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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

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Forgotten Again


It seems that both the VA and my attorney, Ken Carpenter, have forgotten about my claim/case. I have been in the appeal process for 10 years and 4 months and have made very little headway.  In my last conversation with my attorney 's assistant it was discussed that it may be time for a Writ of Mandamus but that was in May and I have heard nothing.  I think Ken Carpenter's office is overwhelmed with recent claims he has accepted even tho I think he is in his 70's. I ve been his client for about 12 years now but I have seen alot of inactivity in recent years on my case.  .  

We have been waiting for years for the Regional Office to certify my claim and send it to the board.


This forum is the best place to vent frustration




Any ideas or suggestions

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The obvious answer is have you discussed this issue with Mr. Ken Carpenter?

Now, "unless" you qualify for an advance on the docket, there isnt much an attorney can do to hurry up a sometimes decade long wait.  

Ten years to do an appeal is becoming the "new normal" for anything but the most basic of claims.  The "regular" 5 year wait easily doubles with glitches, and many/most have glitches.  VA seeks them out.  

My claim has been in appeals since 2002..a total of 17 years.  Now, of course I have had (multiple) decisions, some good, some not so good.  

Im still fighting them on the effective date and SMC.  I "might" get a final decision in 2019 or 2020, but, if either are denied (again), then 20 years is just around the corner, and beyond.  

The BVA chairmans report talks about a 5 year turn around time.  That understates it, tho, and by a wide margin.  You see, each of these issues are appealable, and each of the following can take 5 or more years alone:

1.  Service connection.  If you get denied SC, then you may have to appeal for 5 years.  Then its on to number 2, after you get SC.

2.  Disability percentage.  Again, you dispute the disability percentage and its easy to go for another 5 years. 

3.  Effective date.  Ok, you got your rating, but at the wrong effective date?  5 plus more years of appeals.  

4.  Lastly, and often not mentioned is SMC.  After you get 100 percent, often you have to go back and fight VA again for SMC...that is what Im having to do.  

      The BVA often chops up your claim into "one" of these.  Then, the VARO comes back and messes up the next one on this list.  

       Remands worsen the problem, often doubling the time.  This means that Veterans can/do spend 5 times 4 = 20 times 2 for remands =40 years to get benefits.  

I have heard of Veterans taking longer than 40 years.  Here is one, Mr. Macklem, which took the VA 60 years, and that is not the longest I have heard of:


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Wow! Utterly amazing!

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Broncovet is right on what he posted. Ask for the current status of your claim.

That and everyone is coming out of the wood work and claiming everything under the sun even if they don't have it, part of that is due to the past ten years. The economy does great less people submit claims, when the economy isn't great the flood starts with claims. This creates the back log that we have now. I know it's frustrating, I'm there too right now. My original claim was submitted couple months after discharged in 03. 

Bruce Sprinsteens catchy song "Born in the USA" isn't so catchy if you read the lyrics. That was released in 1984. 

Then you have RO that worked at the RO for decades and says the system isn't flawed. No?!, but the RO is flawed. This dude has ______, denied because its presumptive but denied anyways, lets see if her fights back with a Writ of Mandamus/CUE. Dude drank too much of the koolaid and retired after 30 years at the RO. He's whats wrong with the system. Which is why I saw the delays at the VSO and wanted speedy action, so I fired them and lawyer-ed up.

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The VA has managed to implement their motto:


Keep on delay and denying them (Veterans) until they die.  

Many, many Vets die waiting on VA to process claims/appeals.  I heard the number 1/3 of all claims.  Many/most of the widows dont know to file a "substitution" claim so they can continue the Vets claim, and, without that, the claim dies with the Veteran.  Its a win/win for VA, a lose/lose for Vets.  

This is the real reason VA delays:  There is financial incentive for them to do so.  Think about it.  

If you owed a bill, and could delay it without penalty or interest for 10, 20 years or more, hoping the guy you owed money to died, would you not do so likewise??  Frankly I would like to do that with my phone bill.  

