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Got a call from a former neighbor whom resides in Tennessee.  He was overwhelmed about service connection (granted) for sleep apnea and rhinitis at the Board of Veteran Appeals. He is excited. He first filed in March 2010, got the initial decision in in April 2011,  filed NOD in September 2011, received statement of case in December 2013,  forwarded form 9 July 2014,  appeal sent to BVA October 2016, and decision granted February 2019.  He has a few questions???

How long does it take the regional office to implement the VBA grant?

Will C&P exams be necessary?

If he disagrees with decision, can he appeal directly back to the BVA instead of the regional office?

He is currently 10%.  How will the backpay be calculated?

 

A lot of people contributed to his success. The process taught a few simple lessons I will share.

 

1. Get your medical records/files.

2. Go through file and document every sick call incident.

3. If you are currently suffering from any sickness or injury in the file, GO SEE A VSO.

4. Visit a doctor or specialist.  Explain you are a veteran and want a comprehensive exam.  Furthermore, the exam needs to be a CT Scan, MRI, X-RAY, Blood Work, Nerve Conduction test, etc. Medical evidence is key when establishing chronicity or current injury. Remember if you can't establish initial incident in service, no medical evidence supporting claim, or current verified diagnosis of injury or sickness, you won't win your claim.

5. Ask the doctor to opinion the viability (nexus statement) of sickness/injury being related to military service records.  And include any treatment notes related to injury/sickness.

6. If you can complete the triangle, you have the foundation for a claim.

7. File claim with VSO and continue prescribed treatment plan from doctor.

8. You should be approved; however if denied.  Get medical information, medical test results, and military records, which directly refute the reason from denial.

9. Don't become frustrated.

10. If denied again. File form-9. Don't waste time with reconsideration. Directly to BVA.

11. Prepare for a 2-3 year wait, but continue to see doctor and gather evidence.

 

This process is long and hard, but taking time in the beginning can help so much.

I hopes this helps someone new to the process. Fight for the benefits you deserve.

NEVER GIVE UP.............

 

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How long does it take the regional office to implement the VBA grant?

Will C&P exams be necessary?

If he disagrees with decision, can he appeal directly back to the BVA instead of the regional office?

He is currently 10%.  How will the backpay be calculated?

 

 

1. As long as it takes them  but it should not be too long.

2. No addition c/p exam will  be required

3. He would appeal to the Court of Veteran Appeals 

4. The back pay will be calculated back to the original date of the claim ( awards letter will list effective date looks like March 2010),  So he will get back pay from that date minus any pay he has already received for the original 10% rating. 

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Thanks.............

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If you disagree with any RO decision (whether or not its an implementation of a board decision), you have 3 choices:

Appeal to the board,

Appeal via HLR

Appeal via SCL. 

Of these, I recommend only a board appeal or Supplemental Claim lane.  I dont recommend HLR, and neither does Alex Graham.  

Board denials are appealed to the CAVC.  You can not appeal a remand, but you can appeal ANY ISSUES which are denied.  You can appeal an award, also, if you dispute the effective date(s).  

    We can not say "for sure" whether or not a c and p exam will be required.  There are some circumstances when one could be required.  An example is if the BVA awarded "service connection", but did not specify a disability percentage.  In that case, the RO may require a c and p exam to determine the extent of your current disability.  

     The back pay is paid to the first day of the month FOLLOWING the effective date.  

The effective date is the later of the "facts found" or the date of claim.  If you applied in 2002, but the doc said you were not disabled until 2009, then your effective date will be 2009.  

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