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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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TopSecretWrapper

Hello From Texas

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Hello again, I apologize for talking so fast about so many things and appreciate my dear freind Rickys step by step approach. Either way, it sounds like you are started along a good claim path. As far as getting re-imbursed for mri, that is another issue.

As Ricky mentioned, a VSO is very helpful, but be mindful that they wont "work" for you, they will represent you as a Power of Attorney and 'guide' some of your steps. YOU are going to have to find what works for you, get your records, SMRs and clear medical opinions that relate your military injuries to current conditions that you have today. Yes, that means possibly providing your doctor with portions of your military records to validate an injury if you want.

Do create a file and keep copies of everything you submit and or recieve from the VA. (letter envelopes included). Do know that any appointment the VA sets up will be noted in a new file called your Compensation File (Cfile). Heads up, its very important to attend scheduled appointment. My Cfile has records of a telephone call made to my home and my daughter answered the phone (a young lady answered and sounded capable, took the message to have the veteran return the call to our office). Well, the daugher didnt clue mom in, so it shows as 'no show'. That was years ago, but the amount of detail the VA keeps is amazing and can be used for or against a vet, just read several of the posts here to see that.

Note, please dont take anything the VA sends you 'personal', often the statements are preset or VA, medical 'regulation speak'. I did that in the beginnig of my claim process and delayed action for years because of the ambiguity of their system. Until I got to Hadit, I was in the dark about the compensation that is 'due me' by law.

Best to ya. cg

CowGirl,

Wow, I am so glad to see all of the information and guidance that you guys offer. It is normally my husbands duty to guide, gaurd and govern, but not in this situation. I really appreciate it more than you know. I am taking down the notes as fast as you all put them up here. I am heading over to the VA hospital today to see where to start here in Houston. I spoke with a Vietnam vet at my church last night, and he assured me that they would set me in the right direction. I did file for my SMR's yesturday, and I am in the process of getting an MRI on my lower back and hip. However, I went a very long time with out insurance, so have very, very few medical records. But, the last 2 years are documented with the same doctor. I did not get a physical upon release, but I did give birth. So, all of my history with the service should be recorded up until the last day. I am anxious to see the records. It has been a long time.

Now, as for the MRI, I will have to pay out of pocket for 10% of that, should I wait until my initial paper work is started in order to get reimbursment later, or go ahead and do it now? It sounds like you have been through all sorts of trouble with this, and I would rather not reinvent the wheel, I will gladly learn from your lessons.

Edited by cowgirl

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    • Rating "Protections"
      The VA has several regulations governing various levels of "protection". The terms "permanent", "protection", and "total" are misnomers due to the various ways the VA has defined them.

      Here is some information on VA ratings protection (but the word "protection" has a different meaning to the VA). The exception to these rules is if they can prove fraud.

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      10 years

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      20 years

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      Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert, so use at own risk and/or consult a professional representative. The VA updates their regulations from time to time, so this information may become outdated.
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    • Everything Veterans Affairs does with your service connected disability compensation claim, is governed by law. You may want to bookmark this page as a reference as you proceed with your claim.

      It can be a bit daunting. Just remember the U.S.C. is the law, the C.F.R. is how they interpret the law and last but certainly not least is the V.A. adjudication manuals that is how they apply the law. The section of the law that covers the veterans benefits is Title 38 in the U.S.C. in the C.F.R. is usually written 38 C.F.R. or something similar.

      It's helpful to understand how statutes, regulations, and VA directives such as the VA’s Adjudication Procedures Manual, the M21-1MR (Manual M21-1MR.) are related. Of these three sources of law, the statute, written by Congress, is the highest form. The statute that governs veterans’ benefits is found in Title 38 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). The VA writes regulations to carry out the laws written by Congress; these are found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). The VA’s internal instructions for adjudicating claims are contained in the Manual M21-1MR. VA regulations may not conflict with any statute; the manual’s provisions may not conflict with either statute or regulations. If they do, the Court has the power to invalidate them.

       










      U.S.C. United States Code United States Code is the law and the U.S.C. is the governments official copy of the code.


      U.S.C.A. United States Code Annotated U.S.C.A. contain everything that is printed in the official U.S. Code but also include annotations to case law relevant to the particular statute.


      C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations The C.F.R. is the interpretation of the law


      VA M-21 Compensation and Pension Manual


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      We have a full Agent Orange forum here.

      Many veterans (and even their survivors) have succeeded in getting a disability, not on the presumptive list, service connected due to their proven exposure to AO.

      Also Secretary Wilkie is considering a few new presumptives, but we have no idea if  he will even add any to the list.

      I wrote to him making a strong argument, as  to the potential for HBP to be added, as well as ischemic stroke and have prepared a personal claim based on the same report a veteran used at the BVA, who also had a strong IMO/IME, and the BVA recently granted his HBP as due to his exposure to AO in Vietnam.

      Most veterans with HBP were deemed as having "essential" - a medical term for no know cause- now we have a cause in Vietnam veterans---AO caused it.

       

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