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    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.

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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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  • 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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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llburk

Can you file a new information claim one file?

Question

I filed an agent orange cad claim by e-file using the option of a fully completed claim on March 5th.

I received a 10 per cent disability decision this week. My mistake was I didn’t have my private physician Fill out a DBQ and complete the interview based METS section.

My question is can I file another 21-526 EZ adding the new information for my approved 10 per cent by e-file? The approved 10 per cent is based upon medication only. 

I don’t want to appeal an approved claim and need to know how to correctly update that claim with new information .

 

 

 

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Not sure but it sounds like you think the 10% was low-balling your condition. They did that to me, you are not alone.

You can call Peggy (the VA customer service #-800-827-1000) and get them to submit a request for reconsideration. Your 10% is yours, they wont take that back, but reconsideration opens the claim again and then you can upload a statement into the EB site to show that you should be rated higher. Write a letter showing the mistakes made in the C&P exam and document where your medical records show that your condition is worse than what the examiner said.  If you want to add more medical evidence then use RAMP.

This is a very common problem with VA C&P exams. This info was already in the case file at the VA when they made  my decision, it was the rating official that failed to account for facts contained in my case file when he rendered the decision.

The new RAMP appeals are designed to let them catch these errors before they get to the BVA level. If you appeal for a higher rating, you will not lose the SC that was already awarded, so you cant lose that unless they find significant mistakes or fraud. You would have to get notice of an intent to decrease which you could also fight and appeal if you lose. At one point, the VA ratings held a 74% error rate, which means that 3 out of 4 claims had errors in the decision rendered at the RO (according to the American Legion).

 

 

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Yes, you can file to reopen due to new and material evidence, 38 cfr 3.156.  There is a regulation for just that.  

You posted, 

Quote

 don’t want to appeal an approved claim and need to know how to correctly update that claim with new information .

 

 

I dont think you understand that you can appeal either SC, disability percentage, or effective date.  You would be appealing the disability percentage, by reopening new and material evidence 3.156.  

I think maybe you are worried that, if you appeal, the VA can take away what you have.  The VA and the VSO's LOOOVE it whn you think that way.  They want you to be "afraid" of filing for an increase out of fear of a reduction instead.  Remeber this acronym:

F alse

E xpectations

A ppearing 

Real

This is what fear is, precisely.  The VA can reduce you, yes, if you imporve.  And, they can take away benefits if you are a fraud.  But they are not gonna take away your benefits because you forgot to send in another doc report that documents additional symptoms.  

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They can try to take your benefits.  In an SOC it was noted that my case needed further review for reduction.  When I requested my case go to the BVA they suddenly forgot about the further review.

Do not let the VA strongarm you.  You can always request higher level review.

Edited by vetquest

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I agree with Vetquest & broncovet  good info.

 

