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Master Chief Petty Officer
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Everything posted by Vync

  1. Depending on where you work, you might consider talking to your human resources team about reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Accommodations can be just about anything from a flexible schedule to workload changes. More information is available at the Job Accommodation Network. You can even call and talk to them about your situation. https://askjan.org Keep in mind though that they don't force the employer to do anything, but can act as a intermediate if needed. It is important to know your rights. If your rights end up being violated, you would have to pursue it through the EEOC (wait times rival the VA).
  2. It might arrive at some point. However, I don't believe we will see a hard requirement to have a Facebook account in order to log onto government benefit sites. I would assume they would probably go the route of having an "option" to use FB to login. I for certain never use the FB login options when accessing other sites. I use FB to login to FB only. As long as it does not evolve into China's oppressive social credit system...
  3. About 10 years ago, I was traveling for work and visited the USO at the airport in St.Louis. At the time, I was not 100% and did not yet have an ID card. I showed the volunteer my VAMC ID card and they said come on in. They were cool about it and explained that they knew it can take years to get through the VA red tape. I don't know if other facilities or volunteers share the same sentiment. However, the USO was only about 20% full, so they were not short of space at the time. What makes that USO facility special to me was the fact that I had visited it before as a kid as a military dependent in the late 1980's. My mother and I flew out of Georgia to join my father who was stationed in South Korea. Our stopover was at St. Louis and we visited the facility. It was great.
  4. Here is a PTSD checklist found on the VA's web site: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/assessment/adult-sr/ptsd-checklist.asp There is a lot that should be reviewed before coming to a PTSD diagnosis. However, if you are not currently SC for a MH disability, you don't need to wait for a diagnosis before filing for SC disability. The VA will only grant a single MH rating regardless of the number of diagnosed MH issues. The rating would be based on the impact the MH disability has on your occupational and social life.
  5. Here is a link to the Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables - Effective 12/1/18 https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/resources_comp01.asp Below are extracts showing how much you can get when paid at 100%, depending on your situation, number of dependents. This does not include SMC. For example, if you are a veteran with no spouse, dependents, parents, and no SMC ratings, you would get $3,057.13/month, which equates to 36,685.56/year. ...
  6. It looks promising, but it is best to watch the mail for hopefully good news. With the VA, you never know. They have a good track record for screwing up. Let's tackle this from the perspective of the Caluza elements: 1. Event/injury in service or SC disability 2. Current diagnosis Not indicated, but assume it was diagnosed otherwise the nexus would not make any sense. 3. Nexus connecting 1 and 2
  7. That is a good BVA case. When filing for aggravation, one thing to keep in mind is the rating % difference between what was found during the entrance exam vs. later/now. The VA should use the rating criteria to match against your records. Formula: % now - % at entrance exam = % aggravation I am SC for allergic rhinitis due to aggravation. The VA claimed the aggravation was at the 10% level, so they deducted 10% from my 30% rating, leaving me with a 20% rating. It was years later that I learned that the rating staff cannot interject their opinion and must rely solidly on the rating criteria. I am contemplating a CUE because my entrance exam merely has a checkbox by sinus issues and there is no indication it met the 10% rating criteria in effect at the time the rating was granted.
  8. Workload turnaround over accuracy. Haste makes waste
  9. Look up "how to prevent identity theft". Never, ever, use the same passwords across different accounts. In fact, don't even use similar-looking passwords because a little bit of guesswork could bypass them. If someone can get one of them, it makes it easy to get others. Additionally, contact your bank and file a police report. Banks can trace the transaction to a person or entity. Also, contact ebenefits support. They will have IP address logs of the morons who did this to you. That would help trace it back to the source device used to login and make the changes. I wish you the best of luck getting this resolved. I hope the perpetrator gets busted and goes to jail for a long time.
  10. Tinnitus is 10% only, regardless of one or both ears. It counts as a single rating and does not qualify for the bilateral +10% criteria.
  11. Congenital issues are tricky because the VA likes to deny them outright. This could leave a veteran with the only route to SC being via aggravation of a pre-existing condition where an event/injury in the service caused the condition to worsen. My concern would center around the chance that the VA might try to mess with your current SC rating. No idea if this would happen though. Just better to be aware of the possibility ahead of time so you can make an informed decision.
  12. I also found one where SC was denied because they considered it a congenital defect. As Berta indicated, this could go either way. Advise caution. https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files2/1615691.txt
  13. Gotcha. It could be a case where you filed for X, but then the VA changes it to what they believe to be an analogous disability and send you to that exam. If you are having trouble passing air, they will go for the asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, etc... route. When I had my last asthma C&P, they sent me to get the PFT's on one day, then a couple of weeks later I came back and was actually seen by the doc. A long time ago, they rolled everything up into a single day of visits.
  14. When the VA did my C&P asthma exams, they performed two rounds of testing. First without medication, then with medication. Per the DBQ: Further down:
  15. It's scary when you realize they were not doing this in the first place
  16. I'm not as familiar with the BDD policies as traditional C&P's because BDD did not exist when I was in the service. They just told me to take my STRs to the VA. https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/docs/claimexam-faq.pdf I am not surprised that they want to examine both limbs instead of just one. They can perform a comparative analysis between the two. In many cases, if there is a problem with one limb, the other limb compensates for it. Sometimes the opposing limb might show some signs of wear and tear because of this.
  17. I'm in Alabama. The laws here only allow CBD oil for use to treat epilepsy. However, they do allow oil-based products to be sold over the counter which contain less than 1% THC. At my recent neurologist appointment, I asked the doctor if it works (off the record, of course). They said the clinical findings show CBD oil useful for treatment of chronic pain, but until the lawmakers authorize it for this use, it cannot be prescribed. Additionally, he said the stuff you buy over the counter may not be as effective as a prescription. It comes down to medical efficacy and having a consistent quality of the active ingredient without fillers.
  18. To add to @63Charlie 's response, VA employees are as human as we are. I also had a similar issue where the VA said my service treatment records were silent for a condition, but you can challenge this. I simply looked found the records they said did not exist in my c-file and mailed them in along with a letter explaining their error. I bet they get a lot of these. My records were on handwritten paper, so the VA did have the electronic records search capabilities they have today. If the PA was the person performing your BDD exam, then I could see this happening. Keep in mind military doctors provide medical diagnosis and treatment. I assume they could write in a nexus depending on the situation, but after looking in my service treatment records I found this not to be the case (at least not for me). It might seem like the PA is overriding the in-service doctor's diagnosis. At the BDD or C&P exam, they are evaluating the Caluza criteria (1. in-service event/injury, 2. current diagnosis, and 3. constructing the nexus). They make the nexus determination to determine if the issue was related to military service. Some years back, the VA started using PA's and NP's for C&P exams. The intent was to help process claims faster to reduce the backlog. The drawback is they are not as educated or experienced as an MD or a specialist MD. If you get a nonfavorable response, it might be worth requesting a new C&P from an MD or a specialist MD for the disabilities in question.
  19. The Benefits Disability Discharge program works a bit differently because the service member was still in the service when it was requested. The examiner would have access to your entire service medical history and make their decision. Once you have left the service, the usual nexus requirements would apply. However, some conditions do not necessarily require a nexus (presumptive conditions, such as agent orange, gulf war illness, etc...).
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