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Should I Submit an SC Increase(PTSD) While Waiting for a BVA Decision?

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GulfWarVet1990

Question

Good morning, I want to put submit an increase for two SC conditions, however, I have two other conditions pending adjudication via appeal in different stages. I'll outline below.  My question if I submit the claim for an increase, is the VA likely to lump all my claims together (SC and Appeals)? Should I at least hold off submitting the request for an increase until after the OSA is adjudicated. The years are going by quickly and it seems the VA is taking longer and longer managing claims. I would prefer not to belabor the process if this was the case. Thank you everyone for your advice. 

HLR  - Submitted September 2022 

Disability compensation appeal - Status as of June 2022 - The Decision Review Officer is finishing their review of your appeal

  • Requested BVA (submitted form 9) 

I want to submit an increase for the below SC: 

  • PTSD - 50% - I am receiving  ongoing MH services from VA Vet Centers, and VA hospital
  • Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy - (I am SC for cancer, environmental hazard, Gulf War)
  •            20% each for right and left hand
  •            10% for right and left foot 

 

 

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I dont see a problem applying for other conditions while in appeals.  

Or, more importantly, understand your effective date(s) for new conditions are unlikley to be earlier than your claim date, so you may well be costing yourself retro by delaying until your appeals are completed.  

 

When in doubt..apply.  

Also, when in doubt..appeal.  

I have yet to see a single Veteran regret for filing.  Further, I have not seen any regret appealing.  

Of course, not all claims can/will succeed, but we dont really know until we try.  

An exception would be, for me, to apply for additional benefits "which are unlikely to change" your monthly compensation, such as if you are already 100 percent p and t, and are likely not eligible for smc, and, your family  is unlikely to benefit.  

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Thanks Broncovet. I submitted an intent to file a few months ago to secure a claim date. 

Are IMOs recommended to submit with SC increases.  

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33 minutes ago, GulfWarVet1990 said:

Are IMOs recommended to submit with SC increases.  

Well I'm sure a believer in IME's when filing an increase.  I went from 50% PTSD to 100% P&T with additional evidence from an IME.  Was worth every penny. It did trigger several VA C&P exams.

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I have also greatly benefited from using an independent MO from a paid medical expert in addition to the several claims and appeals I won representing myself pro se before the VARO, BVA and CAVC vet court.

I highly recommend Dr. David Anaise.  He has an excellent website and offices are in Tucson.

My comment is not legal advice as I not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO.

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I don't know whether it's better to wait or not.

I have an appeal in for PTSD, unspecified depressive disorder and earlier effective date. The EED is from 1978 when I was first denied. Apparently VA did not have my medical records at the time. I've brought up the idea of increasing my % to the atty a couple of times. She talks me out of it, saying the BVA has a nasty habit of changing the effective date on claims like mine. I go back and forth -- old age is here and 100% would sure be nice in the mailbox, but I'd hate to give up on backpay even if it's only from 2015.

Of course people on the 'other' forum say the atty is just stalling in order to get a bigger fee...

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@GulfWarVet1990

Check your medical records for the past 12 months to see if you have evidence proving you meet the criteria for an increased rating for each disability. If it does, the VA should evaluate it and then issue a decision. When the decision letter arrives, it might either be just for the increases or it could also include the HLR as deferred pending decision. 

If you submitted the intent to file a few months back, the VA can still consider favorable medical evidence of an increase going back the previous 12 months. For example, if the medical records showed you met the criteria in December 2021, but you filed the intent back in July 2022, the increase should be effective back to December 2021. Keep in mind that the effective dates of increase may differ between each of the two disabilities based on when you met the criteria qualifying you for an increase.

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