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  1. broncovet's post in Anxiety - am I doing this right? was marked as the answer   
    Welcome to hadit.  
       To be awarded benefits for service connection, you always need 3 things:  (IDK if you have them or not):
    1.  Current diagnosis of a disability.  Did your doctors diagnose you with GAD/MDD?  
    2.  Documentation of an in service event which caused your GAD/MDD.  
    3.  A doctors opinion that your (current diagnosis) is "at least as likely as not" due to (a documented event in service).  This is known as a "nexus".  
         Of course, I dont know if you have documentation of this or not, I have not seen your records.  You can check your file to see if these 3 key Caluza elements are documented.  
         If you have these 3, you are good to go for Service connection.  But you will need documentation of your symptoms.  
    You are gonna need to demonstrate chronicity, that is, that you have an ongoing disability with symptoms.  If you dont have any symptoms, you will either be denied or rated at zero percent.  
         If you are missing one or more of the 3 Caluza elements, described above, then you will likely be denied.  If denied, you can still be service connected if you are able to obtain all 3.  Sometimes you need an IMO (Independent medical opinion) that your condition is related to service.  Or, you may need a doctor to diagnose you, if your medical records dont contain a diagnois.  
         But to get the in service event, you are gonna need documentation FROM military service.  I could already be in your records, or sometimes one or more of your buddies can write you a letter testifing, for example, they saw you taken to the hosptial with injuries from an in service arm wrestling contest, or the like.  Your buddy cant document your injuries by diagnosing or providing a nexus, but they can testify they saw you participate in an arm wrestling contest and observe you were hauled off in an ambulaance.  If you were treated for this in service and the doc documented the in service event, that may well suffice if you can obtain those medical records.  
  2. broncovet's post in IBS rated twice with different dates was marked as the answer   
       Welcome to hadit!  
       You are gonna have to wait for decision letter, you can not count on VA.gov nor ebenefits.  
    The effective dates "are often wrong" on ebenefits/VA.gov "for one thing", the effective date listed is often the most recent Cola, and not the effective date.  
        We have people all the time complain that ebenefits showed "an award" dated Dec. 1, 2020, when that is the date of the Cola increase, not the effective date.  
         Bottom line:  Wait for the envelope, if the decision is wrong or you dispute the effective date, ask again.  Discussing what ebenefits or VA.gov says is like being in a discussion with what a drunk said.  It means nothing.  
  3. broncovet's post in SMC was marked as the answer   
    SMC K is for loss of use.  Did you lose the use of your foot?  
  4. broncovet's post in Forearm Hernia Claim? was marked as the answer   
    Go for it.  Like most other stuff, if you wait until you have solved 100 percent of all possible obstacles, then most projects would never be started.  
  5. broncovet's post in How do I make a new claim for hip replacement(s) was marked as the answer   
    Yes, you can make a new claim!  Whether or not you will win depends on the following:
    Do you have:
    1.  Current diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the hips.
    2.  documentation of an in service event which caused your current diagnosis. 
    3.  Doctor who opined your osteoarthritis of the hips, which requires replacement, is at least as likely as not due to your in service event.  
    Do you have a doctor who will/did opine that your osteoarthritis of the hips (requiring replacement) is at least as likely as not due to one or more of your currently SC conditions.  
         If you have this, you should win.  Without those, you probably wont win.  
  6. broncovet's post in SMC L? should I be rated higher to SMC M was marked as the answer   
    Great questions!  There are levels of "aid and attendance" (SMC L, but A and A is "not the only way" to get to SMC L) and those are based upon the "level of care".  
    Yes, disabilities can be combined to get a higher SMC rating. Without knowing your "level" of A and A, and/or your levels of "loss of use", Im unable to give you more than "general" information.  
    No nurse needed:  SMC L
    Nurse needed to change dressings, bandages, etc = higher levels of Aid and Attendance.  
    WITH pictures: https://cck-law.com/infographic/special-monthly-compensation/
    Without pictures:  https://cck-law.com/video/special-monthly-compensation-smc/
  7. broncovet's post in Aid and attendant!!! was marked as the answer   
    Yes, you are confused.  SMC S, (housebound) is the one which is "100 plus 60".  SMC L, aid and attendance, is different.  
  8. broncovet's post in 1st VA claim, presumption of soundness Q's was marked as the answer   
    Welcome to hadit.  You came to the right place. 
