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Everything posted by Berta

  1. "VA to implement appeals modernization in February: Act will simplify process for how Veterans make claims appeals January 17, 2019, 05:12:00 PM "WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process. After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision. Implementation will occur 30 days after the Secretary certifies, as required by law. Accordingly, the AMA will become effective Feb 19. “VA has been preparing for full implementation of the Appeals Modernization Act over the past 18 months,” Wilkie said. “Our staff has worked diligently, particularly in the last few weeks, to ensure the new, streamlined process is available to Veterans in February. The AMA was signed into law Aug. 23, 2017. Under the act, Veterans will now have three options for claims and appeals: (1) supplemental claim; (2) higher-level review; or (3) direct appeals to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. All decision reviews submitted after February 2019 will fall under the new system. Once the Appeals Modernization Act is fully implemented, VA’s goal is to complete supplemental claims and higher-level reviews averaging 125 days. Decisions appealed to the Board under its direct docket will average 365 days. Under the legacy process, appeal resolutions averaged three to seven years. " For more information about VA appeals modernization, visit https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/appeals.asp and https://www.bva.va.gov/. " I hope someone will post the new regulations-I dont have them yet. https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5183
  2. Your Dad needs to use this form-the fastest way to get a C file copy- https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA3288.pdf It should be copied, for his records and sent to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Evidence Intake Center PO Box 4444 Janesville, WI 53547-4444 Fax: 844-531-7818
  3. I could not find the case: http://m.uscourts.cavc.gov/OpinionsOrders.php Perhaps it has not been posted yet-they have recently changed their search format- much better than ever- They update their recent decisions every three days. But I had to email the court librarian to get a pdf of one of Ken Carpenter's widows awards- not posted at the CAVC, it was a fabulous case! I will post it in the DIC forum as soon as I get time. Korean War vet-CUE, and she was still eligible for years of TDIU accrued.!!!!!!!
  4. https://www.bwnvva.org/ This is the new BWN site- I get my info from 2 of their members. I am not a member of this new site.
  5. "The VA awarded him 100% SMC in December 2015 with 1 years back compensation for using the new "electronic system" online." He might have been awarded for the AO presumptives you said he had, because he had proof of Vietnam service. Was the award for DMII and IHD? "As I understood the statutes he couldn't receive back pay to 2005 because it had been more than 1 year from denial." I have no idea what "statute " that is. They usually award back to the fiiling date of the awarded claim. "Now that HR 299 is in the picture, I'm trying to see if he qualifies for back compensation even though he is being compensated currently." I am a member of the Original Blue Water Navy Association. John Rossie, our President and two other top BWN advocates have been in touch with me for Many years and I post here all of the updated info on HR 299. John has been to Congress many times, and also has been on our radio shows as well. I do not see how HR 299 could possibly be an issue here- because I think the VA conceded Vietnam service for your brother's 100% plus SMC award. I think but I am guessing. This is the latest info on HR 299 -the article is dated Dec 18, 2018: "WASHINGTON — Hopes for a deal this year to extend disability benefits to thousands of “blue water” Navy veterans who claim toxic exposure while serving in the Vietnam War were all but ended Monday after supporters could not get unanimous support in the Senate for a potential fix." https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2018/12/11/deal-to-extend-benefits-for-blue-water-vietnam-veterans-appears-dead-for-this-year/ Perhaps the new Congress and Senate will both pass the bill in the future. And Maybe not. You need to access the new Blue Water Navy web site. However, in my opinion, it ( the BWV legislation, will not help the claim and is not needed for it-if the VA has conceded AO exposure in Vietnam already. " . I really I need to get my brothers C-File so I can verify dates of diagnoses, since under Nehmer these dates become extremely important." His past denials are also Very important. Nether my husand's AO IHD nor his AO DMII ( both contributed to his death) were ever rated or coded by the VA, until 2012- when the IHD was properly coded. This was due to VA malpractice on both of them.The AO IHD EED was very favorable.They have never rated the DMII. Stil it was the most important claim I ever had. His C file can be requested from the VARO who handled his last claim. His VA medical records can be obtained from the VAMC that treats him. It would help if we could see the actual award letter, and maybe he would give you permisions to scan and attach it here. (Cover C file prior to scanning it.) I have been involved with the AO Issue since 1991.My husband and then I was ,as his widow, were in the Agent Orange Settlement Fund of 1991. After that , it was not until 2003, that I filed an AO claim. I consider myself an expert in Nehmer- it has been the most important Vet issue of my life, yet without seeing his award from the VA.....I have no idea how Nehmer would apply to him- for more retro money. We would also need to see the rating sheets and their rationale from those past denials. Did he have a vet rep on his POA for the award? The rep would have copies of the award and probably the past denials.
