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I'm hoping to get some advice from members in this forum that may have been in my shoes, or knows someone who has been. I have been retired 22 years now after 20 years of service. I currently have a VA rating of 70% for back issues and headaches. The 70% rating breaks down to 40% for lower back, 20% for upper, and 10% for headaches. It's been nearly 20 years since I've been back to the VA for a rating increase. My lower back is worse now, and about 6 years ago I ruptured a disk. I also lost my job this past October because my back issues limit my mobility so much. I plan on going back to the VA around October of this year to try for an increase. I'm waiting until October because that will be the 20 year mark of my VA rating. I have definite trust issues and I don't trust the VA, which is why I've waited so long. I wanted to make sure they couldn't take the rating I have away.
I've had ongoing mental issues for quite a while now. Upon doing some research, it seems I have many symptoms of PTSD. My wife and daughter are encouraging me to start seeing a psychologist. I have no problem with that, but one of my questions is: would be a good idea to ask the psychologists office upfront if they would provide a NEXUS letter if they feel I do have PTSD related to my military service? My daughter advises me not to do that and to take the chance that they will supply one. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel it's better to see a psychologist that I know will supply a letter. I feel a NEXUS letter carries a lot of weight, and it's frustrating when specialists tell you that your condition is likely caused by your military service, but they won't supply a letter to back it up.
Another question concerns TDIU. I've been working in the maintenance field my entire life. As stated earlier, I was let go from my job because I could no longer effectively perform the duties due to my very limited mobility. Of course my employer gave me a letter that I was let go because they were "cutting back." I know they were protecting themselves because I was one of the more senior and experienced techs there. In any case, my second question is: should I file for TDIU as well as PTSD at the same time, as well as any secondary issues that I feel may be related? Or should I just file for one or the other?
All replies and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks to all who took the time to read this.
Currently awaiting BVA hearing next month and was quite surprised to see this in VA Notes from my psychiatrist a few days ago:
”Veteran has PTSD and depression due to his military service as a corpsman.”
She then goes on to write about my PTSD stressors and how PTSD and depression has impacted my life.
Now, my initial claim of PTSD was denied because of an unfavorable C&P exam.
Can I submit the above evidence to the BVA by waiving RO consideration?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
My father in-law first filed a form 21-526 on 8/2/2001 for prostate cancer and heart condition due to AO. The VA has conceded that this claim remained opened from that date until 3/25/2020. The VA conceded service connection for CAD, prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, etc with an effective date of 12/20/2017. The VA conceded on 3/25/2020 an effective date of 8/2/2001 for the CAD and prostate cancer, but denied an earlier effective date for diabetes and neuropathy. The VA has conceded a first diagnosis date for diabetes and neuropathy of 10/3/2006. I would like to appeal the 3/25/2020 rating decision denial of the diabetes and neuropathy to an effective date of 10/3/2006. I am hoping to use an "expressed or inferred claim" due to the fact that the initial claim remained open continuously from 8/2001 through 3/2020, and that with an open diagnosis of CAD, that a diabetes claim was inferred. I would appreciate any guidance on language to use, cases to refer to, and which type of appeal format to use. This was initiated under the old system, and a Nehmer de novo review was done on 4/28/2020. Thanks for your help!
To: Subject: NDAA Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions
January 6, 2021
Please distribute to National Call Centers and Public Contact Teams.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) (H.R.6395) added three (3) more conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive-conditions list wherein Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange may qualify for benefits:
bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism, or Parkinson-like symptoms.
Veterans and survivors are encouraged to submit claims.
Office of Field Operations- NCC
Recently diagnosed by VA Psychologist with Major Depressive Episode with service connection to Tennitus. Eval by private Psychologist wrote nexus confirming diagnosis and service connection. What else if anything do I need to proceed with secondary claim and receive approval?
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,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)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,