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What does this mean?


Richard1954

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(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1114(p))

 

(4) Additional independent 100 percent ratings. In addition to the statutory rates payable under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) and the intermediate or next higher rate provisions outlined above additional single permanent disability independently ratable at 100 percent apart from any consideration of individual unemployability will afford entitlement to the next higher statutory rate under 38 U.S.C. 1114 or if already entitled to an intermediate rate to the next higher intermediate rate, but in no event higher than the rate for (o). In the application of this subparagraph the single permanent disability independently ratable at 100 percent must be separate and distinct and involve different anatomical segments or bodily systems from the conditions establishing entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) or the intermediate rate provisions outlined above.

 

Does the Bold print above  mean that a TDIU will not be used for purposes of a step increase for L ratings Aid and Attendance

I know that Bradley v Peak determined that a TDIU and additonal 60% rating is allowable for SMC S Housebound 

But it appears to me that TDIU cannot be used in SMC L for step increase to M   am I correct in this....?

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19 hours ago, Richard1954 said:

Does the Bold print above  mean that a TDIU will not be used for purposes of a step increase for L ratings Aid and Attendance

@Richard1954

This link is to the MR-21 and the specific topic you are looking for. There is more there than what I copied in here. The line I bolded suggests that a TDIU award of 100% is not to be used as the basis for an A&A award.

That said, A&A does not always require a 100% rating. Also A&A is triggered by may different laws and regulations, so it is very case dependent.

https://www.knowva.ebenefits.va.gov/system/templates/selfservice/va_ssnew/help/customer/locale/en-US/portal/554400000001018/content/554400000014571/M21-1,-Part-IV,-Subpart-ii,-Chapter-2,-Section-H---Special-Monthly-Compensation-(SMC)#1

IV.ii.2.H.8.b.  Considering the Level of Disability Required for Entitlement to A&A

A single disability evaluated as 100-percent disabling under a schedular evaluation is generally a prerequisite for entitlement to A&A.  Any lesser disability would be incompatible with the requirements of 38 CFR 3.352(a).

Explanation:  Both the nature of the impairment (being in need of regular A&A) and the compensation indicate that a greater level of disability is required for entitlement to the additional allowance for A&A than for entitlement to SMC at the housebound rate, or a 100-percent schedular evaluation.

Important: 

The single disability rated as totally disabling must be the sole or partial cause of the need for A&A.

38 CFR 4.16 applies only to IU determinations.  It does not permit decision makers to apply 38 CFR 4.16 guidelines on what constitutes a single disability to A&A determinations.

Temporary 100-percent evaluations under 38 CFR 4.28, 4.29, and 4.30 qualify for the single schedular evaluation needed for entitlement to A&A.  However, grants of entitlement to A&A are not routine in these circumstances.

To establish entitlement to SMC (t), the need for A&A must be due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) or multiple disabilities due to TBI that combine to a 100-percent evaluation.

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 Independently rateable at 100% means schedular. VA will not permit a finding of TDIU to stand in place of 100% under  §3.350(f)(4)  or, in M-21 VAspeak,  IV.ii.2.H.6.c.  The regulation is poorly worded. If you received another single rating for a disability above 60%, or amassed several with one 40% or more that added up to 70% or more, when you were already at SMC L, it could never be considered as an extraschedular TDIU. By law, you would have to already be at 100% (or TDIU) to approach qualification for SMC L. 

 I have appeals I'm building for the CAVC to fight the M 21 application of forbidding application of the (f)(3) and (f)(4) regulations (or both) more than once. The regulation doesn't state that. And... I can also do an aggregate filing (class action). Cool beans. 


