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Everything posted by broncovet

  1. Woods and Woods explains that you can submit a SCL "even if" you are not in the 1 year appeal period, provided that you have new/relevant evidence. I would "exercise caution" using HLR. Why? Well, because we often dont know, in real time, what is in our file. Is an exam dated dd-mm-yy in our file? "Unless" you can see that exam either on the evidence section, OR you can view it in your VBMS file, you dont really know. You see, your file is constantly changing..stuff gets deleted, new stuff added. So, has that exam been deleted? You can check your VBMS (if you have a VSO or lawyer
  2. I have read a lot of Veterans appeals. I wondered "why" my attorney did not "argue" all my points, and instead just did one or two? Now I know why! I see Vets "complain" in their appeal, for example, "that the C and P doc only spent 20 minutes" on his exam. How is that relevant? Does the Veteran know that the doc could well have read his file for 3 hours and not need much more? Sometimes, we just want to shorten our appeal. Dont mention in your appeal how rude your "ask Peggy" person was. Just the facts, please. Here is why: Its a "dilution" effect: https://getpocket.
  3. There are 2 enemies of FEAR (this includes fear of being reduced). They are: 1. Knowledge. VA has to jump through these hoops to reduce you. Its a very high hoop to jump through. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.344 2. Faith. I use a combination of these, and dont worry about reductions, even tho VA has done a proposed reduction on me twice. (Both were meaningless "dependent" proposed reductions. I mean, gee, its not that difficult to show how many dependents you have. Its on your tax form. I can't believe VA TWICE suggested I was no longer married. I had my wif
  4. Maybe. Your spouse, if you have one, would "probably" like the security of an extra 1400 or so per month, upon your death. So, consider this: 1. Your wife should get DIC if you die of a SC condition OR 2. If you die from any reason once you are 100 percent P and T AFTER 10 years. "If" you have a condition that is not SC, "but could be", AND its possible to die from that, then you should persue additional disabilities/percentages in order to get DIC. Example: CAD. "If" you are Vietnam Vet, the CAD is presumptive, and since its often the cause of death, you sh
  5. Probably. Are you getting SMC S? It sounds like you should be. Statuatory SMC S is 100 percent (tdiu counts and you posted your tdiu is based on PTSD) plus a combined 60 percent or better seperate and distinct. That sounds like you qualify for SMC S which is about another 360 per month or so. Perhaps more importantly are you getting your free 10,000 life insurance? You should, the first 10,000 is free. That is whole life and builds up cash so dont even think of throwing that 10,000 dollars away. Now, lets talk about your spouse. She can get dic if you pass and you either
  6. SMC normally means "loss of use". Loss of use of hands, eyes, feet, etc. etc. Two exceptions are SMC L (Aid and Attendance) and SMC S (housebound). Pretty much, unless he has loss of use of body part(s), needs someone to help him (A and A) or housebound, you are pretty much out of luck with SMC. If your friend told us "which stuff on him" does not work, we could better tell him which SMC to apply for. If you have a single 100 percent disability AND additional combined 60 percent, seperate and distinct, then you can get statutory SMC S.
  7. Some times we just have to accept that the world is "not fair", and VA is no different. In fact, the VA is unfairer than most "not fair's". I applied in 2002, and the VA "didnt even bother" to adjuticate TDIU until 2009. Seven years to the initial decision. (Oh, well, they "forgot" to adjuticate TDIU). Now, People tell ME, "its not fair" that I get 100 percent plus SMC S, plus my meds cost zero, and my wife has the best heatlh insurance money cant buy. Not to mention I dont have to pay for license plate, drivers license, sales tax is free at the BX, I got 10,000 free life ins
  8. Getting upset with "VA.gov" is like getting upset with the weatherman. Like the weatherman, VA.gov often gets it wrong. Relax, get a hobby and wait for the envelope.
  9. Veteran's confusion is VA's favorite weapon. Have you been granted DEA Chapter 35 benefits for your kids and Champva for your spouse? THESE are definite signs you ARE P and T. VA makes their decisions confusing. Does your "letters" in VA's ebenefits allow you to print a letter that says you are permanent and Total? Would "eliminating" your back issues, and your radiculopothy ratings change anything? As an example, if you are PTSD 100 percent and back issues 40 percent and 20 percent for radiculopthy, then those ratings are unlikely to matter. My
  10. Yes, if its a temporary, (convalescent) rating those only last 12 months.
  11. Im not sure if you know this or not, but at the CAVC your lawyer does not cost you anything. They get paid from EAJA. If I understand your post, you apparently fired your lawyers. OR, maybe they did not agree to represent you. Its not unusual to disagree with your lawyers. Like you, I disagreed with my lawyer, Julie Glover, who, altho she won a remand which resulted in additional benefits, she declined to represent me on my eed appeal. So, I got another lawyer, Chris Attig, who took my case, and won a remand. Upon remand, I submitted new evidence as my lawyer suggested and won m
  12. We dont know if you will be "taken care of" or not. Certainly, you cant go by what they tell you on the phone. You should know soon enough, you need to be paitient and wait for the envelope. Or, if you like, you can try the "letters" section of ebenefits, because, even tho ebenefits is inaccurate, the letters section is usually pretty good. (But not always up to date). Im somewhat troubled, on your post, however. You discussed HLR and CUE, but these are not the same thing. You also mentioned they could not find your SSA records. You can resubmit those, but NOT with HLR. Spec
  13. You might be in the wrong "letters" section, since it sounds like you had a disability percentage BEFORE your recent application. There are several letters, at least one of which gives "not only" whether or not you are P and T, but also your income from VA. This is useful if you wanted to buy a home and verify your income, for example. You can either wait for the envelope, or, try "nosing around" different letters, in that section of ebenefits.
