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Could you please direct me in the following. I have 2 A&As that the VA grouped together under A&A. My wife is a physician that takes care of me for PTSD keeping me safe from hurting myself/others (also states that I am in danger of hurting myself/other in my psych evaluation from VA that awarded me 100% PTSD Rating and for total loss of both feet and spinal issues where my wife injects me daily, provides physical therapy for me and changes and addresses my wound care, not to mention all Acts of Daily Living. So, my question is do I file for a higher level of increase for SMC O because of 2 A&As (Or even on A&A and Loss of use SMC-O, or do I file for a Higher Level of Care based on the additional things only a medical professional can provide? Should I really get a lawyer?
Thank you very much
I received my claim back today. The VA awarded me Aid and Attendance SMC L1 based on every condition I have from 100% Rated Loss of use of feet, 100% Rated PTSD, 100% rated Stroke and even 50% rated sleep Apnea. I have ratings totaling 650%. Can the VA lump everything together? loss of use and being kept safe because of PTSD are 2 additional and separate listed items under SMC. I’m so confused. Thank you for answering and giving me advise!
Hello everyone, (LONG POST BUT PLEASE READ AND HELP)
So I've been browsing this forum for a while and see that there is a lot of knowledge and really good advice so am hoping I can get some insight as well as some advice.
My brother is a disabled veteran I help care for him.
He retired from the Army 2016, 5 years ago in June. Served 3 tours, 2 tours in Iraq, and 1 in Afghanistan. While deployed his job was in mortuary affairs processing of remains so am sure you can only imagine the things on his mind and what he still lives with daily. The military in 2003, 2004, 2009 was not the military it currently is if you mentioned you had issues, like PTSD your career was over. My brother made it in the Army for 17 years he should have been in my eyes, retired medically.
Once he returned from his tours he was always getting himself trouble or just having issues with his command. His wife at the time tried so many times to let those in charge of him that he was not right, suffering in silence. Before he retired his command took him to a mental hospital because of statements that he made. Basically he made homicidal statements. He spent 2 weeks in the mental ward. At that time my brother could barely even walk, he would go to work and go see someone in medical and they would send him home to rest.
When he finally retired after 6 months he got a VA rating of 70% I worked with his wife to help with the kids and his care. In 2018 we finally got him approved for 100% with TDIU VA benefits and SSDI. At that time of his approval of 100% he only had PTSD at 70% and a bunch of other ratings at different percentages getting him SMC-S.
Fast forward because I want to provide the information needed but also do not want to make this long. So while my brother was in Iraq he suffered a TBI he has a rating for TBI which was at 0% with a couple of other ratings for his residuals of TBI. So in 2019, his neurologists recommended I open a claim for sleep apnea secondary to both his TBI and PTSD. I did, and I requested that his TBI and PTSD also be looked at by submitting a claim to have the percentages raised.
Well, after 5 CP exams> which were for the following. TBI, Headaches, PTSD, Central Nerve System, TBI Resduials, Sleep Apnea, Gerd, all of his ratings were looked at.
At our first CP exam, the cp examiner asked why I was not getting SMC for Aid attendance, which to be totally honest I did not know about. My brother wife did try to get approved for the caregiver program and she was denied stating that the program was for Vets that would show improvement over time and that my brother first needed to start seeing a VA therapist for mental problems at the VA. He was already being seen by the local Vet center by a therapist so he did not want to change and she was trying to manage him and the kids and did not have the fight to keep fighting the system.
Yesterday I looked on healthevet and ebenefits to check the claim and what I saw was the following
the claim actually went into Gathering Evidence after it was in Pending decision approval about a week half ago but the RATED Disability have changed some of having new date of 7/2019 when I put the claim in:
20% radiculopathy right lower extremity (femoral)
20% radiculopathy left lower extremity (sciatic)
0% residual Head scar
10% painful head scar
20% radiculopathy left upper extremity (ulnar nerve)
0% TBI ("This was his rating for TBI when he retired")
100% PSTD with TBI ( " PTSD was by itself and at 70% but now it is combined with TBI and at 100% but then my question is why is TBI still listed showing 0%)
30% radiculopathy right upper extremity (ulnar nerve)
20 % radiculopathy left lower extremity (femoral)
0% right forearm scar
50% migraines and Vertigo
0% right hip femoral acetabular limitation of extension
10% left hip femoral acetabular limitation of extension
20% Lumbar spine degenerative arthritis
20% Cervical spine degenerative arthritis
10% painful right knee scar
10% right hip femoral acetabular impingement syndrome with thigh impairment
sleep Apnea looks like it was denied (" I do not know why as I have not received the packet")
All the Nerve ratings went up!
