How To Get A Higher Disability Rating

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VA Disability Rating

Whether fighting for a higher disability rating or filing your disability claim with Dept. of Veterans Affairs, this article has insider tips that win.

How To Manage Your VA Claim For Disability Compensation

Filing disability claims with the Dept of Veterans Affairs is tricky.

Getting documentation together for one disability claim can be a full-time job. Try filing two, three or four disability claims at the same time. It can be a mess to get your VA compensation and take years to sort out.

I’ll start by explaining what I did and why it was wrong. Yes, I have screwed up my own disability claims a time or two. This is yet another case of ‘do what I say, not what I did.’ It is important to not repeat the following because it will cause a lengthy appeal process – and there is nothing worse than a 10-year appeals process.

It’s like waiting for your IRS tax refund, except it’s more money and, like Rip Van Winkle, I look a whole lot older. VA compensation is a good thing, but it’s too bad disability compensation is such a racket.

Don’t be dumb. I hand wrote my initial application for disability compensation without reviewing my Service Medical Records (SMR). My claim led with the statement: “see supporting medical documentation in my file.” This was dumb.

Imagine someone sending you a hand written, 300-page manuscript (doctor’s scribbles plus my own) and allowed you 4 hours to read it. Then they ask you a ton of questions that are legally binding. That is what I asked the VA to do 10 years ago when processing my disability claim.

In reality, the VA disability claims process is very complex and time consuming for the veteran and the Dept of Veterans Affairs. Do not expect the VA to connect the dots. This is your job if you choose to take it, or you’ll be older and fatter still fighting the good fight, like me.

Start with your Service Medical Records

Get started. For disabled veterans with copies of their SMRs, you should get moving. Any disability condition diagnosed within one year of separation could be considered service connected, even if it was undiagnosed in service.

For those without their records, request a copy of your SMR’s from your local Veterans Affairs regional office. Mail in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Click here to find a sample FOIA letter. Once you have the chance to review the documents, you can begin your own research.

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Click To Download Free FOIA eBook For Your Claim

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Research every disability or condition you have within your medical records (about the possible presumptive conditions that show up within one year – bring these up too). To do this, identify the key terms and find them in 38 CFR Part 4: Schedule of Ratings.

For example, let’s say you have Sinusitis. Within your records, you can document 5 different occasions that you went to the doctor for the condition (like allergies, congestion, etc). Go to the CFR and find Sinusitis.

A quick way to do this is to click [Control + F] and type in Sinusitis. This should lead you right to the rating criteria. Notice for the condition, the requirements “either or” tendency. Here, you either have periods of incapacitation or you have “non-incapacitating” episodes. Decide where you currently fall into the rating schedule. Then, you can Google the condition on either regular Google or Google Scholar. Read about what Sinusitis actually is and what causes it. Get educated on each and every condition you are claiming this same way.

Write up a summary of all the conditions and include dates of treatment while in service and after. You do not need to seek medical attention for every issue in order to document it. For example, incapacitating episodes are considered episodes that required a doctor’s visit. Non-incapacitating episodes are not. A person can self-medicate certain conditions. But always remember, the condition needs to be currently impacting you in order to count. If it stopped hurting two years ago, then you will likely not get a rating for it.

Now Enters VA Documentation

Before the meeting or doctor’s appointment, be sure to have all your ducks in a row. I generally bring all documentation relevant to the specific injury or injuries with me along with a summary sheet. Avoid dropping your whole file on the person’s lap with the expectation that they will sort through it for you. Try to keep the summary sheet as short as possible – One to five pages, depending on the number of issues.

Your documentation will be in addition to this (doctors’ opinions – civilian, VA, military). Always try to keep things as short as possible. Include a table of contents of your injuries. Here is a copy of an actual claim letter for the following claims: 1) sinusitis disability, allergic rhinitis disability and sleep apnea disability. It’s mine, so be gentle.

Disability Claim Evidence

On evidence. One thing your evidence should have is a Nexus letter (hopefully from a doctor) explaining how the evidence in your file is relevant to the condition you have now. This can be tricky for new conditions secondary to service-connected conditions. Never bring your originals anywhere. Take copies of your files with you in a folder to your VSO meeting.

