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Haven't filed a claim in a LONG time....advice please


Kelly Severance
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Question

Hello Hadit community.  I am starting a claim for my husband for IBS Presumptive Gulf War.  We filed a claim for this condition several years ago, in combination with several other gulf war presumptives that were all denied.  So we are ready to try again after obtaining a good bit of medical documentation and diagnosis.  We also have an appeal (in remand) still pending for TDIU.  

So my question is how to proceed.  I have spend the last 2 years on the appeals board, so I'm not up to date.  From what I've read, there is certain way to file if it is for a previously denied claim???

I also read that is you have an appeal pending, you have to use form 526 EZ.

any expertise is appreciated.  Thanks so much!

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Ok.  An appeal for tdiu is not "stand alone" but part of an appeal for increase and tdiu.  The court has ruled there is no "stand alone" tdiu claim.  

I think you are asking "what form" do I use.  And, as often it is with the VA, the answer is a bit complex.  However, according to the VA website the best way is to apply online via ebenefits:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

While I have not done this RECENTLY, you will likely have some options:  HLR, SCL or BVA.

1.  HLR (higher level review)  Dont use this if you have or will have new evidence.  

2.  SCL This allows new evidence.  If you have an IMO "on its way", then you can go ahead and indicate that an IMO will follow. 

3. BVA

     Since you are already at the BVA, this leaves one option, SCL (Supplemental Claim Lane)

Again, the safest way is to apply via ebenefits.  If you do this, apply for issues "not on appeal" with the BVA.  In other words, if the BVA has your claim for TDIU, then you can apply for everything else, "even tho" there is no stand alone tdiu claim.  If the BVA "does" adjuticate your tdiu as stand alone, you can appeal that denial as I did.  

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1 hour ago, Kelly Severance said:

We filed a claim for this condition several years ago, in combination with several other gulf war presumptives that were all denied.  So we are ready to try again

Are you saying that you didn't appeal these? It seems to many of us that that is the way the VA does it. If you don't appeal good for them. I encourage anyone that feels they are right to not give up.

This is from asknod.org and his opinion of HLR. This is his latest column. This has been my experience also.

My quandary is whether to do a VAF 20-0996 Higher Level of Review (HLR) or go to the BVA on direct review and have someone who can count without using their fingers do it. Since there is no intelligent life at the 56 ROs across our fruited plains, my choice is limited. From what I’ve seen so far, a HLR would probably produce an identical result and a confirmation that Tammy and Katrina are spot on. In all my years of doing DRO formal reviews, all I ever encountered was a copy and paste of the original denial with essentially a “What part of ‘no’ did you overlook?” Here, the relative inability to understand SMC at all indicates the futility of a successful do over. I’m hearing from other Attorneys that some of these HLR litigators  er VA examiners are emailing or sending us letters saying they refuse to do a HLR informal telephone call because nothing we say would ever change their minds. Many of these attorneys have submitted legal briefs to explain the error. VA puts these in the circular file and claims we are not permitted to submit squat. Imagine. Due process?

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38 minutes ago, broncovet said:

Ok.  An appeal for tdiu is not "stand alone" but part of an appeal for increase and tdiu.  The court has ruled there is no "stand alone" tdiu claim.  

I think you are asking "what form" do I use.  And, as often it is with the VA, the answer is a bit complex.  However, according to the VA website the best way is to apply online via ebenefits:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

While I have not done this RECENTLY, you will likely have some options:  HLR, SCL or BVA.

1.  HLR (higher level review)  Dont use this if you have or will have new evidence.  

2.  SCL This allows new evidence.  If you have an IMO "on its way", then you can go ahead and indicate that an IMO will follow. 

3. BVA

     Since you are already at the BVA, this leaves one option, SCL (Supplemental Claim Lane)

Again, the safest way is to apply via ebenefits.  If you do this, apply for issues "not on appeal" with the BVA.  In other words, if the BVA has your claim for TDIU, then you can apply for everything else, "even tho" there is no stand alone tdiu claim.  If the BVA "does" adjuticate your tdiu as stand alone, you can appeal that denial as I did.  

Thanks Broncovet!  I may have more questions later......  🙂

21 minutes ago, kanewnut said:

Are you saying that you didn't appeal these? It seems to many of us that that is the way the VA does it. If you don't appeal good for them. I encourage anyone that feels they are right to not give up.

This is from asknod.org and his opinion of HLR. This is his latest column. This has been my experience also.

My quandary is whether to do a VAF 20-0996 Higher Level of Review (HLR) or go to the BVA on direct review and have someone who can count without using their fingers do it. Since there is no intelligent life at the 56 ROs across our fruited plains, my choice is limited. From what I’ve seen so far, a HLR would probably produce an identical result and a confirmation that Tammy and Katrina are spot on. In all my years of doing DRO formal reviews, all I ever encountered was a copy and paste of the original denial with essentially a “What part of ‘no’ did you overlook?” Here, the relative inability to understand SMC at all indicates the futility of a successful do over. I’m hearing from other Attorneys that some of these HLR litigators  er VA examiners are emailing or sending us letters saying they refuse to do a HLR informal telephone call because nothing we say would ever change their minds. Many of these attorneys have submitted legal briefs to explain the error. VA puts these in the circular file and claims we are not permitted to submit squat. Imagine. Due process?

Unfortunately, we did not.  My husband was still trying to work at the time and he just couldn't muster the energy to fight.  I did not know much about the claims/appeals process at the time, so I didn't even know to appeal.  I have learned so much from this forum and feel more prepared now with this great community behind me!

 

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1 hour ago, Kelly Severance said:

he just couldn't muster the energy to fight

I know what that feels like. At least he has you. Don't be afraid to ask anything.

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