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I recently received my award letter for TDIU and it was made Permanent and Total. I want to thank all of you for your kind advice over the years and teaching me about how I should approach my claim. It has helped in many ways, especially letting me know what to expect.
I filed a notice of Intent to file in February 2016 and submitted my claim in August of 2016. In calculating the back pay, they went back only to August 2016 and not February 2016. They said in the letter that since I left work in February 2012, they would only pay me from the date that I filed the claim, August 2016, since I did not file within a year of leaving work. I don't think that is correct and think they should go back to February 2016 when I filed the Intent to file. I just want to make sure I am right or they are right before I formally question that date.
My next question is: Since I am rated TDIU and Permanent and Total, should I file Secondary Conditions. I am rated at 60% and have had that since 1994. My concern is that if something happens to me that my husband will be able to have some money coming.
Again, thank you for helping me over the years. I certainly appreciate it.
Ms. Penn, are you rep'd by a VSO?
Filing an "Official Request for possible CUE Review" of a recent Decision, worked for me in mid 2016. Within 2 mos of the Filing, the additional 2 yrs of Retro was in the bank.
Most VSO Appeal Specialists are familiar with the above procedure, it doesn't stop your NOD Filing Clock, so doing it earlier rather than later is advised. I did mine within 2 days of receiving the Award Letter.
I would be remiss if I didn't add, contrary to what many Vets think, the VA Rating Dept actually has a process for "Quality Control" of Comp Rating Decisions. I received a Secondary FDC Denial Decision 07/15, somewhat expected after a negative C & P Exam 06/15. Unbeknownst to me or my E-Ben site, a Sr VA Rater performed a "Quality Review" of the Denial and reversed it mid 12/2015. E-Ben updated 01/03/16, indicating 100% SA with SMC S (1). No mention of my former 90% IU, however, the T & P No Future Exams remained.
The Retro hit the end of 01/16 but the Award Letter didn't arrive until 05/16. The only problem with the Award was the EED, which I planned to NOD. While discussing another issue with my VSR (Retired RO DRO), the recent Award came up. I had planned to file a DRO Review NOD that week but he advised the "Official Review for possible CUE." After I faxed him my supporting "EOR" from my "MHV" records, he filed that day as an FDC. Retro Deposit for another 18 mos hit by 07/16.
IU T & P NFES" is not the end of your Claims Journey. If a possible New or Secondary SC condition is DX'd, file the claim, let the Rating Dept figure it out. What were the SC conditions listed by the Rater in your Award Letter as causing your IU?
I read the VA explaition download but it still does not tell us much. They refer to a past claim.
Was the award based on a new claim? or on a re-opened claim?
Was it for the exact same disability they recently awarded?
I do think they committed CUE on the retro date but the actual decision would help more.
if you have a vet rep, I think they should go over the decision ( and you could print of the info in those links for them) and they hopefully might have a copy of the 'prior decision' that the download mentions.
The general rule for effective dates is the later of the "facts found" or the date of claim. There are many exceptions to this, however. One thing you can do is to take your information to an experienced VA lawyer, and have them review your case and see if you should get an eed. They will review it for free, and you dont have to hire them. You can hire someone else, or even self represent, and use their advice for free.
Their advice is particularly compelling. You see, they put "their own money on the line" when they agree to accept you as a claimant. They will have expenses, such as copies, postage, and filing fees, for example. And they "up front those", as well as labor, for years, before they will see a dime. So they really do put their own money on the line, by upfronting your costs, and not get a cent until way down the road. This is why if you have a good claim, and an attorney is willing to represent you on a contingency, you can be pretty sure the attorney thinks your case is solid, or they would turn you down. You dont have an attorney client relationship until YOU sign the fee agreement, but you can keep your ears open and listen, and sometimes can use their advice to represent yourself.
However, I have had good luck with attorney representation. Alex, apparently also got 1994 retro, if I recall, in no small part because he hired an attorney. If anyone could do this without an attorney, it would be Alex, but he hired one. That should tell you something. Few of us have Alex's knowledge. For example, he knows Latin, which is used in the court system..all that habeous corpus, pro se, jibberish of the attorneys and judges. He has also extensively studied case law, especially related to hep c. But HE hires an attorney. Why? For the same reasons you might: That you "net" more money with the attorney than without one. In other words, his attorney earned his fee, and actually "makes" the Vet money. Its true that attorneys win about double the cases from the VSO's, but they win larger settlements, too, in no small part because attorneys dont want to sue the VA for a hundred bucks. They will turn a Vet down if the potential retro is not enough to make it worthwhile for them.
@Broncovet - I agree.
Thank you all for your advice. In February 2016, I filed an intention to file TDIU. I filed it in August 2016. In Sept 2016 they gave me a c & P by a nurse practioner and based that a decision on that in January 2017, I think. When I got the decision, I answered their questions, complete with sources and provided a new DBQ and an updated nexus letter from my dr. This was filed on June 8. They had failed to consider any of my doctor's letters in the first decision, even though they had them. Since their C& P was so ridiculous I had my doctor do a dbq and submit that. This is all part of the original claim that I filed in August 2016. They are calculating the back pay to August 2016 and not to February 2016. A total of about 6 months. This is my only claim for tdiu. My service connection was granted 23 years ago. My doctor took me out of work in 2012, but I wanted to file for Social Security before I filed this claim.
I filed this all on my own. The last VSO I went to wanted me to let this claim go and file for secondary conditions and then go for permanent and total. That made sense, but I decided that I didn't want to let this first claim end the way it was and submitted the answers to their questions and more evidence to support what they didn't consider. I thought this was a reconsideration. I was very surprised and pleased when they granted it so quickly. It was kind of a shocker. Last time, I filed a major claim with VA, it took about 7 or eight years.
I would be surprised if a lawyer would take the case on back pay. I think the total shortage is $12,000. That being said, I think it may be more complicated to get the secondary conditions granted.
Thank you, again, for taking the time to answer my questions.
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