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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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  • 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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Loose Cannon

Reconsideration Reqest Denied In 8 Days!

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Hello All,

Just when I thought things were getting better...the "system" again lets me down. I must remind myself: Patience, Patience, Patience but too often it seems like the deck is stacked against us. In my original attempt at SSDI, the most important evidence (my doctor's statement) showed up at the local SS field office ONE DAY after they made their decision...so...I picked my dissapointed self up off the floor and got to work preparing my Reconsideration Appeal. Here's a breakdown on what has transpired:

9/22 - Filed Reconsideration Request online at the SS website.

9/26 - Received the standard "Important Info About Your Disability Claim" letter from the new Disability Examiner working my appeal.

9/29 - I HAND DELIVERED to my local SS Field Office a Disability Report-Appeal, two seperate statements from me, a statement from my wife, and a statement from my doctor regarding my PTSD disability covering symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, how it affects my ability to hold gainful employment, and prognosis.

I also provided them with 7 medical release forms so they could obtain records...ALL THIS WAS HAND DELIVERED. They made a copy of EVERYTHING, stamped it with the date September 29, 2011 and gave me the copies. The woman who did this even said she was placing it on the examiner's desk who was reviewing my appeal.

10/3 - I sent via US postal certified letter an additional statement from me asking them to review (attached) 2 letters from former employers, 2 employee counseling documents, and a "statement of clarification" on how PTSD corresponds to their codes, etc. Some of you may know this as "Patrick's Letter" and have used it in similar claims.

10/10 - I sent via US postal certified letter a statement from me requesting assistance in obtaining a doctor's report that was done the month prior as part of my VA C&P exam for PTSD and TBI. This document is important because although I've yet to see it, she said "do not worry about anything. I will be recommending 100% disability to the VA as a result of your injuries/condition". Sounds pretty good...something that I'd want in evidence as I battle for SSDI, right? I provided them the address of the VARO where that report will ultimately wind up as well as another signed medical info release. The DAV is representing me at the VA and they have also filed a FOIA request for this report but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have the SS agency asking for it too. They do have a responsibility to assist according to their own Evidentiary Requirements.

So just when I thought it was time to sit back and be patient...What shows up in the mail this SAME DAY? Yep, a DENIAL LETTER for my reconsideration request, dated 10/7/2011. The letter stated "based on prior reports and a VA Medical Center report received on 9/27" my request was denied.

As you can imagine, I just about lost it. Come on...do the math- They made their reconsideration decision in ONLY 8 WORKING DAYS!! Does anyone really think its even possible for them to ask for and get back a report of medical records from a VA hospital in that amount of time, much less to make a DECISION. Obviously, I was getting a raw deal here so I called my disability examiner and left a message that she call me back.

10/12 - Disability examiner calls me back and I explained my situation. She said they have no record of ANY of the statements I hand delivered on 9/29. How the hell can this be??? Anyways, she asked if I could FAX her copies and I did that afternoon. She confirmed that she got them and that she would talk with her supervisor on Tuesday, October 18th and get back to me...

So here I sit. Frustrated and losing faith fast in ANYONE'S ability to do their job in this country anymore or to do the right thing. If nothing changes I will have 60 days to file for a ALJ hearing at the SS from the date of my reconsideration denial...Meanwhile, life goes on...bills must get paid. This sucks.

Any comments?:angry::excl: :excl:

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I'm sorry for your frustration, Cannon.

We can all relate.

It sounds like you have a solid case and will prevail; be persistent but polite with DDS and talk with a supervisor if you don't get the desired resolution.

Good luck! :smile:

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Sorry but this is sooo typical from these govt agencies VA SS etc. If they say they don't have it they hope you will just go away and not fight it. Remember retro is what they try to save too. If they think somewhere along the line they have to grant they hope you are not intelligent enough to file timely and in the end IF they have to award you, they can say you were late filing so you get it now but no retro. Stay at least one step ahead of them. So crooked!! Stay the course.Good luck.

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Sorry but this is sooo typical from these govt agencies VA SS etc. If they say they don't have it they hope you will just go away and not fight it. Remember retro is what they try to save too. If they think somewhere along the line they have to grant they hope you are not intelligent enough to file timely and in the end IF they have to award you, they can say you were late filing so you get it now but no retro. Stay at least one step ahead of them. So crooked!! Stay the course.Good luck.

Thanks for the reply. Today's a new day! Just trying to stay positive and navigate through the process while maintaining my sanity. I will keep fighting for this as long as it takes and hope that a positive result is in my future. As a former US Marine, we don't give up easy!:biggrin:

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I'm sorry for your frustration, Cannon.

We can all relate.

It sounds like you have a solid case and will prevail; be persistent but polite with DDS and talk with a supervisor if you don't get the desired resolution.

Good luck! :smile:

Great advice- Thank you. I apologize for the sarcastic tone in my post but I have no patience for people lately after being involved in this "process". I will be polite when dealing with these folks and try my best to stay positive.:wink:

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