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Found 26 results

  1. This is an amazing story. I got a Vietnam Swift Boater (Dan) R1 last year. Sadly, he passed in early January. They got almost a year of R1- $93,600 -before he passed.. This Vet's wife (Dan's daughter) came to me in early December and asked me to help her. Seems the VFW in Arkansas doesn't understand SMC very well. They said her husband was maxed out at SMC M. But of course, they said that before he finally got SMC L. I was honored to represent this 11 Bravo 20 w/ CIB. Two R1s and two Vietnam Vets in the same family. That will probably stand as my personal best. Hoooooo, doggies I do love to litigate. Leave no one behind fellow members. Never. This is precisely why I chose to become a VA agent. I wanted to make a difference in a few Vet's lives before I punch out. Some of you will ask how much money I made. $36.75 for USPS Priority mail postage. The Arkansas Puzzle Palace didn't fight my Vet on it nor did I expect them to. Cool beans, huh? redact R 1.pdf
  2. I was just wondering if my conditions qualified me for smc. I believe i could end up getting am extra 100% rating. Disabilities 100% Total Combined Disability You have a 100% final degree of disability. This percentage determines the amount of benefit pay you will receive. How is this calculated Rated Disabilities Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date left (non-dominant) shoulder condition (claimed as left shoulder) Not Service Connected trunk injury Not Service Connected abdominal muscle Not Service Connected degenerative disc disease/arthritis of the thoracolumbar spine with intervertebral disc syndrome and history of lumbar strain (previously rated as lumbar strain, claimed as lumbago, upper and lower back, spasming muscles and bulging disc) 20% Service Connected 06/05/2017 radiculopathy, left lower extremity, sciatic nerve 40% Service Connected 06/05/2017 radiculopathy, right lower extremity, sciatic nerve 40% Service Connected 06/05/2017 radiculopathy, right lower extremity, femoral nerve 10% Service Connected 06/05/2017 left knee chondromalacia (claimed as severe bilateral knee chondromalacia) 0% Service Connected 04/15/2014 limitation of flexion, chondromalacia and osteoarthritis, right knee 0% Service Connected 06/05/2017 migraines Not Service Connected carpal tunnel syndrome, left hand Not Service Connected carpal tunnel syndrome, right hand Not Service Connected pseudofolliculitis barbae (also claimed as skin condition) 0% Service Connected 04/15/2014 limitation of extension, chondromalacia and osteoarthritis, right knee (previously rated under DC 5003-5260) 40% Service Connected 06/05/2017 major depressive disorder (also claimed as adjustment disorder with depressed mood; nightmare disorder; depression; and trouble sleeping) 50% Service Connected 04/15/2014 right (dominant) shoulder labral tear, including superior labral anterior-posterior lesion 20% Service Connected 05/02/2015 degenerative disc disease/arthritis of the cervical spine with intervertebral disc syndrome and history of cervical strain (previously rated as cervical strain, claimed as neck) 20% Service Connected 06/05/2017 radiculopathy, right upper extremity, middle and lower radicular group 40% Service Connected 06/05/2017 radiculopathy, left upper extremity, middle and lower radicular group 30% Service Connected 06/05/2017 right knee scars 0% Service Connected 04/15/2014 Pending Disabilities Disability Submitted Type Actions Lumbar Spine 05/08/2018 INC View Pending Claim Right Knee 05/08/2018 INC View Pending Claim Cervical Spine 05/08/2018 INC View Pending Claim Right Upper Nerves 05/08/2018 NEW View Pending Claim Left Upper Nerves 05/08/2018 NEW View Pending Claim Left Lower Nerve 05/08/2018 NEW View Pending Claim Right Lower Nerve 05/08/2018 NEW View Pending Claim Skin Condition 05/08/2018 INC View Pending Claim
  3. As promised, I attach a big winner. I've never found so many CUEs under one rock. Kev's DRO reviewer called him up to tell him he knew more about SMC than she did. My name never came up fortunately. Redacted DRO for R2 for Kevin.pdf
  4. I uploaded (last week) some of the decisions my late husband had gotten and Berta spotted a couple CUEs and gave me some help in drafting them. Berta if you are able to help with a few more questions Please? I have only 2 more days till my year is up from the DIC/Accrued benefits claim where DIC was awarded and Accrued denied saying there aren't any. At that time also, I intended Substitution but the VA form got separated (my fault) and didn't get submitted. I, however, wrote it into the 21-534EZ form and checked it. I also included a cover letter that said explicitly I was substituting for any and all accrued benefits... They didn't address substitution in their decision. Now with the CUEs which aren't an accrued yet, do I need to address those 2 forms immediately before the deadline? Here are some questions I still have if you could clarify these for me please: A. Is a NOD for accrued benefits claimed with DIC a year ago needed – to appeal their conclusion that there are no accrued benefits? Would any backpay from these CUEs be considered accrued benefits that I would have to NOD the decision now for? B. Is Substitution needed to do CUE claims or to receive any backpay on them? C. What happens when future presumptions of ao are added to the list going forward (as a surviving spouse) does it affect anything I can act on? 1. Conditions claimed