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Found 1,906 results

  1. My VSO and I put in a request for TDIU. I also wonder why E-Benfits shows IU and increase for 100% PTSD when we did not file for 100% PTSD increase? Is this automatic? I am currenty at 80% total, 70% is for PTSD-Combat. My last C&P for PTSD was less than a year ago. 08/12/2015. The doctor that did the new onebelow called it a "REVIEW"??? I was working during the 1st one and I am not now, I resigned in December 2015. Please let me know what you think and please answer my above questions. THANK YOU!! Service Connected Disabilities: ASTHMA,BRONCHIAL (30%-SC) INGUINAL HERNIA (0%-SC) KNEE CONDITION (10%-SC) POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER-COMBAT (70%-SC) IMPAIRED HEARING (0%-SC) TINNITUS (10%-SC) Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Disability Benefits QuestionnaireName of patient/Veteran:SECTION I:----------1. Diagnostic Summary---------------------Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD?[X] Yes[ ] NoICD Code: F43.102. Current Diagnoses--------------------a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: Post traumatic Stress DisorderICD Code: F43.10Comments, if any: Previously diagnosed by Dr. David Coron on 8/12/2015.Currently Service Connected 70% for PTSD. Total service connection isreported to be 80%Mental Disorder Diagnosis #2: Opiod Dependence in RemissionICD Code: 304.01Comments, if any: Reports that he has been clean for last 6 years.b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of theMental Health Disorder (to include TBI): Please refer to Medical Recordsand CPRS for all medical problems and concerns. Veteran is currently 30%service connected for asthma; 10% for knee, 10 % for tinnitus , 0% ofinguinal hernia and 0% for hearing impairment.3. Differentiation of symptoms------------------------------a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?[X] Yes[ ] Nob. Is it possible to differentiate what symptom(s) is/are attributable toeach diagnosis?[ ] Yes[X] No[ ] Not applicable (N/A)If no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate whatportion of each symptom is attributable to each diagnosis and discusswhether there is any clinical association between these diagnoses:Comorbid relationship between diagnosis such that separation ofsymptoms can not be reliably performed without engaging inspeculation. It is likely that all symptoms are related to PTSD.c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)?[ ] Yes[X] No[ ] Not shown in records reviewed4. Occupational and social impairment-------------------------------------a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of occupational and social impairment with regards to all mental diagnoses? (Check onlyone)[X] Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies in most areas,such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking and/ormoodb. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is itpossible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and socialimpairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder?[ ] Yes[X] No[ ] No other mental disorder has been diagnosedIf no, provide reason that it is not possible to differentiate whatportion of the indicated level of occupational and social impairmentis attributable to each diagnosis: Comorbid relationship betweendiagnosis such that separation of symptoms can not be reliablyperformed without engaging in speculation. It is likely that allsymptoms are related to PTSD.c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what portionof the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused bytheTBI?[ ] Yes[ ] No[X] No diagnosis of TBISECTION II:-----------Clinical Findings:------------------1. Evidence review------------------In order to provide an accurate medical opinion, the Veteran's claims folder must be reviewed.a. Medical record review:-------------------------Was the Veteran's VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) reviewed?[X] Yes[ ] No Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed?[X] Yes[ ] NoIf yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in theVeteran's VA claims file:Elecronic Medical Record was also reviewed today.If no, check all records reviewed:[ ] Military service treatment records[ ] Military service personnel records[ ] Military enlistment examination[ ] Military separation examination[ ] Military post-deployment questionnaire[ ] Department of Defense Form 214 Separation Documents[ ] Veterans Health Administration medical records (VA treatmentrecords)[ ] Civilian medical records[ ] Interviews with collateral witnesses (family and others who haveknown the Veteran before and after military service)[ ] No records were reviewed[ ] Other:b. Was pertinent information from collateral sources reviewed?[X] Yes[ ] NoIf yes, describe:Electronic Medical Record was also reviewed today.2. Recent History (since prior exam)------------------------------------a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history:This is a 52 year old male Veteran who has been married 2 times. Hisfirst marriage was from 1988 to 1993 and he has 2 adult daughters,ages31 and 28 from this marriage. He was married a second time in 2011 and his wife, , is a medical secretary. He has no children from this marriage. He does report today that he has another daughter from aprevious high school relationship in 1986. He has some contact withher, but does not see her regularly. Veteran was born and raised in. Veteran reports that his parents were divorced when he was approximately 10 years of age. His parents have both passed away from heart attacks and he reports having one younger brother and one younger sister. He does not have contact with them on a regular basis. He attended xxxxxxxx school and graduated in1985.b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history:Upon graduation from high school this Veteran worked for approximately1 year in construction. He then entered the military (Army) on August19, 1986 and was discharged on August 19, 1995. He completed basictraining at Fort Knox, Kentucky and was then stationed at FortBelvoir,Virginia for the next 3 years. His MOS was 52-Charlie, utilitiesequipment repair. After Fort Belvoir, he spent approximately 3 yearsat Fort Bragg. He was then deployed to Desert Storm for approximately9 months, followed by 1 year in