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Everything posted by Googy

  1. It is the Code of Federal Regulations. CFR 350 pertains to VA benefits, etc.
  2. I have used the DAV - this will be the third time they have helped me. You don't even have to have a DAV membership for them to help. I DID join and am now my unit commander. Gotta pay the dues! Glad you did the happy dance!
  3. Well, after exactly one year I won my claim with the help of my awesome NSO and lots of study on my part, a lot of help from hadit.com (thanks Berta) and a bit of luck. They awarded me SMC R2 and a year of back pay. 1. I started a claim. 2. I received a letter from the VA with a scheduled C & P exam. Saw a Doc and she wrote out the report which was not even true. I wonder what her M.O. was? 3. I amassed a huge stack of medical records proving a nexus pertinent to this claim and submitted it. They didn't even read the info, they simply denied everything. I thought I would overwhelm them and surely they would see the facts and approve. 4. I appealed and then requested a DENOVO review. 5. Had DRO hearing. I was not present for the hearing and my NSO represented me. He did a great job and my claim was approved. I really thought I would only get to SMC M or P with only a slight chance of being approved for R1. I saw some Docs who really know my medical history who have been treating my medical condition(s) over many years and they were able provide letters that really sealed the deal. Thanks Docs! Well here it is and my beautiful wife is home caring for me and I am getting great medical care now. That was a difficult and nerve wracking process. So now I am 100% P and T receiving SMC R2. I have hope that I can stick around for a while. I really love God, life, my family and credit Him with blessing my family and myself with these great gifts. Now, any of you out there that think dealing with the VA is an impossible task. Let me tell you that you can win, but it takes some work. I know I was fortunate, but if you study up on the VA workings and that cryptic CFR 350, get a NSO who cares, get your info together such as med records and letters from Docs in support of your case, and persist in appealing and appealing, you have a good chance of catching someone's attention and getting good results. I will keep checking in and trying to help another Vet who is falling through the cracks like myself for over 20 years. I will begin another claim next year. I have alot of paper to feed that fire with. Thanks, Googy PS If you wonder what Googy means, it was my favorite place to eat as a child in Scottsdale, AZ. Googy's was the name. It has been closed down since the early 80's, I believe.
  4. Yeah, like today when I fell and broke me foot. I am stuck in my bed again and transferring is out of the question for a while now. Dernit!
  5. Yes. I've needed these services for years. I can finally get a reprieve from all these struggles.
  6. not sure about the pay rate for r2 yet as I just recently was notified of the approval. I'll see soon. I still am not sure about the k rates I guess I will find out soon enough.
  7. Anybody know the answer to this question? Does the SMC (K) award apply when someone is placed on R.2? Does it also apply to all the other SMC levels? I have loss of us of both arms, both legs and loss of use of buttocks. I think I fairly receiving (K) awards when I was receiving SMC (L).
  8. Hadit and Berta and all: Well, I won my claim and they put me at r.2. Didn't expect that - wow! So I get a lump check and my compensation goes up and now my wife can stay home and take care of my needs like I have been needing for 20 years. Wish they would have told me or inquired abt this and would have placed me in the correct category and comp rate all those years ago. My life could have been without so much struggle and stress and pain. I do have one question remaining though. Would I receive (K) awards for loss of arms or hands or legs or buttocks also? I can't find anything on this specifically. Hadit helped me so much. I suppose I will have to donate now, huh! And this is a overwhelming yes with a grateful heart. I do have two more claims atleast for IU years back and putting me in the wrong category.
  9. Looks like this claim will be decided early - tomorrow. I have paperwork and letters from Docs stating nerf form hands and arms. Supposedly I will now be rated at r.1 or r.2. Wow, this has been a lot of work and worry. Finally I can get the care I need.
  10. DRO hearings and N.E.R.F. Anything I should know about presenting at one? I have one scheduled for the 19th of June. I am actively re re organizing my mountain of medical records and such. I will try to present as accurately and as understandable as I can so as to not confuse the DRO. I get one hour but I can request more time if needed, but I need to do this asap. I need to find out more info on the term N.E.R.F. (no effective remaining function). Can anyone find reference to this so I know as much as I can possibly know? Is there anyone else who would like to talk about lost remaining function in their hands which the VA rated? I can barely move my fingers and they are so weak that I cannot squeeze anything with any strength at all. I have muscle constrictures in my hand and fingers. I cannot hold anything in my hand not even a dime or a pill without dropping it. Can't zip up anything or button. My career as a product designer is over because I have lost motor control and my hands have cramps all the time. Should this be enough to qualify this N.E.R.F. statement? I had a strength test using a hand meter at the VA hand clinic about 4 years ago and the results were "non functional strength". I had copies made of my VA med records and that visit is not there. Yeah, the one document I need is not there. I am very meticulous about keeping copies of everything all the way back to mil service. I have been trying to get a hold of that clinic to no avail. Guess I will go up there and rattle some cages - YET AGAIN. Playing these stupid games with the VA gets old!