 

 

 

 

Edited by asknod (see edit history)
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  • HadIt.com Elder

I never really understood this?   if a veteran is using the extra scheduler to get TDIU and later has combined ratings that add up to 100%scheduler  looks like TDIU would be moot, but a 90%rated veteran that they gave the extra scheduler to  to reach the payment of 100%  and has another seperate service connected condition that adds up to 60% or higher  then  this  basicly only entitles him to the SMC S..as this is what they did for me.

so actually I have a 90% rating and 10%rating  and combined they say I am 90%  but since I could no longer do the work I was trained to do  they put me on TDIU P&T...After about 12/13 years later I filed for another separate and distinct claim and was rated 70%   this did not make my TDIU P&T Moot  but got me on up there in the SMC S.

so my TDIU is not Moot  and I am still concidered to be TDIU even with the extra service connected condition at 70%.

 

I still can't work or do any other type of work to bring in extra income,,this is not fair to the Veterans that are rated like this    as opposed  to a  scheduler 100% veteran that can work and make more $$$ 

to me a 90% or 100% veteran is pretty bad off and can't work  and why they do it this way I just don't understand it.??

so no two ways about it  if a Veteran can get the 100% scheduler  he/she is better off.  jmo

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1 hour ago, Buck52 said:

so my TDIU is not Moot  and I am still concidered to be TDIU even with the extra service connected condition at 70%.

that is the way the law is written. Remember the VA has to maximize your compensation.

In in your case if they mooted TDIU then you could not get the SMC. By keeping you TDIU you get that extra monthly income.

That said I do agree that for some veterans it would be better if they became 100% schedular. unfortunately in your case it seems the timing of things played against you. I don't know that you would have gone back to work, but IMO it would be nice for you to have the option on how much you can earn based on your own strengths and how you feel that day/week/month.

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This seems like a great example of why Chevron Deference allows VA to interpret 

"benefit of the doubt" in ambigous regulations to mean: 

The VEteran looses any tie.  

As Alex pointed out the regulation is ambigious, so the VA vigorously defends their interpretation to mean "the lowest possible" benefit accrues to the Veteran when there is doubt.  

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Being in Buck's position is to be given the benefit of SMC S. VA is increasingly trying to do the "combined" technique of using everything you have to get to 100%. 

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5 minutes ago, broncovet said:

The VEteran looses any tie.

actually that is not the reality of the situation nor is it what the outcome of the Chevron Defense is. 

The Chevron Defense allows an agency to be given deference in how the rules it makes are interpreted. It does not stop a court from saying that in any specific case the agency misapplied the rules.

The Benefit of the Doubt doctrine is outlined in 38 USC 5107(b) and 38 CFR 3.102.

Neither of which say the what the veteran claims is always right. Despite your poor attempt to twist things, denying BOD is not an effect of the Chevron Defense it is an effect of the law itself.

If the veteran demonstrates that under either of those the evidence is in their favor or at least equal to the opposing evidence the determination is made in the veterans favor.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, asknod said:

VA is increasingly trying to do the "combined" technique of using everything you have to get to 100%.

glad you weighed in here.

So in a hypothetical situation,  If Veteran applied for an increase/TDIU and went all the way to the BVA and had it remanded, and then the VA just mooted the TDIU claim by making them 100%, should that veteran request / or get retro pay all the way back to the date they filed the claim?

In general it seems that would make sense, but I doubt the VA will automatically view it that way and would force the veteran to argue for that retro pay.

any thoughts?

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Ok.. so now I am more bewildered than ever...  I asked a simple question at least I thought it was simple... and I am not sure that I actually got a answer that I could understand..

Let me elaborate on why I asked the question...

In 1999, I was awarded TDIU based on one medical issue that was rated 60%.

In 2007, I was awarded `100% for a different condition,  in addition I was awarded A&A ( which is always based on need) at the L rate, but because I also had a separate rating at 50% or more I was awarded the next step L 1/2

I was looking for a way to get the next step of SMC which is M.  My TDIU rating was never revoked,  and I have other ratings that combine to 100% . The rule states that it must be a separate rating of 100% to get to the next step...... TDIU cannot be used to get to the next step..... 

So I am right back were I started from.. wondering how to get to that next step....

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3 minutes ago, Richard1954 said:

TDIU cannot be used to get to the next step

I think your path to (m), if it currently exists, is in the way your SC conditions are connected or not connected.

