Jump to content
HadIt.com Future: Zoom Meeting Dec 3, 2022 02:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada) - Join Us. ×
It Turns Out HadIt.com Is Not Dead Yet! ×
  • 0

SMCs for TDIU rating 3 yrs ago


Nvet

Question

Hello,

I received a TDIU rating for Depression in 2015. In addition, I had 40% for my back, 30% Migraines, and 10% allergies. I was not considered for SMCs. Any advice on how to proceed to get SMCs and back pay? Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
  • Moderator

If you think you meet SMC S, then file for it.  There are 2 ways to get it:

1.  100 percent plus an additional 60 percent, seperate and distinct.  

2.  Housebound "in fact", where your doctor says you are substantially confined to your premisis due to sc conditions.  

     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
5 hours ago, Nvet said:

Any advice on how to proceed to get SMCs and back pay? Thanks

@Nvet

Since you did not include a lot of detail about your current claims I am going to suggest you order your C-file NOW and comb through it thoroughly. You want all treatment records, in service events, IMO's and non-va med records if any. You need proper buddy statements in Sworn Declaration format, do not use the VA form for statement in support of claim. Read the Veterans Law Blog for why.

To get back pay on your current conditions you are going to have to challenge the denials.

Since we are now under the AMA process (no more legacy, no more RAMP) you will have to use the Supplemental Claim lane to introduce New and Relevant evidence that overturns the denials. New and Relevant replaces New and Material under the AMA process.

If you can prove a CUE, and I have no idea if you can, then that is your shortest path. Just remember that you can only CUE an issue once, so many people hold that as a hail mary pass. @Berta is the Queen of Cue around here and maybe she will chime in on this even though she is up to her eyeballs in alligators these days.

@broncovet is correct in his post. Those are the two criteria for SMC S.

To reach SMC (s) 38 USC 1114 controls the issue.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/1114#s

scroll down to:

(s)

If the veteran has a service-connected disability rated as total, and (1) has additional service-connected disability or disabilities independently ratable at 60 percent or more, or, (2) by reason of such veteran’s service-connected disability or disabilities, is permanently housebound, then the monthly compensation shall be $2,993. For the purpose of this subsection, the requirement of “permanently housebound” will be considered to have been met when the veteran is substantially confined to such veteran’s house (ward or clinical areas, if institutionalized) or immediate premises due to a service-connected disability or disabilities which it is reasonably certain will remain throughout such veteran’s lifetime.
 
To apply the bolded criteria (1) above you would need to get your other ratings up to 60%. To get back pay you would have to get an EED on the increases. This will be very tough.
 
To get the second you will need the doctors to say you cannot leave the house.
if that is true as you are and as you were in 2015, and you can prove it, you will get back pay. If not you will only get paid from the date it is approved.

 

You don't say what your % for Depression is. Has treatment helped?

The 2015 date for depression indicates you might be near a review C&P. Depending on the results you might get a bump and even P&T considering the length of time.  If there is a path to 100% schedular versus TDIU, the VA will take that path. Don't be surprised if they send you for one.

Even a 100% P&T on Depression combined with your other current rates will not get you to SMC S based on the first criteria. You would need to bump the others to combine into a 60% rating or get rated for other stuff that combines to 60%

I am going to make a guess that retro for SMC (s) is not going to happen as you currently sit. 

Based solely on what you posted,

6 hours ago, Nvet said:

40% for my back, 30% Migraines, and 10% allergies

I would suggest your path to 60% runs through either seeking increases on the back and migraines. I would suggest looking for real and appropriate secondary conditions to each of them.

Secondaries all depend on the actual Diagnostic Code used for your particular condition along with documentation of the associated condition. So for example back problems are frequently related to ED and Urinary problems. If you have ED apply for SMC K, if you have ED you likely have one of the urinary problems, even more so if you are over 50.

Migraines often have optical secondaries and neurological issues. possibly problems with your sympathetic nervous system.

you don't say when you served but if you are Gulf War, OEF/OIF there are many presumptive conditions that may be related to your migraines.