One misunderstanding of many is that lay evidence counts very little because it is not “objective.” (lay evidence is a statement from the veteran or buddy letter that supports a claim). Not true according to Jandreau v. Nicholson, 492 F. 3d 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2007). That court held:

“In a veteran’s claim for benefits, lay evidence can be competent and sufficient to establish a diagnosis of a condition when (1) a layperson is competent to identify the medical condition, [such as a broken leg, but not a form cancer], (2) the layperson is reporting a contemporaneous medical diagnosis, or (3) lay testimony describing symptoms at the time supports a later diagnosis by a medical professional.”

This means the lay person cannot “render medical opinions, including etiology opionions,” but can provide testimony that is an eyewitness account of medical symptoms. Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet.App. 303, 307 (2007).

According to Jandreau, “Contrary to the Veterans’ Court, the relevance of lay evidence is not limited to the third situation, but extends to the first two as well.” To that point, the VA had been guilty of largely disregarding personal statements because they were not “objective.” They were wrong and the Federal Circuit had the last say, binding future VA decisions.

On that note, I would question anyone claiming VA Compensation adjudicators are “objective,” too, given that the government takes an unjustified position in 70 percent of veterans denials. This means VA adjudicators are not following the law.

How to Select your Veteran Service Officer

About the meeting. Be careful to never overwhelm your audience. The summary will keep your conversation focused. Also remember to be as friendly as possible. Many VSO’s make less that $35,000 per year and should be respected for their sacrifices to help us get the benefits we were promised.

VSO Selection. Not all VSO’s are created equal. Keep an open mind and shop around for the one you feel the most confident with handling your case. Some have less training or experience than others. Others have too many cases to directly manage effectively. The advantage for you will be the fact that you have your case already together. Talk to the VSO about how to further document your claim prior to filing it. If the VSO feels confident that you’re ready to go, go for it. One thing to consider, a bad VSO can squash your ability to appeal successfully by failing to notice shortfalls in your documentation before an appeal.

The application step does not require a VSO. You can fill out the VA claim online: VONAPP. The non-computer savvy veteran can download the Form 21-526 and fill it out manually or request that the VA mail one to you by calling 800-827-1000. This begins the process.

If doing this on your own, remember that there are many ways to skin a cat. You can be very general about the condition(s) or very specific. I have had success with both. Do not attempt to diagnose the condition yourself. For the sinus condition, you could merely state “sinus condition” or “problem breathing”. Or, you can be specific and state “sinusitis” if it is in your file. However, do not get cute and diagnose something that is not stated in your SMRs. List the symptoms, not the diagnosis (back pain with numbness down the legs, for example). Now, if you believe you have something like sciatica, then listing that after the symptoms may be fine. Again, this depends on your specific situation and comfort level.

For example, click here on the blue text to see what the Department of Veterans Affairs provides about this process. It’s a little vague and explains why so many websites are espousing advice. An informed decision is always the best decision.

Disability Claims and Breathing Problems

Here’s a continuance of my own little story for service connection for the following: Sleep Apnea secondary to Sinusitis and Allergic Rhinitis. I was denied for these conditions right after my separation from service, in 2001.

A little background. I had a sleep study in service conducted by the Fargo VA. The VA had the records of a sleep study and was notified as such. Yet, during my evaluation, the VA did not request its own files and subsequently denied my condition. I had brief apneas but did not require a machine = 30 percent. They also denied service connection for the other conditions despite at least 12 instances within my service records requiring treatment. The sinusitis was later confirmed in 2009 via an MRI as were the polyps from allergic rhinitis. The next year I was given a CPAP machine.

Rubber, meet Road. In 2010, I put the whole claim together with a little documentation help from law school and “The Little Book on Legal Writing.” To see what I mean, here are the first couple pages of my disability claim. I called the Fargo VA for the actual sleep study from 1998. While on the phone, the FOIA guy at the VA faxed the records to me (that was the morning of my recent VA examination – don’t wait to the last second like I did). The records verified my apneas. I was also able to find Congressional Reports about the conditions of the dormitories we lived in while at tech school – there were issues of asbestos and leaking sewage along with outdated HVAC systems blowing particles around. I immediately came down with sinusitis and pneumonia after arrival. I included this documentation in case I come down with certain cancers down the road.

Armed with the report, my medical records and a typed summary, I went to the exam. The first appointment was with an Ear Nose and Throat doctor. He said the VA already conceded service connection but he needed to find out how many episodes I have every year. I handed him my documentation. While he did not read over the documentation in full, he most likely referred to it after the meeting while filling out his exam notes. This is key, especially if the examiner did not take good notes while in the meeting or forgot some key point that you mention. The summary you hand him may be the difference between a 10 or 30 percent.

