Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
May 8, 2013
Dear Jim, I am a service officer in New York & I'm a Disabled Veteran. I agree with you that DBQ's are, at best, a mixed bag. However, I have had some success with them in the past 18 months. They tend to work better if you can get a VA Doctor to complete one at a VA Clinic or VA Hospital and if the claim is simple. For example, A Vietnam Veteran who served "In Country" and now has Type II Diabetes caused by Agent Orange. This is a presumptive claim and a DBQ for DMII is likely to speed up the process a great deal. However, a more complicated claim like a Service Connection claim For ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ) is not likely to be helped much by a DBQ. I do know that the VA is contacting doctors to verify the DBQ's.
Jim's Mailbag
January 13, 2015

Hi Jim,

Love your site!  I was browsing online and found some info about how to increase your social security by $1,200 a year if you are a vet.  I am already 100% disabled by social security and also 100% disabled by the VA, but my social security disability is not service related.

Would I still qualify for this?  

Thank you for all you do, the veteran community appreciates this!

 

Reply:

 

Most of all that is automatic. You usually don't need to do anything.

 

Jim's Mailbag
February 5, 2013
Hello Jim, I came across your website as I was researching IHD and herbicides. My questionsiare: Since every scientific study published describes IHD as "Ischaemic or ischemic heart disease (IHD), or myocardial ischaemia, is a disease characterized by ischaemia (reduced blood supply) of the heart muscle, usually due to coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries). Its risk increases with age, smoking, hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels), diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure), and is more common...
Jim's Mailbag
February 5, 2019
need help
Jim's Mailbag
April 29, 2013
Jim, I've been TDIU for about on year, I know I can't use VOC rehab and I'm terrified to apply for my GI bill because I believe they will cut off my pension. I was thinking of Barber School. Reply: Well, I don't know that you should be terrified. That seems to be just a bit of an overreaction. And, you don't have a pension. You're rating of TDIU is a disability compensation award.v Let's say that you were approved to attend a barber school. If you did well and graduated, you'd want to find a job or maybe open your own shop. You'd have an opportunity to work and learn if you could tolerate the activity and while you did that, your TDIU money would continue to come in so you could pay your bills and so on Then let's say that within 4 months, you discovered that you couldn't tolerate the work because of your service connected disabling conditions. Your TDIU would still be in place and you'd know more about the limitations of your physical condition. On the other hand, you might discover that you could do the required work and that you enjoyed it. Not only that, you may learn that you're making more money than you would receive through TDIU.
Jim's Mailbag
June 14, 2013
Jim, I would like for you to recommend an attorney as I have received enough and returned enough denials via the VFW. I am rated at 160% receiving 80% disability. The VFW is suggesting I file a IU, I am getting nowhere and I am not going to give up before I die. I am not about to throw in the towel and do an IU. I am a proud Marine, a Viet Nam Veteran, fought for my country because I wanted to defend her.
Jim's Mailbag
June 24, 2013

 Hi Jim,

I came across your website and I have a question for you.

I was just recently awarded 100 percent service connection for PTSD with proposed financial incompetency and this really scares me because I don't quite know what they mean.

Jim's Mailbag
April 10, 2013
Hello Jim, I have a question about the VA incompetency certificate. So, if VA deemed you incompetent, are you incompetent for everything or just your VA money? Thank you for answering my question.
Jim's Mailbag
June 24, 2013

 Jim,

I have a question regarding filing a claim with Veteran Affairs. I currently receive 20 percent disability for left knee. I’m having surgery on August 12 to replace the knee for degenerative knee arthritis.

Will the VA approve for temporary 100 percent disability. And should I have the VA perform this or my Orthopedic Surgeon?

Reply:

Jim's Mailbag
April 23, 2013
Hi Jim, I have a question for you. I know you're a busy man, but I want to ask; what is going on with the telephones at these VAMC's and CBOC's? Why is it that nobody answers their phones there anymore? I can't get primary care, or any of the specialty clinics now. The patient advocate won't answer either. Nobody receives messages there anymore either. Are they being instructed not to answer their phones now? Reply: I don't know of anything new about this. VA telephones have never been answered that I'm aware of. If an employee answers a phone, they may have to talk with a veteran. Talking to veterans to resolve problems is one of the lowest priorities for most VA employees. They avoid it like it was a plague. Most employees ignore their phone until their voice mailbox is too full to accept messages. Bingo, their problem is solved.
Jim's Mailbag
September 10, 2013
Hi Jim, Question: My husband retired in 1996 and since has developed Diabetes, there is not a family history. How can we tell if this is service connected or not? He served in the USCG from 1974 to 1996. Also is there any connection with asthma and Trichloroethylene? Reply: The only diabetes that is automatically (presumptively) service connected is for Vietnam veterans who served with boots on the ground and were exposed to agent orange. There are some limited cases elsewhere, such as in Korea. If diabetes is diagnosed on active duty or within the first year after ETS, that may also be service connected.
Jim's Mailbag
March 29, 2013
Hello Jim, I came across your email on a forum regarding the VA’s P&T rating. The article I read was pertaining to a Veteran that had just received a P&T rating from the VA and he was applying for SSDI. My husband’s situation is just the opposite. He is a recently retired Marine with a 100% service-connected disability rating received Dec 2012. He was approved for SSDI last year which backdated to 8/2010. However, he was not given a P&T rating by VA. He has 5 injuries, PTSD at 70%, plus 4 more rated at 60/30/30/30 that his letter says will be re-evaluated. However, I came across a site that said veterans are automatically eligible to be considered P&T if they have been determined disabled by the SSA.
Jim's Mailbag
April 5, 2011

Jim,

A quick question, concerning, DIC. If a veteran is Rated 100% for PTSD
eligible for DIC after 10 years??? It says totally disabling, if 100% PTSD is not totally disabling ,, well I just don’t know? I know this guy and he was a medic in 68 in Nam and he is IMHO totally disabled.
Thanks

Jim's Mailbag
October 1, 2018
Need to document OSA secondary condition
Jim's Mailbag
January 21, 2015

Jim,

 

My husband is 100% covered under VA Medical. Should we continue to pay for Medicare part B? We are a Triple A member so if we travel we can buy special medical coverage for the trip.

 

Reply:

 

It's a personal choice. I pay for Part B because I like the flexibility it gives me. For example, I didn't care for the VA orthopedic care I was receiving so I used a civilian surgeon with my Part B. I paid a small copay and I was finished with my treatments before VA could even line up my appointment.

Jim's Mailbag
December 7, 2018
What should be done?
Jim's Mailbag
November 24, 2018
Is this legal?
Jim's Mailbag
October 4, 2018
74 years old -- what happens next?
Jim's Mailbag
September 26, 2018
What should I expect?
Jim's Mailbag
February 15, 2019
Now they want to schedule a C&P exam