38 CFR 3.350(f)(3) and (f)(4) BOTH  have the same restriction as shown in the bolded areas below.

I am sure you know how they are connected or not, but look at the Ebenefits Disability link and see which if any of the included rated items are secondary to each other.

Are the body systems the same? in other words are the conditions that got you to (l) different than the additional 50 and 100% ratings? If not is it likely a higher level review could re-order your conditions giving you the bump to (m)? The VA has an obligation to maximize your award, so if it is just a paperwork shuffle that should be an easy win...at least as easy as any argument with the VA is.

I will throw out a wild example. Say you lost one leg, the other foot, and had kidney problems and that got you to SMC(l 1/2)+A&A, then say you had an additional 50, 70 or 100% for PTSD. That would bump you to SMC(m) because the PTSD is not in either of the other body systems.

TDIU won't come into play for what your goal is. You need individually rated conditions of distinct body systems that are independent of the other ratings. Since I cannot see how your rated conditions are connected (unless you screen cap the disability link on ebennies) it is hard to tell why they did not moot your TDIU, but on a guess it was because if they switched you to Statutory 100% it would reduce your SMC award.

was the 1999 60% every increased?

Was the 2007 100% a single condition in a completely different body system?

are the "other ratings that combine to 100%" distinct from either the 60 or 100?

is the "separate 50%" you mention the same 60% rating that got you TDIU?

as I said I think any path you currently have to (m) is through how your ratings are interconnected or not.

 

----------38 CFR 3.350(f) sections (3) & (4).---------------------

(3)Additional independent 50 percent disabilities. In addition to the statutory rates payable under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) and the intermediate or next higher rate provisions outlined above, additional single permanent disability or combinations of permanent disabilities independently ratable at 50 percent or more will afford entitlement to the next higher intermediate rate or if already entitled to an intermediate rate to the next higher statutory rate under 38 U.S.C. 1114, but not above the (o) rate. In the application of this subparagraph the disability or disabilities independently ratable at 50 percent or more must be separate and distinct and involve different anatomical segments or bodily systems from the conditions establishing entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) or the intermediate rate provisions outlined above. The graduated ratings for arrested tuberculosis will not be utilized in this connection, but the permanent residuals of tuberculosis may be utilized.

(4)Additional independent 100 percent ratings. In addition to the statutory rates payable under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) and the intermediate or next higher rate provisions outlined above additional single permanent disability independently ratable at 100 percent apart from any consideration of individual unemployability will afford entitlement to the next higher statutory rate under 38 U.S.C. 1114 or if already entitled to an intermediate rate to the next higher intermediate rate, but in no event higher than the rate for (o). In the application of this subparagraph the single permanent disability independently ratable at 100 percent must be separate and distinct and involve different anatomical segments or bodily systems from the conditions establishing entitlement under 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) through (n) or the intermediate rate provisions outlined above.

(i) Where the multiple loss or loss of use entitlement to a statutory or intermediate rate between 38 U.S.C. 1114 (l) and (o) is caused by the same etiological disease or injury, that disease or injury may not serve as the basis for the independent 50 percent or 100 percent unless it is so rated without regard to the loss or loss of use.

(ii) The graduated ratings for arrested tuberculosis will not be utilized in this connection, but the permanent residuals of tuberculosis may be utilized.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

was the 1999 60% every increased?

No - remains the same

18 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

Was the 2007 100% a single condition in a completely different body system?

yes 

 

18 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

are the "other ratings that combine to 100%" distinct from either the 60 or 100

yes

 

20 minutes ago, GeekySquid said:

is the "separate 50%" you mention the same 60% rating that got you TDIU?

Yes 

Ok... so I know that I do not have the ratings to meet the requirement for the Level M.....

I had been mislead by someone who will remain nameless - who stated the TDIU could count as the 1st 100% and then 2nd 100% would get me to M..

But that person did not take into consideration that TDIU is only good for a Housebound rating .. not  A&A and certainly not to get to M

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2 minutes ago, Richard1954 said:

count as the 1st 100% and then 2nd 100% would get me to M..

