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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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  • VA Watchdog

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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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  • Similar Content

    • By Vync
      How long does a higher level review/CUE take? I initially called the 1-800 number and they said supplemental reviews are supposed to take less than 125 days, but they were not certain about higher level reviews. The agent speculated they could take a year or longer.
      This post was changed to track my claim as it made it's way through the VA system. This may help other veterans understand some of the inner workings of what goes on behind the scenes.
      Why am I calling this HLR/CUE and not just CUE or HLR?
      At the time the claims were submitted, other members have indicated filing their CUE claims as regular letters. With the overhaul to the VA claims and appeals process in early 2019, they have became sticklers for filing on certain forms. Unfortunately, there is no mandatory form for a CUE claim. With HLR and CUE being mostly similar, aside from the restrictions of CUE, I wanted to cover my bases and not cause any delays with them having to come back and ask me to use a specific form.
       
      HLR/CUE timeline
      2019-09-20 Mailed to VA certified mail w/return receipt
      2019-09-23 Claim received
      2019-10-08 Not yet posted to va.gov. Called 1-800-827-1000. ETA March 2020.
      2019-10-17 Moved you evidence gathering, review, and decision as of 2019-10-15. ETA November 4, 2019
      2019-10-22 Moved to initial review as of 2019-10-03. ETA March 30, 2020
      2019-10-24 Requested records
      2019-10-29 va.gov status unchanged. Development letter sent. Called 1-800-827-1000. Claim is in the national work queue and being worked by Houston VARO. The development letter was the typical "we got your claim and are working on it". They sent a request to the Birmingham VAMC for medical treatment records from 1995-1999. Called the VAMC's Release of Information Office and they have 20 business days to complete the request.
      2019-11-25 Called 1-800-827-1000. Status still unchanged, but the suspense date of the medical treatment records request has expired. VA agent sent IRIS request. Called the VAMC's Release of Information Office. Paper copies were mailed via USPS certified mail to the Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, WI. They were nice enough to provide the USPS tracking number.
      2019-11-29 Certified mail tracking shows package was received by the Evidence Intake Center in Janesville, WI.
      2019-12-11 Called 1-800-827-1000. Paper copies have been scanned in to PDF. Waiting to be picked up by a VARO.
      2019-12-12 Called 1-800-827-1000. The call center agent (Donald) sent an IRIS request to inform the VARO that the claims are ready to proceed.
      2019-12-20 Moved you evidence gathering, review, and decision as of 2019-12-19. ETA January 23, 2020.
      2019-12-27 No change to va.gov status. Only change is ETA of May 27, 2020, which is five months out. Called 1-800-827-1000 and was given a strange status. First, they said they were waiting on more medical records from the VAMC from December 20, 2019 through January 20, 2020, which doesn't make much sense. I called back later in the day and was told something different. Called my POA VSO. They said the VA sent me a letter asking if I had any additional evidence to add. The VSO said the ETA is probably out so far because they are waiting for a response from someone outside of the VA system (i.e. me).
      2019-12-30 Checked va.gov and noticed it says they sent me a development letter and items need attention. Called 1-800-827-1000 and they said a letter was not sent out and they are not waiting on anything from me. My claim is still at the VARO and assigned to a VSR. They found a note indicating that the recent second request for VAMC medical records was in error. They said they have seen this happen before where it triggers the ETA date to be pushed out automatically. In this case, it cost me about six to seven weeks of unnecessary delay.
      2020-01-03 Checked va.gov and no change. Called 1-800-827-1000. The call center rep said it was confusing and transferred me to someone else who could help tell me what is going on. Talked with a friendly lady who said that on 2020-01-02, the person developing the claim sent a message to the quality department asking if the claim should have been submitted on 21-526EZ or 20-0995 (supplemental claim form). Fortunately, earlier today, @Dustoff 11 posted the exact information from M21-1 indicating that no specific form is required. I provided that to the lady and she sent a message to the VARO to let them know exactly where it is. No clue if they have actually processed my request and were just double-checking or if they still need to do it. At least I was able to help them to help me, I hope.
      2020-01-07 Well how about this. I received a letter in the mail from the VA yesterday which was dated 2019-12-20 requesting additional evidence (treatment records). Called 1-800-827-1000 and let them know this is for CUE and no new evidence could be added. They did say the request to revise is assigned to a rater, so that's promising.
      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 2, Section B - Revision of Decisions
      III.iv.2.B.4.d. Considering Requests for Revision Based on CUE
      2020-01-09 One week has passed since VARO asked about how to proceed regarding filing using a specific form. Called 1-800-827-1000. They said it is now awaiting a decision. Estimated completion date was moved from May 2020 to February 12, 2020, which is an improvement.
      2020-01-17 No change on va.gov. Called 1-800-827-1000. They said it was status 499 (National Work Queue), not assigned to an individual and waiting to be picked up. As of 1/8, it is still "Ready for decision". Estimated completion date still February 12, 2020.
