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About firedog974

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Military Rank
    SGT/ E-5
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Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    USMC & US Army

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  1. I looked t my decision letter very thoroughly, and the key thing they left out was (on the page of applicable laws they based their decision on) the statute for effective dates was missing. They specifically ignored this statute in my decision, and I bet it's the same with yours. I appealed requesting a higher level review with telephone conference. We will see what happens...
  2. Look at your award letter and on the 5th or sixth page (maybe wrong) there should be a list of statutes used in granting your decision. I have a screwed up effective date, and lo and behold the statute for effective dates is not listed, meaning they did not take that law into consideration when granting my appeal. Im now appealing that...
  3. Just my experience with a PTSD claim, but don't rely on ANYTHING from the VA or the records you believe are in your personnel file. From my own experience, I was diagnosed in service with PTSD in 1993. I never sought treatment since then, and thought the doctor was full of it. Come 2016, after years of sleeping issues and issues with anxiety and depression (as well as a lot of self medication with alcohol), and several counselors suggesting I have PTSD, I filed a claim. My claim was initially denied because they could not verify the stressor incident. That had me baffled.... after all, an after action review of the incident was conducted by my CO and a 1 star.... Surely there must be a mistake..... I requested my service records to find out they consist of (wait for it) only my enlistment contract. Additionally, there is no record of me being diagnosed with PTSD in service, as my medical records from my service in Somolia are missing (shocker). That taught me (the hard way) to find as much evidence as I could ON MY OWN to support my claim. I was able to locate a ton of evidence, including eyewitness accounts from my platoon mates who were there. Just over three years after first filing, I won my appeal. Moral of the story, NEVER rely on the VA to make you case for you. I know it is intimidating to ask an old friend to write a statement, and for me, it made me feel kind of weak (just as asking for help with PTSD did). I was very surprised that my old platoon mates were more than happy to write a statement for me, and were very supportive, and some were dealing with their own issues... I wish you luck, but my advice is to fully load your gun before firing down range. Don't expect the VA to do the right thing.
  4. Just found out I don't have to pay them any retro, because I was awarded none (even if I get some in the future) and they advised me to use an attorney. Any advice on a good one?
  5. Sounds like there is a lot of that going around. I'm in the exact same boat. I originally filed in Jan 2016, but they made my effective date Mar 5, 2019 because that is the day their shrink diagnosed me....lets ignore the stuff from my doctor that started the claim I guess. And, just like you, my initial C&P doc diagnosed me with everything but PTSD because he couldn't verify the stressor. I guess this is their new game.
  6. I agree. This is a case of me not knowing any better, and being tired of fighting the VA on my own. I had IMO that confirmed my diagnosis (which the reason I submitted my claim) but the biggest hurdle for me was getting it service connected due to missing service records. I did that on my own. As I said, I didn't know any better at the time, but I would have been much better off using a lawyer. Medical consulting was not the right venue for my particular situation. Either way, I am just happy I was successful, but I think this next step (retro pay) is where a lawyer would be ideal....but I'm stuck with what I have for now.
  7. I am using Vet Comp and Pen. Yes, I won my appeal, but I did almost all of the legwork for it. I did not read the fine print, and I thought they were a VA rep, and they are not. Many times I had questions, I would call them, and they would tell me to call the VA. Now I have to pay them 4x my increase and 10% of any retro I get. I don't think they were worth the money, but many vets had a lot of good things to say about them, so I went with them. I will hire an attorney next time. Learning experience.....
  8. I used a medical consulting company with my appeal, but am kind of regretting it at this point. Wish I would have gone with a lawyer. Hopefully the company I am with will give me some direction, as they won't get paid any retro either....
  9. Makes sense. I appreciate the info, I knew it didn't seem right. I guess this will be my next fight with them....
  10. Thanks vet quest. Not sure what an EED appeal is, can you elaborate? How long does something like that take? This claim has been going on for over 3 years...
  11. Hi all, I recently won a RAMP appeal that originally started Jan 2016 when I put in a claim for PTSD. I received my decision letter today, and the effective date is March 5, 2019. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on where to go from here, as I feel the VA (as usual) screwed this one up. In my decision letter it states the reasoning for the effective date as follows-"You were diagnosed with just alcohol use disorder on Aug 24, 2016 VA initial PTSD exam. Alcohol use disorder by itself is not a disability for VA purposes. You now have a diagnosis of PTSD, therefore alcohol use disorder was included with it. We have assigned an effective date of March 5, 2019 which is the day the facts found show that you had a diagnosis of PTSD. An evaluation of 50% is assigned March 5, 2019" So a little back story, when I initially filed, at the C&P exam, the shrink told me they could not find evidence of the stressor event, so he stated he could not diagnose me with PTSD (couldn't just take my word for it). I filed an appeal when I received my denial letter, and submitted a report from my doctor with a diagnosis of PTSD, and began doing my own research to verify my stressor (The VA advised much of my personnel record was missing). I submitted a lot of evidence during my appeal, and was finally granted it. So is the VA essentially saying we know you filed for a PTSD rating over 3 years ago, but despite what your doctor said, the effective date is only when our doctor diagnosis you? Is this correct, or is the VA wrong? Any input for my next step (if there is one) would be appreciated.
  12. Any word on your effective date? They screwed mine up as well, and it looks like i will have to appeal (again) to fix it.
  13. Checked bennies today and it look like they approved my claim! I have been rated 50% for PTSD, so my overall rate is now at 60%. What a relief this is finally over! Thanks for all of the help everyone has given me here, it is appreciated!
  14. Will Do. Sitting at Pending decision approval, so it's getting close. Awesome news! Congrats!
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