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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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  • 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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SargeBD

Question on Filed NOD 10/16/2017

Question

US Army Veteran 1978-1984 Rocky Mountain Arsenal

 

I filed my initial claim 11/2008. It took me 7 years to go before a judge,  so in 2015 I was awarded exposure to Mustard Gas, which was in my records. I was awarded 40% mustard gas exposure for prostate, 0% for sinus, 0% for headaches, 10% lumbar, 30% cervical, 10% tinnitus, 0% hearing loss , SMC-K, so 8 service connected disabilities. I have been unable to work for 4 years now, due to chronic problems from those service connected injuries. I filed my notice of disagreement, as well as unemployable and an increase for my chronic migraines, which I'm being treated for by the VA, and have been being treated for several decades. I filed within the 1 year timeline, the proper forms, and it shows 2 pending appeals. One for Unemployability, and the other for the increase for the chronic migraines, E Benefits doesn't show anytime line or where my appeal currently stands. So I called the number and was told the average here in Colorado was 238 days for appeals. Mine is at 10 months now, over 300 days and I'm starting to lose hope and getting desperate watching my home fall into disrepair, which I no longer have the financial means to fix. Any advise would be helpful. Anyone else going through long wait times on NOD in Colorado?

Thanks in advance, 

SargeBD 

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Unfortunately, 10 months is not a long time to VA.  I guess you meant you filed it in 2016, not 10/16/2017, like you posted as that is impossible as Oct 16, 2017 is not here yet.  

If you want something to do, then you can read the BVA chairmans report, which will explain it takes about 5 years for a BVA appeal.   They will go into details about the average number of days throughout the various phases.  

https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp

If you have a hardship, you can apply for an advance on the docket.  Those which usually work are:  You are homeless, (and have children) , you are over 75 or have a terminal illness.  

You may be lucky enough to be awarded benefits before 5 years IF:

1.  You did an excellent job with your appeal and probably sent in new evidence under 38 cfr 3.156 documenting your caluza elements of current diagnosis, in service event, and nexus.

2.  You get a DRO who will award benefits and not issue an SOC.  

3.  Or, it sounds like you applied for TDIU, so you may get that and not have to wait on your appeal the the BVA.  Again, it will help if you did a great job applying for TDIU and had documented that a doctor said you were "unable to maintain Substantial Gainful Employment due to SC conditions".  I had a doc say that and they denied anyway, and cited a voc rehab specialist in a 2002 report.  However, I had to appeal and now have a favorable Voc Rehab IMO, so I have all my ducks in a row, and should win at the BVA.  

    You just have to hang in there, but focus on getting "everything" for TDIU application.  They probably sent a letter to your last employer..what did he say?  Did he say you quit voluntarily or you were fired as you could not do the job?  Its hard to get IU if you quit as VA assumes you CAN work, you are just too lazy unless you have it documented otherwise.  

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Yeah the date should have been 2016. I had been self employed for years. I sent stacks of medical evidence, both VA and private. My exposure is in my military health records. I applied for the TDIU before this current appeal, they completely ignored it , without even a response. I've been reading where claims have been closed, forcing Veterans to appeal, thus increasing not only the work load they have,  but also extending the number of years the process takes. I guess my 9 years come November 2017 is not as long as some I've read on here. 

It's a shame the bureaucracy is set up to fight and deny, delay. My county where I live has a Veterans service officer who helped me with the paper work from the beginning. After they closed my claim, he got into contact with the board and asked them about the decision's and lack of the TDIU decision, they owned up to it and said they made a mistake, and told us to appeal, instead of correcting it. 

I have a 40 year record of all my illnesses, documented, lost organs, two of my children were born with what could be connected diseases. I handled all the left over biological and chemical weapons/nerve agents from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, storing them in underground bunkers. No respirators, no gloves, no foot protection, not even chemical clothing in the beginning. My case opened up other servicemen and women to chemical/biological exposure for Rocky Mountain Arsenal. They know how sick I'm , I truly believe they are delaying , waiting for me and others to die. 

Anyways, thanks, I'll keep waiting.

Edited by SargeBD
miss spelling

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