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Should I Wait To File A New Claim?



I am 70% rated.All of my disability is service related,caused by Agent Orange in Viet Nam.My wife is disabled too.Our disability checks are our only income. I have other claims pending for PTSD,Depression,Carotid Artery Stenosis. I have had these claims in for 10 months now. They are still in gathering information phase. I have GERD and Barrets Esophagus. Are these conditions rateable ?.I have had Barrets Esophagus since 2007. Should I wait for my other claims to be done before I put a claim in for Barrets ? I do not want a new claim to hold up my other claims ,since I have been waiting 10 months already.

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From one olddude to another

As Broncovet told me, you can wait but, if you file a new claim now the clock starts ticking on that claim and that means you get an ED of now instead of later which will mean a retro check. However, the decision is yours. In my situation and filed a new claim with an appeal already in progress. It's been a year and half on the appeal and 11 months on the claim. I will WIN both of them. Also, I am currently working on another claim or as the VA would say I am in the development stage.

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I tend to favor not waiting and here is why.

1. As already pointed out, your effective date can not be earlier than the date you applied so you are limiting your own retro check by waiting.

2. Filing a new claim may/may not delay you. Do you have evidence in your file of this disability, such as a docs statement?

3. Whenever the VA reviews your evidence you are subject to the possibility of a reduction. So, by filing still another claim later, the VA is going to look at your file and see if anything else improved so they can reduce you. Get it all done at once, when possible, and prevent future possible reduction proposals from the VA.

4. There is even a chance that filing a new claim could expidite your old claim. How? Well, when you file a new claim, someone has to dig up your file and associate your new claim with the old one. That is they have to "handle" your file. While they have it in their hot little hands, some people like to "take care of business" and get er done. Maybe the one handling your file will be that type of person. At a minimum, your file will need to get "unburied" if only to put the new claim in it.

5. Finally, you can do 2 things at once...waiting on both claims at once rather than stringing it out for decades.

Edited by broncovet
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I generally agree that a veteran should file as soon as possible. But if there is a "simple" claim in the works, and it involves a significant rating, the additional claim can delay things.

There is law and precedence that may, under a combination of things even take the additional claim back to the EDD of the first approved claim.

(Such things as are the claims related, was there evidence in the file at the time of the first claim, etc., did the VA fail to take notice of the other evidence, etc.)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I would wait and hope the VA infers TDIU. Did you ever file for TDIU? I think if you can't work due to SC conditions you should be filing for TDIU instead of chasing after these other claims. Maybe you will get schedular 100%.

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Hello All,,,,,,This is a toughy. Our members contributing have made some very good recommendations. All of them need some careful consideration. I would like to ask that you may want to look at your claim from these points.

1. If you file a new claim is it going to possibly get you a high schedular percentage to possibly offset a delay in your decisions on other claims under appeal or at the DRO/VARO? Anytime you are having the VA looking at your claim , a new claim can easily remove you from the decision process and may "start you at the bottom of the pile" routine?

2. Will the claim give you a possibility of reaching 100% with maybe a P and T award. It is always better to have 100% P and T rather than 100% TDIU? The reasoning here is you can still work or have a chance to earn money or paycheck with a 100% P and T . With TDIU rating at 100% , you run the risk of loosing your rating if you work at all and the VA finds out about it. Many veterans do not consider this when having the choice or they just apply for the TDIU. Yes you must consider how sick you are and the possibility of a long wait for your decision. It is one that needs CAREFUL consideration and the repurcussions of the decision you make. If the VA has "missed" some of your evidence and a FAULTY decision has been made, then the appeal process will have to be used. More time again. If you are at an age that considers possibly leaving the workforce , and your injury/diseases are moving rapidly to causing you a no work situation then TDIU may be your only logical option. One that could be but not always quicker. A new claim can be filed later, as the Earliest Effective Date is not as important as a younger , "healthier" veteran who has more time available to fight the appeals process.

3. I do want to point out you have several things working in your favor from what you posted.

A. You are a Vietnam Veteran and the VA is trying to clean up the backlog with some priority given to these Vets.

B. You already have some claims pending for diseases/injuries that could easily give you more than enough schedular percentages to put you at or over 100 percent.

C. The new presumptives adding IHD, Parkinsons, B cell Leukemia would affect you. Your CAD is to be considered as IHD. Carotid Artery Disease, Atherosclerosis and Ischemic Heart Disease are one of the same. I would concentrate on that claim and make sure your IMO is written to cover it as the relationship to Agent Orange and IHD/CAD/Atherosclorosis has now been accepted by VA to PRESUMPTIVE which will result in an award for you. Due to your circumstances I believe the VA should rate you and your award should cover enough to put you over the 100 percent rating. If you go for the TDIU at this point it seems to me that you are maybe jumping to conclusions and not allowing your evidence and record to speak for itself. Having to send in a letter every year on your employment status to the VA to verify your TDIU just sounds like more work that you really don't need. And it keeps the VA continuously looking at your file for years to come. I would rather have it put to bed with a 100 percent and maybe a chance of P and T and not a TDIU. I have discussed this with my VA attorney as I have some claims that are very similar as to the problems you are facing. She agrees also with my suggestions and reasoning.

Soooooooooo,,,,,,at the present I would concentrate on that IMO for your CAD / IHD so as to tighten the noose allowing you the award to be decided thru the CFR and schedular under the Presumptives understanding that, due to your Vietnam service , it puts you closer to a decision from the VA than others who are not Vietnam nor not having Presumptives working in your favor. TDIU is an ancillary award and totally different than your schedular rating of 100% or more and a possible P and T rating. Schedular is almost always a better route than the TDIU road. Is a new claim going to give you enough schedular to really be worth the extra time of waiting considering that you have these other highly winnable claims already under consideration?

Ok ..... just some things to ponder and hope that I am right in my logic and reasoning which lately have been hard to facilitate for me. Above all the key thing to remember is ..............NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate
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