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Old 06-15-2014, 09:02 PM   #57
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Interesting thread....some points that weren't presented....
1. Different regions have significantly different processing times from receiving an application to completion. Example, the Louisville, Ky regional office takes about 6~9 months to process a claim but if you live across the river in southern Indiana your claim goes to Indianapolis. Their processing time is on the order of 18~24 months. Pheonix has a wait time in excess of 3 years to complete a claim. The excuse given is the number of claims but I'm not sure I can buy into that excuse 100%.
2. Keep in mind VA math when it comes to disability award and payments. I show 70% disability by anyone else's math but 60% via VA figuring. Their system makes it very, very difficult to total 100% unless you have a golden condition that warrants a 100% rating by itself. If you have an award of say 60% and receive an additional 10% you will not realize any monetary increase as the additional 10% is figured as 10% of 40% (the remainder of 100% -60%) or a 4% increase. .... from 60% to 64%.... Since you would need to go OVER 65% to get bumped to 70% for pay purposes it would take a 20% increase to realize a 10% increase in pay. Confusing, huh? With the VA's math it's like Zeno's paradox....each % increase isn't cumulative but a % of the remainder. Kinda sucks, right? But what would you expect from the government?
I would settle going from 10% to 30% disability in a heart beat!

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Old 06-16-2014, 06:00 PM   #58
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Very first VA physical (last Sat at 1300hrs) went smoothly. I was the only guy in the clinic !! First the LPN, a very pleasant lady, asked all the basic questions while typing answers into the computer. Did a few basic physical tests then turned me over to the doctor, a real MD. She was incredibly thorough, and careful to structure as much of my medical history as possible. Fortunately I had copies of every medical record (mostly civilian) for my entire adult life. The mountain of paper did not phase her. She waded into it and studied every page. Asked some good questions about my past surgeries, etc.

Then she discussed the AO thing and her perspective on how the VA evaluators will review my situation. Although that application for disability compensation is not within the purview of this doctor, she still understood the system. Apparently quite well. That's why she was super detailed when entering my entire medical history. It improves my chances of being "fast track" approved for compensation instead of being dragged around and "studied" in more physicals. That does not mean that I won't be called in for subsequent evaluations, but the more info in my files, the better.

I'm pleased with the handling that I received at the clinic, and even more elated that I was lucky to encounter a medical doctor that is a credit to the profession.

Now I'm still waiting and watching how my application for compensation is progressing. So far the web page says "application received". Will the graduation up through the many steps take months, or years?
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:01 AM   #59
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With all the negative news about the VA lately, I wonder if the disability claims will start moving faster now through the system?


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Old 06-25-2014, 08:32 AM   #60
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I'am a Vietnam Vet and had prostate cancer and filed a claim and got 10%. Robotic surgery and I guess they figure I'am cured. I went before an appeal with a judge at the Va center in Newark in Oct 2011 and still haven't gotten an answer. I plan on stopping in to the Vets assistance office, there helping, and finding out if they got any info and I didn't. We guarded an airfield that was the center for agent orange and a bunch of us ended up with cancer and a few have died.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Moonrover View Post
Very first VA physical (last Sat at 1300hrs) went smoothly. I was the only guy in the clinic !! First the LPN, a very pleasant lady, asked all the basic questions while typing answers into the computer. Did a few basic physical tests then turned me over to the doctor, a real MD. She was incredibly thorough, and careful to structure as much of my medical history as possible. Fortunately I had copies of every medical record (mostly civilian) for my entire adult life. The mountain of paper did not phase her. She waded into it and studied every page. Asked some good questions about my past surgeries, etc.

Then she discussed the AO thing and her perspective on how the VA evaluators will review my situation. Although that application for disability compensation is not within the purview of this doctor, she still understood the system. Apparently quite well. That's why she was super detailed when entering my entire medical history. It improves my chances of being "fast track" approved for compensation instead of being dragged around and "studied" in more physicals. That does not mean that I won't be called in for subsequent evaluations, but the more info in my files, the better.

I'm pleased with the handling that I received at the clinic, and even more elated that I was lucky to encounter a medical doctor that is a credit to the profession.

