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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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Question

Does anyone know or they themselves ever received assistance through Voc Rehab for self employment? I need specific information... I would greatly appreciate anyone's help and I am going to share what I find after reviewing Board of Veterans Appeals Decisions in regards to the matter. Maybe no one ever has?

§21.257   Self-employment.

(a) Approval of self-employment as a vocational goal. A program of vocational rehabilitation benefits and services may include self-employment for an individual if VA determines that such an objective is a suitable vocational goal. VA will make this determination based on—

(1) The results of the individual's initial evaluation conducted in accordance with the provisions of §21.50; and

(2) The provisions of this section.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104(a))

(b) Definition. For purposes of this subpart, individuals with the most severe service-connected disability(ies) who require self-employment means individuals who have been determined by VA to have limitations affecting employability arising from the effects of each individual's service-connected disability(ies), which are so severe as to necessitate selection of self-employment as the only reasonably feasible vocational goal for the individuals.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104)

(c) Scope of self-employment benefits and services. (1) VA may provide the self-employment services listed in paragraph (d) of this section to program participants who are pursuing the vocational goal of self-employment.

(2) VA may provide the more extensive services listed in paragraph (e) of this section to individuals with the most severe service-connected disability(ies) who require self-employment.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104(a))

(d) Assistance for other individuals in self-employment. Subject to the provisions of §21.258, VA may provide the following assistance to any individual for whom self-employment is determined to be a suitable vocational goal—

(1) Vocational training;

(2) Incidental training in the management of a business;

(3) License or other fees required for self-employment;

(4) Necessary tools and supplies for the occupation; and

(5) Services described in §21.252.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104(a))

(e) Special self-employment services for individuals with the most severe service-connected disability(ies) who require self-employment. Individuals described in paragraph (b) of this section who are in a self-employment program may receive—

(1) The services described in paragraph (d) of this section; and

(2) The assistance described in §21.214.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104, 3116, 3117)

(f) Feasibility analysis of a proposed self-employment business plan. VA will conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the feasibility of a proposed business plan, as submitted by the individual or developed with VA's assistance, prior to authorizing a rehabilitation plan leading to self-employment (a “self-employment plan”). The feasibility analysis must include—

(1) An analysis of the economic viability of the proposed business;

(2) A cost analysis specifying the amount and types of assistance that VA will provide;

(3) A market analysis for the individual's proposed services or products;

(4) Availability of financing from non-VA sources, including the individual's personal resources, local banks, and other sources;

(5) Evidence of coordination with the Small Business Administration to secure special consideration under section 8 of the Small Business Act, as amended;

(6) The location of the site for the proposed business and the cost of the site, if any; and

(7) A training plan to operate a successful business.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104)

[75 FR 3170, Jan. 20, 2010]

§21.258   Cost limitations on approval of self-employment plans.

A self-employment plan with an estimated or actual cost of less than $25,000 may be approved by the VR&E Officer with jurisdiction. Any self-employment plan with an estimated or actual cost of $25,000 or more must be approved by the Director, VR&E Service.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3104)

[75 FR 3170, Jan. 20, 2010]

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      Will Voc Rehab set my BAH to 3x the studio rent for the area so I can get an apartment? I can hear you laughing now, I've dealt with the VA, I know the answer is probably "Yeah sure, when pigs fly."
      Thanks for any help!
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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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