My second evaluation was for sleep apnea. I showed the doctor my current diagnosis along with the former diagnosis while I was in service. She took the time to read over my summary, which explained how the VA missed my earlier diagnosis. Since I had the old sleep study exam with me, she was able to clearly tell that I had sleep apnea while in service. Because of the way my documentation was set out, she told me on the spot that she was going to tell the VA I had sleep apnea in 1998. This could result in a decision for retroactive pay if I can prove VA committed a Clear and Unmistakable Error during their 2001 denial.

Release of Information: VA Claims Investigation

For you. After you file your claim, VA will send a letter verifying receipt of your claim and notifying you of the information they need. This will include release forms they will need you to fill out in order to request files from civilian doctors you have seen. Be sure to read everything very carefully. Sometimes the dates can be wrong or VA might be asking for the wrong information. In addition, you may have better luck getting documents from doctors than will the VA. When you forward medical release letters to civilian medical providers for their records, be sure to follow up with a phone call to ensure they understand what you are requesting, especially for psychologists. Leave nothing to chance and never expect the VA will figure out how to contact these people for you.

At the examination for conditions like PTSD, VA has disability examination criteria online. Google whatever condition to read about the experience of other veterans after their exams. This can help a lot. First, it will help you frame your condition in terms that the VA examiner will use in their analysis of your condition.

In addition, write a one or two page summary about your condition. Click here to view my own sample disability claim. Use bullet points with brief explanations of each and every treatment for that particular condition. Be careful to not overwhelm your examiner. Ask if the examiner has viewed your C-File before the exam. If not, you may have a claim for a review if the examiner gives you an adverse finding. If the C-File is not present for the exam, be sure to note the fact. A lack of C-File can bias your exam and be cause for a new one if you do not get the results you think you deserve.

Lastly, be patient. The whole process can take up to one year or longer.

VA Denials and Lowball Ratings

Here’s a recap of where we’re at with this process. I’ve written about the disability claim process up through the VA appointment with an evaluator and supplying evidence to the VA about your claim. Now, we will go through what to do when you get your adjudicated claim back with an approval or denial. You will generally have one of three outcomes: 1) full grant of your claim; 2) a partial grant: for example, they gave you TBI but at 10 percent instead of 40 percent; 3) full denial – do not pass go, do not collect $200. With the paperwork the VA sends you, you’ll never know which of the three you are unless you received 100 percent rating.

Be in the know. Request a copy of your file from the VA first. This is the only way to know everything the VA examiners found and how the VA then adjudicated your claim based on that information. Click here for a copy of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) letter you can send for a copy of your file.

In my own case, I had filed a claim for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I had a head injury while in service and received a Psychoeducational Evaluation in college. The evaluator believed my head injury caused some degree of memory loss. When the VA performed their own evaluation, the Neurologist gave me a hard time because I like to drink beer, wine and whiskey in typical Portland-style quantities. A psych evaluator reaffirmed the memory loss during another test. An MRI found brain scarring. Good to go, right?

Wrong. I received a letter back from the VA confirming my condition, kind of. The TBI was rated at 10 percent because the memory loss was related to the fact that I enjoy my drink, according to the neurologist. Note: the neurologist did not have a copy of my C-File for the exam. The brain scarring was claimed to be likely from Multiple Sclerosis and not a head injury. I do not have MS. “What the F?!” I thought. That’s the difference between a 10 percent and 40 percent rating, or $523 per month (Vet + Child). That little bob and weave allowed the VA to keep $6,200 of my money every year, if I gave up.

Anyone can Win Against the VA

Beat the machine. I requested a copy of my file to read through the full analysis. Coincidently, I had an appointment with the Speech Pathology person at the Portland VA. He reviewed my MRI and the evaluation from the neurologist. “That’s BS…” he told me. There is no way drinking can cause the memory loss that I have unless I was drunk and still drinking at the evaluation. I wasn’t. In addition, the MRI brain scarring claimed as Multiple Sclerosis was completely off base. One little VA trick was that the radiologist probably did not have a copy of my claim (C-file) but was just given the MRI and some notes to review.

