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slangpdx

Second Class Petty Officers
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About slangpdx

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  1. Tx for reply. Phone call with VA primary care yesterday. Unknown to me it was in the works for me to get the urine test at the VA as requested but it died on April 9 because the lab head didn't do anything. I wrote electronic message May 8. Primary doc reactivated the chain, said he didn't think this was an unreasonable request, said similar to PSA which VA doesn't typically order but will if vet asks for it. He said he had no idea what or who a "Service Line Advocate" was.
  2. At suggestion of response to a post on this forum I sent a request for a test through the va.gov portal on 5-7, got this reply today 5-18. Do I need to "reopen"? Or is it being acted on? Is the "Facility Advocate" at my VAMC? What is the "Service Line Advocate"? va.gov routes to specific hospitals. I am asking for a urine test to substitute for a scope procedure, which I know the VA can obtain through two labs it has a relationship with, I verified it. The local VAMC head sent out email last week saying they are having covid outbreaks among staff in various departments. Appreciate the honesty, but have to assume there is a substantial problem or they wouldn't have sent it. Portland Oregon. I left a phone message for the primary care medical director 5-14, no response. Also, there are now news reports of VA workers wanting hazard pay for going in, and a VA hospital in Minnesota has been reporting contradictory information on availability of PPE, sanitizer, etc. va.gov response below: ---------------------------------- Recently you requested assistance from VA. Below is our response. If you wish to reopen this issue, you may do so within the next 14 days. Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you. Response By Email (Department of Veterans Affairs) (05/18/2020 12:38 PM) Mr. ZZZZ, Sorry to hear you are having an issues and I have opened a case and sent it to Service Line Advocate to be addressed. Your case number is P-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Zozo (fictitious name I typed) Facility Advocate
  3. Sorry still makes no sense. I was trying to use the messaging tool. Had nothing to do with finances. Nothing. Yes I get benefits electronically, so VA already has my info and I am sure I never submitted to a credit check to get them. Absolutely positive. I can check my credit report anytime, I don't need the VA's help (or whatever company this is) to do it. Are they going to say I can't message my hospital if they find something they don't like? Or something is on there illegally that can't be removed even after multiple attempts through the bureaus even after lawsuits that the vet won? (happens all the time and is an ongoing problem for many people). Especially after the Experian hack of 200 million records, that data source should not be being used for anything related to federal health care, the company should have been forced into receivership.
  4. I tried to use the ebenefits site Thursday to send a message, and it said I had to "upgrade to premium" to be able to do that. It then asked for permission to do a credit check. I backed out at that point because my credit is none of the business of the VA or the no doubt private company that is running the site. Why is this being allowed? Is this recent? Why aren't vets protesting this? Even if I were to allow this I would likely have to unfreeze credit agency accounts to allow the check. Ridiculous. Why is this allowed?
  5. Tx for response. I sent a detailed message through VA.gov. Will follow up as suggested (call primary care to ask how to reach medical director?) I tried using the messaging at ebenefits but you have to "upgrade to Premium" to send a message which then wanted to run a credit check - at which point I backed out because my credit history is none of the VA's business or that of the no doubt private company that is running this website. How long has this been happening and why do veterans not protest? In any case the background and subtext of this is that I got the test done three years ago ex VA for about $300 including doc visit. I showed the negative result to the head VA doc in the department who still scheduled me for surgery to remove something "suspicious" seen on cystoscopy - which the pathology report then showed was negative, just as the FDA approved urine test predicted. So the urine test was correct and the doc's judgment was wrong, while I was subjected to the risk of surgery because of the decision. A vet in line ahead of me for surgery that day was having scar tissue removed that was blocking his ureter and causing urine to back up into his kidney due to excessive prior surgery, requiring yet more surgery on this occasion to clear it. These procedures are not risk free. I have decided I am going to pursue this to whatever level is needed because my own medical records prove this approach is safer and more reliable than what the docs are currently doing. (Not to mention the pandemic issue of people going into the hospital at this time, which they should be trying to avoid where possible.) This a medical philosophy issue and there is no reason why they can't accommodate this request. Two companies the VA works with in fact do the test, and I gave the phone number of one of them in my message while naming both. I mailed a copy of the test result back at that time to three VA docs including my primary care doc and the one who did the surgery, asking that it or a note about it be put in my medical history. It never was, and the medical records office said they could not scan it in (don't know if that is true).
  6. I have been told about the existence of a "Clinical Appeal" process. Was just on hold for 35 minutes to the number given at the local Portland hospital before being disconnected. Does anyone have knowledge of this process or what the chances of success are or how it works? I am asking to get an FDA approved urine test that will be sent out to another lab. Results will be substitute for a scope procedure that has been cancelled due to pandemic. My assigned specialist retired because of it, I do not have a new one assigned at this point. I asked a clinic facilitator about the test a month ago and have received no answer. I already called the company that does the test and they said that the VA hospital here is one of their clients, so there is no new relationship that has to be established. Cost is $100 or less but requires a doctors order.
