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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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    • 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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awgv001

Historical TBI eval (not a C&P!)

Question

I thought this might interest you, for those of you familiar with my history of posts and claims questions.

Short note - this was the TBI eval I had done a few years ago - before I was denied in part for not having a "conclusive diagnosis" for TBI. --- Might this be why I never had a C&P ordered for me? Certain portions have been redacted for privacy, and to remove some "No" answers to shorten the read or when information doesn't contribute to the claim.

Thoughts???


4 How many serious OEF/OIF deployment related injuries have occurred?
One
6 Did you lose consciousness immediately after any of these experiences?
Yes, one episode
6-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of loss of consciousness.
Less than 6 hours
7 Did you have a period of disorientation or confusion immediately following the incident?
Yes, one episode
7-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of disorientation or
confusion.
Up to 1 month
8 Did you experience a period of memory loss immediately before or after the
incident?
Yes, one episode
8-A If yes, estimate the duration of longest period of memory loss (Post
Traumatic Amnesia (PTA)).
More than 3 months

10 Were you wearing a helmet at the time of most serious injury?
No
11 Were you evacuated from theatre?
No
12 Prior to this evaluation, had you received any professional treatment
(including medications) for your deployment related TBI symptoms?
No (Work in progress to correct this)
13 Since the time of your deployment related injury/injuries, has anyone told
you that you were acting differently?
Yes


Symptoms
16. Please rate the following symptoms with regard to how they have
affected
you over the last 30 days. Use the following scale (Neurobehavioral Symptom
Inventory):
None 0 - Rarely if ever present not a problem at all.
Mild 1 - Occasionally present but it does not disrupt activities, I can
usually
continue what I am doing; does not really concern me.
Moderate 2 - Often present, occasionally disrupts my activities; I can
usually
continue what I am doing with some effort; I am somewhat concerned.

Severe 3 - Frequently present and disrupts activities; I can only do
things
that are fairly simple or take little effort; I feel like I need help.
Very Severe 4 - Almost always present and I have been unable to perform
at
work, school, or home due to this problem; I probably cannot function without
help.
16-A Feeling dizzy: None
16-B Loss of balance: None
16-C Poor coordination, clumsy: None
16-D Headaches: Very Severe
16-E Nausea: Mild
16-F Vision problems, blurring, trouble seeing: Very Severe
16-G Sensitivity to light: Severe
16-H Hearing difficulty: Severe
16-I Sensitivity to noise: Mild
16-J Numbness or tingling in parts of my body: Severe
16-K Change in ability to taste and/or smell: None
16-L Loss of appetite or increase appetite: None
16-M Poor concentration, can't pay attention: Very Severe
16-N Forgetfulness, can't remember things: Very Severe
16-O Difficulty making decisions: Moderate
16-P Slowed thinking, difficulty getting organized, can't finish things:
Severe
16-Q Fatigue, loss of energy, getting tired easily: Moderate
16-R Difficulty falling or staying asleep: Very Severe
16-S Feeling anxious or tense: Very Severe
16-T Feeling depressed or sad: Severe
16-U Irritability, easily annoyed: Very Severe
16-V Poor frustration tolerance, feeling easily overwhelmed by things:

Very
Severe
17 Overall, in the last 30 days how much did these difficulties (symptoms)
interfere with your life?
Extremely
17-A In what areas of your life are you having difficulties because of these
symptoms?
work relationships, difficulty remembering tasks and many daily events
18 In the last 30 days, have you had any problems with pain?
Yes
18-A Location of pain: (Check all that apply)
Head/headaches
18-B In the last 30 days, how much did pain interfere with your life?
Extremely
18-C In what areas of your life are you having difficulties because of pain?
headaches that are incapacitating twice per week
19 Since the time of your deployment related injury/injuries, are your overall
symptoms:
Worse
20 Additional history of present illness, social history, functional history,
patient goals, and other relevant information.
---REDACTED---Notes that the back pain and headaches cause him difficulty at work. Has to stop and rest that
causes him trouble at work.
21 Current medications:
---REDACTED--- Total of 5
22 Physical Examination:
---REDACTED--- Straight leg raise positive
on the right with radiation ot the knee, and positive for pain in the left
without radiation. Negative SI maneuvers on the left but positive on the right.
Notes pins and needles in the feet bilaterally.
23 Psychiatric Symptoms:
Yes

23-A If yes or suspected/probable, symptoms of which disorders?
Depression
PTSD
Anxiety disorder (other than PTSD)
24 SCI: (Is this "Spinal Cord Injury"?)
No
25 Amputation:
None
26 Other significant medical conditions/problems:
Yes
27 Based on the history of the injury and the course of clinical symptoms, did
the Veteran sustain a TBI during OEF/OIF deployment?
Yes
28 In your clinical judgment the current clinical symptom presentation is most
consistent with:
A combination of OEF/OIF deployment related TBI and Behavioral Health
condition(s)

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Same thing with me, I had a TBI exam done at the VA that was NOT a CP exam, I was told to go to this APT after a TBI screen from the VA dr office near my house.  I then applied for TBI compensation and they sent me to a DR that did not do a exam, only asked me about my childhood.  I have a PTSD exam this week and Ill let you know what the VA rates me because I believe they are trying to combine the two. 