Now I'm still waiting and watching how my application for compensation is progressing. So far the web page says "application received". Will the graduation up through the many steps take months, or years?
Hey friend, (See the bold part abouve) you are correct, you will be called in. My eval's were all done in the Houston area and the only time I see a VA doctor is for my annual and when something goes wrong. You have been through the screening process. For each disability you have listed you will, as in my case most likely, be called to visit a contracted physician to evaluate your specific condition. Each listed disability will require a separate visit to a VA contracted specialist. All of their findings will be sent to the VA for consolidation and computing the total (by formula) compensation.

Call me. You know how to get in touch with me, for some private information.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:11 PM   #62
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Hey friend, (See the bold part above) you are correct, you will be called in.

Call me. You know how to get in touch with me, for some private information.

Thanks Wayne. I will stay in close contact. Like noted above, the VA probably does have a bit of a fire built under its tail at the moment. How long it lasts is the question.

I never dreamed just getting my foot in the door would take this long, but at least that hurdle is out of the way. Onward to the new hurdles of individual evaluations throughout the benefit claims process.

Funny letter arrived from the VA welcoming me home, and had a phone number to call if I have difficulty transitioning into civilian life. Geesh ... obviously nobody bothered to take a look at how long ago I got home.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:24 PM   #63
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A quick comment from 30 year USAF vet. Am 100% rated effective 18 Nov,2010. Applied , approved for that date and rated May 18, 2013. Still awaiting back pay. They always say thank you for your service. Chief Whipple
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:33 PM   #64
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Hint to all Vets making claims. Google the VA Board of Veterans Appeals and find cases that have to be published (they remove the privacy information) and plan on doing lots and lots of reading with cases similar to your case and you will learn a lot about the law.
Second, download and read the laws themselves regarding Veterans Benefits. Title 38 of CFR and look for the important rating chapters. These are public record laws.

Now, with that said, the first hint is the most useful - each case goes into detail as to what was and was not found to be appropriate by the regional offices in question. If you spend a few hours reading you will probably know as much as most service officers about the processes and rules and references. And armed with that information is valuable in cases in which you make an appeal or new claim.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:01 PM   #65
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Hint to all Vets making claims. Google the VA Board of Veterans Appeals and find cases that have to be published (they remove the privacy information) and plan on doing lots and lots of reading with cases similar to your case and you will learn a lot about the law.
Second, download and read the laws themselves regarding Veterans Benefits. Title 38 of CFR and look for the important rating chapters. These are public record laws.

Now, with that said, the first hint is the most useful - each case goes into detail as to what was and was not found to be appropriate by the regional offices in question. If you spend a few hours reading you will probably know as much as most service officers about the processes and rules and references. And armed with that information is valuable in cases in which you make an appeal or new claim.
Thanks for the above information! Only 10% disability claims, really?

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Old 07-11-2014, 06:57 AM   #66
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Thanks for the above information! Only 10% disability claims, really?

Stano
I don't understand your comment. Are you saying you were rated 10%. If so, keep appealing and filing - sometimes it takes awhile.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:41 AM   #67
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I don't understand your comment. Are you saying you were rated 10%. If so, keep appealing and filing - sometimes it takes awhile.
Yes I referring to myself and other Vet's like myself that were only awarded/rubber stamped at 10%!
Thanks for all the information on appealing. Hopefully with all the information posted above, it will help other veterans with their claims too!

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Old 08-29-2014, 03:43 PM   #68
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I had a stent one year ago and requested that the surgeon put in his report that I had ischemic heart disease (which you do have it a stent is required). I then filed and got 30% disability and was told that 30% is minimum disability for ischemic. The issue seems to be whether or not your doctor will write down in his notes that you have "ischemic". They try to say everything else unless you put them on the spot and demand the word "ischemic". Good luck. PS whether or not you get greater than 30% is based on the doctors reports of your METS. This is determined (I THink) by your answer to questions about how far you can walk, can you mow the grass, etc.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #69
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I was already part of the Agent Orange Study from thirty years ago. Now the DW says I need hearing aids! Selective hearing I think.

Anyway, I was introduced to a VA Advisor that the county here provides. She is a Vet herself of the Gulf War and is pretty good at what she does. She arranged everything with the VA and got my hearing tested, and to my DWs delight I am deaf in guess what.....frequencies associated with turbine engines and gunfire. I was awarded a disability for tenitis and my hearing aids will be paid for.

If you have an advocate like this it makes the process much easier.
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:23 PM   #70
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I was given a disability for tinitus. The VA counselor told me you can't be denied disability for it since there is no test for it. The VA lost its ability to deny clams as a result of a law suite.
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