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-   -   When applying for VA Disability Bennies (http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=107776)

Stopp700 10 February 2012 09:31

When applying for VA Disability Bennies
 
Just a heads up. When applying for disability bennies, i.e hearing, & PTSD. Make a copy of your CIB/CAB and submit it with the application. These combat service awards will "justify" or prove that you were exposed to combat. Anyone with either of these awards that is turned down for hearing loss w/o a VA hearing test should appeal it ASAP. The VA should at the minimum give a hearing test/word recognition test for all combat veterans.

Freebird 10 February 2012 10:22

I'm one of the dumbasses who never took the time to apply and even see if I rated any disability benefits when I retired almost 17 years ago. Throughout the years, one of my buddies, also retired, has brought it up numerous times and told me I need to do so. I've finally decided to get off my ass and initiate the process. No doubt in my mind that I suffered hearing loss. That's one of the things the docs used to talk about with me whenever I had take a physical while on active duty.

Do you think I've screwed myself by waiting so long? Or is it never too late? Besides DD-214's, I've got a complete copy of my SRB and Health Records from when I retired.

Stopp700 10 February 2012 11:03

I got this off a VA site.

You can also show direct service connection if the medical records show a pattern of treatment for a medical condition that started in service and you continue to get treatment for it after you left service and to the present day. This is called continuity of symptomatology. An example of this, would be a veteran who while in service was treated for pain in his back and he continued to get treatment for back pain after service and is still presently being treated for the same back condition. It is important to note here that if your in-service medical condition is considered chronic you do not have to show "continuity of symptomatology" this is only required when your in service medical condition is not shown to be a chronic condition.

This sounds like your situation.

The Fat Guy 10 February 2012 12:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freebird (Post 1058099353)
I'm one of the dumbasses who never took the time to apply and even see if I rated any disability benefits when I retired almost 17 years ago. Throughout the years, one of my buddies, also retired, has brought it up numerous times and told me I need to do so. I've finally decided to get off my ass and initiate the process. No doubt in my mind that I suffered hearing loss. That's one of the things the docs used to talk about with me whenever I had take a physical while on active duty.

Do you think I've screwed myself by waiting so long? Or is it never too late? Besides DD-214's, I've got a complete copy of my SRB and Health Records from when I retired.

Its never too late.

Some good information here

http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=105514

Hostile0311 10 February 2012 13:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stopp700 (Post 1058099392)
I got this off a VA site.

You can also show direct service connection if the medical records show a pattern of treatment for a medical condition that started in service and you continue to get treatment for it after you left service and to the present day. This is called continuity of symptomatology. An example of this, would be a veteran who while in service was treated for pain in his back and he continued to get treatment for back pain after service and is still presently being treated for the same back condition. It is important to note here that if your in-service medical condition is considered chronic you do not have to show "continuity of symptomatology" this is only required when your in service medical condition is not shown to be a chronic condition.

This sounds like your situation.

I've been having bouts with "chronic sinusitis" the past two years. I had numerous attacks while on AD and it is documented in my med record, which I cannot stress enough for guys getting out to make certified copies of. I'm in the process of filing due to the "continuity of symptomatology" you mentioned. I've got my AD med records and my case history here since I got out (9 years ago) to present day. They already approved my Tinnitis claim as it was easily verifiable due to my MOS and a combat deployment. I hope I'll get a rating for the sinusitis. Its a PITA and also causes problems when I sleep as well as snoring and my wife says I "pause my breath" alot when I sleep. Maybe "sleep apnea?" I don't know if it could be a direct correlation, but I think a trip to the GP might be in order before I submit my claim.

Stopp700 10 February 2012 14:57

VA Claims Assistance
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hostile0311 (Post 1058099512)
I've been having bouts with "chronic sinusitis" the past two years. I had numerous attacks while on AD and it is documented in my med record, which I cannot stress enough for guys getting out to make certified copies of. I'm in the process of filing due to the "continuity of symptomatology" you mentioned. I've got my AD med records and my case history here since I got out (9 years ago) to present day. They already approved my Tinnitis claim as it was easily verifiable due to my MOS and a combat deployment. I hope I'll get a rating for the sinusitis. Its a PITA and also causes problems when I sleep as well as snoring and my wife says I "pause my breath" alot when I sleep. Maybe "sleep apnea?" I don't know if it could be a direct correlation, but I think a trip to the GP might be in order before I submit my claim.

Are you in the VA Medical network? If you are go to their Drs to check your problem out. I say this because the VA Comp people (the Raters who decide cases) "always" believe VA Drs. I would have the Sleep Apnea checked out. This conflict that we have been in has produced a lot of Sleep Apnea cases. I really do not why why but...

If you have any Service Officers around try using them. I find the VFW and DAV are better trained than the rest of them. I have been out of the network for a little while, but I still do some claims work for friends. I also have a girl who used to work for me now working at the VA (good inside info sometimes).

