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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. 
        • Like
      • 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)
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      • 9 replies
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paulcolrain

not a Q but a STATEMENT about the power of an IMO/IME

Question

im currently writing my award time frame and my success story for this Great Veterans Blog Information site.

but, in the mean time i want to stress and admit that all the others here stressed to me ,,,, if you get any type of small retro and believe your going further in your VA quest for benefits you deserve. please please,,, do your self a favor and save $2,500 and get an IMO/IME... it is the world of difference... if i can say that 1 of the 5 most important things ive learned here on this site is,,, the importance of realizing that a C and P exam will never get you there no matter your evidence. please take this advice and save up to get your imo/ime and then get your win from the VA.
 

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Well put Paul-

I find that when I advise widows here  to do that, they often do not heed the advice.

I know it can be a major expense, but I did it myself for my AO DMII death claim and would have never succeeded without IMOs.

A request for an IMO/IME should include the C & P exam that denied the claim, so that a real doctor can knock it down.I recently requested a copy of a ridiculous C & P exam that had no basis in fact, yet the VA had an IMO from VACO,done for my FTCA ase, that was completely ignored. I won that claim by filing CUE the day after I got the denial and they awarded within a month. The point is ( I am still ticked by this) how ridiculous their so-called "medical review"  was.I want to complain to the Secretary about it and every past ridiculus posthumous C & P exam they did after my husband died.I think many widows do not know how to even combat this crap-and it will take a posthumous review by an IMO/IME doctor.

Same for vets as well......as you said.....

I think vets should get tgether and file a Class Action when they have proof of a lousy C & P that denied that claim, and then proof of a IMO/IME that awarded the claim. 

 

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The biggest difference between a VA c and p exam and a IMO/IME, is WHO pays the doctor.  

When VA pays the doctor, then the VA gets to tell the doc, "How to do its job".   However, when YOU pay the doc, you have a say on telling the doctor what to do.  

Tell the doctor:

"I need this (medical opinion) in a format that VA understands.  This means you have to render an opinion on whether or not (my in service event, lets say gun shot wound), is "at least as likely as not" the cause of my diabetes, and then opine why.  For example, since this GSW penetrated my pancreas, it rendered my production of insulin to be sporadic or not work at all.  The doctor needs to explain his reason or reasons he makes such an opinion AND you want him to document SYMPTOMS as well".  

     Example IMO:  

      The Veteran suffered a GSW during military service, which apparently penetrated the pancreas.  The tests show the pancreas has scarring due to the GSW and surgical repairs.   Based on the medical tests (MRI, cat scan, etc), it is my professional opinion that the gunshot wound in service "at least as likely as not" resulted in the Veterans diabetes.  The evidence of the  gsw is overwhelming as the Veteran is, otherwise, at low risk of diabetes.  The Veteran suffers from the symptoms of diabetes:  he has high blood pressure, blurred vision, diabetic nueropathy, and must take insulin at least once per day.   He must also have a very restricted diabetic diet.  He tires easily, his poor vision renders him unable to drive.  Due to the constant blood pressure monitoring, spikes in blood sugar, he is unable to maintain substantial gainful employement due to the side effects of his in service gunshot wound.  I have reviewed the Veterans records and he has been unable to work since Oct. 2002, when he received this gunshot wound.  

 

       Signed...Ima V. Adocate, MD.  

A good IMO should have:

1.  The doctors qualifications for making his opinion. (board certified, etc).

2.  That he reviewed the Veterans records.  

3.  Nexus with medical rationale, to include diagnosis (sometimes the doc may put that the Veteran was diagnosed by another doctor, and that is ok)

4.  Symptoms caused. 

5.  Dates the record showed the Veteran was disabled.  

      

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I don't mind finding a reasonable IMO but even a vocational experts opinion works well too that's all I had done for my claims only spending a few hundred dollars as opposed to spending almost 10k on a medical report just because it has to deal with a sTBI.....

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An IMO won an impossible case for me.  I contended that the heat stroke I suffered caused my neuropathy, this was denied in toto by the VA even though a letter by the Secretary of the VA noted that a heat stroke could cause neurological complications.  The doctor who wrote my IMO said all of the right things, including that contemporary medical literature supported this contention.  And it only cost me $1500 from a local doctor.

Edited by vetquest
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I agree with all these, but will add for those who dont have 2500 or whatever for the IMO:  Sometimes you can get a VA doc who is "on your side".  Im not exactly sure why this doc likes me, but he gave me all the evidence I need..but I think I know why.

This doctor is blind (legally).  So, this makes him understand hearing loss, and how it causes depression.  Many VA docs wont even provide a nexus, and they sure dont want to do stuff like opine on the hearing loss depression connection, even tho its very well established and Va even admitted the same in the "hearing loss manual" of several years ago.  In this manual, the VA stated that hearing loss causes depression..and I know that to be a fact.  As Helen Keller explained, not being able to understand and communicate with others "disconnects" you from other people.  I have met HOH and deaf people, and, while there is a thriving "deaf" community in many places, these people often do not want to communicate to the "hearing" world, even if they could.  People who can hear dont want to be bothered repeating or rephrasing themselves..they consider us HOH (hard of hearing) people "deaf and dumb", and not worth their time to repeat themselves.  It is just a waste of time for them.  To the deaf community, however, being able to communicate is a very, very high priority.  They do things I love:

1.  They will "touch" you to get your attention, and get you to face them.  Even if you dont fully read lips, OR SIGN, they can often use gestures to communicate the meaning.  We even do that with dogs..dogs understand what pointing means.  

2.  Its never an inconvience to them to rephrase or repeat.  Never.  They get it.  They have stood around while people are talking and felt isolated as they had no idea what was going on, and dont like that, so they dont do that to you.  

3.  They use body language tools to a high degree of skill.  Hearing people also use body language, but the HOH have often mastered communicating with body language, and by using context.  

4.  They "never" walk away while you are talking.  That is rude, and hearing community gets away with it as most people can still understand what you are saying.  We cant.  

5.  By facing you in communication, and using facial expressions, the communication level is more honest, and deeper.  

      I love being around the HOH and deaf community, who fully understand and work hard so you can understand them.  

      My doc understands this, being blind, (sensory deprived), and rendered favorable opinions linking my hearing loss and depression, as it should be.  I can not even watch tv...without closed captions, then everyone else "hates" the words on it as it blocks the view, and they complain about me needing the words on the screen.  

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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
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 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. 
        • Like
      • 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)
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 9 replies
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