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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    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 ...
    Continue Reading
     
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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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      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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DeaconDukes

What A Difference A Year Can Make!

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Hi everyone

I am 53 and I got my 100 % unemployability in one fell swoop in October of last year. I got SSDI in May of last year. I was homeless and in the per diem program in CA. I was an a way a victim of the great recession. After the recession started I could no longer make ends meet and I become homeless. Two years ago I was sleeping in my car and unaware of my benefits and learning about the local shelters. I was unaware of even a local program for homeless vets. I was having panic attacks and went in to the VA clinic because I thought I was about to die. They could find nothing physically wrong with me and sent me to the Psychiatrist that was on duty and she diagnosed me (after a lengthy interview) and also told me about a program for homeless vets. I have been dealing with a mood disorder for years that prevented me from working certain jobs around people. I worked best by myself but had a hard time working by a schedule. I knew something was wrong and I had sought treatment periodically through the years which actually help create a paper trail back to my military service. But at the time I was unaware of SC or pensions. And when I was assigned and talked to my mental heath case worker/ counselor after being admitted into the per diem program and he found out that I was treated while in the service for mental health reasons he told me that I had a possible "service connection disability." I had never heard of that before. We requested my records and the mental health records were lost but in my regular medical records there was noted that I was given medication that is only used for psychiatric reasons. After that documentation the game was afoot and in 13 months I had both SSDI (7 months) and my SC (13 months.) and 100 % at that with back pay.

I struggle with revealing my source of income with people. This forum thread has been helpful and have given me some ideas on how to address this sensitive area.. It is comforting to know that others have the same concerns. I think some people are jealous. But I thank God for my income because in this economy I don't think I would be able to hang. I also struggle with the idea that even though my disability is service connected I don't believe that it is service caused like PSTD. (Bi-Polar runs in my family.) I was just lucky I was diagnosed while in the military and treated and had a paper trail that created a nexus between my service and my present unemployability. What a difference 2 years make? From being hopeless and homeless and ignorant and depressed to now having my physical needs met and freedom to deal with my limitations with out the stress of having to make ends meet and keep body and soul together.

I let as few people as possible know about my disability. People react funny and also will use it against you at the drop of a hat.

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Glad to hear that things are turning around for you. As for where your income comes from, let it be a mystery. You don't have to explain to anyone.

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Deacon:

You don't have to explain anything about your income unless you want to do that. As far as bi-polar it could have been aggravated and your service. Trust me the fact you were awarded 100% by VA and Social Security is all that you need.

I got Social Security when I was 49 and after awhile I figured even though many people ask you what you do most could care less. Its kind of a general hello type question. I found that just saying I took early retirement was enough in most cases.

I have panic attacks and I also had good jobs most that allowed me to work on my own. It sure was hell when I could not walk into a public building or when I had a panic attack while making a presentation to a Commissioners Court. For the most part most people were very nice to me.

Don't look back look forward and in todays world you and I are blessed as we have pretty good security more than most.

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(((((((((((((( Deacon )))))))))))))

Your story is what makes my day ! A year ago I was having silent panic attacks (if you can imagine that) - It was a rough couple of years, a new diagnosis for my Veteran and well, it was pretty rough and tough for awile there......the folks here on Hadit threw me a life preserver more than once. It took a very long time to get my husbands claim completely rated and alot of red tape to meander through. I learned alot, I try to pass on tips to other Veterans and I can now afford the medication I needed for those panic attacks thanks to ChampVA.

As for your explanation of where you income comes from, it's no ones business but your own.

A great way to start my day, Thank you for sharing !!!!!

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  • Similar Content

    • By ThomasGray
      First off, hello and thank you in advance for any help that can be provided. Also, I apologize if something is not clear, trying my best to keep things concise.
      On Friday, May 15, I received letter from the VA, dated May 11, proposing a rating reduction from 100% to 70% for PTSD. The only evidence for the change listed is Rating Decision - Narrative(17SEP18) and DBQ PSYCH PTSD Review(06MAY20), whereas on my initial decision letter there was an abundance of evidence used. The major takeaway appears that my medical records(both prior to and after the initial rating, also from VA facilities) were not considered in this proposal. Is this normal?  
      I have yet to obtain the most recent C&P as I just received the proposal letter, but intend to attempt on Monday, May 18. Looking at the proposal letter though it seems that examiner didn't check a few specific boxes that were checked on my previous C&P. Other than that the differences appear to be minor. The two lists are as follows: Original C&P Gross impairment in communication Suspiciousness Depressed mood Suicidal ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Total occupational and social impairment Panic attacks (weekly) Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Flattened effect Panic attacks (less than weekly) Intermittent inability to perform maintenance of minimal personal hygiene Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Intermittent inability to perform activities of daily living Gross impairment in thought processes New C&P Forgetting names Occupational and social impairment, with deficiencies in most areas, such as work, school, family relations, judgement, thinking, and mood Depressed mood Suicidal Ideation Near-continuous depression affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Disturbances of motivation and mood Mild memory loss Forgetting recent events Chronic sleep impairment Near-continuous panic affecting the ability to function independently, appropriately, and effectively Difficulty in understanding complex commands Panic attacks more than once a week Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene Difficulty in adapting to work Inability to establish and maintain effective relationships Impairment of short- and long-term memory Flattened effect Difficulty in adapting to a worklike setting Anxiety Difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective work and social relationships Forgetting directions I bolded the important items not that were not checked on the new c&p which led to the reduction proposal. It seems strange to me that new symptoms were added, however the very specific ones that would've caused the rating to remain the same all disappeared in just 1.5 years even though there is no noted improvement in my actual medical records.  
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    • By Lemuel
      Are you having trouble with a TDIU claim, TBI claim or any old claim that was never developed or decided?
      I posted this earlier on Tbird's question, "Unemployability and Working in a Sheltered Environment...?"
      Just received an example of this in a decision by the Executive Director, Compensation Service which I will attach after redacting.  My part time employment from September 1987 to September of 1990 consisted of working for a CPA business manager of a now deceased movie star.  (Egg and I actor as a hint).  
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      Still the issue of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) to go but it is more an act of activism since additional compensation doesn't mean much to me.  I don't want those with similar organic brain syndromes to mine left behind on that paper trail. TLE is difficult to identify and identification is complicated by the victim being unconscious of the symptoms.  We are thought of as being "drifty", absent minded, procrastinators (from enervations), etc. and no one connects it to our TBI and advises us or gives us a consult to a neurologist for epilepsy evaluation. 
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    • By Jash
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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

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      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
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      • 3 replies
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