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  1. Hello everyone, Happy labors day to all, so my question was i my current disability is rated at 50% since last years, since then i haven't seen any improvement myself, I haven't work much or able to keep a stable job, my last job was at home depot for prob 2 months as a greeters around the end of 2019, I just submit all my disability for an increase on may 2020 and my case just close on September 3rd 2020, when to only 1 C&P exam where the doctor just ask me about my injury and how it feel about it, if i pull any muscle or tears any thing, i told the doctor it just hurt when walk or stand, some flare up sometime on my knee. so i limited myself to mostly sit or lay on bed, can't keep a job for long. She told me so you disable then and just told me the exam is finish. No extra check up/exam, No xray or mri. I know my case is complete and the letter should be here soon, but my question is how likely for me to get an increase? if so how much could i percent should i expected? I heard from someone that if i get approve most likely my ebenefits rating should have changes before my letter arrived, if it doesn't chance til my letter arrive that mean most likely is a denied letter. left hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019 left hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 back condition Not Service Connected right ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 left ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 right hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019
  2. Good Morning All, My C&P claim filed 1-2-2020 recently closed. My claim for an increase for left lower sciatica radiculopathy came back as Continued at 10%. When I look at my list of disabilities in EBENEFITS it shows Left lower sciatica radiculopathy increased to 20% effective date 1-2-2020. My question is which is the mistake? Thanks, Daniel
  3. Hoping to get some advice on where to start with a VA disability claim, I separated in 2017 and have filed several "intent to file" processes since separating but have let them all lapse as I've struggled so much with PTSD since getting out and have been in such a pit I'm only now trying to pull myself out of it and try and move forward with treatment and tying up all the loose ends I have. Like a fool I spent so long suffering and not talking about my issues I've not only made them far worse but made any paths I have forward far more difficult, and was hoping that others that have had similar experiences can help me create a path forward somehow. I originally joined the Air Force in 2001 and within my first year witnessed a fellow airman have a medical emergency during training and despite me and several others efforts to perform CPR we weren't able to save him. Thinking back I'm realizing I should have been more in tune with how it effected me, immediately after the incident I had lost all memory of the following two weeks, essentially a month after the incident I could remember the incident in every detail but the two weeks directly after were a complete blank spot in my memory just days after those two weeks passed. I couldn't remember people I had met or things that had happened, it's like I was teleported forward nd dumped there immediately after the incident. Over the years this started effecting me more and more and started to include other signs of trouble, I started having waking nightmares where I would sleepwalk and hallucinate the event unfolding all over again which still occurs almost nightly almost 20 years later. The most debilitating aspect of it has become a slow descent into a deep fear and anxiety for death and medical events that causes daily panic attacks and daily uncontrollably unhinged sobbing, sometimes lasting as much as six hours a day. Starting ten years ago while I was still in the service I started seeing a private doctor and getting medication and treatment for PTSD and anxiety which I understand now incorrectly did everything I could to hide from the military. I spent the next seven years trying every medication under sun with sometimes three times per week therapy which has largely been unsuccessful with things getting especially worse since leaving the service three years ago. Moronically I now realize, I kept everything from the military and pretended everything was fine, I pretended more than that, that I was thriving. It was only at the very end that I opened up to some about my struggles but honestly don't believe they ever made it into my military medical records, while my private medical records show diagnosis of PTSD, major anxiety disorder and depression along with a multitude of symptoms and other things effecting me like GERD and IBS (I take prescribed anti acid daily, as well as about half a bottle of tums daily and its still not uncommon for me to have to run to the bathroom several times in the night with bright orange lava coming out of my rear end), insomnia, hypertension, memory loss (it takes me probably an hour a day to find simple things such as my keys and wallet, and that's with systems being put in place to assist me with this) as well as the still nightly hallucinating waking nightmares and night sweats to the point where I need to keep towels next to the bed to wring myself off several times through the night. With all of the struggles I've had I've lost three jobs in the past three years directly related and documented from the struggles I have had and still currently have and have decided to try and apply for VA disability for some of these issues if I have a path forward. The most important thing is probably the healthcare which I'm understanding without I have no hope. Being in and out of jobs and having healthcare come and go has made life the past three years impossible and while I filed an intent to file almost immediately after separating, that one lapsed, another I filed after has lapsed and now my third is lapsing December 28th with me only now just starting to try and gather my records and documents to support my claim. After all of this I'm hoping to find advice as to if I have any path forward and what that may look like. With nothing but documented hearing loss and some foot issues while deployed ( I now have horrible bunions but that's a whole separate thing I'll worry about some other day), My military medical records are empty and its been longer than the year after separating that I'm realizing is the time I really should have done this. Should I bother with any of it or have I waited to long to try and pull myself out of this pit? Also is there any benefit to quickly getting it in before the 28th to make the window for the intent to file, even If I don't have everything together yet? Or should I just wait until I'm better prepared and file a new intent? Also does someone know of a good resource explaining the difference between symptoms and secondary conditions? I cant quite wrap my mind around it, like GERD is a symptom on PTSD as well as a secondary condition, while insomnia is also a symptom but not usually a secondary condition. Sorry so long and thanks for any advice anyone may have.
