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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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asknod

Rebutting VA's 2004 FAST Letter on HCV/jetguns

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If any of you need definitive evidence for VA claims concerning Hepatitis C and the possibility of infection via a jetgun, I received rather damning evidence useful to your claim submission. 

https://asknod.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/jetguns-dont-kill-people-but-just-in-case/

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and thank you for being so selfless as to be willing to serve your country. Many hear the call. Some listen. 3% sign the line and raise their hand. I salute you.

Alex sends

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About 10 years ago, I got a Certified letter from the VA that I needed to be screened for Hep C due to the use of air-guns in bootcamp. I have kept that notice in my file ever since. I just thought it was odd that the VA would send out that notice when I knew that they were fighting it at the same time.

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In the years 1999-2005, VA vigorously tested Vets in the VAMC system for HCV  but did not tell them if they were positive. Many of the Vets I helped have retrieved old records via their VAMC ROI showing the lab tests entered into the VISTA VA medical computer. You don't need a FOIA to obtain this stuff. They were dumbfounded VA wouldn't have told them of the results so as to obtain treatment. Do I make myself clear? That's why it took me 21 years to win. This is a cake walk nowadays with a good nexus. We know so much more now because of people like Theresa who gave birth to this. I doubt any of you would even know who Carlie was without these boards.

While I got my service connection via a transfusion, I'm pretty sure the potential for the jetgun to crossinfect was a far greater risk for all Veterans of that era. Statistics are steady that Vietnam era Vets were 10% more likely to have HCV than their civilian counterparts. When narrowed down to actual Vietnam Vets physically stationed in-country for a year or more, the odds increased exponentially to 67% of  the in-country troops over the ten years (1965-75) studied. This was based on 187,000 Vets both living and dead, identified as having HCV in the survey.  

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I sometimes wonder why I did not get hep, while others did.  I recall them using the jetgun on us, actually I forgot how many times.  We were never told what the shot was for, and we were not even allowed to ask.  We lined up, and the medic went by and shot the Vets, one after another.  I had a buddy who I called "Olsen".  He and I lined up together, as we were usually hanging out.  

If I was forced to have another persons blood injected into me without testing, it would have been him.  Im sure thats pretty much what happened as they figured out one drop of blood was often left in the tip, and was injected into the next troop.  

If the guy ahead of you did not have hep, you probably would not get it either.  I didnt get hep.  I see an all new meaning when my parents said,  "Choose your friends wisely, you tend to become like them".  

 

 

 

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HCV behaves differently in each of us.  Some folks get it, and can fight it off, clear it out of their system, and only leave an antibody to show it was there.  Cured, permanently.

Others can have it for life, with only minor affect.

Still others get liver failure.

I had it for well over 20 years.  Nobody has a clue how long, but the liver biopsy showed lvl 2 stage 2 damage, half way to cirrhosis more or less.  VA got me treated with the new drugs, now they say its undetectable.  Probably get retested again In a year or so to validate that, but hope that my liver gets better now.

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    • By asknod
      Check it out. Squid finally wins his claim. We've been working on this since early 2008. VA said they "seemed to have misplaced the 1986 c-file" that used to be in San Diego when he filed in Sioux Falls in 2010. 
      https://asknod.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/bva-squidleyone-joins-the-pt-club/
      We went in loaded for bear and did it in one trip to the BVA with a remand to get it right.  Sioux Falls VA tried the  Rocks/paper/scissors game with Registered Nurse beats MD gastroenterologist . The VLJ didn't see it that way.  
    • By Vync
      Hello everyone,
      I just got a letter in the mail and don't quite know what to make of it. Hopefully you guys can help.

      For the first time in my life I gave blood. I was always denied because I lived in Europe during the early 1990's, during the BSE/Mad Cow Disease time period. They recently relaxed that restriction to people living there for four or more years during a certain time period, but I lived there only 3.5 years during that time. The first time I gave blood was about three months ago and then again a couple of weeks ago. Today, I get a letter in the mail from the organization where I gave blood. This is what it says:


      Then they go on to say that I cannot donate any more blood for at least six months, and then I would have to also have to test negative to ChLIA too.

      I thought to myself about risk factors:
      - Never used drugs
      - No tattoos
      - No piercings
      - Mother and father are both negative to HCV
      - Married more than once
      - No STD history
      - Had several surgical procedures (one in the military), but never administered any blood
      - Was given only the first of three Hepatitis C vaccine shots. Did not need the other two because I was transferred and never deployed to combat
      - When taking cholesterol-reducing statins, like Lipitor, it jacked up my liver and I had to stop taking them
      - Never previously tested positive for HCV, but don't think I was ever tested for HCV antibodies

      Then I thought back to something I read on here a while back. What about the immunization auto-injectors when I joined the military? In 1990, I was processed in at the MEPS center at Maxwell AFB, AL, and went to Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, SC. I would have to dig through my records to be sure where, but I remember us walking down the assembly line and getting immunization after immunization with those air injector guns and having blood drooling down my arm just like everyone else ahead and behind me.

      Should I go to the doctor and get further testing?

      I'm already 100% P&T. If I do end up being confirmed positive, would there be any benefits of filing a claim for it?

      Thanks
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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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