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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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    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
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    • I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
      You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

      You all made that possible. Thank you.
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    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
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    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
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SomethingLost

Appeal Success!

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I originally filed my claim in March of 2011 and it's been a rough road. Despite clear evidence of my contentions and service connection, my claim was denied at every point based on unsupported claims of the condition pre-existing military service. After a while I started thinking maybe *I* was wrong, maybe my evidence was wrong, maybe my wife was wrong. It's hard to explain the self-doubt that comes along with just wanting a fair shake and having someone admit that what happened to you was a mistake and was wrong.

Anyway, my increase to 50% from 30 for migraines was approved at the appeal level.

But the really vindicating part is that Anxiety with Major Depression (1 rating for MH conditions) was FINALLY rated as service connected!

The docket decision noted that the C&P examiner's claim that I had a Personality Disorder, in 2012, that pre-existed military service was unfounded, with no supporting evidence referenced. (No medical records or professional opinions outside the brief, 30-40 min exam.) It was also the first time my journal entries from the time in question, the statements from my wife, and my own statements were actually referenced. Furthermore, my claims of anxiety and depression in my medical records were finally addressed and the BVA acknowledged those points of evidence had been ignored by the examiners. (I had 2 C&P's for this claim.)

I don't want to get into the specifics of my service-connected experienced which I had demonstrated in my evidence, but it was a prolonged situation and I had kept several artifacts that supported my claim. To finally have these things reviewed and to have a VLJ acknowledge that due consideration was not granted feels so vindicating. I mean, it's been a rough road and I wish the claim would have been settled the first time around. I wish I wouldn't have had to feel the anguish of someone blaming the things that happened to me on a personality issue. What's worse than causing someone to blame themselves when they were put in a bad situation that was out of their control?

I don't want to preach. I know many of you are just as aware of how tough this situation can be. I just feel so relieved and I wanted to share. I've never posted here before but I've long been a visitor. Thank you to all who support your fellow vets and their family members who seek honest help.

The date of my appeal BBE was 28 MAR. I'm still waiting for the RO to apply a rating decision based on the findings of the BVA. No letter generator update yet. The decision states a rating in excess of 30% for migraines, which can only be 50% based on the CFR. The Anxiety is a total WAG. I can post the verbiage if anyone is willing to throw a guess at it.

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From Appeal letter:

"VA Treatment records, hospital records, and examination reports provide post-service diagnosis of anxiety, depressive disorder, rule out PTSD, and major depression manifested as memory loss, panic attacks, anxiety, depressed mood, hypervigilance, sleep impairment, flattened affect, suicidal ideation, and difficulty establishing effective work and social relationships.

....

Service connection for a psychiatric disability, currently diagnosed as anxiety disorder with major depresstion, is granted."

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After all these decades and wars the VA is still trying to avoid financial responsibility by claiming vets with mental health issues have pre-existing personality disorders. They did this to me in 1970 in the Army and the VA picked up on that false diagnosis and has tried to run with it ever since. My IME's defeated that dirty trick, but I see they are still trying. Now that they are going to downsize the military all these guys who have TBI's and PTSD will find a new PD diagnosis in their file.

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I agree, John. The Personality Disorder thing was a huge blow. Even from the start I felt I had a pretty cut and dry case. I had the journal entries, I photo-copied and transcribed them. I had official paperwork, performance feedbacks which were very blatent about the misdeeds of my superiors, mentions in my medical records, buddy statements, my statement, my wife's statements. (We were married before I joined and have remained together this whole time). I thought, gee with the rating system at "at-least-as-likely-as-not" and benefit of the doubt, there's no way this could be denied. Not just was it denied, my evidence was ignored and I was insulted with a misdiagnosis that blamed me.

If it didn't hurt so badly, it'd have to be a joke.

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"Anyway, my increase to 50% from 30 for migraines was approved at the appeal level.GREAT!!!!

"But the really vindicating part is that Anxiety with Major Depression (1 rating for MH conditions) was FINALLY rated as service connected!"

Even more Great!!!!!

Vindication is even worth more than retro cash sometimes,......it feels like compensation to the soul.

This looks like a claim that was continuously appealed since filing date, therefore no potential CUE exists.The fact remains however that their initial bull crap Personality disorder ideas were medically erroneous and, as we all know, the Personality Disorder mantra has victimized probably hundreds if not thousands of Honorable vets, since the Vietnam War.
But you did NOT accept that.

This statement sure affected me:

"After a while I started thinking maybe *I* was wrong, maybe my evidence was wrong, maybe my wife was wrong. It's hard to explain the self-doubt that comes along with just wanting a fair shake and having someone admit that what happened to you was a mistake and was wrong."

I know exactly what you mean and am sure many others here do too.. Even when I knew I had the right evidence, medically and/or legally ,.doubts would creep in and I would even doubt that the regulations themselves said what I thought they said.

It has become an systemic and disgraceful part of the system ...that the VA doesn't want us to know the regulations, or our rights, and they don't really want us to fight back.

I commend you for using your military experience (you were taught to fight) to win this War of the Words that your claim truly became.

When I say VA I often mean the ROs.....I feel that the BVA definitely knows how to read and often that is the only place a vet can get a fair shake and have ALL of their evidence properly considered.

You did VERY well with your claims ..and .please thank the wife for her help.....enjoy that retro when it arrives and by all means, if you think the retro is wrong appeal that and meantime, stay will us here! We always need encouraging Success stories like yours!




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  • Our picks

    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
      • 5 replies
    • I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
      You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

      You all made that possible. Thank you.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Help HadIt.com stay online buy a subscription
      If you can afford it and want to help hadit.com consider buying a subscription this gives you as free viewing of the site and allows me to budget in subscription payments.
       

      You can try it for 1 month for $5 or get a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.

      Subscribe here https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/
      • 1 reply
    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
        • Like
      • 8 replies
    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
        • Like
      • 9 replies
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