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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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    • Update 2:

      Just talked to a representative for my lawyer.

      I was basically told my lawyer is going to write an argument letter and present it to the BVA hearing judge - citing VA rules, regulations, and other similar cases of how my claim has been unfairly rated by the RO given all of the probative evidence.

      The motto of “deny, deny, deny until the veteran quits or dies” is alive and well.

      It should not take a veteran to present their case before the BVA to get it right.

      It is downright insulting and a spit to the face when a veteran clearly has current disabilities (that are presently being treated) that were diagnosed while in-service and documented in their SMRs.

      I find it funny how my least documented disability in my SMRs (patellofemoral syndrome in both knees) was granted when I first filed my claim in 2018. 

      Now I know first-hand how most or some of you feel in hadit.
    • Update:

      My lawyer received the decision letter before I did. I was denied on all of my contentions, and my lawyer sent in the form to appeal to the BVA.

      I find this disheartening because one of my issues (migraine headaches) are clearly documented in my SMRs and even on the separation physical exam the physician wrote “Migraine headaches (severe).”

      My SMRs also showed the frequency (3-5 per month) and intensity (prostrating in nature) of the migraines with documentation of laying down or sleep was my only relief.

      Sumatriptans did not help at all. After I left service, I was also diagnosed by a VA neurologist with migraine headaches.

      Then I had an IME w/ IMO with a board certified specialist who provided a nexus with “at least as likely as not related to his military service” in regards to my migraines.

      I just feel defeated, and my migraine headaches make me suicidal to the point I have suicidal ideation on a daily basis.

      I do no understand how the VA can deny service-connection when the evidence is cut and dry.

      The C&P exam for my migraines was done by an NP who incorrectly applied the VA definition for migraines and opined “veteran does not have chronic migraines. Chronic migraines are 15 migraine headaches per month or more.”

      Migraine headaches are not rated that way, which to me is clearly a CUE.

      I just feel so broken.
    • 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!  
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Anharris

VA in the DMV area

Question

Hello,

Quick background; I injured my back severely in Kuwait in 2013(I was 22) no proper medical exam or treatment at the peek of the injury just pumped full of pain meds. Once back in the states it still took months before Someone decided I actually needed an xray just to be told I was fine. There were times where I’d experience temporary paralysis below the waist, daily pain levels above 5, numbness, pinching and burning sensations in lower back and to be told nothing was wrong made me want to give up and suffer in silence because no1 seem to take me serious. However the pain was so intense I found myself in the ER sometimes twice a week with strange knots in my back that were shrugged off as muscle spasms and just given more pain meds. I was given a 10% rating after separating in 2014. I didn’t know what that meant or why. Almost 7yrs later the pain is worse back and forth with the VA with treatment that either aggravates or just doesn’t work and I recently discovered that I was diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain BUT it stated it didn’t come from work. I couldn’t believe it. I now live in MD near DC and although terribly discouraged feel I need to fight what seems to be a system that hasn’t cared for me properly since day 1 and appeal. The question is. IS IT WORTH IT? I paid out of pocket for X-rays and made some discoveries about my back that make much more since than what the VA tells me. Has anyone experienced anything similar?

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Most of us have been through something similar.  I have been fighting VA since 2002.  In 2009, I was awarded 100 percent p and T.  (I started with a denial, then 0 percent, then 40 percent and finally 100 percent)  Im still in appeals appealing the effective date, as I lost my home waiting on VA benefits in 2005.  I could not go 3 years without income and keep my home.  Now, Im in a fight to get (my home) back, because I could buy it back with the retro if I win my EED.  

Was it worth it?  You bet.  The more difficult the fight, the sweeter the victory.  

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Hello Anharris,

In my opinion it is always worth the fight at the end of the day!  With your new found information do you have a diagnosis?  Also have you looked at where you would be rating wise when you go to fight this?  Also what other secondary conditions do you have because of your back?

I would start you claim on Ebenefits today so you can finish it within a year and save your spot!  

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Anharris, As Shrek says, it is ALWAYS worth the fight. Time goes by whether you file a claim or not, so why not file. I would submit an intent to file on ebenefits today. Simple to do. It locks down your effective date to the day you file (usually),  and order your c-file today as well. You want to see what is in your file already for the 1o% rating for your back or nerve. It is quite possible, repeat possible, that you may have other disabilities related to your current service-connected, s-c, disability. You have a year to complete your ITF which will give you time to get your c-file and determine what else you need to pursue. You can do this! We are here to help if you need it. 

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27 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

Anharris, As Shrek says, it is ALWAYS worth the fight. Time goes by whether you file a claim or not, so why not file. I would submit an intent to file on ebenefits today. Simple to do. It locks down your effective date to the day you file (usually),  and order your c-file today as well. You want to see what is in your file already for the 1o% rating for your back or nerve. It is quite possible, repeat possible, that you may have other disabilities related to your current service-connected, s-c, disability. You have a year to complete your ITF which will give you time to get your c-file and determine what else you need to pursue. You can do this! We are here to help if you need it. 

This is great information thank you both.  I did not know I could start the process online. Which I am logged in to do so now. I have issues with a few discs which is what I discovered with my out of pocket xrays and last I went to the VA was diagnosed with back arthritis. I am not sure how I would determine what my percentage would/should be.  I was also told because I had a surgery (which turned into 2 because the surgery was done improperly the 1st time) that should have also been a rating. What if there is information missing from my files?

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He who dares, wins

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    • Update 2:

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      I just feel so broken.
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      Hopefully, I get good news.
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    • 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.  

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      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!  
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