I then received new evaluations from the VA on the Healthcare side that rebutted the claims from the Benefits side. I did not drink for one month before the evaluation, to rule out the booze effect. The MRI was reviewed and rebutted by another radiologist in light of my actual C-File. The radiologist stated my head injury was the likely cause of the scarring, not MS. My note to readers: the Health side of the VA can be very helpful in fighting against the dark side of the VA. It’s very “Star Wars” over there.

Abracadabra. Once all the information was assembled, I walked over to my friendly Veterans Service Officer (VSO) at the VFW and filed a Notice of Disagreement. I personally elected for DRO review. The VSO told me it was the best appeal he had ever seen from a veteran. The claim went from 10 to 40 percent. And out of the top hat popped $6,200 per year plus a lump sum for retroactive pay. I didn’t give up and I didn’t die in the process. Hooray for me and hooray for my daughter.

To look at how I document my claims, check out my Sinusitis disability claim. You’ve now walked through the process of filing for your disability claim and appeal with me, soup to nuts.

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Philip R. Peach
Philip R. Peach

Thanks for the info you provided.I have filed for V.A.disability.Uponreceiving their initial letter I decided it wouldbe to my benefit to write a letter to the Dr’s and deliver the forms along with a copy of their needs highlighted in yellow. I returned all the information within the 30 day period which included copy’sof the hospital record showing a needle biopsy of my left lung indicating I have Asbestosis aka Mesothelial cells with no maglignancy.this was obtained at age 18 on board my first ship when I followed orders to remove the covering(now known as asbestos) and reseat the steam valve. The V. A. is still in tne process of obtaining my medical records which will show nothing other tham my taking APC pills at sick bay.I have researched Asbestosis and it is a slow death sentence,no known cures according to MedlinePlus. What more can I do? I need to get my case jacked up and moving.Any ideas are appreciated.My case# is 20 941 141. I already have Cancer plus many other things an at 80 ,probably little time,

Alex
Alex

As expected my orthopedic claim was denied.
The orthopedist who did my surgery did not mention the service connection and the two other orthopedists that I saw simply copied his report.
When I tried to explain the service connection to the VA C & P orthopedist he cut me off and refused to listen.
On the other hand, my PTSD claim was rated at 50%.
Several other claims were denied, including the one for unemployability, which was denied because I am not at a 60% threshold.
So should I try to get the PTSD claim rerated at 60%, or have the orthopedic or other claims reconsidered?
Also, should I ask for reconsideration, file an appeal, file a new claim, or are there other options for obtaining the 60% rating needed to reconsider the claim for unemployability?
Thank You in advance ~

Sam Riddle
Sam Riddle

I too was exposed to asbestos after some yeahoo decided to tear all of the lagging off of an obsolete diesel engine exhaust. Needless to say there was big deal made about it in our division in 1989 because the Navy was aware of the dangers of asbestosis. Everyone exposed then had to go through a battery of tests such as breathing through a large hose to determine a baseline for long capacity etc. The navy is very good at covering up safety violations but in my case my medical record has abestos exposure stamped right on the cover of it in about 2″ letters. I had the VA do a lung xray when I first started using the VA Medical Care for all my health needs and they say there is no asbestosis.

But unfortunatly in your case if there is no record of the incident theres not much to go on, unless you can get a hold of an engineering log or a deck log that may have statements of the incident in it. Theres still Non-Service connected pension thats worth $900.00/Mo for any Vet who cant work. Hope this helps…Sam Riddle

Alex
Alex

As expected my orthopedic claim was denied.
The orthopedist who did my surgery did not mention the service connection and the two other orthopedists that I saw simply copied his report.
When I tried to explain the service connection to the VA C & P orthopedist he cut me off and refused to listen.
On the other hand, my PTSD claim was rated at 50%.
Several other claims were denied, including the one for unemployability, which was denied because I am not at a 60% threshold.
So should I try to get the PTSD claim rerated at 60%, or have the orthopedic or other claims reconsidered?
Also, should I ask for reconsideration, file an appeal, file a new claim, or are there other options for obtaining the 60% rating needed to reconsider the claim for unemployability?
Thank You in advance ~

Tony K. Parks
Tony K. Parks

In Sept. 2010 I became unable to work, and have gotten my social security disabilityof which I will start drawing for in March. I have submited my paperwork for aVA pension along with a copy of my DD214 which clearly shows that I had a Med. revue board for back injuries in the Army. Though while I was on active duty my request for medical discharge was denied what do you think my chances will be for my VA compensation.

