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Everything posted by GBArmy

  1. Hi Cat4Christ777 Welcome to Hadit. Sorry about your treatment by the VA; not the most creative people to say the least. You need to get GOOD legal representation from a lawyer and see if you can develop a CUE claim. You could be looking at a significant amount in back pay so the legal folks will really try to build a solid case. Too difficult for you right now to handle it yourself. Here are a few groups to consider, not in any ranking: CC&K, Woods and Woods, Hill & Ponton,Perkins Studdard. There are more on this site and start hitting on them. Don't be discouraged if a few say no thanks; your disabilities is not something that will be a very common thing for them to handle, so they would likely be limited in who they have available that has the experience to do your case justice. But don'it give up. You want to show that the VA made a legal error to get back to your original submittal date. Pull all your medical records and get on it. Good luck, sister.
  2. Sounds good, Tbird. The Senior Citizens League has been putting out their projections for COLA for several years and they are among the best in terms of accuracy based on how they do it. They just said last week they estimate the COLA for 2022 to be 6.0 or 6.1%. Hopefully, they are accurate again this year.
  3. Good advice from Pacmanx1 especially about making sure you make a copy. Notice the VA lost his documentation but were going to deny his claim because the VA lost the paperwork.( How does that work, anyway? ) I even make copies of my health records posings and secure messages. They are "retired" after a while and it can save you some time later on trying to retrieve it. I don't care where you find something that is important, if it's important, make a copy.
  4. Francisco Welcome to Hadit and sorry about your health conditions brother. If you have a good lawyer they should be looking at SMC's for you as your conditions may result in several additional disabilities as secondaries that you may eventually be rated for. Let us know of your progress; maybe it can help other Marines who were stationed there and now have gotten sick.
  5. Hi Deetrain Welcome to Hadit. The process takes too long most of the time, and Covid just compounds the delay. You need someone to look at VBMS and see what's going on. If you have a VSO, ask them to look. If you don't have one, or a claims agent or lawyer, you need someone to get some intel. Have you called "Peggy" 800-827-1000? They may shed some light as to the reason for delay? You could put in an IRIS inquiry, which is located on the va.gov website. Get your response in writing. Last resort would be call your Congressman and get him/her involved. This option usually takes a while also. The amount of time taken in the delay doesn't mean good or bad regarding your claim; it just is a by-product of the process. Duty to assist means the VA found an error in their process that they need to consider. That's all. Start shaking the VA tree.
  6. Hi Drago, welcome to Hadit. PTSD is a MH condition. Some of TBI symptoms can also be the same as MH., so the VA has a hard time spliting them off. You did not say when you got your 70% rating, but I would bet that yotr rating sheet has rse, routine scheduled exam, against your disability. Since you are claiming a new disability that could be linked to an existing MH disability, the VA is going to do a re-do. If your symptoms for MH and your doctor treatment records have been submitted to the VA, you should be all set. Keep in mind if you can't separate the sleep disorder by way of a good nexus letter, you will be rated at the MH diagnostic code. The rate of 70% is about as high as you can go; the next is 100% which is pretty hard to achieve. On top of that , if the diagnostic code for hypersomnia is low, like 10% rating, you could possibly be not even raising your overall combined rating . (see VA-Math.) Be sure you weigh all the facts; risk vs. reward is not in your favor IMHO.
  7. GeorgeR Welcome to Hadit and sorry about your s-c disabilities. First things first. No veteran should apply for any disability or increase in an already s-c disability unless they think their current conditions will meet the criteria for an increase. Example: Tinnitus is rated at 10%, either you get approved and therefore are awarded 10%, or disapproved. If your tinnitus is really bad and you have your 10% rating, don't apply for an increase because it's not available. So compare your conditions to the symptoms of the next higher rating. You are 100% P&T. You say that not only haven't you s-c disabilities stayed the same but they have gotten worse. If so, then IMHO go for the SMC's or special considerations. You have continued to seek medical treatment at the VA, at your own private doctors, or both. You have additional medical records that show it has gotten worse, correct?You would be in a good position to counter the VA if they tried something like a reduction. Just be sure you are confident your worsening conditions would get you the additional income IMHO.
