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Second Class Petty Officers
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    CWO4, Retired, 30 years

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  1. No need for apologies Berta. I am just thankful you are there for us when you do have the time.
  2. If this was my husband, and then me, I apologize.
  3. Amen. Thank you and I feel the same way. I am 8 years older than my husband. I fear predeceasing him without first getting every available assistance and payment he is entitled to. One never knows who is going to go first, but I will rest easy after my due diligence in this matter is fully completed and I know for certain I have done all I can to ensure he is well taken care of.
  4. Thanks for the info. I will pay strict attention to the requirements and do my best to cover all the bases. Enjoy the next few months. I hope all is well!
  5. Thank you so much, that really means a lot! and thanks for the examples, links, and advice. Yes, we feel the same way about the NC VA, pretty lame. We couldn't believe it. The Rep insinuated the 100% could be decreased if we "said the wrong thing" or basically if we pissed off the VA. As for going back to the DAV, that's not an option. The assistance they provided to my husband prior to retirement is what got us into this boat to begin with. They left so many things out that should have been sc and rated, especially the TBI. He had 2 really bad car accidents and 3-4 really hard knocks to the head on board ship, all documented in his smrs, but DAV ignored it. I would say they missed it, but there were too many instances for them to simply miss it. Maybe the guy helping him was in too much of a hurry. It's so great to know I can refile a CUE if is dismissed for lack of clarity. I will read up on the links you provided. I am going to prepare the GERD/IBS CUE very carefully and go over it multiple times until I am convinced I have covered all the requirements. I will post about it when complete. My dream is to get my husband's percentage up to 100% at 2011, but that isn't going to happen without the MDD/Anxiety CUE succeeding. He was 80% at retirement, I think I can get him to 90% without MDD. Just have to wait and see what happens. The man deserves it and I am going to work like heck to get it for him.
  6. I understand and thank you for your advice and input and also for the well wishes re my upcoming surgery. It's my nose, so I am hoping the doc gets things right! ha As for the NC VA helping - they are the ones that once my husband was found 100%, but the %'s were incorrect for MDD and GERD, they said to leave it alone, not to rock the boat. They are very timid when it comes to submitting any type of question or correction requests to the VA. They also have been unhelpful at obtaining records, as if they don't know where to look. (I found the other online myself a couple days ago, the contact information for obtaining documents.) That is why I went ahead and prepared the two submissions I prepared, the one for 2019 NODs and the 2021 for TBI. Wanted to tell you how that office NC VA office operates. As for them being POA - I'm so glad you brought that to my attention, because I had no idea. I will prepare the CUEs for the 2011 decision for RLS/PMD and GERD/IBS and if they succeed, I will post the CUEs on Hadit. Both RLS and GERD/IBS are side effects of medication military prescribed my husband for years, through retirement. Hopefully the CUEs will be successful. Thank you for telling me a CUE is not a "one shot deal". I did not realize that. I thought once a CUE was submitted, if it was denied, that was it. So thanks for that, I really appreciate it and it gives me hope. As for the CUE for MDD/Anxiety, I will wait until we receive mental health counseling documentation and go from there. After receiving that, (I am hoping they have it and we receive at least some paperwork), I will prepare a CUE and if successful, will post it on Hadit. Thank you for all the information you've given my husband in the past and to me recently. I will search through it all for guidance in the future.
  7. The VA rep who faxed in our package that resulted in the 2019 decision had my husband sign a form that changed his rep from the DAV to NC VA. The form says they can act on our behalf or assist in preparation. It didn't say anything about the Rep having to take part in anything or everything, it was like they're there if we need them. No one from NC VA has had any part of anything that has taken place, other than the faxing of the 2019. We(I) have prepared everything on our own and submitted it ourselves.
  8. I responded without signing in (forgot), then response diappeared after sign in, I apologize if you get duplicate responses. Neither of us know how he got a POA. He didn't ask for one and said he was not told they were appointing one. The only person from NC VA who did anything for us was the rep who faxed the info used to arrive at the 2019 decision. We prepared it and all she did was fax it. I prepared the info for the first 2021 decision. The VA did the second 2021 decision on their own because they said the psy Examiner from the first 2021 decision could not differentiate between MDD symptoms and TBI symptoms. I prepared the NODs for the 2019 decision and we sent that in ourselves. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? We are confused as to how this happened and what we should do.
