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First Class Petty Officer
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About westcoastlv

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. Hello All. Hubby has been receiving 100% for a couple years now. He has been seeing his mental health doctor regularly every three months as scheduled. He is taking all of his mental health medications which include Xanax, anti-depressants, trazadone and Seroquel. His mental health medicines seems to be working ok for now. The problem is that his mental health provider is now requiring him to have drug screenings. I know that the VA requires vets that take Opiates for pain management to have regular drug screening to ensure they are taking (and not abusing) their medicines, but I don't know of any requirements for vets on benzos (which Xanax is a benzo). Can anyone shed any light on this for me. I am profoundly opposed to this drug screen and I think the mental health provider is overreaching her authority. I feel as if she is taking the standard that applies to opiates and trying to apply it across the board. I don't even know what she's hoping to find. If there is no requirement for my husband to be drug tested, then how do I refuse and is there some VA documentation to support it? Thanks for any help you can provide.
  2. Hedgey, I would get a copy of the C&P Exam from the Information Office and I would read through it line by line. Write a letter, quoting the C&P Exam where you dispute anything that you don't agree with and cite your DBQ, any other medical notes, and the VA's own rules about C&P Exams. I would then send that entire letter, with all the back up (highlight what you quote) to the VA by certified mail. I would also fax it and upload it to ebennies. You don't have accept or agree with any examiner that has seen you for a few short moments, especially when it contradicts what you know is true. My husband received a C&P that was full of misinformation, almost to the point where it seemed like the examiner was looking at someone else's chart. I wrote that letter to the VA, highlight all the stuff that didn't make sense and stated what was accurate. I pointed out where the examiner contradicted herself and I cited the rule where if the info is 50/50 then the VA must rule in the favor of the Veteran. He is now 100%. Good Luck
  3. westcoastlv

    Iu Claim And Ab8

    On E Benefits, does it show a 'Commissary Letter'. If yes, the you are granted tdiu
  4. westcoastlv

    Retroactive Back Pay.

    Archer, if you incurred the medical debt at any time after your retroactive date, then you should contact fee-based office and have them pay it. Look at it like this, had you filed your claim and a decision would have been made that day, they you would have received all of you medical treatment from the VA system. However, seeing you had to wait for the decision, the retroactive date becomes the date that you would have been eligible for VA healthcare. I have successfully gotten reimbursement for medical and dental costs what were incurred while we were waiting on a decision. The Fee Based Office should be located at either the VA Hospital, or at one of the VA clinics. Someone should be able to direct you. There are some documents that you are going to need to get on your own, like the medical claim forms and EOBs (explanation of benefits) if you can, and they should be able to either reimburse you for out of pocket expenses or pay directly to the provider. It takes a little time but if you are entitled to the reimbursement then it's worth it. This is also true for your spouse and children (for medical only through ChampVA) if you are rated at 100%.
  5. Jesuslives316, when my husband received a c&p exam that had contradictory information, I submitted a letter to the VA picking the exam apart. I wrote that either the examiner was incompetent or was purposely misleading the veteran and/or the va. If I were you, I would look at the letters from my other doctors and highlight the important points that disagree with the c&p examiners comments. The examiner only saw you for a short time, whereas your doctors see you regularly and have evaluated you over a long period of time. I would point out all the evidence that was in my favor then mention the one thing that was not (the c&p) and then state that the VA training manual, Reasonable Doubt Clause of Title 38 states, "When after consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will be resolved in the favor of the claimant." I would also list all of the medications I take and their side effects (you can get that info from the internet). I would highlight any one that says dizziness, drowsiness, apathetic, etc. Any condition that would prevent you from working. Even list if the medicine states not to take while driving. You cannot give the VA any reason to deny.
  6. westcoastlv

    Ssdi Awarded

    Thanks Everyone. @NavyWife - we submitted all the medical records from Blue Button plus I had 2 psychiatrist statements the were written before the blue button existed. And yes, the blue button info is very detailed. For us, it contained all the notes from medical visits, mental health visits and medicine lists. As with any encounter with the VA, especially when you're in the middle of a claim, be cautious of what you say to the note takers: doctors, nurses, emails to the docs, etc. They notate everything. Be honest, but don't say anything that could later be misunderstood. As an example, don't tell your doctor that you just came back from a wonderful vacation or how excited you are about some upcoming event. Those are the things that you should keep to yourself. It's not medically relevant and could be misunderstood by someone reading your records as a sign of medical/mental improvement. I can't reasonable explain the quick success with Social Security. Today we found out that the retro check from SSDI is back to December of 2012. I didn't imagine they would use the same date that the VA determined the 100% disability began. All through the grace of God.
  7. westcoastlv

