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Bill (USAF Retired)

First Class Petty Officer
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About Bill (USAF Retired)

  • Rank
    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • Birthday 09/18/1968

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force
  1. E-Benefits states that my significant other's claim is in "Preparation for Decision." "The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence." Also, "your Regional Office is unable to provide an estimated completion date for this type of claim." The mobile site gives a "Temporary Office of Jurisdiction" (Togus) in addition to the regional office of jurisdiction. My understanding: The claim has been brokered to Togus, should have been ready to rate before that happened, but nobody is necessarily looking at it, much less preparing required documents. It'll take as long as it takes, hurry up and wait. Does that about sum it up? While hurrying up and waiting, she did get her SSDI approved. Since one of her claims is for TDIU for same conditions, the SSDI award correspondence was forwarded.
  2. I had a clinic call ME and say they were calling to confirm a medical appointment and would I please give them the last 4 of my SSN to confirm I was the patient. No, but I'll happily call the clinic using the number I have in my cell contacts and once I know with whom I'm speaking, then we'll talk about personally identifable information
  3. Congratulations from a fellow Veteran. You earned that compensation through service that most of our fellow citizens never pursue, and you kept it together during the lengthy process of adjudication.
  4. Filing for SSD is a requirement to file for FERS disability. I did file for it. No go. I'm a retired paralegal, so that helps ... but can't trust my analytical skills as much thanks to the stuff that had me applying in the first place. Fun stuff.
  5. Personal success: This week started out rough but I got through it. I identified a serious, suicidal depressive spiral for what it was. I involved the right people, professionally and personally. I'm still here, Legal success the next day: I am recently tdiu (still working collateral stuff like property tax refunds, etc.) but had a claim pending for disability retirement from my former federal job. I had spoken with an attorney back when I wanted to file it and he wanted to charge me 10% of my annual GS salary, lump sum ... over $6700. I didn't have it (who does? *laugh*) so I did the paperwork myself over the course of almost a year (I worked on it during my more functional periods), I had even asked that attorney if I could pay him a lesser amount just to QC my filing before I did it, and he was pretty rude about declining. A gentleman from OPM called yesterday (a Veteran himself) and told me he had approved my disability retirement. He thanked me for my service and I returned the thanks. The retro should be a rather sizeable chunk when it all gets worked out. I cried right there on the phone. To that gentleman and those like him who are suited for the jobs they hold and who realize there are real lives and people attached to those case files ... thank you. To the rude attorney who declined the offer to review my filing for a lower fee: Thanks. I didn't need you anyway, and you saved me a lot of unnecessary cash.
  6. VERY nice work, Carlie. Enjoy the win, enjoy the fruits of that win ... you earned every penny and more. Bill
  7. Thanks, all. For this go-around, 15 months for everything. There was a remaining disability to be adjudicated on a prior claim, and I claimed TDIU during that process. The Cleveland Tiger Team pulled it from my local VARO, who (charitable mode: ON) were apparently swamped and just unable to get to it for a year. The Tiger Team handled it in 3 months, give or take a day. I also have to say that the VA point of contact at Cleveland was a genuinely pleasant person to deal with, gave accurate answers to questions, and they basically need to just clone him and have at least one of him at all the other VA offices. This is my second experience with Cleveland, both positive. Having supportive comments re TDIU from my treating doc AND the C&P doc was helpful, if not crucial. I believe my "avoid calling VA when I'm cranky" rule is a good one, too. I think It helps me keep folks on my side (or at least not actively rooting/working against me) during the process. Fortunately, I'm length of service retired from the Air Force so ID cards and CHAMPVA aren't issues for me. Property tax is, and car tags, etc. will be. Paying off bills felt good (got the back pay today!) and not having those recurring expenses will be an additional monthly "raise."
  8. Per telecon with VA, it's done. My rating remains at 90%, but awarded TDIU retroactive to the date I left my last employment. SMC (S) plus a K. Things to do 1. Breathe 2. Wait for the envelope. 3. Wait for the money (it looks like a pretty good chunk). 4. Check the paperwork and see what was/wasn't said about P&T/Chapter 35 stuff. 5. Depending on 4, get property tax credit (they want totally disabled/P&T). 6. Send copies to OPM (they're pondering my federal disability retirement) and SSDI (they're pondering that). 7. Breathe some more.
  9. You might want to track it on http://www.ebenefits.va.gov if you can get signed up for it, since you'd be able to see the status change there even before the mail arrived. I'm also waiting, so I can relate to how you must feel. Best of luck and hopefully we'll both be posting some good updates in the "SUCCESS" forum soon. Bill
  10. Amazing Christmas news :) Congratulations to you both.
  11. Specialized training UCMJ" refers to specialized training about the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It was probably the mandatory Article 137 training. Article 137 (10 USC 937) requires certain UCMJ articles to be explained to enlistees. At least in the ASVAB, GT is the general technical score. I don't know what AE is supposed to be.
  12. My TDIU claim was in limbo because my last employer (a federal agency) wasn't answering VA's request for a VA Form 21-4192, REQUEST FOR EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION IN CONNECTION WITH CLAIM FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS. VA would request it, my former agency wouldn't respond (not even to say "dude, we're not filling that out"), VA would request it again in a month, my former agency wouldn't respond, etc. I had all the information right from my personnel file, but it wasn't laid out on the VA form so I was stuck. The logjam is finally broken due to good fortune plus some effort on my part. The good fortune was that the HR chief at my former agency was willing to listen to my story and look at my documentation. The effort was compiling it all and demonstrating where her own agency records verified each answer. She transcribed the information to the appropriate blocks, signed off and faxed it off to VA. VA confirmed receipt and the development folks forwarded it to the rating board. Ebenefits now shows my claim moving forward from development to decision. It took forever to put together, then I had to wait for a "good" day (moodwise) so I'd have the patience to go down there and interact with the bureaucrats. Hoping it will resolve favorably (a VA M.D. psychiatrist and a VA Psy.D. psychologist both found me unemployable and wrote strong support for their determinations), but at least it's moving again. *deep breath*
  13. LarryJ, With all due respect, it's not that simple. There's no requirement that it be "due to possible enemy or terrorist activity." If you can point me to such a requirement, I'll be interested to read it. Oh, BTW, among other things I'm service-connected for noncombat PTSD. I am always careful to draw the "noncombat" distinction when dealing with VA, so people don't make unwarranted assumptions. DSM IV 309.81: "the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others." For what it's worth, I can imagine multiple scenarios in which a relative's suicide attempt COULD meet the DSM IV criterion. Let's avoid detailed hypotheticals in the thread because I'd hate to trigger any bad memories for anyone. By all means, PM me if you like. This next part is just a general opinion directed at no one in particular. I'm a little disappointed that some people have seen fit to judge the original poster without knowing all the facts. One traditional complaint in here is that VA claims personnel make decisions without evaluating everything we send them: Judgment without knowing all the facts. It would be nice if we presumed good faith on the part those who ask questions here. It's the same sort of openmindedness we'd want VA claims personnel to have when looking at our submissions. It's also just simple courtesy. Give me a few minutes to take cover, folks, then fire away ... Bill
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