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    • By Togore101
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      Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
      Disability Benefits Questionnaire
      Name of patient/Veteran: =========
      Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P
      Examination
      Request?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
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      ----------
      1. Diagnostic Summary
      ---------------------
      Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD?
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      2. Current Diagnoses
      --------------------
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      ------------------------------
      a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?
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      c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed
      4. Occupational and social impairment
      -------------------------------------
      a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of
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      productivity
      b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it
      possible to differentiate what portion of the occupational and social
      impairment indicated above is caused by each mental disorder?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed
      c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what
      portion
      of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by
      the
      TBI?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI
      SECTION II:
      -----------
      Clinical Findings:
      ------------------
      1. Evidence Review
      ------------------
      Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):
      [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)
      [X] CPRS
      Evidence Comments:
      MENTAL HEALTH OUTPATIENT FOLLOW UP NOTE [excerpts]
      DATE OF NOTE: MAR 05, 2018
      AUTHOR: ========,NP NURSE PRACTITIONER
      CHIEF COMPLAINT: "same old same old"
      INTERVAL HISTORY:
      Veteran is here for 6 week follow up for PTSD, Alcohol Use Disorder,
      unspecified, episodic. At last appointment, low dose venlafaxine was
      added, aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin were continued.
      He reports symptoms are about the same. His wife is pregnant with twins,
      so he is trying to minimize arguments at home. He worries he will not be
      able to connect with the babies, because he struggled so much with his
      daughter and points to her persistence as the reason they are close now.
      He see no change in sleep, remains irritable, and more hypervigilant due
      To recent car break ins on his street. He has cut down on drinking, and
      denies any binges since last appointment. He continues to have fleeting
      SI, but denies intent. He often has thoughts of hurting others, but
      strongly denies acting on the thoughts. No recent hallucinations. He
      does talk to himself when he is trying to work something out, but denies
      hearing voices other than his own. It can be embarrassing as coworkers and wife
      have caught him.
      ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT PLAN GOALS:
      DSM 5 Diagnostic Impression
      PTSD
      Alcohol Use Disorder, Unspecified, episodic
      Goals:
      1. Decrease irritability and anger- does not interfere with home or work
      life more than one time per month, ongoing, improving
      2. Improve feeling of connection with others- enjoying and developing
      relationships, ongoing, no change
      3. Decrease avoidance of social situations/crowds- can tolerate Wal Mart,
      enjoy outings with family, ongoing, no change
      4. Improve sleep- no difficulty falling asleep, sleep 6 to 8 hours
      nightly, ongoing, worsening
      PLAN AND PROGRESS TOWARDS TREATMENT PLAN GOALS:
      reviewed records and discussed options
      - increasing venlafaxine to 75 mg
      - continuing aripiprazole, prazosin, and melatonin
      - suggested individual supportive counseling at the Vet Center after Dr.
      Bhatia leaves.
      - monitoring labs at next appointment
      - Will continue to follow closely. RTC 6 weeks/PRN
      2. Recent History (since prior exam)
      ------------------------------------
      a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history:
      Last C&P PTSD DBQ May 2016
      Lives in Moncks Corner, SC with wife of 9 years and daughter age 4.
      Daily routine: Lay down for bed 2100. Will fall asleep 2300. Wake
      frequently. "I have to do certain things to calm down. I need my
      gun next to me. I have to check the house make sure its locked. Make sure
      the alarm is on. If I hear something, it wakes me right up and I have
      to check it out." +Nightmares, night sweats. "Sometimes
      I'm swinging and yelling and talking in my sleep, so my wife leaves for a different
      room. I wake up and she's not there and it freaks me out."
      Prescribed
      melatonin for sleep, prazosin for nightmares. Abilify for PTSD.
      Diagnosed sleep apnea by sleep study in 2013, prescribed CPAP and is
      compliant.
      Relationship with wife: "We almost got divorced a few times. She
      didn't understand what was going on. She started reading up on it. The whole
      reason I went to mental health was because of her."
      Relationship with daughter: "She is scared of me. She has seen me
      Snap a few times. She is on guard. She doesn't know if I'm going
      to be up or down. She is my heart. She is the only thing that makes me feel
      normal." Will watch cartoons and read books together.
      Hobbies: play basketball, go to gym "but now I just sit in the
      House watch TV or just in the room." Likes anime.
      Support: father "he's been with me through everything."
      And is Veteran
      too, wife "but there is a wall there where I don't open
      up."
      b. Relevant Occupational and Educational history:
      Working for passport services for 3 years. "Its rough at times.
      There's a lot of people in there. They had to move my seat because I'm
      too jumpy. They moved it so I'm not around a lot of people. It is hard
      to focus. I have to use sticky notes. They have been pretty supportive.
      I've had good supervisors." Was counselled about days missing
      for work; "I had a blow up at my co-workers so they spoke to me about
      that." Miss 2-3 days per month. "When I get to work, I drive around the
      Building and if I see something I don't like, I just go home."
      Military history: E4, MP, Separated 2014, Honorable, Served about 6
      years.
      c. Relevant Mental Health history, to include prescribed medications and
      family mental health:
      Mental health treatment with prescriber and therapist. No history of
      hospitalizations. Was in group therapy "but I didn't like it."
      d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history:
      "When I was in Japan I got us into trouble because of my alcohol
      abuse. I got into a car accident and hit 3 cars." Was sent to ADAP for
      anger and PTSD. A month ago got into a physical altercation with sister's
      boyfriend "I laid hands on him. So then I went to a hotel room and stayed there and
      then I went on a drink binge."
      e. Relevant Substance abuse history:
      Alcohol - "I abused it really bad. My PCM said it was affecting
      My liver." Was drinking4-5 25 oz beers, drink a bottle of liquor over
      The weekend. Now will drink 1-2 beers.
      Tobacco - 2-3/day
      Denies other substances.
      f. Other, if any:
      Current reported symptoms:
      Anger: "I black out and become very violent. I knock TVs off
      walls. My wife was ready to leave me."
      Triggers: "foggy day and rain." "Ignorant and stupid
      people."
      Social avoidance.
      "If a car is behind me too long, I start to think he is following
