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    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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  • 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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duffman88

Unemployability

Question

I am rated 70% PTSD and have had lots of trouble working I have had multiple jobs and can not keep any steady at all and have been unemployed for almost a year now and was told to file for IU and decided to file and did with my counties veteran services office and I am being seen by a psychiatrist and a psychologist pretty much weekly and they are trying me on so many meds that I can hardly keep track to help me sleep and my mental health and check my ebenifits and va.gov and they state it’s almost done but they never asked me for like employement records or anything I mean the person that helped me file listed my jobs on the paperwork and I was told that if they need it they would ask me for them and all my docs paperwork they already have due to me seeing docs through community care through va so what are my chances of getting it approved 

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Okay I was first rated 70% Vietnam PTSD IU- TDIU- in 1998 (filing my own claim) then in 2000 I was rated as TDIU P&T and have been at this rating level now for over 20 plus years.  From 1985 to 91 I was rated at 50% down to 30% PTSD without IU. I have ratings for other issues now.

Save, find and assemble as much medical documentation as you can (if you can) to document or prove your present PTSD medical symptoms and conditions as possible to both the VA examiner and VA claims raters when you file your claim.  Just like I did you appear to strongly meet the criteria for the IU rating.  The VA and/or your county VSO should send or give you an employment history form for your last employer to fill out giving the reason you left employment voluntary or was fired and reason why, etc. etc.

They usually (VA) send this form to the employer but as in my case gave it to me for me in turn to give to the employer.   Save copies of all your VA PTSD prescriptions medications, treatment and consult notes, diagnosis (if any), etc. as this is solid proof of your level of PTSD symptoms.  An experienced motivated VSO should of course be doing all this for you but I learned from previous bitter experience not to rely on these cats for everything or in my case anything and did everything myself beginning in 1998.

Any signed buddy statements you can get from family, friends, associates, fellow employees attesting to your problems with work, everyday life, attitude can be very helpful to send as evidence with your claim.

It is important for you to tell the C&P examiner and the VA raters (in writing) how much your PTSD adversely affects your daily life on the job at work and at home and dealing with society and also bad sleep habits, etc. 

If your last or present employer does not return the unemployment form to the VA then they may or may not try a second time to contact them and if no joy then VA will go ahead and proceed to adjudicate your IU claim without this form and there will be no prejudice held against your claim as per VA rules and their M21-1 manual.  so don't worry about the form not being returned but do make any inquiry to them as to if they will fill out the form.  Most do not for many different reasons including plan old laziness which may work to your favor.

Your 70% rating meets the minimum requirement for first step in qualifying for IU and I have outlined some of the other requirements above.  When you filed this IU claim this is also considered a claim for increase by VA and you may have to attend another C&P exam.

My advice is from personal experience only and is not legal advice as I am not lawyer, paralegal or VSO.  Stay on top of your VSO and do as much as you can for your claim.  Never give the VA  or your VSO original documents but only give or send them copies of your important documents, evidence. Good luck

Edited by Dustoff 11

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I had a frank discussion with my manager about my shortcomings, and I told him of the problems that I was having. I wrote the information for the employer form, and we went over it, and he pasted it into the form (its an online PDF, also) and then signed it for me. Your mileage may vary depending on your relationship with your employer and HR. When I filed for it I think I was 80% rated total, 50% for physical, and 80% I think, for nonPTSD depression/anxiety. I was approved after about a year, and about 6 months after than I was raised to 100%. At that time I had also filed for FMLA from work which had been approved already, and I included that documentation in my filing, explaining to the C&P doctor that at least that way I was able to cover my bases and get the short and long term disability for my family until my VA claim was adjudicated. I was honest and sid that I didnt know if I could return to work but if they offered to change my position or something I was open to it. I still couldn't not support my family while being unemployed, and frankly, I had already paid for ST/LT disability for over two years and whatever the decision it was owed to me. Ultimately, I was found by FMLA to not be re-employable, so I sent that in after it happened, also, about 4 months after my claim with VA was filed. 

https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8940-ARE.pdf

 

Edited by brokensoldier244th

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Your chances are good, "provided that" you:

1.  Have a statement by YOUR doctor that you are unable to maintian SGE due to SC disabilities  AND

2.  You have a voc rehab assesment stating the same (especially that you can not perform sedentary employment). AND

3.  You are persistent enough to appeal until you get your tdiu, including, get a lawyer if necessary.  AND

4.  Your past 12 months of employment reflects what you posted, that is, you earned less than 11,000 (poverty level depending upon your number of dependents).  

      Unless you have all  of the above, your chances are not so good.  

 

 

Edited by broncovet

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Hey guys thanks for the input my psychologist and psychiatrist both say I need help before I can keep a job but I have never dealt with Vic rehab and I contacted my VSO and they told me not to deal with them because they are to help get me a job and she said I need to fix me first so does that mean it hurts my chances 

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If you undergo a vocational assessment by a VA vocational counselor and he/she determines in writing that you are a poor candidate for employment due to only your service connected disability or those you are applying for in a claim then the vocab assessment can greatly help you in your claim.  On the other hand if you do good on the test and survey questions then the counselor may give you a clean bill of health for employment, etc.

The assessment consist of question and answer test, interview and a review of your background and employment history and mine was quite involved in 1986.  My VA vocab counselor said i was unable to function in a work environment but was okay in a less stressful educational student environment and VA approved and paid for my  completion of last two years of  an accounting and financial management degree at the Texas A&M college central texas campus.  My first two years was junior college and GI Bill night school classes at UT Austin.  I also received a monthly VA payment for this schooling on top of my disability pay.  They paid for books and all associated expenses.

Just like an adjudicator the counselor has access to your VA and military records.  Some vets pay for a private vocational assessment to help them in their claims.

MY info is not legal advice as I am not an attorney, paralegal or VSO.

Edited by Dustoff 11

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  • Our picks

    • 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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