broncovet

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broncovet last won the day on June 21

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About broncovet

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  1. I did the same, within the past month or so. It affected absolutely "nothing", at least as far as Im concerned. It MIGHT result in more money for VA to squander on useless or corrupt projects, such as parties for VA executives or VA Exec bonuses. Some of it may possibly even filter down to help Vets. By the way, Im not oppossed to ALL VA employee bonuses. Here is a great example: Dr. "A" is a surgeon who makes 350,000 per year in private practice. VA tries to recruit him and offers the max of around 180k per year. He says...mmmm...no. I like vets but Im not working for half salary, I have 1.2 million in student loans to pay off from going to medical school for 10 years. Enter Bonus system: Ok, how about if we get you 50,000 bonus, per year, pay all your medical, give you a retirment, and you will never have to pay medical malpractice insurance. You see, VA needs to be able to compete with high paying doctors who are good at what they do. The bonuses Im angry about are the VA executive bonuses where he has no college degree, or maybe a bachelors, and "faked" the wait times to make it look like Vets are seen in 30 days, by instructing the people who make appointments to tell Vets to "call back next month" for an appointment and we will try to work you in, as "the computer" wont let us book an appointment past 30 days. This is absolutely not true..its a lie and a secret waiting list to try to get bonuses for people who dont do much for their 140 grand salary, except figure out how to collect more bonuses. The doc deserves his...he has massive responsibilities for peoples life and a decade of education to pay off.
  2. It unamiously passed the Senate. I wonder why this was not done, oh, say 20 years ago?? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/23/trump-signs-va-reform-bill-following-through-on-campaign-promise.html Trump calls VA the " We Vets already knew that.
  3. Did (he) or you receive a written BVA decision? Ebenefits is notoriously unreliable. You probably want to continue with the appeals depending on what the decision actually stated. Does the BVA have your current address? You wont get the decision unless they do. There are 3 seperate things and they dont talk to each other well, especially when its in our benefit for them to do so: 1. BVA Board of VEterans Appeals. 2. VA Regional Office. They will "implement" the BVA appeal. 3. VHA Veterans health Adminitstration, that is your hospital and VA docs. Make sure they ALL have your correct address...just one or two wont suffice.
  4. I keep repeating this over and over: You need to order your medical records (all of them) and see what the diagnosis was "in service" and what the diagnosis is now, if any. You have to have a current diagnosis, and I certainly dont know if you have one or not. C and P exams CAN "fix" things, and some things can not be fixed by a C and P exam. Keep in mind the Caluza Triangle, required for service connection. You must have all 3, if any one of these is absent or inadequate, its an automtatic, pretty much, denial. A C and P examiner, for example can not "fix" your undocumented "in service event". If those medical records are inaccurate, incomplete, or missing altogether (likely), then a c and P exaam wont make an "in service event" happen. Sometimes, the c and P examiner "may" provide you with the requisite nexus, but that does not always happen either, reminding you the examiner is paid by your opponent. (Of course, Im assuming you have correctly understood that the VA is not a friendly guy that will fight to get YOUR benefits, like the VA would have us beleive. They are, in fact, our adversary as they have a financial interest in the delay or denial of your benefits, regardless of how much smoke VA blows you to the contrary. Its possible your claim is fixed with your submission of "new and material evidence" (38 CFR 3.156 either B or C). Or, you may be a victim of "top sheeting" where the Veteran rating specialist who rated you did not bother to read all your evidence.
  5. You got GREAT answers from Buck and Gastone. Here in America, the VA will compensate you for travel pay to a C and P exam. Somehow, I kind of doubt that VA will pay you travel pay for a C and P exam in Boston if you live in Thialand. Dont expect the VA to send a doctor to Thailand to do your c and p exam.