    • By MarkP
      It was pointed out to me that I should file a CUE because my final rating decision although at 100% is not "permanent. They left it open for future exams. The person who suggested it just got his P&T rating and no further exams by claiming M-21-1, III.iv.3.B.2.c & d. Basically, because he was over the age of 55. My rating is for 100% for leukemia (CLL) (I know the rating criteria has been updated) and I'm over 55. Looking at the M21-1 and I feel I match four criteria listed. My question would be if the disability Rating Schedule says "perhaps" I will get reexamined in the future thinking I'm going to get cured, would that rating decision take precedent over the M21-1, or 38 CFR? I feel my condition is "static" and I have been getting worse for the past seven years and seven months, I'm over 55, the disability is permanent in character and I'm not likely going to improve,  and the evaluation (rating) is the minimum for the DC. This disability is permanent and I'm not going to be cured. There is no cure. I do realize with treatment I could go into remission some day (perhaps) and I'll understand a reevaluation if that occurs. Thoughts?
    • By RBrogen
      Quick question to see if anyone knows what happens if you win a CUE relative to back pay.  Does the VA automatically calculate any back pay based on individual solder and then you have to send them marriage cert, birth certs/ssns to show when you had your dependents added?
      I'm just curious ... not getting ahead of myself but IF I am fortunate enough to win my cue, it would mean back pay for 20 years and would also mean that I would have changed from 20% in 1999 to some higher number.  That would mean that my wife and children would also come into play starting in 2001 instead of 2019 like it is today.  I have all of that data ready but I was curious if they send you a letter first requesting it before back pay is released or if they do the initial backpay at single and you have to make the adjust it.
      Thanks as always,
      Randy
    • By RBrogen
      Happy Holidays Everyone,
      I wanted to let those of you who are interested know that the cue I filed for change of effective date from March 2018 to October 1999 is now in the "Preparation for Decision" status.  I mailed the formal CUE September 17, 2019 and it went to "Preparation for Decision" status today.  Now I'll be on pins and needles until I get the decision packet in the mail.  I'll keep you all posted!
      Best,
    • By TropicLightning125
      First I'd like to thank all of you for the great assistance you provide! I'm a long time lurker but finally created an account to post this question to the experts today.
      Background:
      - Discharged from active duty in September 2000
      - Participated in a "VA Pilot Program" where you sat with a VA clerk during out-processing to determine any potential disability claims, which were then submitted by the clerk for you.
      - In Jan 2001, received a decision letter with the following rating, back dated to my date of discharge: "Service connection for degenerative disease of low back has been established as directly related to military service. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned under diagnostic code 5293. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned if there are mild symptoms associated with intervertebral disc syndrome."
      Fast forward to 2018. I experienced a herniated L4-L5 disc and had a (mostly unsuccessful) discectomy . I applied for an increase for my Degenerative Disease of the lower back and for radiculopathy of the sciatic nerve in both legs. My claim was closed in October 2019 with no increase for the Degenerative Disc Disease (a story for another time, but a bad C&P was involved and I've already filed a supplemental), and new secondary ratings for the radiculopathy: 10% Left Leg and 10% Right Leg back dated to my 2018 surgery and the right leg increased for some unknown reason to 20% on the date of my (bad) C&P exam in August 2019.
      My question:
      In reviewing my original 2000 claim decision letter today, I found this statement listed under FACTS: "MRI findings have revealed degenerative changes and degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. EMG studies have revealed mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation."
      Keep in mind, at the time of discharge I was only rated for the Degenerative Disc Disease, not any leg/nerve issues, though it is clear from my Service Medical Records I also had recurring leg pain and numbness.
      Is it odd that they literally called out the EMG results in my rating decision but did not grant an award for Sciatic Paralysis/Neuralgia/Radiculopathy back in 2000? Based on the current schedule (http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/lowernerves.html) I think the "mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation" would have granted a rating of 10% for incomplete partial paralysis (8520) and/or neuralgia (8720). But...did these codes even exist back in 2000? I certainly was not aware or told that the nerve/leg pain was a separate rating. How would I even go about finding out if these diagnostic codes existed in 2000?
      In the event there was a rating available for this back in 2000, would this be something that would be eligible for a CUE? Obviously after almost 20 years I'm well outside the window to appeal the decision, but I feel the clear unmistakable evidence is right in the VA's own decision letter, and 20 years of an additional 10% rating makes this worth my time and energy.
      Thanks again for all you do!
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    • Precedent Setting CAVC cases cited in the M21-1
      A couple months back before I received my decision I started preparing for the appeal I knew I would be filing.  That is how little faith I had in the VA caring about we the veteran. 