  11. I will get that MRI narrative so you can look at it. That issue has not been given consideration or claimed yet, but that is coming up. I did include it when I sent the info in during the first claim. I think it should be pertinent to AA and my overall need for AA. I still have not seen that VCAA form that I am positive I marked that I do have more info. Wow do I more info, and it is still coming in - from neuros, scans etc. We put together a 4 inch notebook with tabs and color pointer stickys with letters and records etc. I thought it looked very professional. Sometimes I wonder if they do play games with our claims and appealss, or is it that they are so inundated all the time? I was in college again until just before the strokes and my voc rehab counsellor asked me "Do you ever really think you will ever work again full-time". I told him that I didn't think so. Well, I got dropped from voc rehab with more than enough benefit to finish. At that time I was really beginning to know for sure that my brain function was/is severely affected. I can't retain information very long, I forget everything and I struggle to learn things quickly. I have to repeat, repeat and then continually use information to keep it straight. How frustrating. I have been informed of brain function involvement because of muscular dystrophy as I cannot produce certain proteins necessary for function but now, after the vertigo I have been experiencing for 4 years now, the strokes, white matter disease, and the brain injury, this is increasingly a huge problem. Yes, I will use this in this claim and in a seperate one after I prevail on this one. (positive thinking) One thing I just remembered is that the doctors have mostly ruled out cardio problems as the cause of the strokes. I am not sure I agree with that assumption though. The have done bubble tests looking for problems with valves and such. I do have some heart block that does show up on the strips and went How about the fact that I have not exercised since 1985 and have been in the wheelchair all these years and I have type 2 diabetes and high triglycerides and cholesterol and on and on. I have been dealing with stupor of thought for as far back as 1986. This has been an annoyance and has gotten to be a huge problem. No work history over all these years and always losing my job because of the MD, the heart and the memory issues. Wish I would have claimed this all these years, but it all goes back to that VA threat back in 1988. "This is the highest category you can be rated in, and if you ever make another claim, you will lose everything and will never get it back". Crud, they didn't even put me in the category I was responsible for establishing. Pretty nice, huh? I am certainly watched over in that I am still here, but those were some injustices and many were CUE. The VA has not done any tests for residual deficits from the strokes, nor any other facility. Those regs talk about NERF (no effective remaining function)? This NSO has been very helpful - yes. No I don't have HPB, but the medicines I take for cardiomyopathy mask and treat any HBP I might have. It is documented that it IS borderline. Get this, they have me get out of my chair to weigh me and THEN they do a BP test. All that struggling gets my BP up. The VA did send me a BP cuff. Whenever I have tested it it is always good though. You proved a malpracticed heart disease - impressive. That is almost as hard as proving a CUE. I appreciate your willingness to help. Sometimes I get last and dazed reading and gleaning all the CFR 38 and M21 and on and on. This AA vs housebound was more than I could get. Thanks I will be waiting to be scheduled for the local DRO hearing. They do them every Tues but will schedule you 1 month out. In the meantime I am writing and strategizing and organizing.