before – either rated or denied sc 2. Would conditions listed in the C-File but never claimed come into play ever as a presumptive? D. If CUE is successful: 1. then qualifying for housebound or A&A will need to be judged and evidence has never been presented before… a. does the judgement come only from the C-File? And if so, should I include printouts from C-File to bring attention to issues pertaining to them? b. Can any evidence be added (from that date and before) since it was never considered before? And if so, do I include it with the CUE claim? E. IHD was first decided as 30% and went back to one year prior to our first claim – effective 2004…the bump up to 60% was effective . But the 100% was effective 2006…Should any of those effective dates be different because: 1. SSDI was in place for IHD qualification date of 12/2000 2. TDIU decision being effective 2006 (but he was unemployable per SSDI in 2000?) 3. 100% decision? 4. 100% effective date adjusted back due to Nehmer 2010 addition listing it as a presumptive 5. Combination of all the above? F. Many of the evidence documents we submitted are not in the C-File and none of the forms we submitted are there to prove what we submitted or said. Is that normal? G. Also, the only SS docs in the C-File are the ones where I outline his conditions and behaviors in answer to the many questions on the intake paperwork for that SS claim. There’s 4 pages of handwritten (including along margins due to space shortage) that I doubt anyone is going to wade through but it’s filled with problems he was having. Should I type it all out and attach it to the handwritten forms? H. We submitted the whole SS file but can’t prove it. We even wrote a letter to our Congressman to help us get a particular letter sent to us by SS along with their decision listing a myriad of restrictions to employment they concluded for him. I couldn’t find it and neither could SS but the Congressman did try for us. I have those communications too, but don’t want to drown them in paperwork with this claim. Any thoughts? Again, thank you Berta. I did try the other people you suggested without success. And thank you to everyone here who has helped me or does going forward!
  5. can anyone tell me how get smc with 10% service connection for chronic epididymitis .
  6. can anyone tell me how get smc with 10% service connection for chronic epididymitis
  7. I am trying to figure out some information. Is it possible to have Special Monthly Compensation WITHOUT Disability pay? I was under the impression that you got both or you just got disability pay, but never SMC by itself.
  8. In January 2015 I was granted a SAH housing grant and my higher level of AA was remanded back to the RO for more documentation b/c they stated Veteran may be entitled to a higher level if they get information from a company I hired to come in a help take care of me but unfortunately I could not keep them as the cost was way too much so instead I rely on less expensive means, family and a nurse I hired on a 24hr care as needed basis. My question is since I was granted the housing grant and from what I can read, the requirements for a higher level of AA, R-2 are the same as it is for the housing grant so why would they grant me a housing grant and not a higher level of AA?? I am at the M rate now.
  9. 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!!!
  10. 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.
  11. this is my husbands account my name is Julia nice to meet you all :) He was wounded during desert storm 91 he is currently at 90% 70 for ptsd, 10 hearing, 30 (L)knee, 10 (R) hip, 20 back and 10 for nerve damage in his back. He is waiting on an IU claim now. He cannot dress himself, between the hip on the right and the knee on the left he cant get his legs up to his hands... with his back issues he cant bend there to reach his legs either. every morning i have to get his leg brace and back brace on for him then i put on his pants and socks and he puts on his own shirt. his memory is awful so i make sure he gets all his daily pills and eye drops (glaucoma) his bathroom visits are also a challenge he can go number 1 by himself no problem number 2 he used to get on the toilet himself basically by turning backwards and falling against the wall and the toilet tank and then sliding down and when he was done he would call and i would help him get up and redressed. A few months ago he did this and the toilet tank cracked from being leaned on too much and we had to buy a new toilet so now i do both (i didn't have a problem doing it HE doesn't like having to be helped!) at night i get him in the tub and remove his leg brace and back brace then fill the tub up i help him wash his lower half and he washes the top half... we drain the water and dry him off still in the tub and i put the leg brace back on and help him to bed then once again remove the brace (i know that sounds redundant but he literally cannot walk even with help without it and as he puts it the thing cost more than his first car and should be taken care of) then i get him his sleeping meds and his anti nightmare meds and we watch tv until he falls asleep or the baby calls me away. are these the sorts of things that are considered SMC criteria? i know because he was wounded pre 911 i cannot get any help through the care taker program but when i ran across this i thought maybe this would be worth a look! I started to read all the stuff and to be honest its quite confusing!
