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  1. I am trying to figure out how the process works. VBMS shows me at 100% but for some reason there is no change in my rating. The BVA granted me service connection for Sleep Apnea, Lumbosacral Strain, Diabetes (type II). Bilateral ankle arthritis and Bilateral hip arthritis. However, the judge remanded a part of my appeal and I am wondering if that is what is holding things up. The remand was for an increase for DJD for each knee and for separate ratings for knee instability. On Ebenefits I can see what stage the remanded portion is in because they are being treated as a supplemental claim. Since last week the following changes took place on the supplemental claim : Tuesday 1/18 - Review of Evidence Wednesday 1/19 - Preparation for Decision Friday 1/21- Review of Evidence Tuesday 1/25- Preparation for Decision Wednesday 1/26 - Review of Evidence Here is the thing. Without the remand decisions I am still at 100% and while any increases from there will increase my total number in the end it still only keeps me at 100% So my question is this. Is the remand holding it all up? Before everything can be released does the remand portion of the appeal has to be completed as well?
  2. Ok I can't find anywhere a law on comp exams. When is it to many. When can a veteran say I have enough evidence. I don't need anymore assistance. To me the comp exam system is open door. If they don't feel like address the case order more exams. If you have enough evidence to granted they still can order more exams They can keep say the exam is inadequate even when the exam is favorable to the veteran. So when can a veteran stop all this is my ? There are not even laws addressing this smh
  3. A few days ago, my attorney sent me this email on a PTSD claim I filed back in 2016 and have appealed to the BVA. After getting this email, I checked eBenifits & VA.gov and they still read, "waiting to be sent to a law judge". "I am reaching out to give an update on your case. We are currently pending a Rating Decision in response to the Board Appeal filed 05/18/21. If you have received any recent VA correspondence, please be sure to inform our office" Thank You
  4. Pretty stocked and can't wait to get this info and share it. I recently submitted an iris claim asking about the 10 day policy of waiting after letter is sent with a decision and why they can't make it available online immediately and rationale for their policies etc. I've spoken to 2 people so far at the Peggy line and both have said that they are jealous (one actually is asking to have the info sent to their management team) of the information being put together for me and that they hope I like to read. One told me I better share this info with other veterans as well so my hopes are high for some really great information to share. Hopefully more to come by end of next week at latest.
  5. Anyone have info on why the BVA metrics page is stuck on August of 2019? It's been there for 3 or 4 months.
  6. Hello all, I have had an appeal going since 2009 and seen multiple providers from LHI and submitted many many pages of evidence. My claims advisor at the American Legion says I have a huge file full of information and been to the BVA twice( remanded both times for development) and the CAVC who remanded case back to VA for development (Bergmann and Moore law firm) once. Long story short, I was filing for a service connection for mental health aggravation to include TDIU. I received another SSOC and I am including it here. I just cannot continue to fight this anymore. I'm angry they don't see it my way but I have no more evidence. I have been told my many other veterans that I made the GIANT MISTAKE by ever telling the VA I drank ( granted a waiver to enter military after seeing military psychologist to review alcoholism and lithium prescription for mental health treatment) and that I suffered child abuse. I have been sober now 11 years and my life is greatly improved in that regard but I cannot keep being the only one who thinks what I saw/did/experienced during my time in service didn't aggravate things. I am not a combat veteran but I served during the Gulf War period, did 33 rotations at Fort Irwin as a scout team member and was in Korea for a year also as a scout. I gave 7 buddy letters, statements from my mom, my wife, and my brother and have been seen at the VA monthly for mental health since 2007. I am diagnosed by the VA with depression (unspecified), anxiety, substance abuse in remission, paranoid personality disorder. I take a cocktail of pills prescribed by the VA for the same amount of time. Below is the latest RO response the BVA remand and it is currently with a judge being decided according to VA.GOV: ISSUE: 1. Service connection for a psychiatric disorder. 2. Total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU). 