  8. edagata Sorry to hear of your illness, brother. In general, I would appeal your denials. Veterans do win their claims even if they weren't in the "presumptive" places like the DMZ in Korea. If you did all your claim work without a lawyer, get a good one mentioned here on Hadit. You don't have have "Presumptive" connections. You need the 3 Caluza elements. current diagnosis, event or injury while in service, and then a nexus or connection between the two. That is where the lawyer comes in. CC&K, Woods and Woods, are good places to start. Do you have any old artillery buddies that were with you back then? Get a "buddy letter" from them attesting you had that crap sprayed all over and they can confirm the "orange stripe" on the barrels. Not likely you can get any benefits for your families, but at stage 4, you need to get on the appeal. DIC for your wife if you are married. If the lawyer can find a CUE in the original decisions, you could be sitting on some coin. Get help on your claim. Good luck brother.
  9. Tough spot to be in. I can understand you wanting to go back to work but you need to be very careful about it. As you are aware if on TDIU you can't make more than the poverty level requirements which are different geographically throughout the country. Rate would be much higher in NY city or Chicago than some small town in Alabama for instance. It is somewhere around $13k a year but check your area. You can also work if you are in a protective employment situation, and that is what it looks like you are considering. If the local Doordash employer writes up a description of your work conditions ex. unlimited call-outs for work, something in writing which shows how much they are willing to accomodate you, it MIGHT fly. But even if working part time is it going to raise your standard of living enough to risk your disability rating is the question. Next year you will be under the 10 year rule: “10-Year Rule” says a condition cannot be reduced after being compensated for a full decade unless there is medical evidence of improvement of the condition. Have you been seeking and getting MH care, either thru the VA or private? Have your conditions stayed the same, gotten better or worse? Just because they shouldn't reduce, doesn't mean that they won't put you in for a reduction and you have to appeal the proposal to reduce. Last thing to consider is your age. You have 9+ years with that disability. If your med records document you are not going to get better and no real improvement, you can ask to be made P&T. Realistically, if you are in your 50's, it could happen. Then of course you wound not have to worry about the income cap. Consider all the facts and be honest with you self. Good luck.
  10. Broken Great job by you. Every employee, whether an examiner, tech or both is not the enemy. The VA is slowly improving in upgrading their workforce, you included, and that is a good thing. I've used the VA for over 10 years now and honestly do see improvement. (I'm not going soft in my old age,though. There's plenty of bad characters working for them too.)I also like you sharing info; he learns something and it can be helpful when he is wearing his C&P hat. And you learn also and can pass it on. Knowledge is power.
  11. Scottish-Knight As you know, disability comp is NOT taxed. If we have a claim and use a claims agent or legal rep, they get their fees taken out automatically. I don't know what FITW is, so need clarification as you are rated at 90% and that may come into play.
  12. Duster4-60 Welcome to Hadit. From what you have described, it sounds like a typical hearing/tinnitus C&P exam. The doctor doesn't sound like she has much experience related to military noise exposure but the questions are usual. She wants to dig to see if you had outside exposure to noise, such as lawn mowers, etc. You can do a couple things: First, you can complain to the VA about her demenier and interactions right away, and request a re-do. Although she wasn't the best communicator, it doesn't sound like there is anything terrible you can point too. (forget how you feel; you can't express it forcefully enough to get the VA to do another C&P IMHO. You need something more serious) Second, you wait for your decision letter; if you get approved for tinnitus, great. If not, appeal either HLR or BVA or get another private audiologist to exam and submit a supplemental claim. Be sure to describe in your own statementment in support of a claim (Buddy Letter) your exposure experiences if you go supplemental or BVA. The VA examiners may not understand the noise you were exposed to without hearing protection. For your hearing, claim, I would definitely get a private hearing exam to see if you got low-balled. You may have been awarded a 0% rating for hearing. The VA scale for compensation for hearing loss is a high standard, meaning 0% or 10% is usually the award. If you go outside for evidence,be sure the exam is done using the criteria the VA uses. see https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/4.85 You may be better than you think. I'd just wait myself. If denied, get your own evidence and re-submit is your best bet. A 0% rating hearing is better than none as you you can appeal if it gets worse for you. And Tinnitus is 10% or nothing; no higher rating is given out.
  13. Hi Kolls, welcome to Hadit. I'm not clear on what you have going on. You said shin splints, headaches and leg knee was increased to 20%. All three give you a combined rating of 20%, or they each are rared at 20%?. If you are rated for headaches, are you saying you are going to go for an increased rating, or going for the disability for the first time? You need to get someone, a claims agent, VSO or lawyer to look at your claims file and tell you what you have going on. You can call 800-827-1000 and ask for your disability rating sheet. They probably won't give it but can give a letter with most of the data on it. Tell the rep you want to know the diagnostic codes for your rated disabilities. Then you can start the process for an increase or new claim.
