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broncovet last won the day on January 23 2018

broncovet had the most liked content!

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About broncovet

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  1. broncovet

    Attorney Fees Claim? Ebenefits

    The VA has a different defination of "expidited" than everyone else. Just like they have a diffent defination of "math" and their is called "VA math". In VA math, 90% plus 40% equals 90%..that is VA math. "Expidited" to VA means: "When VA gets around to it, in a few days, weeks, months, years or never..what ever is convient for them, except when it comes to VA executives paychecks. When there is a glitch there its expidited, and correct by next payday in 2 weeks or else someone is in deep do-do" . Before you will get paid from a VA award, you have to have a VARO decision to "implement" the board decision. I think the Chairman of the BVA said the average "remand" factor was 467 days. Read it yourself: https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp Can you imagine calling Amazon and ask them where your package is (which you paid "expidited shipping" costs for). And then they tell you, "oh, your Christmas package should be there by Christmas 2021..as they arrive in 467 days (about 1 year and 3 months). That's our "expidited shipping". You shouldnt have asked for expidited..your economy shipping would have gotten your package in a week to 10 days.
  2. Ann I looked and did not see any life insurance coverage through VA for spouses receiving DIC. The "only" life insurance FOR VETS that is at no cost is the first 10,000 in coverage for disabled Veterans who are eligible for waiver of premiums. All the other insurance has to be paid for. For that reason, you may consider purchasing life insurance "other than through VA". It could actually be less expensive than through VA. Of course, I dont know your age and health and that will have a great affect on the life insurance coverage available to you. IF you are over 65 but under 80, then you may have to get "guaranteed issue" life insurance unless you are in exceptionally good health. Guaranteed issue insurance is generally for those 60 to 85 or with health conditions where they cant get "regular" life insurance. The guaranteed issue insurance is generally a low face amount, usually under 25,000, and your beneficiary would only get "return of premiums paid" if you passed away in the first 2 years of the policy. (that is a typical guaranteed issue policy, sometimes called a funeral policy). Of course, if you are under 65 and in good health you can shop for the best deals. One of the decisions you will need to make is whether to get "permanent" aka whole life or "temporary"aka term insurance. You can think of whole life as "owned" insurance which builds cash value and you can even quit paying the premiums after its "paid up". On the other hand "rented" or term insurance only covers you for a specific period of time..often 10 years, to your age 65 etc. Then the term insurance "ends" and has no cash value, just like renting a home. Others can chime in here, but I looked, and am unaware of VA life insurance to DIC recipients. Perhaps Berta could chime in she is our DIC expert.
  3. Im assuming you mean TDIU. "UI" is either "unemployment insurance" or "urinary infection", and probaly dont apply. You can appeal your 80 percent rating if you are within a year of that VARO decision. Or, you can file for TDIU by filing the applicable tdiu form. If you feel the 80 percent was low, then I suggest an appeal. YOU can do both..appeal the 80 percent and file for TDIU at the same time. This is my suggestion provided that you have the following evidence you will need to get tdiu. 1. You need to not have Substantial gainful employement. (That is, you are not working). If not working, did you quit? It really does not look like you are unemployable if you had a job and quit it, unless you had a very compelling reason. One example of a compelling reason is if, say, you had to go to the doc 4 days a week for PTSD appointments,a nd your boss got tired of you missing work and told you, "Quit or you will be fired". Now that is a compelling reason. 2. You need to be "unable to work" due to Conditions which are service connected. This needs to be documented. REad your file and see if your doctor has an opinion that you are "unable to work" due to sc conditions.
  4. broncovet


    No, it would be called a "delay". The VA can take as long as they want to process your claim, so its still pending adjutication. You cant file a CUE on a pending (unadjuticed) claim. VA can take 20 years, or more to adjuticate your claim and there is little you can do about it except complain. You also can not appeal a BVA remand. You have to wait for the VARO to comply with the boards remand. Of course, there could be other cues in the applicable decisions..we dont know that without reviewing your entire file.
  5. broncovet

