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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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  • 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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Fellow Vets. Be careful when you put in for Special Monthly Compensation. I put in for TMJ and it never was filed under SMC. It was filed as a new claim but I attempted to file the claim on E-Benefits using SMC and well it was not put in as SMC. I was granted 10% TMJ which did not increase and no retro. I am now trying to appeal it, or let me rephrase that. I am sending a notice along with form 0995 as supplemental stating there was an error in filing. We shall see.

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Well, I looked under "TMJ" and 38 CFR 3.350 does not mention TMJ.   So, you probably are not eligible for additional compensation for TMJ, unless, you are at 100 percent plus more, where your TMJ rating would suffice to get you statuatory SMC S.  (100 percent plus a combined 60 percent seperate and distinct).  

If this TMJ rating means you now meet the criteria for SMC S statuatory, then by all means appeal.  

However, I did not see a "loss of use of jaw" or anything close, but look for yourself:


Its an error on VA's part if this additional rating combined to 60 percent with other stuff and you also have a single 100 percent disability, seperate and distinct from each other.  

Edited by broncovet

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Bronco is right.

Based on your post, you may not understand SMC and how it accrues.

I would suggest you read up on it.

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I agree with  Ole broncovet  TMJ  I can't find where it would fit in with the SMC?

With being 100% or IU  Veterans still need that extra separate & distinct  .s.c. condition rated 60% or higher to be eligable to meet the SMC S Criteria

This is how they rated me

I was TDIU P&T   For loss of hearing and Tinnitus at a combined rating of 90% total ,  because I could not work or do the job I was trained to  (letter from voc -rehab helped)   so they boosted me up to the TDIU P&T.

 Later I  filed 2 more claims  one was Chronic Combat PTSD  70% S.C. Rating ,  the other was E.D. and was S.C. But at 0% but they give an additional 138.000 monthly added into my total compensation   the ED is SMC-K (loss of use)  and the PTSD Rating got me to the SMC -S

  I never filed for these SMC's  they just added them into my rating as mandatory ratings

When a Veteran is 100% or IU  the rater has a duty to look for these other S.C. Conditions to see if the Veteran meets any of the mandatory  SMC Criteria  ...> some times they fail to do that.

 those conditions must be at least one condition rated at 60%

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As the others have said about TMJ, it is true in that TMJ is not in SMC, because I have it.

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    • 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
    • Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
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    • I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:

      2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis

      2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.

      "...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.

      First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date. 

      If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues. 


      I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.

      It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.

      Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.


      Does this help?
    • Thanks for that. So do you have a specific answer or experience with it bouncing between the two?
    • Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.

      The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.

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