Korea. He returned to Fort Riley,Kansas for 2/3 years before discharge. While at Fort Riley he alsoattended xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx in Kansas and obtained an associateddegree in liberal arts. Regarding his deployment to Desert Storm hestates that he was responsible for driving parts back and forth,maintenance on vehicles and generators and filling sandbags. Upondischarge in 1995 and began workinginheating and air-conditioning. He worked for xxxx forapproximately 9 years until 2004, xxxxxxx for 8/9 years until2013,xxxxx for less than a year and finally xxxxxxy for lessthana year. He resigned from xxxxxx in December of 2015. Asked forthereason he resigned, he stated that "I couldn't take thestress andanxiety of the job. They were willing to let me work from home, butthat didn't work either". He continued to say that he began"havingdifficulty rememberingthe names of clients and what needed to bedone". Since that time he has not worked. He reports that he wasreceiving NYS Insurance, but that ended 3 months ago. His TotalService Connection is currently 80%, 70% of which is for PTSD. Hestates he receives approximately 1800.00 monthly from this serviceconnection.c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications andfamily mental health:Veteran states that he had no medical or psychological issues as achild/teenager. While in the military he had knee surgery, a herniarepair and dental surgery. He reports that while he was at FortRiley,he received drug and alcohol counseling and was then sent to Miramarfor a 30 day inpatient stay. He reports that he began drinkingheavilyafter his deployment to Desert Storm. Continued drinking heavily inKorea and his first wife eventually divorced him. After his dischargefrom the military he reports that he attended SA treatment at thexxxxxx VA in 2000 for 28 days. At that point he states that hestopped drinking alcohol. However, he then became addicted toVicadin,which he reports that he stopped in 2011. He began taking Suboxonewhich was originally given to him by an outside provider, but which henow receives from Dr. xxxxx here at the xxxxx Suboxone clinic. His psychiatrist here at the xxxx is Dr. xxxxx, who is prescribing Quetapine, Duloxetine and Prazosin. He also reports that he sees xxxxxxx currently at the Veteran's Outreach Center on a weekly basis for individual counseling since 2015. Symptoms reported today include increased anxiety and depression. He reports feeling that his self-worth and esteem have decreased since losing his job and he keeps obsessing about the fact that he was earning 85,000 a year and now"can't hack it". He continues to report nightmares,fighting and screaming in his sleep, often wakes up wet and soaking as a result of this dreams, hyper vigilance and high startle. He also reports that hestill cannot wear a seat belt, which he attributes to a fire he wasinvolved in in Saudi Arabia and is triggered by the smells of gasoline and burning fires. He also reports panic attacks and isolating behaviors.d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history:DWI in 2000. No other significant legal history.e. Relevant Substance abuse history:States that he has been clean from alcohol use since 2000. Clean fromOpioid Use (vicadin) since 2011. Does admit that he currently smokes tobacco.f. Other, if any:No response provided.3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria---------------------------Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manualof Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due tocombat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combatrelated stressors.) Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly notattributable to the Criteria A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping symptomsclearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 - "Othersymptoms".Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) seriousinjury,c) sexual violation, in one or more of the following ways:[X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s)[X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as theyoccurred to othersCriterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusionsymptomsassociated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after thetraumatic event(s) occurred:[X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressingmemoriesof the traumatic event(s).[X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/oraffect of the dream are related to the traumaticevent(s).[X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposuretointernal or external cues that symbolize or resemble anaspect of the traumatic event(s).[X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or externalcues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of thetraumaticevent(s).Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with thetraumaticevent(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred,as evidenced by one or both of the following:[X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories,thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated withthetraumatic event(s).[X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders(people, places, conversations, activities, objects,situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts,orfeelings about or closely associated with the traumaticevent(s).Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated withthe traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after thetraumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)ofthe following:[X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror,anger, guilt, or shame).[X] Markedly diminished interest or participation insignificant activities.[X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions(e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction,orloving feelings.)Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated withthe traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after thetraumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)ofthe following:[X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or noprovocation) typically expressed as verbal or physicalaggression toward people or objects .[X] Reckless or self-destructive behavior.[X] Hypervigilance.[X] Exaggerated startle response.[X] Problems with concentration.