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Migraine Claim approved at 50% today after BVA remand


MKAH
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Question

Hello everyone,

Today I was on Ebenifits and saw that my Migraine claim had updated to 50%, bringing me up to 80% total.  VA.gov shows no information on this claim..?

I did some quick math and backpay will be about 22,068, less 500 for doctor exam and letter, and 4,413 for my attorney = 17,154.  

Anyway, I have not seen a direct deposit so I presume that large amounts take a little longer to process? 

 

********************************************************************************************************************************
Total Combined Disability

You have a 80% final degree of disability. This percentage determines the amount of benefit pay you will receive.

How is this calculated

Add Disabilities

Submit a claim to make any updates to the disabilities that you believe are related to your military service.

Apply Now.

Rated Disabilities

Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date
tinnitus 10% Service Connected   03/08/2011

migraines (previously addressed as headaches)

50% Service Connected   08/01/2017
bilateral hearing loss 50% Service Connected   02/11/2016

 

Edited by MKAH
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MKAH Conrats! That's super. Yes; it can take a while to get your back pay. The higher amounts take more time because more hoops in  the signature circuit. And each one is a little different, but sometimes it is in a couple of spaced out deposits. If you get a big chunk of $ like that; pay some bills and just sit on it a while. It is a lot easier to spend it than to get it.

 

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25 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

MKAH Conrats! That's super. Yes; it can take a while to get your back pay. The higher amounts take more time because more hoops in  the signature circuit. And each one is a little different, but sometimes it is in a couple of spaced out deposits. If you get a big chunk of $ like that; pay some bills and just sit on it a while. It is a lot easier to spend it than to get it.

 

Thanks for the reply GBArmy,

I was surprised that VA.gov shows nothing regarding this specific claim for Migraines (a BVA grant, ordering a C&P which happened about 2.5 weeks ago and the RO rating happening today)?

My last claim pending is PTSD.  A remand by the BVA for a C&P (which occurred about six months).  The RO must still be working on (waiting to get to it) to determine service connection or not, then possible rating.

Thank you for the kind words

 

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Congratulations!

Don't you love when a plan come together?

Hopefully that PTSD claim will push you closer to that 100% rating scheduler or TDIU.

Sorry that you are going through what you are going through.

Try to keep some of the retro for rainy days, you never know what will happen.

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Congrats.

If you aren't currently working due to your service connected disabilities, and have not previously filed for TDIU, you may want to consider filing immediately a VA Form 21-8940, Veteran's Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability.

 

Edited by 63Charlie
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4 hours ago, pacmanx1 said:

Congratulations!

Don't you love when a plan come together?

Hopefully that PTSD claim will push you closer to that 100% rating scheduler or TDIU.

Sorry that you are going through what you are going through.

Try to keep some of the retro for rainy days, you never know what will happen.

Thank you very much.  

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2 hours ago, 63Charlie said:

Congrats.

If you aren't currently working due to your service connected disabilities, and have not previously filed for TDIU, you may want to consider filing immediately a VA Form 21-8940, Veteran's Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability.

 

Thanks for the reply 63Charlie,

On Monday, I will be calling my attorney (Woods & Woods) to discuss this.  I have not worked since 3 Jan 2016 due to my SC disabilities.  We will likely file the 21-8940 ASAP as my remaining claim for PTSD, if determined to be SC, would be rated at 70% best case scenario.  This combination would bring me to SC of 94% rounded down to 90%.

Thank you for the Form number.  

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Congrats!

May I ask how long did it take you from BVA hearing (if you had one) to decision?

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MKAH Hey brother, if you are actually at 94 rounded down to 90%, I would try really, really hard to find one more disability. Just one more 10% might push you to 95 therefore 100 scheduler. Obviously much better , and you could still work no problem. Google your disabilities and find out if you may have symptoms that might result in a secondary. For example, GERD can be secondary to many meds taken to help with PTSD. Look up the symptoms of GERD and see if you have any issues with swallowing, acid reflux, etc.  See https://cck-law.com/blog/va-disability-benefits-for-gerd/ (diagnostic code 7346). This is just an example. Maybe you have something else you can connect secondary. Note that you need the symptoms current diagnosis, the med has to be on record for causing the distress, AND you have a nexus from a doc that says it caused your GERD. I'd go this route first before the TDIU path.

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6 hours ago, Hucast21 said:

Congrats!

May I ask how long did it take you from BVA hearing (if you had one) to decision?

Hi Hucast21,

See the timeline below for the Migraine claim.

Looks roughly like:
6  months for the claim to first denial
10 months for the denial SOC on the NOD
6 months for BVA approval
10 months for the RO to perform a C&P
3 weeks for RO to rate disability and send me notification via E-Benefits.

I called the VA "Peggy" on the 800 number.  She said from her view, I will be receiving multiple retro payments, but they are still in the approval process.

My PTSD claim has been ongoing since 11/14/15.  I have received a C&P via a remand from the BVA for the PTSD (see below link).  However, I am still waiting for the RO to determine service connection or not.




