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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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  • 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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chinavet

9 Years Later

Question

I will make a long story short. I am a Vietnam Vet with PTSD and autoimmune issues.

The VA lost my files and dismissed my case many years ago and I opted not to fight them

I applied again 9 years ago when symptoms got worse. I was living in China on pension. I had been on SSI and that ended with my pension.

I had a C & P and the doc saw me for 10 minutes. He said it was a 15% chance it was service connected.My GAF was 60

The VA denied the claim and I appealed. They ordered a travel board hearing. I wrote them to ask if we could schedule it at a different time. They gave me 2 weeks notice to appear. They denied the request and then denied my claim because I did not "desire" to show for my hearing. Nuts.

The BOVA remanded the case.

They scheduled a new travel board hearing and I flew to chicago and they did not have my records. They said they did not expect me to show up. The hearing officer used language from the doctor and said my PTSD was hard to figure out and my current symptoms were probably caused by other more recent stressors. and since I had held highl evel jobs I was probably not disabled--he did not note that i never held a job more than a few weeks.

I wrote angry objections to the finding and BOVA ordered a 2nd C&P

The examiner saw me for an hour and had worked with my case for 7 years. He said he was 100% sure I was disabled because of the Army, My diagnosis was PTSD and severe depression and my GAF was 30.

The regional office developed the case and said it was ready to rate in November of 2010.

A second doctor concurred with the C&P and it was added to evidence.

I asked Senator Kirk to get involved and he sent a letter and asked them to expedite die to financial hardship and sickness. My autoimmune is killing me.

They have not yet looked at the autoimmune issue.I filed that 2 years ago and they said they will have to rate the PTSD first.

The case was assigned to a rating specialist last month on the 21st. He requested clarification of the diagnoses.

He received a positive response about my condition--one that supported my diagnosis on the 14th.

Whew.

So two questions:

How much longer do you think it will be?

What are the odds of a positive rating?

9 years and counting.

Edited by chinavet

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"The case was assigned to a rating specialist last month on the 21st. He requested clarification of the diagnoses.

He received a positive response about my condition--one that supported my diagnosis on the 14th."

I assume you mean the PTSD condition?

Can you scan and attach here the results of the most recent C & P exam you had for PTSD? COver your name, address and C file number.

I mean this one:

"The examiner saw me for an hour and had worked with my case for 7 years. He said he was 100% sure I was disabled because of the Army, My diagnosis was PTSD and severe depression and my GAF was 30."

What disability is the SSI for?

Have you thoroughly proven your inservice stressor?

"The hearing officer used language from the doctor and said my PTSD was hard to figure out and my current symptoms were probably caused by other more recent stressors"

Do you have medical evidence (or what seems to be a favorable C & P result) that overrides that statement in addition to proof of your inservice stressor? It seems that you do have that but seeing the actual C & P exam results would help.

The above hearing officer statement shows the first C & P exam was too 'speculative'.

With a PTSD diagnosis (and I assume years of treatment records) and proof of an inservice stressor

I think the VA will either grant the claim at the VARO level or-

as in my case, they sent the results of a BVA remand back to the BVA.The BVA still held jurisdiction because of the remand.

The additional C & P exam I got was too speculative and my 3 IMOs had still not been considered at all.

I knocked down the C & P exam and sent that info directly to the BVA, reminding them and sending again the 3 IMOs I had .

I also pointed out that my IMos were from Neuros whose expertise completely outweighed the PA who did the C & P.

I ordered a cardio IMO (which was what my remand called for,not some PA opinion) and afdter my RO sent the C & P results back to the BVA, I got a BVA award letter in a very short time after that.It came so fast I thought it was someones else's decision because I got 2 BVA decisions once that were for other claimants and I had to contact their POAs on the decision.

My point is that the claim now might well go back to the BVA for a decision but that decision should not take as long as it did to get to the point of remand.

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I will scout for a scanner. I don't have one.

The SSI disability was for PTSD.

They used my EER s and OERs to determine and validate stressor. I had perfect really perfect, ratings until the event. I was Euro Med command soldier of the year a year before the event and received a bottom 10% Efficiency Rating after...

The first hearing officer heard the case, without my files, almost three years ago.'

I have four volumes of files.

My additional C&P was pretty well written in stone that the PTSD is service related and severe (GAF 30)

"The case was assigned to a rating specialist last month on the 21st. He requested clarification of the diagnoses.

He received a positive response about my condition--one that supported my diagnosis on the 14th."

I assume you mean the PTSD condition?

Can you scan and attach here the results of the most recent C & P exam you had for PTSD? COver your name, address and C file number.

I mean this one:

"The examiner saw me for an hour and had worked with my case for 7 years. He said he was 100% sure I was disabled because of the Army, My diagnosis was PTSD and severe depression and my GAF was 30."

What disability is the SSI for?

Have you thoroughly proven your inservice stressor?

"The hearing officer used language from the doctor and said my PTSD was hard to figure out and my current symptoms were probably caused by other more recent stressors"

Do you have medical evidence (or what seems to be a favorable C & P result) that overrides that statement in addition to proof of your inservice stressor? It seems that you do have that but seeing the actual C & P exam results would help.

The above hearing officer statement shows the first C & P exam was too 'speculative'.

With a PTSD diagnosis (and I assume years of treatment records) and proof of an inservice stressor

I think the VA will either grant the claim at the VARO level or-

as in my case, they sent the results of a BVA remand back to the BVA.The BVA still held jurisdiction because of the remand.

The additional C & P exam I got was too speculative and my 3 IMOs had still not been considered at all.

I knocked down the C & P exam and sent that info directly to the BVA, reminding them and sending again the 3 IMOs I had .

I also pointed out that my IMos were from Neuros whose expertise completely outweighed the PA who did the C & P.

I ordered a cardio IMO (which was what my remand called for,not some PA opinion) and afdter my RO sent the C & P results back to the BVA, I got a BVA award letter in a very short time after that.It came so fast I thought it was someones else's decision because I got 2 BVA decisions once that were for other claimants and I had to contact their POAs on the decision.

My point is that the claim now might well go back to the BVA for a decision but that decision should not take as long as it did to get to the point of remand.

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Are you in the continental United States now? If so how long have you been here? How many years have you suffered with the autoimmune disease? I assume the SSDI granted on conditions you listed, and remember the VA will only grant on Service Connected conditions. So if they read your records, and all validate service connection, and the C&P examiners opinion are service connected then hopefully they will grant. No one can estimate when or how much they can and do award. Remember first thing is to receive an award, and you can always appeal one's you don't feel are awarded to the disability status you suffer with and have been diagnosed with.

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Thanks

I am in China.

I have only returned for the C&P and travel boards. That killed my budget.

I have had some form of autoimmune since my time in the service. They diagnosed early symptoms in the military.

The SSi was based on the PTSD.

Most recent C&P clearly indicated 100% service connection.

Are you in the continental United States now? If so how long have you been here? How many years have you suffered with the autoimmune disease? I assume the SSDI granted on conditions you listed, and remember the VA will only grant on Service Connected conditions. So if they read your records, and all validate service connection, and the C&P examiners opinion are service connected then hopefully they will grant. No one can estimate when or how much they can and do award. Remember first thing is to receive an award, and you can always appeal one's you don't feel are awarded to the disability status you suffer with and have been diagnosed with.

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