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VA disability process

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Großer Kriegschwein:

Filed mine under the "Benefits Delivery at Discharge" program here at Fort Polk.

Finished all of my C&P exams by the end of July, 2016. Total of 18 contentions.

Ebenefits had all of my exam documents overdue until last week when I skipped from Gathering of Evidence to Prep for Decision.

Anyone have any idea how long this is gonna take?

Pork Twain:


--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on December 16, 2016, 07:30:33 pm ---Filed mine under the "Benefits Delivery at Discharge" program here at Fort Polk.

Finished all of my C&P exams by the end of July, 2016. Total of 18 contentions.

Ebenefits had all of my exam documents overdue until last week when I skipped from Gathering of Evidence to Prep for Decision.

Anyone have any idea how long this is gonna take?

--- End quote ---
I filed my initial claim in early January, retired in late January, received a partial deposit in June, my expected payment started in Jul and my backpay in Aug.  In June I filed to have my daughter, who is 19 and a full-time student added back in, even though all the documentation was on my original claim but I have not heard a peep.  I don't really care though because it will just be a nice fat tax free check once they get caught up since it is all based on the time of filing.

Whiskeyhog:


--- Quote from: Pork Twain on December 19, 2016, 11:31:53 am ---I filed my initial claim in early January, retired in late January, received a partial deposit in June, my expected payment started in Jul and my backpay in Aug.  In June I filed to have my daughter, who is 19 and a full-time student added back in, even though all the documentation was on my original claim but I have not heard a peep.  I don't really care though because it will just be a nice fat tax free check once they get caught up since it is all based on the time of filing.

--- End quote ---

Most dependent claims are taking 12-18 months.

Pork Twain:


--- Quote from: Whiskeyhog on December 19, 2016, 01:58:59 pm ---Most dependent claims are taking 12-18 months.

--- End quote ---
Only very slightly, very very slightly, irritating that I filed all the same information with my initial claim and they left her off.

Whiskeyhog:


--- Quote from: Pork Twain on December 20, 2016, 06:20:36 am ---Only very slightly, very very slightly, irritating that I filed all the same information with my initial claim and they left her off.

--- End quote ---

I understand.  In their mind they probably had a reason not to add her.  It is hard to fight with them on it because the way it is set up now days your local regional office might not be the one working the claim and not having a point of contact at the regional office that is working it sucks.  That is why I tell all vets to get with a national service org who can help with those issues.

Pork Twain:


--- Quote from: Whiskeyhog on December 20, 2016, 08:23:47 am ---I understand.  In their mind they probably had a reason not to add her.  It is hard to fight with them on it because the way it is set up now days your local regional office might not be the one working the claim and not having a point of contact at the regional office that is working it sucks.  That is why I tell all vets to get with a national service org who can help with those issues.

--- End quote ---
Yup...I was just happy that the bulk of my claim processed and this was my only hiccup and it will be a nice tax-free bonus check at some later date.  No real complaints from me and I thought the VA worked pretty well here in Virginia.

Hudge:

I have a high school deferment or I would be punching in July of this year.  My buddy retired out in NV in September, and got his first payout for VA disability in December.  He is still waiting for his backpay, but he said he filed 14 September after getting to their new location in CO.  He was surprised how quick in went.  My wife and I are staying in AK after I retire in 2018 due to her job here.  I have heard nothing but great things from the VA here and the claims, etc, I can't say the same about AR, and other states though.  I think my buddy that just remarried and claimed his wife's son as a new dependent got his money for him in under 90 days.

Großer Kriegschwein:

Jumped to Pending Decision Approval today.

Good times.

Großer Kriegschwein:

Received a call. Claim almost complete.

Switched to Prep for Notification after the call.

Pork Twain:


--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on January 24, 2017, 02:38:43 pm ---Received a call. Claim almost complete.

Switched to Prep for Notification after the call.

--- End quote ---
It is such a relief after it is complete

Großer Kriegschwein:


--- Quote from: Pork Twain on January 27, 2017, 10:16:14 am ---It is such a relief after it is complete

--- End quote ---

Complete. AB8 posted in eBenefits. 4-Items service connected, 1-deferred.

Filing a notice of disagreement on two of them (one for service connection, and one for an increase of a 0% rating).

It's high enough right now for a happy dance......If I were physically able.

hogginbama:


--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on January 27, 2017, 12:37:48 pm ---Complete. AB8 posted in eBenefits. 4-Items service connected, 1-deferred.

Filing a notice of disagreement on two of them (one for service connection, and one for an increase of a 0% rating).

It's high enough right now for a happy dance......If I were physically able.

--- End quote ---

Congrats on the successful filing. Starting my filing next week. Retirement date is 1 July so wish me luck.


