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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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  • Our picks

    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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jason

Ny - New York Veterans Benefits

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State of New York Department of Veterans Affairs

Who's Eligible?

Eligibility for most veterans benefits--whether from New York State or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) -- is based on discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions with a minimum period of service as specified by law. Active duty service generally means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Completion of at least six years of honorable service in the Selected Reserves also provides for home loan benefits for those not otherwise eligible.

Persons serving in the reserves may also be eligible for education benefits. Men and women veterans with similar service are entitled to the same VA benefits. Service in 30 organizations during special periods that include World Wars I and II has been certified as active military service by the Defense Department. Members of these groups, listed at this site, may be eligible for VA benefits if Defense certifies their service and issues a discharge under honorable conditions.

The Defense Department issues each veteran a military discharge form, DD214, identifying the veteran's condition of discharge - honorable, general, other than honorable, dishonorable, or bad conduct. Honorable and general discharges qualify a veteran for most VA benefits. Dishonorable and bad-conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees may be eligible for certain VA benefits. VA regional offices can clarify eligibility of prisoners and parolees.

Wartime Service

Some VA benefits and medical care require wartime service. As specified in law, VA recognizes these war periods:

Mexican Border Period - May 9,1916 through April 5, 1917, for veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or in adjacent waters

World War I - April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918; for veterans who served in Russia, April 6, 1917 through April 1, 1920; extended through July 1, 1921, for veterans who had at least one day of service between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918

World War II - December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946

Korean Conflict - June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955

Vietnam Era - August 5, 1964 (February 28, 1961 for NYS) through May 7, 1975. (For veterans who served in Vietnam during the period from February 28, 1961 to August 5, 1964 - this applies to certain Federal benefits only.)

Persian Gulf War - August 2, 1990 through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

Veterans may be eligible for certain state benefits if they served in hostile actions and received expeditionary force medals for the following:

Lebanon - June 1, 1983 through December 1, 1987

Grenada - October 23,1983 through November 21, 1983

Panama - December 20, 1989 through January 31, 1990

Other Military Service - Veterans who served during periods other than listed above, and, who were awarded an Armed Forces, Navy or Marine Expeditionary Medal, may be eligible for Real Property Tax Exemption benefits.

Important Documents

The veteran's DD214 form or military discharge should be kept in a safe, convenient location accessible to the veteran and next of kin or designated representative. The veteran's preference regarding burial in a national cemetery and use of a headstone provided by VA should be documented and kept with this information. The following documents, if not included in VA files, will be needed for claims processing related to a veteran's death:

(1) marriage certificate for surviving spouse or children;

(2) death certificate if the veteran did not die in a VA medical facility;

(3) children's birth certificates for children's benefits;

(4) veteran's birth certificate for parents establishing eligibility.

Filing Claims

We recommend any veteran or family member who is considering filing a claim with VA for benefits should consult with their nearest New York State Veterans Counselor for assistance.

Veterans, their families and survivors may be eligible for a variety of benefits and services provided by a grateful nation and state. The following is a summary of available United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and state programs within New York. For further information about these benefits, or help in applying for a benefit, contact the nearest state veteran counseling office

SUMMARY OF BENEFITS

AUTOMOBILE

Federal: Certain seriously disabled veterans may qualify for a one-time payment of up to $11,000 toward the purchase of an automobile or other conveyance, or for special adaptive equipment on vehicles.

State: Auto registration, Thruway permits furnished free to qualified, seriously disabled veterans who receive a VA adaptive vehicle grant.

BLINDNESS

Federal: Veterans in receipt of compensation for service-connected disability and blind in both eyes or who are in receipt of Aid and Attendance may qualify. Blindness need not be service-connected. Seeing eye dogs, electronic and mechanical aids available.