    Ok, this is a lot of questions.  I believe in the KISS concept.  This is what you need for VA service connected disability:
    1.  You are going to need to establish eligibility.  You mentioned you served less than 2 years,  read these next 2 links to see if you meet that criteria:   https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/   To get benefits for PTSD you are going to need a diagnosis of PTSD BY A VA DOC, which means you will need to fix whatever problem you mentioned with getting into VA healthcare: https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/   
    2.  Once you have established eligibility, you need to meet the 3 Caluza elements for SC.  You need to have the following documented in your records:  
    a.  Current diagnosis.  VA insists for PTSD, this diagnosis must be made by a VA doc.  
    b.  In service event or aggravation.  
    c.  Nexus, or doc opinion that your current diagnosis is at least as likely as not related to an in service event or aggravation.  
         In the case of PTSD the VA calls it "documentation of a stressor". 
      There you have it.  In summary, Establish Eligibility and document Caluza elements for Service connection.  Once SC, your rating will be based on symptoms.     Most of the rest is just "noise" to VA.  
    ONE MORE THING:  Do NOT revolve your life around what one VA employee or VSO tells you.  Instead, tatoo this on your chest if you need to remember it:
  9. broncovet's post in Awarded my claim was marked as the answer   
    I got a BVA award on Jan. 29.  Mine was implemented quickly, and I received the VARO implementation decision March 10.  
    However, mine was a remand, where they are required to give expiditious treatment.  
    It shouldnt be long.  
  10. broncovet's post in Code 5314 Rating was marked as the answer   
    I agree with you.  You got hosed by VA's "Third favorite thing:  Lowball".   Number 1 favorite is delays, while number 2 is denials.  
    Yes, those scars should be rated seperately.  One question:  How does this affect your employment?  Are you working?  
    "Getting shot" sounds like a "stressor" for PTSD to me.  I dont know if you have PTSD or not, but many people have it and dont even know it.  My son is one.  He was in IRAQ and his supervisor, who was driving the Tank He normally drove, went over an IED and burned to death.  He does not admit to having PTSD, and wont seek treatment or benefits for it.  
    Ditto for my son in Law.  He has a purple heart, having schrapnel in his head and feet from an explosion..but he wont apply for PTSD nor will he apply for TBI.  
    I cant say that is true for you, but, if you do have symptoms, then apply for it and seek treatment.  
  11. broncovet's post in VA.gov Track Supplemental Claims Issues was marked as the answer   
    Its a concern when "issues disappear".  If its a short period of time such as less than 3 weeks, then dont worry about it disappearing.  It could mean your benefits have been granted and ebenefits hasnt been updated!!
    After about 2 or 3 weeks, tho, you need to start taking action.  38CFR 3.103 says you are "entitled to a written decision".  The problem is VA does not always do that.  I have had 2 issues which "disappeared", that VA TRIED not to adjuticate, but instead just hoped I would not notice.  I noticed!!!!!  
    1.  They "forgot" arthritis of the knee.  I then saw in a rating sheet they quietly put it Not service connected without an VARO decision letter.  
    2.  They "forgot" to adjuticate tdiu.  I held them to the fire on this one, and recently won an earlier effective date for TDIU.   Im 100 percent convinced they shredded my evidence, but that is moot now since I have won everthing I could expect (100 percent plus SMC S).  
          The arthritis issue has become moot, and wont change my compensation 1 cent, so I let it go.  However, I have had a total knee replacement and, if I think I may need aid and attendance becausee of a fake knee gone wrong, I will fight again.  Right now, my knee surgery went well, and Im doing great on a implanted plastic and metal knee prosthesis.  (I broke my leg in service).  
          I would need to pay for an IMO to link my arthritis/knee replacement to the in service fracture.   Since it wont change my compensation, I am not persuing this at this time.  
  12. broncovet's post in ebenefits calims was marked as the answer   
    "payable of potential fees" usually means you have an attorney, you have been awarded benefits, and they take out 20 percent for the attorney.  Did you ask your attorney?
  13. broncovet's post in Changing type of claim for an appeal? was marked as the answer   
    Good question.  I recommend you simply appeal a denial.  VA has the responsibility of consider ALL methods of Service connection, to include:  Primary (direct), secondary, Presumptive, etc.  
    The VA should have considered the claim as secondary, provided that there was evidence that links the applied condition to a SC condition (that is, secondary).  
    You can bring up "secondary condition" in your appeal, especially if you have evidence that your conditon was linked to an already sc condition. 
    Its not required the Veteran understand the differences between primary SC, secondary SC, presumptive SC, or schedular or unschedular ratings.  Its the VA's job to figure that out.  
  14. broncovet's post in Gulf War General Medical Exam C&P was marked as the answer   
    I will speculate the VA calls "Iraq" part of the Gulf War.  
    There is something called a "presumptive SC" for certain Veterans, and it sounds like you meet that criteria.  I would say its likely good.  