Allergies are associated to the respiratory system and there may be secondaries there. you will have to look. Again the specific codes mean a lot in determining what secondaries may be available to you. 

Depression also has secondaries, but that path may have more dangers than your other conditions. You will have to research all the options, check them against your c-file, treatment records carefully and decide for yourself what risks may concern your case.

One example of a danger might be if your SC depression turns out to aggravate a NSC condition in your service record. That NSC can be rated as secondary and connected to service which would benefit you. However bringing that NSC to light might also cause the VA to reconsider the nexus of the SC Depression which might not turn out well for you. A situation that comes to mind might be a sexual assault that occurred before service, or the tragic death of someone in your life that sent you to counseling before service. Even child abuse or drug use before service might act against you.  A non-sympathetic C&P doctor might view any of those as the real nexus of your current depression.

My point is that there are many potential pitfalls in picking that scab of secondaries for mental health.
 

 
 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Nvet said:

"Hello,

I received a TDIU rating for Depression in 2015. In addition, I had 40% for my back, 30% Migraines, and 10% allergies. I was not considered for SMCs. Any advice on how to proceed to get SMCs and back pay? Thanks"

Based on what you posted so far I feel this is a prime facie CUE.

My SMC CUE is here:

https://community.hadit.com/topic/47459-how-my-cue-succeeded/

 

I understand your post as this:

You have a TDIU solely for SC depression.

You have additional disabilties that appear to combine to over 60%.

The VA committed CUE by not considering you for SMC...is that true- in other words they did not even mention SMC in the decision?

If so they have violated 38 CFR 4.6, and the Mandate of SMC in the link I gave you on how I won my SMC CUE.

Can you scan and attach the 2015 decision to include the Rating sheet?

Cover your C file # prior to scanning it.

Also they violated ,based on what you posted ,Bradley V. Peake:

If you clarify what you posted and can scan and attach the 2015 decision ,others can help- if I am not here later- this is an easy as pie CUE claim someone can write for you in this thread.

Bradley had not been determined when I filed my SMC CUE.Otherwise I would have got them on that.

Ironically the decision awarded both HB and SMC S (100% plus over 60%), but they only paid under one theory. I think-

I have asked for a complete award of that award because it involved a separate Nehmer award and the award letter said the audit was an "estimate".

In the past the VA made financial errors to the tune of 40 thousand on my issues.

Regional counsel cued them, but the amount was still wrong.I cued them again.

I got  all the cash but it is 'as likely as not 'they buggered the Nehmer audit, too.

Cover your C file # and your name, when you scan the decision.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
added more (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

To add, CUE is NOT a one shot deal- if the BVA addresses it and denies and/or dismisses it without prejudice to refiling it, the claimant can then understand what errors they made -via the BVA decision, in the wording of the CUE and re submit it to their RO. 

I wanted to check that and found I had made the same point here multiple times-

Many of the CUES I have won were filed within the appeal period, not even needing an NOD.

Dont let anyone tell you a CUE within the appeal period at your RO, cannot by filed.

M21-1MR was changed because of suggestions I gave to former Sec Shulkin. That info is here as well under a search.

The VA ,because of one suggestion change, is supposed to review every decision for potential CUE, then correct what they find, before the final decision is made. It could be one reason why claims bounce back and forth at the ROs per ebenefits.

CUE is the very first thing I seek when I see posts like yours here.

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

You did get good suggestions here- from others....

Geekysquid said:

."@Berta is the Queen of Cue around here and maybe she will chime in on this even though she is up to her eyeballs in alligators these days."

Ha Ha, there are definitely alligators in the swamp of VA I am trying to help drain.

A veteran I mentioned here before-has a Bill in Congress that is similar to mine and suggested we both try to get on the hearing docket ,to testify in person.