YankHog:

Gents,
just a reminder that first cuts of disability are generally low-balled so if you got 50-60%, there is a definite chance you could end up with more....the most important time to file for reconsideration or appeal is 365 days from retirement...I initially was given 60% (had a terrible VSO at retirement) and worked with an agency who got me to 100% in 5 months. it's all about knowing what you should claim.  The important thing is that your military records at a minimum indicate issues with whatever you are claiming.  Also for issues with dependents if you file it all electronically on e-benefits it gets done pretty quickly...mine was done in two months when they dropped my daughter in college.

Großer Kriegschwein:


--- Quote from: YankHog on June 14, 2017, 11:27:29 pm ---Gents,
just a reminder that first cuts of disability are generally low-balled so if you got 50-60%, there is a definite chance you could end up with more....the most important time to file for reconsideration or appeal is 365 days from retirement...I initially was given 60% (had a terrible VSO at retirement) and worked with an agency who got me to 100% in 5 months. it's all about knowing what you should claim.  The important thing is that your military records at a minimum indicate issues with whatever you are claiming.  Also for issues with dependents if you file it all electronically on e-benefits it gets done pretty quickly...mine was done in two months when they dropped my daughter in college.

--- End quote ---

Meh.

If you have solid documentation of severity and service connection, you'll get what you're supposed to get. Some contentions need more development and evidence in order to get the correct rating as opposed to what the veteran believes he deserves. Occasionally those two can be quite different.

Always bring hard copies of medical evidence to C&P examinations, especially Contracted C&P Examinations not done by the VA proper. Most of the time they can view eBenefits uploaded documents.

Adding dependents can also be done over the phone and almost immediately.

The VA isn't this big evil machine that people are led to believe in the media.



YankHog:

No but the VA will not go through your medical records and give you something that you should be getting that you haven't claimed.   Hence the need for a VSO who knows what they're doing and knows what is claimable and what isn't.

OS2 (SW) Razor Back:

Mine was filed and approved in 4 months.

Großer Kriegschwein:

YankHog-
I want to point out in the beginning that nowhere in the following posts am I referring you YOU specifically or questioning your 100% rating that you posted earlier in the thread, I trust the raters at the VA. I won't put my rating out there like that, but mine isn't too bad either, considering.


--- Quote from: YankHog on June 19, 2017, 02:45:58 am ---No but the VA will not go through your medical records and give you something that you should be getting that you haven't claimed.   Hence the need for a VSO who knows what they're doing and knows what is claimable and what isn't.

--- End quote ---

Did I not say that "If you have solid documentation of severity and service connection, you'll get what you're supposed to get. ?

So that would mean:

1) You have something disabling that bothers you regularly
&
2) It has been bothering you since service and you can prove service connection easily.

I figured it goes without saying that you have to claim it in order to have it decided. I guess I was wrong. So let me clarify the obvious.

If you have solid documentation of severity and service connection, you'll get what you're supposed to get after you claim it.



--- Quote from: YankHog on June 19, 2017, 02:45:58 am ---No but the VA will not go through your medical records and give you something that you should be getting that you haven't claimed.   Hence the need for a VSO who knows what they're doing and knows what is claimable and what isn't.

--- End quote ---

You can claim any service connected issue and can be described as simply as "Neck Pain", "Shoulder Pain", "Arm numbness". The VA will order a C&P exam to fill out the DBQ for you. Service connection can be a problem, but it could be as easy as copying a sick call slip from the 2-3 times you went to medical and got put on light duty, unless you fall under the 365 presumptive clause, then you have to do nothing to prove service connection.

If you need a VSO to go through your medical records to decide what can be claimed, the "problems" don't bother you enough to actually claim.

A VSO's job is not to get you to 100%. It is to assist you in navigating the VA disability system. Many vets convince themselves that a 100% rating is a benefit they earned, which is incorrect. Because when this belief is shared by both the vet and a VSO, it will clog the VA system with claims that have practically no merit but the VA has to treat it the same as the ACTUAL disabling claims for vets that have done due diligence and require adjudication.

For this reason, I would make a terrible VSO. If you don't walk through the door knowing what you want to claim and drop your medical records on my desk and ask me to figure it out, I'd tell you to go get F*****. I don't care what war you fought in. Obviously whatever I find in there doesn't bother you that bad if you're asking me to figure them out for  you.

The funny part is that I started volunteering with the Parish VSO. He and I are of like minds in regard to people that claim garbage. By law he must help them with their claim, but the law doesn't say how hard he has to work.




Großer Kriegschwein:


--- Quote from: YankHog on June 14, 2017, 11:27:29 pm ---Gents,
just a reminder that first cuts of disability are generally low-balled so if you got 50-60%, there is a definite chance you could end up with more....the most important time to file for reconsideration or appeal is 365 days from retirement...I initially was given 60% (had a terrible VSO at retirement) and worked with an agency who got me to 100% in 5 months. it's all about knowing what you should claim.  The important thing is that your military records at a minimum indicate issues with whatever you are claiming.  Also for issues with dependents if you file it all electronically on e-benefits it gets done pretty quickly...mine was done in two months when they dropped my daughter in college.