[X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or stayingasleep or restless sleep).Criterion F:[X] The duration of the symptoms described above in CriteriaB, C, and D are more than 1 month.Criterion G:[X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinicallysignificant distress or impairment in social,occupational, or other important areas of functioning.Criterion H:[X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiologicaleffects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) oranother medical condition.4. Symptoms-----------For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to theVeteran's diagnoses:[X] Depressed mood[X] Anxiety[X] Suspiciousness[X] Panic attacks that occur weekly or less often[X] Chronic sleep impairment[X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recentevents[X] Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and socialrelationships[X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work oraworklike setting[X] Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships5. Behavioral Observations:---------------------------Cooperative and genuine throughout interview. No evidence ofhallucinations or delusions. No evidence of suicidal or homicidalideation or intent.6. Other symptoms-----------------Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and othermental disorders) that are not listed above?[ ] Yes[X] No7. Competency-------------Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs?[X] Yes[ ] No8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any:---------------------------------------------------Based on today's evaluation this Veteran continues to meet thecriteriafor a diagnosis of PTSD. He is currently service connected 70% for PTSDbased on his last Compensation and Pension Evaluation performed by Dr.xxxxxx on 8/12/2015. Veteran reports that he resigned from his job in December of 2015 because " I couldn;take the stress and anxietyof thejob. They were willing to let me work at home, but that didn't workeither". He was receiving NYS Insurance up until 3 weeks ago andthat hasnow ended. Based on the veteran's report today, it does not appear that his PTSD symptoms have necessarily worsened (he is currently service connected 70% or PTSD. It appears that he was experiencing stress related specifically to his job. Since he has resigned, he has increased stress and anxiety and is emotional today, stating that he is feeling like a failure to his family because he lost a job where he was earning 85,000 because "I couldnt hack it anymore". This examiner encourage this Veteran to conitnue his weekly counseling At the Veteran's Oureach Centerwith Les xxx and to also consider vocational rehabilitation, It is hoped that one his self image and self worth begins to increase and he is able to secure another vocational opportunity, that his overall stress and anxietywill lessen. It may be that he will have to begin slowly with part time opportunities until his overall self image and self worth is restored. So what do you think???
  2. vet90

    BVA win!

    Wow.. got my decision last Friday from BVA and was awarded EED from 2009.haven't received retro in bank yet! Also, part of my appeal was remanded for further development of TDIU.. I submitted a waiver at BVA hearing to have everything decided at DC. If anybody on this forum has gone through this experience please tell me if AMC would handle this Remand? why I haven't received retro?
  3. Hello everyone, I have been on this forum from time to time, and I must admit usually when I was feeling hopeless about the process, or angry. Hopefully I am not putting this post in the wrong place also. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I got on the forum, and totally forgot my login and password. I got a new one, and here I am. I wanted to post to give other veterans fighting this difficult process some hope. I started in June 2008 to get rated, after my second neck fusion surgery. The surgery went bad, and left me with permanent nerve damage down my left arm and hand, and permanent pain and fatigue in my neck and shoulders. It got so debilitating that I ended up having to retire on disability from a great civil service career as a GS15, doing what I loved. My problem was that I chose not to take the VA exam when I was retiring from the Army, because I felt like I was in better shape when I retired than when I enlisted. If I could offer any advice to those active duty Service Members who are getting ready to retire, go to that VA exam. Do not ignore it, as I did. So I was initially rated at 40% back in 2008 and received an increase to 60% in 2009. Eventually with the help of an Independent Medical Opinion, I was able to get to 90%, which was reduced to 70% for no reason or medical change, and then raised again on a DRO appeal back to 90%. All the while my spine was beginning to show the wear and tear of having jumped out of airplanes. While the pain in my neck and arm was diagnosed as CRPS by a Navy pain management doctor, and substantiated by an army doctor I was assigned to after the first one PCSed. I must point out here that I am very lucky, because I live in the Metro Washington DC and I was enrolled into the Military Health system, and in a local Army off-site clinic feeding into Ft. Belvoir and Walter Reed hospitals, so all the while I was getting good health care. As I mentioned, I had to retire on disability from the civil service much too quickly, it was in part because the CRPS had spread into my left and right extremities. It was so bad that in Sept 2012, that it caused me to fall and crush my right foot and severely sprain my left ankle. It took me nearly a year to get over the initial surgeries, and after three surgeries I can at least walk. SO I applied yet again for an increase. Along the way, my lower back was rated at 20%, and while it was worsening over the arc of my story, I was getting no support from the VA, as I was fighting back in forth with the VA to keep and/or restore the 90%. This past summer my back had deteriorated to the point that I could barely walk. I saw the spine surgeon at the Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital last July. Ironically, after I asked my orthopedic surgeon who was still following my aftercare post foot surgery #3, which she performed in January of 2015, to look at my back, because of the pain I was in. I told her that I had