 

EDIT-  Did you have nexus letters?  I had 2 old army buddies that were there write up about the vehicle explosion I was in, because the incident was never documented, just like a lot of the stuff we went through was never "documented".  

Edited by CavScout19DRecon

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19 hours ago, CavScout19DRecon said:

Same thing with me, I had a TBI exam done at the VA that was NOT a CP exam, I was told to go to this APT after a TBI screen from the VA dr office near my house.  I then applied for TBI compensation and they sent me to a DR that did not do a exam, only asked me about my childhood.  I have a PTSD exam this week and Ill let you know what the VA rates me because I believe they are trying to combine the two.

EDIT-  Did you have nexus letters?  I had 2 old army buddies that were there write up about the vehicle explosion I was in, because the incident was never documented, just like a lot of the stuff we went through was never "documented".  

I actually have TWO nexus letters, because the last time the VA denied me, I showed it to the doctor who referred me to the TBI clinic, and he got red in the face angry (not at me) because he believes it was utter BS that they denied on the basis of a not "conclusive diagnosis" when it was spelled out very plainly.

The doctor then wrote a concurring Nexus to back up the first doctor's Nexus even further. I think that's about as solid as a medical diagnosis can get when multiple doctor are now having to team up to convince a non-medical person (Rater) that such a diagnosis exists, despite whatever they think. I also have two buddy statements as well, but I could get more if I needed....my situation was rather embarrassing to me, however, fortunately my entire group (some 150+ people) were there at the time to witness my situation. I was documented when I left the service....but not for TBI ---- they only rated me for migraines, and "overlooked" but got onto record several other symptoms that should have made more sense to have me evaluated for TBI in the first place....but it didn't happen until just a few years ago.

Would this fit the criteria for 70-100% for TBI?

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--OH--edit, and also because there's not a DBQ for TBI that I found, or I'd do it that way too.

There was one person I recently saw on the forums that got one even though the VA came back and said it wasn't warranted for them...?

I mean, I'm awaiting a bva hearing right now, but since I have the nexus, event of injury (statements included), and the chronic diagnosis........

VA obviously failed me on "duty to assist" by never issuing one after the initial claim, re-open, DRO, and then now the appeal.

Or.....just wait, cause the BVA should lay the smack-down on this claim once it hits the table.

In essence, I'm desperately trying to prevent an unnecessary REMAND.

I'm fortunate that I'm not suffering a financial crisis at the moment, but that could change overnight, thanks, Murphy's Law.

Some other important TBI info I found here that falls within the timeline that I was evaluated, and remarks on the shoddy performance in the initial review/diagnosis etc. of TBI

https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-16-04558-249.pdf

Included is basically the same form that was used and I posted details of above...I'll pop into my local office and have my PCP (physiatrist) fill it out.

TBIdbq.pdf

Edited by awgv001

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My personal experience concerning  TBi and the C/P for a TBI....  I suffered a TBI in 1975, I was thrown from a moving jeep injuring my back and hitting the left side of my head on the pavement.. I was unconscious for 3 days in the Hospital. When i woke up  I had severe pain in my back and headache with blurred vision and reduced hearing. Like an Idiot ( well maybe not since in 1974 Concussion  was not called a TBI)  I did not make a claim until 2018. I went to the C/P at the Local VA, I was shown some pictures that were hand drawn and asked to remember them, a minute later I was asked to draw the same pictures, I could not remember the pictures., I was asked specific questions about memory and I told the doctor, I do not remember names or groups of numbers like phone numbers ( I have to write my own phone number down). I also do not remember anything about the accident except what I was told after I woke up. I only remember what was going on before the accident, but I do not know how I ended up on the pavement or how I was injured. Later much later,  many years after my retirement I had head scans done due to headache and not being able to remember names or numbers.... I was found to have brain damage on the left frontal lobe.  Later still when I had to have eye surgery due to steroid use for my lung condition my left eye, was found to have been damaged , torn  zonules , which hold the eye lens in place. . The doctors determined that in all likely hood the zonules were damaged when I hit  my head on the pavement. And doctors also suspect that it was this same accident that caused my hearing loss.  Anyway.... after answering some questions, and trying to recall pictures or write things I had been shown.. I ended up with a 40% rating... and it was determined that I had had a serious TBI based on all the damage to my body, but more important the memory loss and being knocked out for 3 days.. I did have all active duty medical records that proved the injury.  It is important to know that the more serious the injury   may result in presumptive service connection down the road for things like Parkinson disease ... Anyway.. my point was that the C/P exam as easy... To this day I cannot remember my phone number or names of new people I meet..... 

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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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