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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Jaina Bledsoe

Mst Diagnosis And Nexus

Question

I was wondering what other veteran's experiences have been with NEXUS evaluations, IMO's, and diagnosis in general. In my own case I have noticed that the NEXUS evaluation questions seemed to focus more on events and history prior to entering the service rather than the actual assault while in service. This has created a nightmare for myself, as there was some early physical abuse by a parent up to age 10. My evaluators (there have been 3 now - but only one was done in person), have latched on to a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis as a root cause / comorbid occurance of the PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder they have also diagnosed. this has resulted in a "less likely than not" determination.

I found factual errors, chronology errors, misquotes, disregarded information, missing records, statements lacking the context I shared, symptoms developing post assault being used to support the "pre-existing" determination etc. and so far I can't get anyone to address them properly. Each time I have attempted to do so yet another evaluator reads the first evaluation, and either simply concurs if I am lucky or adds more errors more often than not. It has felt like I'm the victim of a horrible game of "grapevine" that I can't seem to end. In the meantime, I'm 1.5 years into my claim and had 2 denials (initial and reconsideration).

I'd like to hear from other veterans if they have experienced this, what they did to combat it, and if they were successful. I am scheduling for a DRO hearing soon and I need to know how best to address these issues without feeling like the RO is going to look at me and think "This person isn't happy about anything and questions everyone's judgement. they definately have a BPD issue..... claim denied". All I want is a fair shake on this thing. If they keep denying me based on incomplete or erroneous information I'm certainly not going to let that fly. I have been more open and honest withthe VA than my own family and friends, yet I feel like I am being painted into a "malingerer / liar / exaggerator" corner. My own personal statements have only been cited when they can use a portion to substantiate the BPD diagnosis, despite one being specific to clarification and dispute of the errors in the NEXUS.

FRUSTRATING AND INVALIDATING!!

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I cant answer your question, but I can share something with you that my civilian therapist(also a Vietnam vet) shared with me.NO CHARGE!LOL!

I too was diagnosed, depending what year or provider it was, with bpd. HE nor any other civilian mh professional I have seen considers me to be this. they dont. HE said " the va always gives vets this disorder to prevent them from collecting compensation"

You need to have a civilian psychologist negate THAT dx, to undo the damage done, because they will use it against you. if youre not bpd starting it will "appear' you are when youre at your most frustrate dealing with them/wanting compensation from them, and it just suits them fine.

Thats the best advice I can give you. good luck! Mystic

Edited by mysticcherokee usn vet

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One way to combat it is not to talk about your childhood with the VA. Now once the cat is out of the bag you probably need an IMO to show that the abuse you had during the military has caused your current disability.

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Thought you might be interested in this newspaper article claiming the military gives the stigma of personality disorders to us to prevent us filing claims for benefits:

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120225/ARCHIVES/202251051/-1/todayspaper?Title=Stigma-seen-in-military-finding-TROOPS-Are-psychiatric-diagnoses-being-twisted-to-force-soldiers-out-

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Thanks Mystic. I will be sure to take this along to my DRO hearing. I have scoured my complete records (requested from VA), and can't seem to find the psychiatric evaluation required to be done prior to issuing my PD discharge....

Not suprising, since those records also had been sanitized of nearly all references to hospital treatment for 2 suicide attempts immediately after my assault (requests directly to providing hospitals have been submitted). You would think the DoD would find it more plausible to lose the whole damn medical file than risk being discovered someone is selectively removing info.

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You are very welcome and good luck with your hearing. You should google that topic title and see if ya get any more similar hits, jmo.

Yes, Ive got psych records missing from my smrs to, and theyr important. I was seen for depression over a period of a year after a coerced abortion. Those records are gone. tho Ive a statement from the attending shrink saying that hed seen me on a monthly babsis for depression for a wile. STILL! THAT was in my personal record collection, and if I hadnt had that and a lot of other stuff, Id be royally you know what. Sincerely, Mystic

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  • Our picks

    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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