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  1. Hello! I've been silent in the background for awhile now sifting through all the information while I put together my Fully Developed Claim. This site is absolutely amazing and I'm extremely grateful for everyone's wealth of knowledge they have shared to help veterans. I've recently run into a problem hopefully someone can give me advice on. I started my FDC Oct 9th 2016 and it was set to expire 2017. About a week before the expiration I had a doctor give me new medical information to add to my claim. He told me to send a fax requesting a 90 day extension for the new medical information. However, I am a single father with a 1yr old, bouncing around to houses who will let us stay with them. It just so happened this week I was to send the fax my car was in the shop from a wreck, in addition I had no access to a fax machine, it was also Columbus day, the weekend etc.... anyways, I was able to send a fax on the 9th but my claim is no longer showing on ebenifits. Guys I'm really stressing about this. Just like everyone else this is super important and I was very much depending on having that date for the back pay. How can I get the original date of my claim back? What should I do???
  2. An advice anyone can give would be appreciated. I go in for my first C&P exam for my knee issues. I submitted a FDC with my military medical records showing foot issues, shin splints, and issues with bunions. They wanted to operate on the one bunion but I would have had to reenlist. I also submitted my personal medical records that include my recent MRI reports that show various knee issues. (arthritis, patellar maltracking, meniscus tears...) I received a call to set up my C&P exam about a week after submitted my FDC online. I have been looking online, and found out that if I submit any new paperwork my claim will no longer be a FDC. I wanted to submit the medical report they do when you first enlist that shows everything they document you have wrong with you, and on you. (tattoos, scars, appearance). On this form it shows that I didn't have any bunions when I went in. Then while I was in they got bad enough to see the podiatrist while I was in. I am afraid that connection with my knees will not be there, and cause a denial. Do I bring this medical record with me to the C&P exam in case the doctor ask anything, or even bother showing it to him? Do I wait for the possible denial, and then submit this when I appeal? Should I go ahead and submit this form online, and risk my claim to no longer be a FDC? After submitting my claim, and doing more research online I learned that I shouldn't assume that the reviewers will be able to recognize any secondary conditions. Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
  3. Hey all. My claim seems to be going oddly and I was hoping to get some advice. I put together a fully developed claim for my conditions. I had tons of medical records, nexus letters, DBQs, buddy statements, and more. I decided to file the claim on the eBenefits website. When I went to upload the evidence, I uploaded my entire claim as a single PDF file (about 70 pages). When you upload evidence, they make you choose a category. I choose "correspondence" as the most general category for this file. In retrospect, I think this may have really screwed things up (more on this later). So two days (!!) after I submit the claim, I got a call from the VA medical center to schedule my C&P exams. I was disappointed because I hoped they would decide without needing the exams. In the back of my mind though, I'm thinking, how in the world could they have already reviewed all those records in that time and decided that I need exams. I went to the C&P exams and it was immediately apparent that the examiners did not have access to the records that I submitted. Fortunately, I brought all the records with me and tried to show the examiners as many as possible. At this point, I'm really concerned that the VA is not using the documents I uploaded in consideration of my claim. I went on the website and verified that I can actually see the file I uploaded. I found the document to be there and I can download it fine. I called the 1-800 number and asked about the document. After some looking around, the guy said "well I can see the document, but I don't know if the rater will use it". Not very encouraging. It's now just two days after my C&P exams, and eBenefits says my claim is preparing for decision with an estimated completion date of this week! If that's true, that means the claim would have been decided in less than 3 weeks. I'm really thinking that the rater somehow can't see or missed my records and thinks I submitted a FDC with no evidence. Probably really quick to process those...as an automatic denial. Not sure what I should do here. Maybe Fax them the records? Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thank you!
