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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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Stu Pidasso

I Did Not Claim Tdiu But They Say I Did

Question

I started my new claim September 14 2010. I had all my C&P exams completed as of March 21st 2011. My claim has been waiting to be rated by the Winston Salem Regional Office since the 28th of March2011. Since then my house has been in foreclosure and I have recieved numerous letters saying it will be auctioned. My car was repossesed. I requested to expedite my claim due to financial hardship. I sent in copies of my foreclosure notices and a statement of why I feel I deserve to have my claim expedited. 3 days after I faxed in the afore mentioned information I got an envelope in the mail with a vcaa and an explanation of what the VA has recieved and what they are requesting. Evidently they want to have me do another exam because of a claim of Individual Unemployability. I did not request this and do not know why it is on there. I want to know if I send in the VCAA and say that I have nothing more to add for evidence and do not want them to wait 30 days, will they go ahead and rate my claim for will I have to wait for the next exam? I had a request for IU sent with the other information and VCAA in this envelope. I am thinking I will just send in the VCAA and a statement saying that I do not want to claim IU and I would appreciate if they would just rate my claim based on the information given to them at this time.

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What is your claim for? It may be that based on your SC disabilities, you have an inferred claim for IU. If your claim on it's own would take you to 100%, I wouldn't be quick to scrap the IU claim as it will pay at the 100% rate. Do you have a VSO that your are working with?

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Do you have a Vet rep who could help with this?

This is a shame-that the TDIU claim -if awarded, would help you so much (it would be paid at the 100% rate)- but it will take time to determine =time that you do not have.

Do you get SSDI for this same condition they are basing the TDIU on?

If so does the VA know of the SSDI award?

Did Voc Rehab ever turn you down solely to your SC? If so does VA know that?

In any event I agree that if you ask them to go ahead and rate the claim with what they have, that should go faster then the TDIU claim-they could defer it.

But I dont know how fast that would even go.

Do you have a POA with any vet org who has an office in or near this VARO who might be able to support the hardship need for expedition directly with the rater?

Since you didnt ask for TDIU formally- that tells me they might have determined the rating already to be 70% SC.And that would trigger them to consider TDIU .(which is what they should do in a case like that)

"I am thinking I will just send in the VCAA and a statement saying that I do not want to claim IU and I would appreciate if they would just rate my claim based on the information given to them at this time."

Tell them again of your severe hardship too.

This stuff is so unfair. Then again many here have been in the claims process for years and not months but obviously you have a very valid claim and got those C & Ps fairly fast.

I hope this all works out OK. If you do contact a vet rep- make sure they are with one of the well know vet orgs -DAV, VFW, or AL as these orgs mostly likely have reps in or near to the VARO building.

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Very sorry to hear your unfortunate situation. Is there any way possible if you can take your va claim responses to your bank or who ever is foreclosing your house to maybe show there's light at the end of the tunnel and if they could give you more time till this is settled? Hang in there my friend!

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Ok first and foremost let me say thanks for all of the responses and let me try and answer them as best I can.

First of all my VSO is not so great in my county so I bypassed him and decided to use this forum and a patient advocate who works in the OIF/OEF clinic.

Today I was told to FAX my VCAA with the box checked to go ahead and rate. I was told that VA would need a written statement saying that I wanted to go ahead and rate with the information that they have and not wait on IU. Thanks to everyone here I was already letter in hand ready to FAX it in. I stated on the letter that I do not desire to be evaluated for IU and that I want to go ahead with the rating process. I did make sure to inform them once again, that I am in financial peril and in is imparative that I get this claim resolved as soon as possible (this is not an exact quote). I told them that I need to get this done so that I can get a vehicle so I can get a job, and then I will not have to be homeless, and I will also be able to vocationally rehabilitate myself and fined suitable employment that does not interfere with my disabilities. I will scan a copy of it tomorrow. I made sure that they know I am unemployed, my house is foreclosing (September 3 auction date) and that I will need to participate in Vocational Rehab so I can be gainfully employed.

Last week I called the VA and told them about my house being foreclosed and how urgent it is to me that I have the claim resolved and my back pay caught up. After a few minutes on the phone I was told to write down number to put on my hardship letter and my documents proving my house is being foreclosed. I sent them in the VA certified that they had them. So I am hoping like everyone else that my claim gets done soon. I think that since they have all of the information that is needed and they have a financial hardship expedite request along with evidence of said hardship, that it should move along ok. I was told that for a normal claim in the deciscion phase it is taking 52 days on average in my VARO (Winston Salem NC) so maybe just maybe mine will move a little better.

The first last and only time that I ever dealt with my VSO was on December 6th of 2010 I submitted to him some paperwork the VA requested as well as another statement to go with my claim. I had talked to him on the phone once before and it was because he was returning a call from a message I had left him the week before. He rubbed me the wrong way by talking to me like I am some ignorant kid and came off with a been there done that I have seen it all and I was here first attitude. That has an effective range of zero meters with me. On December the 9th the VA says that I requested them to evaluate me for IU. I do not know if that is something that he decided to submit with my stuff that was sent in or what. I can understand them saying I asked for it 3 days after I saw him because the mail has to run and the documents have to be delivered to the correct area in the VARO. By the time I had met this man I had already decided what conditions I wanted to be rated for, typed a statement of claim, sent in medical records, dd214, orders taking me to basic training all the way to Iraq and then the orders that allowed me to ETS. I had anything and everything I needed and even had copies of all of it.