  12. I have a couple of appeals since 2013 that date back to my honorable discharge date 1993. Recently, I sent email to Secretary of VA and had reply. I checked ebenefits and saw some new items. Can you all help? Left Knee/leg Condition-completed Dro Dor 03/16/16-full Grant Back Condition-completed Dro Dor 03/16/16-full Grant Smc A/a- lou Iliotibial Band Syndrome With Tendonitis (instability) Iliotibial Band Syndrome With Tendonitis Left Knee Radiculopathy Lle L-strain Ddd What do ask theses mean? Especially the "full grant" dro dor complete Thank you all. Currently, I'm 70% PTSD
  13. I'm 100% P & T with no future exams (lets hope not) and I've been doing a little research of my own of what other payable benefits I'm entitled to, besides the ones in my letter from the VA like clothing allowance (topical cream), SMC (K) and Education. This is what my ratings look like. Could someone give me any other possible suggestion? 60% Dermatitis with Lichen Planus and Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans 50%Obstructive Sleep Apnea 30% Adjustment Disorder w/Anxiety & Depression Mood 30% Migraine Headaches 10% Cervical Spine Strain 10% Right Ankle Degenerative 10% Left Shoulder Degenerative 10% Lumbar Spine Segmental 10% Right Shoulder Degenerative 10% Left Ankle Degernative
  14. Is there a specific form which should be used to file for SMC higher than K? If a veteran meets the criteria for s or r how does the veteran go about requesting consideration for receiving the SMC. Are there any tips for do's and don'ts when filing for SMC?
  15. I am rated at 100% major depression disorder; 10% DJD left knee; 10% DJD left hip; 20% DDD lumber spine; and 30% calcified left quadriceps. I am at 100% plus 60% SMC (S-1). Yesterday I put in a claim for an increase evaluation of the lumber spine and sleep apnea secondary due to S/C major depression disorder. If I am granted an increase eval of the lumber spine and granted secondary S/C of sleep apnea, how much will I get? The VA Medical Center dx me with sleep apnea 18 months ago and put a cpap mask on me. Using VA math, how much an increase will I get. Will I get more SMC.?
  16. http://www.purpleheart.org/ServiceProgram/Training2010/Tuesday Training Outline NVLSP.pdf Short summary: If VA said you have a genetic defect, if you have PTSD or depression and are seeking an EED, or if you are seeking SMC read the above. 1. If you have a mental disorder, the VA does not require self diagnosis for a claim date. Applying for something else, and being treated by VAMC for a mental disorder, should suffice for the effective date. 2. Special cases: Clemons vs Shinseki: and Beverly v. Nicholson: These cases reaffirmed Roberson mandate, and made it even stronger for PTSD/depression victims, making it easier to get an EED. 1. “Appellant did not file to receive benefits only for a particular diagnosis, but for the affliction his mental condition, whatever that is, causes him.” 2. Vet’s “claim for benefits based on PTSD encompassed benefits based on an anxiety disorder and/or a schizoid disorder b/c evidence developed during processing of claim indicated that the symptoms for which [he] was seeking VA benefits may have been caused by an anxiety and/or schizoid disorder” I like the term "MAY" because that means the Veterans is given a very broad benefit of the doubt, this is much wider than just "equipose", its "may have been caused." This NEVER flies with other issues. The Veterans xx condition "may have been caused" by military service always means a denial with anything other than mental disorders. The Veteran still needs a regular nexus, but if his mental condition prevented him from applying, and his VSO did it later, then this should be an EED. Davidson vs Shinseki: . CAVC & VA were wrong to conclude that “a valid medical opinion” was required to establish nexus. Polovick v. Shinseki i. Vet claimed SC for malignant glioma, a cancer not listed on presumptive list Stefl & Polovick mean: i. Possible for vet to win SC for disability claimed as due to herbicide exposure under a theory of direct service connection ii. Gives advocates ideas re: how to win these claims iii. What does it take to win? Quirin v. Shinseki – VA Gen. Coun. Prec. 82-90 a. There are differences between a congenital defect, and a congentital disease. A congenital defect is static, ie, you were born without a left arm. A congenetial disease, however, can be "aggravated" by military service.