  6. When you do a NOD, resist the temptation to give "your" reasons for the NOD, but instead do it the "VA way". Trust me, the VA will do it "the VA way", and they would have to try to convert "your reasons" to the VA way. They probably dont do a good job of converting "your reasons" to the VA way. You need to show VA how you meet the criteria for your rating, not how bad you need the money, for example. Your reason may be that you need the money for a car payment. That's fine, but it wont get you benefits. Show the VA how you meet the criteria. The criteria for service connection is DOCUMENTATION of the following: 1. Current diagnosis. Ok, so you broke your hand in service. What symptoms do you have now? Did it heal up and no residuals? (If so, no benefits) Do you have pain in your left hand? Do you have a reduction in use of the hand? Is there a painful scar? If you have no symptoms from the broken hand, you can not expect benefits. VA wont pay you for the pain you experienced in the service when you broke your hand. Rather, they will compensate you for a hand that is painful, that does not work, has arthritis, etc. 2. In service event or aggravation. Do you have the fracture documented? Is it in your records? Dont assume, get your records and read it. 3. Nexus or doctors opinion that your current diagnois (number one, above) is "at least as likely as not" related to your in service event or aggravation. AFTER you get service connection, your rating will be based on "symptoms". If you have no symptoms from your broken hand in service, you dont get compensation. I know. You may have symptoms "later". For example, I have arthritis of the knees from a leg fracture in service. Yes, both knees. When one knee is "bad" you favor it and make the other knee bad also. But, I have to prove that also, and that would come also with a doctors opinion that my left knee arthritis is "at least as likely as not" due to the right knee arthiritis, which was linked to service. The VA way is 1 through 3. Its called the Caluza elements, or Caluza triangle.
  7. Buck: Im gonna help Berta out here, and supply a link for you in regard to the IU fiasco being DOA: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/shulkin-backs-off-individual-unemployability-trump-budget If Berta says its kaboshed, then its kaboshed. If she is not sure, she will say that, too. I try to do the same. If I offer "my opinion" I try to so state. But, if Im pretty certain, then I often supply a link, but not always do I have the time to put up a link. Still, if Im just guessing, or giving it an educated guess, then I say that also. I would bet my check on what Berta says..and do. I have never lost a dime following her advice. She is the best thing to ever happen to hadit, and I take the stuff she says to the bank. Berta is like the "Veterans Benefit Manual" of hadit. The VBM is so credible, written by attorney's and supported by case law, that The VA attorneys use it also. In a similar way, so is Berta's advice. I only wish I could offer advice to HER "STandard of Excellence". This does not mean I agree with everything she says, it means I respect everything she says. No 2 people are going to agree 100 percent on everything. I dont even agree with my brother all the time, and he is more like me than anyone else.
  8. There is no guarantee that the VA will accept an IME/IMO. The BVA, however, is required to give a "reasons and bases" as to why a particular competent medical opinion was not considered to be probative. The VA "rejected" my VA doc's opinion and stated the reason was that it conflicted with other evidence. They then cited a very old (2002) Voc rehab opinion, which was not really relevant. Still, they did give a reason as to why they rejected my doctors opinion that I "was unable to to maintain Substantial Gainful employement due to SC conditions". The BVA did not say, however, why they also rejected 4 other of my docs who basically said the same thing. My attorney recommended a "Voc Rehab" IMO, done by an experience Voc Rehab Counselor. One problem with many independent medical opinions is that the doctor does "not" know how to put his opinion in a format that VA will accept. One example is that a well meanining doc may say something like, "I can not say for sure, but its possible that the Veterans (condition) is related to military service." Or, that it "could be" related to military service. Or that it "may be" the result of military service. All of these terms are deal breakers, and almost always result in a denial as they care considered "speculative". If you get a copy of an IMO/IME and your doc used thise terms, then take it back to him and ask him to change it to a format VA will accept. Better yet, explain to the doc you need this in "the VA way" format to be acceptable. The VA's "nexus format" needs to be close to "The Veteran's condition is "at least as likely as not" related to xx events in military service". Then the doc needs to give a medical rationale as to why he made said statment. For example, he could cite the NEW England Journal of medicine article which stated that "58 percent of patients with peripheral neuropathy had diabetes". Therefore, the Veterans peripheral neuropothy is at least as likely as not secondary to the Veterans Diabetes Melitius. You need to select your IMO/IME doc wisely and make sure he understands the "VA way" of a nexus statment. You can ask any of your local docs to do an IMO/IME that does them as long as they have expertise in the applicable field. Do not ask your friend who has a Phd in sociology to make an opinion that your knee injury is at least as likely as not due to jumping out of airplanes in military service. Its useless unless he has medical expertise in treating and diagnosing knee injuries. 