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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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Alabama (Al): Montgomery

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Montgomery Regional Office

This topic was created to try to help veterans who use this regional office. It is designed to offer a way for them to possibly help each other or band together to possibly get services improved.

When commenting in this topic, please try to do so constructively.

1. Mention reason for interacting with this regional office;

2. Give your pro/con on this interaction;

3. Without betraying private information, try to offer information or warnings that might be helpful to others when dealing with this office.

4. Please do not give names, phone numbers or addresses of specific persons at this office. If you do so, the post will be deleted.

Montgomery Regional Office

| Intake Site345 Perry Hill Rd.

Montgomery, AL 36109

Phone: 800-827-1000

Fax: 334-213-3461

The Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO), Montgomery, Alabama, has jurisdiction for the entire State of Alabama and for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) in 10 counties of the Northwest Florida panhandle. The Regional Office occupies all three floors of a 66,000 sq. ft. VBA-owned and operated building on 5 acres of VA grounds and is colocated with Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System-West Campus. The facility represents the Veterans Benefits Administration's first endeavor at designing, constructing, and activating a new building. The building, dedicated in August 1994, was occupied September 6, 1994. A 14,000 sq. ft. files administration building was added in 2004. The Office of Regional Counsel and VR&E are located in a nearby office park.

This station administers benefits and/or services to the 460,000 veterans residing in Alabama. The monthly amount of benefits to veterans and dependents for compensation and pension is $52,094,819. Our Vocational Rehabilitation program has the fourth highest rehabilitation services caseload in the nation.

VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

  • Alabama State Department of Veterans Affairs

    Marshall Smith 334-213-3325

    James Fallin 334-213-3325

    Susan Weishaupt 334- 213-3325





    • AMVETS



      • Disabled American Veterans

        Patrick Coles 334-213-3365



        • Military Order Purple Heart

      Everett Cole 334-272-4670 Ext 4662

      [*]Paralyzed Veterans of America

      Anthony Steele 334-213-3433

      [*]Veterans of Foreign Wars

      Johnny Boyington 334-213-3439

      Programs, Pilots or Unique Features Specific to Montgomery Regional Office

      The Montgomery Regional Office has been selected as one of three regional offices to participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Pilot Program beginning November 1, 2006 through April 30, 2007. This initiative is a collaborative effort to address conflict prevention, early dispute resolution,improvements in the complaint process, and encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) through the use of mediation and open communication. Our primary goal during this pilot and beyond is to help managers and employees identify and address the cause of workplace complaints by creating an environment whereby our nation's veterans receive outstanding care and services.

      The VR&E Division in Montgomery has responsibilities for counseling and rehabilitation services for the 10 counties in the NW Florida Panhandle. There is an access site in Pensacola and Ft. Walton Beach.

      The VR&E Division was the first of 54 offices nationally to implement the Five Tracks to Employability and implement Job Labs in 7 sites for disabled veterans to utilize for vocational exploration, job search and resume building. The division also tested the nationally deployed VR&E service website: "vetsuccess.gov", a one stop website that provides numerous electronic employment resources to disabled veterans. The VR&E Division is participating in President Bush's Faith Based and Community Initiative through a pilot project where VA and the local YMCA's partner to assist disabled veterans with ancillary services and employment opportunities.

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    • Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
      • 6 replies
    • I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:


      2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis


      2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.

      "...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.


      First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date. 

      If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues. 

       

      I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.

      It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.

      Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.

       

      Does this help?
    • Thanks for that. So do you have a specific answer or experience with it bouncing between the two?
    • Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.

      The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.

      ...................Buck
        • Like
    • Precedent Setting CAVC cases cited in the M21-1
      A couple months back before I received my decision I started preparing for the appeal I knew I would be filing.  That is how little faith I had in the VA caring about we the veteran. 

      One of the things I did is I went through the entire M21-1 and documented every CAVC precedent case that the VA cited. I did this because I wanted to see what the rater was seeing.  I could not understand for the life of me why so many obviously bad decisions were being handed down.  I think the bottom line is that the wrong type of people are hired as raters.  I think raters should have some kind of legal background.  They do not need to be lawyers but I think paralegals would be a good idea.

      There have been more than 3500 precedent setting decisions from the CAVC since 1989.  Now we need to concede that all of them are not favorable to the veteran but I have learned that in a lot of cases even though the veteran lost a case it some rules were established that assisted other veterans.

      The document I created has about 200 or so decisions cited in the M21-1.   Considering the fact that there are more than 3500 precedent cases out there I think it is safe to assume the VA purposely left out decisions that would make it almost impossible to deny veteran claims.  Case in point. I know of 14 precedent setting decisions that state the VA cannot ignore or give no weight to outside doctors without providing valid medical reasons as to why.  Most of these decision are not cited by the M21.

      It is important that we do our due diligence to make sure we do not get screwed.  I think the M21-1 is incomplete because there is too much information we veterans are finding on our own to get the benefits we deserve

      M21-1 Precedent setting decisions .docx
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 5 replies
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