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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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    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
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      Our traffic is going up and so are our expenses, however revenues have gone down and so I am reaching out to you to see if you can help me keep Hadit.com up and running.
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    • https://community.hadit.com/searching-for-va-claims-information-on-hadit.com/

       

      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
      • 3 replies
    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 2 replies
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Galen Rogers

NOD SOC AVAILABILITY

Question

Howdy All,

Just checked VA.gov and the VA has issued a Statement of the Case (SOC) on my NODs submitted last June 2019. The boiler plate state is as follows: "The Veterans Benefits Administration sent you a Statement of the Case on April 9, 2020. The Statement of the Case explains the reasons why they couldn’t fully grant your appeal."  eBenefits shows no changes in my granted disabilities yet so no idea if anything was granted or not. The problem is that I am in the Philippines and can't get any mail from the US due to the COVID-19 shut down over here. I have my mail sent to my FPO mail box at the Manila RAO but the US Embassy and the RAO are all closed to comply with the shut down. I emailed my VSO (SD state Vet Office) and asked if she could send me an electronic copy via email. Can VSOs down load a copy from the VA's system to do that or would that violate VA rules?

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I know that some will, but not sure if it is against the rules. He certainly could summarize what's going on to you though. Maybe you could Skype or Zoom with him?

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Posted (edited)

Im unaware of any rules which limit communication between a VSO and the Veteran.  Remember, you sign POA to be represented by a VSO.  This said, I cant be sure what DAV, VFW, etc.'s policies are on the matter.  Why dont you ask your VSO?  Or, is he like other VSO's who dont return phone calls or emails?  

Im more than a little suprised you got a SOC.  SOC's were prior to implementation of Ramp in Feb. 2019, so your claim must still be in legacy.  That is the only way you would be getting a SOC.  It "may" be in your best interest to exit from legacy appeals and opt into RAMP (AMA).  I have said this before, the SOC doesnt appear to be much benefit to the Veteran...its just VA's hogwash as to why they denied you.  However, I have seen Vets benefit by VA's failure to file the SOC or SSOC, since those were required in legacy appeals prior to RAMP (AMA).  

The worst part of legacy appeals, in my opinion, is the requirement of VARO "certification" of the claim to the BVA.  This means about another 18 months of waiting..and of little benefit to Veterans.  It was so bad, that the NVLSP filed a class action against VA in regard to the long delay in certifying the claim to the BVA.  The NVLSP won, at least in part.  RAMP (AMA) eliminated certification to the BVA and, tho final numbers are not published yet, that would appear to drop "18 months" off the appeal time, while the claim does nothing but sit in the VARO office waiting to be certified.  Certificiation should take 30 minutes, but VARO figured out how to draw it out to 18 months.  

For reasons stated above, you may consider opting into AMA.  

A big concern here is that you have a short fuse to file an I9 after the SOC.  You may not even get the SOC until this period has passed.  This would mean your appeal would be deemed "abandonded".  

You have just 60 days to file an I9, after VARO MAILS IT.  https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA9.pdf

MY ADVICE IS TO FILE THE I9 NOW, or else your claim could be a corona Virus victim.   Send it FedEx, USPS, via ebenefits upload, or by pigeon carrier if you must, but your claim will be abandonded if you dont send it in 60 days.  IN other words those mail delays could "kill" your claim by VA not recieving your I9.  You can add evidence later, but file the I9.  NOW.   Dont expect VA to be generous and "waive" the 60 day requirement "just because" your mail is stopped and you live in the Phillipines.  

Be aware you are "giving up" some things by living in the Phillipines vs the lower connected 48 states.  You cant expect to gain from the benefits of living in the Philipines without also having to put up with the disadvanteges of living there.  Having never been to the Philipines, but I have known people from there.  I think the labor is very cheap there, but why dont you tell us?  I really would like to know why you chose to live there, assuming you did, indeed make that choice.  

Edited by broncovet

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broncovet my  NODs were in legacy. The  statement in VA.gov says I can appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals or I can request a hearing by a VA law judge. It does tell me I have to do it within 60 days. I will definitely do that. Just not sure which way to go with it Board or Law judge. Hopefully you all can shed a little light on that question.

