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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Johnny K.



I saw a "contract" Psychiatrist at VAMC C&P hearing for a non-combat PTSD Claim. He denied service connection but conceded my PTSD.

I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman attached to the 3rd MARDIV during Vietnam and was an Emergency Medical Technician at USMC Base, Camp Pendleton, after rotating home, for a period of about two years. VA has accepted my stressors but has denied my claim.

I just received notification for a DRO hearing on September, 12, 2007.

I have a representative from American Legion who is helping me and will accompany me to hearings.

I have four private Doctor opinions and one VA Staff Psychiatrist opinion which support my claim, and I attend VA group meetings twice a month for PTSD.

Please give me your opinions on what I can expect at the hearingand what else I can provide the DRO besides all of the records which I mentioned above.

Thanks, and Welcome Home!


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Sorry if you got the impression that I had been a Corpsman, but I wasn't. I was platoon sergeant for the 1st PLT, Echo 2/4 "The Magnificent Bastards". I was a SSgt USMC, not Navy. You may recall this as I filed a claim over chloracne that was denied. At that time a whole bunch of us were clawing our arms and shoulders to pieces and they said it was too much chlorine in the water in OK. We had to seep with white gloves to keep from gashing ourselves from the itching, could not use soap at all. I think for a month or so we had to wash with mineral oil (no water at all) and take I think it was Atrax tabs. They were small little square pills and kind of blackish looking.

I was treated several times and my SMR showed the sickbay records diagnosing chloracne and severe rash over entire body as did the other Marines.

Hey I consider myself a marine anyway after being a "grunt corpsman" for 16 years.Hell, I still fold my scivvies.

Chloracne is nasty stuff. I saw some of it way back in about '72, caused by chemical burns in a torpedo shop in Charleston. Haven't heard much about it since then but my Marines were in a hurt locker for about ten days until we got the chems all washed out and the blisters cleared up. Did you have much scarring from the exposure?

Doc John

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Corpsman-you mentioned 3rd Marine Div. Vietnam-they became 1st Mar Div under Zumwalt-in 65- or 1966-after Rolling Thunder and Op Starlight-

I am astonished that the VA has not awarded you yet with the evidence you mentioned.

Do they have all of that evidence?

Did they ever refer to it yet in any Statement of the Case?

Have they attempted to rebutt those IMos with any VAola quackola medical opinions?

I would certainly bring all of the above opinions to the DRO hearing and make sure they are fully considered-

and are made part of the record----

My Rep at a DRO hearing- claimed he highlighted my IMOs -but the DRO record shows this never happened and that VA did not even have any IMos from me.

I hope the AL will sure show up for the hearing.

When the VA has enough medical evidence to make an award -they should award-

they should NOT do any doctor shopping to try to find a VA opinion against your claim.

When MY rep called me before the DRO conference (it wasnt really a hearing)

he said he was sure he would walk in with my IMos and walk out with an award.

I dont know what he walked in with- my IMOs disappeared from that point for over 2 years-in spite of being re-sent by me many times-and he never gave them to the DRO.

I will look for the regs and post them here-

that show that VA -with enough medical information to award (regardless of where it comes from-claimant or VA )is supposed to award.

You have a preponderance of evidence -

actually it is really too late for VA to doc shop-

I sure hope the AL knows the regs in and out on this one.


Berta you were so right in this message. We were organized and had copies of health and military records ready to display to the DRO. The American Legion rep was invaluable... and taking my wife along gave her a chance to correct me, remind me and generally share how my illness manifests in our daily life. See my new thread " Zero% after DRO" in the VA Claims Reserarch Veterans Affairs Claims and Benefits Research forum. My American Legion rep has advised me to get an IMO to write up my disabilities so we can appeal to get a higher rating in the future.


With deep respect,

(Doc) Johnny K

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Hey Doc, nice to see you again.

Yes!POA, I got plugged in with American Legion.

Yes! My American Legion Rep is happy and says that, now that I have recieved service connection status at zero %, we can appeal again for a higher percentage of disability.

Okay,I currently work four hours a day, five days a week in a job which allows me to have minimal contact with the public, and that helps me avoid many of my stressors. I truly cannot handle more than 20 hours a week.

Uh Oh, The transcript from the DRO had several mistakes in it, and I would like to correct them. Depends on the transcript (SOC, Cfile or?) then find who is responsible and submit corrected information

My question, Did you get a copy of your Compensation File and VA medical file? read them? I was a bit surprised when there were unusaul and false details included in my files! (Husband was glad he actually still married to me and alive! smile!)

I am glad that you have a SO (representative).

Regards a work statement of employability, have you been asked to provide it? If so,to who?? Its important if you have been off work for a duration also or have a marginal position in contrast to that you are trained for. If rated 20% or higher, vocational rehabilitation may be something to check out too.

Percentage change request, Use search feature here at Hadit regards increased pension, and then talk to your SO on how to reqeust for increase (or appeal) Good idea to get the IMO (private doctor report) that speaks medically to the regulations and any current medical issues that connect to your SMRs. Best of luck, cg

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