My daughter , a veteran, would love it if I came to DC because she works in DOD NSA ,in DC and maybe I will take a long vacation there. Been there many times....I think every American with children should take them to DC.-the Smithsonian takes at least a week or ten days, and the Wall, and the Capital, WH, etc are all within walking distance if you like to walk- but the Mall shuttle bus is cheap.We were at the Wall there twice and at the moving Wall many times here in NY.

PS I got a very unusual letter from my RO director yesterday.

I actually got 3 , and one copy of  letter was supposed to go to someone else-who does not have a VA email.

I have to reply to them via snail mail-I responded to the Director in email-re: the letter and I  let her know I filed another White House complaint on the posthumous C & P exam results I received last week.

I emailed the VA "doctor" too.

I  intend  to bite those alligators in the butt. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
  • Moderator

Well, yes, Berta is the "queen of CUE".  

I have only filed one Cue, and it got quicky denied, and left a bad taste in my mouth.  

However, Berta's success with Cue is undeniable, in no small part to her thoroughness and attention to details that I have a tendency to disregard. (Bad idea on my part).  

She posted:

Quote

CUE is NOT a one shot deal- if the BVA addresses it and denies and/or dismisses it without prejudice to refiling it, the claimant can then understand what errors they made -via the BVA decision, in the wording of the CUE and re submit it to their RO. 

I wanted to check that and found I had made the same point here multiple times-

Many of the CUES I have won were filed within the appeal period, not even needing an NOD.

Dont let anyone tell you a CUE within the appeal period at your RO, cannot by filed.

I seem to recall reading that was not the case, probably from VA watchdogtoday.org

I think Jim Strickland advocated "you only had one chance at CUE".  And that stuck in my mind.  

I was not able to find anything in MY copy of the VBM regarding the "one shot cue" hypothesis.  That's probably because it does not exist.  

    Im rethinking my position of "never filing cue" except if there is no other way, mostly out of respect for Berta.  

    Im interested, especially, in Berta's opinion on filing Cue on violations of 38 cfr 4.6

in the event VA fails to adjuticate SMC S, when a single 100 percent disability is awarded.  (The M21 manual says that adjutication of SMC S is required whenever a single 100 percent disability is awarded, the problem is that BVA does not seem to follow M21.)

     However, BVA does have to follow the 38 CFR's to include 38 cfr 4.6 as Berta has so succintly pointed out.  

     How, then Berta, would a Veteran word a 4.6 CUE on VA's failure to adjuticate SMC S, when a 100 percent rating was awarded, as in the OP?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
4 hours ago, Berta said:

To add, CUE is NOT a one shot deal- if the BVA addresses it and denies and/or dismisses it without prejudice to refiling it,

This is new information for me. Thank you. I was understanding from other reading that a CUE was a single shot. If denied, that shot was taken and could never be remade. It could be appealed but not remade. Glad to learn more. That is why you are the Queen of CUE's. 🙂

4 hours ago, Berta said:

Ha Ha, there are definitely alligators in the swamp of VA I am trying to help drain

sadly all the special interest groups, political appointees, and lobbyists have made all of DC a swamp, and for many years....it just seems to get swampier every day and some of those alligators are just insane creatures... they have the reptile version of Mad Cow Disease.

4 hours ago, Berta said:

I  intend  to bite those alligators in the butt.

make sure your teeth are sharp...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, broncovet said:

Well, yes, Berta is the "queen of CUE". 

.......

    Im interested, especially, in Berta's opinion on filing Cue on violations of 38 cfr 4.6

in the event VA fails to adjuticate SMC S, when a single 100 percent disability is awarded.  (The M21 manual says that adjutication of SMC S is required whenever a single 100 percent disability is awarded, the problem is that BVA does not seem to follow M21.)

     However, BVA does have to follow the 38 CFR's to include 38 cfr 4.6 as Berta has so succintly pointed out.  

     How, then Berta, would a Veteran word a 4.6 CUE on VA's failure to adjuticate SMC S, when a 100 percent rating was awarded, as in the OP?  