Edited by broncovet

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About all I know to say it that Veterans need to educate them self with the VA Processing of claims.

  They need to study up on the VA Regulations known to us as the Code of Federal Regulations and how the VA  Implements them agianst us And how the Veterans can fight back  ITS OUR ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE

Remember Knowledge is Power   when it comes to the VA Claims Process.

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    • Yes 

      After a PTSD/Unspecific MDD Diagnose From the VA Dr's

      The gold standard for diagnosing PTSD is a structured clinical interview such as the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). When necessary, the PCL-5 can be scored to provide a provisional PTSD DSM 5 diagnosis.

      Any clinical clinician such as MD ,Psychiatrist even a L.C.S.W. (Certified)can perform the Diagnostics Evaluation Employed by the the VA

      ...They just need to figure out your symptoms and put together a list of your symptom's that you possess or show from the evaluation...I am not 100% Sure just how they do this ?

      being I am not a Dr or clinical clinician 

      Once a Diagnoses of PTSD is given they try to set you up with a Therapist to help with your New dx And how to adjust or cope with the Anxiety and Depression the PTSD can cause.

        you learn the tools to cope with and depending how severe your symptoms are ? 

       They test /screen you with phychoeducational type therapy treatment usually at first.

       Warning  some of this therapy can be very rough on a Veteran  from holding on to guilt  from the trauma its self or you maybe in a  ''stuck point''from memories and guilt or from the stressor's or anything that reminds you of the trauma you endured.

      The therapy works  even if we think it don't,  I recommend Therapy for all PTSD Veterans  it could very well save your life once the correct therapy is in place and the Veteran makes all his Clinical Appointments.

      I still have Combat PTSD it probably will never be cured completely but we can learn the tools it takes to cope with this horrible diseases 

      even learning breathing techniques  Helps tremendously during a panic attact.

      I have guilt from the war in Vietnam  ( I ask my self what could I have done to make a better outcome/difference?..and also I am in what the therapist calls stuck points. working on that at present once a week for 90 minutes.  I am very fortunate to have the help the VA gives me and I am lucky I have not turned to alcohol or drugs to mask my problem.

      But I have put my family through a living hell with my angers of burst.and they all stood by me the whole time years and years of my family life was disrupted because of me and my children &spouse  never deserved it one bit.

      That's all I want to say about that.

      At least I am still around. and plan to be tell my old age dying day.
    • No timeframe gotta love that answer it’s even better when you ask 1800 people or call the board directly they’ll say you’ll know sooner then later. I had mine advanced and it was about 2 months later until I had the decision in my hand which seems forever but in the present system in 2016 lightning fast...
        • Thanks
    • I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
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    • Thank you @GeekySquid for your reply. 


      I have redacted personal information for my documents listed below. 

      I look forward to your reply. 

      HEADACHE STR 2006 copy_Redacted.pdf


      Pages from Original Denial-Grant Reasons_Redacted.pdf
    • Hello Defenders of freedom!

      I have a question pertaining to this denial for headaches. The decision letter is quoted below. 


      3. Service connection for headaches.

      "We may grant service connection for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.

      Your STRs are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On your post-deployment exam in 2005 you denied any headaches. On separation, you denied any headaches. VA treatment records are negative for any treatment of or diagnosis of headaches. On VA exam, the examiner stated there was no evidence of any residuals of a traumatic brain injury.

      We have denied service connection for headaches because the evidence of record fails to show this disability was incurred in or caused by military service."

      From my understanding these 3 points must be overturned to successfully win a CUE case:

       (1) either the correct facts, as they were known at the time, were not before the adjudicator or the statutory or regulatory provisions in existence at that time were incorrectly applied; 

      (2) the error must be undebatable and of the sort which, had it not been made, would have manifestly changed the outcome at the time of the prior determination

      and (3) a determination that there was CUE must be based on the record and law that existed at the time of the prior adjudication in question.  

      @Berta, or veterans out here who have knowledge/experience, tell me what facts you think would be needed to prove this denial for headaches was an error? 
      • 14 replies
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