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Everything posted by brokensoldier244th

  1. We continually get information sent by veterans right up until we're send it for decision to a rater.
  2. You can request them from nprc just like we do and wait three to 6 months or more... Just like we do.
  3. The rater goes off whatever is in the record. If you want it in there, send it.
  4. They will get a direct or secondary opinion on all of it and rate it. There isn't a single 'GWS' rating, so they will take all of them and rate them is usually what I see, whether they are primary or secondary to something else. Also, for our listeners out there, the 31DEC2021 deadline for filing GWS has been extended to I think 2026.
  5. Mucmi consists of the conditions listed in the CFR. 3.317, depending on where you served and when it manifested. Not every injury,ever, is an inferred claim. That hangnail you got at Victory Forge that got infected does not usually rise to the level of claimable, at least for inferring. An inferred claim needed to be an injury or illness with chronicity in and post service- it's still subject to Caluza. As a vsr I can't infer a claim because it involves creating a decision and that is outside my lane. I document things like " I sprained my ankle in basic...." Or I hit my head on X...". Usually it's acute injuries that have no continuing symptoms but I document then as I come across them, because while they may not rise to the level of inferred claim because they are acute with the records on hand that doesn't mean that you can't claim it down the road or that a RVSR won't kick it back to me and say that there IS enough for an exam. They have more systemic medical terminology knowledge than we get at my level, though I read a lot on my own. https://helpdesk.newmobility.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=1779
  6. Im not 35 but I feel you. I was rated 100% about 6 yrs ago, so I was 39. It took a few years to wrap my head around. I was a stay at home dad/uncle for a few of them and I could tell you more about Paw Patrol and Fancy Nancy than I could about Game of Thrones or BS Gallacta. That said, I started volunteering at the local library for a few hours a week in the stacks, and eventually started working part time doing the same. It certainly wasn't SGA, but over the next two years I figured out what my tolerances were for situations when working and volunteering, and how to mitigate or temporarily step around them when possible. I work full time for the VA now, and they are fully aware of my limitations- but, im not I/U either. One thing to be careful of with the sheltered environment is that the Dept of Labor waffles back and forth on what they consider to be sheltered employment, and for family employment you have to be really well documented to justify it should there be any doubt down the road. Honestly, having been I/U for 6 months prior to a pending decision, I wrestled with this and spent my time being home dad, catching up on my hobbies, and trying to make myself the (reasonably) best person I could be. I volunteered a bit at the VA clinic, too, wearing one of those blue jackets and giving people coffee or whatever, too. The going back to work part still happened a few years after being rated P&T, partly because I couldn't believe it and felt that I had to 'justify' to other people that I was disabled by not working or engaging in much outside the house because part of my stuff is mental, and part of it is physical- but none of it is 'obvious'. Im not missing limbs, or blind or anything like that. I avoided people just because I didnt want to have to explain all the time why I wasn't 'working' during the days when everyone else was. Eventually I just told them that I was self employed and that seemed to shake most people off.
  7. We just had a meeting over this today, and among other things veteran anxiety was brought up several times, as was how to define 'sustained improvement', usually in the context of cancers and other malignancies. That is still being addressed, but the short of this is that there is a National push for creating fewer RFE's, due mainly to statistical analysis that shows they are often unnecessary. I get one, I look at it, I document or obtain all the current medical from the last action on a condition, then send it to an RVSR that then looks it over to determine if an exam is truly warranted, etc etc. The dates for these things are set like 90% by computer based on previous regulations and estimations of medical conditions that are gotten from I have no idea where. No, really, im not kidding. I don't know what went into programming the dates for all the various conditions into the system for assigning RFE dates. It takes up a lot of time for me (us, VSRs) and Rvsrs to evaluate these only to have them not even be needed, meanwhile you have gotten a letter about it and are stewing and worrying about it. Well, this says that we (VA) are changing the policy effective date of this letter (7 OCT) forward. RFEs scheduled prior to are being weeded out and evaluated like normal.