 

I am curious if you just shorthanded the requirement for SMC (s)?

The MR21-1 says

Change Date

  December 13, 2005

IV.ii.2.I.10.a.  SMC Under PL 86-663

 

PL 86-663, effective September 1, 1960, established a new level of SMC under 38 U.S.C. 1114(s).  Entitlement existed if the Veteran had an SC disability rated 100-percent disabling and

  • an additional SC disability or disabilities, independently ratable as 60 percent or more disabling, or
  • was permanently housebound by reason of the SC disability or disabilities.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Something few understand about CUE (and SMC) is its uniqueness. If the error occurred at the local RO, that's the correct venue to file your CUE claim. On the other hand, if the error occurred at the BVA, that is the correct place to file the CUE. You may learn that to your detriment when, a year later, the Regional Office (or the BVA) boots it back to you and says they cannot accept it. 

CUE is one of the hardest concepts to absorb. Here's the primer- https://asknod.org/2014/05/02/cue-the-quintessential-elements/ I see many jump in and give advice on all manner of subjects that is in error. It's like  your good friend telling you the reason your car is backfiring is that it needs a new carburetor. You replace it and it still backfires. Many Vets do not have the time to experiment with solutions.  As many articles as I have written over the years on my site about CUE, Veterans still seek and ask the same identical questions. It seems no one is motivated enough to investigate on their own and automatically want Veteran-specific answers to their particular circumstances. If I point to the area to study to find the answer, they become angry that I won't just give them the answer.  If you do not have Google Search or are unsure on how to find an answer to your questions on this complicated subject, it helps to search first and ask questions-but only after you made a good-faith effort and cannot find your answer. VA law is complicated. We get that. That's why Theresa built this. Please use the utmost caution when you offer advice. 

The beauty of Hadit, and, by extension, all good Veterans claims-oriented websites, is the huge encyclopaedia of info they contain. If no one avails themselves of this cornucopia, it is a wasted effort. Theresa (and me, too) do an admirable job arranging the site by subject matter. I, myself, use the info to help write legal briefs if I cannot find it elsewhere. If, and only if, I'm stumped on a certain facet, I consult with my attorney mentor- and sometimes Berta. She has many irons in the fire and it seems unfair to ask her the same questions over and over. It's akin to someone calling you up every month to ask what month it is. 

CUE is ostensibly a rare error but unfortunately, VA no longer trains their employees and allows them to rely on what the M 21 computer spits out as holy writ. Remember, the M 21 has not been revised since 2006. Instead, VA continues to repair it piecemeal with band aids following new CAVC/Fed. Circuit precedence. These revisions can occur up to a year or more later as in the case of Bradley/Buie case law. How many CUEs did they commit in the interim? Who knows?

Here's a site built by a RVSR that translates 38 CFR into M 21 (for what it's worth) and vice versa. It also will offer Google sites to investigate on the subject. It's like a Swiss Army Knife for claims >>>>>> https://asknod.org/fergoogle/

Once again, I beg all of you who offer advice to research your answers so as not to cause more harm. Think of a doctor's prime directive - First, do no harm. We have a wealth of knowledgeable people here who are eager to help all of you. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
20 minutes ago, asknod said:

CUE is one of the hardest concepts to absorb.

@asknod

I know you are busy, but i was wondering about a specific instance in my file and I am trying to figure out the right process, cue or try nodding and on to BVA when I get the SOC.

The issue arises from my 2013 initial award. I had requested Bilateral Hearing Loss per my VSO who filed the claim.

The C&P audiologist only used my first enlistment and specifically says so, which ignored all the other tests and OSHA in service threshold shift.

The rating decision stated my full service period and under the denial for SC used lots of details but excluded the date issue. They did not give me a percentage of loss, just denied SC.

At the time i was unaware of my options, my VSO developed pancreatic cancer and was unavailable, and if someone said C-file to me I would have thought they meant Cuticle File. The letters DBQ and my access to them were nowhere in my lexicon or knowledge.

