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    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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  • 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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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majrrich

Earlier Effective Date Question

Question

I have just been denied an earlier effective. Briefly I went to the AL VSO in Aug 2006 and filed my claim they never submitted it finally I sent another claim in direct to the VA Jan 2007 and was just granted disability back to Jan 2007 and denied the earlier date. VA said they had no record of receiving a claim before Feb 2007. I have been going over my records I have three emails I sent to IRIS Sep 2006 Oct 2006 and Dec 2006 asking about my claim. basically they said it was never received which it wasnt because of a lousy VSO.

My question does my email requesting information on my claim constitute a Informal Claim since I technically notified the VA about my claim.

I am preparing a NOD I get no response fronm the VSO about why my claim was not submitted but since I senst three emails to the VA will that help get a earlier effective date

Thanks

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Thanks for the Advice. I was not aware that the diagnosis from the VA Dr. could be the informal claim. If that is the Case. I was diagnosed in July 2006 by a VA dr. and a Pvt Dr.

So if I understand you I can send a NOD citing the date I saw the VA Dr. and was diagnosed as an informal claim and then the date the VA received my formal claim Jan 2007. I have all the VA Medical Records I will start tonight

Thanks to all my VSO says he cant tell me anything because I no longer have a POA.

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An informal claim is a handwritten letter letting the VA know you want to file a claim. Just by seeing your doctor and telling them your depressed does not constitute an informal claim by any means. You can get back pay back to when you filed your informal claim. The retro would not go back to when you told your doctor you were depressed unless you filed before then. A formal claim is a filled out claim form submitted to the VA or your Rep. As far as retro they both are the same.

Frank

I recommend:

1. Filing TWO written requests for your C file...one each in both spellings of your name.

2. Again, the VARO is 100 times MORE likely to loose or shred your claim than your VSO, so file a special handling request...you can include the possibility that your VSO mishandled your claim as well as the VARO, if you think either is a possibility.

You want to CYA, so do both these things, then, when a copy of your cfile arrives, which will be months/years, you will know much better what is going on. AGAIN, if you went to a VA doc and told him that you were depressed, that is an INFORMAL claim for depression (or other conditions) so follow the exam up with a formal claim. On your formal claim, MAKE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE SECOND TIME YOU APPLIED FORMALLY, THAT THE FIRST TIME WAS ............. DATE, AND THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS MISHANDLED EITHER BY THE varo OR THE vso.

Remember, the VSO's and VARO's "share office space", that is the VARO gives "free" rent to VSO's probably in exchange for an "attitude adjustment" on the part of the VSO

toward the VARO. In other words if a guest is staying in my house, eating my food, using my electricity, HE had better not bad mouth the hand that feeds him!

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Frank...

The late Alex Humphrey was an attorney very familiar with VA law. He posted on hadit to the effect that, if a Veteran tells his doctor that he is unemployed, that constitutes an informal claim for increase. When a Veteran communicates his desire to apply for benefits to a VA representative, such as a VA doctor, the regulations state that constitutes an informal claim for benefit increase. Alex indicated that Vets often win claims for an EED when the Vet told his doc that he was unemployed.

I personally am adding that, I can see no reason to limit this to UI benefits, that when a Veteran tells his VA doctor he has ............ condition, that would constitute an application for benefit increase for ............ condition. The regulations and court cases, to the best of my knowledge do not limit this to claims for TDIU or UI.

It is unclear whether this could be used for a NSC Veteran the first time he applied for benefits. But if the Vet had already applied for something else, that would constitute an informal claim for benefit Increase.

As long as the VA doctor WROTE DOWN your informal claim, that is, entered it into your medical records, that constitutes an informal claim for benefits. Further, Alex pointed out court cases where the Veteran is NOT required to use the word "unemployability" or "Individual Unemployability," to "Specify the benefit sought". (The regs do require the Veteran "specify the benefit sought")

There is a whole section on Alex's posts. However, unfortunately, I could not get the link to work for Alex Humphrey's posts.