1. It MAY be a proven medical fact, but VA wants it to be proven IN YOUR CASE. This means a doctor needs to say YOUR diabetes "at least as likely as not" caused YOUR secondary conditions. 2. Yes. Again, you need a secondary nexus: YOUR diabetes "at least as likely as not" caused YOUR xxxx conditions. 3. A IME is generally at least as good as an IMO (IME means the doc examined you, IMO means he examined your records). BOTH of these should state, "I reviewed the patients records". To get an IME, you need to have a doctor examine you. An IMO can be done without seeing the doctor, but by sending him your medical records. I suggest you simply ask a LOCAL doctor, who has expertise, say in diabetes if you want an opinion on diabetes. You can simply do a google search on "doctors who specialize in diabetes", OR, doctors who are experts in diabetes (in your area). You can also hire Dr. Bash or Dr. Anise who are very familiar doing Veteran IMO's and know exactly what it takes and will do so with your medical records. Drawback: Dr. Bash is very expensive, and, the VA does not particularly regard his opinions all that high because he has done hundreds of them and VA is very familiar with Dr. Bash. Its controversial, but if you can get a local doc's opinion, in the "va way" format, at a reasonable price, I say do that. I think Dr. Bash's IMO's are Thousands of dollars. You may get a local doc to do it for 200 to 500 or so. Dont assume that because someone has an "MD" behind their name that means that they know how to do "VA way" IMO/s or IME's.
  9. I understand the "new" VA requirement for 50 percent rating is that the doctor must document your CPAP is "medically necessary". This looks a lot like the VA is trying to deny as many OSA claims as possible. I mean, gee whiz, when does the doc tell you to do this because its "medically necessary". Dont you assume the doc is doing his job and prescribes stuff for you that is medically necessary, or is the doctor prescribing stuff so he can get kickbacks from the drug company's or the companies who make CPAP supplies? I think doctors should be upset about this "medially necessary" clause..it insults them. I mean, gee what is the doc gonna say: "
  10. Jimmer: This sounds like a great use of your time. Its way better than worrying. Help other Veterans...this helped me, too, even tho my appeal will probably be done by the time this legislation is signed. (yea right.)
  11. First, its not good news. According to the VA website, the BVA is currently working on Docket numbers PRIOR to September, 2013. Source: https://www.bva.va.gov/CustomerService.asp Understand what this means. It does not mean if you filed a NOD yesterday, it will get done in 4 years. Unfortunately, no. It means AFTER the claim is docketed with the Board, it will likely take ANOTHER 4 years, which, will likely be even longer as the backlog is constantly getting worse. Remember, After you file a NOD, expect your VARO to "sit" on it for 419 days or more before they get you a required SOC. After you get your SOC, then you have to file an I9. Expect another delay of 537 days or more while the VARO "certifies" your claim to the BOard. Sometime well after you file the I9, you will eventually (if there are no glitches, and dont count on that) get a docket number and your place in line at the board. Source: BVA chairmans report: https://www.bva.va.gov/docs/Chairmans_Annual_Rpts/BVA2015AR.pdf Bottom line is if you are now filing a NOD, you probably wont get a BVA decision for AT LEAST 5 years, and it will more likely be 6 or 7 years, or more. And, this is best case senario, assuming no glitches, and assumes the VA wont lose or shred your NOD. Plus, the VARO has to implement the BVA award, and that does not always go smoothly either. So if you file a NOD now, you may be able to see your check in 2023 or 2024, that is, if you are sill alive and YOU timely file the I9. If you miss a deadline...you are out. The VA can make you wait ten years and its fine and dandy, but try YOU missing the one year appeal deadline OR the 60 day I9 requirement, and your goose is cooked. These numbers are understated because the backlog has grown almost 20 percent in the most recent 12 months, and there are no signs of letting up.
  12. I dont recommend you let the RO "get away" with an effective date that is worse than granted by the BVA. The RO is not at liberty to override the BVA. There is a chain of command here, and the VARO is below the BVA. This said, I have also had the VARO try to weasel out of an award by the BVA. In fact, I have the RO "denying" dependent benefits that my attorney and the CAVC already agreed on, and signed a "stipulated agreement". Beleive me, I am going after the RO on this, but will wait until my claim is done at the BVA and implemented by the RO. You see, the RO could give me dependent benefits THEN, and it will save me the trouble of filing another Writ of Mandamus. Mostly, I have seen Writs are filed Pro Se, as many/most attorney's do not want to file a writ. For me, I have bigger fish to fry, and will save the writ until after my completed board appeal and its implementation by the RO, as Im expecting the BVA decision anytime, almost certainly in the next few months, and it could be done in days or even hours.