Skip to 2018, I have 5 year review on PTSD claim. Freaks me out so I start doing research. I learn new terms.

I get my C-file and find the error.

I file to reopen that claim as it is past the 1 year. (note there are other pieces and claims involved in this). I include the DBQ and rating letter and explain the error.

The decision comes back denying the reopening on Hearing Loss as SC because I lacked New and Material evidence.

In that decision they deferred my claim for Vertigo.

In the decision on vertigo, for which was just awarded in April but I do not have the BBE yet, they also SC'd my hearing loss.

So I have 3 channels to look at.

Do I cue the 2013 decision on Hearing Loss?

Do I nod the first 2018 denial to reopen on new and material?

Do I nod the second 2018 for an EED?

A fourth channel, which I don't really think exists, is to CUE all three?

The importance of the EED is that it affects other stuff that is too much to write in here.

I would appreciate any input.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

By law ( §14.632)I can only offer general knowledge unless you are my client. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
10 minutes ago, asknod said:

By law ( §14.632)I can only offer general knowledge

@asknod

I get that...generally speaking would cue'ing the 2013 be the smartest path to take? 🙂 I am not trying to lock you down or make you responsible.... I just don't know the smartest path in this situation.

frankly that EED won't generate squat, but the other associated stuff if I am understanding things right will look like $100K. I am trying to get the EED issues and some other stuff corrected before I look for a new representative

Of course I could be wrong in my thinking and path and that would waste your time. My VSO is the legion and frankly I don't care for their lack of response and what seems like disinterest.

Up here around Seattle they all seem to be part-time and mainly interested in hanging out at the bar. My legion VSO in NOLA was in every day until he developed pancreatic cancer. I miss him. I suspect I would not have the same issues if he had not become ill and then died.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Asknod said:

"I consult with my attorney mentor- and sometimes Berta. She has many irons in the fire and it seems unfair to ask her the same questions over and over. It's akin to someone calling you up every month to ask what month it is. "

Thank you Alex-  it takes up so much time to repeat myself-when everything I know about CUE is here already.

I dont know it all, by any means, but VA has made so many errors in every claim I have filed that I learned a lot by fighting back.

I try to put links into some of my advice, and finding good links also takes time,but I am beginning to realize that those links are probably ignored by some vets here- links that could help them with their issues.

One morning- I started researching something at about 6:30 AM for the first post I read. By 9 AM  (I had an early Dr Appt. and had to watch my time) , I replied to the member. When I got home, I spent at least 2 mour hours, in order to research enough to reply to his reply, with more info he needed.

I know you and I have spent a lot of time on the many veterans issues,in the many forums - lots of time -that is not evident here.

It would be great if every claimant could view the internet as the best weapon we have on the paper/digital battlefield of the VA claims process.

Thanks again Alex-for being here and on the radio shows-  I never have said that enough to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 5/9/2019 at 7:43 AM, Berta said:

"Can you scan and attach the 2015 decision to include the Rating sheet?

Cover your C file # prior to scanning it.

Also they violated ,based on what you posted ,Bradley V. Peake: 

If you clarify what you posted and can scan and attach the 2015 decision ,others can help- if I am not here later- this is an easy as pie CUE claim someone can write for you in this thread.

Bradley had not been determined when I filed my SMC CUE.Otherwise I would have got them on that.

Ironically the decision awarded both HB and SMC S (100% plus over 60%), but they only paid under one theory. I think-

I have asked for a complete award of that award because it involved a separate Nehmer award and the award letter said the audit was an "estimate".

In the past the VA made financial errors to the tune of 40 thousand on my issues.

Regional counsel cued them, but the amount was still wrong.I cued them again.

I got  all the cash but it is 'as likely as not 'they buggered the Nehmer audit, too.

Cover your C file # and your name, when you scan the decision."

