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Pursuing initial VA claim after separated 8 years ago, currently using a VSO. Worried - Do I need to provide VA full access to my providers or can I provide them records?By MaxMax
Hi All -
I am new to the community, just found you guys a few days ago, because I had concerns about my initial claims process.
My question is:
Which is better - telling the VA to pull my records, or give them the records and letters I have or will get?
It has been eight years since I separated, and because of my mental health condition (depression, PTSD symptoms, anxiety) and just trying to fit into civilian life, I have been unable to begin my claims process. With the help of friends and family, I have now been able to do things like go through my military records (difficult process, emotionally), pull civilian records, and seek further assistance for my mental and physical health issues.
I have been doing research over several online platforms with regards to how to go about supporting my claim. The VSO that I paired up with seems to be of the idea to just give my list of conditions to the VA along with consent to pull records, and give it to them from there. This seems to conflict with advice given in the communities, who would say that the claimant should just turn over relevant or full records, along with nexus/medical opinion letters from individual doctors. They would say this provides the best chance at an accurate and speedy outcome.
I really can't bear the thought of being tied up with this claims process for another few years, because it already feels like it has been killing me for the last months/years. I want to be able to feel like I did it right the first time.
Also, on the mental health side, I really do not like the idea of giving the VA access to ALL of my mental health sessions and care, because it is very personal and much of it is unrelated to military life.
EDIT: I appreciate all these answers and am reviewing them. I think at this point I am leaning towards giving consent to access all records, as well as perhaps sending the full records on my own, along with my personal statements. My psychiatrist has requested that I basically give her my personal statement for her benefit, so she can review and get a full picture of the timeline and progression of the mental health side. I would like to have a letter from my my psych and therapist with the needed wording.
I have been dealing with a rep from the state of TN, who has been working with me after my first Total Knee Replacement. This was in 2018. I have since had 2 revision surgeries on the SAME KNEE due to the implant loosening. 2nd claim for the temp 100% went well. When I sent him all the paperwork THIS year, he filed all the current paperwork EXCEPT the actual comp form from my community care doc. He sent the 2019 form instead of the one from this year, so my claim is all screwed up!!! I attempted to contact this rep, and either due to COVID or just him being lazy, he has not responded to either email or phone calls, so after he filed the wrong paperwork, we have had no contact. I called the VA, and asked what I needed to do, and I sent in the correct paperwork, but now the VA is requesting a C&P exam, and I've been waiting 2 months to even get notification that I even HAVE an appointment!!! In the meantime, I'm stuck still in rehab with this knee(which is AGAIN loose!!), and I cannot work.
Is there ANYTHING I can do to make this move any faster?? I have contacted the company that is supposed to do the C&P, and the lady I spoke with said she would try to expedite my appointment, but that was 3 weeks ago, and I still have no appointment or info...
I'm so frustrated that the rep who is supposed to know how to do all this paperwork did it wrong, and that is why I can't pay my bills right now!!! How are us vets supposed to live when the reps that are hired to help us screw up their job???
I got a denial for headaches and I'm not sure what it is saying. When I read it I think it's contradicting itself. Could someone please help me understand what it says? Also there are a lot of other times I reported headaches after service which are all in my VA medical records that they did not mention in denial so I'm thinking they didn't actually read my file?
This is from the letter.
Service connection for headache condition.
Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused
by some event or experience in service. (38 CFR 3.303)
While your service treatment records reflect complaints, treatment, or a diagnosis similar to that
claimed, the medical evidence supports the conclusion that a persistent disability was not present
in service. (38 CFR 3.303)
We did not find a link between your medical condition and military service. (38 CFR 3.303)
The evidence does not show that your disease developed to a compensable degree within the
specified time period after release from service to qualify for the presumption of service
connection. (38 CFR 3.307, 38 CFR 3.309)
Service connection for headache condition is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor
was caused by service. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304)
Favorable findings identified in this decision: Service treatment record dated January 26, 2005
and July 25, 2007 shows headaches. Medical record dated January 13, 2020 from Canandaigua
VA Medical Center shows headaches. You have sufficient service to meet the minimum
requirements for presumptive service connection. The claimed disability is a chronic disease
which may be presumptively linked to your military service.
Happy labors day to all, so my question was i my current disability is rated at 50% since last years, since then i haven't seen any improvement myself, I haven't work much or able to keep a stable job, my last job was at home depot for prob 2 months as a greeters around the end of 2019, I just submit all my disability for an increase on may 2020 and my case just close on September 3rd 2020, when to only 1 C&P exam where the doctor just ask me about my injury and how it feel about it, if i pull any muscle or tears any thing, i told the doctor it just hurt when walk or stand, some flare up sometime on my knee. so i limited myself to mostly sit or lay on bed, can't keep a job for long. She told me so you disable then and just told me the exam is finish. No extra check up/exam, No xray or mri.
I know my case is complete and the letter should be here soon, but my question is how likely for me to get an increase? if so how much could i percent should i expected?
I heard from someone that if i get approve most likely my ebenefits rating should have changes before my letter arrived, if it doesn't chance til my letter arrive that mean most likely is a denied letter.
left hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left hip and thigh strain with impairment 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019 left hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 back condition Not Service Connected right ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 left ankle status post stress fracture 10% Service Connected 10/29/2018 right hip and thigh strain with limited extension 10% Service Connected 01/30/2019 right hip and thigh strain with limited flexion 0% Service Connected 01/30/2019 left knee strain with stress fracture residuals of pain and limited ROM 10% Service Connected 05/23/2019
I received a VA rating early last year for tinnitus and hearing loss. I recently started another claim for back pain, PES Planus(flat feet) and a ankle injury. I have proof in my service medical chart of a back injury on 2 occasion. Plus during the second visit it's document that my pain was continuous for the previous 6 months.
The arch of my feet were recorded as normal during my first enlistment. When I reenlisted in the Army after being out of USMC for 4 months i recieced a entrance medical exam. In that entrance medical exam it's documented that i have flat feet.
Lastly my ankle injury was documented in my service medical records.
What is the opinion of getting a Nexus letter with so much proof in my service medical records. Get a Nexus, YES, or NO.
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,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)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,