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Everything posted by broncovet

  1. But what was the "date" the doc said you became disabled? (TDIU). You will need to read your file to find out. Also, when did you first apply for tdiu? It should be the later of these 2, again, unless you are one of the many exceptions in the regulations in the link, above.
  2. A friend of mine told me, regarding the FAA, that "The FAA is not happy until you are not happy". The VA is the same way, they are not happy unless we are miserable. Why do they deny us? To make us miserable and to wait from 18 months to 10 plus years in appeals, hoping we die or give up before our appeals are done. If you fail to appeal, give up, or quit, the VA wins. Dont let em win. You need to appeal if you think you meet the criteria. File a NOD, I recommend BVA, not HLR or SCL.
  3. asdf is correct. There are at least 2 ways to get to SMC S: 1. You need a single disability at 100 percent plus A COMBINED 60 percent seperate and distinct. OR 2. You are housebound in fact.
  4. Short answer: We dont know without more information. Longer answer: Your effective date is the later of the "facts found" (the date the doc said you were unable to work due to sc conditions) or the date of claim, "with some exceptions". A few of the exceptions are is it a claim for increase, did you get out of the service within one year, are you a Nehmer Vet, and a few others. You can read the regulation and see if you are eligible for some of the exceptions https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/5110
  5. This is about a $185 dollar increase, per month, for single 100 percent Vets with no dependents.
  6. You posted: Of course its "not fair". Va isnt fair, on many levels, and this is what hadit is about. I am not all that suprised you did not get a good result with HLR. HLR is "without" new evidence. SCL means you can submit new evidence. If you would have asked which appeal route to take we would have tried to advise against HLR. I would have advised skipping HLR..only a small percent of those are granted, but at the bVA about 70 percent are granted or remanded. However, its unproductive for me to suggest "what you should have done", because that ship has sailed. The important part is what to do now. My advice: 1. If you have new evidence submit it, along with a change to SCL or, better yet an appeal to BVA. 2. The only way to kow for sure what is in your file is to view it on VBMS access, which only an attorney or VSO can access. (or claims agent) So, you need to review your evidence (aka vbms file or efile) 3. See if that file shows evidence for an eed. Are you familiar with the eed rules? They are rather complex. I would be interested in hearing your "eed entiltlement hypothesis" since you know more about your file than I do. Some eeds have been won with: You did not mention your reasons you think you deserve an eed.
  7. you posted: No. But you are splitting hairs. The law stated it could not be DELEGATED to the examiner, but it does not say the examiner can not render an opinion. There are some special rules here. The doctor gives an opinion. The rating specialists review the applicable "(medical opinion's)" AND they rater decides "what weight to give each opinion", if any, especially if there are conflicts of medical opnions. A single medical opinion may or may not have all the necessary information for the rater to render a rating. For example: 1. The medical opinion may or may not give an etiology. If there is no etiology, then another opinion which gives an opinion of etiology, is usually necessary. 2. The medical opinion may or may not document symptoms, necessary for rating. 3. The medical opinion may or may not document a start date (for effective date purposes) as to when you became disabled. 4. Generally, the medical opinion must include a 'medical rationale" for why such an opinion is rendered. Example: THE doctor opines that its at least as likely as not that the PTSD (SC) caused sleep apnea. The doctor must give medical reasons as to why he rendered such an opinion, or VA may not accept it.
  8. You posted: This is lawyer speak for "you need an IMO to show the above". Also, as your lawyer advised, "its not enough" for you to sc new disabilities, you should do so with respect to obtaining smc or not. Example: loss of use, functional loss of reproductive organ, or statuatory smc s. (100 plus 60 seperate and distinct). Smc mostly boils down to loss of use, a and a, and housebound. I dont advise persuing va benefits for fun, if you want fun, do something more fun such as having all your teeth pulled and then put back in.. Persuing VA bennies is often as fun as going to the dentist
  9. Was your case before the one above? (Likely, this is very recent) Do you have Caluza elements? yVA does not compensate us for FINANCIAL loss, but rather, LOSS of earnings ability due to an event in service. My advice: Start over, apply again, cite the above case if it applies. If denied again, be ready to line up a lawyer and fight retro. You could also submit new relevant evidence, if you have any to reopen that the va did not have earlier. Your gonna need to do a complete review of your file to do this.