State: A New York State Blind Annuity -- paid in monthly installments -- (2007 rate is $1,103.33 annually -- $91.94 monthly) is available to visually impaired wartime veterans and certain unremarried spouses. Follow this link for applications and more information. (New York State Blind Annuity)

BURIAL

Federal: Financial assistance for burial and plot expenses available for certain eligible veterans. Burial in National Cemeteries available to certain veterans and family members. Claim must be filed within two years after permanent interment. Headstones or grave markers are provided by the VA. An American flag is available to drape the casket and be given to next of kin.

State: Payments authorized by counties for indigent New York veterans and certain family members; purchase of headstone also authorized.

State: A supplemental burial allowance of up to $6,000 is authorized for certain military personnel killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile or imminent danger locations on or after September 29, 2003.

CIVIL SERVICE

Federal: Ten-point preference for eligible disabled veterans in competitive exams only. Certain requirements waived and special priority given in certain job categories. Unremarried widows, certain wives and mothers of disabled veterans also are eligible for preference. Five-point preference for wartime veterans honorably discharged.

State: Qualified handicapped disabled veterans eligible for appointment to non-competitive State employment positions under Sections 55-b and 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law.

State and Local: Ten-point additional credit preference toward original appointment for disabled wartime veterans; five-points for wartime service; and two and a half points for competitive promotional exams. Job retention rights applicable to veterans and spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Further information on jobs with New York State agencies is available at www.cs.state.ny.us or by calling (518) 457-6216 or by email at examinfo@cs.state.ny.us

DISABILITY PENSION BENEFITS

Compensation: Veterans with a disability or disease incurred during active service are entitled to monthly compensation payments determined by the severity of the condition or loss of earning power. Application may be made for the benefit anytime during the veteran's lifetime. Additional monetary allowances for dependents of veterans with 30 percent or greater disability rating.

Disability Pension (Non-Service Connected): A monthly pension is payable to eligible wartime veterans with limited income and non-service-connected disabilities that are permanent and totally disabling. Veterans must be determined to be permanently and totally disabled for pension purposes. Payments based on annual income and net worth.

EDUCATION

Federal: The VA administers basic education programs for veterans and service persons seeking assistance for education or training. The programs may be non-contributory, contributory, or may be training for unemployed veterans.

Children of Veterans (Federal): If veteran's death or total disability is service-connected during a period of hostility, the children may pursue approved courses in schools and colleges under the Dependents Education Assistance program. Orphans ages 18-26 receive a financial stipend for up to 45 months schooling. Certain children beginning at age 14, may be eligible for special restorative training.

Widow(er)s and Spouses (Federal): Educational benefits and financial stipends also available to widow(er)s and spouses of certain veterans who died of service connected disability or who are disabled 100-percent from service-connected causes.

(State) Veterans Tuition Award: Provides up to $1,000 per semester for full-time study or $500 per semester for part-time study to eligible New York State residents discharged under other than dishonorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and are:

Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between Dec. 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after Aug. 2, 1990.

Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

Detailed information can be found at: www.hesc.org

Awards for Children of Veterans (CV) (State): Provides to eligible children of deceased veterans or those service connected disabled of 40-percent or greater a non-competitive award of $450 a year. For detailed information www.hesc.org

Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS): Available to certain dependents of military personnel killed, severely and permanently disabled or missing in combat or a combat zone of operation since August 2, 1990.

GI BILL BENEFITS for On-The-Job or Apprenticeship Training

EMPLOYMENT and TRAINING

As guaranteed by the New York State Veterans Bill of Rights for Employments Services, veterans are entitled to priority service at all New York State Department of Labor offices in referrals to jobs, as well as for employment counseling, vocational testing and other services. Veterans receive special priority for all services and training funded by the Job Training Partnership Act. For more information call 1-800-342-3358 or visit the Department of Labor's Web site: http://www.labor.state.ny.us/vets/vetresources.shtm

HEALTH CARE

Hospitalization: VA facilities give the highest priority for medical care to those veterans who are: rated service-connected disabled; retired by disability from active duty; were awarded the Purple Heart; in receipt of VA pension; are eligible for Medicaid; are former POW's; are in need of care for a condition related to exposure to dioxin or other toxic substance (Agent Orange) or Gulf War diseases, or exposure to ionizing radiation while on active duty. Non-service connected veterans may be treated if facility resources allow, and may be subject to a test of financial means and a co-payment.Outpatient Medical Treatment: VA provides medical services to eligible veterans on an outpatient basis within the limits of the individual medical facilities.

