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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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  • 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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Army man 2

Question about lower leg SMC K

Question

Just had Toe surgery Cheilectomy with plantarflexory bunion osteotomy and screw fixation right metatarso palflexory joint 

According to Code 5280 When the big toe points toward the second toe, a bunion can form on the outside of the big toe. If the bony bump is removed by surgery, then it is rated 10%. If it is so severe that it is as though the big toe had been amputated, then it is also rated 10%. Otherwise, it is not ratable.

This is what was told me the absolute maximum evaluation (with the exception of a temporary surgical or convalescence rating) for the foot is 40 percent.  Actually this is the maximum combined evaluation that can be assigned for all disabilities below the knee which includes the lower leg, ankle, and foot. 



 I was told the most VA give is 40% on the lower leg which consist of foot, ankle, and toe. In most cases when various disabilities reach the point that they combine to a 40 percent or greater evaluation they are all closed out and a single 40 percent is assigned under the diagnostic code for loss of use of the foot.  This 40 percent would also include smc "k"

Total rating is  VA Disability 90%


Current VA rating on right lower leg    

Right foot hallux valgus with hallux rigdus    0%        (This could be increase to 10% base on Code 5280)

Morton neuroma right foot              10%

right foot pes planus (also claimed as right foot arthritis       30%

degenerative joint disease right ankle                         10%


 If get at least 10% more for this foot surgery listed above then I will be at 30-10-10-10 meaning my right foot would be at 60%

So will they give me closed me out or continue to rank each items separated. Does anyone know for sure?

Edited by Army man 2

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20 minutes ago, Army man 2 said:

I was told the most VA give is 40% on the lower leg which consist of foot, ankle, and toe. In most cases when various disabilities reach the point that they combine to a 40 percent or greater evaluation they are all closed out and a single 40 percent is assigned under the diagnostic code for loss of use of the foot.  This 40 percent would also include smc "k"

I don't think this is true.  I believe smc k is awarded due to loss of use.  Also, the 40% rating  for lower leg cover's  everything below the knee.  So you could have a rating of 40% for peripheral neuropathy and 20% for chronic venous insufficiency.  The most you could receive would be limited to the 40% which would be paid if you had an amputation.  However I don't believe the rating alone qualifies you for a schedule k rating if you have continued use.

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If you are trying to get another 10% to go from 90 to 100, be advised that it takes 50 percent, or more, to go from 90 to 100%, because of the VA math and combined ratings table.  

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I will also add that if your reduced mobility due to your foot problems causes you to be unable to maintain substantial gainful employement, you can/should apply for TDIU, which would bring you to 100percent, and you could get SMC also for loss of use of foot.  

I have not seen many people going to work "hopping on one foot", so its possible or even likely that if you can not use your foot, then you could not work and be eligible for unemployablility.  

If you have some sort of job (dont ask me what job that would be) where you could work with only one foot, then that may not apply.  

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Have any of your Drs recommended seeing a VA MH professional regarding possible Depression? My lay readings and some of my personal experiences support the possibility of Chronic Pain conditions often causing a person to become to one degree or another, Depressed. If at some point down the road, an SC Secondary for Depression were DX'd, an IU Claim either Scheduler or Extra-Scheduler would be strengthened.

I don't think a major loss of use of 1 or both feet, would necessarily support an IU Award, think Sedentary work. Many wheelchair bound individuals earn well in excess of the VA's SGI cutoff for earned income ($12,400 under 65). VA Raters look at your education, work experience past and present, when deciding if a Sedentary Employment Denial is warranted.

Research the Pros of a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor's "Denial Letter," with respect to IU claims.

Semper Fi

 

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Thank you all for you responses Just a quick history of all this process.

I am presently at 90% rating but with 93% VA math I have 12 SC disability items with my lower leg area three disability items hook to it.

R/ankle 10

R/foot 30%

R/Foot morton 10%

if award another 10% for buinon removal from Surgery  Then I would be at 94% 

 If they only give me 40% over all my rating (Lower leg) it will go down or stay the same at 92.89%.

If I can get rated at 10% more I would be at 94% very closer to 100%.

I have four more disabilities in a deferred status with one with a good chance of get 10% or more.   I rather not have a SMC K at this time but I have been constant told that if my disability rate keep going up on my lower leg VA will stop it at 40% 

Right know (Lower Leg Only) I have 30-10-10 it equal out to 43% at 40% but with another 10% added to it will be 48% at 50%

Thank

 

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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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