  12. When your claim gets "on deck" with the RO then it is probably too late and I would wait until you deny, because you probably will (sarcasm). Also, back up that info as much as possible, if you can, then get it in asap. Good luck. Googy
  13. Googy

    May 2008 Roll Call

    Still here up late coughing my head off from a bad cold I caught from my grandboy. Coming up is a DRO hearing. I had some success with my claim(s), but not everything I need, so...here goes! Thanks hadit because before I found this site I had had it. Pun intended. Oh, how bout a joke: A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything." I'll be around Googy
  14. Hit the dang tab key again and it submits multiple posts
  15. Ok here is what is happening now ----l I have been rated since March of 1998 at 100% service connected, P and T for loss of use of lower extremities and 60% sevice connected for cardio-myopathy. I submitted a claim for SMC and A & A. I had thought that I was not receiving any SMC. Talked with NSO's and they did not disagree. I was wrong. I have been receiving SMC at the L 1/2 rate since 1998. I thought I was right on with my claim, but I was wrong. There seems to be a whole lot of loop holes in regs. This claim was for loss of use of arms and SMC. I was given rating for both arms - Right arm 50% (dominant) and left arm 40% (non dominant). I was denied a higher level of SMC. It appears that I will be concentrating on a claim of LOU of both hands. It was recommended that I shoot for A&A. Reading through everything, I somehow came to the conclusion that I was trying for Housebound (S). I submitted a request for a DRO hearing. A face to face meeting would be much more beneficial to my case. Plus my wife can be there and she has a memory, let me tell you. I had four strokes since last August and something called white matter disease and...what do you call it....uh....memory loss. I have had veritigo for 4 years now. A brain injury was discovered as well - probably from a fall three years back. I smacked my head and was knocked out for about 10 minutes - I was by myself - and had a golf ball sized black eye for a month. What my NSO and I decided is that we will try for SMC (O) and then this will more fully entitle me to A&A (100% plus 60%). Then this will qualify me for SMC (r.1). This A&A is baffling. I understand that Housebound (S) is a seperate compensation above that of schedular SMC ratings. How is A&A compensation paid? I have read that L 1/2 is a form of A&A. Is this true? Can anyone help me with this? Berta?
  16. Berta and all, How would I go about finding that results from an appeal that went to BVA in DC in 1988 in which I prevailed? Any repository that you know of? Gregg
  17. Well, I was denied somewhat but gained in a way which does not really help me all that much. I have submitted a NOD and will have a De Novo review so I can more thoroughly demonstrate and prove my case. There is a lot that many physicians are ignorant of pertaining to my case and many others. Just like PTSD, AO and brain injury and ....... I'll let you know how this goes. Does anyone have any experience with a de novo review? Are there do's and dont's I should know of. Any advice? Greg
  18. Update! Claim denied! But this is only the first round. I'm in it for all twelve rounds. NOD's are coming. Man they didn't even read any submitted medical evidence, doctors letters - even their own records. Simply amazing isn't it? Do these people even know what they are doing? I guess we will have a live hearing. Then I can stomp their ignorance and stupidity into the ground. I spent 5 months on this, spending lots of money on it, and this is the outcome I expected but hoped they would be able to or willing to read what I submitted. I don't thing that ever happens though. I just need my wife home to take care of me. Can't do it anymore and I shouldn't have to pay someone out of my own pocket for my care. Ok I'm a little discouraged but I can play this freakin' game pretty well.
  19. You are right about IU and 100%. I have only received the 100% and the 60% since 1997. I was at 50% and then 30% from 1985 to 1997. I should have been receiving IU from 1985 to 1997 especially had they placed me in the correct category with the correct rating. Yes, I have been studying about IU and SMC a lot.  You must have atleast 50% rating and be unemployabe to have any chance at IU and compensated at the 100% rate. In 1997, I just received the 100% comp and I never received the SMC S award. That is why it is so funny about this present claim saying that I have been denied a "higher level" of SMC when I never have received any SMC rating. Yes, they should have given the S award in 97 when they gave the 100% SC PAT, but that inquiry never happened. Do you know where that rule is that when 100 SC PAT is given along with a 50 or 60%, this automatically triggers an inquiry into SMC and AA. I read it once or twice, but cannot find it now. That CUE claim in 87-88 was finally settled, but they put me at 30% in the Brain infection category, not even close to where I should been put AND on top of that, that is when they threatened me with taking everything. My rating at that time was so low, that the USAF took over when the VA dumped me, but eventually it all evened out, sort of. Things were a lot different back then. It is funny how the caring and care quotient changes depending on how close it is to wartime. On that letter from the DAV - the abstaction - it also says that the earlier effective date is also being considered. Maybe they will do this correctly this time. Do you think handing in the paperwork while it is "on deck" will hinder or will it help. Will submitting this info take away my chances of using it in the future for the other cases? I guess I have a year to NOD. Am I worrying too much? I am trying not to. Thanks for your help
  20. Medically retired in 1985 for USAF. Offerred me 20K and said no way. Have been underrated, have taken all my comp away for a year. I beat them at their own game. Even had a BVA hearing in DC. I won - sort of. Set precedence as they added a new category of Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and clarified laws about genetic conditions aggravated/made worse by military service. Even with that, they put me in the wrong category: "Hodgkins" at a cap 30%. And they threatened that they would take everything away forever if I ever made a claim again. Ten years later I just happened to see a NSO. He did a quick claim and I got 100% SC PAT for MD and 60% SC for cardiomyopathy. I was excited until I found out they withheld info about SMC, AA and IU. So I recently made a claim and it is now at the raters desk and is "on deck" as of last week. The coolest part is the the "earlier effective date" goes to 1997 and then 1997 to 1985. Let's see how much battle I have to do with these yahoos. I have been through this wringer a lot. I am almost clean. I have a wonderful, caring and way compassionate wife who by all indications lover me, and two grown up daughters, and a spunky little 2 year old grandson, a nice home in a nice area and a dog named Moose. I am very content with the way things are now, but I should have been receiving help from the VA at a higher level all these years. I am in a power wheelchair and I will be getting a pacemaker soon. My health is fading quicker than I would like. I like to joke around and I have a great outlook on life. I recently became DAV Unit Commander and love to help out all I can. PTSDers are a bit of a challenge, but I try to be a buddy to all. My wife is the DAVA Unit Commander as well. We have a great group.
