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By S. Bruce
I was awarded 30% service connected for sleep apnea when I left the military in 2008. In 2013, I was directed to and took another sleep study. It was found and the VA agreed that I needed to start using the CPAP. VA reviewed the evidence, agreed, paid for and I have been using the CPAP since 2013. In Sep 2019, during a review of my records, my representative informed me that using the CPAP meant that my SA rating should be 50% versus 30%. I filed an increase claim and was increased to 50% with an effective date of Sep 2019. Shouldn't the effective date be April 2013 when the diagnosis was received and approved? I checked and the 50% rating for using a CPAP was in place in 2013. I wasn't aware of the rating difference at that time, so I didn't file a claim at that time. I'm asking because I'm thinking I may be due some back pay...……….
I currently have 20% for arthritis in my upper back.
When I use my arms in such a manner like swinging a hammer or holding them up above my head for long periods, it causes pain in my back.
Do I have to have pain in my arm or joints in my arm to have a claim? Can I get this service-connected as a secondary disability?
I’m helping my MIL who refuses to call but once a month or so to check on her deceased vet husbands claim. She keeps getting conflicting information. She was told in June her claim packet would come in July and that he was going to be paid out on at least 5 claims dating back from Vietnam. He was exposed to Agent orange and ultimately passed 4 years ago from complications. He’s been fighting for this for almost 15 years. In July she was told her claim was in Demand to Pay status. Still nothing. We’ve searched all over the web and found no information about what this status means. Anyone heard of it?
So, as some know I have been having a little war with the VA and my VSO, the American Legion, about getting my DBQ's.
So today I went to the VSO's office in the VARO building during their "walk in" hours since I could not get them to give me an appointment.
On the door was as sign saying the office was closed for the week for training and left the 800 number for Washington DC office.
I knock on the door anyway. Two ladies answer.
Tell them what I want and that I need them to do it today.
They invite me into the office.
I hand them a typed sheet with the Dates and Dr's of my C&P's and a list of documents for each one that I need.
The first lady says she doesn't know why I am there. The second lady says she will help me. The first lady says show me how we do this.
I tell them again what I want and the 2nd lady says why do you want to file a NOD, I tell her. She says you don't need these files to file an appeal.......The VA already has them. I tell her I need to know exactly what the DBQ says and what the letters to and from VA says. I also need the code sheets as they existed at each point for each approved and denied C&P.
She tells me no i don't and if I insist on filing a NOD I should just file an HLR.. I told her no, that would not work for this and the HLR results are not typically veteran friendly.
She then spends 20 minutes more telling me that I need to listen to her because veterans don't know what they want and don't know anything about the VA and how to win their claim.
She then says "We work for the VA not for you, and the VA knows what it is doing".
this of course makes me mad and I say to her " I am asking you to get me these files. nothing more. I have heard your opinion and all you need to do is get me copies of these files." She then starts in again trying to convince me not to file.
I get more insistent and tell her that i heard her but I expect her to do exactly as I requested, nothing more.
She then says "Well you don't need those files so let me file the NOD" I tell her NO. Resoundingly empathically NO>
She then tells me I know how to file a NOD. She then remembers I am filing a CUE and says "you shouldn't file a CUE because you will never win and then the VA will be mad at you"......
Just f'ing wow.
Then I tell her once again to do what I asked her to do and to stop trying to dissuade me from what I want. I tell her she is wasting her time and mine and that all I want is her to get those documents.
She then yells to the other woman to get "Bill". Man comes in and says "those are VA files you don't get to have them".
I tell him he is wrong and ask who he is. He refuses to answer. I look at woman 2 and say Please tell me your full name so I have a record. She wants to know why. I tell her point blank, that the next time I speak to AL in DC I am going to reference her and what she has said and not done. I then look at "Bill" and ask his name. He tells me 'you don't need to know that". I tell him I do because saying "Bill from AL means nothing to anyone". He snaps back 'I don't work for AL I work for VFW".
I ask him why he is sticking his nose into an AL situation? He gets mad and leaves.
She writes down her name, at least I think it is her name, date and time .
Then says all she is going to do is fill out a FOIA. At this point I decide to let her do that and get a copy to submit with my complaint to the AL.
She then asks me what I want. Types that I want my C-file and the files on the attached sheet, prints it, shoves it at me and says to Sign it. I tell her no it is not accurate and ask for a pen and write explicitly what I want.
She literally tries to argue with me.
I tell her to stop arguing and write the FOIA the way I tell her.
She writes it wrong in her own phrasing and i made her redo it.
Then I made her add Time is of the essence on the form.
When she handed it to me. I initialed before and after the typing and drew a line threw the blank space.
She gasped and asked why I did that. I said "its blank space and anyone could add words to that blank space. She then started to say, and got half way through saying
'I needed to put more stuff...." and then shut up as she realized she was admitting to falsifying a FOIA over my signature.
I am not sure which is worse, having the people with my POA try and screw me over or having the VA which is supposed to be on my side try and Screw me over.
Yesterday my claim moved to Prep for decision, this was a week after my latest C&P, I was feeling optimistic that the estimated completion date of 9/4 was reasonable. Today it moved back to review of evidence and my date oushed to 9/14. This is a claim with 1 increase, 2 new, 2 secondary. I filed my claim 9/24/18 it seems like a long time for a claim.
Anyway, my question is: have any of you had the claim move from "prep for Decision" only to regress to review of evidence? If so, what was the timeline like?
Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
Vync posted an answer to a question,I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:
2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis
2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.
"...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.
First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date.
If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues.
I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.
It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.
Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.
Does this help?
Buck52 posted an answer to a question,Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.
The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.
Picked By66 bricks,