3. Pertinent laws and regulations. EVIDENCE: ● Memorandum granting extended VR&E benefits, dated April 21, 2016 ● VA examination, Minneapolis VAMC, dated May 11, 2016 ● VA letter, dated August 31, 2016 ● Academic transcripts, received October 7, 2016 ● VA examination, Minneapolis VAMC, dated November 14, 2016 ● LHI contractor examination, dated September 5, 2019 ● Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) Decision, dated October 6, 2021 ● LHI contractor medical opinion, dated November 5, 2021 ● LHI contractor examination, dated November 11, 2021 ● VA treatment records, Minneapolis HCS, from October 9, 2009 to December 2, 2021 ADJUDICATIVE ACTIONS: 10/06/2021 The appeal was remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals for additional examination consideration. 11/04/2021 The appeal was remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals for LHI examination contractor. 11/11/2021 The appeal was remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals for LHI examination contractor DECISION: 1. Service connection for a psychiatric disorder is denied. 2. Total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is denied. 3. Pertinent laws and regulations. REASONS AND BASES: 1. The Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) Decision, dated October 6, 2021, remanded this issue for additional examination consideration. We asked the examiner to review the evidence of record and determine if your depression and/or anxiety disorder are at least as likely as not related to an in-service personal assault that includes military sexual trauma. The examiner provided a negative opinion with the following rationale: "Previous examiners have outlined in lengthy detail rationales for why the Veteran's current mental health diagnoses are not related to service. The information contained in the statement he wrote in 2021 was taken into consideration in the 2019 MH C&P report and Medical Opinion. Two separate examiners who saw the Veteran in person have opined that the Veteran's current MH diagnoses were neither started in service nor exacerbated/aggravated by service." We also asked the examiner to review the evidence of record and determined if your depression and/or anxiety disorder are at least as likely as not caused or aggravated by your service connected left shoulder or tinnitus. The examiner provided a negative opinion for both scenarios, with the following rationale: "According to a note dated 08/24/2011, Veteran's stresses were identified as school stress, recent break up with girlfriend, homelessness, financial strain and son with ADHD. All these stresses do not relate to the Veteran's military service. Current stresses were not identified in the 2020 evaluation. Therefore, there is no evidence in the record to connect the current MH diagnoses with service connected conditions." There is no medical evidence on file that would rebut the examiner's opinions. Service connection for a psychiatric disorder is denied as the evidence fails to show a disability that was incurred in or caused by military service, nor does the evidence show a disability that was caused or aggravated by your service connected left shoulder or tinnitus. (38 CFR 3.303, 48 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.310) 2. The Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) Decision, dated October 6, 2021, remanded this issue as it is inextricably intertwined with the evaluation of your left shoulder and the potential service connection of a mental disorder. Upon appellate review, service connection was not established for a mental disorder; therefore, consideration is only given to the effects of your other service connected disabilities. You were originally denied entitlement to individual unemployability because you did not meet the schedular requirements for entitlement, nor were your disabilities severe enough to warrant extra schedular consideration. You meet the schedular requirements for entitlement to TDIU from September 22, 2011, the major disabilities being the neuropathy in your left arm and the chronic left shoulder strain. Your last occupation was in maintenance and you also received some training commercial building engineering. Before being employed in maintenance, you worked as a building engineer. You received college courses from Rasmussen College from January 5, 2015 until September 14, 2016. This was a part of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education (VR&E) program through VA. Recent examination of your left shoulder shows that you are limited to occupations that do not require heavy or overhead lifting. This disability does not affect sedentary employment. VA contract examination, dated September 5, 2019, shows that your neuropathy imposes similar restrictions on overhead activities. There is no information on restriction for sedentary activities. There is no medical evidence of record supporting the contention that your remaining service connected disabilities, including your status post open reduction internal fixation left distal fibula/tibia fracture, tinnitus, right knee strain, left lower extremity scar, and left index finger crush injury, prevent you from securing an maintaining substantially gainful employment. Entitlement to TDIU is denied as the evidence of record fails to establish that your service connected disabilities prevent substantially gainful work in a sedentary occupation. (38 CFR Any thoughts or opinions are welcomed
  7. I was wondering if anyone could answer the question of who makes the final decision on a claim that was remanded to RO for more development? RO or BVA?