If you have any questions ask, I am sure one of us here in SOCNET can assist you!

OldSwabbie 10 February 2012 16:46

If you are turned down for hearing loss do not neglect to put down Tinnitus - if you have it. My hearing got so bad while on AD that they sent me for hearing tests up in Landstuhl Germany at the Army hospital. About 15 years after I got out my hearing got progressively worse so I applied for VA benefits. I've also had Tinnitus since then as well. I was on the line on the hearing loss even after appeal.. but they approved me for the Tinnitus. I don't get much pension, but the medical benefits have been outstanding.

Tinnitus if found will give you a 10% disability. Hearing loss is another 10% for a total of 20%.

Tripod 10 February 2012 21:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldSwabbie (Post 1058099627)
Tinnitus if found will give you a 10% disability. Hearing loss is another 10% for a total of 20%.

If you add up all of my percentages I am at 140%. I get paid at 80%. They have a "formula" for their calculations of the percentage of disability award. This includes the tinnitus (I was an 18C back in the day) and PTSD (based on award of CIB, combat decorations, been an OIF/OEF guy, I drink more than 2 drinks a day, hate my ex-wives, want to stab a pen in the eye of the VA nurse asking the questions, blah, blah, blah).

Never really understood the calculation. Never really cared actually to receive the 100% "unemployable" compensation.

Oddly enough, I still like to work.

:cool:

Stopp700 10 February 2012 21:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tripod (Post 1058099764)
If you add up all of my percentages I am at 140%. I get paid at 80%. They have a "formula" for their calculations of the percentage of disability award. This includes the tinnitus (I was an 18C back in the day) and PTSD (based on award of CIB, combat decorations, been an OIF/OEF guy, I drink more than 2 drinks a day, hate my ex-wives, want to stab a pen in the eye of the VA nurse asking the questions, blah, blah, blah).

Never really understood the calculation. Never really cared actually to receive the 100% "unemployable" compensation.

Oddly enough, I still like to work.

:cool:

Tripod:
Some night or day before my wife make me drink lots of beer :) I will send you the silly ass VA chart that show how they add things up. You almost have to be a nuclear scientist to follow it :) Let me know if you want me to send/explain it to you :)

Tripod 10 February 2012 21:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stopp700 (Post 1058099771)
Tripod:
Some night or day before my wife make me drink lots of beer :) I will send you the silly ass VA chart that show how they add things up. You almost have to be a nuclear scientist to follow it :) Let me know if you want me to send/explain it to you :)

Lol. Thanks for the offer bro. I'm happy with what I get, so I really don't care. In fact sometimes I feel guilty about it.

What kills me is this. Now'adays all a service member has to do is, as stated in an earlier post, is present orders for a CIB, CAB, CAR then it's automatic. We all know, that not all recipients of these awards necessarily have PTSD, or have seen actual "combat".

The VA has that "goofy" survey....and BAM!....you have fucking PTSD. All you have to say, if you have orders for a combat award, is that you "drink too much", or want to do harm, blah, blah, blah. It's fucking stupid. Yes, I'm one of those guys, and I wish I wasn't, I didn't SEEK it out. Because I was a CIB awardee, drank more than they felt was normal, I got 30% for it. Wow. Big fucking deal.

Like I said, I still like to work.

Tripod 10 February 2012 21:45

For fuck's sake....look at THIS guy, he had everybody fooled. That's how EASY it is. Fucked up if you ask me.

http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=107752

That's why I have a problem with this thread. IF you deserve it, by all means claim it. If not, then shame on you.

Tips for "getting over" on the VA aren't cool.

Tripod 10 February 2012 22:50

If I see another thread like this I will jump in the same way, and probably destroy it.

There there ALOT of VA issues worthy of discussion in this thread. I'm all for it.

But tips on how to get over on VA disabilty won't fly with me. Ya'll can still work. Claim what you deserve.....nothing more, nothing less. And get a fucking job. Work if you can. Most members on this site do, despite their disabilities.

ddog79 13 February 2012 01:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stopp700 (Post 1058099392)
I got this off a VA site.

You can also show direct service connection if the medical records show a pattern of treatment for a medical condition that started in service and you continue to get treatment for it after you left service and to the present day. This is called continuity of symptomatology. An example of this, would be a veteran who while in service was treated for pain in his back and he continued to get treatment for back pain after service and is still presently being treated for the same back condition. It is important to note here that if your in-service medical condition is considered chronic you do not have to show "continuity of symptomatology" this is only required when your in service medical condition is not shown to be a chronic condition.

This sounds like your situation.