  6. You certainly might want to consider getting a veteran lawyer- Did you hear from any Vet lawyers after filing at the CAVC? If so and you discussed the case with any of them, what did they say as to your chances? Remands mean something is missing or something is wrong( like a BVA error)-or something, as evidence, is still needed. Dont give up. I helped a vet who was at CAVC 2 times and at BVA 3 times. And he won. I had his complete SMRs , and a past BVA decision, and those were the key ways to success. I presented a full lay medical rationale,based on what I found n his SMRs - hard to read -from the 1960s) that he gave to his private Endocrinologist and the Endo wrote a superb and free IME. CAn you scan the CAVC Remand and post it here- or give us the Docket # at the CAVC?
  7. Yes, you are correct Broncovet- it is VA FAst Letter 10-02, 'Implementing partial grants from the BVA.' It is here under a search but I could not open it. I dont know if it has ever been changed or rescinded and - I dont think so but the BVA is working MUCH faster than the ROs these days. I feel any vet whose retro has gone unpaid for 4-5 months or more should file an IRIS complaint and cite VA Fast letter ( 10-02) . If that does not work they should file a complaint at the White House Hot Line 1-855-948-2311.
  8. He might have gotten a PTSD diagnosis at the "exam for his claim." His DD 214 might well reveal combat decorations. If not he needs to apply for a DD 215 and here is the form he needs: https://1stmob.com/dd-149.pdf Just put Not applicable under the "injustice" part. He should sign and mail it but keep a copy for his records and make sure it goes to the right place- as directed on the second page.And get a PO Proof of mailing receipt. I am surprised a doctor would state a comp amount-but it sounded a little low to me. If his DD 214 does not show PH, CAR, or CIB, then proof of this will get him a PTSD award. "He witnessed an army buddy literally get blown up right next to him, and one night, he was in service, he was sleeping and he woke up to a loud noise, he stood up, and no sooner than he stood up, the wall right next to his bed where he was sleeping caved in....he said if he hadn't gotten out of bed, he would have been dead..." He might even fit into the Korean War AO regulations, if he has any AO presumptive disability.
  9. To add: Many veterans and widows like me got Large retro AO due to Footnote one-Nehmer, and others can explain it here. I will be gone most of the day-and tomorrow- Their retro ,for many of our members here, was based on a CAD or IHD "coded" rating in a past denial. The link above indicates a vet succeeded in retro for a "should have been " coded DMII disability. This BVA award, in addition to my case, is the only other "should have been coded" Nehmer decision I am aware of. ." A claim for service connection for type II, diabetes mellitus was received by VA on September 13, 1985, and was pending before VA on May 3, 1989. 2. The appellant is a Nehmer class member as a surviving child of the deceased Veteran, who served in Vietnam and died from a covered herbicide disease." "ORDER Entitlement to retroactive benefits from November 13, 1985, for diabetes mellitus under 38 C.F.R. § 3.816 is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp11/files5/1140940.txt I mention this , because even though there are only 2 Nehmer cases like this that I know of, we never know when a veteran "should have been coded" in a past VA decision, for what subsequently became an AO presumptive. This applies to widows and children of AO Class Action Nehmer vets as well.