  4. so my claim was submitted on 12/12/2016. I submitted for bipolar/depression (reopen) and tinnitus (new). I sent it in as an FDC with all my evidence. I checked ebenefits on 12/21/2016 and the status is already showing preparation for decision. Is this normal? I haven't even gone to a c&p exam, I haven't recieved any correspondences or anything. For the bipolar depression it is a reopen because when i first filed in 2011, I missed my appointment. After I missed my appointment, the VA sent me papers (back in 2011) saying that they see that i was treated for depression during active duty. but since i failed to show up to the appointment, it was denied. So now i've sent a ton of new evidence that supports my claim and they've reopened the case. But does the speed with which this is progressing means that i am being denied? As noted below, ebennies is showing that the va rep has already made a decision, in less than two weeks. With no exams or anything... What does this mean... Is this normal? have i been denied? Is there a phone number i can call?? im freaking out. Here's what ebenefits show: Estimated Completion: 01/24/2017 - 03/04/2017 STATUS: Preparation For Decision The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence
  5. I have asked a lot of questions and i continue to ask alot of questions to learn even more. I think this may be my final question before i file. So i am currently service connected at 80% 60% asthma 30% allergic rhinitus 10% carpal tunnel 10% cystic acne (due to jet fumes) Now here's my question. Back in 2009 i began seeing a shrink for depression. ive been on pills and have gone to a counselor very often ever since. It is believed that my depression came from the 3 plane crashes that i witnessed. And another 1 that i didnt witness, but i was apart of the HR (human remains) team that shipped the 6 recovered bodies home. It is also believed that my depression has come as a result of the severe asthma and allergy pains. Recent my therapist marked me down as bipolar I, fyi. My question is, do you think i would have a better chance claiming bipolar/depression as secondary to the asthma and allergies. Or should i just say that ive been depressed from the plane crashes and hr missions. Or should i just claim depression as its own issue. please help. Thanks.
  6. Im in the middle of the NOD process with an older claim, about to submit an FDC for a new disease not addressed before. Do I need to resend my MSR's with the FDC. The VA already has everything from my old claim. Ive been retired for over a year now so nothing has changed in my MSR's. Thoughts?
  7. Folks: Anyone have recent experience with how long the Pending Approval Decision Phase is now taking? I know that are a lot of variables by location, # contentions, and complexities but it's clear that the "big push" to clear the claims backlog is on. Also, today I saw something said that claims prcessing accuracy is almost at an all time high?
  8. So most know on here my situation. I filed an FDC back in January for several issues to include 100% temporary convalescence for right foot due to left ankle. Right foot is NOT S/C so since my left ankle caused the fracture I put in the FDC. After filing the FDC, my NOD finally processed and I had my DRO review hearing last month. I noticed after receiving my C-file my FDC was "RTR" ready to rate but I assumed that it was going to wait until AFTER my DRO hearing and all those issues were resolved. My NOD included all my feet issues. Ebennies showed Preparation for Decision back in February and so it sat. Well today I checked Ebennies regarding my FDC claim and I notice that the date has now changed to 4/4/16-4/9/16 from an out date of August 2016. I am wondering if this means they are working on both my FDC and my NOD? Wouldn't that be nice???? I know I know I know that Ebennies timeline is UNRELIABLE but I find it interesting it bumped up to next week. Wish me good luck please!!!!
  9. So I received the DAV "official" letter last night in the mail ATTACHED. I am curious as to why the 100% temporary evaluation is June 3rd, 2015 to October 1, 2015???? Look at numbers 2 & 3. I also got SMC housebound for the same dates. What is puzzling me is I had my surgery to my right foot January 6th, 2016. I know my right foot is not yet S/C as it is under appeal but I was granted the 100% temporary evaluation for my left ankle b/c it caused my fracture to my right foot. Any idea why they went back to 2015???? The dates they awarded me the 100% temporary evaluation, does that mean I am getting 4 months at 100%? #7 and you will see the wording "not shown" for right foot. I am very happy they gave me the 100% temporary evaluation but puzzled about the dates. #5 - My left ankle stayed at 10% but they added additional contentions to it. Will I also get a re-evaluation for my left ankle you think? Will I get the back for the increase from 60% to 70% with my temporary 100% for the four months? I am still waiting for the BBE to come in the mail. DAV letter.pdf
  10. So my DAV rep just called. I am so happy!!! I not only got an increase to 70%, I got 100% temporary convalescence for my broken right foot due to my left ankle! I am so amazed! I was told so many times that there was no way I would get the 100% because the right foot was not S/C, well I did! They not only gave me the 100% for 3 months because my left ankle caused the right foot injury, I got 3 months of SMC-House Bound for three months as well! My NOD is still pending for my right foot s/c, right ankle, and left toe condition. My effective date is January 4th, 2016 for my new 70% rating. My three months of 100% temporary convalescence and SMC House Bound is effective July to September 2015. I truly believe the IMO from my VA Podiatrist sealed my fate for the 100% temporary convalescence. Keep fighting Vet's!!!