  4. Hello All, I know there are NUMEROUS questions asked about the VA disability ratings, and even a disability calculator, but, my question is: my total combined disabilities are rated at 85%, so, it was rounded to 90%. I submitted a new claim for GERD, which I am expecting them to bring it from 10% up to 30%. For the disability calculation, will they work from the 90% and then factor in new claims or percentages or do they re-enter all my disabilities and so my rating could still remain at 90%? thank you!!
  5. If I were to get a job where I was considered a Virtual Employee(with a big company) and Worked from my home. Is that considered a "sheltered environment"? Meaning would I get in trouble for working from home and make more than the poverty threshold? Thank you Scott
  6. I tried looking through forums, but cannot find this answer. I had a GERD claim increase on Jan. 2019. I am *fairly* certain it was previously rated at 0% upon discharge and then finally received an increase in Jan. 2019. I cannot find anywhere online when the GERD was previously rated for 0%-I looked through "historical claims/appeals" and it does not show anywhere on there (there is one claim that I submitted a long time ago that says "administrative review-closed, but, it was so long ago, I honestly do not remember what the administrative review was for or what it was related to). Is there anywhere else I can look to find when the original GERD assigned rating of 0% was given? (I am asking as I am thinking of doing a CUE for the 10% rated in Jan. 2019, and I am thinking I need to have the date originally assigned at 0%? ) Or is this something I would need to ask for copies for from the VA? *I know it was previously rated at 0% because I can see where I submitted claims for increase for GERD.....
  7. What the “couldn’t fully grant your appeal...” means?. The claim in question is sleep apnea and acne. I’m confused, what can be expected from this? Thanks! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B622YwAqOSf68H3KhqJjQ_vP-n5cILga/view?usp=drivesdk
  8. I have some questions and wondering what some of your observations are. I had a c and p exam recently and got ahold of the DBQ. All the boxes the doctor checked were good for me. She checked all the right boxes and checked that I had PTSD and all the symptoms they went with it but in some of the comments she made, they seem really bad. So I'm wondering what matters more, the doctors observations or the boxes she checked? I'm rated at 60% currently with anxiety NOS and Tinnitus. I did not initiate the exam for an increase. It was one of the random c&p to see how things are going. This is from the PTSD initial DBQ that she filled out 1) yes 2) PTSD, paranoid personality disorder with avoidant features, other specified anxiety disorder with depressive symptoms 3) a. Yes. B.no 4.) A.Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies In most areas work, school , family relations...etc B. Yes--most impairment is attributed to PTSD and anxiety disorder with paranoia secondary. Under PTSD criteria she checked 2 in A, 3 in b, 2 in c, 6 in D and 4 in E . 6) Argumentative and irritable veteran who is hiding behind his wife and looks at her instead of the examiner; has poor eye contact; unable to tolerate questions without interrogating examiner about "meaning" of question; makes people want to avoid him due to his paranoid arguing. Hopeless attitude; does not accept hopeful comments; arrogant and appears to think he knows more than others; thinking was designed to perceived threat, not to answer questions; emotional overactivity; exaggerated affect; affect constricted; everything annoys him; meds do not touch symptoms and he does not sleep; problems with lack of trust. 7) " he may be playing this up out of a desire to avoid working at jobs that are low pay---he has no job skills and comes from a highly educated family --father is lawyer, sister a geophysicist; he may prefer the sick role, rather than go back to school and stretch himself; there is an element of malingering and playing to an audience." I found this highly offensive because I've been going to the VA for at least 5 years. I didn't initiate the exam so I'm not trying to get more money. However, I wasn't honest in my first c&p in 2011 because I was ashamed and held back a lot of the really bad things I experienced. This time around I made sure that I was brutally honest. I know that I'm supposed to tell them about my "worst" day and how bad it really is and I did. And now my sincerity is questioned? The lady was incredulous that my wife married me even though I didn't have a job and still don't. I said that I don't believe I can work which I don't think that I can because I barely can stand to leave the