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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

Question

I very much appreciate the Hadit Forums. It is an excellent resource of all Veteran's.

What I want to talk about is my experience with the Veteran's Administration. I served in the military from 1985 until 1988. Immediately after beginning basic training, I began having major back pain. However, I soldiered through it. Once I was in Berlin, it was discovered that I have Scheuermann's Kyphosis in my lumbar spine, spondylosis, and scoliosis.

I was sent to Frankfurt where they took lots of x-rays and built a back brace for me. For three long years I was in and out of aide stations and hospitals. Somewhere around four or five army physicians recommended over and over that my MOS be reclassified or that I be medically discharged. I was kept in my same MOS 11H (Heavy Anti-Armor Weapons Infantryman) for my entire active duty service

When I got close to ETSing, I was instructed to file a claim for my back issues with the VA. So like a naive good soldier I did. In May 1988, I had a medical exam and they took 23 x-tays. The conclusion (what for it). The VA see's no medical issues with your claimed back disability. CLAIM DENIED. Thus began my lovely journey with the VA and my local VARO. Over to past 28 years I've had a tremendous education about the VA, the VARO, and Title 38.

Why is it that we once had a sense of tremendous pride (which I still do) in serving our country and yet we all kind of lay down and take it when it comes to the VA? I know we all fight the good fight. My point is that we all need to fight the good fight on our terms, not the VA's. I believe we all believe that we have a sense of accomplishment when we file a claim that gets denied then we file an appeal, etc. etc... However, the same process the VA uses to fight against us is the same process we use to fight back.

I don't know about you, but that's not what I was taught or learned in basic training or during the rest of my service. In fighting an enemy, if they shoot at us we shoot back at them and both sides end up with many casualties. Sometimes them more than us. In the context of the VA, however, it's not as simple as just shooting back with appeals, quoting Title 38 or submitting citations with examples where the VA has approved others for the same claim that we are denied for.

I learned in basic training, that we must work as a team, we must support each other and Hadit helps us do that. What I believe MUST happen now, is that we must change our strategy. We must stop focusing on how long the claims or appeal process is and somehow get Congress to begin forcing the VA to do the right thing by us Veteran's. The how is the biggest battle as those of us who have communicated with our Congress person(s) are familiar with the "Thank you for your service" standard line and how much they "CARE" about Veteran's issues. We are all wise enough to know that they are just blowing smoke up our *sses. Look at the bigger picture here. Primaries, media, statements from Congressional members about the outrage of how the VA is treating its Veteran's. What has really changed?

Long story short (that's what we say after ALREADY telling a long story :unsure:) Anyway, what I want to say is that while the Hadit Forums are incredibly helpful, the MUCH bigger issue is that nothing in the VA is going change, until every Veteran actually declares war on the VA. I'm not talking about a physical war I'm talking about a legal war and a congressional war. Reading a feel good story about how the VA is changing this or that isn't helping us. Reading the Monday reports is just more smoke and mirrors. Remember everything we were taught in basic, remember all of the comradely we felt with our fellow soldiers, and if you fought in a real war, remember how much you relied on your team to have your back. And, let's figure out this thing (VA) as a team and come up with REAL solutions for every single Veteran.

Lets make "Leave No One Behind, Not on a Desert Trail, Not on a Jungle Trail, Not on a Paper Trail.™" a reality...

Thanks for listening and for having my back because I have yours too!

 

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This is incorrect:   "File an 1151 claim and you find out that the VA rules won't allow a veteran to hire an attorney until the denial of benefits reaches CAVC level." There are m

Sorry you got the short end of the stick while serving in the army. Filing a claim with the VA starts a different type of "war". They are VERY adversarial although they say veterans are give

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Sorry you got the short end of the stick while serving in the army.

Filing a claim with the VA starts a different type of "war".

They are VERY adversarial although they say veterans are given the benefit of the doubt with claims.

The VA can talk the talk, but they seldom walk the walk.

MONEY to fight the the VA because the deck is stacked against veterans which often requires hiring medical experts to dispute the outrageous assertions/arguments VAROs use when denying obviously legitimate, well-documented claims.

This is how I see it.

Edited by 63Charlie
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Thanks 63Charlie,

At least I finally got one of my claims approved after 26 years. Of course now I'm fighting the VA on backpay and CUE's.