  8. My appeal has now being reviewed by a judged. My attorney filed a motion to advance on the docket due to financial hardship and it appears it got approved. So now it is a simple wait game. I personally think my appeal is a slam dunk. I have both an IME and IMO as well as a plethora of supporting evidence. While I am certain (nothing is ever 100%) I will be granted service connection I wonder if the VA will try to send me to more exams. I have a feeling my attorney is not going to go for that because for some of my claims the VA has already had me go to exams twice for the same issue. The exams were bad and I am talking keystone cop stupidity on the reasons for my denials. Back Claims: I have had 3 exams from the VA for my back. The first one was a laughable joke. It lasted less than 10 minutes. The examiner said less like because I am overweight. Ignoring all of the evidence that showed back complaints while I was not overweight. What makes the argument dumb is part is sleep apnea was on this claim (part of the appeal as well) and for sleep apnea I was using obesity as an intermediate step due to my not being able to exercise due to my back (Not SC) as well as other disabilities that are actually service connected. The other two C&P exams were done by LHI and QTC. I can't see them. They used them to confirm the denials but never the reasons why. In all my back decision they never mention the evidence I submitted. DIabetes: I had 2 exams this condition. In the first denial they actually did a complete explanation on the evidence and why it was denied. It was the only condition they did this. It was a complete crap decision. The denial was because their claim was Dr. Ellis based his decision off of my history alone. I guess they missed the part where he examined me. For my second exam It was per the Nurse Practitioner who stated it was less likely because there are no notes in my file stated that I was put on limited duty/profile while on active duty. I only know this because by now I hired an attorney who had access to my file and got me an IMO. The doctor that wrote the IMO tore apart the examiner and even stated that because she was a nurse practitioner she was not qualified to make determinations on diabetes. Hip Arthritis: I had 2 exams for this condition. I have no idea what the exam said as it was done by QTC. In the denial the rater states the examiner was unable to confirm a chronic diagnosis. Nevermind the fact that I submitted current medical records along with an X-Ray report confirming the diagnosis. The rater goes on to say that I claim my hip issues were secondary to my feet and at the time I was not service connected for my feet. However, my statement in support of my claim states I believe my issues were caused by my feet, feet and ankle issues. I also made sure to point out I am not a medical professional and do not make a diagnosis. I am not service connected for my feet and ankles but at the time of the decision I was already service connected for both knees. On the second exam the examiner stated my hip issues were less likely to be service connected because my conditions do not preclude me from all forms of exercise. He actually used paraplegics as an example saying paraplegics can exercise and maintain appropriate BMI. Now the second exam was not an actual exam. It was a records review. So I was denied based on their examiners history but the same standard was not applied to mine for my diabetes even though I had a physical exam as well. Needless to say the doctor that did my IMO tore this rationale apart. Knees: As I sit here and ponder I can't recall if I have ever had any additional knee exams except for the one in 2009 that gave me my initial 10% rating. I can this with absolute certainty though. I have never had a any VA examiner use a goniometer for my knees. It has been used (once) by QTC for a back exam but no examiner VA or otherwise with exception of my own examiner for my IME. I have went over every decision letter and the VA does not list a single measurement in the decision letters for my increase. They state in there a certain CFR was followed but it never shows what the measurement if any was. It would be a complete lie because there are no measurements but they don't even attempt to hid the fact there are none. Sleep Apnea and Ankles: Submitted new and material evidence. The VA acknowledged the new and material evidence and stated my claim is reconsidered. Deniedd me without even scheduling a C&P exam and confirmed the previous decision. No rational was submitted. They only state the evidence does not support a change in their prior decision. I have submitted a lot evidence for my claims. I have personal statements, Spouse statements, civilian medical records, service medical records, IME and and IMO. In all of my previous decisions the VA while they list all the evidence I submitted they do not address the evidence in most of the decisions. The only decision they say anything in is the diabetes decision.
