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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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    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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    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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Jumpmaster

CCK UNCOVERS MEMO USED BY VA TO WRONGLY DENY AO CLAIMS OF THAILAND VETERANS.

Question

Good Evening Ms. Berta and Hadit Veterans members:

Sharing three PDFs uploads that I believe all VARO’s DO NOT WANT VETERANS to SEE.

I hope the files encourage Veterans to never stop fighting to SC herbicide used outside Vietnam (Korea DMZ, Fort McClellan, Okinawa, Johnston Island, Thailand, other CONUS bases.  Some herbicide exposure claims can be a quick and easy to win; but many will take several years to win.  I’ve always believed VA is our worst enemy AFTER discharge, upon return to civilian life, working with physical injuries, and diseases associated to herbicides (Tordon 101, Rainbow Agents Orange, Blue, White, Purple, TCDD, PCBs).  Whenever, the Veterans receives a presumptive diagnosis, please file your claim then wait for VA to deny it.  If they deny, don’t quit, you must always fight tougher until you win.

I have a gut feeling more bias VA auto-fill-memos are afloat inside OUR alleged “Veteran Friendly ROs” still waiting exposure.  You know that kind where raters click on the deny (Korea DMZ, Okinawa, Fort McClellan, Thailand) button, then paste in VA’s deceptive verbiage, bias interpretations, and veiled written decisions to deny, while ignoring VA’s own scientific environmental exposure data, alluding to their VA requested JSRRC, and DOD records; which show Agent Orange was never stored, or used at your base.    

Review the highlights extracted from this uncovered memo upload:

The same memorandum specifically acknowledges that “the use of commercial herbicides is documented”.  VA has created an illusory distinction between the use of “tactical herbicides” for which compensation benefits are payable and “commercial herbicides” for which benefits may not be payable.  The reality is no matter what you call the herbicides used in Thailand, they all contained the same harmful chemicals.  Therefore, veterans should be granted the same presumption of exposure as Vietnam veterans.  If a veteran states, “I was exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand,” VA as part of its Duty to Assist will ask the Air Force or the Joint Services Records Research Center (JSRRC) if Agent Orange was used in Thailand.  The Air Force or JSRRC will send back the August 11, 2015 memorandum and then VA will deny the claim.  What VA is not asking the Air Force is whether other types of herbicides were used in Thailand. If the VA asked that question, the answer would have to be yes, herbicides were used as the August 11, 2105 memorandum states.  VA must stop denying claims because veterans state they were exposed to Agent Orange in Thailand and grant them based upon the exposure to herbicides.

PDF files:  1. CCK Uncovers Memo,

2.  Submit A Claim for Illness Due to Agent Orange Exposure,  

3. U.S. COVA Found--Facility Wide Use of Herbicides At Fort McClellan (A(Parkinson CUE Claim Win) this non precedent encourages Veterans to never stop fighting!

 

Jumpmaster

Tuesday November 15, 2016 CCK UNCOVERS VA MEMO.pdf

Is it too Late to Submit a Claim for Illness Due to Agent Orange Exposure.pdf

U.S. COVA Finds--Facility Wide Use of Herbicides At Fort McClellan, AL (Parkinson CUE Win).pdf

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That Memo is extraordinary when you consider many vets have already proven exposure to AO in Thailand....solely due to the incredible efforts of Kurt Priessman, hadit member and first Thailand AO vet.

And even more incredible, Kurt won his AO award at the Regional Office level.

The entire Thailand directive is due to his work. 

This memo was dated 2015....and written by an archivist.... I didnt see any official title on the blacked out area where he signed it,...so I assume CCK ran down his background...

for all I know he might be a college student intern.

In my opinion the Memo is the same type of BS VA used to deny other vets no matter where they served because .

And what does this Memo mean for any Thailand vet who received an AO award via the Thailand directive before this Memo was written?

 

 

This clearly defies the way the Directive is worded:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/locations/thailand.asp

 

The VA  link clearly states:

VA determined that herbicides used on the Thailand base perimeters may have been tactical and procured from Vietnam, or a strong, commercial type resembling tactical herbicides. - See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/locations/thailand.asp#sthash.ULulTeq7.dpuf

I wonder what a FOIA to the  agency below  would produce

Headquarters Air Force/AAII (Mandatory Declassification Review)
1000 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1000

Email:  usaf.pentagon.saf-aa.mbx.mdr-workflow@mail.mil

 

http://www.afhra.af.mil/Home/FOIA-Reading-Room/

I have used FOIA many times and this pdf is not a formal FOIA response. You can appeal FOIA responses.I see nothing regarding that in this memo...

 

This agency is a small agency relying on a lot of micro fiche.(which can be very difficult to read)

Obviously the VA's Thailand directive encompassed all the info the VA could get. 

This is BS. You are right too...the word tactical is meaningless in the context of all this because AO was a commercial product that our Gov purchased.

 

 

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to add... there are almost a thousand AO Thailand decisions at the BVA site for 2015 and 2016...

I sure have not read them all but  have not found that bogus memo referenced  as any means to deny .