      One of the things I did is I went through the entire M21-1 and documented every CAVC precedent case that the VA cited. I did this because I wanted to see what the rater was seeing.  I could not understand for the life of me why so many obviously bad decisions were being handed down.  I think the bottom line is that the wrong type of people are hired as raters.  I think raters should have some kind of legal background.  They do not need to be lawyers but I think paralegals would be a good idea.

      There have been more than 3500 precedent setting decisions from the CAVC since 1989.  Now we need to concede that all of them are not favorable to the veteran but I have learned that in a lot of cases even though the veteran lost a case it some rules were established that assisted other veterans.

      The document I created has about 200 or so decisions cited in the M21-1.   Considering the fact that there are more than 3500 precedent cases out there I think it is safe to assume the VA purposely left out decisions that would make it almost impossible to deny veteran claims.  Case in point. I know of 14 precedent setting decisions that state the VA cannot ignore or give no weight to outside doctors without providing valid medical reasons as to why.  Most of these decision are not cited by the M21.

      It is important that we do our due diligence to make sure we do not get screwed.  I think the M21-1 is incomplete because there is too much information we veterans are finding on our own to get the benefits we deserve

      M21-1 Precedent setting decisions .docx
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      • 5 replies
    • Any one heard of this , I filed a claim for this secondary to hypertension, I had a echo cardiogram, that stated the diagnosis was this heart disease. my question is what is the rating for this. attached is the Echo.

      doc00580220191213082945.pdf
      • 7 replies
    • Need your support - T-shirts Available - Please buy a mug or a membership
      if you have been thinking about subscribing to an ad-free forum or buying a mug now would a very helpful time to do that.

      Thank you for your support
      • 18 replies
    • OK everyone thanks for all the advice I need your help I called VSO complained about length of time on Wednesday of this week today I checked my E benefits and my ratings are in for my ankles that they were denying me 10% for each bilateral which makes 21% I was originally 80% now they’re still saying I’m 80% 

      I’m 50% pes planus 30% migraine headaches 20% lumbar 10% tinnitus and now bilateral 21% so 10% left and right ankle Can someone else please do the math because I come up with 86% which makes me 90 what am I missing please help and thank you
    • I was denied SC for IBS and GERD IN 2011. In 2019 I was awarded SC for GERD. This CUE  is for 2011, both GERD and IBS. There are some odd aspects regarding the 2011 decision, the way it was written and the C&P report and the way it was written. I've tried to present this as clearly as I can. Note: the decision contradicts itself. the decision also contradicts the C&P Report. Honestly, I think the rater just got confused because the C&P was so poorly written. *THIS CUE HAS NOT YET BEEN SUBMITTED*Please let me know what you think. Appreciate all comments and suggestions. Thanks.

       

      VA RATING DECISION MARCH 23 2011 GERD IBS.pdf C P REPORT 7312010 GERD IBS.pdf GERD IBS CUE 2011(1).pdf

      C P ADDENDUM REQUEST RE DIAGNOSIS 7232010.pdf
      • 56 replies
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