  17. I filed for a higher level of AA in 2008 along with a Special Home Adaption Grant. In January 2015 the BVA granted me the SHA Grant and remanded the higher level of AA back to the RO. A request for a new C&P was granted and in September 17, 2015 I was seen by the VA Hosp in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The examiner was a Nurse and still in the Military, he was really kind and nice and since I was taken to the VA via a wheelchair van and had no one to push me he did so with out any problem. I couldn't do anything, like stand, walk and needed physical help to get on the gurney. I am unable to stand or walk or use my arms or hands to any degree as my disabilities are spinal related from a broken back in the service from a Helicopter crash. I already receive SMC at the "M" rate b/c of a 100% rating and a 60% rating plus a whole lot of 10's 20's and 40's. I also receive the K rate. I received my C&P exam notes a few days after the examination that lasted all 15 minutes and from what I could read the only thing the RO or BVA wanted answered was concerning 2 letters from 2 Doctors about whether there was any conflict in whether or not I need to be in a residential facility or in my home. Both Doctors stated that if I do not receive a higher level of AA then I should be housed in a residential facility to be better taken care of. The examiner stated he did not find any conflict and that was basically it. Here they granted me the SAH Grant: CONCLUSION OF LAW The criteria for entitlement to a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing are met. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 2101, 5107(b) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.809 (2014). Now the criteria for the SAH Grant are as follows: For a certificate of eligibility for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing, the evidence must establish permanent and total service-connected disability due to: 1) the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities such as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 2) blindness in both eyes, having only light perception, plus the loss of use of one lower extremity; or 3) the loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the residuals of organic disease or injury which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 4) the loss, or loss of use, of one lower extremity together with the loss, or loss of use, one upper extremity which so affect the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair; or 5) the loss or loss of use of both upper extremities such as to preclude use of the arms at or above the elbow; or 6) full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in contractures with limitation of motion of two or more extremities or of at least one extremity and the trunk. 38 U.S.C.A. § 2101(a) (West 2014); 38 C.F.R. § 3.809(b) (2014). After reviewing all the evidence and resolving any doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the Veteran's service-connected disabilities manifest in the loss of use of one or both lower extremities as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes or a wheelchair. 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.809 (2014). Therefore, entitlement to a certificate for assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing is granted. In the C&P exam notes the only question the BVA wanted answered is this: COMMENTS: In rendering the requested opinions, the examiner should reconcile his or her opinion with the October 2010 letter from Dr. Keller indicating that due to his chronic medical problems absent twenty-four hour attendant care the Veteran would require a long-term care placement and the January 2012 correspondence from Dr. Lippert stating that the Veteran would probably benefit from a higher level of care and absent such care, might require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care. This is what the examiner wrote in response to the question sought: Clarification: In review, I did not see opinion or rational from Dr Keller in the VBMS or VA medical system records. There does not seem to be a conflict in the opinions or either provider that I can see. They both indicate that assistace would be needed but Keller indicates this wasnt arranged he would need full time facility placement. It should be noted that the client's wife, who was previously a RN and care provider, has significant medical problems and she herself is in need of full time care support. Client states his daughter comes and helps them some, but he is paying out of pocket for caregiver to come in daily and help with meals and bathing. I personally am skeptical of the entire evaluation process and would suggest an estensive in home Social worker evaluation for feedback on his and her abilities to live safely independantly vs need for long term care facility placement for both of them. My question is since it looks as though I have met the criteria for the SAH Grant and the grant and the R-2 require both the same criteria, then to me it stands to reason if I meet the one then I meet the other. Am I looking at this wrong???
  18. If a Veteran who is 90%, IU P&T meets the requirements for SMC L Aid & Attendance for a combination of SC conditions, it appears that that route to SMC L is NOT PREDICATED on SC percentages. Is that correct? I think it is... Assuming it is correct, and the Veteran also met the criteria for SMC K (for loss of use of creative organ), AND had SC disabilities of 90% (none of which meet schedular "loss of" sight, appendages, etc.) Wouldn't that mean L1/2 plus SMC K? And if we assume all of the above except Veteran is 100% schedular, wouldn't that mean SMC M plus SMC K? And last question - it appears one must be SMC, O in order to qualify for the higher level of Aid & Attendance, even though they clearly meet all of the other criteria - is that correct? Any known exceptions to that? Thanks!