Also in March of this year, we submitted the aid and attendance form 21-2680 we submitted because we did even know about aid attendance was possible and also because when we went to our first CP exam the cp examiner suggested we look into SMC T for aid and attendance. When we submitted the form my brother's wife and myself wrote letters explaining what we do daily for him, this is what cp examiner recommended.
So my brother wife actually left her job to care for him because when he first retired she would come home from work and either her or the kids would find him on the floor he would fall and just stay there until someone arrived home, he almost burned the kitchen once because he put bread in the toaster and then went to sleep and forget about it, he has been arrested for driving at top speeds of 125 trying to get away from what he says are terrorist. So he no longer drives, she drives him everywhere, but everywhere is his appointments he barely goes out, he has severe rage and anger just can not think properly and even appropriately. Really bad memory problems
She helps him out of bed every morning because his legs are pins and needles she makes sure he brushes his teeth, she showers him and dresses him, makes his meals, he decided he would not eat after the burning of the kitchen toaster, so if she or the kids or me do not give him food he just will not eat he saw allot of burned bodies so the toaster burning surely triggered something. she manages his meds because at first he was over medicating or just not taking them. When he wakes up with nightmares talking about the dead bodies he sees she calms him down, he becomes suicidal at times and even makes a lot of homicidal statements. He wants nothing to do with our family other than his wife and kids and me,,,,, he pretty much keeps to himself. A lot of the guys he served with in Iraq doing the same job as him have committed suicide. My dad and me try to help him and his wife and the kids as much as we can, if I can give her a break here and there I try to. We are all in agreement that the man who left for Iraq on his first deployment is no longer the same person.
So to my questions??
1. Yesterday I got a call from LHI that they need to schedule him for AID and Attendance CP exam? I have no idea what this is and how to prepare him for this exam he likes to have knowledge of what his appointments are for? And actually gets very angry when he does not and starts saying he wants to go home!!!
2. If he has one rating at 100% which be PTSD and TBI would the VA consider him for SMC L? If so why do they need an exam if the VA form from his Va dr was provided?
3. Based on the Ratings above what would his SMC rate be if any?
4. Any advice on how to get his sleep apnea service-connected secondary to his PTSD or TBI or both?
5. Also he has ED it's in his medical record and it was asked about that when they did the exams for TBI residuals and Central nerve system, but I see nothing on his ratings ?
I know that how that claim is back to gathering Evidence is not final but if ED is not listed is that something I should fight for him?
Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm 100%P&T schedular AND TDIU. Prior to receiving my 100%, I had a THR in 2017 and received SMC for a year, which is standard. They then cut me off the SMC in Dec, 2018. When I won my appeal for numerous disabilities and was awarded the final rating in 2019, I did not receive SMC (aid/attendance). Three questions: 1- It is my understanding that when awarded 100%, the VA is obligated to consider SMC for aid/attendance regardless of whether or not it was included in the claim. Because I did not get it, does that mean they looked at it and decided against it? I was going to write an "informal" letter to my Regional Office asking them to look but don't know if that's the proper avenue to take. If not, I am assuming I need to file a claim for SMC-L and I have read that I need to start by filing a form 21-2680. Isn't a formal disability claim necessary first and then it would begin the whole forever process of a normal claim and C&P exam where the 21-2680 would be filled out by the examiner? 2- My need for aid/attendance is primarily related to bending over problems such as tying shoes, putting on socks, washing feet, and clipping nails, or picking up items off the floor. Is this enough to get aid/attendance? I found this case (https://www.va.gov/vetapp12/files2/1213019.txt) and it very similar to mine (with the exception of the guy faking the severity of his conditions) and it leads me to believe I would be wasting my time. 3- Extra Credit Question 🙂: My individual ratings add up to 270%, thus the 100% schedular rating, and my TDIU was won on appeal AFTER the 100% was awarded. So, am I restricted for work under TDIU? Show less
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,