I know right? Have you ever experienced a more adversarial organization than the VA? The benefit of the doubt is bogus. I believe the VA is told by the Secretary and our Congress, to do absolutely everything in their power to avoid paying claims. The money is specifically for Veteran's, yet they still fight us. And, what a huge SLAP in the face when they can spend $4 trillion to $6 trillion dollars of taxpayers money on wars, but would vote for an $8 billion dollar budget increase for us Veteran's.

There has to be a way for us to fight the VA. Yes, with money and there must be something that would really get their attention. I'm not an attorney, but I successfully sued five companies in the past (credit report issues) and won. So, there is something we Veteran's just haven't figured out yet, that will help all of us to win our battle(s) with the VA.

Obviously the media helps, can you say Phoenix VA Health Care System? And, then after the attention goes away, the VA goes right back to business as usual. I gave one suggestion (see below) to three of my congressional members, you can see one of their replies below. The other Senator wrote me back about gun control and the other one who used to spam call me all the time about how great he is, never got back to me.

That's my two and half cents, adjusted for inflation... LOL Have a great day...

Quote

We the people believe it is time the Veterans Affairs (VA) federal regulations be changed to force reasonable claim and appeal processing times. There is currently no established deadline for claims or appeals, and thus no accountability or penalty in taking years to process claims. U.S. Code: Title 38 - Veterans’ Benefits should be paid as workers' compensation pays medical benefits, as well as wage-replacement and pension benefits. If a veteran is/was hurt in service, and medical evidence is established as such, a veteran(s) should be compensated immediately.

Here is the response from Senator Murray:

Dear Mr. Murphy:

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your service. When brave individuals like yourself sign up to serve our country, we agree to take care of you. You have kept your end of the bargain and we must keep ours.

I understand the service and sacrifice our veterans have made on our behalf. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I believe our country owes a huge debt to the millions of veterans across the nation who have stepped up to serve our country and who deserve the highest quality care, benefits, and treatment in return. Whether the issue is expanding access to quality, timely health care, modernizing the benefits claims system, improving care for female and homeless veterans, or increasing employment assistance for veterans during this time of economic uncertainty, there are many challenges we have to address to support our veterans. 

As the daughter of a disabled WWII veteran and a former intern at the Seattle VA, veterans issues have always had a deep personal importance to me. It is no accident that I am the first woman to serve on the Committee as well as its first woman chairman. I sought this assignment to work on behalf of veterans across the nation.

I am proud to serve America's 22 million veterans and their families and I appreciate hearing from you. I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with me as they help me be your voice in the U.S. Senate. With your help, I will be working to ensure that we are holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable and that we are providing our veterans with the care and benefits they deserve. 

Please know that I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind. If you would like to know more about my work on the Committee, please feel free to visit our Website at www.veterans.senate.gov. Through the Website you may subscribe to a Veterans' Affairs Committee newsletter, which will provide periodic updates on our work for veterans. Also, please know that each Committee hearing is streamed live online and available for viewing anytime following completion of the hearing.  Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

  

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File an 1151 claim and you find out that the VA rules won't allow an attorney to receive payment until the denial of benefits reaches CAVC level.

That leaves the veteran having to go it alone against the VA army of experienced attorneys unless you are fortunate enough to find an attorney who agrees to represent you pro bono..

The VA does allow the option for the veteran to trust a total stranger in a VSO, with little or no interest in putting forth much effort.

BTW...VSO staff are NOT attorneys.

Veteran v. VA in an 1151 claim ....... equates to a veteran having a knife at a gun fight.

 

 

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This is incorrect:

 

"File an 1151 claim and you find out that the VA rules won't allow a veteran to hire an attorney until the denial of benefits reaches CAVC level."

There are many 1151 claims at the BVA with attorney representation.

An attorney can be hired for just about anything after a NOD has been filed.

If you search 'Section 1151 attorney' at the BVA you will find many claims there with lawyers representing the claimant , all who hopefully understand the 1151 regs.

If you narrow down the search to your VARO, you surely will find some lawyers in your area who could help.

You do not need a lawyer for 1151s as much as you need a strong IMO.

Neither my husband or I ever had a lawyer for his, and then my 1151 claim ( and FTCA case-wrongful death)

It is solid medical evidence that makes 1151 claims and/or FTCA issues succeed....

 

 

 

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