I am posting a recent AO Thiland award:

“A.  Agent Orange Exposure

 

 

The parties to the most recent JMR found that remand was necessary for the Board to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases including a further discussion of the Veteran's credibility as it pertains to Agent Orange exposure in Thailand.

 

 

Since that time, the Court has issued a precedential decision in the case of Parseeya-Picchione v. McDonald, 28 Vet. App. 171 (2016).  In that decision, the Court noted that the appellant in that case had submitted evidence stating that "it would be the exception [rather] than the rule where a flight [from a base not in Southeast Asia to a base in Thailand] would bypass [Ton Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam, where the veteran's alleged layover took place]."  The record also included an email from James S. Howard, an archivist from the Air Force Historical Research Agency, reporting that "[a]s a general rule, military cargo aircraft, especially those engaged in 'airlines' would stop over at Ton Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam en[ ]route to bases in Thailand.  Very few of this sort of flight were made 'direct' to bases in Thailand from bases outside Southeast Asia."  The record also contained a letter from a retired Major Robert E. Copner, U.S. Air Force, asserting that "ased on my experience, it was common for military aircraft flying to and from airbases in Thailand to land at Ton Son Nhut [Air Base] and other Vietnam airbases."  Parseeya-Picchione, 28 Vet. App. at 176.

 

 

The Court's case in Parseeya-Picchione is directly relevant in the instant Veteran's appeal.  Most specifically, in a September 2008 statement, the Veteran wrote that he had a refueling stop at Ton Sun Nut Air Force Base (AFB) in Vietnam between September 20, 1969, and September 22, 1969.  In his VA application form, which had been filed one month prior, he marked the box "No" where asked if he served in Vietnam, but handwrote immediately next to this box "But flew into Vietnam to refuel."  In the narrative explanation portion of the application, he stated that the Continental Air Lines flight he flew on was on the ground in Vietnam for about 2 hours during which time everyone went into the terminal to wait. 

 

 

The Veteran's service personnel records show that he arrived in Thailand on September 22, 1969, after having been assigned to MacDill AFB in Florida.  Thus, the issue of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam is reasonably raised. “

 

 

The BVA awarded for many AO disabilities and remanded for other disabilities.

                                                                                                                         

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/view.jsp?FV=http://www.va.gov/vetapp16/F

I am going to address this decision in a new topic here.

edited to add:

http://community.hadit.com/topic/44060-ao-award-ft-mcclelland/

 

There have been other Fort McClelland AO awards.

Edited by Berta

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I believe any veteran that has symptoms of A.O. and was station in Vietnam ,Thailand or Any where they used or stock the A.O. Should file a claim based on the presumptive s or not if he comes down with  the symptoms VA set forth.

 The Veteran should File his claim ASAP.

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It isn't that easy Buck....Kurt Priessman, James Scripps, Wes Carter (C 123s AO success) and the many vets who Have proven AO exposure outside of Vietnam , were all willing to aggressively support their claims with probative evidence.

The key issue of probative evidence is proof of direct "exposure" by virtue of their MOS,buddy statements and anything else that will help them... 

And they cant do that without the internet.or without hadit.

Symptoms are not on the presumptive list. Documented disabilities are.

And for Nehmer vets (I am sure there are still many out there) that documented disability, if presumptive  now as to IHD, Parkinsons, and Hairy Cell B, if it is rated and listed as NSC on any past VA decision, might well provide them with a very favorable EED if they file a claim as an incountry Vietnam vet with one or more of those 3 above disabilities.

Footnote One Nehmer----all explained in the AO forum.

If more AO presumptives get added to the list and IF they fall under any new Nehmer ( this would be Nehmer #4 I think) Footnote One might help those vets too with good EEDs....but I have no idea how that will play out.

 

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Ms Berta I never mention it was easy I meant simply filing a A.O. Claim and yes of course prove you were exposed to it!

  The disease its self will tell the story, DD 214 WILL PROVE BOOTS ON THE GROUND .

Now its very unfortunate for some blue-water veterans to prove either boots on the ground  or in brown water channels  it is hard for them veterans to prove their exposure to A.O.  but that's coming in for those veterans.(HOPEFULLY SOON)

but as you pointed out the veterans that have proven their exposure to A.O. My hats off to those Gentleman for fighting for their well earned benefits and lead the way for other veterans that were exposed and hopefully help them with there Presumptive A.O.Claims in the future.

 All VETERAN MUST FILE an A.O. Presumption claim to be compensated...And prove it is the A.O. that caused their S.C. Disability...to me that's where we need Specialist Dr's IMO and nexus opinions. & Buddy statements if needed.

Usually having proven Boots on the ground in Vietnam Is enough evidence to prove the exposure.

And for those Veterans that was not in Vietnam/DMZ/Thailand  and even here in the good old Continental USA  if  they can prove their exposure by medical records  or in service records morning reports to the effect that the A.O. was in close proximity then they should file a claim for A.O. Exposure ...As long as a Veteran can prove he was around and expose to A.O.  It should not make any difference where he was at the time  with evidence proving the facts.

 we know we have to prove we were around it  but also a lot of it is in the disability of the veteran& the medical reports.

jmo

Edited by Buck52

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