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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 ...
    Continue Reading
     
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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

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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. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      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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Kekome

Newly 100% P&T PTSD, Scared about SSDI

Question

Hello everyone.  I've been searching this website and yukon website for my answers and I guess I just want to ask this question again because the answers I'm seeing are from 2011 or so and I want to make sure it's still valid for 2017.

I got out of the service on medical discharge for fibromyalgia, MDD, and GAD in 2008. I was unable to tell anyone about my MST that happened prior to me developing Fibro (which I found out is usually connected to PTSD).  Anyrate, since then I have talked to the VA Psychs for help and tried to "fix" myself and finally I opened up and told them about my MST and received a diagnosis of PTSD in 2013.  Then in 2016 my VA Primary Care told me to reapply for benefits because she said they need to service connect me for my PTSD.  I submitted my application, was honest and straight forward and very forthcoming even though I cried through my Comp and Pen exam.  I have used Voc Rehab to change careers from Nuclear Electronics Technician to an Ultrasound Tech, and have worked as a tech from 2012-2014.  After 2014 I quit working when my daughter was born, but also my fibromyalgia was flaring up so bad that it made it impossible to work anymore.  I haven't worked since.  

Voc Rehab screwed up my award and didn't close out my case so I still have benefits left over and I was approved with a severe work handicap to use my benefits to go back to school after the birth of my second child.  So here I was waiting for my disability decision and studying for the GRE to apply to a Nurse Practitioner Program helping women only because I have PTSD attacks with men.  I was hoping that wouldn't be as hard on me as my Ultrasound position was.  Then I get the decision stating that I am 100% P&T for PTSD, and 60% combined for fibromyalgia and hearing issues from the Navy, all service connected, and I'm getting SMC for Homebound criteria being met.  I called the VA directly to find out if that meant that I wasn't allowed to work anymore.  (I didn't plan on going to school until 2019, and not trying to work again until 2022.)  The VA rep said that I WAS allowed to work and they may evaluated me in the future for my PTSD, and 'could' lower my rating, but that the rating wouldn't be lowered if I still met the criteria for 100% PTSD, it wouldn't have anything to do with whether or not I was working.  The American Legion rep said I was allowed to work as well.  But then when I read these forums it says I'm not allowed to work.  I know already that Voc Rehab wouldn't pay for me to do the Nurse Practitioner schooling anymore because I was having difficulties trying to get them to approve it when I had a 50% rating, and now that I'm higher I know without a doubt they wouldn't allow it, so I understand I'm not going to be a Nurse Practitioner for Women's Health anymore.

So I guess what I'm so upset about is accepting the fact that I can't work.  I will have two children that I don't want to lose the education benefits for whatsoever, and everything else that's included with the 100% rating.  No way in heck I want to lose that!  It will sit easier with me if I get approved for SSDI.  But that terrifies me too! I'm waiting for an appointment to apply in person because I'm scared I'll mess it up doing it online.

So, confirmation: I cannot work if I don't want to risk losing any benefits, correct? And what are the do's and don'ts as far as what I should do in order to keep this disability rating for the next 19 years? I think that terrifies the most, screwing up and having my rating decreased.

I know we are all stressed about this, please forgive me for this long post.  And thank you all for your service and your advice. Peace and Love.

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I certainly feel you should apply for SSDI.

It can be very overwhelming for any veteran to accept that their SC conditions make them unable to work.

Yet there are many things they can do as an unpaid volunteer, even by helping other vets in hyperspace from your home, on sites like our great site.

And don't forget how hard MOMs work. With a new baby, you do plenty everyday as it is!

The volunteers here work very hard to answer the questions we get.Work really should not be defined as getting a paycheck.

 "Then I get the decision stating that I am 100% P&T for PTSD, and 60% combined for fibromyalgia and hearing issues from the Navy, all service connected, and I'm getting SMC for Homebound criteria being met ."

You did very well on that award and I bet you know plenty about fibro which is often very difficult for vets to get service connected for.

Our value is not is not dependent on what 'work' we might be able to do, or what disabilities we have, it is dependent on who we are as a person....and as a parent...and that is often the hardest job there can be.

The CHAMPVA and Educational benefits are wonderful and worth too much to think about losing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Berta. I managed the fibromyalgia easily because I was medically discharged for it in the service and it didn't start until after my trauma in the service. 

 

I plan on on being a Mom first, and then once both kids are in school looking at volunteering to teach or at a hospital. I did call SS and request an appointment to have my application done in person because I'm afraid of doing it wrong online. 

 

I guess I am having trouble because I don't feel like I deserve to be allowed to stay home. People are suggesting "look at it like retirement," but I'm only 29! That's why it's such a shock. 

As far as keeping my disability, would it be wise to continue working with the psychiatrists at the VA Boston facility? They keep trying to make me go through cognitive therapy to "cure" me but every time we start to even begin I freak out and can't do it. I'm going to refuse the whole treatment for that therapy like the Black Plague now because I don't want to give them an opportunity to take away my rating, but I should seek some sort of treatment to keep it, right?

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Kekome - you should continue treatment it doesn't have to be that treatment, but for your well being keep working with someone.

At 100% PTSD I imagine your symptoms would be difficult for anyone not getting help. My therapist and I went through trying different things till we found something that worked and I've been in therapy since 1991 at least once a month and in the early years twice a week or more, albeit I had no family or friend support system at that time. 

My doctor took me off work in 96 to 97 and it was very difficult for me accepting that reality, she was right I just could not compete in a normal workplace environment. 

Berta is right it depends on how you define work, you can work from home doing anything you love, write a blog, do photography work for joy not a paycheck. Don't confuse not being able to work with useless they are two different things. Take heart, have hope, stay strong and stay here.

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Guest L

Kekome: Words of encouragement- The CBT helped me so much, but that is not the only option the VA offers for PTSD Therapy. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done - I needed it like a person in AA needs a 12 step program.  I have been in continuously for 3 years,  I feel different now. - In a good way. It took me 3 years just to get to this point. I need the time for the self reflection for my particular symptoms. 

 

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Thanks for the encouragement. Every time  we begin to start I shut up completely and start having extremely bad side effects just by warming up to opening up about the CBT. I keep coming up with excuses and my biggest one right now is that I feel like I may could do it if I were on medication, but as I have been either pregnant or nursing since late 2013 I haven't been allowed on anything. Once my 3 year old starts school in September I will look into going back for some sort of treatment because my newborn won't be a bother in the fact that he won't be able to understand anything we are talking about. 

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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. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      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.  

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      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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