house and that I hate being around people because I'm constantly thinking in my head that I'm going to be attacked or have to attack someone else. I also don't sleep, I have diagnosed insomnia from the VA. Because of all this I don't think I'd be able to hold down a serious job. Is that crazy? I haven't worked in a long time. I stay at home and take care of our kids. I said something like at least I can feel useful like that. The woman seemed stunned by this. I'll admit I was extremely uncomfortable during the exam because I hate talking about this stuff and prefer to not think about it. And she interpreted it in the way above. Her comments seem contradictory to all of the boxes she checked. If I'm "malingering and playing to an audience" why did she check all of the other boxes? It's driving me crazy. This feels really bad for me. I'm having anxiety attacks almost daily thinking about this. Am I crazy to worry about how this will turn out for me? This woman was in her late 70s or early 80s. The exam was through VES and was done at her in home practice
  9. I just filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari to SCOTUS on the "Feres Doctrine" which is used to deny veterans access to evidence and tort claims. No jury trier of fact. The BVA is unable to order evidence be made available to claimants. The DVA thumbs its nose, as it did in my case, at the RBA disputes lodged under the rules to obtain evidence. The Circuit Courts won't get involved because of the Feres Doctrine while expressing concerns about the Feres Doctrine's Constitutionality. Petition was mailed Saturday. Don't know how long it will take to get an answer but only 1% get heard by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Have a much better chance at it this time than when I attempted in 1989. I shelled out more than $1,000.00 in printing and mailing 45 copies (143 pg.) to SCOTUS and 1 copy each to 10 interest parties this time. Big gamble on my part. Need to publicize it. Is there a Journalist on board? Search Bray v United States at SCOTUS (new petition) in a week or so. Bray v United states at the 10th Circuit, #18-8051, in a couple of days should have the SCOTUS petition posted on PACER. Also submitted a pre-decision copy to the Court of Veterans Claims (CAVC) which should post to the docket of Bray v Wilkie, #17-2990. Is anyone interested in joining? Does anyone know a law school that might take it up? I'm self represented because it is extremely difficult to get an attorney because of the Feres Doctrine.
  10. My question: Should all items that impact his disability be listed on the VA Form 21-526EZ? If something is secondary such as pain, that should be listed? BACKGROUND: I need assistance with VA Form 21-526EZ. On page 8 section 13, it asks for the list of disabilities. Does this mean ALL items from his problem list (VA medical records)? For example I can easily extract 20 items from his VA medical problem list BUT the VA Veterans Advisor only posted 4 line items which do NOT give a complete picture. 1. paralysis external nerve (mild) 2. lumoscaral strain (mild) 3. paralysis median nerve (mild) 4. degenerative arthritis of spine (mild) After 10+ years of progressive degeneration, a year ago, we submitted a form for re-evaluation of his service-connected medical conditions. The MRI from the 2009 determination is missing from his records. The comp&pen Dr indicated that it was our responsibility to provide documentation to him on what changed. We assumed that the comp&pen doctor would conduct an exam/order MRI or could extract the information from his records. He also indicated that pain (consistently documented as 9/10) is not a consideration for disability, that it is immaterial to VA. Only one (from the 4 listed) line items was increased 10%. The current MRI indicates his spine has moderate to severe degeneration. The VA Veterans Advisor indicated that we should NOT resubmit again unless we can get a doctors statement specifically indicating which line item has progressed from mild. I have asked the Spinal Cord Injury Primary Care doctor for assistance, provided her with research documentation and she said she would but that was 2 months ago and nothing was put in his records. In advance, thank you
  11. Question: VA Form 21-526EZ page 8 section 13. Should all the items from the VA Problem list (medical records) be included on the form, including secondary problems and other items such as diabetes or ONLY the service connected problems? Post Vietnam, no AO My spouse's condition has deteriorated in the last 10 years and we need to be re-evaluated. Last year, the VA Rep submitted a claim and the Comp&Pen Doctor asked us for an MRI. From there it gets murky trying to get assistance for documentation.
