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Couple Of General Questions Regarding Nod


10mtnvet
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Hi guys first post here just wanted to bounce a couple general things off you to see if I am heading in the right direction I hope this doesn't come out like a word salad so bear with me I'll try to get all the relevant information out there.

I was medically retired in June and just received my final ratings 90% VA 70% Army

??? I have found several errors in my VA ratings and am planning on filing an NOD appealing about 12 rating decisions either for increase or inclusion. The VSO at the Richmond VA said don't file until all of the paperwork is all together and submit it all at once. Is this good advice?

??? I informed the VSO that I would like to file for IU since I cannot work mainly due to Migraines and PTSD. When I told her I had been on SSDI for almost two year she said that was enough she would just send in my award letter and we would be good to go. This sounded too good to be true to me it just made too much sense. So she sent off the request for IU on 1/09/15. I recieved a letter in the mail from the VA yesterday stating that they need additional evidence from me. It is dated January 27th but has no indication of what evidence for what claim. It's very strange just 9 generic pages about submitting more evidence. I assume since I have my final ratings that this is in regards to my IU claim. How can I find out for sure what this is about?

??? I have downloaded all of the DBQs for all of the conditions that I am appealing. Initially I thought this was a no brainer since I have tricare and medicare part A and B and VA care. I was wrong I cannot seem to find a physician in the Richmond area that will fill one of these damned things out. Where should I go for additional medical evidence?

??? I called the OIF/OEF coordinator at the Richmond VA and said that I wanted a couple new C/P exams based on the fact that since I was in IDES my C/Ps were done nearly two years BEFORE my actual retirement date. I explained my stance that since the VA is supposedly rating me on my disabilities acquired in service it would not be relevant to use exams 2 years prior to my separation date. He informed me that I cannot as a patient request C/P exams the VA has to do it. Again how am I supposed to get new medical evidence if they wont evaluate me? The only thing I can think of is to request treatment for everything I want to appeal. This seems asinine to me as I know some of the things there is nothing that they can do it is what it is. But is this somewhat backdoor approach to medical evidence my only option??

Thanks again guys I really appreciate any help

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Is the SSDI solely for established service connected conditions?

If so that is great evidence for TDIU.

"Again how am I supposed to get new medical evidence if they wont evaluate me? The only thing I can think of is to request treatment for everything I want to appeal."

That is a good idea because VA expects continuous treatment records for anything they service connect anyhow..

C & Ps can be a few years old by the time VA gets to them for a claim but other medical information in the med recs can overcome that or they can ordered more current C & Ps.

QTC C & P exam results are not released by the RO ,with a request from the vet, until the claim is decided.

Copies of C & Ps done at a regular VAMC can be requested from their Privacy Act or Records access officer.

"But is this somewhat backdoor approach to medical evidence my only option??"

No, you can get an independent medical opinion on the ratings you disagree with but still the IMO doctor will need to see treatment records from the last C & P results.

"It is dated January 27th but has no indication of what evidence for what claim. It's very strange just 9 generic pages about submitting more evidence. I assume since I have my final ratings that this is in regards to my IU claim. How can I find out for sure what this is about?"

Your VSO should know. Are you on ebenefits? that is another way to find out.

Or you can send them an IRIS request.
Go to http://www.va.gov/, click on the "CONTACT US" thing in the upper right hand corner of their main page, then click on Ask a question.

I suggest you ask them for email reply and not phone call reply.

I would ask them what claim the letter is for ( tell them the alphanumeric code in Refer to: on the letter , and also ask them to confirm if they have received your SSDI award letter.

Did the VSO give you a TDIU form 21-8940 to fill out and send in ( or did VA send you one)?

If not here it is:
http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8940-ARE.pdf
On Question 19 check yes and then refer them to additional info and tell them that your VSO sent in your SSDI award already.

Va will not handle TDIU requests until they get the TDIU form.

Also I strongly suggest that you go to the VA schedule of Ratings link here at hadit.....about midway down the link they have the ratings for every disability and the evidence needed to support those ratings.

It is the best way to determine how your evidence should fit into a higher rating, if that is ,in fact ,the case.

Personally I feel TDIU claims are easier for VA to handle then multiple issue claims.

If the SSDI is SOLELY for any established SCs you have now, that would garner you TDIU......

well SHOULD garner you TDIU..... one never knows what BS VA might pull.

SSDI awards also can help with a favorable EED sometimes, one year more EED prior to the TDIU filing date but that info gets too far ahead of what you are dealing with now.

I stress the word SOLELY because an SSDI award that involves both SC and NSC issues is not considered evidence of TDIU due to SC by the VA.

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Thanks for the input I will definitely look into the IMO. I also am going to track down a different VSO than the one I have now.

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10M: What Berta Said! I was awarded IU 06/14 after being 90SC since about 2011. Inferred IU denied 09/12, NOD filed 4 days later. Lucked out at a DRO hearing from a 2010 NOD, DRO agreed to address my 12 NOD for IU because I decided to go "Informal Hearing" rather than the scheduled Official Hearing which would have been recorded and transcribed.

My research, somewhat extensive regarding IU, indicates that if your SSDI Award is largely due to your VA SC conditions, that's good. When a VA rater is informed that a Vet has been awarded SSDI, the rater must review the SS file. With SSDI, unlike VA Comp awards, it's all or nothing. There is no % degree of disability, you either are or aren't disabled.

The VA will attempt to determine if you are able to earn "Substantially Gainful Employment Income," currently about $12,400.00 per year for 1 person under 65 yrs old. If you have the education and or can be retrained to earn in excess of that amount, you could have a problem. The SSDI evidence is helpful but does not guarantee an IU award. A 70% PTSD Award goes a long way in indicating you are probably IU. The VA has a Vocational Rehab Dept located at your VARO. If you were to apply and a VA Voc Rehab councilor determined that your SC conditions precluded you from participating in the program, the Official Denial Letter issued by the Councilor, would seal the IU Deal. It did for me. The DRO said that was the best piece of evidence to present. A trained VA Employment Specialist (Usually Master's Degree) has indicated you are currently IU. Your good to go.

Semper Fi

Gastone

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