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About rsm-esq

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Interests
    VA Accredited Attorney

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  1. Hi there, If you're still in need of counsel I'm happy to discuss offline... email me directly: raza@rsmlawfirm.com
  2. Hi there. Yes, if you disagree with the assigned rating percentage or the effective date, you have every right to submit an NOD or appeal depending on where your claim is procedurally. A few things to keep in mind for context: 1. the disability rating is meant to be a way for the VA to compensate the Veteran claimant's loss of ability to earn a living. So, a 10% rating means that the VA believes the claimant's disability has a 10% effect on his/her ability to earn. 50% rating means that the disabling condition has a 50% effect on claimant's ability to earn... 100% means that the service connected condition(s) make the claimant totally unable to earn. 2. Generally, if a Veteran has multiple disabling conditions, the VA uses a "combined rating matrix" that essentially averages the various percentages. Multiple disabling conditions are not added together. So if you have 10% for tinnitus, 30% for degenerative joints, and 60% PTSD, you will not have a total of 100% rating. Instead, the VA will give you a combined rating of around 50-60%. 3. It will get increasingly difficult to reach 100% combined rating unless the VA determines that the claimant is unable to be gainfully employed--in which case they are rated as TDIU 100%.
  3. Hi there, sorry to hear about your VSO experience. I'm a VA accredited attorney based in Washington, DC. Happy to review your situation, feel free to reach out to me directly. If you're already represented by an attorney then please disregard.
  4. Slow and steady wins the race... sorry to hear about your troubles with the appeal and remand, but hopefully there will be a good outcome.
  5. Hi there, Typically I suggest anyone debating between a hearing versus appeal to go for the appeal route. Unless the claimant is represented by counsel, hearings tend to be fishing expeditions where the VA has free license to later use all of the testimony collected against the veteran in claim denials. Appeals are in writing and if the Board denies the claim, they are still required to provide their legal reasons and bases. That way, if there are errors, they can be addressed by a professional. You mentioned career troubles due to disabilities... have you considered a claim for TDIU (total disability due to individual unemployability)? It may be a possibility in this situation. Feel free to reach out to me directly, I'm a VA Accredited veterans disability attorney: raza@rsmlawfirm.com All the best...
  6. Getting a medical nexus statement from a qualified physician is the best supporting evidence for a VA disability claim. It is also helpful for your physician providing the statement to thoroughly review your military service records (C-File), and indicate where there is medical evidence supporting your application for benefits. Service connection for a disability claim has three components: 1) Medical evidence of a disability (diagnosis); 2) Evidence of an in-service event that caused or aggravated the disabling condition; and 3) A physician's statement connecting the diagnosed disability to the event (nexus statement). The nexus statement should clearly state that in the physician's opinion "it is at least as likely as not that [ the disabling condition ] was caused by the in-service event." Clearly showing the 3 components for service connection should greatly increase the chances of VA claim approval. Each disability claim is reviewed by a human--make it easy for them to find the relevant evidence in the claim paperwork submitted.
  7. Hi there. I'm a VA disability lawyer... happy to look into this further, but here's a start-- Your initial question was "how would you appeal this?" The answer depends on where you are in the process procedurally. I can't see the title page from what was posted, but it seems to be an RO decision letter reducing your disability rating. If so, the first step is to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD Form 21-0958). If this is a Statement of Case instead of an initial decision letter, then an appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals would be the next step (VA Form 9). If this were a Board decision, then the next step would be to appeal to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Feel free to email me directly, I'm happy to set up some time to talk in detail: raza@rsmlawfirm.com
  8. A note regarding NME (new and material evidence): in general one should determine what purpose the intend to use the NME argument. Typically, NME is appropriate if a claimant is trying to reopen a denied claim once it has been closed. A clear and unmistakable error (CUE) argument is appropriate if a claimant wants the VARO to reconsider a given decision within the 1 yr time limit, or at CAVC if you’re appealing a BVA decision.
  9. VA accredits attorneys and agents to represent veterans in VA administrative proceedings. I believe agents have to pass a test, attorneys are exempt. Once accredited, attorneys do need to take continuing legal education courses (CLEs) in VA-approved subjects to maintain their accreditation.
  10. Hi there. I'm a VA Accredited lawyer out of DC. Happy to review your case and see if anything stands out. The folks commenting above are exactly right about the BVA decision... it is my go-to document to evaluate a potential case. Feel free to send me an email directly: raza@rsmlawfirm.com
  11. Although it's just a guess, it may have something to do with the recent implementation of the RAMP Act which was meant to streamline certain cases and place other appeals in specific "lanes" toward a quicker resolution
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