  12. Hey brothers and sisters, So I just had my C&P for my right shoulder secondary to my left shoulder injury. Since I've injured I tend to put more strain on my right shoulder to compensate for functional loss. This has caused me to have pain and limited ROM in both shoulders. This scumbag at the VA left his opinion. Even though all my tests showed limited ROM and pain on movement of right shoulder. What's next? MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: Secondary Service Connection. Is the Veteran's shoulder condition right at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of rotator cuff tendonitis, left shoulder (non dominant)? b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: RIGHT SHOULDER TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECTION ] b. The condition claimed is less likely than not (less than 50% probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. c. Rationale: Within the concept of a pathologic entity of one specific site or joint of the human body (right shoulder in this case) it is very hypothetical to theorize or to try to conceptualize that such a pathologic process would be secondary to a SC pathological process at a separate site such as ROTATOR CUFF TENDONITIS, LEFT SHOULDER (NON DOMINANT). To ascribe a distant pathologic entity (RIGHT SHOULDER) to be secondary to the already mentioned SC condition, does not fit within the realm of a peer reviewed logical manifestation of diseases as written over centuries in the medical books. Even trying to force a connection between such SC condition and the RIGHT SHOULDER condition imperils the scientific knowledge in medicine that tries to explain disease processes and their interconnections in the most logical, reasonable and responsible ways. There is no evidence in the scientific medical literature of such connection. Therefore, the claimed condition is less likely than not proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. And the SC condition neither aggravates the RIGHT SHOULDER condition.
  13. Hello fellow veterans. I had an experience over years- each Spring, feel a lot better after the much worse Winter. A chronic, physical, neurological, pain condition means the normal forces of life get multiplied or muted. This year, worst Winter, but Spring brought a good day- so I went out, Motrin augmented, and used tractor to fix dirt road that was like a moonscape of potholes. People came out along the stretch. Some angered, some wondering, some wanting to talk, and one person offered 600 for gravel in front of their place. While placing the gravel (showing where to dump it) someone else wanted gravel next door on the road- I saw to it. Soon, 10,000 dollars of gravel spread over a mile- and all I had to do was show people the gravel was appropriate for their investment, the results were obvious. So, eventually, over a month passed, 60 truckloads (30 trips) and the road was done. Some complained, others angry, others reassuring, others with critical useful information (how to make the road). I went home when someone took a tractor and dug up the gravel in a sort of angry move. When I went home, wondered how I worked for a month plus past the much worse pain, pain from Motrin harming kidneys, yet when I got home, was unwilling to do laundry, clean house, vacuum, Spring cleaning... I thought hard. The answer? The Placebo Effect. No, I took no sugar pills- but when one goes to be tested with a sugar pill it is always a PERSON saying the pill helped. A PERSON that one meets up with to see the results.. It is the PERSON not the PILL that makes a significant percentage feel their symptoms improve temporarily. So, I realized, this year the Spring improvement was augmented by leaving the home- Nature always guides with discomfort if doing the wrong thing, pleasure if doing the right thing- moving back towards being near others- mean, angry, helpful, reassuring, no matter- just be near the (if you will) herd. Disability isolates, insulates, makes one away from others, more so with time. I avoid getting help from family- over decades it just hurts em to see it. I avoid the VA because they very, very, often do more harm than good if not extremely vigilant. Disability alters sleep-wake time. It makes people get introverted. It makes ordinary pleasures- eating at a restaurant- unpleasant. Makes having a mate problematic (in a few senses). But aside from all this, merely being NEAR OTHERS in a physical, not just online way (I am pretty much a spider on the web, dispensing solutions wherever inspired, since the days of Compuserve, Netscape, and Prodigy). I can explain how this probably works. In each persons gut (mouth to tail) there are microbes, bacteria like, much or most of your body weight is not