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After seventeen years of fighting the VA stick a fork in me, I am done!

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I began my VA claims saga in 2005. My first success was in November 2009, whereupon I was granted the very first claim for AO exposure at a military instillation in CONUS. That award was a 100% P&T plus an "S" award and 1 "K". The award was for Diabetes due to AO exposure, ischemic heart disease claimed as secondary to the Diabetes, and Chloracne. In the subsequent years there have been numerus other claims and grants including three 100% P&T awards. I filed for, and won at 100% P&T, loss of use of right hand and right foot. In July 2020, Fournier's Gangrene dammed near killed me and I won that one too, in short order. That Fournier's Gangrene claim as secondary to chloracne, took forty five days, submission of the claim until grant. Severe anxiety and depression as due to my service connected general medical conditions claim only took thirty five days to grant. Fourteen scars, some rated as painful, were added to the mix,  an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator will always get you a 100% P&T, and so will class 3 kidney failure. Severe Neuropathy x four limbs adds up quick at 40% per limb and will get you the bilateral factor too.

In 2016 I was granted R-1 for A&A plus loss of use of two limbs with an effective date of November, 2016. I banked my retro, got my vehicle grant with adaptive equipment, and initiated my specially adaptive housing grant. Next I filled an appeal for an earlier effective date back to 2011 on the R-1 grant. As one would expect, he appeal was DENIED at the RO. I filed an appeal with the BVA. The BVA DENIED the claim.  I then conferred with Alex Graham who was too booked up to take my case but instead hooked me up with the CCK law folks. We then took the case up to the CAVC. At the CAVC the case was granted a joint motion for remand (JMR) and the case was sent back to the Board and, in turn, was remanded back to the RO where it was once again, DENIED. Next a higher level revue (HLR) was filed and the result was that the Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) found a failure of the VA's duty to assist. A C&P was ordered to rectify the error as to be compliant with the VA's duty to assist order and the case was returned to the VLJ for a new decision.

On October 14th 2022, a new decision was rendered. I was granted five years earlier effective date of R-1 with five years retro.

In the interim, on August, 1, 2020 was granted SMC R-2. My final rating is R-2. Considering the fact that there is no VA rating higher than an R-2, and my back pay issue has been addressed by the Court and now meets my satisfaction, I am at the end of the line as far as VA claims are concerned. The only outstanding future issue is a hard earned burial flag and a small plot of ground in the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery just west of Nashville.

P.S. I need to add that on June 22, 2022, I won the very first PCAFC case granted at the BVA. That grant by the Board was for PCAFC level 2 caregiver benefits for my caregiver.

Edited by jamescripps2 (see edit history)
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Congratulations.  Seventeen years is often about normal, because they rarely give you the whole enchalada in one pass.  Since you won at the RO level after fighting at the CAVC (JMR), my guess would be your attorney fees were low/non existant because EAJA paid most or all of your fees.  

Scotus justice Roberts was once "suprised" that VA takes a position against the Veteran that is "substantially unjustified" somewhere between 50% and 80 percent of the time.  

This can only mean "One" thing.  

VA is hoping we will die, give up, or become too ill to persue our claims, or our spouse isnt aware of filing a substitution of claimaint necessary for her to persue claims which drag on until after the Veterans death.  Va is often right, there is no penalty for VA to give bogus denials which sometimes drag on for decades.  

Even when the Veteran wins, the VA wins, because payments to the Veteran are made with inflated dollars, worth much less than when the Veteran first filed.  THere is financial incentives built in to the system for VA, that makes it profitable for the VA to delay your benefits, the longer the better for them. 

Until those financial delay incentives are stopped, VA will continue delaying as long as possible. 

I guess others of us would "drag out bills we owe" as long as possible or even forever, if there was no interest or penalties.  

If a Veteran does not pay his taxes, even if he is owed VA benefits, he will pay interest and penalties on his taxes as required by law, but get no interest and no penalties from VA on money due him.  


Edited by broncovet (see edit history)
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@jamescripps2Congratulations on your numerous wins! We are glad you are still with us and have shared these wins! It serves as an example to others to never give up and also that reaching 100% P&T is not necessarily the end of the VA road. It took me 18 years after leaving the service to finally be awarded 10% P&T after numerous trips to the BVA and DROs.

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Vync, Actually, and to clarify, I was discharged out of the Army in July 1970. My first claim was not filed until 2005 because I did not know of my AO exposure. AO use at Fort Gordon was classified until 2003 and I wasn't aware of the fact that the defoliant that I was spraying was actually AO until 2005, at which time I filed the claim that continued for seventeen years.

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James I echo ALL the above. Congrats!

You are a wealth of knowledge and  I always look forward to your posts for advice. Please keep it up as long as you are able to. You wouldn't be sharing your knowledge if you didn't enjoy helping your veteran brothers and sisters. I enjoy your comments on the airways also.

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