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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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MarkInTexas

Ready To Hire Attorney - Who Do Y'all Recommend?

Question

OK Folks,

Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading.  After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system.

I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records.

I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File.  (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope.

I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating.

I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO).

I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational.

I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.)

When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but hey...it's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate.  I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on.

My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it.  And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now.

So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land?

Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march.  Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others.

Mark

 

Edited by MarkInTexas
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Thanks again, Berta and Broncovet!  I have sent out inquiries to the firms mentioned, and we'll see what responses I get.

Meanwhile, I got a call from my American Legion VSO yesterday to let me know he is ready to start prepping my case for the BVA if I want to continue.  This is the first time I've been contacted by the AL VSO since I signed up years ago.  I am the one that usually contacts them for status updates, and they didn't do anything during my case prep, nor the NOD process.  Of course, admittedly I haven't asked them to throughout the process, and wasn't sure if it was their job.

Now amazingly, since I started this thread I get the phone call from them.  The VSO said he also recommends that I send him a 21-4138 to file with the VARO requesting a DRO hearing because he sees quite a bit of evidence that the VA rater overlooked, and feels that a hearing might solve it.

I've done as instructed and shot off a request for a DRO hearing via fax to him and to Janesville this evening.

He also mentioned that my x-ray and blood work lab results are missing from my C-File record from my QTC C&P examination from August, 2016, but that's a different topic for a different day I guess.  Weird that a the C&P report is there, but nothing from the other testing done the same day at the same location.

I'm pretty amazed that I've gone all these years hearing nothing, and within the same week that I ask for guidance on here on what to do next, the VSO comes out and says they are ready to start prepping my case.  They still have my POA, and I honestly thought I'd sign on with an attorney and terminate my POA with the VSO when I found one that would take my case.

I don't know about this whole DRO hearing thing, but I guess asking for it might at least buy me some time to visit with an attorney.

I don't know what kind of time I'm looking at between receiving an SOC and SSOC (which still hasn't arrived in the mail yet), and when it's too late to submit evidence or terminate a VSO POA and hire an attorney.

I honestly believe sometimes that God has a sense of humor.

Thanks again for all your help and advice.  Side note, thanks also for the information about AskNOD.  I have followed his posts for a while, and bought his e-book early on when I first started this journey, and as I mentioned before, I could haven't gotten as far as I have thus far without his, and all of you folks' guidance through the years.

So now on this new VSO "awakening" element, any thoughts on this new development?

Mark

 

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Trust your gut instinct, not what you're necessarily hearing from your previously MIA VSO.  This matter won't be resolved in the short term, so do you trust him enough to not continue to worry about your status in the interim?  Past performance is a good indicator of what to expect in the future.  Anyway, if you are still open to the attorney option, I highly recommend Doug Rosinski.  He's argued in person before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, speaks nationally before veterans law attorney groups, and you can google him for more background.  If you want to hear him argue, he's on the audio at the CAVC on the Larry Robinson case heard on July 15, 2016.  He's also a veteran.  http://www.djrosinski.com/

Edited by lotzaspotz
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Anybody other than Rep For Vets!

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9 hours ago, lotzaspotz said:

Trust your gut instinct, not what you're necessarily hearing from your previously MIA VSO.  This matter won't be resolved in the short term, so do you trust him enough to not continue to worry about your status in the interim?  Past performance is a good indicator of what to expect in the future.  Anyway, if you are still open to the attorney option, I highly recommend Doug Rosinski.  He's argued in person before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, speaks nationally before veterans law attorney groups, and you can google him for more background.  If you want to hear him argue, he's on the audio at the CAVC on the Larry Robinson case heard on July 15, 2016.  He's also a veteran.  http://www.djrosinski.com/

Thanks, Spotz!

I haven't heard of him, but I'll definitely send off an inquiry.  You're right about the MIA VSO.  I'm just amazed that after all of this time, that they want to pick up the ball.  I did do as instructed though, and filed a request for a DRO Hearing.  Reckon it can't hurt, and will buy me some time on this attorney process.

The VSO's theory in this is that the VA rater is simply not reading the file.  He said it happens, and the larger the file, the less they want to research, so he figures a face to face will help, and at least give it one more chance at the VARO level before heading to the BVA.

Thanks again, I'll check out Doug Rosinski!

Mark

 

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Mark,

Having a face-to-face with a Regional Review Officer is the best thing I ever did concerning my CUE and IU cases.

I went in with ALL the records, all the past C&P exams, past court rulings...everything, and made sure the RO didn't need to search for anything.

In a course of 15 minutes, I walked out with CUE Approved, Permanent IU Approved...

My American Legion rep called me later that week and said that the Reviewing Officer told him "This veteran-me, made it so easy to make a decision..that I could only have one answer, Approved on all cases..."

 

2-2-0 HUAH!

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

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    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 

       

      3. Service connection for headaches.

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