you. This means much of what makes a human operate or inoperable is the microbes NOT suffering from your disability- but from isolation from OTHER HUMANS and their microbiome. Just being near a person (not necessarily that close!) means your microbiome matches up with other peoples- and a silent equalizing happens. This explains why pain is so depressing, why depression is so isolating, and why isolating is so pandemic to the disabled. This explains how the Placebo Effect works. This explains why young people join terrorist groups- and how to fix it- get a non terror group for them to join. This explains in part why people laugh more, louder, at jokes if in a room of people This explains how people suspend disbelief much more in a theater than alone watching a show Altogether, a solution offered for those in misery and won't even let that word (and others) pop to the surface of their awareness is to just get near other people. Try this... Go to a grocery store or similar venue. Walk slow, be fairly dressed, not unkempt. Shop. When you see someone with another person, just walk up real discreet and comment on their purchase. See how they light up? Do it again. And again. Maybe crack a joke. Now, go to the checkstand. Pay for what you bought. When the checker (forced) says ...would you like to donate your money or change to ... you say ...Nah, I am trying to quit... or tell them another joke (Do these GMO free eggs come with free HBO?) When you leave, look how you feel- do you feel better mentally despite the possible pain from ambulating about? Seems plain we vets should try to meet up with other, very near, vets for a bite to eat, a pizza party, a regularly recurring thing. Something like a 12 step group without the ...stuff that has creeped into that movement over decades... Maybe call it a Half Step movement? At Ease? Ah. Not good at naming things. Let me know if this resonates with you. Try to please Nature by getting near others even if you usually wait to feel better to get out- instead, feel better by meeting up, even hold a meet at your place if practical. Hot dogs and a loaf of bread and ketchup probably is enough. Consider the reward from being selfless. If you want a smile, see this video and if you identify with its meme about pain and being trapped. Notice the hero is not alone. Spidey
  14. I have a rating for 10% for:. right knee patellofemoral syndrome, claimed as gout and iliotibial band syndrome Is it common for VA to group conditions, can these be separated? Thanks for the assist...
  15. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  16. On 23 April, a bank account that my deposits normally are deposited into, received the funds. They were then sent back to the va on 25 April as I called the va and updated them with new account information. The va has stated the funds were sent back to the treasury on May 1st. No one at the va seems to know how long it will take to receive my funds as they have updated bank account information. I’m needing to pay rent and other bills. Any one else have experience with this?
  17. I'm new to this site, and somewhat novice with claims as I've ignored them since my discharge in 2012, but I have some questions that I've yet to find answers for that hopefully someone can help me with: In a nutshell, my story is I did my four years, two hellish combat tours to Afghan, got out in 2012, immediately filed my claims for a few disabilities like back and shoulder issues and got a 40% rating total. I've since not looked back as none of that concerns me. My issue now is that I was sent to a mandatory PTSD screening during one of my visits that year, and the examiner kind of went about the thing blase, and although I did tell her most of my traumatic experiences, she gave me 0% for "Combat PTSD not related to military service" as it says in their justification, whatever that means. I don't think they even attempted to listen to me as my experiences were extraordinarily traumatic and have been a detriment to my mental health and quality of life since. And yet I now have an effective date of a PTSD claim from day of discharge 6 years ago for 0%, says it right on eBenefits. I think you know where I'm going with this... After 6 years of dealing with a slew of issues related to PTSD, I decided this week to start looking into trying to re open the case. My questions for you are.... Would I be entitled to any back pay if I could prove that I've suffered from PTSD since then, and that they made their original decision in error? And if so, how could I go about receiving the exact paper work / medical records from that one specific screening I had in 2012? I've looked everywhere and I don't really know how to navigate either of these situations... Thanks a lot!