In fact, the bar for getting an examination for a claimed disability has been lowered quite a bit in the last two years. When I started working for the VA about four years ago, a veteran had to have a chronic disability shown in his STRS, as well as medical evidence showing "continuity", and proof of the current disability. Now, if there was even a single mention of a claimed disability made in a veteran's STRS, an exam will be requested. It doesn't mean that service connection will be granted, but it makes it a lot easier. It's based on the opinion rendered by the examiner as to whether a disability is service related or not. For instance, I wrote an exam for a Vietnam veteran with severe degnerative disc disease in his lumbar spine, but the only mention in his STRS was of a lower back spasm that happened once in service in the late 60's. The VA doctor made the connection (nexus) between his back spasm and DDD and the veteran was granted compensation. Not every case is as simple, but many are.

magician 13 February 2012 03:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hostile0311 (Post 1058099512)
Its a PITA and also causes problems when I sleep as well as snoring and my wife says I "pause my breath" alot when I sleep. Maybe "sleep apnea?" I don't know if it could be a direct correlation, but I think a trip to the GP might be in order before I submit my claim.

The symptoms that you describe are consistent with sleep apnea. You absolutely need to go to the sleep clinic at the VA.

This is actually pretty important. They have devices which can help you sleep much, much better. You do not realize how vital that this is until you suddenly understand that you have not had a good night's rest for the past ten years. This happened to me.

Going to the sleep clinic probably added ten years to my life expectancy.

Hostile0311 13 February 2012 07:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by magician (Post 1058100920)
The symptoms that you describe are consistent with sleep apnea. You absolutely need to go to the sleep clinic at the VA.

This is actually pretty important. They have devices which can help you sleep much, much better. You do not realize how vital that this is until you suddenly understand that you have not had a good night's rest for the past ten years. This happened to me.

Going to the sleep clinic probably added ten years to my life expectancy.

Will do Magician. Disability rating aside, at least I'll get the treatment I need for a serious condition I never really knew existed but affects quite a few soldiers for some reason. I always thought it was my sinuses but now realize the apnea could be what causes my sinuses to trigger. Whether it is related to my service is irrelavent at this point and up to the VA to decide. The important thing is I get treated. Thanks again.

magician 13 February 2012 08:06

I believe that the threshold for the VA to cover your medical expenses at no cost to you is 50% disability.

I was rated at 50% disabled for many years. The VA sent me to an outside specialty practice where a sleep study was done at a cost to the VA of $7,000. Then the VA contracted with a firm to send a very nice girl to my home to deliver, set up and to instruct me in the use of a thousand dollar BIPAP machine. Again, no cost to me.

I used that BIPAP machine for ten years. It finally started to fail, so last year, when I was in the US for treatment for other disabilities, I went to the sleep clinic at a different VA and asked if I could get a new one.

A very nice lady poked around in my medical record, which is electronic, and noted the date that I was issued my original BIPAP and its settings. She then handed me a new unit, dialing in the settings for me. She even gave me spare masks, and those things cost a couple of hundred dollars if you buy them on the economy, which I have done in the past.

Again, no cost to me.

I am very grateful for the VA. They have hooked me up big-time.

You definitely need to make it a point to go.

RetPara 13 February 2012 10:42

Expednable supplies such as hearing aid batteries and such should be able to be reordered online or a phone call. That should also be true with CPAP masks, hoses, filters, and such. (I have one.) Those should be replaced/cleaned every few months. Magician - if your retired, TRICARE should also pick up some of the cost for what the VA won't.

cdutchess78 13 February 2012 23:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tripod (Post 1058099764)

Oddly enough, I still like to work.

:cool:

I wonder why?!?! You get paid to shoot for free,drive around that course for free,and teach for the most part a bunch of great guys how to do things according to "DS standard".lol. I'll never miss hearing that phrase ever again.After the 8th week,wanted to blow my head off hearing that. :biggrin:

Doc Wilson 15 February 2012 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tripod (Post 1058099786)
Lol. Thanks for the offer bro. I'm happy with what I get, so I really don't care. In fact sometimes I feel guilty about it.

What kills me is this. Now'adays all a service member has to do is, as stated in an earlier post, is present orders for a CIB, CAB, CAR then it's automatic. We all know, that not all recipients of these awards necessarily have PTSD, or have seen actual "combat".
.

It is worse now for actual stressor proof as you mention. Now all one does is cry infront of mental health and have a battlebuddy write a letter. Shazam instant PTSD. Prior to 2008 or 2009 it was
CIB, CAB, CMB or combat ribbon if dept of the navy or V device or purple target award.

I am total 230%/100% P&T (all combat related). I can't work anymore, but volunteer as a peer mentor these days helping with claims, benefits and squaring joes away. I have had to tell a few "veterans" cowboy up and face reality on the "woe is me" bullshit.

Stopp700 15 February 2012 15:28

Hey Doc. Good to have a person who is knowlegeable about current VA stuff. Lots of young soldiers here can use your help.


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