  14. You can reopen THIS denial also, with your new and material evidence (doc report) 38 cfr 3.156 b OR Just appeal to the BVA (my choice).
  15. Basically, "our opinion" does not matter. What you need is a medical opinion, from a competent, qualified doc. As always, you need the Caluza elements for Service connection: 1) Current diagnosis of spinal stenosis 2) in service event or aggravation, 3) Nexus or link between 1 and 2. My advice is to check your file. See if your doctor opined it may be related to AO. If he does, you are good to go. But, if he does not offer said opinion, you will need an IMO/IME to get Service connected. However, that diagnosis is a deal killer. "Congenital" means you had it since birth:
  16. Had I listened d to VSO's, former employees, or even attorneys, I would have never gotten my rating. READ the regulations. I did! Let me say it again: Often, there is "more than one way" to interpret the regulations. Guess "which way" the VA is required to interpret them? The law requires the Veteran be given the BOD (benefit of the doubt). While it is true the VA does not always give the Vet the benefit of the doubt, you can appeal it and make them comply with regulations. My advice, Buck, is in the quote above: READ the regulations. Does THIS say anything
  17. The M21 (unless this has changed) requires "an adjutication" for SMC S, "whenever" a single 100 percent is awarded. The idea here, is that the VA should deny the Veteran SMC S, "if" he does not have an additional combined 60 percent "seperate and distinct". It sounds like VA "never adjuticated" your (inferred/informal claim for spousal A and A), so you will need to force the issue. 1. Send an IRIS email inquiring as the "status" of your spousal A and A claim made (date) mm-dd-yy. 2. Call the 1 800 number and do the same. Its possible to get an informal claim going "o
  18. This is a little bit of a complex issue, so allow me to try to "uncomplicate it". 1. You need to meet this criteria for TDIU: "Did a doctor opine your SC conditions rendered you unable to maintain substantial gainful employment?" Since a doc is not a voc rehab specialist you may "also" need a voc rehab specialist opinion that you cant do "any" job, not just your present job. 2. The newer TDIU forms requires you to put one or more conditions you allege causes tdiu. The VA "holds us" to stuff we write on the application form. As Pacmanx1 said, if you put down "all" your SC con
  19. You need an "in service event" which may or may not include "medical treatment". Last I checked its not against the law to have an "in service event" and not get treated for it. Please allow an example: Paratroopers. They jump out of an airplane (in service event). They may or may not go to the doctor, but injuries to the knees or feet are common. This is especially true if you have multiple jumps. You can be service connected for knee issues after service, even if you were never treated in service. Treatment in service is not one of the Caluza elements. While treatment in servce
  20. I dont go "drawing conclusions" based entirely on what ebenefits says. I wait for the envelope, as I find ebenefits notoriously in accurate and out of date. My advice is to wait for the envelope and not "second guess" ebenefits.
  21. You have been given good advice. The only thing I will add, like always, is "Get your Caluza elements", and you will get Service connected. As Broken soldier correctly pointed out, Caluza element 2 is critial: 1. CURRENT diagnosis. According to your post, it sounds like it may be "femoral acetabellar impingment". But it could be other stuff he listed also. 2. As Broken soldier correctly posted, you need an "in service event" or "aggravation". 3. "If" you have the above 2, you will also need a nexus, or doc opinion that your current condtion is at least as likely as
  22. Steven: While I do agree with Pacmanx1, you should start a new post. However, since you are new, I will respond this time only, next time, start a new topic. If you apply for benefits WITHIN 12 months of your exit from service, you should get benefits beginning the day after you got out of service. Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/5110 Specifically: If you dont apply within a year of exit from service, then your effective date will be the later of the date of application or facts found, but with the exceptions found in 38 USC 5110.
  23. Congratulations! Most decisions, rather than come right out and say "You are permanent and Total", use phrases like "No additional exams are scheduled", and more importantly, "Entitlement to DEA Chapter 35 benefits are established." Dont forget your additional benefits you "may" not have thought of: 1. Champva for your spouse. This is a big deal, high quality health insurance for your spouse at no charge. 2. College for your kids. Im showing $1265 per month for each of your kids for college: https://www.military.com/education/money-for-school/dependents-educationa
  24. This has come up in the past, and, unfortunately, Im not sure it was ever resolved successfully. But..and here is the deal with ALL VA benefits: In particular, as you pointed out, "Spousal A and A" is ONE of those benefits which VA, VSO's and Veterans understand VERY little about. To get "spousal A and A", just like other benefits, you have to "apply for it". ("Special Monthly Compensation" is an exception, you dont/shouldnt have to apply for SMC, it should be granted whenever you meet the critiera..). VA is making their position clear here: They fully intend "not only" t
  25. Your effective date is the later of the facts found (the date the doc said you were disabled) and the date of application, WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS. One exception is in the case of an increase. You can read for yourself if you meet any of the exceptions, such as if you applied within a year of exit from service. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/5110 For increase, this is what it says:
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