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Awaiting First Claim Response

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Spaz71

Question

I am waiting for my first claim response (two months). Should I file for secondary claims while waiting for this first claim? The accredited person that is helping me is telling me to wait. But my first claim will (based on 38 CFR/PACT ACT Presumptive) put me at 100% 

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Welcome to hadit.  Maybe your accredited person can afford to wait..he may not need the money.  But this simple rule is rarely violated:  The sooner you file, the sooner you are likely to get paid.  Translation:  waiting will cost you retro.  

You should file all your claims as soon as possible.  

Even if your original claim "puts you at 100 percent", this is not the maximum.   You can get SMC above and beyond 100 percent.  One example of this is if you do get your 100 percent but also get an additional 60 percent combined separate and distinct, then you qualify for SMC S, which is about another $450 per month.  

Never burn bridges down, insisting your claim is "secondary" or primary or any other type of sc.  Instead, just apply for your other conditions "both direct" and secondary to other service connected conditions.   Dont limit your own claim to one type, your rater may well have a different view . 

Edited by broncovet
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Your two claims, if filed within a year before one of them is finalized, will be combined, so in some cases it can set you back because it’s ready to rate and then another contention comes in and it has to start over on the other claim. You CAN sometimes be partially rated in a pending claim, though, Covid loosened up the regs on that, I’ll have to check and see what the current status of that is. 

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Broncovet is very correct.  Over the years since 1998 I have on several occasions on my own filed more than one claim for different medical disabilities at the same time or within close timeline of each other and they have been successful including at least two that was approved on appeal to the BVA.

The key to all my claims/appeals was strong medical evidence and arguments/contentions that I submitted with the claims.  At least two were on the Vietnam Agent Orange presumptive list for HTN and IHD/CAD heart disease and three others were secondary to Vietnam combat PTSD such as GERD, Tinnitus and OSA Sleep Apnea.

Even though I was 100% P&T TDIU I filed  the above claims in past 3 to 4 years and this resulted in me receiving SMC-S with about 3 years backpay.

Again it is very helpful to have strong medical evidence to support all claims.

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

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Edited by Dustoff1970
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I’m just so new to this… I hav spent the past 2 1/2 months reading/researching what is or is not and it’s exhausting! I retired 25 years ago and thought that was it. The service says I’m fine and I’m gonna have a great life. What a bag of biscuits!! 
Thanks for the input! I do have good evidence and service connection via. DBQ’s and or NEXUS letters should work ok. Im just do absolutely exhausted, and excited that a positive outcome will happen and I consider it a blessing.

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Your effective date (which determines the retro amount) is always the later of the "facts found" and the claim date, with some exceptions and special circumstances.  

While it is possible that it could delay your claim (it may be already done, and you have not yet been notified yet), after all the smoke clears you would still net more retro the earlier you file, if benefits are awarded, because the "date of claim" is a limiting factor on your retro.  

Its silly and short sighted to think "oh, I will wait until after (_________ fill in the blank..such as "after my claim is done", after my 5,10,20 years is up, after Santa Claus arrives, etc, etc) to file claims because, regardless of how long it takes VA to process your claim, you could easily be throwing away retro by waiting, AND, there is no guarantee waiting will result in claim 1 being finished sooner.  

The sooner you file, the earlier your effective date.  With a few exceptions, your claim cant be earlier than the date you file.  ONE notable exception:  If you file within a year of your exit from service, your claim can be backdated to your date of exit from service.  

"If" its been within a year since your exit from service, then you could get away with waiting but never wait until the one year after exit from service.  If you got out of service over a year ago, then file right away.  

If you are within a year of your exit from service, its actually in your best interest to file right away.  You see, you had a physical before you entered service, and, if you apply within a year of exit from service, there is a presumption your military service caused your malady.  

Think about it:  you are given a clean bill of health before service.  After service, you are sick...so what caused you to be sick?   SOMETHING in the military.  Now, VA can rebut that presumption, such as if you had a car accident which caused injury after service..well that car wreck could have caused your injury after service, and that would mean it would not be Service connected.  

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