prior x-rays taken where the radiologist report stated that all I had was some age related degenerative disk disease, but that the pain I was experiencing was much more than a little arthritis. She ordered new x-rays and after reviewing she said that I had a right to be in so much pain. From her point of view my back was in such bad shape that she wanted to refer me to the spine surgeon. So I saw him and discussed that x-ray. In his opinion I had serious instability at 6 levels, and scoliosis (which had been diagnosed while I was still active duty) in the lumbar area, and desiccated disks up and down that segment. He ordered an MRI and a Myelogram of my lower back and both tests confirmed his concern. So I had surgery to fuse my back from T12 to L5 last October, which my surgeon characterized as one of the most stressful surgeries for a human body. It was also obvious that I my back was not normal, and clearly it had all come because of active duty service. Still I didn't get an increase until I changed my VSO from the American Legion to the Disabled American Vets. I met my new Service Rep in early December last year, after I received a letter from the VA once again proposing to reduce my rating yet again. By the time I saw the VSO, it was obvious that there were major changes in my lower back, and not only did I not deserve a reduction in my 90% rating, he felt very strongly that I had cause to get bumped up to 100%. So he submitted for TDIU, because I was still just into my recovery from the back fusion surgery, and that it didn't look to him that I would ever improve; and an increase to 100% post-op recovery. Luckily the VA finally agreed with something pertaining to my health, without a year's long back and forth battle. I was asked to come into the Washington VA hospital for another P&C in April of this year. I also ended up going back for a second exam a few months later. Both examiners were sympathetic to my plight. And here I would recommend anyone requiring a P&C exam that if you are sent to a QTC contractor exam (or a different company performing P&C exams) to try and get the exam switched to a government facility, even if it takes a little longer. Every time I was examined (and I use that word lightly) by QTC, it ended up in either an actual reduction in my disability rating, or a proposed one that I had to fight off. Finally, in July, I returned home from my second lower back fusion surgery and hospitalization to find that big brown envelop that we're all familiar with. I had to have this second fusion, because the first one refused to fuse into my sacrum. So the surgeon had to remove the L4-L5, L5-S1 screws, and re-anchor the L4-L5 screws and extend the rods down to my pelvis, where he had to add 5 inch screws in each side of my pelvis to anchor the entire fusion. Back to the envelop. I opened it to find a new rating. Finally, I was awarded 100% Permanent and Total starting in April, with a 5 months of TDIU during my immediate recovery from the 1st lumbar operation. So now after fighting for 8 years, I am finally rated at 100%. In my mind, I should have been awarded that years ago. Here is where I tell all of you to never give up. There have been times when opening those envelopes that I was disconsolate and angry, but I never gave up. I have had assistance in tough times to get my journey on track, and I am so grateful to the DAV for taking my case and following it through to completion. Pick your VSO carefully. My first stab at this was with the American Legion. Initially, I had success with the officer assigned to my case, but once she retired, I received no useful support, and the VSO assigned to me was as a ghost, never returning my calls. So for years I was left to work my case alone. It was only after the DAV started helping me did I see any increase. So this is my story. I appreciate those who have read it through to the end. TCK
  4. So I see the disclaimers everywhere about how they are different agencies and how approval for TDIU doesn't guarantee SSDI and vice versa, even for only SC conditions, and have seen many vets here that have one and not the other. I did the bad thing and checked ebenefits today to see that my status changed from preparation for decision approval to pending notification (with est completion date for Mon-Tue), and back to prep for decision again all today. I was aware that this could happen as many of you have warned so I was prepared and wasn't expecting the status change so soon anyway. But what is worrying is that now there is a new entry under needed from others tab with a red status dot that says "SSA for med evid used in disab dec"...so I have not received a decision notification from SSA yet and submitted both applications about the same time for the same conditions. My anxiety is going through the roof now and I had to take a pill for it (which hasn't kicked in yet, I'm sorry guys but this is my release since I was just pacing frantically and working my way up to a full blown panic attack), because I was prepared for denial from SSA since I know most 1st time claims are denials, but now it looks like the VA will use SSA med evidence to decide on my TDIU claim?? I submitted the same exact medical evidence, nothing different. So if SSDI denies my claim (statistically likely) then I should probably expect a denial from VA, despite agencies and claimants saying that they don't rate the same, but it seems maybe things are changing like becoming more dependent? I saw on ebenefits too where they are building in a one button access to share va medical records with SSA (it's not working yet last I checked). But it seems like they are trying to get the agencies more in sync (which it seems like they logicially would be for things like TDIU or 100% for SC disabilities), but am I one of the ones stuck in that crappy transitional phase where people are figuring it out? Has anyone else had this status and how did it resolve? I know, I know, stop checking ebenefits. I wish they had a volunltary exclusion for people like me. And I know, prepare for the worst and let it work through the process. Sorry for the vent, this is my attempt at a better coping mechanism than my two current coping mechanisms which are take a pill for the anxiety (had to do anyway) or take a pill to make myself sleep through it. Thanks to anyone reading through this and bearing with me.