  10. Berta

    VA AO Ships List updated 2018

    The list article gives a alot of good info and the list has grown consideraby ,due to many determined veterans who did the leg work ,to prove their ship was exposed to AO: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/docs/shiplist.docx
  11. HR 299 regards Blue Water Navy veterans- you said he was a "Boots on ground" veteran. Here is the most recent AO Ships list: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/docs/shiplist.docx I dont see the USS Constellation on it- "Upon presenting his statement my brother was part of the detachment, and providing me with the copies of the original orders, my brother was award 100% SMC with addition back compensation for 1 year." Was this award for his DMII and IHD, due to exposure to AO? Did the VA deny him in the past for DMII and IHD? Did he specifically claim, in those claims, exposure to AO? Was the denial due to no evidence then of incountry Vietnam service? If Yes to those questions, than -yes it is possible he could get a better retro date. But we would need to see the VA denials and the evidence they used. Can he join us here? If not would he be able to let you scan and attach those denials here? Cover his C file, name, address prior to scanning it. Nehmer 2010 covers the IHD. We have considerable info here on Nehmer- He might fall under Footnote One- explained in detail in the AO forum. NVLSP ( Rick Spataro Head AO lawyer there )provided to me the best explanation of Footnote one and it is searchable here. That regards Nehmer 2010- I dont know if DMII regulations have that type of condition due to the same aspect regarding the EED. I will find out- but we do need to see the older denials and the actual words of the VA. USS Constellation- I think they call her" Connie", has a web site an also a forum .But it ounds like they confirmed he had boots on ground Vietnam. My Nehmer 2010 claim was a Footnote One claim .I am widow of a AO veteran
  12. The average salary for a VA physician is $186,775 with a potential of Cash Bonus (2) $71,625 $8K as an additional income from the VA. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/US-Department-of-Veterans-Affairs-Physician-Salaries-E41429_D_KO34,43.htm A good doctor in private practice can surely make more than that- but will need to pay for costly malpractice insurance, unlike VA physicians. And another benefit of working for the VA is to have a 8 hour practice schedule,while private physicians probably all work many hours a week beyond 40 hours. VA is not attracting good doctors to work for them- they have to hire contracting firms to supply doctors and other medical personnel who are not technically VA employees and not subject to the malpractice conditions of 1151 and FTCA. I am not saying thesde contracting doctors aren't good, but they can move around from one VA to another as I understand it, and might even be replacing a VA PCP that you have confidence in , have established a good relationship witn, and who is giving you excellent care. I am sure the contracted medical people make far less than they would if they actualy worked for the VA- but not sure at all. This AM about 6 :30 news mentioned that money is being allocated from the Dept of VA, to begin privatization -(the Choice program is not working well- they didnt say that on Fox but we all know it ) but I ony caught part of that news. If someone hears this or gets a PR (Press Release) from VA I might miss, please post the info here. I think it is Great News but then again the Choice Program ,at first, sounded great too. I have no idea where the money is going to come from within VA to do this.
  13. " Because my PTSD condition has been worsening since the last c&p exam, I filed for increase to P&T. I was submitted 2 pysch doctors letters-explaining worsening and will not prove. And letter conveying the critical need for a PTSD service canine. I have a PTSD C&P evaluation in the coming week." I suggest you bring those psyche letters with you- As long as they contain a medical rationale for the Permanent Status, I see no problem with getting the P & T designation- Then again, you are dealing with the VA-we never know what they will do- I am fighting over a P & T status now- with a CUE claim. All of my evidence has been with them any times but they choose to ignore it.Some of it designating the P & T status is from the VA itself.The T is not an issue. The P is. Oddly enough ( since 100% at death becomes 100% P & T- they had no issue with my dead husband's posthumous 100% SC P & T PTSD award.(after a small battle) But decided to pull my chain on this other SC disability. So I am pulling their chain.I have more evidence for this current issue , then I had for them to take the 30% SC for PTSD up to 100%. Forgot to add- he was also awarded pstghuously for SNC Housebound and in the same deciion for the 100% plus 60% or more ( both diabilities were 100%.) Only one payment retro for SMC S- but they did grant under both theories of entitlement, because the evidence was there.
  14. Mark your Calender everyone- this will be a Great show- And Tbird well deserves our Thanks......... I have 11 AM medical appt but hope to get home while the show is still on- We are expecting a large snow storm this weekend- so I might not even get to the Appt- Things have changed so much at hadit in the last 22 years- all to help vets and their dependents and survivors get through the claims process. Thank all of you who volunteer here ,often every day, to make this site successful- due to one veteran , in 1997 ,who Had It with the VA! ----TBIRD!!!!!!!!!
  15. Berta


    This case holds some GERD/IBS rating info- https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/files1/1606375.txt And there are many more if you do a search at https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.jsp For IBS GERD in the main search area. I guess if a vet had IBS rating SC , and then claimed GERD due to continuous VA prescribed NSAIDS, the VA would rate the GERD as secondary and not combine.......?
  16. Berta


    WOW that is Wonderful News Galen- Yeah- NOD anything you feel is wrong-I am surprised that they combined the reflux with the IBS....? If you can- scan the decision and attach it here- cover C file # , name , address prior to scanning it. You did Very well- so far!
