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The American Legion representative I've been working on my claim with is on forced leave due to the COVID lockdowns, but I just got the call to schedule my appointment and I don't know who to talk to


Endgame Thor
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Question

I have found this forum today searching desperately for answers and help, and I'm hoping that some can be found here. I have been working with a representative from the American Legion to assist me in preparing and filing a service connection claim. We started last May (an intent to file was sent on May 17, 2019), and this week of all weeks I finally received a series of letters from the VA Intake office saying my claim was being worked on and that I would be getting a call from a local doctor to schedule my C&P exam. The rep I have been working with told me to call him (or see him at his office) when I got this information, but his office is closed for another week at least (automated voicemail and email responses say through Apr 6) and I am very concerned about what is happening. The rep had mentioned the name of a local physician as who most everyone he has worked with in the past was sent to, but I just this morning got a call from Logistics Health Incorporated and the reviews I found for them online are varied from awful experiences to good ones. I have no way to contact the one person who has been helping me navigate this process and I am very worried on how to proceed. My primary claim is Anxiety/Panic Disorder (it has become so severe that I have been put on ADA Medical Leave from my part time job and my university professors/staff are working with me through their version of a disability office to provide accommodations to help me try to finish this term). I have been on that ADA Leave since Nov 17, 2019 and it is currently slated to last until May 17, 2020. Due to the nature of my primary issue, I have been unable to sleep recently trying to figure out what to do as I can not access the resource I had come to rely on over the last nearly one year. I have several claims being made other than just the Anxiety/Panic Disorder and can elaborate if someone needs that information to help, but frankly I'm terrified to call this large impersonal corporation to schedule a C&P when I had been expecting to work with a local physician.

EDIT: I just received a Voicemail from LHI, and they have already scheduled an appointment for me for Mon 4/13. One of the primary issues of my Anxiety/Panic Disorder is that I am unable to travel long distances (anything out of my own city, and even long distance within town is problematic even with medication). In light of this, we had submitted along with our filings a request to have an appointment scheduled within my own city, but the appointment was made for me at an office in a city more than 30 minutes away, a trip I can not make. 

Edited by Endgame Thor
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Welcome to hadit!  You came to the right place!

You can do what most of us do:  We handle our own claims "at a minimum" until your VSO gets back to you.

My VSO hasnt returned my calls in, well, Im not sure he ever returned my calls.  So that is "business as usual" for me not to be able to get a hold of my VSO.  

Now, here is my advice:

1.  Call the C and p examiner and tell them you are unable to travel, and give your reason(s).   Ask for a reschedule in your town.  That is the only thing a VSO could do also.  

2.  If you can NOT reschedule the exam, get a ride and go to it anyway.  Dont dwell on it but make sure you explain that your anxiety/panic prevents you from travel.  

Worst case senario:  You dont show for the exam and cant get it canceled.  "blame" the corona virus on not being able to get a ride, everyone else does.  Get it rescheduled.  

Best case senario (most likely):  Your contact with hadit has "expanded" your knowledge of VA by leaps and bounds.  A poster "just the other day" said that he would not have a (explitive) thing (in benefits) had it not been for hadit advice.  You know "some things" you didnt know before. For example:

1.  Make sure you have all Caluza elements documented by checking your records.  This means you have a current diagnosis, in service event, and nexus.  If you want to know what a nexus is, then your VSO did not do his job, because he should have told you that.  

2.  Know what to say at your C and P exam.  To start with, know the answer to "How are you, today, Mr. Veteran?"   Dont say "fine, how are you"...if you are not.  Instead, tell the examiner what happened on your worst day, not today.  So, if on Saturday, you had a panic attack and had to be taken to the emergency room, then tell him THAT, and "not" that you are "fine", even if you feel great today.  You can still tell him what happened on your worst day.  If you say you are "fine", then you will have to be explaining how you are "not fine" the rest of the exam, and your credibility is suspicious.  Oh, I get it.  I am used to answering "fine" to that question, no matter how bad you feel, because most people dont want to hear about others troubles.  

This is not the time to be polite and dont be afraid to tell the examiner "whats wrong with you".  He cant read your mind.  If you tell him you are fine, then, well, why are you applying for disability benefits if you are fine and nothings wrong??  

3.  If you have more questions, first research hadit to see if its been answered, and if it hasnt been answered, by all means ask us in a new post.  

I heard someone say that there is no such thing as dumb questions.  Well, I dont agree with that, but dumb questions cost less than  dumb mistakes.  

