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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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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New To Site... Not To The Va... But Getting Discouraged


Hey all... I was in the Army from 96-97 (little over 1 yr and 5 months)... I shattered my knee during an FTX in Guatemala, where I tore my patella tendon from my tibia and the tibia shattered in 3 places about 1/4'' from my kneecap, ruptured my plantaris muscle, and small fracture in my ankle as well as a slight tear of my achilles (all in right leg). I had surgery on the knee and plantaris muscle, where they put in a grafting using a "new" technique (I was told I was the 2nd one done in a military hospital) to restructure the tibia. After 2 months of therapy (still in military) I tried doing PT whereas I could no longer run at full speed, thus my inability to "pass" my PT (of course situps and push ups never a problem)... During my medical hold evaluation I was told I could Chapter 2 Med Discharge, but it would take months and I would have to stay in the MEdical hold barracks at Ft Stewart, OR I could take a Chapter 13 - unsatisfactory performance due to medical condition and discharge immediately (days to weeks)... now being 19 at the time and not knowing better, I opted out so I could rehab more with a civilian doctor. I didn't receive ANYTHING from the VA for 3 months upon discharge because I had no idea of the avenues to take or who to talk to. FINALLY got in to see a VA worker. My first P&T went by and they evaluated me and gave me SC 0%... ?????? WTH? LOL... they basically told me I was still able to walk so no %, but it WAS SC... over the years, my knee started deteriorating and buckling and constant arthritis to it. The ankle was getting worse, and because the injury was causing a poor gait, my lower back was getting messed up. In 2009, AFTER 4 years of appeals, I was awarded 40% for 3 problems, ankle, knee and back. NOW, (in 2012 when I re-applied a claim) I am literally using a cane 24-7, cant bend over, knee in a brace, ankle/knee swells daily 4x +, pain is 10+ daily, back is continually in knots, and due to the injury and inability to do ANYTHING, I have been diagnosed with Anxiety/Depression secondary to a SC medical condition. My question is this... My claim has been in VA since 12/12 and it JUST now went to "Preparations fr Decision - Rating Phase"... what am I looking at, as NOW i'm wondering if I should contact an attorney.... any ideas??? questions to help me...??? Does it look promising being this is the 6th time I have appealed or re-claimed for an injury I had no control over... and my lifestyle is now shot, losing my family (wife of 12 years) because I can't offer any support in any manner... I cant even play soccer with my young daughter... THIS IS KILLING ME!!!

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Hey Berta..

Yes I have claimed the Anxiety/Depression... it is what I am claiming now on top of the degrading injuries... as for employment, havent been able to work since 2008, hence why I was denied in 2009 for SSDI... they stated that a percentage of disability with VA does not constitute an automatic SSDI disability... I called an attorney when I re-claimed back in 2012 for THIS ongoing claim and they stated that since I hadnt worked since 2008 (being 2012 at that time), that I wont qualify for SSDI... so, yep... im screwed...

GOOD NEWS is that this morning I woke up and I am now in "Pending for Decision" and I cant see my Benefits Letter page... so??????


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Sounds like you are going thru the second phase of how the va usually operates, lumped all of the claims together and gave you a total comp for what just one should have mustered. . they see your getting wise, so they give u a little more.

As was stated time to compare injuries and ilnesses against regs of chapter 38. you have to throw thier own rules right back in thier faces. Once they see your " wise" they know the party is over,. They will have to either give you your just compensation, or wrongfully deny you, and they have no qualmes abt wrongfully denying you. The time has come. Dig down deep and tap into your intestinal fortitude, and make a commitment to yourself, that you you will not quit, and you will fight hard for your compensation. From what youve said, you should have been at 40 perecent, long ago, so they have already ripped you for tens of thousands of dollars.

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Sounds like you should have got an attorney on board back in 2009 for an appeal on the SSDI decision. I don't know anything about SSDI appeals, but instead of a phone consultation(a lot of detail and information is never communicated), I would take your paperwork from the 2008 SSDI decision in and have a lawyer look at it. I wouldn't consider that option dead until a CLOSE look by a legal professional.

Let me preface this next comment with an assurance that I understand you are in continual pain and severly limited, but you are using verbiage that is almost automatically setting you up for the VA to be able to impeach/call into question your observations.

ankle/knee swells daily 4x +, pain is 10+ daily, back is continually in knots, and due to the injury and inability to do ANYTHING

If your knee is swelling to 4 times it size you are indicating your knee is daily reaching the size of a person with a 32 inch waist. That is not impossible but it is improbable. it would prevent the wearing of normal clothes.

The pain scale in common usage goes to 10. A person experiencing level ten pain is essentially unable to communicate and writhing. I don't doubt you have pain, I am sure it is excruciating and debilitating. All I am saying is when you say 10+, especially if you actually tell them my pain level is ten plus (compared to indicating it was or has been) in a somewhat intelligible manner, it is an invitation for doubt.

Indicating you are inable to do anything. Is a pretty broad measure and at face value would indicate you are not capable of self care and need constance assistance, but if you walked into the exam room un-aided the observed behaviour is at odds then with the claimed level of dissability.

Please do not take those comments as indicating I do not believe you, they are ment to be helpful. Look at how and what you are communicating.

You indicate you have a knee brace, if it is perscribed by a medical provider you should be sure you file for your annual clothing allowance.

Don't be to tough on that 19YO kid in your past, he got played by some professionals who someday will have to answer for their past actions.

As for the man of today, relationship breakups are a tough business, try not to let anger and/or emotional pain cause destructive actions/decisions that will affect the man of tomorrow. Amongst all the crap that a relationship break-up causes to swirl, make sure your Kids know you love them.

It sounds like your claim is currently a claim for increase without a decision yet issued. A Lawyer can only get involved after a denial (or award at less than the maximum). This statement assumes all of your other claims are over a year old and not in appeal status.

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I would wait for the decision before you contact/hire an attorney to handle your VA file. Most won't take you until you are in the BVA appeals phase of a claim. Your depression/anxiety must be linked, in writing by your doctor, to your service connected disabilities as the reason you are unable to do the things you used to enjoy doing. Good luck!

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