    Ssdi Awarded

    Hello Everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that the Great State of Nevada has approved my husband's disability claim. And it only took 6 months. We got the call yesterday and the benefits will start some time in June. After the claim was submitted, the Social Security Department announced they would expedite claims for 100% VA Disabled so we called to update my husband's file as being 100% TDIU and they flagged it as such. I submitted all of the medical notes from the MyHealthyVet blue button, and included the TDIU decision. They did not set up a medical exam or do a telephone interview. The only communication for Social Security was the call yesterday about the decision. This process was a million times easier than the 3-year battle for TDIU but, had it not been for the VA decision, my husband may have been turned down for Social Security. With each victory I like to thank everyone here on HadIt. Your individual and collective insights have taught me a lot and helped us gain success on both fronts. To everyone still in the struggle, please don't ever give up. If you deserve, you should get it!! God Bless Everyone.
  8. Sierra, if you've already submitted the form I would suggest you resubmit the exact one you've already submitted. Do not fill out another one. If you have anything to show how you submitted it i.e. return postage receipt, fax cover confirmation, or even the screen shot of ebennies showing it listed as received. DO NOT trust the VA to find it!!! They will use any reason to show that you didn't submit something they've requested. I had to resubmit my husbands TDIU form multiple times, always the same one and always with proof that it had already been submitted. I would also include a little note spelling it out clearly when and how it was first submitted, that you are including it AGAIN, and that they are to use this form to satisfy the request. You really have to CYA with them. We won my husband's TDIU claim in part because we gave them absolutely no reason to deny it.
  9. While printing a letter from Ebenefits today I noticed that the monthly 100% amount has been reduced by $225 - the amount I receive for a child over 18 in school full time. My daughter does receive DEA for college. I called the 800# and was told that the additional dependent amount was reduced by the $225 because I can't receive dependent pay for my daughter if she is receiving DEA. Is this true? The benefit amount was just reduced for January, however, my daughter has been receiving DEA since August. I just want to make sure what the 800# told me was accurate
  10. westcoastlv

    Tdiu Award, Waiting For Letter

    Congrats on your award. If you are on Ebenefits, loot at the letter generator. If you have a commissary letter then you are P & T - permanent and total with no further exams. Your benefit letter will only show what % you're rated. The commissary letter is the key
  11. Hello All, Now that my husband is 100% IU, he is eligible for fee-based dental, which we are already utilizing. His IU became effective back to 08/2011. During the time he was waiting for his claim to be decided, we spent roughly $400 out of pocket for dental expenses about 5 months ago. My question is: is this reimbursable to us because of the effective date of eligibility? And if yes, who do we submit the reimbursement to? And what forms are we to use? I would definitely like to get that $400 back. Now that I am also eligible for ChampVA, I have already submitted my claims for reimbursement for my out of pocket medical expenses, but that certainly doesn't cover what we've spent on his dental. Any advice would be appreciated.
  12. westcoastlv

    100%+ Smc!

    Congrats Mother of 3. I'm very happy for you! Spend wisely, save cautiously, and enjoy the windfall, and the stability of a good monthly check.
  13. westcoastlv

    I Finally Got It

  14. westcoastlv

    100% Permanent And Total Tdiu

    Retro deposited today. Hurray!!!! Not what I calculated, but I will have to wait for the official letter to see what's what! Now it's real. Id cards already, money in the bank, ChampVA app filled out. Life is good.
  15. westcoastlv

    100% Permanent And Total Tdiu

    JBasser, I do plan on seeking some secondary conditions as a result of the medicines taken for the current SC'd conditions. From everything I've read, a 100% mental SC basically means hospitalization in an institution or at least being declared incompetent. Not what I want. Even if the additional claimed items end up being 0%, at least they will be recognized by the VA as secondary service connected. If in fact my death is a result of these secondary conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gerd) then the DIC should be available. I also plan on pursuing what is currently known as Gulf War Syndrome, but I still need to do a lot more research about that because the VA is not officially recognizing this like it is Agent Orange (and we all know how long that took). All of my secondary conditions did not begin until the treatment for PTSD by the VA and are well documented in my medical records. I sort of feel like there are so many veterans that need attention, I don't want to throw my hat back in the ring just yet. I don't want to pursue 100% for ptsd and open myself up for action to reduce because someone isn't doing their job properly. Oh, and P.S. to all of you that use MyHealthyVet to communicate with you doctor(s). Be careful what you write in the emails in Secure Messaging because they do become part of your medical record. If you access the Blue Button, you can read all of the doctor's notes from previous visits, and that's where you will find copies of all of the emails you send to your doctor. I use Secure Messaging to remind my doctor of prescription refills and sometimes ask questions about medicine side effects. As a rule of thumb, I have learned that any interaction with the VA will either hurt or help your claim, and it all depends on what you do and say. Nobody works for you like you.

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