    However, your alternatives to going to the C and P exam are "not favorable" to you.  Yea, you could reschedule if you have a conflict, but if you miss a C and P exam, that pretty much means a denial.    It says somewhere in the regulations that you have to cooperate, and I have heard dozens of Vets that missed an exam, and all resulted in a denial.  
    So, if you want to persue benefits, go to the exam.  
    I suggest you "know what you are going to say".  
    First, don't lie about anything.  But do tell the VA how things are "on your worst day".
    Example:  You go to the exam and you feel fine that day.  The doc asks, "How are you?"  You
    Respond, "Fine, how are you sir?"
    Bad idea.  
    Much better:
    (In response to "how are you?")
        "Better, today, sir.  On Thursday, I  ........(now tell him what happend on Thursday, reminding you that was your worst day.) got in a fight with my wife, police were called...had to go to ER, etc."  
         Remember, use your real examples not mine.  Just tell the doc what happened on a very bad day which happened recently.  If you were sick in bed tell him.  
  15. broncovet's post in Summery of Benefits after My Re-Eval (is this my award letter?) was marked as the answer   
    This is a very old letter (dated in 2013, about 7 years ago).  Its not a "decision letter" its, well what it says it is...a notice verifying your benefits to certain third parties.  
    These are no longer done, now ebenefits contains these letters needed for verification of things like reduction or elimination of property taxes, (for state or county governments).
    They gave me a similar letter in 2009, when I was awarded benefits at 100 percent.  
    There is nothing to worry about, nothing for you to do, UNLESS you are seeking property tax abatement, or other benefits on the list described in the letter.  
  16. broncovet's post in VA in the DMV area was marked as the answer   
    Most of us have been through something similar.  I have been fighting VA since 2002.  In 2009, I was awarded 100 percent p and T.  (I started with a denial, then 0 percent, then 40 percent and finally 100 percent)  Im still in appeals appealing the effective date, as I lost my home waiting on VA benefits in 2005.  I could not go 3 years without income and keep my home.  Now, Im in a fight to get (my home) back, because I could buy it back with the retro if I win my EED.  
    Was it worth it?  You bet.  The more difficult the fight, the sweeter the victory.  
  17. broncovet's post in Re - evaluation was marked as the answer   
    They wont try to get back the money from 2012 to present UNLESS
    A.  You committed Fraud.   OR
    B.  There was "clear error".  "Clear error" would be something like if the VA paid you benefits and you had a bad discharge, or never were in the military service!  
          If the VA was "generous" on the 2012 rating, lets say your condition wasnt real bad and had few symptoms and they awarded 80 percent, then they probably can not take that back.    They could, however, reduce you in the future, if you "actually improved".   
          Example:   I got married in  2006.  I reported it to VA and explained my "household" income went up as I was married to a nurse and I was "probably no longer eligible for NSC pension" because of household income limits.  
         The VA kept paying me pension for at least 18 months.  I got the money and spent it.   Then maybe 20 months later, they sent me a letter, saying they overpaid me 6000 dollars because I wasnt eligible for pension because my household income was over the limit for pension.  (Duh).   
          I appealed the overage, explaining it was not my fault the VA took almost 2 years to process this, AND, further, I explained how it would be a financial hardship to me.   I also explained that I did not have access to wifey's money or income..that was hers and not mine.  
           I was forgiven the 6000 overpayment (I won the appeal, and they cited my reasons, above).  It was fast and only took about 60 days.  
  18. broncovet's post in Fighting past 100% for P&T? was marked as the answer   
    I would have to know more to advise you.  
    1.  How long have you been rated?  What is your age? If you are young, chances are better you can heal.  
    2.  Do you have evidence that your condition is permanent?  
         If you are over 50, you have been rated 5 years, and you have evidence that your condition is permanent, by all means go for it.  
         However, if you are 25, you got rated six months ago, and there is no evidence that its permanent, not so much.  
  19. broncovet's post in Quan123! was marked as the answer   
    Well, no.  How do you know you "have been awareded 2 and remanded 6"?   Did you get a Board decision?  
    If so, it has to be implemented by the VARO.  The VARO takes exactly as long as they want to.  
    Six months, however, is often mentioned when you get a board remand.  Could be sooner or later.  
  20. broncovet's post in 3 Points Needed to Prove Adjudication Made a CUE was marked as the answer   
    "10 year old denials" can not be appealed except for CUE.   However, you can resubmit new and relevant evidence via 38 cfr 3.156 to reopen a claim.  The effective date will be determined by 38 cfr 3.156 c.   That is, if the new evidence is "new service records" you should get the earlier date.  
