• Reply to: Difference in Benefits - 100% schedular disabled veteran vs. 100% TDIU disabled   1 month 2 weeks ago

    From Jim:

    In the current VA rush to close open files, I'm seeing a lot of strange things happening. I have no explanation or even a guess about why this would happen. Possibly they rated the veteran for tinnitus but didn't rate his hearing loss, so now they're going to try again? The tinnitus is at the maximum for that condition - at 10%. The rating for loss of hearing is a separate rating but the exam is usually done in the same setting.

    Beyond that I have no explanation for the letter I received about a month ago that told me VA was working on my claim of February 2014.
    The letter alleged a claim is in the works for a condition that was rated in 1998 and has been static since then. I've heard from other veterans of odd exams of all sorts being scheduled.

    The veteran should show up in any case. As a rule even if the exam doesn't appear to me necessary, we should attend it anyhow. To miss a scheduled exam gives VA a lot of leeway in making default decisions...never a good thing.

  • Reply to: So, in light of the excessive wait times and the need for our meds today and not 2 to 4 weeks from now, we need to address this issue and correct this flaw.   1 month 3 weeks ago

    I am so glad for your award of TDIU. Eight years is a long time to put up with the VA and the way they do things. My husband and I are going to a hearing for a disagreement of their decision. He had a 50% PTSD, 10% gun shot wound, 10% tinnitus. He drew 70% so he was eligible for TDIU. Ok, they took 3 years to even look at his file and in the mean time he came down with 2 other persumptive claims. They sent him to C&P and then sent him a letter awarding him 80% but paying 100% but in the same award letter they said they are discontinuing his TDIU because the C&P shows he has improved and his benefits would go dow to $640. A month and rating down to 40%. We got an attorney, going to a hearing the 27th of Jan 2015. Our attorney said in all the years he has been fighting foe veterans and dealing with the VA he has never seen an award letter give a veteran 100% and in the same letter tell us they are taking it back. I'm glad your done. We are into this going on our 4th year. I hope ours turns out like yours. Thanks for posting.

  • Reply to: Difference in Benefits - 100% schedular disabled veteran vs. 100% TDIU disabled   1 month 3 weeks ago

    Hello, My husband has 10% for tinnitus. He went to audio C&P in Oct., has moderate to severe impairment in left ear. What's funny is we got a call from the VA today, telling my husband he has an appointment at Bay Pines audio dept for a rating for compensation. My question is: don't they usually send a letter for a rating of comp. He has a hearing coming up the 27th of Jan concerning ratings they changed and back pay for two years. Going after TDIU., T&P. He hasn't been able to work since 1998. Purple Heart, various metal, served in Vietnam and Korea DMZ. Boots on the ground in both places. Swam in Agent Orange for two years. Renal Cancer, kidney removed, stage 3 kidney failure in the one he has left, Istemic heart disease, aneurism, COPD never smoked, toxic encepalapathy brain damage, hypertention, diabetes and Parkinson's. So, this appt is strange, do you know of a situation like this. Thank you in advance

  • Reply to: Is the VA doing random drug tests?   2 months 3 weeks ago

    To my knowledge and belief, no disability benefits claim has ever been denied because the veteran claimant has used illegal substances. The law doesn't support that in any way. Title 38 has nothing in it at all that would allow VA to modify benefits because of substance abuse. You can see for yourself.

    http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=5210661cb450d29b832363ffac1ceb2d&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title38/38tab_02.tpl

    If you have a reliable example of benefits denied because of substance abuse, please fill me in with the details: Jim Strickland . I'd really appreciate that. If you can document a case where benefits have been modified because of substance abuse, I'll be forced to change my way of thinking. Go for it.

    VA doesn't perform random drug screens. If you had a drug screen, someone in your clinic ordered it. It was ordered right along with the other blood or urine tests to determine the status of your overall health. That means it is not random.

    When a caregiver orders a drug screen, it is much the same as any other blood or urine test. The provider doesn't need your permission to perform the test and he/she doesn't have to inform you. You aren't informed that you'll be getting a CBC or a SMAC 12 analysis or a urinalysis looking for WBCs, why should a drug screen be any different?

    This is not an issue of your privacy. The test was ordered by a provider in the same way other tests were ordered. The result is no more an invasion of your privacy than any other blood or urine test.

    You have the right to return to your primary care provider to ask why you were drug screened. I'd guess that the provider who ordered your annual tests also ordered a drug screen. He or she may be doing that as a routine for patients they don't see very often. The point is that this was not a random drug screen, it was ordered by a health care provider.

    If you have no substance abuse issues, I don't understand your reaction. You seem to advocate that if a provider has any reason to order a drug screen that they shouldn't be allowed to. That would allow people who have serious health problems because of clandestine drug use to avoid any treatment that may help them.

    The bottom line is that if your doctor orders a drug screen along with a test to see if your blood sugar is too high, both tests are medically necessary as determined by your provider. You don't get to pick and choose the tests you think you need.

    All best,

    Jim

  • Reply to: So, in light of the excessive wait times and the need for our meds today and not 2 to 4 weeks from now, we need to address this issue and correct this flaw.   5 months 5 days ago

    After eight years and three months I finally won a case for TDIU. It was a long and arduous process. The VA put me through more changes than I ever thought possible. But my legal team and I persevered. I want to encourage those who are in the process to hang in there and do what needs to be done. Remember to always do the right thing and supply the right and proper documentation. In This age of budget constraints the VA is under pressure. I wish all of my fellow Vietnam veterans Godspeed. M Griffin First Marine Division Vietnam 65-66.