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About RAFA

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    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday 01/09/1951

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  • Location
    Orlando, Florida

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  • Service Connected Disability
  1. PR and to those who were kind to give me some insight into my problem, today (05/07/2012) I received decision that VA has reconsidered their decision of proposed action based on VA Form 21-4140-1 "Employment Questionaire" received on 04/25/2012. The propposed change will not be implemented. And my monthly rate will continue the same.This took less than 16 days to resolve since the day I was notified of the proposed decision. 1) I quickly responded with 21-4140-1 2) I requested a hearing within 30 days, just in case 21-4140-1 did not reach my C-file in time. 3) I contacted my VSO and sent him copy of the proposed decision to reduce and signed submitted 21-4140-1 and asked him to look into this. What happened here was that I moved from PR to Orlando Florida, I quickly made a change of address with VA benefits office at the hospital, but somebody along the way entered the wrong address. The VA sent the 21-4140 to " 5952 Bent Pine Dr. #606" It should have been "5225 Bent Pine Dr. #606" it was sent to the wrong address. The mail problably was returned, so the VA made an honest attempt and mailed it to my last (previous) address in PR; I called my sister and she said she forgot about it, since I no longer live there. Once I received the letters from her I confirmed the error, this was additional proof that the VA made an address error, nevertheless everything is o.k. now. Thanks.
  2. PR, I just came back from the Post Office and I mailed the request for a hearing via certify mail---there is one thing left for me to do, is get in contact with my VFW rep in PR, he is good and I have a good rap with him. Right now, according to his recorded message he is out of town attending a seminar in Wash. D.C. , he'll be back on 04/30/2012 (monday). I have Faxed him copies of everything he will go straight up to adjudication and take care of it. I have done everything I could do, now I have to let the system work out. nevertheless I am not sleeping. Thanks, thanks
  3. O.K. PR, I will send in the request for a hearing today. I don't want any unnecessary reduction. Thanks
  4. I just came back from the local VA Contact office and the front desk clerk helped me. He gave me a date stamped copy of the 21-4140 for my records and noted it in the system, that they have received it and that I haven't worked for the last 12 months. He said he will send it to the corresponding station address (PR) via UPS and that I should be o.k., no need to request a hearing. He also said the VA in PR mailed the form in January, I moved on Nov. 27 2011 from PR to Orlando, Fl. made change of address at the VA health system on Dec. 2011 and VA contact office on March 5, 2012. During this move the letter did not reach me, this are the consequences of not changing addresses right away at the Hospital and Regional level. Personally, I don't think they mailed it because my sister would have let me know about it. Thanks, to everybody for the help,
  5. I just received a proposal to discontinue entitlement to Individual Unemployability because I failed to return VA Form 21-4140. Also, proposal to discontinue chapter 35 for the same reason. The VARO decision was made March 16, 2012 and received on April 20, 2012. I was given 100% with IU P&T effective date: 01/14/2010 I appealed for effective date of claim and a favorable decision on (08/19/2011) of 30% back to 12/01/1997 prior to 01/14/2010. 1). They never sent me the 21-4140 form to be fill out. 2). They just made a decision and sent it out, problably because I am purchasing a home with a VA guaranteed loan and while handling my folder they saw the "Employment questionaire" missing. What I have done: 1). Since I am given 60 days to submit VA Form 21-4140-1, I sent form via Postal Service returned receipt on 04/21/2012 (yesterday). 2). I also E-mailed and Faxed a copy to my VFW representative, will talk to him tomorrow.....I will send one every year from now on regardless. Why does the VA make a decision without first sending out the form? What will happen now?
