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About Merc

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    E-3 Seaman

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    Inside the house

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. Good Idea. I did not know the c-file was not organized. Is there a preferred method for organization? Should I group by issue, by date, by location? I'm thinking a grouping by issue might be the easiest way to keep everything easier to find and then a subset within the issues by date...
  2. We've got a bunch of files. Much of it is scanned. There are many files that are repeats as well. We have multiple denial letters. Then we have my c-file on disc as well as about 500 scan pics (MRI) on two discs. I need to make copies of these discs as well. I currently have a file box worth of documents and it's going to take quite an effort to touch each page and sort this mess into something a little more coherent. I was just looking through our files. No VCAA letter. There are denials that start with Introduction, decision, evidence, reason for our decision... Is that What I'm looking for?
  3. That's been sort of my concern. My c-file is 1800 pages long. It's mostly jibberish to me. I have yet to secure my wife's c-file and I anticipate it being MUCH larger than mine. Just feels so daunting. After looking at what people here are saying it appears many folks are in the $5-7k range to have IMO, IME, misc Dr. visits, tests, scans, etc. Wonder if Dr. B really isn't THAT much more expensive than DIY. So, now I need to find out most recent denials and post them here so they can be reviewed. (It will be ugly- I guarantee that! LOL)
  4. Thanks to all of you for the great responses! I was a little sidetracked with some other issues for the past week so I neglected to check in... So to recap: - My wife and I called Dr. Bash. I am 20% SC and she is 20% SC. We each have several other issues we need help with. Our records are a disorganized mess. -Dr. Bash wants $18k total or $9k per person. He is amenable to a payment plan and has been very accommodating in addressing our concerns. -Some board members think his fees are too high. Others feel he is worth the expense. -We've been going back and forth (incorrectly) with the VA for 20 years. Because we do not know what we are doing -This community can probably help us to get a little more organized and save us some cash Questions: 1. How much time should we expect to spend organizing and preparing our files for review by the Doctor? 2. If we did our own prep and had the Doctor finalize the issue what sort of time frame should we expect? 3. Would having the Doctor do everything from start to finish expedite the process? My understanding is that he had a network of experts that would be involved at all of the steps of the process from start to finish- even looking to see if retro back-pay would be possible.
  5. Broken: I've ordered some new toner for my printer and it should be here next week. I also have a nice scanner that I purchase a while ago to help me with all of the paperwork that I seem to have to deal with these days. I promise I'll be posting a bunch of stuff here. I've has some Vet friends hassling me about being slow on my claims so it's time to get hot. Also, aside from helping our own situation here at home, I am hoping to gain enough knowledge to help guide my niece. Her husband, a young active duty infantryman (also invincible), suffered a burst appendix and was hospitalized for days. Apparently, his leadership did not think the pain in his guts he was actually complaining about was important. I think it went septic. Anyway, while he's since recovered somewhat, he still tells the doctor he feels fine when he is an absolute mess. All sorts of pain, meds, can't sleep, etc.. They're going to give him a medical discharge but I feel it will be the minimum that they can muster. So, I want him to have the benefit of this knowledge so that he can get what he is due and maybe the compensation portion will help them a little while they try to get adjusted to civilian life with two new babies and no jobs... Buck: That's a great idea. Never thought of that. I try to avoid going to the VA or interacting with the doctors as it's always a hassle. Last time I went the young lady who does the intake and scheduling (They're called MSA's in think), playing on her phone, was just as dismissive as the darned doctors are! I will make it a point to remember to ask more questions about meds and other related conditions. It's sort of like when I spoke with Dr. B., I mentioned that I've had rhinitis since I was in the service. I'd go to the medics and they'd give me some duravant to dry it out a bit. Nevertheless, I never slept very well, snored, never really felt rested but I was in my 20's and with an Artillery unit--- "don't be a crybaby, suck it up" - would be what the 1sg would say.... So, years later I finally get a sleep study, get diagnosed with sleep apnea, get a cpap, still have rhinitis and often still have chest congestion, constant coughing, regular sore throat... Dr. B suggests possible GERD. Never occurred to me before. I tell him I'm connected for wrist pain. It's intermittent. Sometimes gets so bad I can't hold a fork.. Have pain in my knees that come and go, fingers and toes. Scans show arthritis. Doctors say that's common. I'm in my 40's not sure how common that is. Shouldn't hurt this much at this age. Dr. B suggests that this too is an issue that needs addressed as a complete system (If I understood correctly). That sort of insight is what I was really looking for when I started contacting experts for assistance. It's just not something where I know enough to start making all of the connections. I guess hanging out here I'll have no choice but to learn!!
  6. HA! You'd think so, but frankly I sometimes I think it's more talk than anything else. Now, just to be clear, I do not begrudge any professional from earning a living- even a great living! I think the opportunity to do so is what makes this Country great. That said, I agree that it would be nice to not have to fight with your provider. Or to pay an arm and a leg for an outside provider to take some time and help out a Vet. We use the VA exclusively (probably a mistake, but it's what we can afford right now) - If I ask for even something as basic as a signature for a parking placard, they look at me like I've asked for the secret code to the vault! It's crazy. The primary reason we'd kinda given up on this mess was that every time we go to the doctors they treat us like we're somehow trying to get over, trying to get something that is not due... It burns me up just writing this.
