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About Scottish_Knight

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  1. Good morning BroncoVet, thank you for the response and compliment. I believe I uploaded a copy of my CUE claim within this thread. Perhaps somewhere around page 22. Can't recall. I asked Berta at the time to give it a wee glance before I send it. I wouldn't say I have considerable VA law knowledge. Far from it. I was a CID special agent (akin to NCIS - only better! ) so I have practical experience of applying law to situations. To be honest, I was not expecting to win my first attempt at the CUE claim, but it worked. I did some reviewing last night of my various VA folders and see also that I was not enrolled in the FMP (Foreign Medical Programme) back in 2017. I might well have been a combination of no enrollment and a zero rating. Regardless, I would like to re-submit the claim to a higher level. How does one re-submit to a higher level reviewer or decision maker? Is there a trick to that or a different means to send the re-submitted claim? On the TDIU you suggested. I am quite happy with my 90%. Without getting to lengthy.... Initially, I had 20%. The CUE increased it to 70%. I then made a claim about PTSD and hearing loss, which raised it to 90%. I own my own business here in Germany and whilst the Germans care nothing about my VA disability, the 90% suits my needs. I'm 60 and enjoy my work too much. Thoughts on the higher level claim?
  2. Right then, have a question and it does pertain to the matter I began years ago on Hadit. Before winning my CUE claim (2021) and being granted an actual disability rating above 0%, I had a surgery to my leg that dealt directly with my SC injury in 2017. I paid 6000€ for this and submitted a claim to the VA. I was denied - no surprise there. I rang the VA and was told that since my SC injury was rated at 0%, they saw no reason to reimburse for the surgery. This year I submitted the claim again with a letter explaining the circumstances - mostly dealing with the CUE. Moreover, had the VA properly recognised the injury and applied a proper rating decision in 2009, the surgery would have been reimbursed in 2017. No surprise.... this too was denied. Reason? Not submitted in a timely manner. Aye, but mitigating circumstances. Is there a means to have someone with experience at the VA (higher up) take a wee look at this? Is it worth re-submitting , yet again, to the VA? Can one request a supervisor review a claim? Cheers!
  3. Response from the FMP.... only took 9 days to answer. While not what I was hoping for, at least it's a response from the normally unresponsive. 'Hello, I'm afraid our program is only able to make payment by treasury check, we do not have a direct deposit option at this time, nor do we believe that capability will be added in the near future. Thank you, XXXXXXX VA Foreign Medical Program'
  4. Good morning all, am unsure if this forum is the right place to ask this, but will give it a go. I've googled FMP forum and there are none. I've attempted to ring the FMP several times this week..... Tues, Wed & Thursday. Each time, after 45 minutes of waiting in the queue listening to 1940s big band swing music, I gave in. The FMP have two phone numbers and I've tried them both. Last year I submitted a claim to the FMP and was reimbursed by cheque from the US Treasury. Not an absolute show-stopper, but a right pain. Cheques have become a thing of the past in Germany and banks are loathed to take them. They will, but they are held for about 10 days and I pay a fee for this. The form for the FMP claim is VA Form 10-7959f-2. There is nothing on the form regarding reimbursement options, i.e., direct deposit or cheque. I did find it odd that although my monthly disability pay is directly deposited into a US bank (won't / can't deposit overseas, although DFAS can) account that I maintain, I was sent a cheque. Does anyone know of a means to have FMP claim reimbursement done by direct deposit? Thanks in advance.
  5. Good morning, need some help knowing the direction to go. As some might recall, I submitted a CUE claim back in 2020 and was successful. As a side to this, The VA scheduled a CP for mental health, which was awarded 70% disability. The mental health examiner stated in her assessment, that the diagnosis was directly connected to my disability (CUE) that the VA originally awarded me with a 0% in 2009 and increased to 60% in 2020 along with retro-pay. The effective date of the mental health disability was 2021. I have since being seeing another mental health professional on this matter and she not only agrees with the previous psych eval, but has also provided a statement stating the eval should have been done with I was AD or at my retirement CP exam or both. 38 CFR, §4.42, states in part, 'When possible, this should include complete neurological and psychiatric examination, and other special examinations indicated by the physical condition, in addition to the required general and orthopedic or surgical examinations.' This was not done. Also, words like 'should' are dangerous in regulatory guidance. I feel the VA failed to have a mental health exam scheduled for me back in 2009 and I have sufficient evidence to prove the diagnosis is older than 2021. Would this be a CUE or some other type of claim? Thanks in advance.
  6. What I wrote has FA to do with a claim! Here is the email: Hello, We’re contacting you from the EVSS Service Desk in regards to an issue you experienced using the VA.gov website in Case # 08473332. Several data errors in your account were discovered and corrected, therefore we believe the issue is resolved and ask if you could please reattempt. If you continue to experience this issue, or if you have any further questions, you can reply to us directly at Do not post your email address.. Again, is EVSSHELPDESK a part of the VA? Respectfully, Veterans Benefits Administration The Insignia Team, EVSS
  7. Right then, I just received a rather odd email from EVSSHELPDESK. The email claims errors were found on my VA account and they corrected them. I am requested to verify the corrections. I have never heard of this 'help desk' and never discovered errors. I googled this EVSS help desk and the only thing I found was on a website called GitHub. It seems of a phishing scam. What say you lot? Is this legit or not? Cheers!
