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SMC K and Depression Increase

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jdman

Question

I filed my claim for SMC K secondary to ED on August 7, 2023. I filed a claim for Major Depression increase from 70% to 100% on November 20, 2023. They closed the Major Depression increase claim on November 30, 2023. I looked at the original claim and it looks like they combined the claims. Will I have to wait for the Major Depression portion of the claim to be completed before the original claim will be completed since they combined the claims together? Will the time start over? 

Edited by jdman
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Please clarify further.  I understand that SMC- K and ED are one and the same thing so how can SMC- K be secondary to ED????.  ED is SMC-K.

Instead of combining the claims the VA raters may have made a decision on both separate claims and will send you the decision on both claims in the same decision letter packet.

Many veterans have received service connection for ED (SMC-K) due to VA medications and/or VA service connected MH issues such as PTSD and Depression, etc.  Quite common.

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

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Edited by Dustoff1970
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jdman...

   Short answer:  We dont know.  

       The VA "can" do them both at once, even if they were submitted at different times.  Or, sometimes, if VA does not have all the evidence needed for "issue a" but has all the evidence needed for "issue b", they can "defer" one issue and award (or deny) another issue.  

      Finally, and this happens more than many people think, the VA "just plain forgets" or other wise does not adjuticate "issue A", but adjuticates and issues a decision for "issue B".  

It happens often enough that the CAVC has a name for it:  Its called a "deemed denial", when issue A is adjuticated, but the decision does not address issue B. 

       I do agree with dustoff.  "If" VA decides you have SC condition for ED, its adjuticated

AS SMC K, and there is no percentage involved.  SMC K (aka ED), can be secondary

to many conditions, as some conditions require one or medications which may or may not have ED as a side effect.  

       There is good news on SMC, to include SMC K:  An application for

SMC is not required, and the VA is supposed to award it "from whenver you meet the criteria.  In other words, "if you get awarded" SMC K, it should be effective "the date

the doctor indicated the condition began, and the effective date could be well

before you actually applied, so you could be due retro.  

      Let me explain.  With regular claims (that is, non SMC), your effective date

is the later of the facts found or the date of application.  However, with SMC

the effective date is the date the doctor said you had the condition, that is, the facts found.  

      Since the VA does not always check to see if we have met SMC criteria, you can still apply for it, but, if awarded, you should get retro back to when the doc said you had the condition, even if you applied last month.  

       If the VA gets the effective date wrong (and my experience they get it wrong most of the time), be sure and appeal the effective date.  This, of course, includes SMC or any other conditons granted.  

       If you are not sure on the effective date, when you get the condition, you can ask, and hadit members may be able to help you to see if you got the right effective date or if you should appeal. 

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