DWAYNE DUBEY
DWAYNE DUBEY

TONY WHEN WERE YOU IN? AND WAS IT USMC

Alex
Alex

I think the SSA disability makes your case stronger but may offset the amount of VA disability you can get.

Dallas L. Smith
Dallas L. Smith

Retired in 75 and am just now trying for disability involving several conditions related to Agent Orange. I hate to sound stupid but the terms VARO and VSO seem important but have no meaning to me. Can anyone translate. I need all the help I can get.

AA
AA

VARO= VA Regional Office
VSO=Veteran’s Service Officers

Dan
Dan

Dallas a VARO is Veterans Affairs Regional Office, and VSO is Veterans Service Officer (someone who can help you with you case)

Robert
Robert

I am trying to get disability from the VA. I left the serive in 1965. I broke my arm and my leg wile in the service in Germany. Now I am 100% diablet with MS and they are telling me I am not able to get disability. What do I need to do?

Ben Krause
Ben Krause

I would talk with a veteran service officer (google “veteran service officer” plus your state) to work on your claim before the 12-month deadline passes for an appeal after initial denial. You may qualify for a non-service connected disability due to your conditions. The arm and leg issue usually won’t work unless the conditions never healed.

ALESIA SISCO
ALESIA SISCO

Oh, Ben. I would love to say a lot of things but am afraid of what may happen to us next. 23 years of suffering through this PROCESS now just hurts my feelings. I have been caring for my Vietnam Veteran for 29 years, living at just above poverty level. He has been under constant/consistent VA medical and mental health care for 23 years. Immediately prior he spent 3 years in Vocational Rehabilitation who finally released him due to their inability to help him (he already graduated college with a degree in Psychology. The easiest program in the 70’s).
We live in rural FL. God bless our present and past VSO’s here. Several years now, our VSO wasn’t available to write anything to anyone for the case because of deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq. She is tough and beautiful. Just not as fluent as you. The RO reps, save one, are of the belief the NAVY didn’t participate in the Vietnam War. All were quite vocal about it, too. What’s a person to do???
Husband is suffering needlessly because he is carrying around a failed appliance from total hip replacement. Can’t exercise. Mental health meds makes him eat alot. Weight is up. Ortho surgeon listened after no one else did for 7 yrs concerning his level of pain. Um humm. He put him on the way to getting surgery on the failed appliance, told us he needs to have the opposite hip replacement replaced again-he outlived it-and needs 2 or more surgeries on his spine to keep him out of a wheel chair.
Oh, Ben. I have said so much more than I intended. I hope I do not delete again. To end on a good note, the case has been remanded again!
Thank you for this treasure trove of info.

john doe
john doe

I have been waiting over a year for my claim I just got SSDI I am losing my job WTF is wrong with the va? What is wrong with the NYRO? WHY does it take so long maybe I should check back into the psych ward!!! F*** THE VA!!!

Philip R. Peach
Philip R. Peach

I wish to thank Sam Riddle for his response to my plight. Not sure if records were kept back in very early 1949 when this occured , but I will mention this to the V.A. rep when I go see them on 2/25/11. I hope there is a record but doubt it as they didn’t know it as being a problem back then. I’ll keep on trying to rectiify my situation until I can’t breathe anymore.

James Mushett
James Mushett

Every Veteran who had a job in the Miliatary, that had a high noise level.
worked around aircraft, tanks, engine rooms, guns, Etc. need to file a claim for
service connected disability for hearing loss & if you have ringing in the ears. file for that.
30% disability rating, free hearing aids & you qualify for all health care.
Get your foot in the door, then you can work on these other claims. I qualified a Navy yeoman
for hearing, in boot camp He had to go to the shooting range, & every year He had to go back to the range !!! Gun fire is 140 dicibles.

Amondson Jerry O
Amondson Jerry O

Ben Krause
Thank you for this wonderful information on Proven Tips #3: Ace a VA Disability Exam.
Went back to Proven Tips #2: Evidence, Nexus Letters and VSO’sFebruary 1, 2011
Your VA Appli­ca­tion for Dis­abil­ity Com­pen­sa­tion: Part 2 of 4

What was part 1 Some how I must have missed it in previous Veterans Report
Is Proven tips for higher disability ratings from the VA – Part 1 of 4 ?
If not what was part 1 of 4?

