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    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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  • 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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    • 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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broncovet

How Much Does Your Ro Director Make?

Question

You will have to find out their name, but I know my directors name, and he made $161, 471, plus, of course benefits like retirement, health insurance 401k, eyeglasses, etc, etc, etc.

You can find yours here:

http://www.fedsdatacenter.com/federal-pay-rates/

If you talk to him/her on the phone, ask him/her if she got a pay raise from last years 161k per year. This is about 5 times more than a 100 percent disabled Vets 34,881 per year and about 8 times the 90% Vets 20,921 per year.

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Just as a side comment!

While I was researching a possible replacement for my wife's 10 year old Chevy,

I ran across some MSRP numbers, and added some numbers from vehicles we've owned over the years.

1967 "loaded" Camaro ~3,500

1968 Chevelle (Bought used, had been repaired 1,800, had several mfrs defects. Bad cam, bad crankshaft damper, bad engine mounts, had to modify carb.)

Previous original owner refused to transfer warranty, etc. Traded in for the 71 Camaro

1971 RS SS Camaro ~4,500

1976 Buick Regal with Hearst Hatches ~7,000 We put almost 150,000 miles on this one in the US and Germany! It would easily run at 95 mph hour after hour on the autobahn.

1981 Datsun 210 Wagon ~7,000

1989 Mazda MP3 Van ~14,000 210,000 miles when sold

1999 Mazda MX-5 ~19,000

2005 Impala SS ~35,000MSRP (We bought this at a very steep end of year discount, -9,000)

2008 Ford Ranger 2D Extended Cab ~18,500

2011 Ford Ranger 4D Extended Cab ~19,000

2016 Mazda MX-5 initial USA model ~32,000 (Just was looking)

Then, I looked at various cost of living numbers, salary & wages, real estate prices, etc.

When all was said and done. As we know, the rich got richer, and the middle class joined the ranks

of "the poor". Starting sometime in the 70's, the wages and salaries started to follow the governments

inflation figures, and previous raise percentages for the average workers, wage or salary dropped significantly.

The question then is what would you need to make today to be in the same general economic condition

that you might have been in in the early 70's.

A possible clue might be that the 2016 loaded Camaro has an MSRP around 40k,

as does the Impala SS. (~44k)

In the middle 70's with a pregnant wife, I experienced an almost overnight change in the cost of single family real estate in the

town I lived and worked. The average small home went from about 19,000 to 35,000 in less than four years!

Obviously, no employer, particularly a major corporation like I worked for, was going to even come close to matching

the actual COL changes. I ended up resigning, moving, and going to work for a defense contractor in aerospace engineering.

That worked well for about a decade. Then, it turned out that the company figured that you were there for the "long haul", and

started chipping away at the raises for non upper management.

The hand writing was there, so I eventually started working for various smaller aerospace contractors, as they won contracts.

A.O. eventually reared it's ugly head, so I ended up retiring early. Just before I retired, stock market related daily income was

actually equal or more than my salary for the same week! (Unfortunately, good days on the market get offset by bad days, so it

was not as lucrative as it sounds!

It looks like you would need to make ten times what you did in 1970 just to be "even" today!

As far as I can tell, the average is about five times.

Edited by Chuck75

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We dont hate you...in fact we appreciate your advice. Do you work with claims??

No, I just take care of the servers that run the programs that the VA uses. I have nothing to do with the code, so I can't help fix bugs in programming or flaws in design sadly. But I have worked with teams that support things like eBenefits and I've given them feedback based on what I've read here. It's had a small effect a few times, but not a lot.

And the VA denies claims by VA employees just as fast and as ruthlessly as anyone else's. And it's harder to get help from VA because so few VA employees have the special clearance to see my file. (This is designed to prevent a coworker from looking at confidential medical records.)

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The Director is more than likely a SES or GM-15 level employee with 30+ year in career service and started at the bottom of the career ladder. This person is solely accountable and responsible for hundreds of employees, facilities, operations, and logistics. He/She is equivalent to a company divisional COO, and with the commensurate experience and responsibility level. Are we saying we should demote these positions to a $30K a year pay level because we are unhappy with problems at the VA? The only result would be that the "good" managers (the ones that are effective and care) would leave in exodus to private industry where many would receive a pay increase for their commensurate level of experience. I find it odd that people have no problem with those that get paid millions to hit a stupid little dimpled ball, but call foul on those that started at the bottom and fairly worked their way to the top.

No, I am not happy with performance at the VA, but directing anger at individual VA employees (and contractors) only exasperates problems that are systematic in nature. Many of the problems are caused by thousands of regulatory statutes created by people outside of the VA, and those at the helm are simply trying to deal with the broken system they have been handed (and often get the blame when it fails). Reminds me of a scene from the movie "The Jerk" ...... "ITS THESE CANS, HE HATES THESE CANS"...... Yes, get rid of those directors that are incompetent, but don't demonize the salary and benefits that match the responsibility level.

Edited by danangmonkey
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Traditionally, a company that does not treat it's customers properly soon has none.

Unfortunately, the VA was/is considered a "sacred cow", and thus largely immune.

Ultimately, I have to blame politicians (Congress), since it's been quite obvious

(for decades, no less) that the VA was both underfunded and left on it's own.

It was so bad that the service orgs had to fight to help keep things from being even worse.

Regardless of what went on in the past - - -

We can not afford to act as the "world's policeman".

If and when we, as a nation, commit to battle, the idea of a limited conflict is a very poor one, and, at least in my opinion, self defeating.

The cost of war is so great that we must have a way to recoup the expense in lives and treasure.

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I Never truly understood the fact that most in Congress gets paid well above anyone else by the Federal Government .

Its Irrelevant where the $$ comes from and what program its allocated from obviously the $$ is there!

The Government is the same for All people or is it?, so why not make the veterans compensation1/4 close to the salaries in Congress or at least twice the amount us vets are getting.

Do the people in Congress that are very well compensated/or paid a high salary have to go through the worries like we veterans do about different things & VA taking away what they gives us in compensation of course they don't. opposed to what they get paid in salary is far and above more than any disable Veteran will ever get.

So does a good education take a better stand than the brave men/women as veterans who have fought and sacrifice the freedom for all?

jmo

....................Buck

Edited by Buck52

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    • 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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