  9. POA means Power of attorney? Berta, to answer some of your questions – No CUEs have been filed on the 2011 Decision. I intend to file for RLS, GERD/IBS and MDD. I should have started with an easier CUE than the MDD. I am pretty sure the RLS and the GERD/IBS CUEs are easily winnable as both are side effects of medication the Veteran had been on for years, and through retirement. My husband was diagnosed with a serious health issue shortly before his last sign off in 2019 and has had several additional health issues ongoing to current. Since then, he has been unable to contribute to any of the preparation. I have my own trials as well, have a surgery scheduled next Friday that will keep me unable to be on the computer for a couple weeks. No excuses, this is just what has been happening, which is same that happens in most disabled households. Maybe I should have waited until after my recovery to dig into this. From what I know, Geekysquid provided template help to show proper formatting and method of attack, he did not prepare a CUE that I’m aware of. I believe he wanted to prepare a CUE for MDD because he became angry about something he saw when he read some document my husband messaged to him. It upset him and that is when he said there was a term for what the rater did, that he had substituted his opinion for the doctor’s. I came in on the tail end of that, then Geeky disappear off the scene and that is where things are now. Now I am trying to pick things up where we left off... I was under the impression the CUE you provided was a template, not the actual CUE to be used for filing. More on this later in this post... It is confusing trying to find my way around the site. I could not figure out how to find the old posts, so thank you for that link. Now, I need to figure out how to “edit”, so I can upload a couple decisions we have received in 2021. Maybe I could just attach them to this response if I could find the button. Yes, the 2019 decision did use as evidence a several things that were not available in 2011 decision, ones carrying some weight, I believe, were lay letters from the Veteran and myself. I wrote both letters, and they were quite extensive, but both relied heavily on information I found searching through the SMRs. There were also records from the VA suicide prevention counseling program, but oddly enough, even though they named those records in evidence, they forgot or overlooked the “suicidal ideations” and rated MDD at 50%. What I would like to do, if you could bear with me, is give you the run down of where we are now, today, so you can see the bigger picture of what’s been going on. Before I do anything else regarding the MDD/Anxiety CUE for the 2011 decision, I am doing a request for all the Veteran’s mental health records, notes, correspondence etc, to see what the VA actually has and so should have had in 2011. In the 2011 C&P, the Examiner made the statement that the mental health records were kept under separate cover and were unavailable to him, but then he also made specific comments he could have only known if he had seen the records. If I can get my hands on mental health records that the VA had, especially anything pre 1998, it might go a long way toward winning the CUE. The Veteran’s first mental health counseling was a 30 day group counseling program in 1992 for depression and anxiety not long after his abusive alcoholic stepfather died. He would go to work, but instead of working, he would spend the entire day in counseling, every day for 30 days. It was approved by his Commander, but there is no mention of it in his SMRs. But there should be record of it somewhere because too many people had to be involved and sign off to make it happen. I will be preparing that request and submitting it electronically before the end of the week. May take a long time to get the records, but it would be worth the wait. OK, so to bring you up to current: The CUEs on the 2019 decision re MDD and GERD were prepared and sent using your template or a combination of templates. They were on the docket, ready to be heard and something told me to take them out and read them. They referred to 2 laws, not just the evaluation of evidence law and from what I could tell, there was no violation of the second law. So we withdrew those CUEs right away because, me not knowing how things worked at that level, I was afraid they would be rejected or ??? because of the second law being included in error. I then prepared them as NODs, or whatever they are calling them these days. The VA lost the NOD submission. So we pulled the first submission back fearing it had been prepared incorrectly, then VA lost the second submission. I prepared a third submission and sent with it a cover letter explaining all the above. The VA received the third submission the end of February 2021. We received verification by phone yesterday that the decision is done, dated 4/30/21 and is in the mail. Whether it be yea, nay or ??? at least we will have a decision on that NOD submission. In the meantime, in my attempt to get the Veteran recognized for TBI, TBI was recognized at 10% and MDD ended up getting bumped up to 70%, without the suicidal ideations even being considered, and they took it upon themselves (the Examiner did) to go the extra mile ending up with a rating of 30% for IBS and 30% for migraines without us even asking and Examiner also got Veteran approved for SMC for use of creative organ. We had no idea the Examiner was doing this. He was unbelievably awesome. He was with VES, Veteran's Evaluation Services, their motto is Veterans for Veterans and it appears they mean what they say. Now VA has connected absolutely everything possible to the TBI. But they rate the MDD because it is the highest % and to avoid pyramiding. So now, the MDD is taken care of either way and all that is left is to get the GERD percentage increased to 30% on that 2019 NOD. If the 4/30/21 decision speaks to GERD, that completes what we have been trying to accomplish with the NOD of the 2019 decision. Then all that is left for current is RLS/PMD, and there is enough proof in the SMRs to prove SC for that. Then all that will be left to do are the 2011 CUEs. I really want to talk about discrepancies in the 2011 C&P Examiner’s report for MDD/Anxiety, to get your input, but including it in the post would make things too confusing, so I am going to stop here. Also, I just realized I can't figure out how to attach the 2 2021 decisions!!! I'll keep searching this site and when I figure it out, I will post them here. MARCH 1 2021 VA RATING DECISION.pdf APRIL 29 2021 VA RATING DECISION.pdf
  10. No. Back then, we were hesitant and told, not to "rock the boat", so no appeal was filed back then. Now, years later, after having gone through every page of the SMRs a hundred times each, read every word of every decision, C&P exam, radiology reports, I (the spouse) can see where possibly the ball was dropped, leaving the door open for possible CUEs on several things. I feel there is nothing to lose if I try. I just want to do it right and tie it up with a bow because from what I understand, CUEs are a one shot deal. My husband deserves every penny of disability money he may be entitled to and if I can help get it for him, I am going to do whatever it takes.
  11. When I post this time, I am going to post on one disability only, so it will be less confusing. There are several things I want to CUE, but taking it slow, getting through one at a time. Hopefully will have meaningful info together and posted by end of day on Wednesday.
  12. Thank you. Stand by. I will be posting more information by the end of the day on Wednesday. I will post it under my original question.
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