  6. To Evandc "yes" Philip Rogers is "RIGHT" I guess others have gone thru this, lesson HUGELY learned, i'll be more careful even with my anxiety disorder condition. Berta, I received SSDI 12/28/93 effective 06/01/1993. Submitted VA claim in 1993, and re-opened claim on 03/07/2007. They are mute on SSDI except telling me that it's for my Primary S/C condition, but not binding----well, it is pertinent to me thats the law. I am grateful nevertheless. Thanks
  7. I just received the award letter from VARO concerning my previous C&UE relaying to you guys, it looks like my VFW rep misunderstood the Rating Specialist concerning C&UE claim for 100% up-to 12/1997--in turn VFW rep gave me wrong information and I forwarded it to this forum I am sorry, it seems I was just speculating when I didn't have concrete proof. Anyway here is the story---my VFW rep misunderstood and that is what started everything. VARO did go back to 12/1997 because my claim had errors, but it's not the same as C&UE. They paid me for the additional 30% anxiety disorder that was already adjudicated but not separated from my physical conditions. The 30% was originally adjudicated effective date 08/03/2001---well they extended it to the earlier date of 12/01/1997 cause of errors---they paid me $50,000.00 the diffrence of 30% from 50% to 12/01/1997. What I wrote ealier in my post is all correct, what VARO is trying to do is correct all the ERRORS they commited along the way, when they SEVERED a protected rating alleging alcohol abuse all this years. This is APPEALABLE, I will get them, I was not claiming 30% when I originated my claim I was claiming for the MAXIMUM BENEFIT ALLOWED and I was already receiving SSDI for the same SC conditions, if it wasn't for the severing of a protected rating the outcome could have been different. Today, C&P official evaluations all state that alcohol is a symptom of the Anxiety disorder and that it impeded me from working in my career and or any substantial gainful employment. The Anxiety Disorder that eventually gave me (70% IU P&T) was diagnosed in 1996 by C&P themselves and then again in the Remand of 12/01/1997, but held on to alcohol abuse. This is CRAZY. Thanks everybody.
  8. What's on your mind?

  9. Correction, after careful review as to when my Attorney-at-Law made the Motion-For-Reconsideration on BVA decision of April 25, 2000 and denied by BVA, I noticed and found a Substantive-Appeal made by same attorney on 01/22/2003. This Substantive Appeal of 01/22/2003 covered all issues concerning ERRORS C&P and BVA made in their April 25, 2000 decision. It is a BEAUTIFUL and MASTERFUL rebuttal. This is the Clear and Unmistakable Error appeal that was made, it looks like VARO didn't CUE themselves, I didn't see this before, I am sorry to all. When my VFW rep first gave me the news about the CUE decision he mentioned that my C-file was BIG (meaning that this CUE APPEAL was lost and recently found) I think that after reviewing my file for an earlier effective date for TDIU claim, VA RATER problably found it in the pile of things and the rest is history. The result would have been the same then as it has been today if it wasn't for the ERRORS of law with the same information on record I believe there are only two reasons why RO/BVA didn't act on this before 1). They totally overlooked it or didn't care 2). It really got lost in the C-file. Thank god it was found and implemented, what an irony, the same way I found it in my pile of records, so it can get overlooked. I remember looking back to 2002 when my Lawyer told me that RO/BVA can't do what they did to me, that it was illegal. Berta, thank you for your kind words and I can Identify with your fighting spirit when something is done wrong to you.
  10. Thanking John999, cooter, Jbasser, philip Rogers and others for all the feedback, I needed the support and especially to Berta my gratitude. Today this morning I decided to call the VARO 800 # very rarely I do this, I don't like to bother much, nevertheless I called very politely and the contact person helped me and told me that they are implementing a decision effective date 12/01/1997. I am delighted to hear this, still I am not jumping-up until it's a done deal. 09/30/1997 is the date of BVA remand decision docket # 94-25 441 and like I said before, my Attorney-at-Law then made the Motion-For-Reconsideration on 12/20/2000 shortly after 04/25/2000 BVA decision covering the remand that I did not appealed in time, we both messed up, but he was a good and experienced attorney. Well, I feel that my Attorney pointed-out all kinds errors of law commited by RO and BVA decisions and today raters and reviewers were compelled to apply CUE so my effective date went back to last BVA decision of 1997. For the last 31 yrs I have been a proud member of AA and follow the speritual principles it teaches me, it saved my life. Thanks