 

  1. VA sent you a claim decision

    on July 12, 2018

     

     
  2. VA received your Notice of Disagreement

    on July 30, 2018

     

     
  3. VA sent you a Statement of the Case

    on May 28, 2019

     

     
  4. VA received your Form 9

    on June 14, 2019

     

     
  5. Your appeal was sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

    on July 20, 2019

     

     
  6. Board of Veterans’ Appeals made a decision

    on January 09, 2020
Edited by MKAH
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2 hours ago, GBArmy said:

MKAH Hey brother, if you are actually at 94 rounded down to 90%, I would try really, really hard to find one more disability. Just one more 10% might push you to 95 therefore 100 scheduler. Obviously much better , and you could still work no problem. Google your disabilities and find out if you may have symptoms that might result in a secondary. For example, GERD can be secondary to many meds taken to help with PTSD. Look up the symptoms of GERD and see if you have any issues with swallowing, acid reflux, etc.  See https://cck-law.com/blog/va-disability-benefits-for-gerd/ (diagnostic code 7346). This is just an example. Maybe you have something else you can connect secondary. Note that you need the symptoms current diagnosis, the med has to be on record for causing the distress, AND you have a nexus from a doc that says it caused your GERD. I'd go this route first before the TDIU path.

The only thing that I feel might be possible is i have a sever balance (vertigo) problem.  The VA treated me for Menieres Disease, however I still suffer from daily imbalance which has been well documented in my VA health record. 
The C&P physician that performed my migraine claim, commented to me that she was entering a notation that she thought my vertigo was a result of my Tinnitus.  In a few more weeks, me and my attorney I will see the Migraine C&P and determine if this information is sufficient to move forward with a new claim for vertigo, or file for TDUI un employability for combined 10% tinnitus, 50% hearing loss and 50% migraines.  As I mentioned before, I have not been able to work due to my SC disabilities since 3 Jan 2016.

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You are already getting comp for tinnitus and hearing, so Diagnostic code 6205, in addition to those, a rating for peripheral vestibular disorder (DC 6204) is still on the table. Occasional dizziness is rated at 10%.Your VA doc wants to connect it as a symptom of  tinnitus. Since you already have the disability, no additional rating (pyramiding). You need a good IMO from a hearing specialist that says it is separate from tinnitus and attributable to PVD. You don't have headaches with all this going on? If you do, that would be rated separately also. As for TDIU, it might be easier to obtain, and the lawyers may want to go that route, but if you can get by scheduler, it still may be preferable. You can go for the TDIU if it doesn't work out, but you'll not be able to work. I'm hoping, and you are too, that someday you may improve enough to go back to gainful employment. Just trying to point out options for you.

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43 minutes ago, GBArmy said:

You are already getting comp for tinnitus and hearing, so Diagnostic code 6205, in addition to those, a rating for peripheral vestibular disorder (DC 6204) is still on the table. Occasional dizziness is rated at 10%.Your VA doc wants to connect it as a symptom of  tinnitus. Since you already have the disability, no additional rating (pyramiding). You need a good IMO from a hearing specialist that says it is separate from tinnitus and attributable to PVD. You don't have headaches with all this going on? If you do, that would be rated separately also. As for TDIU, it might be easier to obtain, and the lawyers may want to go that route, but if you can get by scheduler, it still may be preferable. You can go for the TDIU if it doesn't work out, but you'll not be able to work. I'm hoping, and you are too, that someday you may improve enough to go back to gainful employment. Just trying to point out options for you.

Thanks GBArmy

Thank you again for all the great advice.  I'll keep everyone up to date on any changes or updates.

 

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MKAH

There are no limits on the # of claims a veteran can file, if you have any condition that is service related or happen while you were in the military please file on them ASAP SECONDARY CLAIMS are good to file on   if you have any condition that is service connected and that condition causes you to have another condition disabling you  file for that...

example  PTSD  if you have a rating for PTSD and you start to have another condition arise..say sleep apnea ALTHOUGH you may not had any medical records about osa problems (sleep apnea) while in military but you have sleep apnea now perhaps your spouse notice you stop breathing while sleeping...well the PTSD Meds CAN CAUSE THIS OR BE RELATED TO 

If this happens just mention it to your VA Dr and ask him/her to refer you to the sleep clinic..you get a diagnose for OSA (SLEEP APNEA)  Then you can file a secondary claim to your S.C. PTSD Claim  if you are prescribe a c-pap machine to use medically for your health and well fare  its a 50% rating  right off the bat...you get enough ratings you can possibly qualify for the SMC (SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION)

100% RATING  AND ANOTHER 60% RATING WOULD MEET THE CRITERIA FOR SMC..ALSO COMBINED RATINGS CAN GET YOU ON UP THERE.