    TDIU 100 percent cuts age 67 2020

    Tbird already posted this. Its an "option" that has been floating around for decades, ever since I can remember. There is no proposed legisltation to change this. Even if it were enacted, people would be grandfathered in who were 67 before year 2020. I also explained that any politician who would propose such a bill to cut Vets benefits would be cutting their own political career's throat..and they know it.
  6. The VA is NOT a unified body. Your examiner can use either of the 3 you listed, or make up his own. Im having a "senior" moment and cant remember the case right now, but there is a well known cavc case where "pain" has to be considered. In other words, this suggest the rom measurement should be taken when you first experience pain in bending the appendage, not the max the physical therapist can get in spite of your pain. As far as "flare ups", sometimes the examiner will opine if he thinks you are in flare up, and document it accordingly. Remember, tho, we have to show continuity of symptoms..if it hurt for a while then goes away that is considered an "acute" condition. The VA rates us on "chronic" conditions, that is, while the pain may wax and wane, it pretty much limits our ability to work. You wont get paid for a sprained ankle that heals up, but only if this sprained ankle leaves "residuals" such as degenerative arthirits or other chronic symptoms.
  7. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    No, I havent seen the movie, but I can assure you I agree 100 percent that you can not always trust VA employees or VSO's. You are preaching to the choir, there, because VA EARNED their lack of trust with me the hard way: They lied their way to their poor reputation. This said, VA is a very inefficient operation both with and without RAMP. And, their management has permitted a few honest employees to infiltrate the ranks of the dishonest VA executives. It is somewhat like congress. A good friend of mine says they should have term limits for congress and her reasoning is sound. She says when a politician gets elected, they often beleive their campaign platform and fully desire to change a corrupt system. They soon find out the system corrupts them, instead of them turning congress honest. Those poor new hired honest VA employees are often corrupted by VA management who want the status quo. The VA has managed to fire whistleblowers and retaliate even tho that is supposed to be against the law. Remember, the VAOIG investigates corruption inside the VA. Its a cozy relationship between corrupt kangarooo court and corrupt VA executives. Its pretty much the same thing as when the mafia "owns" the police. VA deserves its reputation for lack of trust. I have seen some signs where this is changing, however. I got great service from my local vamc with my recent total knee replacement back in October. I was treated well and got a good result with my knee replacement, actually better than friends who got their knees replaced in the private sector.
  8. There are 2 ways to get to smc s. The first is statuatory smc s, where you have 100 percent plus an additional 60 percent as Berta said. The other way is "housebound in fact" which means you are "substantially confined" to your home. Apparently, the VA decision maker did not think you qualifed for the former (statuatory), reminding you those conditions have to be "seperate and distict" from each other. Otherwise, you shouldnt need to go to a c and p exam. An exam for "housebound" is to deterimine if you are "substantially confined" to your home. If they deny you because you showed up for the exam ("he cant be housebound if he left the home for a doc exam"), then appeal . Howell, as Alex Graham succintly explained, shows the VA is wrong for doing this. https://asknod.org/2014/08/25/cavc-howell-v-nicholson-what-smc-s-really-says/
  9. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    You are right..I dont know how long it will take. 5.9 years is not my estimate..its the BVA chairmans "average" during 2018. I posted the link to the BVA Chairmans report (where I got the numbers) to congress so you can read it for yourself. He listed in in "days" and listed each step. I added up the days and divided by 365. If you have a better estimate, I would love to hear it.
  10. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    (PRE BVA) Ramp decisions are an approximate equivalent of the legacy DRO review, which likely also has a 90 percent denial rate. Of course, Im not real sure if HLR or SCL denial rate is 90 percent..VA isnt posting numbers that Im aware of. However, since VARO decision are about 85% denied, that is consistent with a DRO/HLR/SCL denial rate of about 90 percent. Im pretty sure Alex, at one time, even suggested foregoing the DRO because of such a high denial rate. At least that means I have a 10 percent chance of not having to wait 5.9 years for the board to decide. And, "NO", Im not angry at Alex. Frankly, I dont give Alex or others the authority to "make" me mad. I choose whether or not to be angry, and I dont normally delagate that to someone else, except in really rare cases. I have my own thinking process, probably different from most, where I decide who to be mad at or whether or not to hold a grudge. Right now, and for the past ten years or more, my "grudge list" consists of "0" people, and I dont intend to add any names to my grudge list anytime soon. Alex has helped a lot of Veterans, including myself, and I speak highly of him, even if we dont agree on RAMP. The 5.9 years in legacy appeals is a deal breaker for me. I wish Alex success in his endeavors. I appreciate Alex when he takes the time to offer his opinions on hadit. His opinions are a real help to many Vets, including me. However, I dont have to agree with him on everything...certainly my wife and I dont agree on everthing, so its not a suprise that we have some differing opinions on RAMP.
