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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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I have received my denial letter yesterday for IU. I'm rated 30% for left knee replacement ,0% for right knee replacement  and 50% major depressive disorder. The VA replaced both knees in 2018, the left knee was service connected at the time. I tried to get the right knee rated as secondary but was denied. I have been receiving SSDI since 2014 solely as a result of the condition of my knees as stated in my award letter from the SSA. I don't no what my next move should be now. Should I hire a claims attorney and if so who? Need help badly. Thanks

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Combat eng Hiring a lawyer isn't a bad move at this point. You haven't posted your denial, but my guess is that you didn't have a strong nexus on getting connected for your right knee. If you have the medical evidence, you should get bilaterial on it. Rated 50% and 30% should have gotten you to a combined disability rating of 65 or rounded up to 70% ,which meets the rating criteria for TDIU. If you could get the bilaterial for your right knee, it would help. It may be the strategy of a lawyer to get your new knew approved first before going after TDIU again. There are several law firms to try that are used by many Hadit members: Perkins Studdard, Woods and Woods, CC&K, Berry Law, Attig Steele, and Bergmann and Moore. It seems it is easier to get SSDI first, then TDIU, than the other way around, but don't get discouraged. Your weak link in approval is more than likely your nexus/IMO from a doctor on your knee, so you need to shore that up.

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You should definately appeal, especially if your doc said you were unable to work due to SC condition.  

Remember, tho, the VA "trick" up their sleeve:  You have to show you cant do ANY job, not just your present job.  Often this will take a voc rehab assessment to determine your feasablity to be retrained.  Given your PTSD, this isnt likely, but, the VA wont give you a "pass" on this one.  

A lawyer is good, but you "may" be able to wait until/unless denied by the BVA.  You see, almost always the EAJA pays attorney fees but ONLY after a BVA denial and subsequent appeal to the CAVC.  

You may be able to read over your file, get a IMO from a voc rehab consultant for 500 to 1000 dollars or so and not have to go to the CAVC.  But that is just my opinion and I have not read your file.  

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Due to the fact that you have already been awarded/granted SSDI, most of the time before grating/awarding SSDI, SSA would get the opinion of a VOC Rehabilitation Specialist that you cannot do any type of work. You can use this opinion in your appeal.  Re-read your VA denial letter, evidence and Reason and Basis they used to make their decision and see if they used your SSDI award letter. This is especially important because you can use this in a rebuttal of their decision.

Since you already meet the minimum requirement of 70% a Medical Opinion will help if you don't already have one.

DID your VA Denial letter use your SSDI award?

Did you inform the VA that you were receiving SSDI?

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      I received my denial letter. In the evidence it doesn't mention SSDI, I sent the award letter with the packet. The SSA states that my knees are the only reason I'm receiving SSDI. I also put in my right knee for secondary because they replaced it when they did my left knee which was SC at the time. They didn't mention the right TKR, they mention palpation and patella tendon, but it has been replaced and that's what I stated on my claim. When I submitted my TDIU I was rated at 30% left TKR and 50% major depressive disorder, I ask for a secondary on my right TKR on a separate claim. They combine both claims on one decision letter. I want to know what route to take on appeal. Shouldn't there be a mention of SSDI in the evidence. Thinking of filing NOD.




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