  10. Im not from NY, but it does not matter tHAT much where you are anymore, because of a "NWQ" (National Work Que). Since all paperwork MAILED IN will be scanned in anyway, when you submit a claim it goes into a NWQ "and its put into a list". Then, when a rater finishes a claim in Virgina, he picks up the next one in the list, which could be any one of the 50 states. If they are telling you its because "they have a high Veteran population" in your area, well horse puckey, as I explained. Even 10 years ago, I got decisions which stated " a different VARO" than the one I live in, multiple times. So, this is been going on "a while". Of course, some VSO's, especially trained in the old school, may not get this. While this does seem a bit long, VA people have been whining about the slowness of NPRC for some time, and that isnt getting better very fast. Apparently NPRC was closed for covid (like many other places), and its created a backlog at NPRC. It may help a lot if YOU have a copy of your records and send those to VA. But VA may already have yours, you probably wont know that unless you have a VSO with e access, aka VBMS access. If you have a VSO with VBMS access, he should be able to look at your file and see whats happening. However, it sounds like you already know that there is a glitch with c and p exams. If VA can not find a glitch to hold up your claim, they will figure one out, and are creative with this. Its too bad I have not been rated based on "number of glitches the past 19 years" (since 2002) because, if I were, I would be getting at least 8 grand a month.
  11. Sorry for your loss. I like Payson, Az better than Flagstaff, even tho both are up in the mountains. Flagstaff is "touristy", while Payson has great prices. My sister lives in payson
  12. You can "pile on SMC" L's for loss of use, just like you can pile on SMC K's. You can have loss of use of both hands, and both eyes, and your reproductive organ, all SC, for example. Getting VA to do this, however, its easier to win the lottery. I have talked to VA employees who prescribe to the theory that "100 percent" is the max..that is how little they know about SMC.
  13. Frisch's used to have a slogan "What's your favorite thing"? Here are VA's favorite things, in reverse order: 1. Denying Veterans 2. Ignoring Veterans like the one you mentioned. VA has no time limits on anything. 3. Irritating Veterans, such as giving false hope, or just plain lying to Veterans. 4. Delaying Veterans. The VA is very creative at creating glitches which always delay. The VA "just does not feel right" until they have accomplished "at least one of the above" to a Veteran each day. I have had at least 3 out of the 4 done almost every time I call. These people are good!
  14. John Yea, the VA expected me to raise my family of 5 on $400 per month in 2005. They awarded (after a denial, BVA appeal, and then an "implementation" of the BVA award at zero percent.) me 40 percent. (I was unemployed/unemployable and eventually won tdiu). I lost my home as my house payment was more than the 40 percent the VA expected me to live on. (Even that took the VA 3 years). Even tho I lost my home due to VA ineptitude, I eventually bought another after I got to 100 percent. I guess they figured "cost of living" for a family of 5 was $400 per month. I should have never had to lose my home..VA should have just done it right the first time..instead of making me wait until 2009 (7 years) for my benefits. Even then, it took VA 10 more years to straighten out the retro and mulltiple appeals. In 2019, seventeen years after I filed, they finally got it right..almost! They still messed up dependents, and SMC effective dates. And VA wonders why Im mad and dont trust them. Well, I have forgiven them (it does not help to keep a grudge "even if" they deserve it). But I still dont trust VA Even in 2019, they shorted me 50 k retro, and I had to request an audit to fix that. Every single decision they ever made had one or more errors. Every one, starting with 2002, when I had all 3 Caluza elements. They made up stuff to deny, claiming "it was too long since service" to be SC for hearing loss. "Time since military service" is NOT one of the criteria for service connection. They just made it up.
  15. "If" your audiologist/doctor says your meinieres disease is "at least as likely as not" related to your PTSD, GO FOR IT. Remember, you dont have to have a Phd in VA'ola to apply for benefits. You dont need to know the differences between Primary, direct, secondary, presumptive or 1151. You simply "apply" for menieres disease and let VA raters do their job and decide which, if any, of the above types of SC apply. This said, I noticed its related to hearing loss, and you mentioned ENT. Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss, or tinnitus? The "obvious" link between PTSD-hearing loss and menieres disease is if you were near a bomb or loud weapons went they went off. What is your stressor? Is it combat related?
