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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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QUESTION: How can I be absolutely sure I get a copy of my COMPLETE medical records from 1972-1975?

2013, I requested and actually DID receive SOME medical records (I did not know they were incomplete) from NPRC.

2014, I requested(*see attached) medical records from 1972-end of 1975, and got this response from the NPRC:

"ORIGINAL MEDICAL RECORD NEEDED TO ANSWER YOUR INQUIRY IS NOT IN YOUR FILES; THAT MEDICAL RECORD IS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA)"

Attached are the TWO NPRC responses to the TWO medical requests that were just under one year apart. In one case I received information, and in the most recent case I was told it does NOT exist at NPRC. Please understand that my mind is racing with "WTF!", anger, puzzlement, etc. Understanding that the records I am requesting are over 40yr old and existed with the NPRC last year, how can they now be "missing"?

FWIW, my disability rating came in Dec 2013 (for a 1972 TBI) and the examiners had way more medical records information in front of them on their PCs than I had ever received after my 2013 request for that SAME information. Some of that EXTRA medical records that I did NOT receive, but the examiners had and used, actually DID help me in receiving my 50% rating, BUT I am lost, feeling that the records that have been kept from me, could and probably do, indicate I should have a much higher rating than what was awarded.

I am about ready to launch a letter writing campaign including several Congressmen, the VA Secretary, and others. Is THAT my next step?

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Edited by HorizontalMike (see edit history)
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The 2014 VBM should be out within the next 2-3 wks, as I just received my confirmation of my annual order, yesterday.

pr

THANK YOU!

You are a gentleman, a scholar, member of the Lake Wobegon Tribe, and a good vet!

Q: Do you think the 2014 VBM Book + CD/DVD would be a useful tool?

I know it is twice the price, but the ability to cut&paste off of the CD/DVD weighs heavily on my mind.

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Just noticed on eBenefits that the VA has just recognized my FOIA request for my C-File. Their estimate to completion is ~13months from today. I guess that kind of puts the brakes on getting any IMO/IME from ANYWHERE?

FWIW, I have an upcoming PCP appointment where I will finally be getting a referral back to the poly-trauma center TBI psychiatrists since my 50% TBI/Tinnitus disability is now in effect. Before the VA determination these TBI specialists kept playing my disability as just emotional, age, and diabetes related... and these are/were the "TBI specialists". That was apparently why I have been assigned a run-of-the-mill general psychiatrist thus far. I really get confused about this kind of situation, where VA TBI specialists cannot/do-not directly diagnose the TBI and its severity. They are leaving it to the C&P folks, and leaving you basically untreated/under-treated until a C&P declaration?

QUESTION: The VA hospital/clinics apparently do NOT have access to my military medical(STRs) records from the 1970s? Is that true?

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Just noticed on eBenefits that the VA has just recognized my FOIA request for my C-File. Their estimate to completion is ~13months from today. I guess that kind of puts the brakes on getting any IMO/IME from ANYWHERE?

FWIW, I have an upcoming PCP appointment where I will finally be getting a referral back to the poly-trauma center TBI psychiatrists since my 50% TBI/Tinnitus disability is now in effect. Before the VA determination these TBI specialists kept playing my disability as just emotional, age, and diabetes related... and these are/were the "TBI specialists". That was apparently why I have been assigned a run-of-the-mill general psychiatrist thus far. I really get confused about this kind of situation, where VA TBI specialists cannot/do-not directly diagnose the TBI and its severity. They are leaving it to the C&P folks, and leaving you basically untreated/under-treated until a C&P declaration?

QUESTION: The VA hospital/clinics apparently do NOT have access to my military medical(STRs) records from the 1970s? Is that true?

Well, it did not take an Act of Congress to get a referral by my PCP for a return visit to the TBI Clinic BUT...

IT DID TAKE AN ACT OF A CONGRESSMAN! And this is now the end of February 2015!

I ended up having to do the above when my PCP, lead Psychiatrist, and nurse all kept ignoring me. I attached my Rating letter to MyHealtheVet Secure Messaging, after finding that feature of the service. I also knew that my Secure Messaging mail was being posted as "Progress Notes" in my local VA Hospital medical records, so BINGO! This basically forced my local VHA to acknowledge my TBI Rating and need for services.

Just now going through meetings with the TBI Director and a TBI Psychiatrist. They are trying to deny me the ability to audio tape my treatment/therapy sessions, citing some unnamed VA policy. Problem is I went home got on the Internet and found the VHA Directive 1078(1) dated November 4, 2014, less than four months ago that I clearly states that audio recording treatment does not require employee permission, only patient permission. These doctors are not going to be happy about that at all. :smile:

Edited by HorizontalMike (see edit history)
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Hey Kelly,

As of mid-July2015, had an initial "unofficial" C&P and will get a cognitive assessment C&P before another DRO. All the OSA, MD, TBI, Tinnitis, and possibly Rhinitis, is going forward. That is THANKS to my "team" of lawyers(TWO) during my DRO on July6, 2015. It may only be a "team" of two lawyers but it sure feels good to have your SIX covered... 8-)

BTW, got my C-File. Looks like OSA, MD, TBI, Tinnitis, Rhinitis, etc... are actually IN my service record(1972), so things are looking up. THAT, and the fact that I got NEW meds for my TBI/MD have helped me see things in a better light of day have helped. Had to bitch and moan to finally get the poly-trauma center to see the light of day (AKA Congressman), but things are starting to happen. Being smart AND an ASS-hole is challenge. Not meant to be offensive, but truthful.

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Definitely send out mutliple requests to the NPRC. I have done around 4 or 5 of them over the years. Seems like each time, I get something new......kind of a surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks.

The VA didn't have my separation examination documents on file LOOOONG after they were supposed to have obtained them. The only document they had was a document I signed stating that I was opting "for" a separation physical examination to be conducted, which told me my memory was still halfway decent.

Unfortunately the VA had already rated me by the time I received my C-File and learned just how much was missing. So the request for records to the NPRC began and low and behold...after two tries I received my separation examination documents along with quite a few extra documents.

I'd hit them with requests every few months until you feel like you're only getting the same stuff back. Also, pour through your boxes of military gear and records. I found quite a few documents that the VA nor the NPRC had.

Good luck!

Mark

Edited by MarkInTexas (see edit history)
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UPDATE as of Dec 2015:

  • MY new (4th or 5th in ~3yr) Psychiatrist agreed to actually look at and read my NOD appeal and data!  After that I got on some new meds that appear to be helping me maintain... a good thing 8-).
  • I have been through 3 PCPs in less than a year, and will be trying my 4th PCP in Jan 2016.  These PCPs have a 'gawd complex, don't like to compensate for my mild short-term memory issues by allowing me to record my medical appointments, AND they don't want to work with my Psychiatrist and Polytrauma doctors.  Too much competition for them I guess...
  • Polytrauma now has me on hormone replacement therapy as well as PT.  This is much appreciated and helps me a lot.
  • LAST but not least... My TBI rating was increased from 40% to 70% AND I was granted 100% TDIU.  Still waiting on my lawyer to appeal retro-dates and to finalize the P&T portion of TDIU.  Also awarded "Dependents Educational Assistance" (under title 38, United States Code, Chapter 35).  According to VA testimony on TDIU (http://www.va.gov/OCA/testimony/svac/05102720.asp "...To be eligible for both of these benefits, the veteran’s IU determination must be considered permanent.  Permanency for eligibility to Chapter 35 and CHAMPVA requires that there not be a future examination scheduled..."

So it looks like after 40months after placing my 1st claim, I should get my 1st 100% monthly deposit!  :biggrin: 

And then after the retro-date gets fixed I'll be a happier camper, and so will my Claims Attorney because he gets 20% of that retro check!

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UPDATE as of Dec 2015:

  • MY new (4th or 5th in ~3yr) Psychiatrist agreed to actually look at and read my NOD appeal and data!  After that I got on some new meds that appear to be helping me maintain... a good thing 8-).
  • I have been through 3 PCPs in less than a year, and will be trying my 4th PCP in Jan 2016.  These PCPs have a 'gawd complex, don't like to compensate for my mild short-term memory issues by allowing me to record my medical appointments, AND they don't want to work with my Psychiatrist and Polytrauma doctors.  Too much competition for them I guess...
  • Polytrauma now has me on hormone replacement therapy as well as PT.  This is much appreciated and helps me a lot.
  • LAST but not least... My TBI rating was increased from 40% to 70% AND I was granted 100% TDIU.  Still waiting on my lawyer to appeal retro-dates and to finalize the P&T portion of TDIU.  Also awarded "Dependents Educational Assistance" (under title 38, United States Code, Chapter 35).  According to VA testimony on TDIU (http://www.va.gov/OCA/testimony/svac/05102720.asp "...To be eligible for both of these benefits, the veteran’s IU determination must be considered permanent.  Permanency for eligibility to Chapter 35 and CHAMPVA requires that there not be a future examination scheduled..."

So it looks like after 40months after placing my 1st claim, I should get my 1st 100% monthly deposit!  :biggrin: 

And then after the retro-date gets fixed I'll be a happier camper, and so will my Claims Attorney because he gets 20% of that retro check!

Never give up Mike.  If it's ok I'll congratulate you now.  I read no indication of you giving up or settling for less than what your medical records and evidence can prove.  Keep fighting, keep going, "fight till your last breath" good hunting and good fortune to you. Oh and good health as well.

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