  11. I wanted to pass this on and share with all fellow Veteran's. The CFR for Convalescence is not just for S/C contention as the CFR indicates http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-special-convalescence.asp I applied for 100% Temporary Convalescence for my right foot (which is NOT s/c) due to my left ankle (is S/C). I was told it would be tough so I got all my ducks in a row. I had my podiatrist write a very good IMO to support my claim. That the left ankle was the cause of my right foot fracture. The letter is what I truly believed help this claim. I wanted to share this so all Veteran's know that you can submit a claim of this nature even on a non-service connected contention.
  12. My FDC claim finished! Filed on 1/12/16 for increase. Had C&P exams 2/4/16. Went to PFD in February, then last week PFN, back to PDA today, to closed this afternoon. I requested PTSD increase, left ankle increase, and 100% Temp Convalescence for right foot due to left ankle. Well....I went from 60% to 70%! I got the PTSD to 50% which I have no idea how I did with the report I read. I got no change to left ankle other than adding additional issues under it to include scars 0%, and I am not sure about the temporary convalescence??? I don't know how to see that or not? My NOD is still pending for right foot/right sprain/left toe condition. All and all I am happy and still holding out hope for a good outcome from the DRO hearing....
  13. HI everyone, I am helping my dad with his recently submitted claim. He requested an increase to his 30% rating from 2003, among other things. On ebennies it has DBQ PTSD Review recommended under "evidence needed." I sent quite a bit of evidence showing worsening conditions since 2003 when I submitted the FDC in December. Will not providing one hold up the process? Does he need to submit this DBQ? If he does, will it take him out of the Fully Developed Claims for submitting new evidence? Thanks for the help as usual.
  14. So I filed my FDC claim on 1/12/16 - had C&P exams on 2/4/16 and today I am in Preparation for Decision. I went from GOE to PFD in a matter of a week. My timeline changed too. Status of Your Claim Submitted: 01/12/2016 (Compensation) Estimated Completion: 03/24/2016 - 04/30/2016 I am a bit worried but will be optimistic....
  15. Okay I know that you CAN get the 100% temp conv. for a s/c disability if you have surgery BUT can you get 100% temporary convalescence for a surgery to a condition that is NOT S/C ? My surgery was on my right foot fracture AND the fracture was due to my left ankle giving out and that left ankle is S/C. I have a good letter from my VA doctor stating the left ankle is the reason why I had the injury to my right foot and the reason why I had surgery. I have been NWB going on two months now and still have another month of NWB to go..... Has anyone ever heard of this before??????
  16. HI everyone, I am helping my dad with his recently submitted claim. He requested an increase to his 30% rating from 2003, among other things. On ebennies it has DBQ PTSD Review recommended under "evidence needed." I sent quite a bit of evidence showing worsening conditions since 2003 when I submitted the FDC in December. Will not providing one hold up the process? Does he need to submit this DBQ? If he does, will it take him out of the Fully Developed Claims for submitting new evidence? Thanks for the help as usual.
  17. Well with all that is going on for me....With my DRO hearing at the end of the month, I now have my C&P exams scheduled for tomorrow that pertain to my FDC that I filed on 1/12/16. I got the packet in the mail last week and I have gotten all my evidence ready for each exam. My one exam is for an increase to my Left Ankle Synovitis. I have a great letter from my podiatrist to back me up doctor letter_Redacted.pdf as well as I have all my medical records from the time I was S/C to current. Not sure if the examiner has them or not so I am bringing them. I plan to bring my Osteogenesis stimulator with me. I am sure I will look a hot mess rolling up on my knee bike with my right foot in a boot from the fall. My FDC also includes a request for 100% temporary convalescence for the past surgery to my right foot. Since it's not S/C (hence the DRO hearing coming up addresses this issue), I requested to be compensated based on the fact that my Left Ankle caused the fall (see letter from doctor I attached). I also have an evaluation for PTSD/MST So I have two C&P exams tomorrow, one for the ankle and the other for MH.....