Respectfully,
JO Amondson

Ben Krause
Ben Krause

Part 1 is on the bottom of the Military.com blog Military Advantage.

Bob Soricelli
Bob Soricelli

I am a 10% dav with honorable discharge under med. conditions.I’ve been out for 31yrs. and have just retired from the the Post office.I have tried on numerous occations to increase my percentage, but to no avail.It seems the VA was willing to give me a rating out of the service(which I did not even pursue,in fact I told them I did’nt want it!)but they are not willing to follow up on their responsability.Kinda like”thanks for your service son,but we can’t help you any more, sorry, here’s a little doe for your troubles,now get lost” I’m sorry it took me this long to realize that VA will not even recognize your issues unless your 40% or obnoxiously persistant, and I am neither.But my condition is progressively worsening . What can I do, pray tell? Bob S.

Brenda Ray % Gene A Ray usn/ret/deceased
Brenda Ray % Gene A Ray usn/ret/deceased

My husband spent 31 years in the service for his country. When he got sick, he filed for disability. He never received it. We had minor children, still have, that he left behind. I filed for vetrans benifits for us and was denied. He was treated at a non military hospital, all of his medical record were sent. He died of lung cancer, was almost totally death. could not feel his feet and hands at times, before he even got sick. Had night mares about Viet Nam and was a physical and mental mess..I was denied benefits. I sent records for everything I was ask. They said I had to prove he was on the ground in Nam. He spent 3 tours there, flying in and out of jungles, running coast lines, training Nam soilders and received acomadations of all kinds. I have a picture of him in front of a southeast asian school.I have one record where he flew from Guam to the Phillipeans fueling in Viet Nam. They said that was not proof he had feet on ground. Thirty years he gave and denied what was promised him. He told them they were just waiting for him to die so they would not have to pay him, He died on May 30 amd June 1st his case was closed. What can I do? I will take this to my grave also. We are barley getting by on social security and my credit is wrecked, bit they said I made to much money to receive VA benefites. My local va hasn’t helped much, I know she has tried. Several other has tried, but all they say, is there is no records. Someone has them tied up and no one can get into them.

Mark Sterling
Mark Sterling

I filed for tenatis…above it says 30% I only get 20% when that is combined with everything else..I did 22 years working around and flying in aircraft..WTF? My ears are always ringing….

Paul Herrera
Paul Herrera

I had file for ringing , and lost of hearing on both ears. I am a vietnam veteran,been exposed to loud noise. Incoming motor rockets, Gun Firing,Jet Noise Etc. Been help with hearing aid from V.A. Audiologist.
Was turn down from claim as they say I did not complain or have record while in service. Why do the rating employees in Phoenix,Az. play dummies to find excuse not to compensate a Veteran who lose hearing from a war zone??? Just find out that Diabetes cause damage nerve to inner ear which also effect hearing loss. ” Sensorineural hearing loss ” This is the kind usually found with diabetes. 40% Back Injury,20% Diabetes Total = 50% ?? Pending Heart D. from AO. Past 2 + years waiting!!

Beverly
Beverly

My former husband retired from the AF in 1981. We divorced after his retirement. I got a portion of his retirement and he gets a portion of my
civil service retirement. This year, 2011, my monthly portion of his retirement was decreased by $280.00 monthly due to a VA disability he is receiving; however, he continues to get his full portion of my retirement check. This is unfair to me as my livelihood depends on that $280.00 monthly, yet it has been taken from me. Any suggestions as to what I can do? I have written to Retired Military Pay and sent a FAX; however, they
have never answered my correspondence. What about me, I was married to
him 19 years of his 20 years service. He wasn’t disabled then; but now he is
(30 years later). Something is wrong here.

pamela
pamela

This information is very informative. I have 90% and am in the process of doing my paperwork to reopen my claim. All Veteran’s should read this. We have earned it and the Government doesn’t give us anything!

Good job!

Alex
Alex

te:As expected my orthopedic claim was denied.

The orthopedist who did my surgery did not mention the service connection and the two other orthopedists that I saw simply copied his report.

When I tried to explain the service connection to the VA C & P orthopedist he cut me off and refused to listen.
On the other hand, my PTSD claim was rated at 50%.

Several other claims were denied, including the one for unemployability, which was denied because I am not at a 60% threshold.
So should I try to get the PTSD claim rerated at 60%, or have the orthopedic or other claims reconsidered?