  18. To list the many many Tags would have been ludicrous. My case is relatively new. I joined here last year, this place has always been great to calm burned out nerves. I sometimes don't make sense to myself let alone anyone else. But when I got out, I went tearing away from anything and everything that even REMOTELY resembled authority. People being able to control my life terrified me to the point where it has literally affected every single part of my life. I came here seeking help and I got it. So, if my story can help anyone else, and my opinions on what you can do to help your own Battle, because that's what this REALLY is, then I will feel like I have done a small and meager effort to pay it forward. My C-File isn't stuffed to the gills with medical records because I didn't serve long enough to qualify for VA Medical. My Claims were handled fairly fast compared to the average. My Story is simple, I got kicked out of the US Army Infantry, after Basic, but I did not finish my A.I.T. We were OSUT. How and why is my business, and I have completely accepted that now. I wasn't even aware I had "issues" until about 9 years after I got out of there. And, a further 6 years before I swallowed my pride and went and finally asked for the help, that I had been convinced by every Veteran I knew, that I now have. I filed my initial claim for PTSD with Anger and Depression. 5 months later they denied me without a C&P, oh gosh gee wilikers was I disappointed. But, once again, fellow Veterans pointed me the way. I went to my Second VSO, and they filled for Depression, and I was scheduled for a VA C&P Exam. Why do I emphasize the VA part, well, I had learned from reading here at Hadit that C&P exams don't show up on your VA website thingy. Which, I thought to myself, that IS kind of important, you know, so no one can "lose" your record of that particular exam. I must admit that my best decisions I have made after getting my actual 50% Service Connected decision letter last year was to continuously educate myself. Not just about me, but the VA itself. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU BRING YOUR COPYS OF YOUR PERTINENT INFORMATION WITH YOU. Sure that really friendly guy on the phone making your appointment is probably say it's not necessary to bring any documents, the Examiner will have ALL your evidence. Bullshit, don't ever leave your case DEPENDENT on ANYONE else' actions! Seriously, I took that advice from someone here, and it saved my ass. A actual Lt. Col. in the US Army Medical Hospital Diagnosed me with exactly what i was filing for. Match the Words, don't try to guess, don't try to infer. Take all your important verifying information with you. Don't leave out anything that you feel may hurt your case, if you think the VA is going to not use any excuse to take away what they give you, you are DEAD wrong. They will dig for it and hunt it down. Be honest, give them everything. But remember, you are literally not DEFENDING yourself to these Raters, you are pressing your case base on verified fact. They will work harder to rip your benefits away, than they are supposed to help you get them.Tell them something is wrong if you don't know exactly, and make them give you an examination, it is your right as a Veteran. I see too many Vets who are always asking others for help, guess what, it's up to US. DO YOUR HOMEWORK Seriously, you need to know more about your Disability's then the people who wrote the books and TREAT you for it. No one knows your Disability's like you. Because they are literally YOURS, not as a statistic or a Roster Number. Because remember, these are not minor discomforts or passing ailments. These damages are severe enough to make us DISABLED. You are LEGALLY entitled to the compensation for the damages done to you, maybe that's why the VA Denies us so consistently. No matter how many changes in Technology or public opinion, they have NEVER done it at a pace that allows most of us to barely maintain our composure and dignity. As far as the Law goes, if you have evidence, you're solid, it is not the RATER who is processing your claim wrong, it is YOU. Every "T" must be crossed, every "i" must be dotted. You have to make your case so solid,that it would literally be a breaking of the Law not to Service Connect you, or a fair Scheduler Rating, or TDIU. You have to SLAM THAT Claim DOWN ON THAT RO's desk, and CHALLENGE him to find flaw in every single interpretation of the Laws, Rules, Regulations....... Become your own greatest weapon, by realizing that you personally can't do that, you have to show it through your work, every page has to be meticulous, don't give them any reason to take the scalpel to your pages. I have a theory, based on how fast I was Denied the first Claim, how fast I was sent for a C&P for my second and winning Claim, and the fact that I was approved the DAY after my C&P exam. I personally feel, as if the moment a Rater can find a reason, and Literally the first reason, he denies and kicks out. Because I was denied without even a C&P exam. Then, when my second claim got sent up, they took one look at it, and knew they were