Nursing Home (Domiciliary) Care (Federal): Admission limited to eligible veterans who are disabled, unable to earn a living and in need of medical treatment and full care other than hospitalization. Nursing home care can be authorized for a limited period on referral from VA medical centers.

State Veterans Home: A 242 bed veterans home is operated by the State Department of Health at Oxford, Chenango County, for veterans, spouses and certain parents. The Department of Health also operates a 250-bed facility at St. Albans, Queens, a 126-bed facility adjacent to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Batavia, Genesee County and a 250-bed facility in Montrose, Westchester County. A 350-bed Veterans Home is located on the campus of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Long Island, and is operated by the university's Health Sciences Center. Health related care and skilled nursing services are available at all facilities. Admission preference is based on severity of illness or disability and need for care.

INSURANCE

Holders of USGLI, NSLI and VSLI policies can obtain information concerning conversion, beneficiary changes, loans and disability riders from their local State Veteran Counseling Center. Servicemembers with SGLI have 120 days following separation from service to convert to a permanent insurance plan.

LICENSES & PERMITS

Veterans with a 40-percent or greater disability rating are eligible for low-cost hunting and fishing licenses, and free use of state parks, historic sites and recreation sites.

LOANS (HOUSING)

Certain veterans and spouses are eligible for GI loans for homes, condominiums and manufactured homes. Participating financial institutions receive a guarantee from the VA covering part of the loan in the event of default on repayment. Applicants must apply for a certificate of eligibility. Veterans must apply for a certificate of eligibility. The VA guarantee may reduce or eliminate a down-payment.

PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION

Partial exemption from real property taxes is based on condition of service, with additional benefits based upon degree of service-connected disability. Applications must be filed before Taxable Status Day. Qualifying widow(er)s may file for benefit based on their spouse's service. Exemption applies to local and county property taxes.

For more detailed information and applications, see: Frequently Asked Questions -- Veterans Property Tax Exemption

RE-EMPLOYMENT

Application to former employer for restoration to pre-military position, other than temporary employment, should be made within 90 days of separation. Job reinstatement is for like seniority, status and pay. Reservists after initial training must seek reinstatement within 31 days.

REVIEW OF DISCHARGE

Military Boards of Review have authority to correct and upgrade most discharges based on facts presented for consideration.

SURVIVORS' BENEFITS

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC payments are payable to eligible spouses, unmarried children under 18, certain children pursuing higher education, certain helpless children, and dependent parents of veterans whose death was service-connected. Benefits are discontinued upon remarriage. Annual income of parents is an eligibility factor for parental DIC.

Surviving Spouse Pension (Non-Service-Connected Death): Certain surviving spouses and children of a deceased veteran who served during a period of hostility may be eligible for a death pension. Amount depends on monthly income and, in some instances, net worth. Minor children may be eligible even though spouse remarries.

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

Federal: Entitlement to vocational rehabilitation benefits — including institutions of higher education, trade schools, apprenticeship programs and on the job training are available for eligible veterans with service-connected disabilities.

State: The Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities offers qualified disabled veterans vocational evaluation, consultation and training.

VOTER REGISTRATION

You can register to vote in person at your county Board of Elections, or at any New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs benefits counseling office. If you have any questions, visit your state veterans counselor who will provide you a voter registration form.

SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOMES

Federal: Certain seriously disabled or blinded veterans may be eligible for a grant to build or adapt their home to meet the wheelchair needs or other adaptations for the veteran's disability.

State: Seriously disabled veterans who are eligible to receive federal funds to adapt their homes are exempt from local property taxes, including school taxes and special charges.

Pasted from <http://www.veterans.state.ny.us/benefits.htm>

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  • Our picks

    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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