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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. 
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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..

      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

Long time reader, looking for advice/help -

I may have screwed up, but last Sept I filed what I was convinced was a slam-dunk CUE. In short, back in 1992 I was rated at 30% for -

"Hypertension was diagnosed from 1983 with persistently high blood pressure reading.... Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure." ... "[Arthrosclerotic] cardiovascular disease with myocardial infarction, four vessel coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension."

Later ratings in 2008 and 2012 used the same language "coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension."

I included copies of my SMR showing several instances (5 shown) where I had multiple readings where I was above the levels authorizing both 10% and 20% ratings and also Note 3 from the VA's rating criteria where it states that "Evaluate hypertension separately from hypertensive heart disease and other types of heart disease."

Looked like a shoo-in.

In Mar of this year I received the following response -

"The Rating Criteria prior to 1998 prohibited granting a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. Hypertension was part of the evaluation criteria for the heart. so it would have been pyramiding to give a separate for the heart and hypertension. While service treatment records show you had a compensable elevated blood pressure readings at the time of the 1992 Rating we were unable to grant a separate compensable evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. The law was changed in 1998 and a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart was allowed. Rating Decision dated January 5. 2012 explained that a separate evaluation for hypertension wasn't warranted unless your symptoms were compensable."

OK, I get it, HPT wasn't rated separately until 1998 so I couldn't receive any additional rating until after 1998. The part I don't get is the last sentence. I have to show current symptoms? I was always under the impression that while a rating could and would change due to on-going symptom changes/deteriorations, but that the intitlement had to originally show in the SMR. I definately had not only sufficient symptoms in my records, but also a diagnosis that "Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure" (this alone should equal a 10% rating.)

I haven't been able to address this for the last couple of months due to on-going personal/family issues, but I would like to file a NOD as soon as possible if my reasoning is correct.

Am I missing something here? Or are there other factors that I'm missing?

Thanks for any help/advice.

 

 

 
Edited by Steve G.

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3 hours ago, Steve G. said:

Long time reader, looking for advice/help -

I may have screwed up, but last Sept I filed what I was convinced was a slam-dunk CUE. In short, back in 1992 I was rated at 30% for -

"Hypertension was diagnosed from 1983 with persistently high blood pressure reading.... Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure." ... "[Arthrosclerotic] cardiovascular disease with myocardial infarction, four vessel coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension."

Later ratings in 2008 and 2012 used the same language "coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension."

I included copies of my SMR showing several instances (5 shown) where I had multiple readings where I was above the levels authorizing both 10% and 20% ratings and also Note 3 from the VA's rating criteria where it states that "Evaluate hypertension separately from hypertensive heart disease and other types of heart disease."

Looked like a shoo-in.

In Mar of this year I received the following response -

"The Rating Criteria prior to 1998 prohibited granting a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. Hypertension was part of the evaluation criteria for the heart. so it would have been pyramiding to give a separate for the heart and hypertension. While service treatment records show you had a compensable elevated blood pressure readings at the time of the 1992 Rating we were unable to grant a separate compensable evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. The law was changed in 1998 and a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart was allowed. Rating Decision dated January 5. 2012 explained that a separate evaluation for hypertension wasn't warranted unless your symptoms were compensable."

OK, I get it, HPT wasn't rated separately until 1998 so I couldn't receive any additional rating until after 1998. The part I don't get is the last sentence. I have to show current symptoms? I was always under the impression that while a rating could and would change due to on-going symptom changes/deteriorations, but that the intitlement had to originally show in the SMR. I definately had not only sufficient symptoms in my records, but also a diagnosis that "Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure" (this alone should equal a 10% rating.)

I haven't been able to address this for the last couple of months due to on-going personal/family issues, but I would like to file a NOD as soon as possible if my reasoning is correct.

Am I missing something here? Or are there other factors that I'm missing?

Thanks for any help/advice.

Don't know about help, other than to tell you to get current evidence of the HBP.

What's interesting to me is that for quote some time, the VA often called HBP as "essential", and denied any relationship to other conditions, thus removing the secondary to option.

 

 

 

 

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