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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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  • VA Watchdog

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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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    • 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?
    • By John48
      On Appeal Remand: Sleep apnea, Vascular Disease, Sciatic Nerve Paralysis, Cerebral sinus Thrombosis and amputation of right leg, below the knee. After 4 failed bypass procedures on my LEFT leg, my vascular doctors-VA and Civilian, have told me that amputation of my remaining {LEFT} leg is imminent! It will happen once the blood flow to my leg becomes so reduced that I will no longer be able to withstand the pain and/or when my leg literally begins to die which will lead to gangrene and possibly sepsis. CLOSED and GRANTED: Anxiety disorder. {50% rating}  DENIED: Traumatic cataract,  Coronary Artery Disease, Arterial Aneurysm, Penile Deformity and DIABETES II, of all things!! And for some reason, they put on finger amputation which I NEVER claimed--I have all of my fingers!  I worked on Naha port loading and unloading ships with AGENT ORANGE and MANY other barrels that were leaking or broken open.  In addition, I visited Kadena AFB frequently. I remember the names of 2 of the ships I regularly unloaded--One was the Comet, and the other was the Trans Global. There were others that I can't recall, and I have not found any info as far as cargo with the 2  I do remember. I am hoping that other Vets that were there can send me letters to verify that's what happened everyday, and I will do the same for them!  I can not believe that the VA will not will not say that Agent Orange, and multiple other chemical barrels were on Okinawa. I SAW them. I unloaded them--I worked in clothes all day long that were soaked in these chemicals, and I truly have HAD IT!   John48      ** Here is a brief list of my medical conditions:  DIABETES MELLITUS TYPE II; 5 HEART ATTACKS--the first was in the late 80's;  SKIN CANCER--not yet claimed as I only found out from a VA dermatologist about 3 years ago; 4 STROKES--the first 2 happened in the mid-late '80's, when I was age 40-41,still active duty stateside. The last 2 happened in November 2016, one on November 1, the other one on November 16 while I was in the hospital for the stroke that happened 2 weeks earlier. These strokes have greatly damaged my short-term memory; OPEN-HEART CARDIAC BYPASS SURGERY--2008;  21+ STENTS in my heart, legs, and right arm; COUNTLESS ANGIOGRAMS AND ANGIOPLASTIES;  NEOPLASMS being removed from my face/back; PERIPHREAL NEUROPATHY-FINGERS/TOES.       *  I have left some things out, but what I listed gives everyone an idea. Like ALL of my Brothers and Sisters, I dedicated my life to serve my country. For me, it was 23 years in the Army. I do not want pity; I want JUSTICE for all of us! I have been fighting to get my benefits for 10 years, with ZERO assistance from the VA.       * In addition to all of this, my wife and I may be homeless in 2 months as a result of Hurricane Irma in 2017, and a verbal contract that was broken by our mortgage servicer. Some days we just feel like giving up.  
    • By Daughter with Chloracne
      My father served in Vietnam 1969-1975, he was exposed to Agent Orange when it was sprayed to knock the jungle down-he reported the outbreak of Chloracne to the doctors at the VA, he got it on his back-most of his back. He had my first older sister who got it on her face, back and arms. My second oldest sister only got it on her chin. My identical twin and I got it really BAD, we had it on our face, backs, necks, chests, behind our ears, sometimes in our groin too-we had to take a 9 month course of Accutane back in 1994-1995. It cleared until we had our kids, mine came back with a vengeance so bad I had to get back on Accutane (generic version) just a few years ago, on for 6 months-off for 2, back on for 6 months. I have been sickly most of my life. My bones have always hurt, but it is much worse now, began getting really bad when I was 30, I have lesions in my brain, degenerating disc disease, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis all over my body, and many other issues-my daughter was born with a premature fusion in her skull and had to have skull surgery to save her life-is there help for kids of vets or grandkids? My father was denied by the VA back in the 80s when he attempted to get help, it wasn't as bad for him as it's been for me and my twin-I'm terrified my kids are going to get this terrible skin condition, for years between the ages of 12-15 I prayed every night I would die in my sleep-the sores on our backs were EXCRUCIATING, I have pictures of then and pictures of now-no dermatologist has seen anything like it. The Accutane has given me it's own side effects, it has encouraged the extreme pain all over my body to hurt more, my joints to ache sharper, my eyes hurt so much...please please say there is help for us-if not, please tell me how to set it up so we can get help. Daddy is in his 70s now, he won't live forever, he deserves the benefits so many others deserve and have NOT gotten, I am trying to help him, and we are also paying for is exposure to this toxic chemical, I cannot believe how forgotten our veterans are about this, I have suffered over 25 years because of that extreme acne...any tips or advice would be much appreciated. I pray this isn't a repeat, but if it is, I do apologize. Thank you for letting me be part of your community, I think what you're doing to help each other is so very awesome. God Bless.
    • By jamescripps2
      This WRDW News Investigates broadcast was aired on the 6:00 & 10:00 news in Augusta Ga. on 9/25/2019. This is the first of a series,  more will follow.
      This link will work, click on the link, when page not found comes up, look five stories down on the right side of the screen and click on
      I TEAM INVESTIGATES OFF SPRINGS. If you have trouble, see my next post in this thread.
      https://www.wrdw.com/content/news/I-TEAM-Could-the-children-of-those-exposed-to-Agent-Orange-at-Fort-Gordon-als
    • By Ledeaux
      I’m helping my MIL who refuses to call but once a month or so to check on her deceased vet husbands claim. She keeps getting conflicting information. She was told in June her claim packet would come in July and that he was going to be paid out on at least 5 claims dating back from Vietnam. He was exposed to Agent orange and ultimately passed 4 years ago from complications. He’s been fighting for this for almost 15 years. In July she was told her claim was in Demand to Pay status. Still nothing. We’ve searched all over the web and found no information about what this status means. Anyone heard of it? 
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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
        • Like
    • 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
      • 5 replies
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