  16. That is why Tbird started "hadit". My advice is: 1. Dont even think of making a decision on what to do until you receive the envelope, ebenfits is unreliable or often out of date. 2. Ok, so CAVC remanded to BVA, and BVA remanded to VARO. Welcome to the hamster wheel of remands. I finally "got off" the hamster wheel of remands when I submitted new and material evidence (an IMO). While I have not reviewed your file, there may have been something in there...Reread your file and especially c and p exams. You would be suprised at how many times The VARO lost evidence critical to supporting our claim. It happens often enough they have a special regulation for it: 38 CFR 3.156. Review the decision letters "evidence" section and see what evidence they had. 3. In short, its probably gonna take an IMO to win it. If you can not afford an IMO, there are several law firms who will upfront the cost of an IMO "provided that" they think it will be a winner. Its happened to me before, as one law firm upfronted the IMO fee and I paid it back out of retro.
  17. I agree with John. Inflation erodes the dollars of social security and Veterans slowly. Example: Savings accounts used to earn an easy 4 or 5 percent, now they are less than 1/2 percent. Assuming 5% inflation, this means your money erodes almost $50 for each $1000 you have in savings. Worse, our checks do that also. I remember my father who got a whopping $330 per month social security back in the 60's. He thought that was a lot, plenty to live on. Gas was 29 cents a gallon, hamburger 59 cents a pound. A new Datsun (now called Nissan) pickup was under $2000. Many of these things are 10 times, or more what they were. I think when he died he was getting $600 per month. So, inflation went up 10 x, while his wages only doubled, over the years. A new pickup (should you be able to find one for sale, there is a shortage) is about $50,000. That is 25x. Hershey bars were 5cents, now those are about $1.
  18. The Military Officers Association estimates the increase to be 5.9%, but that will vary with the CPI W, which will be published "About" Oct 15 or so. https://www.moaa.org/content/take-action/cola-watch/ Just in case, better think about a car that gets better mileage than the Vette, which is just about every other car. My Honda CRV hybrid gets 40 in the city, 38 on the hiway. Its a great car, quiet, smooth. . It has more horsepower than the non hybrid CRV and gets better mileage. How is that so? Well because the electric portion of the hybrid adds 12 more horsepower. Like the other hybrids, when you push the brakes it charges the hybrid battery. The hard part: Its hard to find honda crv hybrids for sale. Too many people like em.
  19. YOu get back pay on the increase only. So, if your combined rating does not change, you still can get back pay "if" the effective date is earlier.
  20. Yep. The procedure, as GB posted, is to hire an attorney at the cavc. The good news is that EAJA regularly pays attorney fees at CAVC. Im sure you have already documented a current diagnosis, in service event, and the nexus. However, check them again. Often there is mysteriously missing evidence, as VA loves to lose our evidence. Start with a nova attorney, you have no time to lose you have to appeal to the cavc within 60 days or 120 days, I forget which right now. Your attorney will know. Dont wait. It takes time to procure an attorney. https://www.vetadvocates.org/cpages/sustaining-members-directory Your attorney need not be from the Tenn. Call one or more of the above. More is better. You see, attorneys specialize in their own favorite cases, and often turn down those unrelated, so you may have to contact a half dozen attorneys to find one to represent you. I have been through that.
  21. You posted: Correct. And this is consistent with what I posted, here: Loss of use of your eyes is another way of saying blindness.
  22. There would be no reason to "file a secondary claim" UNLESS your doc has opined that your lumbar spine is at least as likely as not due to (an already secondary condition). Ok, so you filed a NOD. Was this a BVA appeal, HLR, or SCL? To "really" find out what is going on, you are gonna need to see your VBMS file, aka efile. It should say. For that you would need either a VSO with VBMS access or an attorney or claims agent with same. It is concerning that you have not heard anything in a year. Did you file it paper, or online? Did you keep a copy of this filing and send it certified mail return receipt requested? One of VA's "favorite things" is to lose your documents. Especially those which prove your claim. In 2008, the VA was caught shredding Vets evidence, and we dont really have any proof that does not still continue. I think it may be harder for them, because, when you send stuff to Janesville, its scanned it and becomes part of your VBMS file. Thus you want to see your VBMS file and see if its there. Yours is a very real problem, which took me 17 years and many appeals to straighten out, and it really never got fixed, per se. However, I did win my benefits back to my filing date, so it was "sort of" fixed. My advice is: 1. File a supplemental claim, citing the date of the nod you filed. (Hopefully you have a copy). 2. Take a look at your vbms file and see if the nod shows up. You may also be able to see this in ebenefits/VA.gov, but those are not reliable, but sometimes better than nothing. Usually you would have at least received an acknowledgement of your appeal. 3. Provided that you have some documentation of when you filed the nod, you will likely have to fight VA tooth and nail for your effective date. However, first get SC, then a disability percent, and lastly dispute the effective date. You can not fight an effective date claim for something to which you are not SC. Shreddergate2: Fortunately, I was a victim of shreddergate 1, so I may be able to help here but need more information, as I asked above.