  8. Out damn standing. Now, breath. Then, depending on the retro, have a plan but do have some fun, too.
  9. Excerpts from an email I got yesterday after I had logged off, but read this AM. I don't pretend to understand point C.- I don't work on court appeals stuff. We are apparently having meetings next week about all of this. A. Intent to File (ITF) Framework Applies to all Supplemental Claims The Court invalidated a portion of the introductory language to 38 C.F.R. § 3.155, which excluded supplemental claims from the ITF process. VA must now accept an ITF for a supplemental claim. Claim processors must consider whether an ITF of record is applicable to a subsequently received supplemental claim under § 3.155. This includes all supplemental claims, whether filed within one year of a decision or after the continuous pursuit period has ended. An ITF filed within one year of a VA decision may, therefore, operate to maintain continuous pursuit if the ITF is applicable to a supplemental claim filed after expiration of the one-year period following notice of a decision. B. Claimants can file supplemental claims while a claim for the same issue is pending at the Court. The Court also invalidated 38 C.F.R. § 3.2500(b), which prohibited the filing of a supplemental claim when adjudication of the same issue was pending before a federal court. Note: The Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA) does NOT fall under this definition of a federal court. The existing guidance in M21-1, II.i.2.A.3.a-c. still applies when determining if a claimed issue is duplicative of a legacy or BVA appeal. To allow timely consideration of new and relevant evidence, effective immediately, claim processors must accept a supplemental claim filed on or after July 30, 2021, when the same issue has been appealed and is pending before a federal court when the supplemental claim is filed. This includes cases before the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court. C. Revision of Attorney Fee Eligibility Due to Invalidated Regulation. The Court invalidated 38 C.F.R. § 14.636(c)(1)(i), which treated decisions on various types of claims as initial decisions in the case thereby making attorneys and agents ineligible for fees based on those decisions. The Court disagreed and explained that, for example, clear and unmistakable error claims and supplemental claims filed after the one-year continuous pursuit period are, for fee purposes, part of the same case as earlier proceedings adjudicating compensation for the same disability. VA may no longer apply the regulation, 38 C.F.R. § 14.636(c)(1)(i). Under the Court’s ruling and the relevant statute, 38 U.S.C. § 5904(c)(1) and (4), agents and attorneys may charge claimants or appellants for representation provided after an agency of original jurisdiction has issued notice of an initial decision on the claim or claims if the notice of the initial decision was issued on or after the effective date of the modernized review system as provided in 38 C.F.R. § 19.2(a), and the agent or attorney has complied with the power of attorney requirements in 38 C.F.R. § 14.631 and the fee agreement requirements in paragraph 38 C.F.R. § 14.636(g). Under this ruling, once VA has initially adjudicated an issue, fees may be charged for work on later claims involving that issue without the requirement of a new initial decision. Attorney fee eligibility now applies to all supplemental claims. This applies to fee decisions on underlying claims processed under AMA required on or after July 30, 2021.
  10. YES- OSA can kill you slowly. Over time it strains your heart, it strains your brain/cognitive function, it can directly impact daily activities to the point of causing physical harm, and untreated your 02 sats drop slowly in your sleep and you can eventually just not wake up. OSA is no joke. I was Dx'd about 10 yrs ago, and it was a partial driver for some of my MH issues, though more it just made them worse, plus I was falling asleep at work and while driving, and just while sitting in the living room with the wife and kids *poof...* missing 15 minutes all the time. I couldn't remember routine things I did the day before, and sometimes in the same day- sometimes meds. It was a running joke for a few years leading up to my diagnosis, but it sucked hard because I couldn't help drive on long trips, for example (my wife's family is about 6 hours away), and it caused some marital strife there until we knew what was going on and why. CPAPS are expensive, a thousand or more. Masks and tubing every 4-6 months, there is another hundred or so. Its much better to get it covered by VA. This means through VHA (unless you are already being treated- if so, thats great! ). They'll provide the stuff for you regardless of SC, especially since you are already 100% (IU).