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32 minutes ago, Buck52 said:

MKAH

There are no limits on the # of claims a veteran can file, if you have any condition that is service related or happen while you were in the military please file on them ASAP SECONDARY CLAIMS are good to file on   if you have any condition that is service connected and that condition causes you to have another condition disabling you  file for that...

example  PTSD  if you have a rating for PTSD and you start to have another condition arise..say sleep apnea ALTHOUGH you may not had any medical records about osa problems (sleep apnea) while in military but you have sleep apnea now perhaps your spouse notice you stop breathing while sleeping...well the PTSD Meds CAN CAUSE THIS OR BE RELATED TO 

If this happens just mention it to your VA Dr and ask him/her to refer you to the sleep clinic..you get a diagnose for OSA (SLEEP APNEA)  Then you can file a secondary claim to your S.C. PTSD Claim  if you are prescribe a c-pap machine to use medically for your health and well fare  its a 50% rating  right off the bat...you get enough ratings you can possibly qualify for the SMC (SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION)

100% RATING  AND ANOTHER 60% RATING WOULD MEET THE CRITERIA FOR SMC..ALSO COMBINED RATINGS CAN GET YOU ON UP THERE.

Thank you sir.  I am going to give myself the weekend to unwind a bit.  This process has been very draining and difficult for me, as I expect it has been for other disabled Veterans?  

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If you have not applied for SSDI and you are still not working, I suggest that you file for it.  Make sure that you get the benefits that you earned.  Please forgive me for not being sensitive but IMHO, anyone that has a severe mental health condition should really consider filing for SSDI. The fact of dealing with (stupid) people and work related stress could cause or trigger an episode.  As stated I am not trying to be a jerk, I am just trying to help. 

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7 hours ago, MKAH said:

Hi Hucast21,

See the timeline below for the Migraine claim.

Looks roughly like:
6  months for the claim to first denial
10 months for the denial SOC on the NOD
6 months for BVA approval
10 months for the RO to perform a C&P
3 weeks for RO to rate disability and send me notification via E-Benefits.

I called the VA "Peggy" on the 800 number.  She said from her view, I will be receiving multiple retro payments, but they are still in the approval process.

My PTSD claim has been ongoing since 11/14/15.  I have received a C&P via a remand from the BVA for the PTSD (see below link).  However, I am still waiting for the RO to determine service connection or not.




 

  1. VA sent you a claim decision

    on July 12, 2018

     

     
  2. VA received your Notice of Disagreement

    on July 30, 2018

     

     
  3. VA sent you a Statement of the Case

    on May 28, 2019

     

     
  4. VA received your Form 9

    on June 14, 2019

     

     
  5. Your appeal was sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals

    on July 20, 2019

     

     
  6. Board of Veterans’ Appeals made a decision

    on January 09, 2020

Hi MKAH,

The VA loves denying service-connection for migraines, and I am in a similar situation. I was diagnosed with migraines in the service and continue receiving treatment from the VA. I too, was denied on initial claim, denial SOC on NOD, and now my claim goes before the BVA. I am also claiming depression secondary to migraines as I have been hospitalized with suicidal thoughts multiple times over the years when I get severe migraines.

It is sad how us veterans need an IMO in order to win our claim. I am also going for TDIU.

Thank you for the reply.

Edited by Hucast21
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5 hours ago, pacmanx1 said:

If you have not applied for SSDI and you are still not working, I suggest that you file for it.  Make sure that you get the benefits that you earned.  Please forgive me for not being sensitive but IMHO, anyone that has a severe mental health condition should really consider filing for SSDI. The fact of dealing with (stupid) people and work related stress could cause or trigger an episode.  As stated I am not trying to be a jerk, I am just trying to help. 

Hi pacmanx1,

Yes, I have been drawing SSDI since early 2016 for PTSD and went thru a CDR at the three year mark.  I am not sure if stupid people bother me more than unpredictable people though.  :) 

Thank you for the suggestions.

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3 hours ago, Hucast21 said:

Hi MKAH,

The VA loves denying service-connection for migraines, and I am in a similar situation. I was diagnosed with migraines in the service and continue receiving treatment from the VA. I too, was denied on initial claim, denial SOC on NOD, and now my claim goes before the BVA. I am also claiming depression secondary to migraines as I have been hospitalized with suicidal thoughts multiple times over the years when I get severe migraines.

It is sad how us veterans need an IMO in order to win our claim. I am also going for TDIU.

Thank you for the reply.

Killer headaches in conjunction with mental disorders are a real problem for sure....as I am a member of that club. 
A BVA judge determined the service connection for my headaches, then returned my claim to the Region Office who then hired a contractor to do the C&P. 

I wish you well sir.

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I called the 800 number and spoke with Peggy about my updated claim (4/18/20 and no receipt of envelope or direct deposit.  Peggy said three sperate deposits were waiting for approval and that the envelope was being mailed today (4/27/20).  Peggy gave me the amounts of the deposits and they are within about 100 bucks of my back pay calculation less a 500 dollar outside doctor opinion and attorney fees of 20%.

So my impression is that the VA Regional Office has paid my attorney fees including the attorney arranged doctors opinion,  directly to my attorney.

Is this the normal process for paying legal counsel, or am I totally overthinking this process?  
(sounds like a really great idea, I was just wondering).

 

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Sounds like the normal procedure based on what the VA has for record on your legal agreement.

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