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About handler

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  1. I am sure that the San Diego Medical Center is quite good and can't compare it to the local one but you might take a look at the VAMC in Roseburg, Oregon. The area here most likely will give you all the peace that you need and it is a nice place to live. I am from San Diego originally and have no desire to go back. Roseburg is close to the mountains (outside town), ocean (about 60 miles), lots of trails, lakes, rivers and cool (sometimes a bit soggy) weather. And no where near the population your in now! Good Luck handler
  2. Berta, I am not trying to hijack this topic but could you point me to some information about your statement: "Also if a vet gets SSDI for solely the same conditions TDIU is awarded for- and if the SSA award EED precedes the VA award EED by at least one year-then the veteran can potentially get the SSA award date as the EED if it is more favorable then the TDIU date."? I am filing a NOD for my 100% PT EED here shortly. I have been totally disabled by SSDI solely for IHD since 1990. Having not filed for comp for IHD since 2010 I am wondering if this even applies. Thanks, Handler
  3. Great advice Berta. I particularly like the idea of not rushing to send off everything before reviewing it with a fresh look. Since my memory isn't the best I want to make sure I have my name and file number on each sheet, I took a ream of paper and printed my name and claim number on each sheet in the header. Since my printer has two trays, I load the one with these pre-printed pages so I don't forget. Works for me.
  4. Thanks to all for the well wishes. Still some work to do on an EED and a pending NOD. I really didn't want to have this go to the BVA because I doubt I would see the outcome. Getting CHAMPVA is even bigger for my family. As has been said many times on this forum, "Never give up"!
  5. I received my initial rating in January 2011 of 60% due to multiple claims. After many hours of reading this forum, writing letters to support the evidence, obtaining records, IMO's and following the recommendations of those who contribute on this board, I submitted a Reconsideration Request for my IHD and IU along with some new evidence to the DRO level. I also submitted a claim for a secondary condition to IHD at the same time. This was done in February 2011 I just received the much awaited brown envelope and am pleased to report that they have increased my rating to 70% but pay at the 100% due to TDIU and Permanent and Total Disability! I find it kind of interesting too that earlier this year I applied for the Veterans Life Insurance and was accepted and my premiums were deferred because in the VA Insurance Department eyes, I had been permanently and totally disabled due to IHD for the last 20 years! They used the same evidence (SSDI) as I had submitted with my initial compensation claim in July 2010 to make their determination. The rating portion of the VA didn't see it that way. Also submitted with the Reconsideration Request was a NOD for my PTSD (30%) portion of the claim which is still pending at the DRO level. Now that they have rated me as P&T with IU then that may be a moot point but could change my Effective Date. We'll see. The bottom line is that none of this would have been possible for me to do on my own if it were not for all those who spend their time here to help others. I can't thank you enough. Handler
  6. I think you may be getting the two mixed up. If you file for SSDI and it is granted that will be what you will receive it until your 65 at which time it will automatically convert over to regular Social Security. The only difference is the name at that point and that is just for the Social Security Administration purposes. You won't see any difference in your monthly benefits. SSDI will provide you with more monthly benefit (because it is figured on your full retirement age amount) then if you were to file for regular SS at the age of 62. Also, SSDI is all or nothing. Not like the VA which has percentages for a specific disability. Under SSDI you either are or are not totally disabled. in other words 0% (not granted) or 100% (granted). I agree with the other posters. File for SSDI when you become unable to work. That is your best benefit by far. In order for you to get the same amount as SSDI from regular SS you would have to wait until you reach your full retirement age. If you file for SS now at 62 that amount won't change (other than COLA adjustments) when you reach your full retirement age. Hope this helps.
  7. That's an interesting situation. At first glance without knowing all the details I would look into filing for SSDI now if you think you can get it. That way, if granted, you would draw your full Social Security amount until your full retirement age and then it would just convert over to regular Social Security at that point at the full amount. If you were to file know, at 62, you would only be drawing a portion of the maximum benefit and that wouldn't change from now on. I know others will chime in on this issue with good advice. As for the progress reports from the pulmonologist, I would immediately go to the records office and get copies of the notes ASAP under the FOIA. That way you have the copies in the event the VA "loses" those notes later. Good Luck!
  8. I agree Pete53. Good stuff and it is a must if you have had stents.
  9. I would first go to my VA doc and make sure she didn't just forget to re-new the Plavix. May have been an oversight. If that wasn't the case, I would do this. I had a similar situation and this is what I did and it worked out great. I had my "outside" doctor write a prescription for the required drug. Then I had him give me the a copy of his chart notes which shows that he wanted me to continue with the drug in question. I took the prescription and the copy of the chart notes into the VA clinic and, in my case, requested that the drug be mailed to me. My PCP at the VA looked at the information and then approved the drug and it was shipped to me within a week. Hope this helps.
  10. Your welcome. One less thing to have to worry about.
  11. It may be the terminology that is confusing. I know it was for me. Both SSDI/SSI are disability income payments made to the disabled BEFORE they reach the retirement age. This is from the Social Security website. Social Security is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based on prior work under Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Under SSI, payments are made on the basis of financial need. Once you get to retirement age your SSDI will convert to straight social security and as stated in the reply to Carlie, nothing changes for you except the name as far as Social Security is concerned. It would be called SS (not SSI). "SSI" is a Social Security term for Supplemental Security Income. All kinds of answers are on the ssa.gov website under FAQ. Hope this helps.
  12. Carile, This is straight off the Social Security FAQ Website. Once you get to retirement age nothing will change except what your benefit is called. Effect of full retirement age on disability benefits Updated 01/31/2011 05:39 PM | ID# 160 I receive Social Security disability benefits. Will my Social Security benefits change when I turn full retirement age? When you reach full retirement age, nothing will change, except for Social Security purposes, your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits. You do not need to take any action.
  13. Great News Charleese. Really happy for you and Hubby. Thank Hubby for his service and thank you for standing by him through this!
  14. Awesome River Rat. Way to go. Hopefully you'll get a great percentage rating. Never Give Up!
  15. Carlie, Berta and Chuck Thanks so much for all your help and information. I have all the information I need and will put it together and file soon. I sure appreciate all the effort everyone puts into this site. I will be sure to post the results. handler
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