  5. Is a cancer diagnosis enough by itself to get 100% for TDIU? I already have 70% SC for other issue since effective date of 2010.
  6. I am a bit confused about the qualifications on this particular item. I have read .. hell I can not even explain it as really because it confuses me that much so I am just going to be blunt.. would I qualify for consideration for housebound? I stay at home most of the time as I am tired most of the time(sleep apnea)/spinal stenosis (which increases tremendously when I travel)/radiculopathy down both legs and anxiety issues. My fiance' does most of the chores around the house. She would take me to VA appointments because I get easily distracted (because of pain) and basically easily upset when I drive, but she of course works so she can not. I have a total rating of 90% with TDIU 100% 70% for depression and the rest of my issues are various ranging from 30%'s/20%'s and a 10%.
  7. Hello all, first of all thank you to all who share your stories and advice. While this is my first post, I've been stalking the forum for months as something to do during my insomnia as I wait for my decision. I have found both comfort and education here. I was hoping for some opinions, advice, or even encouragement. I realize I'm not in the worst shape compared to others, but this process has my anxiety through the roof. I am currently rated 30% SC PTSD-MST (total rating with other disabilities is 50%). My condition has progressively worsened, especially over the past few years. I submitted my FDC for PTSD increase and TDIU in May and it has been in Gathering of Evidence phase. All of my treatments have been with VA docs. My GAF scores average around 50. I obtained a favorable IMO to submit with my application. I haven't yet been scheduled for a C&P exam. Over the past several years I missed a lot of work, burned through my leave with sick days, was previously placed on both short and long term disability with my employer, all from my SC medical issues. I would appreciate based on your experience and thoughts on whether I might have a good case for increase, what my rating might be, whether I might get TDIU or P&T, how long it might take for VA to get my medical records from VA hospitals, if I will have to do a C&P exam (the thought almost triggers a panic attack), or any advice on what I can do to pass the time as I wait besides chronically check eBenefits and read every single thread on this forum. I realize I have a much longer wait ahead of me, so I figured I'd start engaging here. Thank you in advance for any help.
  8. I am currently at 80 % and unemployability P&T being paid at 100% rate. I have been recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Since I'm all ready being paid at the 100% rate is it even worth submitting a claim? Thanks Bill
  9. Hi everyone been awhile since I have been on here. First of all thank you all for how much knowledge that you guys (and gals) contribute about VA issues for veterans like me. I fancy myself to be pretty sharp most of the time but this process (va disability) is more overwhelming than anything I have ever tried to do in my life! Like most I suppose I lurk much more than I post but this site has been tremensously helpful for me especially in the really complicated areas like CRSC. So thanks again really, I truly appreciate it. My question has to do with what to do when you have passed your one year window to file an NOD. I was on the ball with all of this for almost three years when I was in the IDES process. However, between retiring in 2014 and my wife and I having our first child and getting PDRL and IU 100% I just dropped the ball completely and it is clear now that I need to get back on track. Sorry for the excuse matrix about my lack of initiative rant over. Anyway, I will try to be as thorough as I can and give some backgorund info so here it goes. I have a rating from the VA of 90% (final ratings issued Nov 2014) (will provide a detailed rating breakdown if necessary) I am being paid at the 100% level based on individual unemployability (back pay is up to date on that) I am on PDRL or permanently retired I have an incorrect rating regarding post traumatic headaches/migraines, currently 30% I have a DBQ regarding these headaches which clearly meets the 50% criteria (severely debilitatitng several times per week) signed by a VA neurologist (dated 12/12/14) this was done a few months after my ratings came out I also have issue with some of my other ratings and would like to file for an increase for those as well So with all of that being said I have passed my one year mark to file an NOD. I was advised by a rep from WWP who was hadling my case (and then dissapeared) that I should not rock the boat and file all of my greivances with my ratings. The conversation went something like this. Me "A bunch of this stuff in my ratings is incorrect especially about the migraines I have a DBQ to prove it" WWP "well that's all good but you are being paid at 100% and you are permanent and total so there is nothing to worry about you won't gain anything monetary by filing and you are taking a risk." My opinion about that (and I should have been more assertive and went with my gut) is that since I meet the criteria for 100% schedular that I need to push to get it and further more it is in my best interest to make sure all of my ratings to be correct. Especially since I do plan on constantly trying to get better and hope to someday work again. Of ocurse if this happens now (me working) I will lose a ton of benefits. ? Knowing that I screwed up by following bad advice and missing the timeline what is the proper termanology for what I should try to do next? Reconsideration? File for increase? Make a new claim? All of these terms are so confusing to me. ? Also I struggle with several cognitive defecits in addition to daily headaches and migraines and I am very apprehensive about going about this alone. Is there a good VSO or other advocate resource someone could recommend. I have struck out now with my AW2 advocate, Richmond VA and WWP. Not sure where to turn for help now? ? One final question and I can post this in another section of the forum if necessary has to do with getting an attorney. Since I am being paid at the 100% level I don't believe that there is any back pay for me to collect or at least there is very little monetary gain to be had from my case currently. Most of the attorney websites that I have looked at particularly dealing with disability and va benefits want a percentage of your backpay. I am afraid if there is no backpay to be made that this will be a hard sell to get a good attorney on my case. I may be way off base with this assumption but I would be very interested in hearing any thoughts on this.? Sorry for such a long post I really tried to make it as concise as I could. Thank you very much for your time I am looking forward to hearing from you guys.