  8. Right then, A few weeks back, I received a letter from Tricare about 'Open Season'. I went online and read about various things, one of which was finally getting a dental insurance. Finally! I enrolled, but have yet to choose a carrier as I need to read more on coverage. Mainly, in-network versus outside-network. Living in Europe and in the middle of nowhere, outside-network is most like my path. It did get me to thinking. Don't you lot in the US get free dental? Seems I'm going to pay roughly 50 USD per month. Not a massive amount, but still 600 USD per year. That is merely the base costs to be covered. There will be additional costs depending upon what is done to my teeth. I also received a letter from Tricare this week about my health insurance for next year -> 14.33 USD per month. Very inexpensive, but still. I pay for near anything done short of surgeries and in that case I still pay a huge amount before Tricare or even the VA pick up anything. Again, gears turning. I recall all too well the 'free' benefits I was told about when I joined the military back in the 1980s that would continue after I retired. Well, things do change and the last time I looked there are approximately 18M retired US military personnel. That's a huge cost to the American tax payer. Huge indeed! However, it seems that you lot in the US still get some freebies and additionals that those of us outside simply do not. 1. Low interest home loans. Understandably, I cannot get a home loan here. 2. Small business loan. Aye, anything involving banks just isn't going to happen outside the USA. 3. COLA. You get this in the US. Those of us outside do not. It would be too complicated to calculate inflation rates for each and every country. A non-starter. 4. Health, dental, eye insurances. What do you pay in the USA if anything? Keep in mind there is no VA hospital here and the nearest US military medical clinic for me is a very long drive away. 5. Commissary & PX / BX. Unless things have changed, you can use these in the US, but we cannot. Well, I could use the PX but it's a paperwork nightmare that makes it terribly inconvenient, having to deal with the German customs office to pay tax on each item, plus the travel expense. Other benefits I am unaware of? I am very content in getting my retirement and disability and am grateful for those. It was my choice to stay here. I was born in Scotland, but American by choice. I despise the term 'ex-pat'.... ex patriot...I am most definitely not! I have children here and no family in the US. Never did. I served the country well and with distinction and am now treated like a third class citizen due to my residence. Not complaining. It is what it is. But I do feel that the benefits offered to veterans who reside outside the US is a wee slap in the face. So, again, what benefits do you receive in the US that I failed to list above?
  9. @broncovet, not to contradict, but CCK, whom I follow to a wee degree has submitted a writ to the Court. Don't know if it won it's argument, but as understand things have begun to change. From the verbal statement, it does sound like a Mandamus Writ. See here: CCK Writ
  10. Well this was odd indeed. I wrote what I felt was a good explanation of VA disability compensation and added words in order to define it in comparison to the German system. My tax advisor read it and felt it would suffice the German tax office. I then contacted the VA by phone. This time I was informed that the VA had no letter to support my situation. I informed the woman at the VA what I wrote and read it to her. She found it well written and offered to send me a blank VA document per email with the VA letter head and suggested I merely 'cut and paste'. How odd is that! I did so, and off it went last week. It will take a few weeks before I hear back. But I still find this unusual from the VA. Cut and paste? Truly? Cheers!
  11. @pacmanx1, helpful information mate. Truly. However, my tax advisor is German.... hence I live in Germany. This is unknown to them here. The German tax office give not one F over the IRS. The Germans feel if my disability is permanent (of which none are) then it's considered lifetime and not taxed. They then believe that since my disabilities are not permanent, then it's considered limited and turned off when I am 63 (retirement age here), which is not the case. Hence it's taxable. A right pain sometimes here. VA disability compensation is more...well, fluid. It can change. Increase or decrease and could be for life and could reach 0% in a years time. Trying to explain this is not going well.
  12. Right then, last year I won my CUE claim with the help of many here and I received a nice amount of retro pay. Well, I did my German taxes earlier this year and needless to say, that Retro Pay got some attention. In the past, I claimed my retirement and disability and it went smoothly. These are not taxed here in Germany, but I simply need to report the income. Seems someone at the German Tax Office (Finanzamt) didn't understand the treaty between the USA and Germany, so I was sent a bill for 11000 Euros! I've had to hire a tax expert and this has actually become work. One of the things I need and cannot find is an explanation on the disability compensation system. Germany recognises military injuries and illnesses much like the Americans. Their's go two ways. One is for life and the other is term or limited until retirement age. The US type is different and more fluid, so to say. It can change or the disability rating can change, as we all know. But I can find nothing that clarifies how the disability compensation works. I need something official with a letter from the VA or DoD or similar. Does anyone know of such a website or document that can clarify how this maddening system works? For the Germans, limited is seen as an income and is taxed, whereas life is non-taxed. Our is basically a lifetime compensation, but it can change at any time through an examination. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
  13. To use your wee phrase..... just curious..... where do you plan to relocate? Taxes aside there are other issues you might need to think on. Health insurance for one. Germany recognises Tricare. This for me is massive. Otherwise I'd pay roughly 750€ per month on health insurance. A driving license is another. Are you planning on the EU or someplace else?
  14. @blahsaysme2u, one of my favourite topics. First, it's going to heavily depend on which country you live, but most like no. Most would have difficulties justifying levying a tax on disability payments. Germany where I live only wants to see the taxable income from my 1099. They care FA about VA pay and they don't tax my retirement pay. Only my income here. Now secondly, you will need to file returns with the IRS regardless of where you live. The USA is one of only three countries, aye, three(!) that expect expats to declare their income. Eritrea is one of the others. No other country demands this. We do, though have a tax credit on earned income of up to ca. $70k. But the need to even pay tax to a country one does not live in.... near on thievery. The US Government claims its all about the passport and capital gains. Rubbish!
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