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Knee replacement and TDIU added to 30 month old appeal

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Ira Brown

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I have a serious problem understanding how 30 months ago I filed an appeal (NOD) for a rating on my left knee. Since then my knee has had to be replaced due to the extent of pain and instability. I filed for TDIU after surgery along with the knee replacement. They have everything the need to verify the knee condition and surgery. The did not necessarily deny them but instead bundled them with the appeal on the knee. Been told it will be about 420-560 days to complete. Why can't I get my TDIU during recovery? And how does this effect the decision later. Will I ever see any compensation for my recovery? Seems as though they are waiting for the TDIU to run out before they even contact me about the appeal. Which is still at originating office. Please explain!!!??

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Appeals to the Board are taking about 4 or 5 years, and this is growing worse, everyday.  See the BVA chairmans report.  http://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp

I, also, got "bundled" in appeals.  Basically its another excuse to delay, as if they needed to delay any MORE.  

For me, my VSO set me up for failure, by telling me that I could get a decision in a few months.  That was in 2002.  Fourteen years, 17 RO decisions, 3 BVA decisions, and 2 trips to the CAVC and Im still waiting.  3 of the 17, or about 17 percent awarded benefits.  The rest were denied, and that is about typical.  

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That is absolutely terrible. My issue isn't really the time of appeals, but to have an operation and know that I'm due the temporary 100% but get the "bundled in appeals" line is rediculous. Its some, I had a total knee replacement and need time to recouperate which is usually 13 months at 100%...but instead they put it in a 30 month old pile of nonsense. I was told by VA docs and workers that it is always granted but doesn't look that way to me. Just don't see how TDIU can be put into an appeal.

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Im just the messenger.  YOu have 2 parts:  Claims and appeals.  If you have multiple issues under appeal, then they often bundle them.  They should not "bundle" appeals and new claims, but sometimes, one is dependent on the other.  For example, TDIU.  TDIU requires you meet minimum percentage requirements, unless you are a special case and qualify for extra schedular.  

If you have already been awarded 30% for knees, and have gotten surgery on them, then, yes, there is a temp 100% convalescent rating, that usually lasts about a year.  

TDIU can often be put into appeal, if you applied for TDIU and it was denied.  Read the criteria for TDIU.  There are minimum percentage requirements for "regular" IU, and, at 30 percent you dont meet those.  There is also an "extra schedular" TDIU if you dont meet the percentage requirements, but you must go through multiple hoops to get that, too.  Extra schedular IU is rarely granted.  

It sounds like you are confused about TDIU, and convalescent ratings.  TDIU is TOTAL Disability due to Individual Unemployablity.  It means you can not work, not just can not work for a few months while your knee is being worked on.  The temporary rating while you are in surgury is a temporary 100% rating to pay you while you are recovering from surgury on a service connected condition, such as service connected knees.  Hope this helps.  

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My apologies, I worded this wrong. I filed for TEMPORARY DISABILITY(CONVALESCENT), and this is how it is worded on the actual claim. I spoke to a representative and was told they have not denied it but can't grant it because it was "bundled" with the knee replacement and attached to the old appeal for knee locking and instability from 30 months ago.guess that is where I'm thrown off. How can they "suspend" a new claim for knee replacement and temporary disability (convalecent) pending the outcome of an appeal. Seems really unnecessary to postpone either for another 30 months.

 

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I had already applied for IU with a combined rating of 90% and was denied and didn't bother to appeal. The knee replacement was also part of a deformity reconstruction which is not likely to get any better, which will actually raise my rating for the replacement and top me off at 100% combined...which I evidently have to wait on till after my appeal.

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