoD aircraft for veterans with service-connected disabilities rated as permanent and total. Veterans who are service-connected permanent and total are eligible to fly on military aircraft, space permitting. This provision can be found under Section 624 of the NDAA Extension of certain morale, welfare, and recreation privileges to certain veterans and their caregivers. Beginning in January 2020, service-connected disabled veterans and their caregivers will be eligible to use base commissary stores and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities. This provision can be located under section 621
  12. I am presently rated 60% for herniated disc at the L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1 level. I also have degenerative disc disease in my neck, and I have sciatic nerve impingement that was verified thru a nerve conductive studies . In addition, I have drop foot. I was given a 60% rating in May 1999, and a K award for the drop foot. If I thought I could still get a 60% rating and get a separate rating for the drop foot, and sciatica nerve impingement I would request to reopen the claim... But under the newest rules a 60% rating requires bed rest on order of the doctors for 6 weeks or more in the last year which is considered to be a rating under incapacitating episodes . First doctors almost never give bed rest for degenerative disc disease, so to get a rating at 60% would almost be impossible, The most I could hope to get based on the general rating formula under flexion or extension,the ratings are such that I doubt I would even get 40%, and while they go to 50 and then 100%, the back has to be frozen in a specific limit of flexion. My back is not frozen, and I can still bend as much as the next guy. My problem is that 3 or 4 times a year the muscles in my back go into spasm and caused me to bend at the waste with terrible pain. The cervical spine is rated separately, but I can already reach 100% three different ways, so I never requested service connection for my neck. As to the drop foot , the most I would get would be 20%. I am much better off with the current 60% as it encompassed all the damages to my nerves and muscles, and I get the K award for the drop foot which is about $100 month. The ratings were changed a while back.. and in my opinion they were changed to make it almost impossible to get a high rating. As someone said you can get bilateral factors for each leg involved. The point I was trying to make is that under the current rating schedule . it's impossible to receive a high rating. which is either 50% or 100% for a frozen spine.... In your case you get a lot of smaller ratings, which for combining purposes actual suck especially if your trying to get housebound or Aid and attendance. My opinion is that you should get an independent medical opinion, do not go to a va c/p exam and let a va paid doctor determine your rating, The problem with c/p exams is that they almost never see you at your worse, and because they don't see how bad the disability affects you, you get a low ball rating.
  13. Richard1954


    I also can tell you that the VA plays games when it comes to your C/P hearing test. In my case I had a hearing test that clearly shows my right ear should be service connected for 10%.. When I request an increase from 0 to 10% the va required me to do another C&P exam within 6 weeks of the last test... The examiner doing the c&P increased the DB's during the word test,,, and I was denied a n increase rating...( it is on appeal after receiving two more test one a private test, and one from fort Hood..). When I asked the girl at the VA why the two va test were conducted with different standards and she said the va always raises the DB's when doing a c/p exam... My appeal argues that all VA hearing test regardless of why they were required should be administered the same exact way.
  14. Richard1954

    Claimed Denied

    I don't want to be dismissive of anyone's claims either.. but I have my doubts about getting service connect just because you were waiting for deployment to a combat zone. If this were actually true I would think more veterans would be rated for PTSD , and this is one reason I have never heard anyone claim. But I learn something new everyday. As to your service in Korea.. I was in Korea 1971- 1973... I was at Camp Hovey rotating to the DMZ... I could understand someone getting PTSD if they served on the Z....but just waiting in Korea for you buddies to come back from combat.. I have a little trouble understanding that... I also had the unfortunate duty to be assigned to Fort Sill in 1973 and I was in the Honor Guard of the 1/31 Infantry detailed as the Head pall bearer for military funerals all over Oklahoma, Missouri, and even some in Texas.. talk about depressing... Now mind you the bodies were already prepared for burial and we did not see them unless they were open casket and ready to be buried.. but even this can wear on a body and from what I know of, the detail I was NCOIC of .. not one of my guys claimed any mental problems... and we were doing 8-10 funerals a week.... at one point. Maybe you can see why the VA would question your claim.,..I actually have a hard time understanding it also.... Heck I was in a serious Jeep accident knocked out for 3.5 days.. ended up with TBI, Neck , back and eye issues...I never wanted to ride in another Jeep but I didn't have any mental issues... It could be argued I had a case of PTSD but I never made such a claim..... And as had been stated unless you were in Combat, or even had a rape.. the VA is going to look long and hard at your claims...
  15. Richard1954

    Success well it has survived the BVA

    Well I received my letter... flat out denials for both the Housebound claim and the eyes damages.... Bradley v Peak is not retroactive unless claim for Housebound was in the system when Bradley v peak was decided. Entitlement is determined based on date of claim and can not be based on CUE. (I already have A&A... from a later date). Claim on eye damage denied because the rating schedule does not allow separate ratings for intermittent loss of sight under old rating schedule ( which was changed in May 2018) under new schedule an award can be won but I will have to wait one year to qualify for the 60% rating because I must have at least 7 or more treatments in the next 12 months..... Remanded -- two issues that had no business being at the BVA because I had requested DeNovo reviews and had not received them yet.. the two issues remained for SOC's which neither helps me or hurts me....as I though I was waiting on de novo's and they have to be decided before a SOC is generated. In other words the va screwed up and should never have sent the two claims to the BVA as they were not ripe for review.

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