  14. VA.gov usually gives a status on Supplemental Claims as "we don't know your status." It will stay that way until decision time. It isn't a status at all, just a rubber stamp comment. You may do well or not, but you'll never know on that status update. If you have a VSO, they may be able to look in VBMS and see maybe a clue as to where it is, etc. Maybe "some" info.
  15. RedoneMudcat Welcome to Hadit. I don't know what else to recommend; you seem to have pushed all the buttons I could think of. One very long shot: similar situation but the veteran I recall was very ill. He went to the newspapers and media. If there is a human interest story you might get a sympathetic ear from a reporter. The VA doesn't like those types of stories and if you call it to there attn. after publication (not the threat), there is a possible movement on their part. Might be worth the effort as you've tried most everything else. Best of luck.
  16. Alex is Alex Graham and he does Asknod https://hadit.com/meet-asknod-2/ Do you have a VSO? One with access to the VA's VBMS will be able to help you see what's going on I would expect.
  17. bankkpkbill If you haven't gotten all your records yet, request your C-file. It's going to take a year to get it but there may be something else in there you might be able to connect. I always ask the veteran "did you ever go to medical and what was it for?" Just turned my ankle, or I was getting frequent headaches is a response. That might get you ankle/foot/ back connection, or migraines. Or, most often, after reviewing you file you see medical entries you didn't remember and there could be a connection now. Keep reading and help other veterans.
  18. Bangkokbill Congrats!! Nice job keeping with it. Check your state's Veterans' benefits, including registering in the town hall for exemption for property taxes (Home or car.) Maybe life insurance. Check other benefits; here is a resource: https://cck-law.com/blog/list-of-benefits-for-disabled-veterans/ Good luck.
  19. SgtRamz Welcome to Hadit. "That don't make sense" well, welcome to the VA hamster wheel. The remand requirements by the BVA back to the RO is the hold up. They could start paying out before the remands are completed, but usually they want to complete the who action . The remands probably means that the VA has to further develop, like in doing additional C&P exams or getting some other medical evidence, to determine how your remand conditions can/should be rated. You can try and find out by calling the same number and see what they are trying to do, such as when is the next C&P and then work from there. If you have financial hardship, you may declare that but I'm not sure that will get any expedite for you.If you have a VSO, you can ask them what doses the VBMS system that they have access to shows for activity. But this can take a while.
  20. Overthere. Not to worry; just ask your question. The main reason for veterans to continue to seek additional claims after reaching 100 TDIU is that they want to try to go back to work. TDIU means, you CAN'T work. If you earn above $13k or so, they will re-eval and probably drop you down in rating. So that is the usual situation. Your 70+ probably, so do you really think you can handle a decent paying job now and do you want to do it? The other major reason to pursue after getting 100% P&T is if you can get SMC's because you have a lot more issues going on. With VA math, it isn't easy it's not just another 50% rating you need to get. see https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/special-monthly-compensation-rates/ for starters.
  21. I think that you have a case, as is. I'd go for direct lane with the BVA. More evidence is , well, more evidence. You can go with what you have and if not successful, re-do again with new evidence. Or, obtain more evidence prior to appeal. Up to you.. There are always many options in presenting a claim.
  22. Hi Georia12345 Welcome to Hadit. MH and especially going for TDIU are tricky but you seem to have everything in order. I at least would appeal to BVA. You may have a stronger case if you appealed in the supplemental lane and provide a stronger reason why you can't work either from a vocational expert or a psych doc, but I would appeal to the BVA direct lane at the minimum.
  23. Brian360 Welcome to Hadit. Haven't heard of that before but I would think it would certainly be considered lay evidence. Submit a statement in support of the claim (and maybe your wife can do one also.) Use form 21-4138 or new form 21-10210 and use attachments. But I suggest that you have a nexus from a doctor at a minimum that talks to your current disability and their symptoms and the event, accident or injury that occurred while you were in service. He must have an opinion that they are connected, and use word like "...at least as likely as not " and have back up rationale connected them.
  24. Andrewdc Great example of keeping at it with the VA; congrats to you and Alex. If you have a SMC situation that is really complex, I definitely would contact Alex. There are many examples posted where he has helped veterans get what they deserve. Certainly he can handle only a limited number of veteran appeals at any one time, but if you have him doing it, he is a bull dog on getting to where you need to be. Again, congrats!
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