If you have 1 100% Schedular for a single condition. Another 100% for a combined Schedular. A single 60% (that is not part of the combined 100%) and all three are distinct ratings from different body systems, there is a potential path in there but i cannot be sure.

4 minutes ago, Richard1954 said:

TDIU is only good for a Housebound rating .. not  A&A and certainly not to get to M

yeah this stuff gets so convoluted it is easy to lose the thread, particularly without seeing the full documents and that graphic from Ebenefits.

TDIU is so much more commonly discussed here than SMC(m) that it is easy to understand potential confusion. If you are used to thinking of 1114 then you might not think about the impact of 38 CFR 3.350 (f)(3) or (f)(4)

It would be nice if the VA and or our VSO's were actually experts and honest about these things. As it stands we have to figure it out on our own a lot of the time and of course we are not experts either.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Just reading Richard1954 post  he has another rating of 100% other than his IU Rating this is a different  and complete ''body system''  meaning a complete separate rated conditions  and the IU Should be moot  because they are not combine to be 100% , his separate and distinct condition is rated at 100%  so IU SHOULD BE MOOT AND THE OTHER 100% CONDITION LOOK AT AS THE 100% SCHEDULER Rating  WITH THIS RATING HE SHOULD  MEET THE PROPER SMC CRITERIA.

I know in my case the IU CAN'T BE MOOT because it was my original ratings and combined ratings  to get to the IU,  so when I filed for another separate and distinct S.C. Condition,  Years Later that made my ratings have a different ''body system'' (as for as rated and service connected conditions )  however the kicker here for me was I was only rated at 70% (chronic combat PTSD)  although with this type of rating the rater had no other choice than to award the SMS S H.B. because of the statutory rating under the SMC Special rating table.

I was awarded the SMC S because of the  separate & distinct 70% PTSD Award. (jmo)

As I understand the SMC's Are used with a special rating table and according to what and how severe the veterans service connected ''separate condition is?   is how they give out the higher SMC Award.

  on my ebenefits it has me as a 100%final degree rating...again nothing was noted about IU being moot. (so I am still to be considered I.U. unless I get an increase on my 70% PTSD to the 100%rate.

oh I have other conditions that could be service connected as secondary claims  but I am ok with what I got and I do not need the stress of filing for other conditions the VA Puts us through , this PTSD stress and anxiety is enough for me and dealing with the VA Therapist on bi weekly bases the last 5 years or so...I just can't put myself through these  type claims processing anymore.

I believe Richard 1954 Would be entitled to a higher SMC award depending on the severity of the  separate  & distinct conditions claimed.

also known as a different body system condition and not part of his original disability.

Edited by Buck52 (see edit history)
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I appreciate all the responses... but the point is moot since TDIU cannot count toward A&A  for  step  M.  I have a single standalone  100 rating, and an  additional 100% combined,

but the combined 100%  cannot be used to get to M because the rules say  it has to be a standalone  rating at 100%.  Since I have picked up some new ratings in the last two years I though I might make it to M

but am no closer to the M rating today than I was before.  But I will keep plugging along. 

Thanks everyone 

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1 hour ago, Richard1954 said:

but am no closer to the M rating today than I was before. 

I am sure you have looked at all the VA documents and MR21-1,

but to be sure have you recently reviewed

IV.ii.2.H.2.a.  When Multiple Disabilities Should Not Be Evaluated as a Single Disability

Do not rate multiple disabilities as a single disability if there is a possibility of entitlement to

SMC under 38 U.S.C. 1114(s), or an intermediate or next higher rate of SMC under

38 CFR 3.350(f)(3), or 38 CFR 3.350(f)(4).

 

right around that same entry in the MR21 is some good info that might shine a light on a path for you to get to (m).

Not sure just an idea.

