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    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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  • 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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Vync

Asthma Dbq Question

Question

Hello everyone,

I have a question relating to the DBQ that is used for asthma claims (linked below).

RESPIRATORY CONDITIONS (OTHER THAN TUBERCULOSIS AND SLEEP APNEA)
DISABILITY BENEFITS QUESTIONNAIRE

http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0960L-1-ARE.pdf

My DAV rep wants me to send in a DBQ and says it must be filled out completely, including the PFT values.

My asthma was rated at 60% because I received 3+ courses of oral or parenteral corticosteroids within a 12 month period. Because my asthma is rated due to this criteria, not the PFTs, would I still need to have the PFT scores? Should my doc send in the DBQ without PFT's or should they simply enter the values of my most recent PFTs from about a year ago?

Thanks

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3 answers to this question

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We discussed the DBQs at last weeks SVR show in archives...........with Dr. Bash------the show might help you.

DBQs are a problem.....the doc has to detail specifics...... I feel you need the PFTs in the DBQ BUT my question is, is there a higher rating available (100%?) for the asthma.....dont have time this minute to check the Rating schedule.....they should have enclosed it with your decision..

AT 90% now, are you still employed? or if not have you applied for TDIU?

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Hi Berta,
Thank you very much for responding. I followed your advice and listened to the SVR show with Dr.Bash and it was helpful in clarifying some of my concerns. I am still employed, thankfully.

My DAV rep tells me that he will not help unless the PFT's are included. This is frustrating because I have been SC for asthma for 17 years and my rating would not be based on FEV-1. My last PFT's are over a year old. I read somewhere that they should be no older than six to 12 months old. Should the doc include those values or should I look at getting new PFT's?

The correct rating for my circumstances would be 60%, as detailed below.

Schedule of Ratings - Respiratory System
http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/docs/regs/38CFR/BOOKC/PART4/S4_97.DOC

6602 Asthma, bronchial:

FEV-1 less than 40-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC less than
40 percent, or; more than one attack per week with episodes of
respiratory failure, or; requires daily use of systemic (oral or
parenteral) high dose corticosteroids or immuno-suppressive
medications 100
FEV-1 of 40- to 55-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 40 to 55
percent, or; at least monthly visits to a physician for required
care of exacerbations, or; intermittent (at least three per year)
courses of systemic (oral or parenteral) corticosteroids 60

FEV-1 of 56- to 70-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 56 to 70
percent, or; daily inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy,
or; inhalational anti-inflammatory medication 30
FEV-1 of 71- to 80-percent predicted, or; FEV-1/FVC of 71 to 80
percent, or; intermittent inhalational or oral bronchodilator therapy 10


Note: In the absence of clinical findings of asthma at time of
examination, a verified history of asthmatic attacks must be of record.


Thanks

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I do know there is some guidance in cfr 38 part 4 that lays out some rules on when PFT's are not required.

conditions in this section which under certain circumstances also establish entitlement to special monthly compensation.

(d) Special provisions for the application of evaluation criteria for diagnostic codes 6600, 6603, 6604, 6825-6833, and 6840-6845. (1) Pulmonary function tests (PFT's) are required to evaluate these conditions except:

(i) When the results of a maximum exercise capacity test are of record and are 20 ml/kg/min or less. If a maximum exercise capacity test is not of record, evaluate based on alternative criteria.

(ii) When pulmonary hypertension (documented by an echocardiogram or cardiac catheterization), cor pulmonale, or right ventricular hypertrophy has been diagnosed.

(iii) When there have been one or more episodes of acute respiratory failure.

(iv) When outpatient oxygen therapy is required.

I did notice that 6602 is not in that list so It appears it is not and absolute requirement, only to be waived for one of the reasons below.

I would politely ask your DAV rep why they are adding unnecessary requirements to the ratings process, It sure seems to me your doc should fill out the DBQ, note your steroid treatments sign it and hand it back to you. Your DAV rep when forwarding it should point out that a PFT is not a requirement and that per the enclosed DBQ completed by Physician X, Mr Vync has had x number of sterodial treatments for his asthma over the last year.

Next thing you know they will be telling Amputees that we can't rate them because we can't get an acurate ROM!

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

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