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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 when it comes to filing Veterans Affairs Disability Claims. Chris Attig - Veterans Law Blog

 







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Susan

Ao Nehmer Award Letter

Question

The letter arrived today. I posted in the Success forum because I just had to do that. Finally!! I am very happy with the win, but I feel that the retro is at least one third of what it should be. When I reread the letter I saw that it was "estimated amounts". I guess there could be more than the estimate. Also there is no mention of the funeral and burial benefit and I had submitted that information. There were papers and a pamphlet about DEA education benefits. One paper advised to check with the County VSO for taxes and other benefits. I will be sending the benefit info to NVLSP so that they can verify correct amounts. I have one year to disagree if anything is wrong. Since 1993 they awarded 30% for all years for Don except the year plus one or two months recuperation after bypass surgery. That year was rated at 100%. The one year was held out on DIC because for some reason the date shows that I applied in 2001 which is wrong because I filed in 2000. That date is questionable and looks to be a whited out zero to "create" a number one from a zero. And as expectted DIC ended in June of 2007 since I remarried in July of 2007. Once my divorce is finalized, I will be able to reapply for DIC.

Thanks everyone for the support and guidance I have received and especially to Berta and Chuck for their help and insight on Nehmer.

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2 answers to this question

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Susan- at this point this is a SUCCESS but something seems wrong:

"estimated amounts".

That phrase from VA is something I have never seen before---- I wonder if they will pull that on me too.

I sent my funeral /burial stuff directly to the Philadelphia VARO ( who handles most if not all burial claims as well as some AO claims)

"Since 1993 they awarded 30% for all years for Don except the year plus one or two months recuperation after bypass surgery. That year was rated at 100%"

Did your husband receive SSDI at some point and was it solely for the IHD?

"The one year was held out on DIC because for some reason the date shows that I applied in 2001 which is wrong because I filed in 2000. That date is questionable and looks to be a whited out zero to "create" a number one from a zero. And as expectted DIC ended in June of 2007 since I remarried in July of 2007."

Under Nehmer I dont think it would matter when you even applied for DIC because I would think they should have used the date of his death for the DIC EED.I will check that in the Nehmer Trainng letter.

I would certainly appeal anything that seems wrong to you.

This stuff makes me furious. I know what it is like to get awards that contain errors.

"estimated amounts"

Boy I am sure disturbed over that one. Maybe they are trying to say there was not enough medical info to rate at the next level- but the fact is your husband's heart disease went from 30 % to 100% and it didnt happen overnight. They could have made a staged rating if they had enough medical info to do that.

I expect the same problem but spelled it all out as clearly as I could to the VA referencing the few med recs I had as to my husband's IHD.

I mentioned before that my husband's diagnosis of fatal and malpracticed heart disease came from me initially and not the VA.It took years but they finally concurred yet have never rated his 1151 IHD which became SC IHD last year.I had to file a NOD on that award letter because the IHD still remained unrated and contained multiple other errors.

Based on the medical evidence I had from VA, they need to stage a rating of at least 100% for the initial heart attack, then 10% for 4 years then up to 60% and then

determine when it became 100% again and enough to kill him.

Since the VA was aware of his IHD but failed to treat it or even tell us he had IHD-so we could get a real doctor to treat it-

I told them I wont accept the obvious SMC "S" award. I might be willing to accept an "estimated amount" if it seems correct but I am already prepared to get an IMO if it is wrong.

Will NVLSP be reviewing your claim?

(actually if they mean the 30% rating up to when it became 100% as an estimate, there could well be some med recs that might put that 30 into 60% at some point but maybe there are no records on that.Was VA his sole provider for heart disease care?)

I think this type of rating will happen to other survivors under Nehmer when VA did not have a fairly recent ECHO result and EKGS alone cannot fully determine the extent of IHD.

Edited by Berta

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This is from page 17 of the Nehmer Training Guide as to EEDS to include DIC claims:

EFFECTIVE DATES FOR RATING PURPOSES

The effective date for retroactive claims must be one of the following dates:

• The later of the following:

o The date VA received the claim, or a date prior to September 25, 1985, if the claim was pending or on appeal on September 25, 1985, or

o The date the disability arose

• The day following the date of the class member's separation from active service, if filed within one year from the date of separation

The effective date for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) claims must be one of the following dates:

• The date VA received the claim, or

• The first day of the month of the Veteran’s death, if filed within one year from the date of the Veteran’s death

NOTE: If the class member’s claim for DIC for the death was either pending before VA on May 3, 1989, or was received by VA between that date and the effective date of the statute or regulation establishing a presumption of service connection for the covered herbicide disease that caused death, the effective date of the award will be the later of the date such claim was received by VA or the death occurred (38 C.F.R. § 3.816(d)(2)).

NOTE: 38 U.S.C. § 5110(g) and 38 C.F.R. § 3.114(a) do not apply to Nehmer claims.

"

The one year was held out on DIC because for some reason the date shows that I applied in 2001 which is wrong because I filed in 2000. That date is questionable and looks to be a whited out zero to "create" a number one from a zero."

That would give you the additional DIC.

NVLSP would be reviewing not only the accrued EED but also the DIC EED when they are aware of your award.

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