  17. Broncovet, that is an excellent reply. As a DIC widow I do not get Life Insurance through the VA. I have Whole Life, and don't really recommend Term Life, but Term life is much cheaper. https://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/
  18. Is anyone here willing to actually contact the OAWB and send them a copy of your flawed C & P exam?
  19. You can immediately ask for a different doctor to do the exam. When I say 'flawed', I mean the examiner did not have the expertise to opine on your claim, or the doctor did not have any of your medical records, to include SMRs in many cases, or the doctor failed to consider any other probative evidence that you moght have brought with you to the C & P yet the doctor didn't want to see it--- or the examiner LIED. There are probably many more reasons why an exam can be flawed. This AM I received a call from OAWP-VA-DC, as to the ongoing investigation they are doing based on my other complaint . I have more evidence to send to them-we went over some of the evidence they already have- it is solid to support my complaint-It is a different issue than this post is about- But then I mentioned to the Triage manager the C & P situations I see so many of you here are dealing with. I told him of 2 of my C & P exams (posthumously done on my husband) and am waiting until Jan 15, 2019 for a copy of one of them-to adequately prepare a OAWB complaint. on that matter, which affects so many veterans....and I am sure I am not the only survivor of a vet who has had this problem consistently with the RO I deal with. He was shocked at what one SOC C & P examiner had stated..... I told him this was only one of many C & Ps they did- all wrong, to deny my claims. (all awarded since-yet not the point)) Would anyone here be willing to follow up my next complaint on the C& P problems many here have? If it took a costly IMO/IME to get a full reading of your evidence, and then attain an award, tell them that. If your are in financial diffculties and cannot possibly afford an IMO/IME, tell them that. If they lied about your condition , tell the OAWB that- and give evidence to show that they lied. Be prepared to attach the C & P exam to the email you send to them, and attach any other evidence you feel they might need. I told the OAWB Triage manager I have seen many C & Ps over the years that are highly erroneous and deny many valid claims . Claims that will add to the backlog and if they are valid they should never even be in the appeals process at all. If you prepare a complaint, specific only to the C & P problem, you can refer OAWB to my complaint ( Berta Simmons, NY ) that will be at OAWB on the 16th of this month.I am waiting until the 15th to see if VA will send me a C & P exam I requested.Whether I get it or not the complaint will still be filed on the 16th. I do not really have a dog in this fight because so far I won any claim VA gave a lousy C & P on.I only needed the IMOs I have for one claim. Something needs to be done about this situation.That wont happen with one complaint from a dead veteran's widow. The only evidence I have is my own personal letters and C & P exams from the VA, And the info from NVLSP and GAO-which covers all veterans but is general, and not specific to what many of you really go through with C & P exams, that are geared to what the VAROs want- and that is - to deny the claim.
  20. John 999 said: "If the VA can make a vet wait long enough the vet has a tendency to die!" And many do ,just like my husand did, wth 2 claims pending. VA is counting on your survivors to not have a clue on DIC and VA hopes they get a POA who does not have a clue either.None of mine did. I did far better with my claims as a survivor when I rescinded my POAs.
  21. Vync said: "This proves the VA is really good at making veterans wait and very bad at getting decisions right the first time" You bet- I do not understand why the VA has allowed VAROs to get away with incompetence. For DECADES! And the VA knows what VAROs have the worse rate of denials that are overturned either by the BVA, or by the claimant themsleves,probably with a costly IMO/IME.- the first time, for most- that someone ( a real doctor independent of the VA ) actually reads ALL of their evidence. A Remand is technically a "re do "of what the VA should have done in the first place, in most claims. Actually I do know why the ROs get away with it- a denial is a fast way not to consider all of the evidence. And there is absolutely no acountability for VAROs to do their job right in the first place. I told VA via IRIS that if I do not receive a copy of a specific signed C & P I got some time ago- by today Jan 15th, I will contact the OAWB about it tomorrow. I dont care if I get it or not however, I have my complaint prepared based on the SOC rendition. I won that claim in less than one month under CUE- because they had my sole piece of evidence to award it. It was an IMO done in 1998 by a VACO Cardiologist, who still works at the VA.The veteran is deeased so those finding from this VACO doc are still as viable today as they were when she did the IMO for the General COunsel for my FTCA award. I asked here if anyone here is willng to contact OAWB on thee lusy C & P exams...so far one vet said they would-I need to find that post- Not only does the GAO know about this crap, Congress knows, and NVLSP knows, but one thing I know too- Nothing will be done about this until Vets themselves make a stink. The man handling an investgation on another seperate matter, due to my WH Hot line call months ago- was shocked as to what one of my C & P exams said- I am sending it to him tomorrow- I have 2 main issues going at OAWB-and the evidence I have for the initial issue is overwhelming-I have been collecting it for over 15 years and neither Congress, nor the OGC would do anything about it. Finally someone is looking into it. I cant be here much. This all takes a lot of time and fortunately I have access to almost all of my past PCs,