  21. broncovet's post in Inner ear condition was marked as the answer   
    If you are seeking SC for a perilymphatic fistula secondary to your SC condition, you will need a doctors opinion that the two are related.  If you already have this evidence, then simply submit the claim.  If you dont have this evidence, you can still submit the claim but it wont be approved until you have this evidence which can be provided by a VA doctor (if the doc elects to do so) or by an Independent medical examiner (private doc).  
  22. broncovet's post in How do I create nexus for sleep apnea and sinusitis? was marked as the answer   
    You dont "create" a nexus.  This must be done by a medical professional.  (Doctor, NP, Voc Rehab specialist, Sleep specialist, etc.  )
    You can try "asking" your doc for a nexus.  Do so subtly:  Doctor, do you think this sleep apnea I have could have been caused by (name your in service event, such as a punch in the face, etc) or related to your (SC) sinitus?   
        If the doc says yes, ask him to document it in your records.  VA docs "sometimes" provide a nexus.  Mine did.  He has been with the VA a long time, and he pretty much can not get fired doing so.  
        Or, get an IMO/IME from a private sleep specialist (Sleep doc).  
  23. broncovet's post in meds for non-service connected condition causes disability? was marked as the answer   
    I disagree with Buck, but realize, he too could be right.  I have never seen a secondary condition (secondary to a NSC condition).  
    In fact, a secondary condition assumes you have a primary sc condition.  
    I think you have 2 choices that would be more productive than trying to get a condition SC secondary to a NSC condition. (Something I think is not possible).  
    Instead try these choices:
    1.  Try an 1151 claim if VA treated you and you were harmed by the medications.  
    2.  You may consider suing the drug companies, especially if they did not let you or your doctor know of these side effects and the drug company knew about them but hid them.  Look up the drugs online and see what the drug company says the side effects are.  
         I think if you are harmed by taking meds the doctor prescibes for you, then its either a doc mistake (1151) or the drug company.  Its not your fault if you follow doctors orders, and take pills he gives you as prescribed.  
         However, this said, we all have to take risks.  The doc should weigh the risks and rewards of giving you a prescription.  
         Sometimes, he has to choose the lesser of two evils.  In other words he knows you need medications (or else) and gives them to you anyway, even when they have bad side effects known.  
           Its when the drug company lies to doctors about side effects they deserve to be sued.  There is lots of fraud in pharmacy companies and research studies.  
           Sometimes, tho, its nobody's fault.  You go to the doc very sick.  He does not have a good medicine for you so he prescribes one that he has, because there is no safe alternative.  Often the doc will give you the choice:
             You can continue unmedicated, or try this drug where the outcome may be worse than none at all.  
             Then, if you make a well informed choice...well then the risks are on you....when the drug company was "up front" about possible side effects.  
  24. broncovet's post in How to write an effective CUE letter was marked as the answer   
    Your letter is a bit hard for me to follow.  And, I might add, I have about 2 years above a Bachelor's degree.  So, my suggestion is that your CUE letter be simple enough that an 8th grade educated person could understand it, because that is probably who will be evaluating it.  
    I think maybe you "cut and pasted" too much of the decision(s) that may not be relevant, rendering it difficult to follow.  
    Here is a suggested format that may be easier to follow:
         The Veteran alleges the VA violated 38 CFR 4.6 as follows:
         The decisions dated 27 Feb 04 and 22 May 01 are in conflict with each other, and did not take into account the medical exam dated 8/22/03.  
         (Now explain how the exams conflict, and how the 2003 exam supports the criteria for a higher rating).  
  25. broncovet's post in CRSC Approval Question was marked as the answer   
    I will give this a try, even tho I dont have a clue.  
    You can use a VA calculator to check how your ratings combine into a final percentage, here:
    Im not going to plug in the numbers FOR you..you need to do it yourself, as you know better if these are bilateral or not, for example.  
    There is no assurance an extra 10 percent rating will amount to ANY increase.  Often it does not. 
    It looks to me like you are at 80 percent either with or without an extra 10 percent increase, but check it for yourself.  
    As far as will an extra 10 percent take care of taxes, thats a rather complex question, you probably need to ask your accountant.  I have no idea what tax bracket you are in and I have no idea how much, if any, other income you earn.  
    I am like you..it seems like a simple enough question..an extra 10 percent should take care of taxes, right?  Well, that may work at a resteraunt when paying for a meal, but its a mistake to think it would also work like that here.    This is probably moot, tho, because, given your ratings, an extra 10 percent would net you an additional 0 dollars per month, the way I worked this calculator.  Try it for yourself.    
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