  18. First off...THANK YOU!!!! I love you guys and I appreciate all the knowledge I have gained. Second....I look forward to helping to helping those in need as the way I have been helped! This is my story: Claim Submission: 11/19/2015 Prep for Decision: 12/14/15 Prep for Notification:12/15/15 Completed: 12/17/15 Award Letter on E Benefits 12/17/15 Military InformationYour most recent, verified periods of service (up to three) include: Recent periods of military serviceBranch of ServiceCharacter of ServiceEntered Active DutyReleased/DischargedArmyHonorableMay 29, 2003December 01, 2004(There may be additional periods of service not listed above.) VA Benefit InformationSummary of benefit informationYou have one or more service-connected disabilities:YesYour combined service-connected evaluation is:90%Your current monthly award amount is:$XXXX.XXThe effective date of the last change to your current award was:October 01, 2015You are considered to be totally and permanently disabled due solely to your service-connected disabilities:Yes:
  19. Folks: Thanks again for everyone that helped me with my recent FDC Claim. Frankly, without many of your advice, I would not have had such a solid outcome of 80%. Currently, I've read everything very carefully in the claim decision letter and I'm moving towards the second stage now of my claim and am working on the NOD for areas that I disagreed with. I appreciate the fact that the decision letter spells out exactly what a Vet needs to have to go to the next level with almost any given contention? Anyway, I know that I have to spell out the disagreements in writing, support with facts or new evidence, use the regulations and then ask/specify for what I should get in terms of a percentage for any given contention? I had a few contentions were sc and I was rated 0% and figure that those areas give me the best shot at success. It also looks as if they missed a lot of my evidence in these contentions and I feel that I can provide a good arguments for increases. I also, know that I should get this NOD completed in a timely manner and many vets miss the window.... Anyway, are there any very other basic, NOD facts, procedures, tips and/or tidbits that I should know about how to write the NOD before I start the process? Are there any good examples or templates to use...? Thanks in advance...rootbeer22...
  20. Thanks to all of you for being so informative. I read and reread many of the posts and decided to be my own advocate...best advice I learned, and I am a huge advocate of. Submitted 11 conditions on 1DEC14, which was my retirement date as an FDC. Claim completed 11APR15 (just past the 125 day mark). Came out to 92%, rounded down to 90%. I will be appealing/asking for reconsideration for the following: Awarded 20% for degenerative arthritis of the lumbar spine also claimed as spondylolisthesis. Explanation: "Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees." Rationale for disagreeing: During my retirement physical, forward flexion was rated at 30 degrees with a geniometer (sp?). During C+P, PA wanted me to push past initial point of pain until it hurt too much (my mistake, I know) and he eyeballed 60% flexion. Currently on muscle relaxers. Justification of 38CFR3.102 Awarded 10% for rectal prolapse. Explanation: "We have assigned a 10% evaluation for your rectal prolapse based on mild prolapse, occasional moderate leakage." Rationale for disagreeing: During my C+P, explained to the PA about frequency of 95% of bowel movements results in prolapse, which I believe meets the higher evaluation of 30% due to frequently recurring - "A higher evaluation of 30% is not warranted for prolapse of rectum unless the evidence shows symptoms are moderate, persistent, or frequently recurring." Awarded non-SC for internal hemorrhoids. Explanation: "SC for hemorrhoids, internal is denied because the medical evidence of record fails to show that this disability has been clinically diagnosed." Rationale for disagreeing: Clinically diagnosed while I was on active duty, noted on retirement physical, continues to occur. Awarded non-SC for right and left knee disability. Explanation: SC..is denied becasue the medical evidence of record fails to show that this disability has been clinically diagnosed. Rationale for disagreeing: Full range of motion, but pain upon bearing weight (no, I am not overweight). I will be filing a NOD, and asking for DRO hearing. Comments, recommendations, etc.? My ratings: 70%: PTSD 21%: Bilateral lower extremity radiculopathy (10% each side) 50%: Sleep Apnea 20%: Back 10%: Rear end blowout (recurrent) - sorry my attempt at a joke at a serious problem 10%: Tinnitus 0%: Left elbow arthritis 0%: Junctional escape rhythm 0%: right elbow epicondylitis No SC: Internal Hemorrhoids No SC: Left knee disability No SC: Right knee disability 4wheeler