caught out, so as soon as they got my results, they gave me 50% and expected me to be grateful for it. Never stop, always press on, continually advance, and when you can't advance, you bear down, shield up, and dig in. You are now in the Trenches of the VA, and we are literally all here because we are STILL Brothers and Sisters in Arms, against our own people. My OPINION of VSO's and LAWYERS A VSO, no matter where he works, is not gonna fight for you, oh they will file paperwork.....if you tell them what to file, you see, they just mostly don't have the balls for you, because they have balls for EVERYONE. A Lawyer, on the other hand, is motivated by Passion, and Profit. Think about it, if you were to Arm yourself with a Hypothetical Spear-like weapon, would you not want the one with the longest reach, sharpest point, and stopping power? A Lawyer, will fight, because he will look at your Claim, in whole, at ALL the FACTS, and take your case ONLY IF HE BELIEVES THE LAW IS ON YOUR SIDE AND HE CAN WIN IT! That alone, is a boost of confidence that will sustain your Hope, while unfortunately also being a two-edged sword. If he doesn't take your case, then do MORE HOMEWORK. If you can convince a VA registered Lawyer to take your case, you're fairly solid. ONCE AGAIN, MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION. Always Dig Deeper than the Surface Picture that the VA forces on you,If the Law is on your side, stand firm, and advance,Remember that you are right, and you need not defend against their No, but insist on your Yes. Good luck y'all
  19. Student Loan Disability Forgiveness for Disability (Changes) Please check out HR1, the new Tax Law just signed by President Trump. It appears, that if you have your student loans forgiven for being permanently disabled, the income tax liability has been removed. An copy of the law from the text of the new law is provided below. I do not claim to be an attorney, so please interpret it for yourself. PART IV—EDUCATION SEC. 11031. TREATMENT OF STUDENT LOANS DISCHARGED ON ACCOUNT OF DEATH OR DISABILITY. (a) In General.—Section 108(f) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph: “(5) DISCHARGES ON ACCOUNT OF DEATH OR DISABILITY.— “(A) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an individual, gross income does not include any amount which (but for this subsection) would be includible in gross income for such taxable year by reasons of the discharge (in whole or in part) of any loan described in subparagraph (B) after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, if such discharge was— “(i) pursuant to subsection (a) or (d) of section 437 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or the parallel benefit under part D of title IV of such Act (relating to the repayment of loan liability), “(ii) pursuant to section 464(c)(1)(F) of such Act, or “(iii) otherwise discharged on account of the death or total and permanent disability of the student. “(B) LOANS DESCRIBED.—A loan is described in this subparagraph if such loan is— “(i) a student loan (as defined in paragraph (2)), or “(ii) a private education loan (as defined in section 140(7) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1650(7))).”. (b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by this section shall apply to discharges of indebtedness after December 31, 2017.
  20. Hi, i am SC 100% P&T for bipolar, asthma and a few other things. I tried to apply for ssdi, but was denied - in a nutshell they said "we see that you are disabled, but we have determined that you can adjust to other work. we do not have sufficient vocational information to determine whether you can perform any of your other work". So i take this as them needing more proof that i am really a screwed up person (which unfortunately i am , mainly due to the extremeness of my bipolar). So iread that i could get a doctor to fill out a form to better explain my issues. https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/sites/default/files/Residual_Functional_Capacity_Form.pdf https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/sites/default/files/MENTAL_RFC.pdf BUT HERE ARE THE PROBLEMS. 1. My doctor does not have any openings until Nov, and its currently sept. 2. The therapist at the outpatient clinic will not have any openings until JANUARY 3. the mental health clinic at the actual hospital only have docs who can prescribe medicine, not actual therapists. So what can i do. My doctor only treats me for pain related issues anyway, not mental health stuff. So im pretty stuck. Can anyone offer some advice. Thanks
  21. Hello all. Want to first thank everyone for helping. The information we have received from you all has been incredibly helpful. My dearest husband just received his award letter and the representative forgot to add in two of his disabilities related to his back into the overall rating. He has been recieving these two benefits for several years now and neither of them were mentioned or addressed in his award letter. It simply looks like the VA rep. made a mistake. What should we do and how long does it take to fix a mistake like this? Any ideas?
