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MikeR last won the day on April 7 2017

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About MikeR

  • Birthday 11/17/1970

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    Reading, Pets. Avoiding People

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  1. Totally agree with your point. My file collected dust at the BVA for five years. When they released the decision, it would have been comedy gold had someone else’s name been on it. My DAV representative placed me in contact with the attorneys. I got a phone call from the chief attorney at work as he was looking for a file I didn’t have. This VA General Counsel taunted me with the question of if I had an attorney. To which I replied in the affirmative, and he said “Good, I have hundreds!” I asked him why this was adversarial? To which he replied that I was in fact the enemy. My boss overheard the conversation and was very upset. I had to battle with OPM for FERs disability. Same game, different agency.
  2. This is a very serious thing to undertake. There are no perfect law firms, and often the attorneys have to work with what is in a legal sense. Having a great attorney with experience is huge. I had Chisholm, Chisholm, and Kilpatrick. They were great, but when I appealed the lowball RO decision to the DRO, they wanted to fire me as a client. So I asked them a simple question, “When I win, and I am going to win, do I get to keep the attorney fees?” They called me back in an hour to say that they were staying onboard with me. Had they dropped me, they would have lost $60k. One thing I know for a fact is that the VA has some poor attorneys. A law degree does not make one intelligent, just an ability to parrot information is needed. I had to write 7 page memorandums to justify making decisions without legal concurrence due to VA attorney incompetence. A good attorney can pick apart a weak legal stance that any agency attorney can make. You need to conduct due diligence when taking one on to represent you.
  3. It does seem off. I once worked for DFAS as well, and have friends still there. They have terrible Audit support, and from what I gather it has gotten worse. This affects lots of functions at that agency. The organization has over 40 SES on staff for about 13,000 employees. It would be as if one Army base had 40 Generals. So it’s a sad cluster.
  4. I did not get a followup notice at 20 years. The P&T with no future exams came with a notice of CHAMPVA for my wife and daughter. Having worked for the VA at an executive level I don't trust them at all. I am grateful for the attorneys that exist to assist us when all other options fail. My attorneys were able to file for compensation under the Equal Access to Justice Act of 1980. This got the ball rolling to my initial rating for PTSD. At age 55 they are supposed to let you be as well.
  5. That is good. I think anyone who has had PTSD understands that they get angry beyond what is normal in many situations. It's just one factor, but a big one.
  6. It just depends on what time of year. November through January is bad because employees have use or lose leave.
  7. Considering the VA as an employer does illegal things to employees, it’s not a stretch to think that they would be unscrupulous with veterans. The attitude that I observed towards veterans was mind blowing. Now the medical people tend to be better, but people in desk jobs often never see veterans.
  8. Since this is in the local VISN, they will work it quicker. Many VA employees are working from home until the end of the year. They don't have the usual distractions of the office, so more work is actually getting done.
  9. I filed it and they notified the attorneys. I don't really believe there is anything as a "Protected Rating." Having worked at the VA I do know the mindset of some non-Vet civilians over there.
  10. Sounds like you guys might want to appeal for sure. Maybe DAV can help, if not get an attorney that works for Veterans. I had Chisholm, Chisholm, and KilPatrick, but they were very selective of the cases they pick. I referred a buddy with several purple hearts, and they had been low balling him. He is over 100% now with SMC.
  11. I think it helps to evaluate yourself with the information with the post above. I was on the meds, but realized at some point I was on borrowed time. I quit my last job after dealing with a real fun boss. I told him in writing that if he can't handle a few F bombs that perhaps he should hand in his "Man Card." I was working for the Government at the time, and had applied for FERS Disability. I did get that as well, but my boss had a brick on his desk because he thought he might have to use it against me. I did get SSDI so fast my head spun around. I was lucky to work alone most of the time, and even then I had the hallucinations, disorientation, memory loss, etc. I have had huge issues with relationships. I have wanted to end my life more than I care to admit, and when I am angry I am dangerous. So I spend a lot of time in my garage away from people. I have trouble with hygiene at times. If you are like me, you need to get an advocate and fight this. The VA lowballs almost every Vet.
  12. My rating was retroactive to over 20 years ago. So in theory being 100% P&T it should be protected. I had filed a claim for hearing loss based on evidence of damage in the Army, and the fact that I do wear hearing aids issued by the VA. When I filed the claim my attorneys lost their minds. They seemed to think I was opening a Pandora's box. I let the claim die. I wonder if I should not have. I have some SMC, but they seemed to think I was being petty, and foolish.
  13. She is a Pharmacist whose specialty is Diabetes. The VA psychologist was using everything I said to minimize my situation. I decided to not use them. My paranoia and anxiety was much worse after seeing her. I already take the meds, and they wanted to zombie me. I do have a private sector doctor I do trust. When I initially saw a Psychologist in 2002, it took 6 months to open up to him. After 4 months he told me I was giving him nightmares. He dropped me as a patient.
  14. While I agree that getting help is important, I am not sure the VA counselors are who I am willing to see. I can’t open up to some of the professional staff. I was asked by my Pharmacist Diabetic doctor why I can’t use the VA psychology folks. I shared a little with her of my personal trauma, to which she freaked out and asked me to stop talking. I trust this lady. She has not brought it up since. When I worked at the VA I was treated like a head case.
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