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Good day to all. A little background before I get to my questions... I am a 70% disabled veteran and was recently let go from my job as a service technician. Admittedly, the job was hard on me because of my main disability (back condition). The owner of the company gave me a letter that stated I was "laid off" on a permanent basis. Essentially, I was fired. I was "laid off" the day after I came back from a week off for recuperating after aggravating my back condition on the job. I did have a doctor's note and the owner was already aware that I was a disabled vet. During my meeting with the owner I told him that I knew he was letting me go because of my disability issues. He said nothing. I have a good rapport with the office manager. She said she would add something to my "layoff" letter or possibly write a letter for me that I can have for VA purposes.
Now, on to my questions:
I'm unsure as to how I should phrase the letter. Should I just have the office manager put a sentence in my original layoff letter that states "Unfortunately, due to the nature of this position, no reasonable accommodations can be made" or "Unfortunately, due to the nature of this position and your physical limitations, no reasonable accommodations can be made?" Or should I ask if she would type an entirely new letter for me? If so, what should I have her write? Would this letter hold any weight on my behalf when I go for a re-eval?
This leads up to my second question. The 20-year anniversary is coming up on my rating. Which means, if I'm not mistaken, that the VA cannot decrease my rating unless they can prove fraud. Is that correct? I'm waiting for that anniversary because frankly, I do not trust the VA. If I go before that time there's always that small chance that they could find a way to decrease my rating. And I just cannot risk that. If my rating falls below 50% not only would I lose 20% of my VA income, but also my retirement concurrent receipt. That would be a devastating blow, and that's the main reason I'm waiting for the 20-year mark. Should I have an organization like the American Legion or DAV work on my behalf? Or should I look at getting a disability attorney? Not sure which is better. I do know that a caring and knowledgeable representative is hard to find. I do see VA disability attorneys often on YouTube but I'm not sure which one to go with. Any suggestions would be very helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. All replies are very much appreciated!
Got an unofficial notification from the DAV about my DRO appeal stating that they were giving me an earlier date for my tinnitus (that baffled me) and that they were granting me 40% for my back (degenerative arthritis). My appeal was for secondary service connection for my knees, there was nothing about my knees in the "unofficial notification".
So I went to the closest regional off and was finally seen. They looked up the "official" notification (SOC) from the VA and it stated nothing about my back but stated that they had denied me my secondary claim on my knees stating that the Dr couldn't find anything to connect my claim to either my back or the service (um, always thought knees went when back went, so secondary was almost a given, then again he did specialize in cardiology).
In someways I am not that surprised, but I am wondering about the "unofficial" notice both the "unofficial" and "official" where dated the same (July 5th) I cannot believe in a matter of a few moments the VA totally changed their decision. So that has got me flummoxed.
What makes this unique is that if the 40% for my back was based on the one medical entry that they didn't use for my initial claim back in 95/96. I was never able to get anybody to write me a nexus letter for this so I could "officially" reopen the case. If the "unofficial" letter holds true and I am just waiting on other paperwork to be finalized then they have all but argued CUE and handed me a win without even trying (I know the VA will never give up that easily). The entry stated scoliosis and that it was a recurring issue, their determination was based on an earlier entry and stated in black and white they could not find any other entries. Can you say "gotchya"?
Getting a letter now for my knees should be easier since I have some indication that the VA does ("did") give some indication that they felt that my evidence did indicate connection to the service concerning my back.
Can anyone possibly clue me into what might be going on? Did the DAV totally get it wrong? Or, is this just part of the whole overall process and I am only seeing part of it?
By Victor Ray
DAV told me there is no expediting claims anymore even for Vietnam Vets. Only terminally ill vets, homeless, or going to be homeless are expedited, so it took DAV 5 months to get my claim into the system because they trashed it the first time because they are a corrupt organization.
Mr. Edwards in St. Louis for DAV got Mr Stephen Kelly his 12 years of retro pay in one week without even filing a claim, the way I read it. Dan Knabe For DAV got Mike Franko’s claim “Expedited” after he had been denied once already, also got him service Connected, got his retro pay, and got him a job with DAV as well. There was no mention of homelessness, or illness besides ptsd and knee injury.
Mr Kelly was just before me and Mr Franks was just after me and none of us fit the requirements except Mr Kelly and myself were Vietnam vets, and Mr. Kelly and Franko were Gulf War Vets, as best as I remember. I was permanently damaged by something affecting my entire internal body and skin(AO), and records hidden all my life. Edwards and Knabe got their clients records, scoured through them, and completed and closed the claim in one week.
The VA is still withholding my records, I have used a VSO (now VFW) for the last four years, and still waiting. VFW told me it would be at least 3 or 4 years before the BVA gets to mine. Minimum 3 to 4 years, and I probably won’t even exist by then.
This sounds like picking and choosing who is expedited, which is nepotism or being prejudiced against my claim. I filed in 1983 because the Army lied about my records in 1972 or I would have filed then. Total manipulation to keep me from Justice per Exemption 5 of FOIA. Any recourse? Is a malpractice suit the only recourse, unless they make it right with this last attempt? Thank you!
I have been awarded 100% P&T by the VA.
So i applied for social security, they recently sent me a letter saying that it was approved.
But here is where things get tricky, I first filed on 9/27/2017.
But on my award letter it only talks about 2016, it also says that my benefits were suspended in 2016... But why? at that point i hadnt even filed for ssdi.
here is a timeline of events and my award letter.
02/08/2018 A Decision Has Been Made On Your Appeal
Your claim for Disability benefits has been approved. A detailed notice has been sent to you with your benefit information.
02/01/2018 We started reviewing the decision made by the Disability Determination Service for accurate processing of your appeal.
10/03/2017 The Disability Determination Service for your state started processing the medical portion of your appeal.
10/02/2017 We started reviewing your request for an appeal.
10/02/2017 Your request for an appeal was submitted.
09/27/2017 Your online appeal was started.
=======HERE IS A COPY OF MY AWARD LETTER. CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT AS TO WHATS GOING ON??=======
Information About Current Social Security Benefits
Beginning September 2016, the full monthly Social Security benefit before any deductions is $0.00.
We deduct $0.00 for medical insurance premiums each month.
The regular monthly Social Security payment is $0.00.
(We must round down to the whole dollar.)
Social Security benefits for a given month are paid the following month. (For example, Social Security benefits for March are paid in April.)
Your Social Security benefits are paid on or about the second Wednesday of each month.
Benefits were suspended beginning September 2016.
Type of Social Security Benefit Information
You are entitled to monthly disability benefits.
Should I (does anyone??) write a timeline about my claim? Like a one page timeline or outline or my history. Example: I just sent in my Social Security Disablilty paperwork for my claim because my SSD was approved due to my damage to my lower spine(posted a few days ago) the judge approved it. I was in Voc rehab 9/2008-4/2009 withdrew from college due to physical/mental meltdown then again went back 9/2010-5-2011 and again had to withdraw because I physically and mentally crashed( I was approved to the National Honor Society). I was approved for SSD 11/23/2009 and I figured if I wrote it out on a timeline it would help the to show the VA exactly the time line since I'm thinking they are not good at that.
Advice please and thank you in advance.
((A quick FYI during this time I have been consistently getting spinal injections, spine fusion surgery, quad tear surgery, take pain meds(which make it hard to impossible to think theoretically) and doing physical therapy and PTSD group n one on one at VA PTSD clinic for 3 years now which helps with my daily anxiety.))
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,