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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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    • 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 was proposed to be incompetent, so I presented all the evidence possible to convince the V.A. that although my injuries are extensive; I am competent.

I waited for about 1 1/2 years for the V.A. to decide that I am in fact able to handle may own affairs and rate me "competent". According to the letter I am rated as competent and I shall continue to receive my full payment. However, I have not received any back payment or retroactive payment. When I called the Hot Line they told me that it will take between 10-45days to process. It is now 97days later and I still have not seen any action taken by the V.A.. As I continue to call them, they state that I do rate a large sum for my retroactive pay but, no one knows who to contact. I am at a loss.

I don't know who to contact to get this moving or why it is taking them so long. Does anyone have experience with this.....?   I really just want to pay the bills that stacked up while I could not work and had no way of paying..... I am not trying to build a savings account. Please anyone advise.

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I am talking out my butt a bit...however if it were me and barring any future better answers (which i am sure will come).

I would write a letter to the Director of the Regional Office that is handling your claims.  Make sure to copy it and send the copy and send it certified mail with return receipt so there is proof you sent it (and what date you sent it) and that they got it (and what date they got it).

I would compile all your evidence and dates relating to this such as...

1) decision later and date they proposed you were incompetent

2) decision letter and date they decided you were competent.

3) copy of the hot line if possible, if not the date you called them.

I would basically write.

Dear Mr. ______,

I am writing this letter today to request that the payments held in fiduciary trust during my determination of competency be released to me immediately.   It was on (DATE) that the VA originally informed me of a determination as to my competency to handle my own financial affairs; it was from this date until (DATE), 18 months later that I was found competent.  During this time my entitlement of (%) was held in fiduciary trust with the VA and has, as of (todays date) not been released to myself.  As can be expected, during the time my entitlement was withheld by the VA in trust I was unable to pay most if not any of my bills, many of which are become very late and continuing to accrue interest and penalties.  Due to this I called the VA Hotline (list number) on (Date) and inquired as to when these funds would be released.  i was informed it would take between "10-45 days".  As of todays date, (date), this is now the 97th day since i called the hotline and the (days since decision)th day since the decision letter regarding my being competent to handle my own financial affairs was received by myself.  Due to financial strains that were incurred during this time i request that these funds be released

 

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I would think in your case, a call or E-mail to Allison Hickey is in order.

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I would think in your case, a call or E-mail to Allison Hickey is in order.

that might be a good call.  given the NEED to get this done, and the failure to do it on time probably would warrant an email to her so she can kick the RO in the butt

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I was proposed to be incompetent, so I presented all the evidence possible to convince the V.A. that although my injuries are extensive; I am competent.

I waited for about 1 1/2 years for the V.A. to decide that I am in fact able to handle may own affairs and rate me "competent". According to the letter I am rated as competent and I shall continue to receive my full payment. However, I have not received any back payment or retroactive payment. When I called the Hot Line they told me that it will take between 10-45days to process. It is now 97days later and I still have not seen any action taken by the V.A.. As I continue to call them, they state that I do rate a large sum for my retroactive pay but, no one knows who to contact. I am at a loss.

I don't know who to contact to get this moving or why it is taking them so long. Does anyone have experience with this.....?   I really just want to pay the bills that stacked up while I could not work and had no way of paying..... I am not trying to build a savings account. Please anyone advise.

This seems like the exact type of situation in which an email to Undersecretary Allison Hickey is appropriate and likely to get a result. Send an email to allison.hickey@va.gov explaining exactly what you have said here. You will probably get a response from someone in here office within a week. Please let us know how this turns out.

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I took the advice you have given and sent a e-mail to Allison Hickey but also, CC'ed the Regional Director, and my congressman. I am tired of the lies that are feed to us regularly. And recently, they do not even reply to me when I write to IRIS. So, I informed her of that as well.

I did want to say Thank you all for the advice. I will let you know if she replies or anything comes of this...

Thank you

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      I submitted my claim to the VA in September 2015 and the VA increased my original rating effective August of 2016.  The amount of retroactive pay due based on the dates described has not been received.  In April of 2018 after contacting the USCG PPC (RAS) office (by phone) I was informed (by email) that the Audit Error Worksheet (AEW) was completed and sent to the VA Central Office on April 10, 2017 and was told that the VA Central Office is working on the files we sent them in February 2017.  The email I received described the following AEW process.
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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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