C&P exams came fast for me. I was always available anytime I was called day time, night time, holiday, weekend you name it, I was willing ready and able to come in and do what ever I was asked to do. So I had all my exams done by March the 21st. One of them took place early on a Saturday morning one of them happened on a Holiday. I was given an exam for TBI which they said was positive and was more likely than not related to military service. I was given a physical exam and x-rays. The Physical Exam was to evaluate flat foot (ples planus) of the left foot due to parachute accident, bilateral knee condition, sprained right ankle that actually has a broken bone in it still, herniated disc in my lumbar spine (L5-S1) two other compressions in my spine (don't ask I got no clue I just know it hurts like a b!tch), left elbow arthritis, and I think that covers it all. My mental health C&P exam was to evaluate me for PTSD and ADD. The results for my exam went well. I was told to get some more x-rays of my spine and my ankles and feet. The xrays confirmed my injuries to my spine and also that I have arthiritis in my spine and degenerative disc disease, all of my injuires were claimed and were said to have more likely than not been because of my military service. My psychological evaluation came back with Axis

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Ok first and foremost let me say thanks for all of the responses and let me try and answer them as best I can. First of all my VSO is not so great in my county so I bypassed him and decided to use this forum and a patient advocate who works in the OIF/OEF clinicToday I was told to FAX my VCAA with the box checked to go ahead and rate. I was told that VA would need a written statement saying that I wanted to go ahead and rate with the information that they have and not wait on IU. Thanks to everyone here I was already letter in hand ready to FAX it in. I stated on the letter that I do not desire to be evaluated for IU and that I want to go ahead with the rating process. I did make sure to inform them once again, that I am in financial peril and in is imparative that I get this claim resolved as soon as possible (this is not an exact quote). I told them that I need to get this done so that I can get a vehicle so I can get a job, and then I will not have to be homeless, and I will also be able to vocationally rehabilitate myself and fined suitable employment that does not interfere with my disabilities. I will scan a copy of it tomorrow. I made sure that they know I am unemployed, my house is foreclosing (September 3 auction date) and that I will need to participate in Vocational Rehab so I can be gainfully employed. Last week I called the VA and told them about my house being foreclosed and how urgent it is to me that I have the claim resolved and my back pay caught up. After a few minutes on the phone I was told to write down number to put on my hardship letter and my documents proving my house is being foreclosed. I sent them in the VA certified that they had them. So I am hoping like everyone else that my claim gets done soon. I think that since they have all of the information that is needed and they have a financial hardship expedite request along with evidence of said hardship, that it should move along ok. I was told that for a normal claim in the deciscion phase it is taking 52 days on average in my VARO (Winston Salem NC) so maybe just maybe mine will move a little better.

The first last and only time that I ever dealt with my VSO was on December 6th of 2010 I submitted to him some paperwork the VA requested as well as another statement to go with my claim. I had talked to him on the phone once before and it was because he was returning a call from a message I had left him the week before. He rubbed me the wrong way by talking to me like I am some ignorant kid and came off with a been there done that I have seen it all and I was here first attitude. That has an effective range of zero meters with me. On December the 9th the VA says that I requested them to evaluate me for IU. I do not know if that is something that he decided to submit with my stuff that was sent in or what. I can understand them saying I asked for it 3 days after I saw him because the mail has to run and the documents have to be delivered to the correct area in the VARO. By the time I had met this man I had already decided what conditions I wanted to be rated for, typed a statement of claim, sent in medical records, dd214, orders taking me to basic training all the way to Iraq and then the orders that allowed me to ETS. I had anything and everything I needed and even had copies of all of it. C&P exams came fast for me. I was always available anytime I was called day time, night time, holiday, weekend you name it, I was willing ready and able to come in and do what ever I was asked to do. So I had all my exams done by March the 21st. One of them took place early on a Saturday morning one of them happened on a Holiday. I was given an exam for TBI which they said was positive and was more likely than not related to military service. I was given a physical exam and x-rays. The Physical Exam was to evaluate flat foot (ples planus) of the left foot due to parachute accident, bilateral knee condition, sprained right ankle that actually has a broken bone in it still, herniated disc in my lumbar spine (L5-S1) two other compressions in my spine (don't ask I got no clue I just know it hurts like a b!tch), left elbow arthritis, and I think that covers it all. My mental health C&P exam was to evaluate me for PTSD and ADD. The results for my exam went well. I was told to get some more x-rays of my spine and my ankles and feet. The xrays confirmed my injuries to my spine and also that I have arthiritis in my spine and degenerative disc disease, all of my injuires were claimed and were said to have more likely than not been because of my military service. My psychological evaluation came back with Axis 1 PTSD and I think some type of modifier for mood disorder. I cannot remember what was on the other Axis's I was given a GAF score of 50. The doctor said that she believes that it will be difficult for me to attain higher education, and maintain a suitable source of employment because of my mental health issues, she also said that my problems are more likely than not because of my military service and caused by my deployment to Iraq. My TBI and PTSD was certified as both making one another worse and it is hard to seperate which one is increasing the problems of the other.

So to sum it up I am ready to get this done, I am not requesting IU if I get it then so be it, and all of the conditions I claimed were certified to have been more likely than not because of my military service and some of them were found to be more severe than I know. Since starting this claim I have enrolled in substance abuse program the VA offers because the narcotic pain medication I have been taking for my chronic pain was causing me problems. I have not missed a single substance abuse meeting and I have passed all of my Urine Screens. I did not claim this on my claim, but they may know about it which is fine with me I guess. It is afterall a complication of being injured and having to take lots of medicines with potentially adictive side effects. Tell me what you think thanks again for all the help.

Edited by Stu Pidasso

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