  10. Hi all, I've been receiveing TDIU for about 5 years and I recently came across your article: " 6 Reasons to Keep Pursuing VA Claims and Appeals – AFTER you reach 100%". I've never received an "income statement" nor a request for one. My income has, in that time, been only VA benefits and SSDI. Common sense says to leave well enough alone because I don't want to trigger a C&P exam that might result in a reduction in benefits when nothing has changed with my condition anyways. I think it's VA Form 21-527....but since I've never received one....I'm not sure. Should I just continue as I've been doing, or actually print out the form and start sending it in annually? Also, in E-Benefits, it says that there is "no request for documents" Thanks! From your site: Link "...When a Veteran is awarded TDIU, there is no guarantee that TDIU 100% will last forever. In fact, if the Veteran does not submit the annual income statements, or if the VA gets evidence that the Veteran is engaged in substantially gainful employment, the VA could reduce the Veteran’s rating to the combined rating in place prior to the TDIU grant..."
  11. I posted a message a few hours ago about a letter I received from Voc REhab. I received an answer from Buck52 and when I go back to the site, the message is gone. I am not sure if it was moved or deleted, or if it was allowed or not. Not sure whether to repost or what to do. Thanks.
  12. I am 80% service connected with 50% major depression and unemployed for a year should I filed for TDIU
  13. Hello fellow vets. I need your educated answers on this if you could? I filed a claim for an increase and individual unemployability.... I logged on to ebenefits yesterday and realised I was bumped up from 80% to 100%..My question is--would it show up as 100% even though i am only at 80% but unemployable? And based on everyones personal experience how long does it usually take for backpay to hit your account?
  14. A few months ago my service connected hearing loss was increased from; 10% tinnitus 20% Bi-Lat hearing loss 30% total to 10% tinnitus 50% Bi-Lat hearing loss 60% total While I do not meet the single disability percent to apply normally needed to apply for IU, I do see a "Special Consideration" which I believe applies in my case" http://benefits.va.gov/benefits/factsheets/serviceconnected/iu.pdf Below is my letter asking for my increase. I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on the content in order to determine of I should even bother to apply for UI ? BTW, I will be 57 years old on December 1st, of that matters? Thanks in advance, Mark *********** 3/17/2016 Department of Veterans Affairs I am respectfully requesting consideration for an increase in my current Service Connected Bilateral Hearing Loss rating based on VA Autonomic re-evaluation dated 2/16/16, performed by XXX Snyder, MS, Audiology which included Maryland CNC word recognition testing, conducted at the VA Audiology Clinic, 760 XXXX Avenue, XXX Ca. 96001 (530) XXX-8830. History: I am currently rated at 20% Service Connected Bilateral Hearing Loss and 10% Service Connected Bilateral Tinnitus, dated 3/8/2011. The details and evaluation of that service connection are documented in my VA file number XXX XX XXXX. Continued and ongoing issues: Based on my ongoing occupational, Retail Store Manager and non-occupational hearing problems, which include but not limited to; Understanding and or comprehending spoken words Understanding and or comprehending telephone, conference call conversation and intercom announcements Understanding and or comprehending MIS helpdesk, police and other government or municipal telephone conversations. Understanding and or comprehending streaming television, computer, radio or other electronically produced broadcasts. Communicating in moderate to noisy environments, including retail store operations. Communicating with a group of individuals, including retail store operations, staff meetings and training. Communicating using retail store, company provided two way radio handsets. My service connected hearing problems, severely limits my ability to applicably react to audible occupational signals from: Building alarm, emergency warning and other electronic security systems Fire and Loss prevention alarm / notification systems Point of Sale alarm / notifications and alert systems Point of Sale scanners; Symbol DS9808, Motorola LS2208, Inventory management scanner; Symbol MC3100 EAS Loss prevention entry/exit scanners Refrigeration / Freezer malfunction notification systems Environmental systems (heating/cooling) notification systems Energy management systems NOVAR notification systems Freight delivery truck, backup warning notification systems My service connected hearing problems have resulted in: My inability to efficiently