--- End quote ---

The bolded line is absolutely false.

The rater will apply the rules of 38 CFR with the information sitting in front of him/her.

Probably the person that claims they low-ball either "hasn't fully developed" their claim or it isn't as bad as they think it is.

YankHog:

I didn't mean to push a button Krieg and I wasn't throwing my rating out there as a "look at me" and we have obviously had two very different roads to ratings.  Poor wording perhaps on my initial post.  I understand they go by 38 CFR.  I was merely trying to give information based on what I went through that may help other vets here.  In my case, with a VSO that was useless, and a contracted out C+P exam, not being specific enough led to a lower rating that I had to go back and appeal.  Items that were plainly in service records that had to be highlighted. You stated it as "hasn't fully developed" their claim, that is exactly what i'm talking about, the right verbage needed on your va forms even though it sits in your medical records.  I was just trying to assist any others here that may not have had as easy a time as you have (or you provide if that's what your are doing now).  I, in no way, meant to offend.  And even after the second go 'round, there were items that were clearly defined in 38 CFR with the documentation and service connection that were not given the appropriate ratings according to the CFR. I'm glad you were happy with how your process went though.  I have another friend here with me in Saudi who retired after 25 years and turned his VA stuff in when he was supposed to and he was not scheduled for his C+P exam until after his retirement date, and by then he was in Saudi and now he's jumping through hoops to get it done.

Pork Twain:


--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on June 23, 2017, 12:59:48 am ---The bolded line is absolutely false.

The rater will apply the rules of 38 CFR with the information sitting in front of him/her.

Probably the person that claims they low-ball either "hasn't fully developed" their claim or it isn't as bad as they think it is.

--- End quote ---
Nope did not see the lowballing at all in my process and it was pretty smooth.  Getting 100% is pretty impressive though, I can't touch that.  Maybe I need to talk to Yank's agency

Großer Kriegschwein:


--- Quote from: Pork Twain on July 03, 2017, 06:48:52 am ---Nope did not see the lowballing at all in my process and it was pretty smooth.  Getting 100% is pretty impressive though, I can't touch that.  Maybe I need to talk to Yank's agency

--- End quote ---

100% Permanent & Total seven months after retirement.

Filed it all myself. Used a VSO to track it. Offered a job after that.

Wording only matters during the C & P.



riccoar:


--- Quote from: Großer Kriegschwein on June 23, 2017, 12:35:54 am ---
A VSO's job is not to get you to 100%. It is to assist you in navigating the VA disability system. Many vets convince themselves that a 100% rating is a benefit they earned, which is incorrect. Because when this belief is shared by both the vet and a VSO, it will clog the VA system with claims that have practically no merit but the VA has to treat it the same as the ACTUAL disabling claims for vets that have done due diligence and require adjudication.

For this reason, I would make a terrible VSO. If you don't walk through the door knowing what you want to claim and drop your medical records on my desk and ask me to figure it out, I'd tell you to go get F*****. I don't care what war you fought in. Obviously whatever I find in there doesn't bother you that bad if you're asking me to figure them out for  you.

The funny part is that I started volunteering with the Parish VSO. He and I are of like minds in regard to people that claim garbage. By law he must help them with their claim, but the law doesn't say how hard he has to work.


--- End quote ---

I think the term disabled has lost a lot of meaning because of abusers.  I walked away with nothing but a bum toenail and had people goading me to scour through my records because I was likely missing something.  Like you said, if you have to have someone super sleuth your records for something your overlooking, it's not a disability or an ailment.  I simply can't point to anything that ails me today, or the last 18 years I've been out, that has caused me any issues.

Großer Kriegschwein:


--- Quote from: riccoar on July 07, 2017, 07:38:56 am ---I think the term disabled has lost a lot of meaning because of abusers.  I walked away with nothing but a bum toenail and had people goading me to scour through my records because I was likely missing something.  Like you said, if you have to have someone super sleuth your records for something your overlooking, it's not a disability or an ailment.  I simply can't point to anything that ails me today, or the last 18 years I've been out, that has caused me any issues.

--- End quote ---

I was pretty surprised at a couple of my individual ratings. I claimed about 8 things initially. 4 were rated and one deferred. Filed for reconsideration on two and an increase, was shocked at the result when it came back.

They added 80%. After I was already at 94% combined.

(I've been blown up over 30 times, shot twice and had tree facial reconstructive surgeries) I figured I'd cap out at 90%, but I got a surprising 70% for one contention that I wasn't expecting that was found DURING a C&P examination.

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