Also, should I ask for reconsideration, file an appeal, file a new claim, or are there other options for obtaining the 60% rating needed to reconsider the claim for unemployability?

Thank You in advance ~

amanda
amanda

I was discharged several yrs ago w/episodes of altered consciousness however, have only had a few episodes since. There is no known cause and I have been advised by many people that I shld still apply for va benefits due to the denial of work. Any thoughts.

Amondson Jerry O
Amondson Jerry O

Second request 24 April 11

Amondson Jerry O February 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM
Ben Krause
Thank you for this wonderful information on Proven Tips #3: Ace a VA Disability Exam.
Went back to Proven Tips #2: Evidence, Nexus Letters and VSO’sFebruary 1, 2011
Your VA Appli­ca­tion for Dis­abil­ity Com­pen­sa­tion: Part 2 of 4

What was part 1 Some how I must have missed it in previous Veterans Report
Is Proven tips for higher disability ratings from the VA – Part 1 of 4 ?
If not what was part 1 of 4?

Respectfully,
JO Amondson

ARMANDO
ARMANDO

I would like some advise from those who might gone thru what I have. After I retired from the Army in 2000 I was placed on chapter 31 voc-rehap and sent to ITT to study drafting. During the time I was in school I had to support a family and need a surval job. I finally got one as a State Veterans Representive (DVOP). My Voc rehap counslor came to my job and stated ” I guest you found your niche, we are going to stop your training, you have been succucfully rehap”. I was left stunted. I just found out very recently that the reason I was drop from Chaapter 31 was because I was a state veterans rep. which appearently is consisteder a conflict of interest. What recourse do I have, how do I appeal.

Mike Oster
Mike Oster

The VA has stated it has lost 90% of my service med records back in 1996. How does the VA get away with denying disability claims when they have lost my med records?

hitthedeckboys
hitthedeckboys

To all  YOU new military members….LISTEN UP to this gentlemen Mike’s problem and learn….This is why YOU always have your own copy of every record and copy of every paper of your military record hun and career. I know it sounds like UGHHH but its importain just incase of this scene. Dont want to carry it around mail it home once a month or six months to a important  family member… Goood luck Mike with your case.

Henry D. Luna
Henry D. Luna

I recently recieved my reply for an increase for a disability rating, and it stated that I got a 10% increase for my eye vision problem. previously I had a 60% rating for agent orange diabetes and other problems connected problems, I had A 30% FOR DIABETES INSULINE USE, the letter said that I now have a 40% for the diabetes with no explaination for this increase. as I see this situation I should of been awarded a 20% for my claim which would of put me at 80% disability. with this breaf explaination how do you view this situation.

Henry D. Luna
Henry D. Luna

I recently submitted a comment and about my VA claim. I would like to know if you received it or not so I can resubmit

brian harrington
brian harrington

this is for Bev Hi Bev the 280 that you don’t have is due to the Va waiver this in turned devaluated your husbands pension by 280 once the va waiver is gone then the 280 will populate wich should be 2012 when there is an increase
this is for all retireiess if your primary doctor did not list the conditons or symptoms to your conditons and have your vet rep file them then the claim is no good but lets say you have hyper tension and your claim combacks zero
then you started to have chest pains and ED and your civilian doctor say this is the result of your hypertension yes you took your meds and increase to dosage has been establish then refile now here this once you get seen by doctors that are contracted out and yes they go by the lowest bidder you have to convice them of these problems then it goes somewhare elese for review
and they read off the CFR however you can appeal the rating lets say you went from a 10 mg high blood perssure pill which gave me 10 precent rating but if were to go to the max and limited to do phyical actiivity and haveing other issues assiociated with this and file a claim on this and the came back denied or no change in rating of course i would appeal
me am 60 precent head case 50 hypertension 10 but when I ever go on insuline for diabeates type 2 for now then am going to file a claim for that and if denitedi wll appeal until they get tired seeing my paper work the longer the better the reason being they pay you regardless if you win or loose and you can appeal even further I plan on appealing against the gi bill when they reducice my payment so I can get extra money by the way the va pays its doctors and nurses beyond the moon and they have mega tons I can’t wait for the mass layoffs then the va will have more money for the vets but this what I say do away with the VA they fill there pockets before Yours and congeresss don’t give a SHITE about YOU only them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stephanie
stephanie

i have a question i have a va rating and it got burned in a house fire is there any way i can re get that latter that had my rating on it? thank u