  22. I have some questions and wondering what some of your observations are. I had a c and p exam recently and got ahold of the DBQ. All the boxes the doctor checked were good for me. She checked all the right boxes and checked that I had PTSD and all the symptoms they went with it but in some of the comments she made, they seem really bad. So I'm wondering what matters more, the doctors observations or the boxes she checked? I'm rated at 60% currently with anxiety NOS and Tinnitus. I did not initiate the exam for an increase. It was one of the random c&p to see how things are going. This is from the PTSD initial DBQ that she filled out 1) yes 2) PTSD, paranoid personality disorder with avoidant features, other specified anxiety disorder with depressive symptoms 3) a. Yes. B.no 4.) A.Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies In most areas work, school , family relations...etc B. Yes--most impairment is attributed to PTSD and anxiety disorder with paranoia secondary. Under PTSD criteria she checked 2 in A, 3 in b, 2 in c, 6 in D and 4 in E . 6) Argumentative and irritable veteran who is hiding behind his wife and looks at her instead of the examiner; has poor eye contact; unable to tolerate questions without interrogating examiner about "meaning" of question; makes people want to avoid him due to his paranoid arguing. Hopeless attitude; does not accept hopeful comments; arrogant and appears to think he knows more than others; thinking was designed to perceived threat, not to answer questions; emotional overactivity; exaggerated affect; affect constricted; everything annoys him; meds do not touch symptoms and he does not sleep; problems with lack of trust. 7) " he may be playing this up out of a desire to avoid working at jobs that are low pay---he has no job skills and comes from a highly educated family --father is lawyer, sister a geophysicist; he may prefer the sick role, rather than go back to school and stretch himself; there is an element of malingering and playing to an audience." I found this highly offensive because I've been going to the VA for at least 5 years. I didn't initiate the exam so I'm not trying to get more money. However, I wasn't honest in my first c&p in 2011 because I was ashamed and held back a lot of the really bad things I experienced. This time around I made sure that I was brutally honest. I know that I'm supposed to tell them about my "worst" day and how bad it really is and I did. And now my sincerity is questioned? The lady was incredulous that my wife married me even though I didn't have a job and still don't. I said that I don't believe I can work which I don't think that I can because I barely can stand to leave the house and that I hate being around people because I'm constantly thinking in my head that I'm going to be attacked or have to attack someone else. I also don't sleep, I have diagnosed insomnia from the VA. Because of all this I don't think I'd be able to hold down a serious job. Is that crazy? I haven't worked in a long time. I stay at home and take care of our kids. I said something like at least I can feel useful like that. The woman seemed stunned by this. I'll admit I was extremely uncomfortable during the exam because I hate talking about this stuff and prefer to not think about it. And she interpreted it in the way above. Her comments seem contradictory to all of the boxes she checked. If I'm "malingering and playing to an audience" why did she check all of the other boxes? It's driving me crazy. Am I crazy to worry about how this will turn out for me? This woman was in her late 70s or early 80s. The exam was through VES and was done at her in home practice
  23. Hello all! So I was browsing around E-Benefits a few days ago and came across my digital C&P exam on my BlueButton list. The Doctor checked the "Total social and occupational impairment" box. What are the odds of that translating to me getting a 100% rating? Thanks for any and all help. - Phil
  24. How can the rating officers make completely false statements, and those overseeing those decisions answer to no one, totally unaccountable to anyone. They are "untouchable", and I no longer believe any of the regulations, UCMJ, or any other regulations. It is the biggest farce ever pulled on veterans, and one form after the other can continue for a lifetime, and sometimes does. I hate to have this attitude, but after what I have seen over the last three years, you realize that things are exactly as they appear to be. When you feel deceived, you are. When a file is missing, it was intentionally removed. When a record can't be found, it was destroyed. You are not imagining things, and you are not delusional, but you are being played for the suckers. Your research, documented illness, injury or disease, your evidence of occurring in service is useless if the VA doesn't want to man up. It will just lie, like the WACO, TX VARO, and finding an honest judge may be impossible. I have been told by the TX varo that the Army's own medical documents don't exist. I have them because they gave them to me after 46 years, but they don't exist if the VA doesn't want them to. I have learned a lot, had my eyes opened to some real truths about our governments employees and how low they willingly go, and what they will do. Fake news, fake UCMJ, fake regulations, fake laws basically describes the VA because it is not accountable. Those you believe in at that administration office will be the first to gut you, to deceive you, and make sure you are deprived of any benefit, truth, or justice. This is more of a statement than a question, and I have actually answered myself. Do yourself a favor and get a lawyer, not a VSO. They are sales people. Do sales people work for you or the product manufacturers? Go buy a new car and see how hard that salesman fights for you a lower price from his boss. Think about it. I don't need a response, I got it. Thanks. victor ray
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