  21. Woops, what happened here? Sorry about the duplicate submissions.
  22. I am in the middle of a SMC and AA claim with the VA. Served from 80 to 85 in USAF. Muscular Dystrophy manifest while in service. Condition was aggravated my service and took me to where I could not function or even walk and had so much muscle breakdown that I would have red tinged urine. This was all under the threat of article 15's and reprimands. I made copies of all those physical profiles. They sure have come in handy. Was medically retired in 1985 placed on TDRL with 50% comp (they offered me 20K but I said no way) and a year later on PDRL with 80%. Then in 86 was taken over by the VA at 50% SC in the Hodkins category - that is a form of cancer of the brain and not the correct category. They took my comp away in 1987 saying it was CUE. It was not CUE and I eventually prevailed over them in hearings in 2 local hearings and then the DC BVA where they supposedly opened a new category for Muscular Dystrophy in 1988. Then they put me in the "brain infection" category at 30%. They did not even put me in the category I set precedence with and this was not the correct category yet again! They then threatened me that if I ever made another claim they would take away everything forever. You can believe that I did not want anything to do with them after that. I developed related cardiomyopathy along with this weakness throughout my body - I have used a wheelchair since 1987 and arms are so weak I cannot do most things by myself like preparing food and bathing and etc. My wife, daughters and neighbors have been caring for my needs, but not the VA. I have never been able to work a job for more than a few months from 1985 to the present. I have my lifetime earning statement all the way back to before I enlisted and I is very paltry. I never even heard of IU until this summer. I had never before heard of SMC or AA until this summer. I have been trashing my body all these years and my wife has been working multiple jobs just to make ends meet all the while trying to care for my ill health. Thinking about this now really angers me to boiling. So one day in 1997 as I happened to pop in to a DAV NSO in a VA hospital to ask him if this seemed odd to him. There is a huge story behind all of this but too long to go into right now. This NSO did not buy my story at first, but after a week of research he saw that everything I said was correct. He did some sort of quick claim and I wound up with a dual rating; 100% SC PAT for loss of use of lower extremities due to Muscular Dystrophy and a 60% SC for cardiomyopathy. I took it and ran like a starving child who hoards food for fear of never eating again. Ten years later I am a greenie at Unit DAV Commander. By chance the state DAV Commander asked about my condition at a BBQ this July. It was then that I heard of SMC. Then I did research about AA and IU. There are many years I should have received IU first then SMC and AA. So now I have Muscular Dystrophy, cardiomyopathy with electrophysiological arrythmias with the need for a pacemake soon, stroke, whitematter disease, brain infarctions resulting in cognitive/memory problems, spine problems and a paralyzed right lower foot from a ill fitting VA wheelchair. These are all SC related disabilities which I have overwhelming record of. I am going to do as they say? Appeal, appeal, appeal. I submitted the SMC AA claim in July 07. I received 2 VA letters at the same time. I had a C&P the same day I turned in the letter asking if I had any more medical records to submit. I knew I had numerous letters to substantiate my claim, but somehow the box was marked "Does not have any records to include". I am not sure they even read this right.
  23. Tried to submit new arrival info and intro
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