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Richard 1954,

I have explained all this to you in several private emails over the past week. I went through it line by line and explained that if you have a separate 100% rating which is not part and parcel of the original rating (TDIU)-i.e. independent of the TDIU disability- that you would be entitled to SMC M due to the "bump" in §3.350(f)(4). I have re-explained it here for you again. Somewhere you have grossly misconstrued what I have explained to you and insist on mixing up the meaning and order of your TDIU award in 1996 and the later 100% schedular award in 2007. At some point you further muddied the water with discussions about SMC S and "housebound A&A".  TDIU, once awarded remains. Obviously, if you are so disabled that you cannot work, that doesn't magically evaporate if and when you get a separate rating later (unrelated) for 100%. The 100% is not a TDIU, therefore it can be applied as a bump to attain SMC M. I have told you to read Buie v Shinseki where all this is explained clearly in the King's English. VA has a duty to maximize your award by law. Your case, as you explained it to me, perfectly mirrors the conundrum espoused in Buie. 

Moving on, VA made the mistake of awarding you the lesser bump to L 1/2 under §3.350(f)(3) which was CUE and which I have already explained to you over the course of 4 emails. They owe you the difference between L 1/2 and M for the period from 2007 to the present for that CUE. What part of that is so hard to absorb? I'm not sure how asking the same question, getting the advice, and finally, emailing that you understand what I explained warrants coming on here afterwards requesting further illumination to hear the exact same thing. Worse, saying the advice offered you was clearly wrong is grossly incorrect. The quote below shows you not only have not grasped the meaning or context of the SMC regulation, but purposefully continue to misinterpret it to the point of redundancy. My suggestion is if you cannot understand the regulation after being told where it is, had it quoted and explained to you chapter and verse, and, lastly , that SMC S is not a higher award than SMC M-despite the seeming incongruity that alphabetically they are not in order- that perhaps you probably should not attempt this without competent legal assistance. To be clear, SMC S is not a higher rating than SMC M. SMC S pays $3,491/mo. (single) versus $4,198/mo. for SMC M.

<<< I had been mislead by someone who will remain nameless - who stated the TDIU could count as the 1st 100% and then 2nd 100% would get me to M..

But that person did not take into consideration that TDIU is only good for a Housebound rating .. not  A&A and certainly not to get to M.

Please illuminate us with your legal acumen, sir.  What hat have you pulled this chestnut out of? I'm totally unfamiliar with any such codicil(s) in 38 CFR or 38 USC. Your attempts at interpretation of VA regulations are novel, to say the least. Please identify me by name in the future. I am not nameless. I stand behind my free legal advice. You have a TDIU rating. You have been awarded SMC L for A&A. You were also awarded a 100% schedular rating post-TDIU. Buie is on point. You are entitled to the bump from SMC L to SMC M under the authority in §3.350(f)(4). We can lead you to knowledge but you are free to reject any advice offered. That's your constitutional right. I have not misled you. Sadly, if you need more advice, you will have to seek it from others. I do wish you the best of luck. It appears you are going to need copious quantities of same.

 

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1 hour ago, asknod said:

Richard 1954,

I have explained all this to you in several private emails over the past week. I went through it line by line and explained that if you have a separate 100% rating which is not part and parcel of the original rating (TDIU)-i.e. independent of the TDIU disability- that you would be entitled to SMC M due to the "bump" in §3.350(f)(4). I have re-explained it here for you again. Somewhere you have grossly misconstrued what I have explained to you and insist on mixing up the meaning and order of your TDIU award in 1996 and the later 100% schedular award in 2007. At some point you further muddied the water with discussions about SMC S and "housebound A&A".  TDIU, once awarded remains. Obviously, if you are so disabled that you cannot work, that doesn't magically evaporate if and when you get a separate rating later (unrelated) for 100%. The 100% is not a TDIU, therefore it can be applied as a bump to attain SMC M. I have told you to read Buie v Shinseki where all this is explained clearly in the King's English. VA has a duty to maximize your award by law. Your case, as you explained it to me, perfectly mirrors the conundrum espoused in Buie. 

Apparently I misunderstood Buie, and will have to read it again.. When I read 3.350 the simple language States that TDIU cannot be used for the Bump to M. 