As for my VSO until the COVID-19 shutdown she would normally respond with in a week. Unfortunately she did not respond to an email I sent about 2 weeks ago. Not sure if they are actually working or not. I plan to call both her and the VA 1-800 number Monday morning EST.

Living here in the Philippines definitely has its pros and cons. Overall cost of living is cheaper. My wife and I own a small house here. She is originally from here. The actual plan was to split our time between here and the states. The lock down sort of screwed that up at present. Labor is dirt cheap here ($10 a day for most day workers). A live in maid costs about $120 a month plus room and board. We love the tropical climate. Since I'm retired Navy I can join the Retired Activities Office and that entitles me to a FPO mail box for regular first class mail and small packages (16 oz or less). There is an actual VA regional office in the US Embassy plus an out patient clinic. They will treat only service connected issue. But that is still better than nothing. There is also a TRICARE authorized provide here at the local University Hospital so we are covered there. The overall cons are the small things we take for granted. You can get a lot of products here that are available in the states but you pay a premium (probably double the cost). Some things you can't get like diet Dr Pepper. Regular Dr Pepper is available but cost about $8.00 a 12 pack. Pepsi, coke, RC, Mt Dew are are bottled over here so costs are the same as over there. Medical and dental costs are much cheaper over here. I could go on for several pages 🙂 on bothe pros and cons. It's not for everybody. 

So I appreciate all the advice so far and hopefully additional  advice  on whether go straight to the Board or a Law judge with my appeal form 9. I will come back and post what I find out about getting an electronic copy of my SOC.

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I'll be following since I'm going through the same thing.  I do have  a law firm representing me so if I get any info. from them, I will pass it on.

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9 hours ago, broncovet said:

 

Im more than a little suprised you got a SOC.  SOC's were prior to implementation of Ramp in Feb. 2019, so your claim must still be in legacy.  That is the only way you would be getting a SOC.  It "may" be in your best interest to exit from legacy appeals and opt into RAMP (AMA).  I have said this before, the SOC doesnt appear to be much benefit to the Veteran...its just VA's hogwash as to why they denied you.  However, I have seen Vets benefit by VA's failure to file the SOC or SSOC, since those were required in legacy appeals prior to RAMP (AMA).  

The worst part of legacy appeals, in my opinion, is the requirement of VARO "certification" of the claim to the BVA.  This means about another 18 months of waiting..and of little benefit to Veterans.  It was so bad, that the NVLSP filed a class action against VA in regard to the long delay in certifying the claim to the BVA.  The NVLSP won, at least in part.  RAMP (AMA) eliminated certification to the BVA and, tho final numbers are not published yet, that would appear to drop "18 months" off the appeal time, while the claim does nothing but sit in the VARO office waiting to be certified.  Certificiation should take 30 minutes, but VARO figured out how to draw it out to 18 months.  

For reasons stated above, you may consider opting into AMA.  

 

broncovet I see on the VA.gov website that I have a choice to remain in legacy or move into the AMA process. To move into the AMA I have to submit a VA Form 10182 vice the VA Form 9. Anyway that is the way I read it. Am I correct in this understanding? 

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    • The 5, 10, 20 year rules...



      Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.



      Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.



      Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.



      If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"



      At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.



      NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.



      ------



      Example for 2020 using the same disability rating



      1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%



      RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008



      RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)



      2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%



      RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
      • 4 replies
    • Wonderful news way to hang in. I hope this gives you some well deserved peace. 
    • If HadIt.com has helped you or you believe in it’s mission then please donate even $1 helps. I hope HadIt.com has provided $1’s worth of help to you. Imagine waking up and there is no HadIt.com it could happen and that is why I’m asking for your help now.



       



      Our traffic is going up and so are our expenses, however revenues have gone down and so I am reaching out to you to see if you can help me keep Hadit.com up and running.
      • 4 replies
    • https://community.hadit.com/searching-for-va-claims-information-on-hadit.com/

       

      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
      • 3 replies
    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 2 replies
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