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  • 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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    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
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    • I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
      You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

      You all made that possible. Thank you.
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    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
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    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
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Sgt. Wilky

What the heck just happened??

Question

I posted last week that I was summoned for an RFE C&P exam. I went to the exam and the Nurse Practitioner saw me. It was probably the worst C&P exam I ever had. I logged in to my VA and went to the Blue Button and printed off my exam notes and I've since been furiously wearing out my highlighter on these papers. 

First of all, this nurse practitioner was very impersonal. He told me we were there to satisfy the bean counters in D.C. and that this was a legal exam, not necessarily a medical exam. I knew right then I was in trouble.

Second, during the course of the exam, numerous times he told me "push through the pain, push through the pain" numerous times. He never asked if I was in pain and the times I told him it WAS painful, he quipped, "I didn't ask you that." During the range of motion for my upper and lower back he told me to reach down and touch my toes and told me to bend my knees to do so if I couldn't bend over, which I promptly did bend my knees. He said "you need to touch  your toes." I felt like a freshman football player getting chastised by the coach. He noted in section 3 of my DBQ that "no pain noted on exam" which is a flat out lie. I told him several times throughout the exam that I was in pain, and that it was painful, and told me again, that he didn't ask me if I was.

Thirdly, I've been comparing the medical exam notes carefully, and while the sections are numbered correctly in his notes, entire sections of the DBQ were not included in his report. Coincidentally, sections 4 (ROM measurements after repetitive use testing) which were the same before and after the repetitive use and section 5, which address pain, are non-existent in his medical examiners notes. Section 7 dealing with functional loss was not in his medical notes. These points all would have been in my favor and helped. He obviously only covered and inserted information on those points that would benefit the VA reducing my rates (I'm only at 10% and not asking for anymore).

There are just so many other things wrong with this exam and his notes, he makes me look like a liar, and that's what makes me the most angry. This was purely adversarial and I have no idea what or why he felt that I deserved that kind of treatment. There's no doubt they're going to either reduce me to 0% on this.

I'm basically going to copy and paste and email it to my VSO here in Fort Collins and see what they say about it, but I'm trying to figure out what my next steps should be after I finish documenting my experience with the guy in my notes. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Semper Fi,

Sgt. Wilky

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Sorry the exam did not go so well. I will say that most Exams whether Civilian or VA, the Docs usually dont have all the paper work or DBQs on hand to complete properly to begin with. Also at times I went thru exams where the Doc did not even have all or access to my VA medical records. Just make sure you note what was incorrect, and if this does go bad, then appeal it. I will say that I have had atleast 5 exams where Doc treated me like crap, yet awarded the Condition and even higher then I was requesting. This process is so stressful to begin with, and the Exams are even worse. Just try to see how it all turns out. Keep us posted and good luck.

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Yea, I have had some bad C&P exams myself.  I had one where the neurologist who I had seen before and gave a bad C&P previously told me "I thought I had taken care of you already."  Glad you maintained your cool, losing your temper only hurts you, ask me how I know 😳.

If you lose your claim you can ask for a BVA appeal.  Some people get an IMO but if you are only 10% I do not know if that would be cost effective, unless your condition has actually gotten worse.  Let us know how this progresses.

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I have always felt that the range of motion standard of testing was a sad joke. heres why.  as a back pain and neck pain sufferer myself, there are days when I cannot even tie my shoes due to muscle spasms tiying my leg and back muscles in knots. As nerves get pinched in your spine, they signal the muscles surrounding them to contract. to 'PROTECT'.. After hours of this going on, the back of your legs and buttock will feel like a rubber and that has been twisted and would super tight, to the point they cannot stretch.  There are other times though, when the pinching of the nerves isnt so profound, and the muscle tightness isnt so bad.

So lets say you go to a CP exam, after a week of rest, using your Tens unit, and things arent as bad as they usually are, and you can bend to touch your toes. even though this is a rare occasion, the VA will say your range of motion is normal.. The VA really need to dithc the range of motion scam, and look at tangible evidence such as MRIs, radiology reports, and neurology reports. also medications. if the veteran is on strong muscle relaxers, or strong pain medication, then they may be able to do the range of motion tests more easily , but this is not a true indicator of disability, because pain levels are supposed to be rated pre medicated state.

I think the range of motion scam is a rabbit hole the VA uses to deny  veterans.  They like to use it as a indicator instead of sending you for an MRI, because 1, the MRI is quite definitive, and 2, they dont want to pay for an MRI.  I would get an MRI, and a neurologists statement, pain management records,   and use that to fight for your claim.  The old how far can you bend and does it hurt in your ass or your leg scam is old hat.

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  • Our picks

    • This is the latest Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide dated 20180719. The only other one I've seen is dated 2002, including the one on this website and the VA website. I got this from my claims agent, who got it from the VA.

      VA Compensation & Pension (C&P) Clinicians Guide 2 Final Corrected 20180719.pdf
      • 5 replies
    • I don’t say thank you enough to all of you...
      You, yes you, are the reason HadIt.com has remained a resource-rich resource. Thousands come each month to read, ask questions, or to feel a sense of community.

      Last month June 2020, we over 50k visitors they viewed over 160k pages. Veterans and their advocates, spouses, children, and friends of veterans come looking for answers. Because we have posts dating back 15 years and articles on the home page, they usually can find an answer or at least get pointed in the right direction.

      You all made that possible. Thank you.
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Help HadIt.com stay online buy a subscription
      If you can afford it and want to help hadit.com consider buying a subscription this gives you as free viewing of the site and allows me to budget in subscription payments.
       

      You can try it for 1 month for $5 or get a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.

      Subscribe here https://community.hadit.com/subscriptions/
      • 1 reply
    • VA has a special where we can ask questions TODAY, at 3:00 to "people that matter?"  Someone should ask why we can not ask them questions EVERY day, why today only? (This is a big problem with VA..the 800 number often does not give specific answers).  We should have people in VA who "solve Vets problems" like Allison Hickey did a few years ago. 
      • 8 replies
    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
        • Like
      • 9 replies
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