Yes you are correct Berta, I'll be able to upload the file tomorrow. But in 2015 I was awarded TDIU for Major Depression at 70%. My remaining SCD at that time were 40% for my back, 30% Migraines, and 10% allergies. The decision packet they sent to me mentions nothing about being considered for SMCs. I was also auto re-evaluated 4/2018 for back and migraines disabilities, and re-rated at the same levels, but again no mention of SMCs consideration. 

 

 

Edited by Nvet (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Good- I will review it tomorrow as soon as I can....I am a Mother so it is a Big day for me!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 5/11/2019 at 6:38 AM, Berta said:

Good- I will review it tomorrow as soon as I can....I am a Mother so it is a Big day for me!

 

Happy Mother's Day. I was unable to upload the PDFs here so here is a link to them. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dG-JO5RGR2Up78VlZPFDIR1djyZwiZyi/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14CgAfDWgTHhGd_hs3iQa2Xwi1J9QcBis/view?usp=sharing

Please don't worry about this today, Mother's Day!!! I am not in a rush. Thanks for all your help

Edited by Nvet (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, Nvet said:

I was unable to upload the PDFs here

 

Morning @Nvet I have a question.

I read through the two pdf's and I don't see the listing of Allergies at 10%.

Do you have another letter showing that? can you get into Ebennies and go the Disabilities link and screen cap what they show there?

As I understand things you need the 100% (TDIU counts) and an additional 60% that is not related or secondary to whatever made you 100%.

From these two docs you uploaded I see the 70 (which made the TDIU) and then a separate 40 for Lumbar and a separate 30 for Migraines.

In VA Math the 40 + 30 =58 rounded up to 60 for Pay Purposes.

The question is does that round up for pay purposes also equate to 60% for SMC granting purpose and I don't think it does. The legal language does not say "...Paid at 60%" it says "is 60%". The SMC pro's here can offer up an opinion but that law does not specify Paid At and neither does the MR21-1

If you have the other doc showing the 10% for Allergies then bingo you have something to attack and people like @Berta can guide you on a CUE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
12 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

 

"Morning @Nvet I have a question.

I read through the two pdf's and I don't see the listing of Allergies at 10%.

Do you have another letter showing that? can you get into Ebennies and go the Disabilities link and screen cap what they show there?

As I understand things you need the 100% (TDIU counts) and an additional 60% that is not related or secondary to whatever made you 100%.

From these two docs you uploaded I see the 70 (which made the TDIU) and then a separate 40 for Lumbar and a separate 30 for Migraines.

In VA Math the 40 + 30 =58 rounded up to 60 for Pay Purposes.

The question is does that round up for pay purposes also equate to 60% for SMC granting purpose and I don't think it does. The legal language does not say "...Paid at 60%" it says "is 60%". The SMC pro's here can offer up an opinion but that law does not specify Paid At and neither does the MR21-1

If you have the other doc showing the 10% for Allergies then bingo you have something to attack and people like @Berta can guide you on a CUE."

Here is the ebene disabilities page printout. I'm ignoring the Neck strain 20% as that was just awarded and effective 2018. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16yUxlkx-bFui3MTmpUpSZJtBMoDjOfDr/view?usp=sharing

 

Edited by Nvet (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
5 hours ago, Nvet said:

Here is the ebene disabilities page printout. I'm ignoring the Neck strain 20% as that was just awarded and effective 2018. 

@Nvet

Great! per that screencap as of 2013 you should have been consider for statutory SMC (s). From this display you show no secondaries to the 70% for MDD.

The other three items are as of 2012, the 2013 rating that made you TDIU should have triggered SMC (s) consideration and documentation of that consideration even if they denied it for some reason.

The experts here can talk to you about CUE and getting that EED.

I suspect there will be a fight no matter which way you go, but it seems everything is documented in your favor. The VA stepped on their own pecker again.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

I would first ask what was the actual rating for your depression? If it was less than 60% then you would not qualify for Housebound.  The only way to get Housebound when you have TDIU is that the condition that Tdiu was awarded for must be rated at least 60% then you must have an additional separate 60% rating  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines