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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Kihr

How much does a VSO see?

Question

How much can they see, how much can they tell me?  I seem to get almost nothing but cryptic information from my VSO.  Are they restricted from telling information to me while the claim is not yet complete?  Or is it possible that she withholds the information having been burned by changes in the past?

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If your VSO is an accredited VSO he can see the whole enchilada if he has access to VBMS.  That is a very important tool when selecting the services of an agent or VSO. Hint. Most Big Service Orgs have only a Few accredited VSO's.  It is always wise to ask this question when you talk to them. Ask do you have access to VBMS to look at my claim on line. If the answer is no, Ask them if one of their reps does have that acess. Most of the Certified Claims agents have access to VBMS. But Claims agents don't usually get on board until you have a decision. It does not have to be a denial. Just one you disagree with.

 

Basser

 

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The VSO says they are a nationally accredited VSO per her profile, so if that is the case are they able to share all that is on the VBMS?  She really doesn't seem to give me any information one way or another.  I always feel like I am a hassle when I call (about once a month) and see if there is anything going on.  I may just not be asking the correct questions when I call.  

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.Not all have access to VMBS. You have to apply for that. Ask if they have access.

 

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2 minutes ago, jbasser said:

.Not all have access to VMBS. You have to apply for that. Ask if they have access.

 

I see, she mentions "checking my claim" so I guess I assumed she did.  I will ask her, any suggestions on what questions to ask?  I put my claim in 9/24.

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I agree with JBasser.  Its rather a hassle to get access to VBMS so many VSO's or even attorney's dont do it.  

Alex has access to VBMS and he may chime in.  Its my opinion there are 3 main types of VSO's:

1.  Rookie VSO's.  These are ones who have been a VSO less than 2 years.  If "their office" allows them to see the VBMS, then they would not know what it means anyway.  

2.  Experienced, knowledgeable VSO's.  They have a following..they have probably won benefits for many Vets, and those VEts have friends and recommended him.  They are nearly always too busy to be available if you show up asking for a VSO, unless you are willing to get on their waiting list.  

3.  "Bad" VSO's on their way out.  This includes Lazy ones, or out an out criminals who managed to bluff their way into a job.  

      When you get a VSO, you are highly likely to get number 1 or number 3.  The number 2's are so busy they dont have time for more clients.  

      If you have had this VSO for a long time, you may have lucked out and got a number 1, who raised his skill level to number 2 through experience and studying.  

      When you call once a month, they dont want to tell you there has been no change, that your claim is gathering dust.  

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  • Similar Content

    • By Glenndawson100
      Hi there, Recently actually yesterday the 21st of February the VA gave me notice that my supplemental claim had been decided and that they had sent out the letter that morning as well (meaning the decision was actually made on the 20th). This of course prompted me to check Ebenefits, where I saw no change in my rating. I'm currently rated at 40% for other issues. And in the past Ebenefits updated almost instantly leading me to believe that this supplemental claim was denied. I originally submitted my Epilepsy claim back in august, it was denied about 4 months later due to conflicting phraseology given by one of my doctors (mind you i still have a diagnoses of Epilepsy with 15 witnessed Grand Mal seizures at this point). Once i got the original decision letter I contacted my County VSO's office and set up an appointment. After they reviewed everything they we surprised that my claim was denied as it has a clear nexus and on top of that falls under the conditions; that if they manifest within a year its considered service connected (I separated 02/01/2019, first seizure onset was 05/25/2019). They did review the 112 pages of evidence from my civilian doctors and did see the conflicting phraseology. They told me that if I could get my Neurologist to just confirm my diagnoses and say i was and have been under treatment since 05/25/2019 that we could submit a supplemental claim since that's the fastest route. So that's what we did. That brings us to now. Under the standards for Epilepsy I was looking at a single rating of anything between 80%-100%. An 80% from 40% would have resulted in something Close to 90%. While i'm holding out, since in either case the retro pay (if my claim was awarded) would be greater then 20K that the additional signatures required are slowing down Ebenefits from updating, but as in most cases if the letter has sent and Ebenfits doesn't updated, 90% of the time you Claim/Supplemental/Appeal is denied. ( I mean correct me if I'm wrong). Whats the moral of the story? No matter how much evidence you have to support you the VA will be the VA. I'm lucky that I'm rated for other conditions so that I can at least have the VA help me cut down on the costs of treatment for Epilepsy, but it would have been nice to have it service connected so that I wouldn't have to wait months on months for Neurology appointments since I don't have priority. If any one has any information for me that might help moving forward, I'm all ears as once my letter is received and upon reading of the denial ill be filling an appeal.
    • By Jash
      I’ve done the VA claim-bit on my own. I don’t  know if this is a mistake or not. 
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      2. The c&p dr was telling the truth about the recommendations;
      3. The rater will decrease my %
      4. The rater will increase my%
      Ultimately it boils down to: How much weight does the rater put into the C&P dr recommendations? Could I really get IU if that dr did actually recommend it? what are the chances?  The IU could help a lot, I’ve not been able to work much the past few years. 
    • By Anharris
      Hello,
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    • By Mikeoif
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    • By RBrogen
      Hello Everyone,
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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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