I think there is a definate distinction between an application for increase, and a new application for SC benefits here. Reason: If a Vet is going to the VA, he may or may not elect to seek VA disability compensation benefits. He could well be treated for x condition, without any intent to apply for benefits. However, once he applies and tells his doc that he has a new condition, he can often win that effective date for benefits upon appeal.

Of course, the VA is going to try to "weasel out" of paying benefits. You see, the VA regurarly denies claims they should approve, because they know only a small percentage of Veterans ever appeal. So, they deny things knowing they would be overturned upon appeal. Then, the VA hires about 300 lawyers to try to find a loophole on the Vets denial.

It is a disgrace to Veterans to do it this way. It is no wonder there are so many homeless Veterans. The net effect is that the VA Regional Office can/does deny deserving Vetrans claims, then the Vet must fight a slew of 300 VA attorneys just waiting for their chance to attack a Veteran. They use all means possible, such as claiming that it was the Veterans own fault, bad discharge, didnt apply correctly, etc. etc.

I personally think the 300 or so (Office of General Counsel) VA attorneys should be "lent out" to defend Veterans on their claims, not attack Veterans.

It is simply wrong for money that is supposed to go to help Veterans being spent to pay lawyers to try to "weasel" the Veteran out of his money.

Edited by broncovet

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Thank you VERY Much, My son-in-law has helped with my claim I will give him this info and he will research it. Sounds like its worht a try

thanks to all

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Frank...

The late Alex Humphrey was an attorney very familiar with VA law. He posted on hadit to the effect that, if a Veteran tells his doctor that he is unemployed, that constitutes an informal claim for increase. When a Veteran communicates his desire to apply for benefits to a VA representative, such as a VA doctor, the regulations state that constitutes an informal claim for benefit increase. Alex indicated that Vets often win claims for an EED when the Vet told his doc that he was unemployed.

I personally am adding that, I can see no reason to limit this to UI benefits, that when a Veteran tells his VA doctor he has ............ condition, that would constitute an application for benefit increase for ............ condition. The regulations and court cases, to the best of my knowledge do not limit this to claims for TDIU or UI.

It is unclear whether this could be used for a NSC Veteran the first time he applied for benefits. But if the Vet had already applied for something else, that would constitute an informal claim for benefit Increase.

As long as the VA doctor WROTE DOWN your informal claim, that is, entered it into your medical records, that constitutes an informal claim for benefits. Further, Alex pointed out court cases where the Veteran is NOT required to use the word "unemployability" or "Individual Unemployability," to "Specify the benefit sought". (The regs do require the Veteran "specify the benefit sought")

There is a whole section on Alex's posts. However, unfortunately, I could not get the link to work for Alex Humphrey's posts.

I think there is a definate distinction between an application for increase, and a new application for SC benefits here. Reason: If a Vet is going to the VA, he may or may not elect to seek VA disability compensation benefits. He could well be treated for x condition, without any intent to apply for benefits. However, once he applies and tells his doc that he has a new condition, he can often win that effective date for benefits upon appeal.

Of course, the VA is going to try to "weasel out" of paying benefits. You see, the VA regurarly denies claims they should approve, because they know only a small percentage of Veterans ever appeal. So, they deny things knowing they would be overturned upon appeal. Then, the VA hires about 300 lawyers to try to find a loophole on the Vets denial.

It is a disgrace to Veterans to do it this way. It is no wonder there are so many homeless Veterans. The net effect is that the VA Regional Office can/does deny deserving Vetrans claims, then the Vet must fight a slew of 300 VA attorneys just waiting for their chance to attack a Veteran. They use all means possible, such as claiming that it was the Veterans own fault, bad discharge, didnt apply correctly, etc. etc.

I personally think the 300 or so (Office of General Counsel) VA attorneys should be "lent out" to defend Veterans on their claims, not attack Veterans.

It is simply wrong for money that is supposed to go to help Veterans being spent to pay lawyers to try to "weasel" the Veteran out of his money.

I'm thinking what you mean is an inferred claim for total disability individual unemployability.

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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