  11. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    Veterans are free to chose RAMP or wait 5.9 years for their legacy BVA appeals (estimate per BVA Chairmans REport, here..you do the math and add em up: https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp ). That is year 2025, unless you have an advance on the docket. This isnt "fake news"..its the BVA Chairmans report. Or, maybe the Chairman's report is fake..I dont know, but I do know the 5 year plus delay to the BVA is the REAL DEAL. I have made my choice..the VA can keep their SOC, and their 5.9 year delay. I have already opted into RAMP. Win lose or draw, I dont want to still be waiting "in the year 2025". For those who chose to wait 5.9 years.., knock yourself out.
  12. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    Well, you get travel pay for travel to Va comp and pen exams, so you might even make a buck if you have a fuel efficient car.
  13. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    Alex.. I had a c and p exam (for OSA) done by an MD who admitted she had "0" experience or training in sleep medicine. I allege she was incompetent to opine on issues of sleep medicine as she had no experience or training. In a similar way, on issues of "RAMP" , a JD does not give an attorney competency in RAMP. While I appreciate the attorney's and yourself opinions on RAMP, the attorney's level of expertise on RAMP issues is the same as my experience on RAMP issues: zero, or, at least "very little". There are attorneys, with a JD who accept Veterans claims but they really have little or no experience WITH VA OR CAVC. This is a dis service to Veterans. I would much, much rather be represented by Berta or yourself than any attorney with zero experience with VA. Experience in "other" law, probably does not translate well into experience with VA law. The real answer is we dont know how well RAMP will work out with Vets. Some Vets are likely to benefit from RAMP, while its certainly possible others will find out it was a mistake for them to opt into RAMP. Getting back to the issues, I dont understand the statment that RAMP "deprives Veterans of innumerable due process". There are not 2 sets of 38 CFR's..one for RAMP and one for NON RAMP. However, I do agree that by opting into RAMP: 1. Vets waive the right to a SOC. However, its unclear that waiving the right to a SOC "gives up innumerable due process rights". 2. However, if the Vet also opted into HLR, then he likely is giving up his right to submit new evidence in exchange for some promised "expidited processing", which, of course, remains to be seen if VA will actually keep that promise. It makes sense to me that most Vets simply not use HLR, but rather use SCL to "preserve" their right to submit new evidence (whether you call it new and material evidence or new "relevant" evidence it remains to be seen how the judges will interpret this difference, if any, since its too new to have been tested yet.) . My opinion that the legacy system, which the new BVA chairmans report says it will take about 5.9 years on average to get through the BVA, is simply such a long period its unacceptable. Period. I still think its in Vets best interest to "try" RAMP as any alternative is better than a 5.9 year delay. I learned, once after getting a tractor stuck in a mudhole, to "get off the tractor" and try something else, and not just dig into the mud deeper. Legacy claims are "stuck in a 5.9 year mudhole" and, even an untested RAMP is an alternative worthy of consideration. Too many Vets will be DEAD or so sick they are unable to continue their claim/appeal in 5.9 years. I may be one of those. IM gonna try an alternative. I dont see a lot of difference if my claim gets to the Board via RAMP or legacy appeals, but there is a big difference in TIME. Im either gonna have my Caluza elements documented or not. Im either gonna be entitled to an earlier effective date or not, regardless if its ramp or not. For me, giving up the SOC is a small price to pay for even the "chance" I might get a decision in 1/6 th that amount of time. The legacy system is broken..we all agree on that. The same people who say RAMP is broken also are usually not suggesting how to fix it, they just dont like other's proposal to fix it. Any new project usually has naysayers. RAMP is no different, and Im sure there "will be glitches" in it too. Nobody has all the details. But the concept that maybe we have "to much" due process which delays our claims sounds plausable to me.
  14. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    Ok, we wont know until it happens. If you make it to the BVA through Ramp in less than the 5.9 years (that the BVA chairmans report says is "average" for legacy appeals), then you got there quicker. If it takes you LONGER than 5.9 years to get to the BVA (through RAMP), then you were right and I will have to eat my words. This is because "sooner" is better than "later" with all else equal. That is why I think its better for the Vet. Because I think you will make it to the BVA (through RAMP) in much less than 5.9 years.
  15. broncovet

    Ramp was a waste of time

    No law firms have "any" experience with RAmp, or, at best, limited experience, because Ramp just started in 2017. Several law firms, however, have done a great job reading and explaining ramp to their clients and others. CCK law is one of them. https://cck-law.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-RAMP/ They, wisely neither recommend nor bash RAMP because it depends on the circumstances. For example, if your legacy appeal was with a BVA judge, you would be foolish to drop out and opt into ramp as that would "cost" you time, not save you time. When I opted into ramp, I found out there were more than 100,000 Vets ahead of me at my appeal to the Board. That made it an easy choice: I went for RAMP. I had at least 3 more years to go which made staying in legacy appeals an unacceptable option.

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