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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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Hamslice

Milktoast VSO response

Question

All,

So, since I have had the VFW as my POA, for the VA, since my original claim, I figured, I would ask them for a little help.  My thoughts were that most everything is local (regional) and that a service rep from my state of WI would have acquired supreme knowledge of Wisconsin claims.  So, I emailed the person who I have been with since, again, my original claim 2 questions.  

First, my email,

Hello, my name is xxxx xxxxx, ***-**-***7.  I am life member of the VFW and have your organization as my POA for my VA claims.  I live in ******* and my CVSO is **** **********.
 
I am inquiring to know if there is a list of WI doctors that will do IME/IMO's for disabled Veterans?
 
Also, does your office keep a file on me and is that available to me.
 
Thank you,
 
The response I received,
 

Xxxxx,

  We do not maintain a list of doctors.  You can ask your VA primary care physician for a referral if more convenient.  If this does not work, you can take a VA disability questionnaire to a private doctor and submit as evidence for any claim/appeal.

  We currently maintain your VA file.   The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to obtain your file by sending a written/signed request to the VA.  The VA will send your files on a CD.

Kind regards, Xxxxxxxxxxx

 

The response tells me that the VSO's (this one anyway) are not helping Veterans in any effective way.  If I was in a position to help disabled Veterans for an entire state, I would look at the successful claims and see what Doctors helped Veterans and who are willing fill out DBQ's, and give them out.  Here is my breakdown,

"We do not maintain a list of doctors."- Well, that's just plain stupid and irresponsible.  Any, slip and fall lawyer has a list of "go-to" doctors.  I would actually have a database which would tell me that doctor A is 75% effective, B is 20% effective, and C is worthless, etc.

"You can ask your VA primary care physician for a referral if more convenient."- Really, so my VA PCP will refer me to a doc that will fill out a DBQ.  I don't think so, but I am going to give it a try next time I see her.  LOL.

"If this does not work, you can take a VA disability questionnaire to a private doctor and submit as evidence for any claim/appeal."- Good luck with that.  Hence, you have access to at least a third of all VA claims in WI and you can't do your homework and supply me with a list.  If private business worked this way we would all be in trouble.  When I ran a parts store many moons ago, if a supplier would not get what I wanted, I found another, etc..

Then, on my second question, apparently, they have no more than I have in my c-file disc.  And there is no correspondence from or to the VFW in my c-file, so my question I have asked before.  My thoughts here are, in my many claims, not once did the VSO call me and say, hey, you could do better if you went this way instead, or, I see you filled for A, and then later filed for B, I think you also could file for C.  Crickets......

I may write a letter to the VFW headquarters or OIC. I don't believe this response was adequate in any way.

What do the actually do,

Hamslice

I truly believe the government would go broke if the paid out everything they owed all the Veterans what they are due.  I think the VSO's are just a cog in a big plan.  

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Hamslice said:

I truly believe the government would go broke if the paid out everything they owed all the Veterans what they are due.  I think the VSO's are just a cog in a big plan.

OK, Let's get down to the bottom line.  You want the VFW to do your homework. I am not saying this to piss you off, I am saying this to get you to realize that you did your homework when you ran a parts store now you have to find a physician VA or Private doctor. In other words, have your symptoms treated and then go from there. No physician is going to sign a DBQ without treating you or reviewing your medical history. The physician not only need to review your records they need to see what is going on with you. Depending on where your claim are you might want to think about getting an attorney.

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Any doctor can fill out a DBQ, they aren't that hard, and aren't any harder than any other insurance form. As for IME/IMO,  that's up to the individual doctor, and can change daily, why would you expect the VSO to have a list of that? VSO's aren't lawyers, why would you expect them to keep track of doctors?


Just bring in the DBQ form next time you go see your doctor.Filling out the DBQ, that's the C&P doctor's job, anyway. Just find in your notes anything relevant to what you are claiming and highlight it or type up a short table of contents type cover sheet that says "On this date, Doctor Whoever said ".....blah blah" so the rater can find it. VSO's can assist in some things, but other than access to the VA computer system they can't do anything you can't do. I haven't ever had to have a private doctor fill out a DBQ, but I don't know your situation in Wisconsin. I just used my VA notes and then got whatever my private doctor wrote up for X, Y, Z. I made sure to have them word it as most likely caused by service. Some things they wouldn't but that doesn't mean they are wrong. Some things aren't caused by military service. That's just the reality of things. 

They told you exactly what you needed to do. You may feel its inadequate, but they pretty much spelled it out for you without doing it for you. 

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Hamslice,

what I did to get a DBQ filled out with a specialist Dr help, I called around and ask the front desk if the Dr will see me a Veteran &  examine me for my condition and review my files peratin to my condition and write me a letter for his impression/and opinion of my condition &  I have the form for the Dr to fill out...it took me 3 phone calls to find a Dr that would do it...it was urologist group of physicians ...The your girl went back ask the Dr   Dr said yes he  he is a veteran right? the girl said yes  Dr said  yes Iwill examine HIM and write up  a letter.  she got back on the phone and ask this is for your disabled veterans compensation correct? I said YES MAM IT IS.

SHE MADE ME AN APPOINTMENT WITH THIS Dr

  I went to my appointment and the Dr was great friendly   actor  matthew mcconaughey  type personality  young maybe 36/38? anyway he examined me and reviewed my records  that I took him  and I got a great IMO  in my favor..I won my claim with this Dr letter.  although he never filled out the DBQ but it was not needed.

And the charge was only like 250.00$$

I got the letter in about 5 days after seeing this Dr

From Dallas Tx

Also some hadit members have been calling Dr Ellis  form Okla-City  for a IMO.  But you call him first and then agree on the price and you travel to him  they have a Motel close to his clinic   I heard he was a good IMO letter writing Doc.

other than this just call around to your local veteran friendly  Doctors  and ask them  just be honest with them and let them know what you need them for ya.

This is what I did.  but its been a few years now.

a lot of these Dr office won't take cash  so have your credit card or personal check ready.

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pete,

No offense taken.  However, when I ran the parts store, I was taking care of those I represented, i.e., the customer.  That is what the VFW is supposed to be doing, i.e., taking care of the Veteran.

broke,

They, the VFW, have the records of a large number of Veterans.  If they shared "what works" that would be of great benefit to us Veterans.  They do not.

Also,

I live in the sticks.  There are no doctors here, just NP's if you lucky.  My VA PCP is a NP.  And 15 minutes is an appointment.  

And,

I know I can do this myself, but that is not the point.  What about the Veteran that can't zip his zipper much less use a computer, ,or even knows that he can make a claim back from Vietnam.  Just met that individual last fall.  I know the VA is not proactive when it comes to Veterans, but I would think and hope that the VSO's would.  But I don't see it.  

However, I just walked out to the mailbox and the VFW newspaper was in it.  Six pages of pictures of awards given to who's who at the VFW.  Not a single page on do this or that to help your VA claim.

Trying to help,

Hamslice

 

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Buck,

This was more about what resources the VFW has and dose not use to help Veterans.  Especially Veterans that live in the woods.  Everything is centralized around large communities, which I can understand, but, they could do more.

I have looked at Dr. Ellis's stuff, and might go his way, but I can get and do most of the records and claim, but would not have his opinion or exam.  I have been successful in the past doing it all myself, but this next round will be a biggie to get out of the dreaded 90's, as we all know.

Anyway, I just not impressed or satisfied with the VFW and there support of the disabled Veteran.

In my case,

Hamslice

 

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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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