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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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


I am currently 80% IU p& t with 2 appeals still currently active. One is at the board and the other one is having a dro review. The one at the board is a TBI appeal and my dro review is a increase for migranes, which is currently 0%. My question is if granted the max for migranes which is 50% will this open me up for any SMC?...

Current ratings are as follows 70% for ptsd, 20% for left shoulder strain, 10% for left ankle sprain and 0% for migranes.

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Yes the 50% for  TBI headaches will  meet the SMC Criteria

I was thinking he was just 80%combined rated...IU changes things   as if he is 100%.

I was at 90% combined rating and was given the IU  w P&T 

then had another S.C. Rating for PTSD AT 70% that  made me eligible for the SMC S  AND A 100% Final degree rating.

Thanks to the rater who work my claim   they don't always do this 

If This veteran has some secondary conditions due to the TBI he could even go further up the SMC Latter  (So -to-speak)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for chiming in, Alex, clarifying.  Its been discussed that VA some/all the time uses "all" or many of the disabilities to form the tdiu(for purposes of SMC S).   If tdiu is based on the 70 percent PTSD, it sounds like you have it.  

Of course, I have much less experience (none with clients), so I guess that means you opine that "only" the PTSD makes up the TDIU, and I do recall you perhaps saying something about that earlier.  

I simply dont have enough knowledge about the nuances of Bradley Peake to know whether this Vet qualifes for SMC S (statuatory) based strictly upon the disabilities he posted.   

    I dont claim to be an expert in Bradley Peake or any area of Veterans law.  Some times I offer an opinion even tho I know others may be more qualified.  Still, for many Vets even a general answer, is better than no answer, as those more qualified than myself may not have been available to answer.  

    Mostly, I like the Veteran to review his own file, and draw his own conclusions..based on the evidence.  Im hopefull that others, may begin answering more questions, as I expect to have less time in the future answering questions.  There does not seem to be a good substitute for reviewing the file.  I keep seeing more stuff in my file, and have drastically changed my own strategy based on evidence, that I was previously unaware of. 

     The problem, to me, seems to be that "we dont know" what evidence is in the file, until we get a RBA usually AFTER a BVA denial.  Sure, we can order a copy of our cfile, but its almost certainly out of date by the time we get it either on cdrom or paper copy.  More evidence will be added, some will be taken away.  At least if your name is Cushman,  the VA may decide to "modify" your evidence to suit its own needs.   Source: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-federal-circuit/1346393.html

     You have the benfit of being able to see the VBMS..and we Vets dont get that on our own claim.  

     I simply offered the "general" rule of 100 percent plus a combined 60 percent seperate and distinct.  As someone pointed out TDIU can suffice for the 100 percent, based on Bradley vs Peake.  

     Vets are no longer allowed to apply for tdiu informally, and must do so on the appropriate form.  It used to be (and maybe still is) that the Veteran was required to list the disability(s) which make up TDIU on that form.  I have no idea which disabilities this Vet checked on the form that made up his tdiu.  I also dont know how the courts view it even if the Veteran checked "all" his disabilities made up his TDIU.  

    I appreciate your input on this Alex.  

Edited by broncovet

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Posted (edited)

I just cant thank u fellas enough on the wealth of knowledge u added to this post appreciate the insight. I will keep you guys updated on my process, and yes my IU is based solely from my ptsd.  

Edited by Bluntly

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