  21. Hi there! Hope all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here is background.....I am service connected for Anorexia Nervosa and in November I fainted/passed out and hit my head/face/mouth on the concrete pavement. I was taken to the VA ER and treated for my issues dealing with my eating disorder. When I fell I injured my mouth pretty good! I damaged my two front teeth and because of this I now have endured $4,500 in dental bills to repair my teeth. I tried at first to get a consult with dental but the Chief Dental Officer stated I had to be 100% S/C for it. So I took the route and went to see my dentist and a root canal specialist. Both dentist know of my eating disorder and are willing to fill out DBQ's on my behalf. They have read all my medical background and the most recent ER visit linking my teeth damage to my eating disorder. Questions: 1) Should both dentist fill out a DBQ? 2) Should I submit my bills for reimbursement? Or will I not get reimbursed? 3) If I do get service connected would they reimburse me or just service connect me? 4) Should I do an FDC since this is pretty much "cut and dry"? Any other suggestions, recommendations or comments? I would really appreciate it!
  22. Folks: I just saw the update on my ebenefits today, that it went from "Gathering of Evidence" to "Prep for a Decision" and it looks like they are still moving it along under the FDC Program for me? Also, we'll see if the 13 DBQ's that I submitted originally, will actually make a difference for me in the process? Interestingly, I've been reporting based upon the VBA Monday Workload Reports to this forum that Disability Claims outcomes are moving along very rapidly now for completion to reduce the backlog for FY 15? It has been reported as a "leadership goal" in the news over the last couple of years? I was thinking that I would hear something by the end of the summer on my claim so this is a bit of a surprise now? Originally, my claim completion date went from 15 to 37 months and now it looks like it is going to be quicker? I feel like I put in a good disability claims package despite some incorrect information from my VSO, but the real $64.00 question will be if "all" of my SMR records made it to get digitised into the new VBMS System and if the raters will see "all" of that SMR evidence that was provided? I submitted and then cancelled 2 FOIAs to obtain my C-File because the whole process went to a standstill while the FOIA requests were in? Then as soon as I cancelled the FOIAs, the process started moving again? A major concern for me is that a large percentage of my SMRs are handwritten and this could be a disadvantage for me and other "older" vets? The rationale is that if a rater has a time crunch, then they will use the documents that are the easiest to read rather than the handwritten ones that may have critical eveidence? I also, provided supporting documents during the CP examinations again, so I provided it a second time as well. Like most Vets, I'm a bit nervous now because I don't want to end up with doing years of NODs, CUEs, and Appeals so I hope it works this first time out of the gate? That said, I've had the wonderful benefit of learning from this hadit.com forum and it's amazing contributors over the last 1.5 years and would have probably submitted my original claim a bit differently -given what I've learned now? So, at least at this point, I know, I have a lot of options if things don't go my way for my claim? But, I remain optomistic that things will work out in the "end"...I just don't really know what the "end" looks like?
  23. Folks: 10 Days ago Ebenefits alerted me that a Development Letter had been sent to me and after my claim had already sitting in the system with no action for the last 6 months. I started the claim over a year ago and had heard very little from VBA? Anyway, I'm at the 10 day mark and the letter still has not arrived to my mail box yet?...Is this the usual situation for Development Letters being late or should I contact the VBA about still not officially receiving the letter? I believe it's going to tell me that my claim was taken out of the FDC Program because the claim completion date changed in embennefits from 02/15/2015 to 01/15/2017.