 

 

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Ok so with LHI and any of them, they have to use someone who is qualified in their view.  You are going to have a few issues here.  1 DO NOT MISS AN APPOINTMENT.  This is the fastest way to get a denial.

2 LHI should have given you a number to call.  You need to call them ASAP!  Explain what your issue is and see if they can accommodate.  I am not saying they can or will, but make sure they not everything they tell you and you tell them so it is in your file.  You only get one chance to reschedule the appointment.  See if they will do a telehealth visit over the phone.  Tell them you are worried about the corona virus.  Worth a shot!

Let's assume this does not work.  Do not miss that appointment.  Not sure what else can be done, maybe someone has another idea.

 

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Bronco is right on follow his advice!

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Good advise from Bronc and Shrek. If you are scheduled almost 2 weeks out, you should be able to reschedule at least one time. Talk to a LHI rep and explain your difficulties and ask for a push out. However, it seems to me that your major consern is the 30+ minute drive. That isn't going to change by rescheduling. If you have ebenefits, and if you have a VA pshch  doc, send him a secure message that you aren't supposed to travel more than 30 miles and the C&P is farther than that, and what should you do. Or, if you don't do that, call the VAMC and ask to be connected to his office. Get a name of who you speak with. Maybe, just maybe, they will over ride the C&P appointment. Worth a try.

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I should have stated more clearly my issue with travel. When I said that I am unable to travel this distance, my anxiety is severe enough that I am physically unable to reach this destination unless I were to be completely sedated by a medical professional before traveling. Travel of this type produces in me extremely violent nausea and diarrhea, hyperventilation and extremely high heart rate, to the point that it is physically impossible for me to be in the vehicle for such a distance. This was included in our original filing we sent requesting the exam, where we included my medical notes for the last 2+ years that this has been increasing in severity, which includes statements from multiple doctors that I am completely incapable to travel outside of my local area. We requested specifically to have services provided in my town. I am still hoping to hear back from my VSO, but if I have not heard anything by mid day tomorrow it seems I will need to 'wade in' myself and contact LHI to do my best to explain my constraints.

And thank you to everyone who has replied thusfar

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Ok 

If you received a letter from VA letting you know about this C&P EXAM you have been scheduled , look closely on it to see if they gave you a phone # to call  if you had any questions.

If you can't travel due to medical complications/problems...then contact the C&P Chief and tell him just what you mention here, ask to be reschedule to a closer C&P exam one that would only take you less than 30 minutes to travel too.

  With this coronavirus pandemic  its highly likely they will reschedule you for  C&P at a different  locations & closer .

They are calling veterans at his home  if he has a general appointment  so he don't have to come to his VAMC. (They do the Appointment over the phone)

My VA Phyistrist called me today and told me not to come to the VAMC  on April 7th for my Appointment with her, She would call me and we will do the appointment over the phone she said  so do not come to the VAMC  its almost empty with veterans other than the ones that are hospitalized 

Veterans are being told not to come to the VAMC unless Emergency.

during this PANDEMIC. (At My VAMC Anway) 

 

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Ditto for my VAMC, buck.  "Even if" we are sick with corona virus, my doctor TODAY explained that if I am sick I need to call this special number:  Its basically the triage nurse.  

The triage nurse then can ask me questions and determine if an ambulance, or what else she thinks is necessary.  By just showing up, there are likely going to be people there who try to help you but could become infected if you had/have the virus.  

Therefore, they want time to prepare you for a trip to the hospital.  We dont need our nurses and doctors infected, and Im sure they dont want to be either.  This way, they can put on protective gowns, masks, etc., so that you and others, including medical staff, are protected.  

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I had a somewhat similar issue in the last couple of months.QTC called me about an exam they had scheduled, but I was not in the area. I called them and they tried to schedule me in the area I was at. That wasn't working out and I told them so. I called VA and told them. I was later contacted by VES and they eventually  scheduled me appointments I could make. There were several calls to VA with the attached aggravation and ignorance. One of the VA people told me if I couldn't make the appointment it would just be rescheduled. She was pretty ignorant of how the VA works. I would be very prepared for the aggravation this could cause. It certainly got on my last nerve.

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You "may" be able to do this appointment via telehealth at your computer or smart phone.  You should call the examiner and ask.  

https://www.dayton.va.gov/services/Telehealth.asp   This is for dayton, you can look it up for your city.  

 

 

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