  11. NO, the 50% is 30% Gastro problems and 30% anxiety disorder, NOS = 50% VA math, RO finally separated the Anxiety disorder, from the predominent "Illness Adjustment Disorder" combined to my Gastro conditions. They haven't paid me for this yet---efective date 08/2001. My representative and I decided to claim SMALLPOX VACCINE RESIDUALS, because he told me that everything is connected together. On my award they decided not to address this issue, but I am pretty sure it shooked them, otherwise they would not have conceded, they told my rep in order to save time, that I drop skin disorders and dementia that I have and is in my records, this is a direct result of the Smallpox Vaccines, so I dropped those issues that I nevered claimed. I feel that finally they started seeing the whole picture. Furthermore,on BVA decision of July 12, 2004 Docket# 03-23 253 BVA accepted all of the errors concerning ALCOHOL and didn't address the Illness Adjustment Disorder cause I had it for over 16 yrs. Ro and BVA knew this rating was protected and still after so many years of me having it, they went ahead and took it away against regulation. RO said that all of my psychiatric problems were alcohol related. In 1972 I was never hospitalized for alcohol issues, like RO alleged and I was never diagnosed with schizophrenia by Internal Medicine, MD it was done by my private Psychiatry, I can go on and on with the BS. Today the key factor that made the diff. is the fact that they couldn't sever the "illness Adjustment Disorder" like they did at the RO level and BVA went along with it (BVA 2000 decision) I couldn't appeal it because time elapsed on me and the only recourse was a "Motion-for-Reconsideration". If RO hadn't taken away the "Illness Adjustment Disorder" the outcome would have been different and that was a violation of law and fairplay. I was already receiving SSA benefits for Major Depression and had a C&P diagnosis of Anxiety disorder with depressive features - since 1996. Today, C&P say's that the alcohol issue was related to my Anxiety disorder with Depressive features and that this always impeded me from working in my profession and or any other substantial gainful employment (02/2010 report). On 2004 BVA decision BVA wrote (1st page introduction) that if I wanted to challenge the Board's April 2000 decision concerning severing of the "Illness adjustment Disorder" to direct myself to the CUE provisions of 38 C.F.R 20.1400-20.1411(2003). (BVA cover their tracks accepting garbage from RO) But, then again it is an administrative system and nobody promised me a perfect system we need to keep challenging them and this is part of the problem why we have a backlog of claims, if they do the right thing straight on we would have a better system.
  12. How I got to this point it all started in Boot Camp, GreatLakes, ILL. as I am a Puerto Rican, New Yorker - I began having problems with the Hospital Corpsmen (medics in the Navy) for some reason they were trying to abuse me to find out how tough I was, well I gave them resistence, they probably knew that I was a Volunteer for the Draft inductee, I had reported to the induction center and given all exams and told to prepare to go within a month, so I said goodby to my co-workers and went to the NAVY. As I was living in a time of racial turbulence in America, in Boot Camp the company I was in I was the only Puerto Rican, I resisted this people and reported them to Div. officer and told Div. officer ( I didn't go to the Navy to be abused) somebody was going to get hurt if it continued, and that he would be responsible. This people left me alone for awhile. One day Looking back we were schedule for Vaccinations and the personnel that were in front of me were administer ONE shot, as I approached them they looked at each other and nodded, and I was given THREE shots, I was ready to calapse but held up due to my youth and strength. The following day I went to sick-bay and they thought I had a COLD, nevertheless they posted that I had shots yesterday and posted possible VIREMIA on sickbay records SHOTRYX. I continue on trainning but, severe headaches and paralysis developed within 5 days, finally I ask company comander for permission to go to sick-bay but, he refused, so I had to wait till I had free time. I asked a guy by the name of BOYKO the son of a Russian immigrant that lived in New Jersey, we became friends and he took me to SICK-BAY. While in sick-bay waiting to be attended and amongst 15-20 other recruits, I became paralyzed but, could still see thru the side of my eyes. finally, I made eye contact with a 1st Class Petty Officer Hospital Corpsmen supervisor which quickly pointed towards me and told another Corpsmen to check me out---that's experience at work. Anyway I was rushed to Isolation and then to the main hospital thats when I went into COMA for three days, when I started opening my eyes I first saw a tall Catholic Chaplain giving me my last rites, he must've been Irish to me, he got up and quickly went to the doctors that in turn they rushed towards me and the only words I remember hearing was "WELCOME BACK". I crawl thru the