communicate with friends, acquaintances, family, customers, vendors, subordinate employees, peers and supervisors. Frequent outsourcing or shifting of my normal and personally assigned managerial functions that require high amounts of communication, to my subordinate managers. Personal, occupational and social withdrawal due to reduced access to services and difficulties communicating with others. Experiencing significant emotional problems caused by a drop in my self-esteem and professional confidence. Exacerbation of my VA diagnosed PTSD, that I am currently being treated for at the VA XXX VA Behavioral Health Department. Recent VA recommendations and action by XXX Snyder, MS, Audiology: Since my recent VA Autonomic re-evaluation which included Maryland CNC word recognition testing, dated 2/16/16, I have been issued and subsequently fitted with updated VA issued hearing instruments: PHONAK AUDEO V90-13 RIC to replace my previous hearing instruments: AUDEO SPICE SMART IX UZ RIC. I have also been issued and fitted with a Remote Control, ComPilot II and Remote Microphone in order to specifically assist with my occupational communication problems. Mr. XXX Snyder explained to me that the new hearing instruments will provide a longer usable service life for my substantial and difficult to manage hearing loss. ***************** Below is the actual examine results: 1. Objective Findings --------------------- a. Puretone thresholds in decibels (air conduction): RIGHT EAR +==============================================================+ | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========+ | 500 | 1000 | 2000 | 3000 | 4000 | 6000 | 8000 | Avg Hz | | Hz* | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | (B-E)**| |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========| | 30 | 50 | 75 | 85 | 95 | 105+ | 100+ | 76 | +=======================================================================+ LEFT EAR +==============================================================+ | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========+ | 500 | 1000 | 2000 | 3000 | 4000 | 6000 | 8000 | Avg Hz | | Hz* | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | (B-E)**| |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========| | 35 | 50 | 70 | 80 | 85 | 105+ | 100+ | 71 | +=======================================================================+ * The puretone threshold at 500 Hz is not used in determining the evaluation but is used in determining whether or not a ratable hearing loss exists. ** The average of B, C, D, and E. *** CNT - Could Not Test b. Were there one or more frequency(ies) that could not be tested: No c. Validity of puretone test results: Test results are valid for rating purposes. d. Speech Discrimination Score (Maryland CNC word list): +=======================+ | RIGHT EAR | 56% | Thank you, Mark Nicholson
  15. Anybody know what this means? I was going through my C-file I just recieved and run acoss this Station of Jurisdiction: Waco (349) Compensation/Pension Live Award. Dependents :Veteran Spouse. Future Diaries Date : 01-01-2017 Reason Unemployable Review. Review Messages 1, This award was System-Generated From 12/01/2007. If Converted Award Lines Existed Before That Date, They were Protected from Change Remarks: 100% with SMC's I don't understand this? if this is for an C&P Exam for my IU...Its crazy My TDIU P&T is based on my Noise Indused Hearing loss CHRONIC IN NATURE and No schedule exams Anyway Hearing loss don't never get better? so why the useless time and cost for a 100% UNEMPLOYABLE REVIEW??? THIS WILL BE MY 15TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR on TDIU P&T Do they think my hearing has got better? Anybody know? Thanks in Advance .......................Buck
  16. Ok, I pretty much got SSDI understood regards age, etc. but, If one has a service connected disability(s) that prevents them from doing thier current job or what he did before for his entire life and of course is not working, What ages are considered, if any. Is age 20? Is age 50? And how about 55? Me, next year. Really not for me because I currently dont meet the requirements and I am employed. However, may be unqualified for work in a year or too because of a couple different medical maledies. Just looking for examples were age mattered. Thanks, Hamslice
  17. Received a letter today from the IRS and they are stating that since my students loans were discharge/foregiven I now owe them some $$$ because I didn't add the student loans discharge as income to my 2014 taxes. My student loans were discharged because I became too disabled to work and I was awarded TDIU retro back to July 2013. What are my options? Should I go ahead and pay it or is there something like a benefit for disabled veterans so this should not be included as income?
