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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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Scout Swimmer

Under Administrative Review

Question

I was denied recently on a depression claim. I noticed on the denial letter that they based the decision on direct service connection. I am 40% TBI with 50% mixed headaches as a secondary. I assumed it would be automatically rated as a secondary condition to my TBI as my submitted medical evidence clearly state in my progress reports.

I immediately submitted a letter of reconsideration to rate my claim as secondary to TBI, as my DAV rep advised. I am now under Administrative Review.

I'm still not clear on how long this process takes, or what it exactly is. I called Peggy and she informed me that it has nothing to do with my claim and it is closed. I didnt get much out of her as she was unwilling and a bit hostile. I am considering retaining an Attorney but should I wait and see where this goes? Is this a thing that could last a year forfit my right to appeal?

Any suggestions would help

Thanks

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Welcome to Administrative Review. It must be a new Hell for us. I filed a CUE claim in late 2011. It disappeared. I refiled it August 12, 2012. Shortly thereafter (October 11) I filed two secondaries to my 100% schedular disability. VA rolled both of them up with the CUE claim. They denied the CUE and dropped the two others along with a SMC S request. I sent in a complaint via IRIS and suddenly the August 2012 claim is now in Admin. review. Calling Peggy Sue is a waste of time. They are currently looking at Ebennies instead of WARMS, VACOLS, BIRLS or AMIE as their magic 8 ball. The blind leading the deaf.

a

cp

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You have to realize VA has great difficulty hiring folks who are willing to screw Vets. I expect it requires a rather low IQ to insure quality control. After mastering the art of rating, VA-style, I'm sure more than a few come to the belated realization that virtually all claims inserted into the M-21 result in a denial. VA artfully compartmentalized the process in 2004 and few witness a claim from its beginning to end.

Try to imagine an automobile insurance company that takes several years to process a fender bender and then decides it was your fault. As some who return here point out, it's a minor miracle we accomplish it in our own lifetime. Fifty three of us die every day with unadjudicated claims still pending. I fear that true Motions for Consideration and administrative reviews will soon go the way of dial telephones. In their place will be the new 21-0958 catch-all NOD form. Don't like our decision? Fine. Appeal it. We'll see you again in five years after you win your appeal. Next?

a

cp

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Unfortunately I think you are right. I asked my VA psychologist to write something up for me. Just to be more detailed in her already documented diagnosis. She said it would be a conflict of interest because ultimately, her boss is the VA. I am learning the awful truth as you suggest as I go along.

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The VA has one job- to hold the financial line and prevent a rush to the cash trough. Read this from the CAVC site I love this:

In the appellant's January 2009 statement in support of claim, he stated, "[t]he rating decision
dated November 20, 2008 granted me ratings appropriate for my disabilities however the effective
[date] should have been the day after my discharge from military service." R. at 239. The Board
determined that "[t]his statement constituted a withdrawal of the increased initial evaluations issues for the spine . . .
and bilateral feet." R. at 15. However, as the Secretary concedes, the appellant's
statement does not contain the word "withdraw" or any express statement indicating a desire to
withdraw his appeals of the initial evaluation of his spinal and bilateral foot disabilities. R. at 238-
39; see 38 C.F.R. § 20.204(b); Secretary's Br. at 12. Moreover, the statement does not list which
issues, if any, he intended to withdraw. Id. The Board's decision lacks any analysis as to how the
appellant's statement constituted a withdrawal of his claims of entitlement to higher initial
evaluations for his service-connected spine and bilateral foot disabilities. Absent such an analysis,
the Court cannot understand the basis for the Board's decision and the Court's review is frustrated.
This happens 5,000 times a year at the CAVC. If you don't appeal, you agree they are right. They rarely are.
a

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