      me. There is a particular truck that I know and he gets too close to me. I
      got sick of it and one day I followed him home. I didn't do
      anything, but I blacked out mad. I knew I needed help."
      Flashbacks - "I was shopping with my wife, and this guy had a
      turban on his head and I thought I was back there. Its constant, its all the
      time."
      Hygiene - "My wife got on my because I went a week without washing
      And I didn't even realize it."
      Suicide - "I thought about driving into traffic at the light. One
      Time I sped up and got on railroad tracks when a train was coming. I
      thought, what am I doing? I went into store parking lot." Reports
      this occurred 2 weeks ago. "I keep a picture of my daughter in the car
      to keep me from [doing it]."
      3. PTSD Diagnostic Criteria
      ---------------------------
      Please check criteria used for establishing the current PTSD diagnosis. The
      diagnostic criteria for PTSD, are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
      of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). The stressful event can be due to
      combat, personal trauma, other life threatening situations (non-combat
      related stressors). Do NOT mark symptoms below that are clearly not
      attributable to the Criterion A stressor/PTSD. Instead, overlapping
      symptoms clearly attributable to other things should be noted under #6 - "Other
      symptoms".
      Criterion A: Exposure to actual or threatened a) death, b) serious
      injury,
      c) sexual violence, in one or more of the following ways:
      [X] Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s)
      [X] Witnessing, in person, the traumatic event(s) as they
      occurred to others
      Criterion B: Presence of (one or more) of the following intrusion
      Symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the
      traumatic event(s) occurred:
      [X] Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing
      Memories of the traumatic event(s).
      [X] Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or
      affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
      [X] Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the
      individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s)
      were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum,
      with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of
      awareness of present surroundings).
      [X] Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure
      To internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an
      aspect of the traumatic event(s).
      [X] Marked physiological reactions to internal or external
      cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the
      traumatic
      event(s).
      Criterion C: Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the
      Traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic events(s) occurred,
      as evidenced by one or both of the following:
      [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories,
      thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with
      the traumatic event(s).
      [X] Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders
      (people, places, conversations, activities, objects,
      situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts,
      or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic
      event(s).
      Criterion D: Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with
      the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the
      traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)
      of
      the following:
      [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or
      expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g.,
      "I
      am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is
      completely
      dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently
      ruined").
      [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or
      consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the
      individual to blame himself/herself or others.
      [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror,
      anger, guilt, or shame).
      [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in
      significant activities.
      [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
      [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions
      (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction,
      or
      loving feelings.)
      Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with
      the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the
      traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)
      of
      the following:
      [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no
      provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical
      aggression toward people or objects.
      [X] Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
      [X] Hypervigilance.
      [X] Exaggerated startle response.
      [X] Problems with concentration.
      [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying
      asleep or restless sleep).
      Criterion F:
      [X] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria
      B, C, and D are more than 1 month.
      Criterion G:
      [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically
      significant distress or impairment in social,
      occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
      Criterion H:
      [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological
      effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or
      another medical condition.
      4. Symptoms
      -----------
      For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the
      Veteran's diagnoses:
       [X] Depressed mood
      [X] Anxiety
      [X] Suspiciousness
      [X] Chronic sleep impairment
      [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent
      events
      [X] Flattened affect
      [X] Impaired judgment
      [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood
      [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or
      a
      worklike setting
      [X] Suicidal ideation
      [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with
      periods
      of violence
      [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
      5. Behavioral observations
      --------------------------
      Veteran was open and forthright with no evidence of exaggeration or
      feigning symptoms. Affect blunted. Minimal eye contact. Speech regular
      rate, tone, volume. Thought process linear, logical, goal directed.
      Thought content absent for delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or HI.
      Endorses SI with no active plan, but drove car onto train tracks last
      week. Discussed safety, crisis line, Veteran has MHC appointment next
      week. Veteran reports safety to return home today.
      6. Other symptoms
      -----------------
      Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other
      mental disorders) that are not listed above?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      7. Competency
      -------------
      Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any:
      ---------------------------------------------------
      PCL-5 score 72, indicating probable diagnosis of PTSD.
      Veteran continues to meet criteria for PTSD. He reports social
      withdrawal, sleep problems, memory problems, irritability, anger that is both verbal
      and physical, suicidal thoughts. He has work accommodations because of
      his PTSD symptoms. He misses several days of work a month because of his
      symptoms.
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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
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    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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