  22. Will you clarify this? Do you get 100% SC Compensation solely for PTSD and do you also get a 60 % rating for additional disabilities that total 60% when they are combined? That would garner the SM C S award under 1114 ,38 USC: "The Court held that the requirement for a single “service-connected disability rated as total” cannot be satisfied by a combination of disabilities. Multiple service-connected disabilities that combine to 70 percent or more and establish entitlement to TDIU under 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(a) cannot be treated as a single “service-connected disability rated as total” for purposes of entitlement to SMC at the (s) rate. Based on the Court’s decision in Bradley, entitlement to SMC at the (s) rate will now be granted for TDIU recipients if the TDIU evaluation was, or can be, predicated upon a single disability and (1) there exists additional disability or disabilities independently ratable at 60 percent or more, or (2) the veteran is permanently housebound by reason of a service-connected disability or disabilities." This is from https://www.dav.org/wp-content/uploads/National-Bulletin-1009.pdf explaining Bradley V. Peake. Based on what you stated ,the VA should have considered you for SMC. Did they ignore any SMC statement in the last decision or did they deny SMC? Can you scan and attach their last decision and why they did not award SMC? (Cover your C file # , name, address prior to scanning it.) Most vets who fit into the SMC S criteria do not need an IMO to get it. They do not even have to claim it.
  23. I feel the VA will fight privatization- Because a non VA doctor will see your VA medical records. Same as getting an IMO/IME- and the privatized doctor might see medical errors occurred during your VA care. Broncovet posted the BVA's annual report to Congress- As one of the charts shows: (Page 31) (and is consistent in this respect to all past BVA Reports to Congress, The Service connected Statistics included all DIC awards.My DIC check says VA comp. The problem with this, it does not account for any awards of DIC under 1151 or 1151 to living veterans as part of the SC Statistics, in claims allowed by the BVA. It makes it appear that the SC allowed claims are all for SC veterans. Therefore, neither Congress or the public in general really knows how much comp is paid under 1151 every year.The VA does not want those statistics out. In 1151 claims awarded at the RO level-those claims either DIC or 1151 to living veterans, are also not accounted for by the VA for the Public or for Congress.And never get into the BVA stats at all. For example- this is an estimate ( I have a complete audit somewhere) The VA has paid me about $ 316,800 -24 years of Section 1151DIC.( past 24 years) 9 Years ago the DIC became under direct SC death ( AO award)-that did not change the 1151 aspect. My point is ( and this is report is evidence for my main OAWB complaint) that VA absorbs ALL 1151 pay outs to veterans and/or their survivors,into the allowed service connected compensation percent figures and anyone - even a Senator or Congressman, reading this report- would not know that the service connected compensation amount , paid for the allowed claims, by the US Treasurer Dept, does not reflect how much the VA has paid out due to valid 1151 injuries, medical errors, lack of proper dagnoses, etc etc to include causing the deaths of veterans under 1151 awards to widows. There is no accountability for either 1151 awards or even those FTCA cases, that involved large settlements - that should have been reported to the NPBD, but were not.NPDB info goes to state data banks,whereby the public can review to see if their VA or private doctor has been sanctioned in any way for malpractice. I dont know if we have any New Yorkers here but this is our state data bank of disciplined doctors. https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/conduct/ The VA doctors who malpracted on my husband were never reported to the NPDB and should have been. That meant they just went on to malpractice on more veterans. One of them was a well know VA cardiologist at Syracuse VAMC. This means nothing to most veterans in the VA health care system. The VA saves lives every day. However the fact is that malpractice is very costly to the taxpapers, and without an accountability over it's True costs, VA will do nothing to prevent it from occurring and will protect it's doctors -even if the medical evidence is overwhelming that they have harmed or killed a veteran.
  24. Berta


    I bumped this up recently for a local widow- These are questions that need accurate answers. I
  25. Berta


    I get 1,319.04 per month DIC- no children under 16. Broncovet is correct to refer you to the DIC regulations and we have considerable info here at hadit in our DIC forum. I assume this was a Nehmer claim and wonder why the 10% was so low, when Nehmer came out (2010). At first glance I would say she is eligible for DIC but I am adding Maybe- because it is very diifcult for us here to handle third party issues - particularly DIC claims.Often too many nuances. Can she join us here herself?

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