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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.

    Click here to purchase your digital journal. HadIt.com receives a commission on each purchase.

  • 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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  • 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 S. Bruce
      I was awarded 30% service connected for sleep apnea when I left the military in 2008. In 2013, I was directed to and took another sleep study. It was found and the VA agreed that I needed to start using the CPAP. VA reviewed the evidence, agreed, paid for and I have been using the CPAP since 2013. In Sep 2019, during a review of my records, my representative informed me that using the CPAP meant that my SA rating should be 50% versus 30%. I filed an increase claim and was increased to 50% with an effective date of Sep 2019.  Shouldn't the effective date be April 2013 when the diagnosis was received and approved? I checked and the 50% rating for using a CPAP was in place in 2013. I wasn't aware of the rating difference at that time, so I didn't file a claim at that time. I'm asking because I'm thinking I may be due some back pay...……….
    • By awgv001
      Hello!
      First off, Thank you all! - for this website, your time, and your passion towards helping fellow veterans!
                    Started the PEB process on active duty (2012 at the time), so I'm just trying to sort this out and find where things went wrong.
      The claims submitted among this process only listed 3 contentions - of which the DoD rated me unfit at 10% W/ severance pay, while the VA rated those conditions (totaled) to 40% upon exiting service.
      My story - First, I don't agree with the PEB findings, but I signed off on it at the time without a full understanding of "what I could claim", so once the ball got rolling I found myself trying to correct my own mistakes along the way.
      I want to particularly point out to the Experts here that signing off on my PEB, as well as false statements/misquotations made by an off base neurologist has been used against me in regard to denial for SC TBI. In one denial, they took the exam from the off base neuro i saw, and threw the (positive) other out - Denying me the benefit of the doubt, or even the 50-50 rule.... The situation now is that I have a second doctor, who wrote a Nexus concurring with the diagnosis and rationale of the specialist I was treated by. (So 2 doctors post-service vs. the 1 I saw who didn't have all the details, lay statements, and misquoted me or failed to check the appropriate boxes based on my own testimony.
      TLDR - I was awarded increase for 1 contention in 2016 to (a total of) 60% - Followed by SC and increase in another (1) contention for an overall rating (total) of 80% in 2017 - Some corrections were made and a rating was re-established with the proper EED and my new total is now 90% (as of late 2019) - it is now 2020 and I have 4 contentions that never made it to SC (yet!) - I experienced narrative changes as to why the VA was denying SC for TBI and 3 other issues - such as "missing diagnosis" - I had included a document from their own specialist specifically stating I was diagnosed with TBI and 2 exams giving extensive detail as to my symptoms/history.
      Again, thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do for all of us. to
      Semper Fi !
       
    • By baezivy
      Hello everyone. I filed an appeal this past October 28th. Since the appeals process has changed and I am new to this, has anyone appealed a denied decision or a low rating recently and has received a decision on the appeal? If so, how long did it take to get a decision from the date you filed? I am just wondering how long the appeal takes. My claim was pretty quick, it took about 3 months which wasn't bad. Thank you all.
    • By Anharris
      Hello,
      Quick background; I injured my back severely in Kuwait in 2013(I was 22) no proper medical exam or treatment at the peek of the injury just pumped full of pain meds. Once back in the states it still took months before Someone decided I actually needed an xray just to be told I was fine. There were times where I’d experience temporary paralysis below the waist, daily pain levels above 5, numbness, pinching and burning sensations in lower back and to be told nothing was wrong made me want to give up and suffer in silence because no1 seem to take me serious. However the pain was so intense I found myself in the ER sometimes twice a week with strange knots in my back that were shrugged off as muscle spasms and just given more pain meds. I was given a 10% rating after separating in 2014. I didn’t know what that meant or why. Almost 7yrs later the pain is worse back and forth with the VA with treatment that either aggravates or just doesn’t work and I recently discovered that I was diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain BUT it stated it didn’t come from work. I couldn’t believe it. I now live in MD near DC and although terribly discouraged feel I need to fight what seems to be a system that hasn’t cared for me properly since day 1 and appeal. The question is. IS IT WORTH IT? I paid out of pocket for X-rays and made some discoveries about my back that make much more since than what the VA tells me. Has anyone experienced anything similar?
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    • Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
      • 6 replies
    • I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:


      2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis


      2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.

      "...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.


      First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date. 

      If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues. 

       

      I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.

      It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.

      Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.

       

      Does this help?
    • Thanks for that. So do you have a specific answer or experience with it bouncing between the two?
    • Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.

      The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.

      ...................Buck
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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
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