  19. NO C-FILE 1. Diagnosis Does teh Veteran now have or has he ever been diagnosed with any conditions of the male reproductive system? YES If yes, indicatate diagnosis: <X> Erectile dysfuncion Date of diagnosis: 2005 2. Medical history a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's male reproductive organ condition(s) (brief summary) DX with ED in West Virginia VA and given Cialis, now on Viagra 3. Voiding dysfunction Does the Veteran have a voiding dysfunction? YES If yes, complete the following section: a. Etiology of voiding dysfunction: UNKNOWN. HE IS OBESE. e. Does the voiding dysfunction cause signs or symptoms of obstructed voiding? YES If yes, check all that apply: <X> Hesitancy <X> Slow or weak stream <X> Decreased force of stream 5. Erectile dysfunction Does the Veteran have erectile dysfunction? YES If yes, complete the following section: a. Etiology of erectile dysfunction: UNKNOWN, DM DX in 2009 so less likely as not related to DM or G/W 13. Remarks, if any: ED
  20. I been looking at e-benifits for a while. I go to download Va. letters and click on benifit summary letter and sumary of benifits information. Prior to Jan. 6 2014 the letter has said I have loss of limb. On Jan 8 2014 The letter says: You are in receipt of special monthly compensation due to the type and severity of your service conected disabilitys. I have no clue as what they are telling me. A few months ago I got rated 30 or 40% For my arm. Perhaps that is why. If anyone knows please help me to understand. Thank you!
  21. I am currently 100% TDIU with smc (K) for Deformity of the Penis which is rated at 0% I have Lumbosacral or cervical strain 10% PTSD 70% Vertebral fracture or dislocation 20% Hiatal Hernia 10% My symptoms have not improved and have only gotten worse especially my PTSD w Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, Insomnia etc. Also I have stomach problems and I was told by a doctor in California it could be CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome) I vomit almost everything I eat , I suffer from stomach pains, and Also I need the aid and assistance of my mother daily to take care of hygiene , To eat properly, To use the bathroom, and because my PTSD is bad enough to where I cannot focus on what I am doing such as crossing the road, I don't pay attention and have escaped being hit several times , She is also taking care of my finances I cannot deal with any amount of money. I am mostly sad or angry , cry almost daily , I lose track of my mind , when I have bouts of vomiting it empties my stomach then I dry heave until the Nausea goes away... My back is also hurting really bad. I have more to say but cannot go into too much detail as that would take me hours to do , I have medical evidence and service treatment records with these illnesses . Thank You for reading this.
  22. My claim filed January 2011 was adjuticated in two parts...... May 2012..... and four items were finished on October 4, 2012 to include IU. But then my claim was complete but not CLOSED? Instead another claim opened by Houston Varo was listed on ebenefits as Administrative Review. Well, today I get another (this is my third one) Big Brown envelope in the mail. And low and behold Houston did the right thing by me and awarded me SMC. It states "We granted entitlement to special monthly compensation effective January 28, 2011 because you are housebound." I don't know what to say but.......... Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
  23. Can someone tell me whether I have the SMC P rate or the SMC L 1/2 rate, as this is what is stated in my decision...and what would be the next rate available should I prevail on appeal?? I have been rated for numerous conditions since 1999 including Aid and Attendance at the L rate but was recently rated a higher percentage, so I now have a 100% P&T for PTSD and a 60% rate for incontinence plus the other conditions for my back, legs and diabetes all rated at 40%. What they did in effect was increase my monthly compensation rate $69 more dollars per month and that is for the increase from L rate to L 1/2 rate. I just don't understand the P rate and how they have it stated.... 1. Entitlement to special monthly compensation based on aid and attendance. Entitled to SMC-P(L 1/2) on account of entitlement to the statutory rate payable under 38 U.S.C. 1114(l) with an additional disability or combination of disabilities, bladder incontinence, degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, left lower extremity radiculopathy, left upper extremity radiculopathy, diabetes mellitus, degenerative joint disease of cervical spine due to back injury, hepatitis C, right upper extremity radiculopathy, degenerative joint disease, thoracic spine, and radiculopathy with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, right lower exgtremity independently ratable at 50 percent or more from October 29, 2010. What would be the best way to go in order to obtain a higher level of Aid and Attendance???
  24. Hello, I am the spouse of a disabled veteran. He has served honorably for 30 yrs, he has been granted 100% disability with Housebound. I have a hunch he is not receiving all he is entitled to and am here to do research to see if i am right. I am trying to understand the SMC and all I keep finding are the letters, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R... S... I can't find the definitions. If someone could please direct me to where I can find those definitions I would be most appreciative.
  25. Can someone direct me to where I can find the criteria for the SMC? I have searched and I find the ratings, but not the definitions. Thanks, much appreciated.
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