  7. This is from the SS website url below https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/military.html How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record: Service in 1957 Through 1977 You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. Service in 1978 through 2001 For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details. Question: How do you know you are getting this credit? I am receiving SS disability as well as an SC payment. I was unaware of the above, but it makes sense because vets are given housing and food free rather than through pay which means they accumulate no SS for it (cheap labor). For me it is the equivalent of another year of SS earnings at a present day equivalent of $23,0000. The web site says "How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings". I'm assuming it's automatic, but how can you be sure or verify?
  8. Don't think I understand here. Does this mean my TDIU could be backdated to date of SS award? For payment purposes for me that was Dec 2016 with application date of Dec 2017, award was in July 2018. Again, no one I have worked with mentioned this as a possibility. I got the SSDI award on first try no appeal, only happens in ~ 10% of cases. I fired lawyers, they got nothing, said they didn't think I would win and I was doing all the work anyway.l
  9. Thanks for response. Not sure if I understand what you are saying. Does this mean VA TDIU could be backdated to date of SSDI award? For me that was an application date of Dec 2017 made retroactive to Dec 2016 for benefit purposes. My SSDI was awarded on first try with no appeal which only happens in about 10% of cases. I fired my lawyers, they said they didn't think I would win at all, they got nothing. I was doing all the work anyway. Sorry if this post looks wrong, this website has become almost unusable.
  10. I have no one who could be assigned to function in that capacity, unless it were a friend, but I don't need it. Never declared bankruptcy, perfect credit history, have paid rent on time at current address for 16 years, had VA home loan which was paid off and got my eligibility back, which I'm sure VA can verify. Have savings and IRAs. So, what would be the basis for a non competency determination? Do they means test at all, i.e., would I have to furnish a statement about assets? Have not heard that to be the case, at least not for SC claims. What are their criteria for doing this? No one at county VA, state, or the ex-VA regional psyche mentioned this as a possibility.
  11. I had filed an intent to file in Feb 2019 but decided the wise thing to do was to role it over to another intent rather filing for TDIU in Feb 2020. I have 70% SC for mental health issue, won on appeal using an IMO in 2010. Decision said "deferring decision on TDIU", don't know if that meant there was a presumption in favor of it or if that is boilerplate. County vet rep urging me to go for TDIU. I went to see a psyche who worked at VA regional for 22 years, he confirmed it is a risk if it goes across the desk of the wrong person for a reduction. Since my VA award in 2010 I got an SS disability award for the same reason as the VA determination in 2018. Psyche said that would potentially be of help on a TDIU request. I was in state voc rehab system for about 2 years, they just terminated my situation, saying there is nothing they can do to help me, I have that in writing. Have been with VA rehab also, they have just pushed me into classes, which I cooperated with with two As. Current counselor told me point blank they do not help anyone get jobs. Please do not read anything into this post that is not there. Trying to give just enough info for a helpful response.
  12. I have been working with voc rehab in Portland OR for several years and just got assigned a new counselor. I want to ask them about SEI where the VA pays the employer 50% of the wage for six months - it is right in the VA handbook handed out at the VA hospital on p. 19, I am attaching a scan. Does anyone have experience with it or know about it? The office seems to only want to send vets to school at a community college, there is no real job search or employment connection. I took two courses at their insistence and got A's in each, but I have 20 years experience in my field and my current counselor understands that additional training is not going to help me at the age of 64. I am 70% SC and also receiving SSD. I had gotten an employer willing to hire me under this SEI as a news reporter intern in 1983, but the VA nixed it because they said that wasn't a "real profession" - they would pay an employer for anything else including stacking boxes in a pencil factory, but not journalism. Don't know if that was just the personal bias of that VA employee or not. To be clear: not looking for journalism job at this time, just something in my own field of 20 years, computers. Anyone know about SEI? tx seiVA.pdf
  13. It sounds like you could get SS disability which would increase your SS to what it would have been if you waited till 66. I got it after first taking regular SS at 62 as you did and got SS disability on the first try, no appeal, which only happens in about 10-15% of cases. I have 70% VA SC for mental issues. I am told SS disability approval gets easier after age 60. Your payment would increase by about 40%, with back pay predated one year. You can still work with no penalty for a certain number of months. My advice, do not use a lawyer for the initial claim, you don't need to and you will be doing almost all the work yourself anyway. You can file an initial claim at an SS office in about an hour, they will mail you two lengthy questionnaires. My determination only took 7-8 months. Only get a lawyer if you fail on the initial claim and need to appeal. I fired my lawyers before the decision was made so SS eventually refunded the lawyer's 25% of my back pay award, but it took 11 months of hassle. Your VA rating should help; I also had disability determinations from two state agencies.
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