  11. The employment aspect of this is a great point that Pac makes. I was briefly iu about 6 yrs ago,(for about 4 months) and then was converted to 100% schedular by a subsequent rating that was pending. During that period of IU before the other rating hit I had to go through this decision. A large chunk of my rating is MH related due to chronic pain and residuals of some days feeling really worthless as an individual because of its physical limitations. I have fewer of those days now, but still do. It still took me 4 of the last 6 years to work gradually back up to full employment after I was allowed to. Prior to my 100% rating I had been 70% total, and was working in IT as an engineer. I lost that job of years due to mh, migraine, and physical travel limitations. It had been my job(s) and my college degree path ( voc rehab paid for that so I felt obligated) for over 15 years. I had to come to terms with that at 100% and take a real hard look at what I could and couldn’t do. IT was my identity, and I lost it. Sure I moonlighted on the side, still, but it wasn’t the same feeling of worth. I was later (few years later) lucky to find the one job for me that allows me to work full time, now, with my 100% rating, due to accommodations, and Covid (being allowed to remote work). Otherwise I’d probably still be part time at 9.00 an hour at the library, in the stacks and away from people, for the 15 or so physical hours a week that I could handle there, or not working at all. It’s really hard to work at the higher percentages, much less full time, and an almost perfect storm of events has to happen to make it possible. Think about that strongly.
  12. Safe as in what? If you’ve gotten better, you might get a reduction in something. If you haven’t the likelihood is greater that you don’t. If you don’t file you get nothing. So it comes down to are you going to file or not, because the only way you ate going to get what you want is by filling. All P&t means is that we can’t call you in for a reexamination on a schedule. If you are p&t for IU it means you already got a rating for whatever that made you unemployable and p&t IUs aren’t just handed out. We don’t just go looking for ways to reduce people. If we come across an error in a rating during a review for another claim we are legally and fiscally required to act on it- that’s money that could be going to another veteran. We also can’t cherry-pick conditions out of your file, it’s not cross indexed with table of contents. We have to look through everything to find whatever you are claiming. Your doctors, civilian or otherwise, don’t neatly separate your records into conditions with name tags
  13. That’s what we’ve been doing for months . We have specific teams at the ROs that have done nothing but this since May.
  14. If you are talking about DEA, she has to apply for it and it goes to her, not you. It’s not your benefit to claim. You can leave her on yours but then she can’t use DEA. it’s double dipping if she does and you don’t remove her from your va award, and va auditing WILL eventually find it and take it back from you. You can still claim her on your taxes, though.
  15. If you were boots on ground during the specified time and in country you are conceded already if the condition is on the list. If you are claiming conditions not on the list of presumed conditions, though, that might be why.
  16. Have you looked up the dbq questionnaire for genitiurinary issues? you may have a prostate exam, sometimes an enlarged prostate can cause Ed symptoms. Depends on your notes. Other than that it’s mostly discussing the issue, triggers, frequency, etc.
  17. https://benefits.va.gov/benefits/derivative_sc.asp School benefits are chap 35 ( if p&t) for dependents. Can also be state specific, sometimes school specific, you just haven’t to ask the schools individually or google your state. Some states don’t care if you are P&t, or if you are IU vs not. You are paid at 100%, unless whomever you are asking is super specific about p and t, just show them your letter and let them figure it out.
  18. No shit?! Cool! ....... *********** EDIT Looks like they've had it as an emerging therapy since 2015. https://www.inspiresleep.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Inspire-Therapy-Approved-for-Sleep-Apnea-Patients-at-Military-and-VA-Hospitals.pdf
  19. *****THIS***** osa can kill you, even not in your sleep. It damages the heart, too. Machines take a bit to get used to, but there are different types of masks you can use. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try them all. You are going to get very well acquainted to you’re makin machine. It’s my drug of choice for sleep- I can hardly sleep without it after years of using it, but I’m better for it and can actually function during the day without randomly dropping off in mid conv…… Or blinking while driving and wondering how I got a few blocks further than I was.
  20. Ive had it since I was DX in 2006. I can tell you more stuff about things like CPAP care and whatever, but it would glaze your eyes. There are some great forums out there specifically for sleep apnea that are really awesome resources of information. Apneaboard and CPAPtalk are both good ones.
  21. https://www.sleephealth.org/ufaqs/what-is-ahi-represent/ https://www.hillandponton.com/how-the-va-rates-obstructive-sleep-apnea/
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