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Master Chief Petty Officer
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Vync last won the day on March 31

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About Vync

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    E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday October 15

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    Ft.Living Room, AL
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    Family, fishing, movies, video games, gardening, hot rods, computer programming, electronics, music

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. Yeah, there are a few topics covering this, but they did not state they will refuse to accept external DBQs. They did indicate that sometimes they received external DBQs and had to have a VA C&P performed for various reasons (i.e. outdated, incomplete, inaccurate).
  2. In most cases, this should be sufficient. However, in doing research veterans need to pay attention to the statistics. Many drug fact sheets will break down side effects as common, uncommon/less common, rare, and even contraindicated. For rare side or contraindicated effects, be prepared for the VA to challenge the non-VA IMO/IME. The VA likes to use the statistics against the veteran. In my case, the VA gave me migraine meds for years and I had a heart attack shortly after taking the medication. The drug insert contained some strikingly scary language, but the VA C&P doc said it was statistically rare and felt other risk factors were the cause. My non-VA neuro doc examined the C&P results, my VA medical records, and came to a different conclusion. Some medications require the doctor to state in writing that they have discussed risk factors with the patient, but the VA never did this. The doctor felt the the statistically small risk of occurrence failed to account for the known presence of other risk factors, which when combined together amplified the risk significantly.
  3. Please keep in mind that DBQs captured a medical snapshot in time of the veteran's disability. Their fields were solely used determining rating percentages, not SC status. Even if a doctor fills out an older copy of a DBQ, it is still evidence. Simply having the statement "as least as likely as not" does not equal automatic SC. For quite some time, the VA has used a separate internal form for C&P examiners to state SC opinions. Non-VA doctors still would have been required to submit a separate medical nexus with sufficient medical rationale to justify SC. More informed doctors will continue to use the 38 CFR regulations to perform their exams. Removing public DBQs detrimentally impacts effective dates. Whether internal or external, the VARO must still review the evidence and the medical rationale before awarding SC. If the material they receive, from either private or C&P docs, is insufficient, they would request clarification or reexamination by a VA C&P doc. I assume the majority of fraud would have been by non-qualified examiners taking advantage of the veteran to make a quick buck up front. Some doctors have made a living off of performing disability exams for both VA and social security. They have skin in the game and would be less likely to commit perjury and falsely fill out a document.
  4. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVAVBA/bulletins/2851edf
  5. I thought something was off on the topic title. The words "VA" and "executes" used together in a sentence... Yikes!
  6. Stripes also had it: https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/vfw-argues-abrupt-va-change-will-erode-veterans-right-to-competent-representation-in-benefits-fights-1.624505
  7. @brokensoldier244th is right. I received a call from a VARO staff member this past Friday. He said they are remoting in.
  8. Our complaints have been heard! I just got this in an email from the VA. It gives a better perspective vs. the rubber stamp copy/paste response they sent me earlier. They are blaming the removal of the public forms on fraud. This makes sense to some extent. If the problem is that bad, by not get the AG to investigate the scammers and shut them down? They also cite some requirement that the exam should have been conducted in person, not remotely. This makes sense for some exams. Now only if the VA would start taking our complaints seriously about substandard C&P exams which fail to thoroughly review the evidence or are performed by unqualified personnel. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USVAVBA/bulletins/2849db0
  9. When I was with the DAV, they told me that they would receive proposed rating decisions before the VA put them in the mail. If an issue occurred, they would catch it and kick it back to the VA for review. However, in practice, I usually received a letter from the DAV about two weeks after I had already received the letter in the mail. In many cases, I caught errors the DAV missed and submitted them for reconsideration or NOD/appeal on my own. I switched from the DAV to my state VA organization. I never received so much as a call or letter from them unless I first initiated the conversation. I became accustomed to doing my own error checking. Based on my claims and CUE filings, it feels like that is the way it has always been. I have yet to see the VA proactively correct any error in my favor. I tell them about the errors either via reconsideration, NOD, appeal, or CUE, and they tend to concede the error.
  10. It does make me wonder if a veteran can request copies of all the DBQs via a FOIA request or if they will simply deny using the same justification in their response to me (same as on web site).
  11. Excellent information!
  12. Hey @broncovet check this out. When I received my CUE denial earlier this year, I found they used the short form. It failed to explain why the evidence was unpersuasive and failed to address all pertinent evidence and claimant's contentions. In brief, they copied/pasted most of the original rating narrative and reworded it a bit. However, it is good to know that the VA's own internal rules for preparing decision letters are now publicly available. If you think they shortchanged you with an insufficient narrative, now you can see if they followed their own policies or not. Aside from the usual sections, the actual explanation can be written as short or long form rating narratives depending on the circumstances or type of claim. For example, CUE and HLR are always supposed to use the long form version. I think the long form policies were implemented after the VA was scolded in numerous court decisions for not giving veterans sufficient information to properly exercise their appellate rights. M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 6, Section C - Completing the Rating Decision Narrative https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000014206/M21-1-Part-III-Subpart-iv-Chapter-6-Section-C-Completing-the-Rating-Decision-Narrative Below is the good part from the long form. To see when it should be used, refer to the above linked article.
  13. In most cases, they can do a lot of the appointments via telehealth unless there is a need to do a physical exam or tests. I had two in-person appointments last week, but both were for radiology (stress tests). Can't do those over the phone. For telehealth, check this site: https://telehealth.va.gov/ I used it for a few appointments last year. You need a webcam or a smart phone so they can visibly see you. I called a support hotline who helped me get everything setup and tested prior to my appointment. However, given the current circumstances, I have heard of other veterans simply doing it over the phone. I have a call coming in later today from a NP which will be phone only. For what it's worth, last week the Birmingham VAMC was a ghost town. The shuttles to and from the parking deck were still running, but limited to 1 person per seat (yay!). Before you get on the bus, they question you and administer some hand sanitizer. Before entering the VAMC, they require you to bring the appt letter or a text message on your phone before being allowed in. I asked what about vets who don't have either. By the end of last week, they had a computer outside to look them up. Again, they ask you the same questions and administer some hand sanitizer. The dining facility and the VA canteen store (mini-AAFES) was still open, but the dining hall was closed. I ended up eating my breakfast in the clinic waiting room. No waits for an elevator or to get into a restroom at all. I literally got in, got taken care of, and was able to leave without any of the usual unnecessary waits. When I talked with you on the phone a while back, I honestly could not tell you were using a closed captioning device.
  14. That is exactly what happened to me. I noticed the same sloppy pattern last year. Keep in mind I did not have private DBQ's when submitting my claims. I submitted a non-VA endocrine doc who did labs and wrotte an IMO diagnosing my Cushing's as iatrogenic, which means it is related to treatment. For example, when given certain meds (steroids), the problem arises. I was told to avoid those meds. Next thing, I get a VA C&P exam by a heart doc followed by a denial. No attempts were made to do labs to try and repeat the findings of my doc. Ironically, the same doc did my heart C&P resulting in a denial, but failed to thoroughly examine medication side effects. In that case, I did not have an IMO from a private doc. Of course, I have a strong IMO coming from a non-VA doc to blow the VA's opinion out of the water, but we shouldn't have to go to such lengths to prove we are right if the VA had done their job right the first time.
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