  13. Well, unfortunately you can not rely on ebenefits. So, I wont speculate on that. But if you got your BVA decision, then if VARO does NOT implement it, then come back on hadit and one of us will try to tell you how to file a writ of mandamus to compel the VARO to comply with the BVA award order. Ok, here is the way to stop knee jerk worrying, and it works with other kinds of worry also. First, understand that "faith" beats fear. Everytime. Yea, I know its easy for me to say that, now that I have my 100 percent. But I did not always have that, in fact, I did not even have a home. My Sunday School teacher suggested setting aside an hour each week just for worrying. Probably, say, Saturday Afternoon around 4-5. I told him that was a good idea. However, when Saturday rolled around I was busy and forgot to worry, as I explained to him. He said that is ok, you can just worry double the next Saturday Afternoon. So, set aside next Saturday from 4 to 5. Make a list of all the worrying you want to do. Worry about your health, finances, family, heck worry about getting hit by an asteroid, or being engulfed in a sink hole. Worry about your kids or grandkids getting addicted to Fidget Spinners if you like! However, during the "other" 167 hours per week, do something more productive with your time, other than worrying. ALMOST anything will do, you can pick from this list, or make your own. 1. Call a friend and tell em you love them. Set a time to get together. 2. Have an intimate and deep conversation with your hubby. Tell him your feelings and listen to his. 3. Forgive someone you wanted to forgive long ago. 4. Plant a garden. 5. Help a stranger. 6. Help a neighbor or a friend. Hey, maybe bake them a cake, or donate something you like, but no longer need. 7. Go fishing. 8. Get another hobby. 9. Read a great inspirational book or see an inspirational movie such as "Facing the Giants" 10. Play ball with your kids or read to them. 11. Do something else you wanted to do for a long time but put it off as you did not have time.
  14. Berta I respect your opinion, and appreciate the advice you give. Still, Vets have not had good results, generally, when they hire an attorney and then go against his or her advice. I think if you lack confidence in your attorney, then you should consider firing your attorney. I have seen it before. Someone hires an attorney, then sends directly to VA documents, such as a CUE, and dont even inform the attorney. If you give the attorney responsibilty for the outcome for your claim, then you usually need to also follow his or her advice and not be filing documents with the VA that the attorney has advised against. You are correct that a new attorny will not talk to you while you are engaged with another attorney. You have to fire the attorney and then seek a new one. And, you take the real risk that you can not get another attorney OR that you could even get a worse one. I am in awe of your skills, Berta, but others are generally less persistent, less studious, and less informed than you are and we would be dreaming to expect the same results you get. If you go to the job and you have a lower grade of tool, or none at all, you often dont get the same result as someone whith knowledge and the right tools. You, Berta, have excellent tools, but most of us have tools and knowledge less than yours. That is why we seek your advice. As an example, you probably have several VBM's from several years. Most of us, including VSO's are lucky to have access to one years VBM. I think mine is a 2012 copy. I just can not afford the 200 per year or so for the updated VBM, or, I guess I should say I spent the money on other things which are a higher priority for me. I still dont recommend hiring an attorney give him complete access to your files, then do something other than what the attorney suggests absent a compelling reason. I think there is no deadline to file a cue, and I may even file one or more AFTER I see my current claim to fruition. Im represented by an attorney, and happy about that. The first thing my attorney did was to win a remand at the cavc level and get 6000 attorney fees paid by eaja. This means I wont have to pay the first 6000 in attorney fees. I like that very much. I pay only 20 percent on any retro minus the eaja fees paid. That means I pay zero attorney fees on the first 30,000 of retro, and 20 percent of anything above 30k.
  15. I will try to answer questions on DIC. Mostly, they begin, "Will my wife get DIC if I.....?" They should be answered here: Source: http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/dependency-and-indemnity-compensation.html