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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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JohnnyBlack

Appeal To Go Before Dro

Question

Hello everyone,

Honestly I'm at wits end.

I'm 80% disabled. 70% PTSD, 20% Thoracic Spine.

I tired voc-rehab and the guy told me that I couldn't work and that I could try college but that it was doubtful I could manage it because of my anxiety issues. I went to the school and attempted to enroll but flipped out on the admissions lady and pretty much ended up in getting all screwed up form the whole ordeal.

The voc-rehab guy told me I should file for IU but I was afraid that they'd take away what I was already getting. He assured me that they couldn't do that and that I needn't worry.

Well, he lied.

They are trying to take me down to 40%. The C&P exam is riddled with half truths and omissions as the psychologist attempted to paint me as a person that I am far from. The physical portion of the exam ended up with a statement saying that, "no evidence of pain, muscle spasm, or redness was found." And they are attempting to drop my thoracic pain issue to 10%. I talked to the DVA in hopes of getting some help and my guy there filed for a DRO hearing.

It has become painfully obvious to me that I don't know what I am doing and I don't know how to express myself in a way that communicates my day to day issues. I have no family or friends due to my PTSD (they all think I'm evil) and I don't have anywhere to turn for help or an explanation. What do I need to do to ensure I don't destroy my only chance of not ending up homeless? What does the DRO hearing look like and what should I be doing in the mean time? Should I wear a tie?

I am at a point now where I am afraid of going to the VA for help. I'm a afraid that if I say something wrong they will use it as an excuse and jump all over me and leave me with nothing. I know I was wrong for trying to go for IU, I just want my 80% rating back and I'll disappear.

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5 answers to this question

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JB - you were not wrong to apply for TDIU!!!!!! I hope you are appealing the reduction and have done so within the allowed time period, to prevent this happening. Now you must attack, not defend. I would appeal the proposed reduction, stating that they made an error and should have previously awarded TDIU, based on your 80% and should do so, retroactively. Also get a letter from Voc Rehab about your inability to be trained, due to your SC disability. It is excellent evidence and will go a long way.

pr

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I agree with pr, I also know that it is very hard to trust the VA but I think you should try to get treated or continue to be treated by a psychiatrist. Having current medical or mental health treatments will go a long way. It could balance or overcome any C & P examiner's opinion. Keep in mind that VA does this to a lot of veterans, just get the evidence you need that will support your claim for TDIU and submit it. If VA denies you make sure you appeal.

Hope the best

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JohnnyBlack,

First of all make sure you have your NOD by the 30th day of the letter they sent to you in proposed to sever your 80%. As others here stated get all your Vo Rehab letters sent to you, anything and everything correspondence to you and from you to them, include copies of emails to and from them..Get copies of your medical/psychological visits from your VAMC. You will need copies of your prescriptions or at least from the pharmacy/ie copy of med pill bottle anything to help prove your disabilities and treatments thus far. If you are working, then you would not be eligible for TDIU. Do you have a VSO?

If so, what, if any, advice have they given you?

Also when you go for you DRO hearing NEVER dress to the hilt!! Dress how you feel! The more casual the better. I hope you asked for a DeNovo review when you requested a personal heading with the DRO. They are supposed to do this, but they don't unless you specify!

Do you have anything in writing/email from your Vo Edu counselor telling you to file for TDIU and your 80% would not be affected? Or just a verbal conversation?

You have 6 bad days and 1 good day. do not tell the DRO you are feeling good this day! They will use it against you. Remember why you got 60% PTSD and lay into it in your hearing...do not act mute, as they will use this against you.

Any new evidence you have which may help you needs to be presented. If you have a significant other, they may also testify as to you condition too, but unless they are licensed they cannot say you have PTSD, only say you are sad, stay at home all the time, don't leave the house except for VAMC appointment, fight, argue, throw things, curse alot, hit them, damage your home or property, or lay in bed all of the time and avoid people and things. Whatever entails abnormal behavior, but don't make up things and they should tell the truth too!

Honesty is the things that need to be presented. The whole thing is non-threatening. Casual setting in a room and you are sworn in and it is taped. Remember to request a copy of the transcription too.

If you requested this hearing within the 30 day time limit your 80% will not be reduced while you are waiting for your hearing.Also until you get your determination letter from the DRO you will remain at the same level and then whatever their determination it will be at that amount and if you are not satisfied you can chose BVA too, or other avenues might be open.

Edited by halos2

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Thank you for the responses,

I've been through more than a few shrinks and I am not sure I'm in a place to even handle treatment. Never mind the fact that I feel like everything I said to my psychologist was later used to discredit me. I don't trust anyone in that building.

VocRehab stated in conversation. I may still have the letter that said I have "chosen" to pursue college. But, he communicated to me that I was not capable of working.

I have already appealed and I requested a De Novo Hearing or whatever.... the face-to-face option... I am going through my DVA and my rep said he feels confident and that I shouldn't worry because I have ample medical evidence already and that he'll take care of it. I imagine that I should gather even more on my own and not trust this guy, period. But that could be the PTSD talking...

I don't work, at all. I tried a year ago and managed a few days. I can't do it. I hate where I am at in life and this whole ordeal is humiliating. I'm going to try and see if I can get an outside shrink to lay down all kinds of labels since the VA refuses to acknowledge my mental health. I'm really at a complete loss because when I read the C&P findings there were out right lies amongst omissions and the twisting of my words to paint a picture that isn't true.

Thank you for letting me know that I should just go in and pretty much dress like everyday. I'm so screwed up I don't even know what being myself means anymore.

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