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Finally A Little Progress

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I have not posted in a while so I thought I would give you all an update. In Aug 2008 I was hospitalized with chest pains. When I went to return to work the pains started up again and I realized I was having panic attacks so I resigned and applied for TDIU. Earlier in August a Behavioral Health C&P was conducted because I had requested an increase last March. So, they schedule me for another two C&Ps, one for my tinnitus and another for general health because I had put joint pain on the TDIU form as well as mental health issues. In December I got my decision letter. Increase from 10% to 30% for the right shoulder and everything else was the same. Denied TDIU, mental health not included because an appeal was "pending". My rate remained at 80%.

This confused me since I did not have my depression under appeal so I sent a message via Iris. We exchanged messages for a few days. Finally I was told that my depression had been on appeal but was closed out on July 1, 2008. Now I was really confused. If the appeal that I did not request was closed out on July 1 why was mental health not included in the TDIU that was filed for in August? Why did they send me to a C&P in August for behavioral health when I had no claim pending?

So, I sent the VA a letter pointing these things out to them and told them since they would not own up to their mistake I guess I would just request another increase for my depression. A few days later I get a letter telling me I had a C&P scheduled for my eye. I thought, wow, maybe they actually figured it out. So, I went to the C&P examination for the eye. I also sent a letter requesting a DRO review on the TDIU decision based on the fact that I had not filed for an appeal of the depression and that the VA said the appeal was closed out on July 1 so at the very least mental health should have been considered for the TDIU. This was sent the end of January.

I heard nothing else from the VA after I received the letter stating that they had received my appeal. I asked about the issue via IRIS and through my AMVETS rep and was told that the issues were pending. I also had not been scheduled for another behavioral health C&P.

Yesterday I received an email from my AMVETS rep with received decision in the subject line.

Depression increased from 30% to 70% effective Mar 10, 2008, compensation for lest eye increased from 0% to 10% effective January 8. Overall rating increased to 90%.

My file was then sent to the appeals board.

I am somewhat surprised that the VA had actually fixed their mistake. Hopefully the other(TDIU) will be fixed soon. Of course I am still waiting on the decision letter but it appears there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also need to reapply for SSDI which was denied largely because the VA had not gotten this right the first time.

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