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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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Sapper

Time For A New Vso?

Question

Hi Everyone Once Again,

I am currently going through the process for TDIU with the VA. (If you want to catch up to where I'm at, you can check my older posts, a lot of info) My problem I believe is my VSO as of lately. When I first began the C&P Process about roughly 2 years ago, he was awesome, he had great advice, and seemed to really know his stuff. (He was new to the office, and I didn't know what I know now) Anyways, the first mistake he seems to have made was telling me I HAD to wait to file for TDIU until I have recieved at least a 70% rating. I know this is incorrect due to other posts on this site. The second mistake, and most recent as I just found out today, was that after I have asked his office assistant if they wanted a copy of my SSDI award letters when I recieved them October 1st this year, she told me, "No, the VA does not use SSDI paperwork to help them make a decision, and they will not need it for your claim." I believe in my consciousness that I didn't believe it, but I trusted them on their decision. Then today when I called the 1-800 number to find out if my claim has moved on to the rating board, they told me that they have mailed a letter on the 10th requesting my documentation from Social Security.

I am lost here, I suffer from PTSD, among other things, and I have a big problem trusting people. I feel ripped off, and now I am wondering if I should switch my VSO's while I'm still in the middle of this TDIU claim. I am represented by the American Legion, but I work with my VSO and he submits everything to the American Legion for me. I recently moved to a different county, but when asked by him if I wanted to transfer VSO's to my current county, I told him no, because he seemed to have done such a great job in the past for me, and knew my case well. Now I'm kicking myself for the decision it seems.

So the main question here is, should I swap VSO's, have my current one transfer my case to my VSO in my new home town, while in the middle of this case, or should I stick it out, wait for a decision, and if it does end up getting denied for any reason, switch then? Should I speak up to him, tell him he was wrong? I feel that this would some how affect how well he submits my evidence. I was a recruiter for a year, and we were always told, keep your school counselors happy, give them the free give aways, coffee cups, etc, and keep them in your "circle". That seems to be how I have been treating my VSO, making sure he knew I was very grateful to have good help, bringing in doughnuts when I do stop in, but I don't know exactly how to handle this.

Thank you all for your input in advance, this is a great site and look forward to seeing what you all may think about this subject.

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Your VSO is an idiot. The VA does consider SSDI when they consider TDIU claims. If you are on SSDI solely for the same issues as you are claiming TDIU that is very strong evidence for TDIU. The VA won't grant TDIU just because a vet has SSDI, but it is proof that you can't work. I would take a copy of the award letter and submit it to the VA myself. Just keep posting here and submit your evidence yourself to the VA. You don't need your VSO to submit evidence. When I get my decision I would fire this VSO and try and learn how to do claims myself. How did the VA find out you were on SSDI? Your VSO has cost you money by not filing TDIU for you.

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Actually, I'm not sure how they found out I was on SSDI. That is still a mystery to me. I am "sponsored" by the American Legion. Should I be submitting evidence straight to them to send to the VARO? I should be getting the letter today from them asking for the documentation, so I have the copies already made with file numbers and last name on every page, and I'll be mailing it in straight to the VA myself, along with my scanned copies going to the VSO which goes to the Legion. Thanks for your reply, I wanted to make sure I was in the right before I start pointing fingers.

Your VSO is an idiot. The VA does consider SSDI when they consider TDIU claims. If you are on SSDI solely for the same issues as you are claiming TDIU that is very strong evidence for TDIU. The VA won't grant TDIU just because a vet has SSDI, but it is proof that you can't work. I would take a copy of the award letter and submit it to the VA myself. Just keep posting here and submit your evidence yourself to the VA. You don't need your VSO to submit evidence. When I get my decision I would fire this VSO and try and learn how to do claims myself. How did the VA find out you were on SSDI? Your VSO has cost you money by not filing TDIU for you.

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Sapper,

I'm sorry their ineptitude has cost you.

The VSO is primarily useful for calling up to look in the computer for your claim status.

I believe you're better off submitting evidence yourself.

Some say put it thru the VSO because they record it but it sounds like yours wouldn't have sent the SSDI letter anyway.

If you can submit paperwork in person and get a date-stamped copy from the VARO- that's best.

I wouldn't change VSO's- just own your claim.

Chin up! :smile:

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"the first mistake he seems to have made was telling me I HAD to wait to file for TDIU until I have recieved at least a 70% rating. I know this is incorrect due to other post"

Yes- if he cost you money for this error (meaning you fully qualified for TDIU at time he told you this) you can sue him.There was a successful case at VA Watchdog some years ago for this same problem.The vet sued and recovered hos lost Retro from the Vet rep (or the vet org)

"she told me, "No, the VA does not use SSDI paperwork to help them make a decision, and they will not need it for your claim." I believe in my consciousness that I didn't believe it, but I trusted them on their decision. Then today when I called the 1-800 number to find out if my claim has moved on to the rating board, they told me that they have mailed a letter on the 10th requesting my documentation from Social Security."

Error number 2 (where do these idiots come from?) I had similiar problem and sued my vet rep.

They disposed me (DAV lawyer)and then a few weeks later I deposed the rep- at that deposition I brought in my award letter (he didnt even know my claim had succeeded.)

My lawsuit was suddenly moot as I had recovered all damages by the VA award.

The last reps I had were even worse then the DAV rep.This time I filed a 34 page complaint-with evidence- against them with the General COunsel VA.

I was not satisfied with the way OGC handled it however the state took actions that made me very happy.

These incompentent reps should be reported to the highest level in their vet orgs and then other steps can be taken if their porgs dont do anything about them.

If we do not make formal complaints against reps who cost us money we enable them to screw more veterans or widows.

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Wow, this topic just jarred my thinking cap.

For over 30 years, the following advice in 1972 from a VSO stayed with me in the back of my mind: "There is no reason for you to file a claim with the VA for any conditions unless you have a Purple Heart".

I just wonder how many other vets were given the same or similar advice.

In 1994 when I was diagnosed with IHD I visited a Local VSO in Yucca Valley CA and he told me not to file a claim with the VA because "Heart Problems" were not service connected.

In 1996, I sent a claim form to the VA in Washington DC and never got a reply. (perhaps it was lost or shredded??)

In 2002, a Las Vegas VSO advised me that my old claim # issued by the VA was no longer needed because the VA was now using SSN numbers for claims. I was also advised by this VSO that my "IHD" was

not a covered condition by the VA and not to file a claim.

I echo what others on this board have been saying... Its your claim, do all you can to see it through. Read title 38 , Read VA training and rating manuals, read previous BVA decisions.

I thank all the membersof hadit for your input and compassion

Thomas

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