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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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Bigkevo44

Camp Lejeune Horror Story

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Wow that is Great News ...another Camp Le Juene award......

Were you employed when the decision was made? If not did the VA make any statement as to why they did not consider TDIU?

It is why they went no higher than 70%, explained in the award, that has to be overcome, with evidence.

Do you get SSDI, and if so is that solely for the SC condition?

You are right about the IMO and I bet it was very thorough.

Have you consider getting another one ,if you do file for TDIU?

I would file for TDIU if I were you, and also file a timely NOD referring to the TDIU app in the NOD.But I would like to read some input from others on that, if they gave a reason for not considering TDIU.

I assume they did not enclose a TDIU application with the 70% award????

This is encouraging to know that Camp Le Juene vets are having some success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Berta,

No I wasn't officially employed at the time of my award except for as a very part time Uber driver. No, I don't receive SSDI yet, its on appeal. I'm planning to get another IMO from my doctor.

The VA's statement says "The overall evidentiary record shows that the severity of your disability most closely approximates the criteria for a 70 percent disability evaluation... A higher evaluation of 100 percent is not warranted for bipolar disorder unless the evidence shows total occupational and social impairment, due to such symptoms as:

Listed...

The decision represents a grant that is considered to be a full and final determination of this issue on appeal.

Please advise...

Bigkevo

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You certainly can appeal that with another IMO,if you feel your conditions show the Total occupational and social impairment criteria , and if an IMO doc will agree with a strong medical rationale.But if you consider that route, it would be great if the doctor would also state that your condition is Total and Permanent -with a full medical rationale for that.

I thought they might not have made the statement they made, and that would have been a CUE.

The doc would need the rating schedule that applies to all mental conditions..in our link to the VA Schedule of ratings here..Meantime I assume the SSDI is aware of the 70% SC..and if they solely award for the SC bipolar, make sure VA knows of that award right away and if the SSDI EED is more favorable than your TDIU filing date, you might be granted the SSDI favorable EED....there is info here under search as to how that works.

Personal example...my husband filed for PTSD and a Stroke with SSDI.1992. They awarded for the Stroke only.SSDI 1993

(stroke was NSC per VA but subsequently became 'as if' SC under 1151 (Malpractice) He was 30% SC for PTSD at that time.

We filed reconsideration with evidence and they then awarded SSDI solely for PTSD back to his last day of employment.1991 (less than a year prior to his stroke)1993

In a posthumous award 3 years after his death the VA finally granted him 100% SC P & T for PTSD, with the 1991 EED that SSA gave him.It was an accrued benefit award to me because he was dead for 3 years by then.

I had significant evidence they ignored right off the bat so this was not an easy claim but I knew the evidence would speak for itself, and I even got his shrink to explain it to them.The award came mere weeks after I went over to the Bath VAMC to see his shrink.He immediately sent them a letter and then they learned fast how to read.

Make sure the VARO has ALL of your psychiatric records.The VA used minimal records from his former PTSD doctor who was the VA  employee counselor,but when they moved him to the real VA PTSD doc ,those records and the significant testing he did, were extremely probative to the claim.

SSA used all of those VA records but somehow VA ignored the same records completely.or the MF showed up (MF   the mysterious force I know very well who is employed by the Buffalo VARO)

We did talk to a SSA lawyer,when we filed the reconsideration request,  who told me there was no way he could help us. He said the recon request I prepared with all of the evidence for it .....would faiI.

I called the lawyer up a few months later to tell him he lost over 4,000 bucks that day.

The recon retro SSDI was around 17 thousand dollars.Make sure your lawyer has every medical record they need.

 

 

Edited by Berta

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Thanks a lot Berta,

That was so truly valuable information and advice. I'll let you know how I make out.

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Hi Berta,

The strangest thing happened to me today that I want to get your opinion on. Once I was service connected at 70%, I put in a claim for IU. Actually I put that claim in about three months before I received my decision. However, once I received the good news, I immediately applied for the Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance policy for $10,000. The premium amount on the paperwork was for a different amount than what I received in the mail. So, I called them and was informed that my premium had been waived and paid by the VA because of my 100% P&T status. They said it went into effect from my last day of work which was March 16, 2015. I was shocked to say the least, so I hung up and called back to speak to another representative; same answer...WOW!

The problem is that it isn't reflected on eBenefits at all. Moreover, when I called the VA and spoke with the representative there, she stated that she still sees the 70% rating and upon closer look can't see whether a determination has been made yet. This is confusing to say the least. Both this representative and eBenefits says that a determination should be made sometime around May 2017. I haven't supplied any new evidence as of yet to the VA for IU...could this be an error on their part.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Bigkevo44

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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. 
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      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..

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      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.  

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    • "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".  
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