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Can anyone recommend an attorney to help with an effective date appeal?

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I need help appealing my PTSD and right shoulder condition effective dates.  

My PTSD condition has been in deferment since 2018 and was closed Dec 26. 2019.  I was awarded 30% as of Sept 2019 ( They claim I submitted a supplemental claim then when in fact it was in June of 2019) and 70% as of Dec 13 2019 when I had a 3rd C&P MH exam to straighten out the previous 2 exams which were full of inaccuracies.  They state the Dec 13th exam is when 70% was factually proven.

My shoulder condition was originally claimed in April 2017 and my Service records show an injury to my shoulder but the C&P did a less than thorough exam and claimed it was less likely than not that my injury happened in service.  I had to go outside the VA to get MRIs to prove the injury was severe and a NEXUS letter to show connection.  When I brought the MRI results to my primary care and ortho they chastised me for letting it get this bad and said I need surgery to have any hope of full motion in my right arm again.  Well no s%*t...so now I have SC at 20% but only as of May of 2019.

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I will give you several NOVA (Veterans attorneys) that I have either known, or that Im aware of their good reputation.  I recommend you contact more than one firm, because its likely that some of these are booked "so far ahead" that they may not be accepting clients right now. 

1.  CCK Law.  They are a very large law firm, well respected, nationally.  

2.  Carpenter Chartered.  Mr. Carpenter ranks "the best of the best", but at least as of a few years ago, he does not accept email submissions, but only snail mail.  I snail mailed him and he offered to represent me (Yeaa!!!) but I had already selected another attorney.  

3.  Chris Attig, Attig Steele.  He represents claimants ONLY at the CAVC not BVA.  At least that is what he did in the past.  

4.  Hill and Ponton has a great reputation.  Expect to pay 33 percent there, BUT, they "could" up front you the cost of an IMO, which is a very, very big deal if you need one.  Most of the others charge 20 percent, but it may well be worth it if you need an IMO but can not afford one.  

      If you hire any of these firms, know that they probably dont do a lot of "hand holding".  This means you hire them, let them go with it, and dont contact them twice a week with questions about how long it will take.  Attorney's mostly dont want to be a substitute shoulder to cry on.  Instead, if you need a shoulder to cry on, some use hadit, some use a VA psychiatriast/counselor.  But dont count on your attorney for that.  

     If you have a BVA denial, (or award! at the wrong effective date)   send that to several of these, and ask their opinion.  

There are other good ones.  Alex is a great representative, but he is backed up.    Dont be suprised if MORE than one of these turn you down as a representative.  THis does not mean you have a weak case, it probably means they are too busy.  

     Tell your attorney your "entitlement theories".  You know, you filed a ITF on xy date, you submitted new evidence, didnt get your notice, etc., etc.  But dont be suprised if they use a totally different arguement.   Pick from this list:



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Thank you so very much!!!

As always these forums are what keep me sane when dealing with all of this!!

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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.?
      • 7 replies
    • 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?
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