  9. I want ask if anyone has information or knowledge of a BVA appeal that is out of the 90 day evidence phase, holding up a decision on a claim for an increase on another SC issue? I would like know if I should just wait for the BVA to make it's decision first on the appeal, before I put in for the increase for the separate issue? Forgive me if this is not the right platform for this question. All information is welcome, Thanks.
  10. https://www.federaltimes.com/management/2021/07/13/pandemic-exposed-strain-from-va-benefit-appeals-caseloads/ The amount of problem attorneys at the BVA is shocking. They only have to do two appeals per week?
  11. Ok I found this In the va manual. Note: Prior to enactment of PL 96-12, a Veteran had to be entitled to SMC under 38 U.S.C. 1114(o) in order to establish entitlement to SMC under 38 U.S.C. 1114®(1) and 38 U.S.C. 1114®(2). ok so is this law and why do I see so many denied for not having a smc o. Is pl law binding on va
  12. Did a search and didn't find an answer to this question....but would previous BVA decisions be considered "new" and "relevant" evidence to open up a Supplemental Claim? I thought about just submitting for a HLR but I want these two cases I found that are on point a part of the record. There is no other evidence I am submitting. My argument is the rater did not follow already existing precedent which is what these two BVA cases represent.
  13. Hello, Years ago I filed a claim for a scar from surgery while in service. They granted the scar at 0% . I appealed it saying it was painful and should be rated at 10%. RO denied it so it went to the BVA who remanded it back to RO because the original exam wasn't proper and the VA didn't review records it had that were pertinent to claim. The BVA remand instructions were to review specific records and do a new exam. I had a new exam and later received a letter from RO saying they granted me 10% but the effective date was the date of new exam. They said that is the first diagnosis of scar pain even though my records going back years show me complaining of pain which is why I suspect BVA told them to review those records. The RO decision letter stated the only used the new exam as evidence for their decision. So it went back to the BVA and it seems they made a decision. I'm waiting on the letter but website said they granted my claim and also denied it? Any ideas on how this is possible? I'm hoping it's a grant for earlier effective date and denial of an increase in excess of 10%? Anyone have any ideas on what they would grant and deny same claim?
  14. So a buddy of mine has a claim that was just remand by bva for new exams. So for a month they offer exam 150 miles away. The va hospital is 15 min away smh. So it took them a month to get appoint with the place that does ssi claim exam. I don't like this it seem alot of veteran are get bad exams adding years of appeal time I don't understand the va hospital has ever specialist and has treated most of us all our disabled life. To me this seem like a step to getting rid of the va health system. And to denied more veterans
  15. I asked a similar question some time ago but am confused about something still. I have a BVA hearing waiting to be scheduled for my lower back claim. My original claim was filed as "lower back condition" and denied as "pre-existing scoliosis." My doctor has diagnosed me with DDD. If I want to be rated for DDD and not scoliosis, do I submit a new claim? Or do I submit all evidence to the BVA hearing and tell them I want to be rated for DDD not scoliosis? Thanks
  16. Hi Everyone I logged in today to check the status of my BVA claim and it said "Your regulatory or procedural review – Received March 12, 2021 has been closed as of March 12, 2021". But when I look at the claim it's still open so I called the 1 800 number and the guy acted like he didn't know what that means and told me that I'll be receiving a packet in the mail within 7-10 days. Has anyone seen this before and if so what actually does this mean and thanks in advance for the help and I look forward to your replies.
  17. I appealed my lower back condition (DDD, strain) and am still waiting on a virtual hearing since July 2020. I called and they said they are still on 2019 claims but would not give me any other information. From what I've read on here I'm better off withdrawing my hearing and submitting a supplemental claim with IMOs. I know I would lose the back pay though. Are there any other negatives to withdrawing my hearing? Does anyone have an idea how much longer I'd wait for a hearing? Thanks
  18. Good Morning! I was wondering if anyone can shed light on a BVA status question. My va.gov status has shown “A judge is reviewing your appeal” for a little over one year. I just noticed under Issues it is showing Closed and Granted for 3 of the 4 issues I had filed the claim for, which is wonderful news. Ebenefits is not showing any changes. Does anyone know what to expect next for the 3 that were granted? Since 3 out of 4 were granted, should I expect the 4th issue was remanded? Thank you again so much for all the experience and knowledge this site offers.