  18. Dr Bash and John Dorle will be our guest. They have some good information about the VA changing the Duty to assist (It is not good) and one body system TDIU issues. Since 1986, Dr. Craig Bash has specialized in neuroimaging medical diagnosis through radiological imaging, Veterans medical benefits, second opinions, and independent medical evaluations (IMEs) for disabled veterans. An IME from Dr. Bash will correctly state the crucial information for filing claims or appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and other disability programs. John Dorle Provide expertise and assistance to world renowned neuro-radiologist Dr. Bash in the performance of conducting independent medical opinions to support veterans’ disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. View the full article
  19. Dr Bash and John Dorle will be our guest. They have some good information about the VA changing the Duty to assist (It is not good) and one body system TDIU issues. Since 1986, Dr. Craig Bash has specialized in neuroimaging medical diagnosis through radiological imaging, Veterans medical benefits, second opinions, and independent medical evaluations (IMEs) for disabled veterans. An IME from Dr. Bash will correctly state the crucial information for filing claims or appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and other disability programs. John Dorle Provide expertise and assistance to world renowned neuro-radiologist Dr. Bash in the performance of conducting independent medical opinions to support veterans’ disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. View the full article
  20. Dr Bash and John Dorle will be our guest. They have some good information about the VA changing the Duty to assist (It is not good) and one body system TDIU issues. Since 1986, Dr. Craig Bash has specialized in neuroimaging medical diagnosis through radiological imaging, Veterans medical benefits, second opinions, and independent medical evaluations (IMEs) for disabled veterans. An IME from Dr. Bash will correctly state the crucial information for filing claims or appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and other disability programs. John Dorle Provide expertise and assistance to world renowned neuro-radiologist Dr. Bash in the performance of conducting independent medical opinions to support veterans’ disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. View the full article
  21. Hello fellow veterans. I am in need of some advice on how to proceed with my NOD/DRO. Hopefully I can explain what happened without being confusing. I had a knee claim that was in adminstrative review for 2 years based on an error code. I filed a new claim during the time the admin review claim was open, and it was partially decided resulting in a 90 % rating. The claim was left open for an RSVR inferred TDIU. When this claim was partially decided, they closed my admin review knee claim without giving a rating, and the 90% decision letter said "knee claim with error code is referred back to RO of origin for development" After many calls and letters that my knee claim had simply closed with no rating, they finally added it on to the existing open claim with the inferred TDIU. I chose not to pursue TDIU based on being so close to shedular 100%. I did not receive a rating on my knee because I made the mistake of not scheduling my C & P when the VA called to do so in leui of submitting my private doc DBQ. So the claim that resulted in the 90% rating was also closed. There are several contentions I am asking to be reviewed on the 90% claim, two of which I have new and material evidence. I have new and material evidence for my knee as well. My question is, when I go to file NOD/DRO, should I file two separate NODs---one for error code admin review knee claim that closed without a rating, and another for the other three issues on the 90 % claim, or should I just do them all on the 90% claim NOD since the knee was also put onto that claim? I am asking because I wonder if it might be quicker to get a DRO review on a NOD based on a error code on a claim. I feel that they wrongly closed the admin review claim without making a decision that was based on error. Of course, rating it would have lead to a 100% rating for me. So instead they just closed it. I am preparing to file my NOD/DRO this week, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Should I file a separate CUE on the knee admin review claim? Basically it was that the DBQ said torn meniscus, and they only gave a ROM rating, and did not give the knee a rating based on torn meniscus after a meniscectomy (10% based on code 5259)
  22. Hey there ALL...hope all has been well with everyone & sorry that I have been away from the forum for a while but I wanted to update you all on the current status of my claim. Like I told my wife 20 min ago, I'm like 58% "nervous" 42% "excited"...but I feel 100% BLESSED, either direction the ball may end with this claim here in the next few days! It's been roughly a year (5/25/15), since when I started my claim & 02/12/16 when my claim was received by VBA and about 04/22/16 the status was "Prep for Decision". Now...its estimated completion date is 05/20/2016 to 05/22/2016 and is "Pending Decision Approval" for final decision review & award approval which is the exciting part. The parts I'm most nervous about is 1) "how fast" the entire claim process has gone since last May and, 2) the thought of my PTSD (1 of 3) C&P exams have yet to be uploaded into ebennies yet. Maybe they will be Overall, I'm going to remain as positive in thought. Thanks everyone!
  23. Dr Bash and John Dorle will be our guest. They have some good information about the VA changing the Duty to assist (It is not good) and one body system TDIU issues. The show is at 7pm so Join us. Don't miss this show It will be a must listen. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/haditcom/2016/07/19/haditcomblog-talk-veterans-radio-with-guest-speakers-dr-bash-and-john-dorle Jbasser
  24. I have a serious problem understanding how 30 months ago I filed an appeal (NOD) for a rating on my left knee. Since then my knee has had to be replaced due to the extent of pain and instability. I filed for TDIU after surgery along with the knee replacement. They have everything the need to verify the knee condition and surgery. The did not necessarily deny them but instead bundled them with the appeal on the knee. Been told it will be about 420-560 days to complete. Why can't I get my TDIU during recovery? And how does this effect the decision later. Will I ever see any compensation for my recovery? Seems as though they are waiting for the TDIU to run out before they even contact me about the appeal. Which is still at originating office. Please explain!!!??
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