floors trying to walk and only communicated with the Nurse through blinking my eyes cause I couldn't talk, this lasted for a month and half. Other patients gave me encouragement and to not give-up--I am proud of them for that, it helped. The doctor said that I would never be the same and that a Medical Board decided to retire me, sitting in a wheel chair and lethargic I stood my ground and said no that I will be the same again, the doctor fought right back and told me that I will never be the same and to take it. Well I didn't take it and today I know that the doctor was right. I continue in the Navy but continue getting sick this time not knowing why I was getting sick. I was suffering from trauma/amensia and the records did not follow me to other installations, the doctors didn't know why I was getting sick and neither did I, they file those records at Military Record Keeping Facility and never included a copy in my records to follow me. Finally, my time came-up and I left the Navy shortly after my last hospitalization, I went to school and started working but continue getting sick. It wasn't until 1980-1981 when I started coming out of the amnesia that I started remembering some things, so I decided to sent for Military Medical Records. Records confirm all of this, with final diagnosis of "ENCEPHALITIS, VIRAL, MENINGEAL". I started to remember about the SHOTS and I sent for the Imminuzation records, they sent them to me and it confirmed that the SMALLPOX vaccines were the culprit, in reality the diagnosis should have been Smallpox Post Vaccinal encephalomyelitis that is very similiar to my final diagnosis. Medical litterature on this qoutes that 50% of people die, 25% stays with neurological, neropsycological, neuropsychiatric sequelae (all of the NUEROS) and the other 25% I don't know what happens to them. This is when the BATTLE BEGAN with VA. To close, I say I love my country, I forgive these people wherever they may be and hope that they are responsible people raising families. Also, we are a nation governed by the people with the people for the people, so the majority of the people are good, there is always a portion that have distorted minds. Also, there are honorable people that will always do the right thing no matter what, this are the people we hope we meet along our journey with life, thats what's happen with my claim today somebody with a head in their shoulders started to see the whole picture, finally. Thank you for listening. I am lucky to be alive no matter what. I won't forget this forum.
  13. Yes, like Cooter said the VA seems to have CUE themselves according to the information given to me by my VFW rep, I only submitted for an earlier effective date for TDIU and 30% retro pay they owe me.
  14. With the receipt of SSA for Depression, did any vet rep ever suggest that you should file for SC for depression due to the SC condition and causing TDIU? The answer is "NO" nobody claimed Depression for me and I didn't understand the process then as I understand it today, I personally decided to educate myself and I have been doing it everywhere and anywhere I can, to make a wrong a right. How did VA jump from depression to schizophrenia? Does that BVA statement mean the VA then diagnosed you with schizophrenia and treated for that? 2000 decision The Schizoprenia and Depression were diagnosed by my private psychiatrist. No, I always tried to stay away from treatment for Mental Health at the VA, because I feared them, back in 1970's there were horrors stories coming out of our local VA Mental health clinic concerning Vietnam era Veterans it was all over the newspapers. The only treatment I received in mental health was for an Illness Adjustment disorder therapy at another state, so I could cope and continue working it lasted for 5 years. Bassically I stayed away. Today this has changed a lot for the better, thank god. Was your EED (earliest effective date) for the TDIU award based on the date you filed for TDIU? I file for TDIU several times along the way in this process and for this last award of 01/2010. I am alleging an earlier effective date for TDIU other than 01/2010 and I am also claiming to be paid for an adjudicated 30% Anxiety disorder, they are trying to keep this combined to my physical conditions, they need to be separated according to regulations, effective date 08/2001. Anyway, hospital records shows it's separated because I file for reimbursement of prescription drug copayments back to 08/2001, they confirmed it and submitted an audit also my VFW rep file an inquiry. Since this is a reopened claim I feel that the earliest effective date should go back before 08/2001 when I was given C&P exams for TDIU, I don't have the application date when it was submitted. At the time of the alleged CUE what meds were you prescribed for the MH issue? Today Zoloft 100mg 1 day Restoril 30mg 1 at night Abilify (Aripiprazole) 10 mg 1 a day Then Paxil 20 mg Haldol ? mg Deopakoke 250 mg Thank you for your response and help Berta.