  19. Hey all, I have an upcoming BVA hearing in April and I am getting anxious. Despite the strong evidence that I have in my service medical records, VA records, and IME from a board-certified specialist, I feel like I’m still going to be denied service-connection. How did you all get over this feeling? I am an emotional wreck right now, far worse than I was waiting three years ago. Plus, my attorney is going to request waiving the hearing and submitting a written argument. I have a conference call with my attorney in two weeks to go over the written argument, but yet I am still anxious as heck. Also, does anyone know if your claim is Advanced on the Docket, does that also apply to grants or remands by the BVA? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  20. I know Hadit cannot address OTH Discharges But my case is different because the BVA decision states I based my claim on the wrong Army Regulation May 1956 instead of April 14, 1959. The Court found for the Boards decision, as this regulation was not before the Board at the time of the decision. I went over all AR'S but could not find this one, I finally found it in the Congressional Record of the 88th Congress 1962. A Department of Defense directive dated 1-14-1959 Which became effective 90 days later on (April 14, 1959)Which cancelled and Superseded all other service regulations on administrative discharges. Stating the definition of what was misconduct and what was Unfitness. I was discharged by the Army under an Army Regulation that had been cancelled 2 years and 11 months before my discharge. I was discharged for a Personality Disorder for Unfitness. The VA found my discharge was for Willful and Persistent misconduct, DOD directive states I should be discharged for unsuitability for further retention in the service due to the diagnosis of a personality disorder. That my Character of service would be based solely on my service records which document no other problems documented by the record. The Courts decision was correct because I was discharged under provisions of DOD directive April 14, 1959, (the CVA upheld the Board decision that I predicated my defense on the wrong army Regulation ) I was discharged on 3-23-1962, under an Army reg that was cancelled 3 years before my discharge under its provisions. The DOD directive is new and material evidence. The CVA decision in reality was favorable to my claim (Which the Court did not mean it to be) What are my options The Board decision was in August 2014 and the CVA decision was in 2016, what are my options and which other VA forms must be filed? I found the DOD directive about 5 months ago! Thank you Dan
  21. https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files1/20000710.txt There are 1954 BVA decisions regarding CUE in 2020 alone. Many were denied, some were re-file-able, "without prejudice "( meaning the claimant needs to perfect the CUE and re file it) and CUE is NOT a one shot deal, as many reps etc try to say, and some certainly were awarded.
  22. Anyone know a good lawyer to contact about representing me for my BVA and maybe CAVC?
  23. I usually review the BVA chairmans report, each time it comes out. (Every year). Why? https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp 1. It helps me choose "which" appeal method I will use: BVA, HLR, SCL. On page 32, 2019 version, I read that 20.6 percent, overall, of Veterans appeals are denied by the BVA. I already know that about 80 percent of claims are denied at the VARO. So, do you want a 20 percent chance of winning (at the VARO), or an 80 percent chance at the BOARD? 2. It helps me decide whether to hire an attorney or not. If you look, also on Page 32, Attorney represented Vets fare far better than any of the VSO's. Attorney's lose just 13 percent of the time, while Most VSO's are about double that. 3. It answers questions like, "can I appeal a VA life insurance waiver of premium denial". It shows that the Board decided appeals on insurnace and other VA stuff. 4. It helps to find out "how long" I can expect my appeal at the BVA, because it gives time frames. You just need to know where to look.
  24. Hello. A friend of mine has a BVA hearing coming up in Dec. He does not want to travel all the way to Wash DC because of the COVID. What form, if any, should he use to tell the BVA that he will not be able to attend his hearing and that the BVA should decide his appeal without his presence? Thanks in advance for all your help.
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