Moving on, VA made the mistake of awarding you the lesser bump to L 1/2 under §3.350(f)(3) which was CUE and which I have already explained to you over the course of 4 emails. They owe you the difference between L 1/2 and M for the period from 2007 to the present for that CUE. What part of that is so hard to absorb? I'm not sure how asking the same question, getting the advice, and finally, emailing that you understand what I explained warrants coming on here afterwards requesting further illumination to hear the exact same thing. Worse, saying the advice offered you was clearly wrong is grossly incorrect. The quote below shows you not only have not grasped the meaning or context of the SMC regulation, but purposefully continue to misinterpret it to the point of redundancy. My suggestion is if you cannot understand the regulation after being told where it is, had it quoted and explained to you chapter and verse, and, lastly , that SMC S is not a higher award than SMC M-despite the seeming incongruity that alphabetically they are not in order- that perhaps you probably should not attempt this without competent legal assistance. To be clear, SMC S is not a higher rating than SMC M. SMC S pays $3,491/mo. (single) versus $4,198/mo. for SMC M.

I never said anywhere that SMC S was a higher award.... all I stated about S was that TDIU and 60% can be the basis of an award of Housebound... and that from what I understood TDIU could not be used in Any way to  get the Step increase to M.... It is very apparent I neither understood your meaning,....and  SMC's that is why I was asking the questions again.

 

<<< I had been mislead by someone who will remain nameless - who stated the TDIU could count as the 1st 100% and then 2nd 100% would get me to M..

But that person did not take into consideration that TDIU is only good for a Housebound rating .. not  A&A and certainly not to get to M.

 

Please illuminate us with your legal acumen, sir.  What hat have you pulled this chestnut out of? I'm totally unfamiliar with any such codicil(s) in 38 CFR or 38 USC. Your attempts at interpretation of VA regulations are novel, to say the least. Please identify me by name in the future. I am not nameless. I stand behind my free legal advice. You have a TDIU rating. You have been awarded SMC L for A&A. You were also awarded a 100% schedular rating post-TDIU. Buie is on point. You are entitled to the bump from SMC L to SMC M under the authority in §3.350(f)(4). We can lead you to knowledge but you are free to reject any advice offered. That's your constitutional right. I have not misled you. Sadly, if you need more advice, you will have to seek it from others. I do wish you the best of luck. It appears you are going to need copious quantities of same.

When I have private conversations with anyone ... they are private and I do not disclose that person by name regardless of who they are or what we talk about, I do this out of respect for that person because it is no one's business  unless we both agree to disclose our name and conversation. Again, apparently I misunderstood what you were saying, and   I am sorry that you feel disrespected, or dishonored.  I am sorry you feel I am a lost cause... I have dealt with the VA since 1986.. You saw my awards to include the auto adapted equipment and adapted housing... I did all that work without any assistance from anyone  just reading the regulations... What had me screwed up on the Bump to M  is that is specifically states TDIU cannot be used as the 100% rating for the Bump... I now think I understand what you were saying... and I will file the necessary paperwork ( CUE) and  I shall see what happens....  By the way CUE is not new to me, I have won 3 CUE awards in the last 33 Years that concerned my claims .. I don't know why I have had a hard time grasping this .. but sometimes it is what it is....I thank you for your time....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To Robert1954

Sir, I am an Officer of the Court. I cannot lie, mislead, shade the truth or condone fraud. You asked for advice-free, I might add. I gave it based on what you presented. You promptly came back to this forum and baldly stated "I had been mislead [sic] by someone who will remain nameless". I am on this forum regularly.  I presume you wrote that with the sure knowledge I would see it. To mislead is to deceive-i.e. you are implying I purposely led you astray with not just incorrect advice but knowingly false advice. There is a vast difference between offering incorrect advice and offering knowingly misleading advice that might harm or disenfranchise a Veteran and his claims.  I did neither but stand accused. Where I come from, that's looking me in the face and calling me a liar without even bothering to say my name. I could lose my accreditation over something like this. I don't need an apology. Murphy's First Law- 'No good deed goes unpunished.'- still holds true. 