  23. If you are certain you wont be returning to the USA, then go ahead after you review the Woods and Woods advice which I linked above. It seems counter intuitive to me to serve the USA for 4 or more years, then give up your citizenship for another country, even if you have family outside USA. Im not sure of your reasons for serving the USA, but whatever they were, did anything change in that regard? For me, nothing changed from when I served. I love the USA, and risked my life to serve USA. I still do, even tho, of course, there are things I dont like about USA. Vets tell me that Germany is a wonderful place to be stationed if you must go overseas. I have never been to Germany but I have been to England and Italy. A friend of mine once advised with chess moves: "make the move which leaves you the most options" if you are contemplating a choice between 2 equally valid moves. Someone else said it differently: Dont burn down any bridges that you may need to cross someday. Ripping up your USA citizen ship may be hard to reverse. For that reason, unless you have a compelling reason, I would keep USA citizen ship. Remember, both USA leadership and Germany leadership could change in the future, and who knows: Maybe USA will pass a law to NOT compensate Veterans who give up their citizens ship. Or, worse, maybe Germany leadership will change and make it "not so nice" place to live anymore. It seems counter intuitive to me to serve the USA, then rip up that citizenship later, unless there is a compelling reason. One example of a compelling reason: Love. If you had to do this to be able to marry the one you love, then that is a compelling reason.
  24. You indicated you are 100 percent and eye issues, and the title is the effective date on SMC. Lets review what you need for additional compensation, because there is little point in apply for more conditions if the result does not increase your check: SMC is basically for these 3 main issues: 1. Loss of use of body parts. Do you have loss of use of eyes, feet, etc.? Do you meet the criteria for blindness? 2. A and A. Do you need assistance of others? 3. Are you housebound/ bed bound? If you dont have the loss of use of any body parts, dont need A and A, and are not housebound in fact, there is still at least one more way for you to get additional comp added to your check: Statuatory housebound. To get that, you need a "single" 100 percent plus an additional 60 percent combined seperate and distinct from each other. So, if you are already 100 percent for PTSD, and you think you meet the criteria for additional disabilities combining to 60 percent, go for it. Now, to address your "worry". If you have improved VA wants to reduce you. This happens independently whether or not you apply for an increase. My advice is to review these restrictions ON VA (not on you) in trying to reduce you. Since you are permanent and total, all of the following apply to you. In a nutshell, since VA can not reduce you "unless you have actual improvement under ordinary conditions of life", you have nothing to worry about. Specifically "ordinary conditions of life" means WORKING. If you got 100 percent, then go back to work, well, something may have improved well enough for you to earn SGE, because, mostly, VA pays us for a reduction in our earning capacity due to one or more SC disabilities. If you are unable to work AT ALL, then its hard for them to reduce you. While there are exceptions, the VA does not generally "call Vets for a rexam" (with a purpose of determining if you got better and should be reduced) if you are over 55 years old. They called Carlie, a hadit member who is now deceased, for a re exam. (She was over 55 at the time). She threw a fit and contacted the right people and the VA cancelled her c and p exam, based on her being over 55. It makes no sense to try to reduce an 80 year old Vet in a nursing home. He obviously has enough problems and does not need VA hassel. AARP (retired people) is a very powerful lobby organization, and they managed to get this rule so that people over 55 are not dragged for c and p re exams. Of course, if you are over 55 you can still get a c and p exam for increase, but the presumption here is that over age 55 people dont just get 35 again, and go do a job like they did when they were young. In a nutshell, my advice is to review your file to see if your doc has indicated you have loss of use, that your are housebound, or need A and A. Further, check to see if you can meet statuatory hb with an increase. If so, file for an increase and dont worry about reductions, since you stated you have not improved. As far as the effective dates of SMC, its based on "when you meet the criteria, not when you file." As an example, if you have needed A and A for 2 years, but just now filed, you should get retro for 2 years if awarded. SMC is not limited to the date of filing like regular comp.
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