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On-Line SMC-l claim question

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I filed my 21-2680 aid/attendance form filled out by my PCP at the VA.I also submitted parts of my VA records that I thought would apply to my claim for aid/attendance. I just noticed that under  "What You've Claimed" on-line it says the following:

What you’ve claimed
  • SMC - L Aid and Attendance (New)
  • degenerative arthritis
  • left hip (Increase)
  • lumbar spine degenerative disease (Increase)
  • plantar fasciitis
  • right foot (Increase)
  • right lower extremity radiculopathy (claimed as neuritis or radiculopathy bilateral legs/toes) (Increase)

All I claimed is the SMC. It is listing most of my s/c disabilities and looks like I am filing for increases. All of those are already adjudicated nd I am at 100% schedular/permaent and have been for a few years.  Are they trying to redo all my settled disabilities because I am claiming aid and attendance??

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It's been a battle. Starting here with no idea on how to file for SMC-L. Reading advice, studying ALOT, reading the USC, reading the M-21, and looking up BVA appeals cases. Some of you remember that I filed for A&A and the VA added a "request for increase" on all of my existing disabilities asking me to attend C&P's for all my disabilities. I, at the advice of Mr.Cue and after doing some research, filed a withdrawal request for the additional claims, and asked for a decision solely on my request for A&A. When I received my denial letter, it was based on the VA supposedly requiring a singular 100% disability for A&A. After more research, I filed for a HLR and received a phone interview very rapidly. During the interview I argued two things.

1. That nowhere in the 38USC does it state a 100% singular rating nor any requirement for even a schedular 100% rating for A&A.

2. That if they still feel a 100% singular is a requisite, that ALL of my disabilities were secondary to one primary and were all intertwined and caused by my left hip (50%) and all contribute to my need for A&A therefore they meet the qualification based on their M-21 guidelines.

My argument was much more detailed than mentioned here but it apparently worked and my denial was overturned at the HLR level.

3 lessons - NEVER GIVE UP

                    STUDY AND PREPARE

                    KEEP UP WITH THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS ON HADIT (they all have something to add and knowledge is power).

I don't even have a letter yet. I just logged into e-benefits and checked my benefits, letters and pay history. The effective date is from the date I filed so they chose not to go back to when I first received 100% P&T, but I think I'll set aside the fight for EED and just relax now.

Thank you, HADIT and all who gave input here!


SMC (L-1)Effective Date : 08/04/2021

Entitled to special monthly compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1114, subsection (l) and 38 CFR 3.350(b) on account of being so helpless as to be in need of regular aid and attendance from 08/04/2021.

Rating Date : 04/14/2022

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On 4/20/2022 at 11:49 AM, Mr cue said:

I am glad it work out for u an your case show they were ordering exams that were not need.

I am glad you did your research.

The only exam that was need was the a&a exam. 

You didn't need a imo to win after all.

I think they possibly ordered all those extra C&P's to see if one could possibly be rated at 100% because the language for A&A approval is somewhat ambiguous and thus the reason for the denial. Hopefully this will help others realize you do not have to have a singular 100% rating to receive A&A. 

I was truly shocked at the speed of the process. HLR, interview, approval decision, and retro pay received all in the month of April,

Had I not withdrawn the claims for increase they added and gone to all the exams, I'd probably be waiting many more months for the initial denial letter.

It should be noted that my VA PCP spelled out specifically the ADL's I am unable to perform, the assistance I require, and tied them neatly to my s/c disabilities. I can only assume that the A&A exam she performed was paramount to the decision on Review but I'll know more when I get my letter from the HLR.

Thanks again Mr. Cue for your sound advice. 

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