  7. Yes! I've been using that as I read your posts. There are still a few technical acronyms I am not sure of, but I still get the gist of your posts. Thanks. Right now it's just a matter of getting my ducks in order and making a list of things I need to accomplish so that I can set these cases up properly. Right now I have a mess of files, random VA denials, past issues and confusion with ebenefits, etc. So, in a nutshell this is what I have so far: Me- Army medical records (not too much there as I was young and invincible- paying for it years later lol), VA treatment records, c-file, denials Her- Army medical records, a few private doctor records, VA treatment records, denials, no c-file (ordered them along with mine and they sent me 2 copies of mine!) Reached out to VA FOIA still no reply. Contacted local congressman as well. Hope this will help to move things along. What I do not have: dbq's, nexus letters, lay witness statements, IMO, IME Additionally, after speaking with Dr. B, he seemed to feel that there were various issues we both had that could probably be interconnected. Some that I had never before even considered. So, I think it's worth exploring and trying to flesh out as well. So, I guess the first thing I need to do is get my denials reviewed. I'll post up as soon as I can. In the interim, I think I need to sort through my stuff and make sure it's all there in an easy to read/find format. Most everything is scanned but I want to make sure as there are several duplicates. Then, I guess I will need to formulate a list of steps in order to stay on track. Right now it feels like I've got a jigsaw puzzle and a bunch of pieces but not all of them and no box cover to give me an idea of what the complete picture (packet) looks like.
  8. Ms. Berta: My scan will be delayed. The denials have identifying info on EACH page so I need to print and redact. I've ordered some new toner for my printer. I should be in business sometime next week. In the meantime, just trying to collect my thoughts and find a starting point for all of this. Since I'm working both of our claims, I want to keep it all separate so it's easier to follow. I suppose I can start different threads in order to keep it all organized. Still waiting to have my "probationary period" removed by the moderators so that I can respond more quickly. One of my posts on page 4 is still in "hidden" status while another on page 5 is not. Both are an hour old.
  9. All of my posts are still being vetted through the moderator so it's a little slow going for now. Kinda makes for stilted communication. Ms Berta: To answer your earlier question, I can scan but I could not redact. I'm getting some toner refill for my printer today and hope to have a few good redacted scans of our denial letters for your review. Is this something I can attach/post here on this thread or is it better to send via PM? Not sure the accepted protocol here.
  10. So, I guess the takeaway here is that his $9k per person fee IS reasonable considering the amount of work? I had sent the good Doctor all of our info and planned on trying to take out a loan or something to try and pay for the fees but it's just not possible right now. I even floated an alternative arrangement to him but he has not yet responded. I do not anticipate a favorable response but if you don't ask... Anyway, I will start working on our paperwork more diligently. It's all still very confusing and I have a limited amount of time in my days to work on this. I have to keep stopping to look up all the acronyms you use in your replies! LOL I'll figure it out, eventually.
  11. I understand that this is a bunch of work. That is why I was looking for a well respected expert to handle this and put the packages for both our sets of claims. My thinking was that sometimes, you need to pay an expert for their expertise. For example: if my transmission broke on my car could I fix it? Maybe, eventually, after spending a ton of time and effort learning, buying manuals and tools, and it still might not come out right because I do not have the expertise. Whereas, if I took the car to an expert, I might take a monetary hit, but I would likely be in a better position because the expert does this for a living. If they're not good at what they do, they don't stay in business very long. Anyway, I am taking all of this in. I am inspired by you all and hope that maybe I can do some of the groundwork myself. It's just been a constant battle...
  12. After reading all of these replies, I'm getting the impression that I might be able to do some of this stuff by myself. It's just so tiring to keep fighting when the VA is so difficult to deal with. All I wanted to do was to get an expert on this and now I'm getting the distinct feeling that I may be going about it the wrong way. Honestly, if we were both able to get into the 100% status, I suppose it could be worth the $18k that is being asked for. And as it turns out, I simply cannot make the money work. There's no way I can even swing a reasonable payment plan after reviewing the finance situation. I've sent Dr. Bash an email to that effect. I was so psyched to actually have a medical provider who knew what they were doing to help us. Think I may need to take ya'll up on the offer to assist. Just feel a bit out of my depth.
  13. Hello Moderator, this is a little frustrating. I'm trying to be responsive to all these good folks who have taken the time to reply and all of my responses are hidden. Is there any way to speed along the process? Or do I have to generate 6 posts first?
  14. The denial for my wife's claim is scanned. For some reason I don't have the correct tool suite to properly redact the papers. So, I figured that I'd just print it and redact the old fashioned way with a marker. Now my printer appears to be running low on ink!!! I'm having a rough time of it today.
  15. The requested amount of money of $18k is the discounted rate for both me and my wife. He stated he usually charges $10k a person but for the two of us it would be $18k. This would include DBQ, orders, lay letter, retro pay review by his legal expert, nexus and the complete package would also have the scans, reports and his resume. He seemed extremely confident that our claims were severely underrated and that he could get us both to 100%. Then he ventured into the realm of SMC-L and started talking compensation numbers that felt a bit unreal... (I heard Attig once mention 100% with SMC and it coming out to around $8k a month- for essentially worst case scenario quadriplegic, bed ridden, house bound.) Dr. Bash was talking close to those numbers (not THAT high) but much more than we ever anticipated. As I said earlier, the fees requested seemed really steep to me as well. Apologies, as I'm new here, all of my posts are bottle-necked until reviewed by moderator. I'm not being slow on purpose.
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