  24. Folks: I'm doing my Orthopedic, mostly back, neck and spine exams this week and need to know if anyone has some advice for me? The first DBQ Exam that I had was not done properly so at least I get a chance to try and get this done properly. Also, I'm going to do the Gulf War Exam for some undiagnosed issues. I was at Camp Doha Kuwait during the early 90's and there was an explosion in which a lot of depleted uranium ammunition was burned from tank main gun rounds. Also, the camp issued a memo that a gross contamination of Ecoli Poisoning was found in the camp water system and a lot of soldiers got sick. Also, there was a soil analysis done and the soil had 4 times the amount of lead contamination in the soil that would be allowed in the United States. So, the was great environmental risk being assigned there that many troops were not alerted to and there should have been more precautions taken.
  25. Goal- 20% to 100% Schedular Hi, I'm brand new to the forum and brand new to the VA Claims process. My husband doesn't really understand all this paperwork stuff, so I'm basically doing all the work, so he just has to show up to the C&P exams. The backstory is this, hubby intended to make a career out the military. Unfortunately, only 2 years into his Navy service, he fell 50 feet down a shaft on an aircraft carrier. He suffered a pretty serious head injury and was lucky to be alive. Within 3 months, he started having grand mal seizures. Those are the big, nasty ones where really bad things can happen. He's stopped breathing and required CPR 3 times during grand mal seizures. So the Navy decides he can't be in service anymore and they medically discharge him with a $400 a month TDRL payment. Within a couple years, his info gets sent over to VA. They really put him through the wringer. He had to undergo multiple, scary medical tests, like a head MRI, EEG, Sleep Study, CAT scan and on and on. After all this, they decide they cannot figure out the cause of his seizures and give him a lowball rating of 20%. He doesn't know any better and is exhausted from dealing with all the medical appointments, so he just accepts the 20%. Well, that was 21 years ago. Over the years, he has had many seizures, both big ones and little ones, and has had to stay on medication since being discharged 21 years ago. Once a doctor tried to wean him off and he had multiple seizures immediately. We really didn't know he could request an increase or that he could file any new claims based on old injuries. One day 2 weeks ago, his mom asked why he's getting such a low amount from VA for such a serious chronic condition. And I said to myself, "Hmm, I wonder if anything's changed at VA in the last 20 years?" Behold the power of the Internet!!!! I did a quick Google search and found out soooo much information. #1 We can request an increase. #2 According to the VA rating table, based on his frequency he should be getting 80%, not 20% #3 We can even file a new claim for old Navy injuries that are affecting him now. I really don't understand why no one tells Vets about all this!!! I think the newer discharged Vets are getting the info when they are discharged, but it just didn't happen back in the old days. So, about 2 weeks ago I really started the intense Internet research into this. I called 2 VSO's. They both told me he should be on IU 100%. So I said what does he have to give up to get that? And they said, his job. Well, we have struggled over the years with him and employment. However, he finally has a job taking care of animals that is very therapeutic for him. He loves going to work at this particular job. Plus bad things happen when he has too much time on his hands! I believe he would go into a very deep depression if he had to give up his job. My goal is to have him keep his job (and therefore his sanity) AND get him to 100% Schedular. I am hoping the kind folks here on Hadit can help me out with that. The three things that I plan to pursue are: #1 Increase from 20% to 80% for seizures. #2 file new FDC claim for TBI. Based on the 50 foot fall 21 years ago, I believe that would establish service connection. He does not have a current diagnosis for TBI, but based on the ratings for it, he has symptoms that would put him at 70%. I think 20 years ago, TBI was not recognized like it is today. Back then, they just sewed up his head and once he woke up from the concussion, sent him home. #3 file new claim for Anxiety as Secondary to seizures or as part of TBI. Looking at the ratings for it, he looks to be about 30%. However, he has no formal diagnosis of Anxiety. So, what do ya'll think? Do we have a chance in hell? Is this worth getting on the "Crazy Train" of VA? If you were me, what steps would you take and in what order?
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