This forum of Theresa's is a wonderful resource for all of you. No one is better or higher up than another. I am a Veteran just like all of you. I was enlisted-again much like most of you. I try to give back what no one before could give me in 1989- or even 1999. I was the FNG  here in 2006. Unlike most of you, I made this a life calling after recovering from stage 4 Hepatitis C with cirrhosis.  I post information here to help you. I give advice if asked -when I can. I don't do it because I like to hear myself talk. I have a lot of Veterans as my clients-many of whom I have met here, I might add. I'm not an attorney. I don't think like them nor do I act like them. I'm a "nonattorney practitioner" because I have been admitted to the Federal CAVC. That's a small step up from an agent. Nobody told me what I can't do in this business. That's why I look up DRO's telephone numbers in va.gov directory and call them. My attorney colleagues roll their eyes, tut-tut and blow bubbles.  So please listen. I don't offer stupid advice. I practice what I preach and surprisingly, I'm still batting .1000 at this in my third year. You will also find about 1000 more alumni of the Win or Die Hepatitis C club who have won since I began teaching other Vets how to win jetgun claims in 2008. 

Remember what a Doctor's prime directive is-First, do no harm. Every bit of advice you offer should be correct. Don't shoot from the hip. Don't guestimate. Each and every claim is different. There may be some generalities in common but rarely specifics. Reciting your experiences with VA can be good advice. Try to refrain from saying "And this is why you should do it exactly like I did if you want to win". It took me almost twelve years to really learn what I do of VA law so far. I feel like a glass half-full... with ample room for the need for far more knowledge. 

SMC and CUE are two of the hardest subjects to understand-let alone fight and win-with VA. Reading VA regulations requires an understanding of VA terms. You can count how many of us agents/attorneys  who excel on this type of claim (SMC) on one hand. CCK is the most famous. In fact, I learned the basics from none other than Robert Kirkpatrick himself. He was doing this pro bono in 1992. There are a wealth of his appeals in the BVA appeals site. SMC has more turns than the Mississippi River. It's not odd that Richard1954 has trouble absorbing this. What is odd is not believing me. This isn't Peggy's Pink Site with former DROs for administrators that are censoring comments and depriving you of things like Fergoogle and the BVA Purplebook.  We're here to help the Veteran-not compete for members with other Vets help sites. When you're accredited, you have to watch every word that exits the pie hole. Please do not wreck my reputation. I spent a long time building it.

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TO; AskNod

Once again I offer my deepest apologies. I was not trying to ruin your reputation in fact I specifically kept your name out of it, you were the person who disclosed  your name.... I will admit I should have said I am confused and don't understand the information that was given too me.....  I  am sincere in my apology. 

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I don't require an apology, sir.  You just need to understand that words have definitions. I took offense to the term 'mislead' and nothing more. Everyone knows who I am by now. It's no secret. VA sure does. All I ask is that folks think, research if necessary and pause one last time before pushing "submit reply". Knowing the law is one aspect of VA law. How to apply it in any given situation is what separates us as litigators from folks offering their opinion.

Hadit.com has a stellar reputation as does asknod.org. Other sites have no original content created by their authors. These sites merely report what's going on or parrot the daily line about how screwed up VA is. The site I mentioned above (see screenshots below) that 86"d me in 2012 doesn't permit any criticism of VA. The administrators carefully remove  any mention of me from anyone's posts on their site. I find that humorous because their logo at the top says "Just Vets helping Vets". Perhaps they should add the word 'lose'. It's inconceivable a Veterans Help site would purposefully prevent you from attaining knowledge that might help you succeed. A long time ago an old administrator on the site called Ye Olde Medic opined that anyone with Hep C should not waste their time filing because it's caused by injection drug abuse. This came from a medically trained person. If that is the quality of the advice advocated by the owners, you, as Veterans should demand a refund of any donations or fees paid to join. I published the BVA Purplebook on 7/4. Someone tried to insert it in that Vets website and it was erased within 24 hours. Does that sound right? A Vets help site censoring valuable tools to win with? Knowledge is power. If someone tries to prevent you from attaining that knowledge, they are decidedly not your friend. 

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