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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    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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  • 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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  • Our picks

    • 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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Question

I am seeking help on what to do going forward. I retired from the AF in 1999 and recieved Service Connected disability for hearing tinnitus 10%, hiatal hernia gastroesphageal reflux disease 10%, gegenerative changes left knee 10%, degenerative changes right knee 10%, status post left acromioclavicular separation (shoulder) 20%. In April 2014 I apllied for an increase and requestioned evaluation that my conditions have worsened over 15 years. I have severe osteoarthritis in both my hips and am scheduled for surgery this coming Friday to do hip replacement on my left hip which is the source of constant pain and I have fallen several times in recent months. I have been seeing an othopedic doctor for 2 and a half years for that condition and not willing to have surgery until recently. I can hardly walk now and it has been awhile (2 years) since I could even put on my socks and shoes without the help of my wonderful wife who is a registered nurse and works for a different orthopedic doctor but none-the-less she is well versed in ortho medicine. The VA sent me to a QTC doctor who examined me and I wasn't very happy with his exam in which he stated there was no X-ray evidence of any osteoarthritis and when he told me to squat and lifet my legs in the exam I was unable to do those tasks and he reported to the VA I refused to do Range of Motion measurements. I receivedy reponse from the VA Yesterday and they denied any increase and also denied that my bilateral hip condition is secondary to my SC knees. I am quite certain my gait and pain from my knees has aggravated my hips over the 15 years since I was initially awarded bilateral knee degenerative. I have asked for a nexus letter from the surgeon who is going to do my surgery on Friday stating my knee condition has more likely than not aggravated my hip condition. I was told by my VSO we can submit additional information in response to my claim denial. My question or what I need help with is trying to determine if I should also get my wife to submit a nexus letter as a medical professional and close observer of my worsening condition over 15 years. How is it possible to prove my knees have aggravated my hip condition. Does the civilian doctor's letter change anything. I am usually an optimist and I won't give up and I would appreciate any advise anyone out there can provide to help me. I want to know if I will be eleigble for temporary disability since the VA has already denied my hip is not SC to my knees. How could they not be? By the way I wondered if I submitted pictures fo the kind of acitivity my military job as an aircraft crew chief maintenance mechanic would carry any weight. The job (22 years) of repetitive squatting, kneeling, climbing, bending, twisting on hard surfaces such as concrete, aircraft surfaces and pushing and pulling heavy ground equipment and carrying additional weight like tool boxes and test equipment didn't take it's toll on my hips whethre it began to show up as a problem about 4 years ago. I have also had four or five injections for my left hip and both knees over the past 4 years. Thanks you yoou all for your own sacrifices and service to our great nation.

NEVER GIVE UP!

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A good IME OR IMO from a out side Dr. as well as the photos should be help full to support your claim..jmo

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I totally agree with Jerrel.

You need the IME report and IMO from your orthopedic surgeon. Although it will not carry as much weight as medical evidence, a statement in support of claim from your wife might be helpful since she has witnessed your medical conditions worsen over time. In my opinion, your wife's statement should be given more weight due to her experience as an orthopedic nurse. Just curious, was the doctor who conducted your orthopedic exam an orthopedic specialist or a general medicine doctor? My last two C & P exams for cancer (multiple myeloma) and a neurological condition were conducted by a nurse practitioner rather than an oncologist and a neurologist.

Definitely submit the photos any any other documentation you can get your hands on that describes the physical requirements and demands of the aircraft crew chief maintenance mechanic. Perhaps a written job description if it lists the physical demands. JMO

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

  • Like 1

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  • Similar Content

    • By DonaldANG
      I originally filed a claim for bilateral hearing loss for both my left and right ear, but 2 years ago was only awarded Service Connection for my Left Ear, but only at 0%. The VA said that it was at 0% due to my Right Ear being at normal hearing at the time of my hearing test. But I just now filed a claim for an increase in my Left Ear hearing loss. I went for another C&P hearing exam. I told the Hearing Doctor that now my Right Ear was getting bad too and could she test me for hearing loss in my right ear this time. When the test was all over she told me that I did have some Right Ear hearing loss this time, but it was no where near as bad as my Left Ear. So I left there thinking I would be awarded something for my Right Ear now that the Hearing Test showed Right Ear hearing loss. But on Ebenefits it still shows Not Service Connected. How can you have your left ear service connected for hearing loss and not your right ear, if you were exposed to an explosion? It doesn't make any sense. That was the whole reason they service connected my Left Ear to begin with. Now that the hearing exam shows hearing loss in my Right Ear, the VA gives the excuse that my Right Ear hearing loss isn't Service Connected, because whenever they originally tested my Ears 2 years ago for my original claim the hearing exam didn't show any Right Ear hearing loss. But everyone knows that Hearing Loss can occur many years after the fact. My Dad served in Vietnam and was exposed to explosions on a daily basis, but he didn't show any immediate signs of hearing loss for decades. It wasn't until the last few years that we've noticed his hearing getting worse, and so now he filed a VA claim and was awarded for Hearing Loss and that was from back in 1969. So Hearing Loss doesn't have to happen overnight. Just because I didn't have it 2 years ago, but I now do, doesn't mean it isn't being caused from the same explosions from whenever I was in the service and what caused my Left Ear hearing loss. Has anyone else been through anything like this before? Any suggestions as to what I might be able to do to help? Thanks.
    • By ROMAD
      I submitted a claim for Sinusitis, OSA,, and Tinnitus. My claim was denied for all 3. 
      The tinnitus they claim was neither occurred in nor was caused by service. My job on active duty exposed me to gun fire, explosions, tanks, and tracked vehicles. I submitted the Duty Noise Exposure Spreadsheet that displayed my AFSC was rated as highly likely to be exposed to loud noise. In the first Exam they claimed I said my hearing loss was from jets flying overhead. Never said that, so they scheduled a second exam. This one they acknowledged the correct job but I was still denied. The evidence listed on the second decision dd not include the MOS Noise exposure chart I included on the first claim. I never went to sick call for ringing ears because that is just silly (had I known then) and was not something you did. I have had quiet office jobs since separating from The Air Force. What am I missing?
      For the OSA claim, I submitted Lay statements from my current wife and my ex-wife as well as explained to the doctor my symptoms and  that when I was on Active Duty i had no idea sleep apnea was a thing. I assumed I just snored and was tired because I was working hard. I had a sleep study this past year and was deemed to have severe OSA.  In my claim I listed that I believed my osa was related to my cluster headache disability. They responded Cluster headaches do not cause OSA even if there are many people with cluster headaches and also OSA.  I experienced a stuffy nose during my headaches  on the left side. This was completely different from the closing of my airway when I would sleep. It was just worst if both occurred at the same time. They claimed I have other risk factors such as being male, obesity, and advancing age. Something I did not include in my claim was the fact that I was on the Fat Boy program at one point on Active Duty and my SMR made a reference to obesity. Would this help support my claim. Also in the second decision they said I was a 73 year old male and I am no where near 73 so they probably mixed my records with someone else. What can I do about this?
      And Sinusitis, I have a couple diagnosis in my SMR's specifically listing sinusitis. I have had sinus issues since I was on Active Duty. I use a Netti Pot and have been diagnosed post active duty with sinusitis. The DBQ from the QTC Medical  Doc claims I have rebound sinusitis because I mentioned using Afrin. I have always been aware of the danger of over use and in my VA records I discussed this concern whenever the VA would prescribe a nasal spray. What am I missing and how can I get this  corrected. The errors on the 2 decisions make it seem as if they are not very organized and I have to suffer from their disorganization. Are they supposed to review all of the evidence from the initial claim when you submit a supplemental, or should I have resubmitted all  the documents from the initial claim. Are the documents that contain research that supports your claim supposed to be on the evidence list as well? They were not on there and if they did not give those documents equal consideration what is my recourse. Any assistance would be appreciated Thanks for listening.
       
    • By weep4souls
      Does anyone know an IME in the San Antonio area?  San Antonio is known as Military City USA. It would be sad not to have some here.
    • By RangerWife
      My husband was just denied SC for hearing loss and tinnitus. I would have expected 0% hearing loss for left ear and 10% tinnitus. I attached the C&P resultsAudiology DBQ.docx - it seems to me like the audiologist contradicts herself in her rationale - or maybe I am just confused? But overall it does seem to say he has tinnitus and its linked to service? Not sure what to think of this. Any insight would be appreciated!
      Thank you!
       
       
    • By Al329
      Hi,
      Asking any vet in the Richmond, Va area for doctor recommendations.
      I was diagnosed by my audiologist with hearing loss and tinnitus. I'm in the process of gathering all my paperwork to file a claim. Problem is this doc doesn't want to write up a letter for me.

      Sorry if it sounds excessive...this would be my first VA claim I have filed. I figured if I submit as much as possible...less likely to get denied?

      So any help would be appreciated!
      Tks
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  • Our picks

    • 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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