Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
December 21, 2012
Jim, My grandmother is a beneficiary of VA payments and just received back pay from six years. Her rating was A&A and incompetency for VA purposes. I did not qualify for her fiduciary because of bad credit and no property to place get 84,000.00 bond.Now this Fidcuiary recieved the funds as of November 2012 and he is not required to talk to me about my grandmothers expenses and they will not pay me my reimbursement of 24,866.00
Jim's Mailbag
December 6, 2012

Jim,

I've read your articles/responses to many questions regarding VA Disability Compensation and have found them very informative and guiding. It took me years to file a disability claim with the VA due to hearing loss from US Navy service from 1972 to 1975. In December, 2008 I was awarded 40 percent. VA Disability increased to 80 percent in March 2011. After a bout with cancer, kidney loss not related to military service to military service applied for Social Security Disability. Included in the application for Social Security Disability was my hearing loss.

Jim's Mailbag
November 20, 2012

Dear Jim,

Saw your website and appreciate your helping Veterans. I have two issues on the same case.

1) I was rated 100 percent disabled for Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1999 and now under my first review feel they are trying to lower it based on recall exams etc. I saw a comment two places on internet. linked below which leads me to believe a supposed protected status applies to me :

Jim's Mailbag
November 16, 2012

Jim,

the va has rated me a zero percentage for high blood pressure and im on three meds what do I do.

Jim's Mailbag
November 16, 2012

Jim,

My question has to do with ICD (implantable cardioverter defbrilator). Cardiologist said according to test taken Im in need of surgical implant, ICD. Presently at 60% IHD, total 90%, is the ICD grounds for an increase? Thank your time and assistance on this matter.

Jim's Mailbag
November 6, 2012

Jim,

Back in 1969, while playing Baseball, a much larger player than myself, hit me in my Lower Back. The AF Doctor did not take Xrays, did not touch my Back, nor give me any meds for the pain. To this day my Back and Knees have been screwed up.

In 1973, I put in a claim, and thought that since this was documented in my military medical records they would at least send me for an exam. But, they denied it saying that I had never injured my Back in the Military.

Jim's Mailbag
November 4, 2012

Hi Jim,

I only received the form (21-4140) in 2006, 2007, and 2008. The subsequent years I filled out my own when I did not receive one and gave it to my VSO who mails them in with his other papers. I heard that if the form is scheduled to be sent to you it appears as a "review" on the VA central computer. DO you know if this is true? If not could you verify this information? I have been 70% PTSD and P&T since 9/2001. I go to group, individual psychology, and psychiatric visits at VA regularly and am on meds. I recall about 2 years ago calling the 1000 number and was told I have a review in 9/2013. Could it just be the 4140 form being sent out. I worry excessively about everything and am hyper vigilant.

Jim's Mailbag
November 2, 2012

Jim;

Read your column regularly and thought you might be able to tell what the VA is up to?

I just received a determination that the following condition was related to my military service, so service connection has been granted.

Hypertension associated with coronary artery disease status post myocardial infarction and coronary bypass grafting(also claimed as ischemic heart disease, heart attack, and blocked arteries)(Nehmer granted)

Jim's Mailbag
October 31, 2012

Jim,

I received a denial letter this past weekend, after a little over 2 years. They even denied an increase a 0% for acid reflux and related stomach concerns. I had been recommended to submit a claim for the increase in stomach issues, since it is getting worse and has gone on to create polyps on my vocal chords that has had to be removed twice. Since I had been diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, and ptsd i submitted for that as well. Though I had never seen combat my psych Dr. feels these conditions are related to several incidences in which someone had died and I had been involved in the recovery of the track vehicles that rolled and an armed robbery that had occurred while stationed at Ft. Hood.

Jim's Mailbag
October 31, 2012

Jim, I'm needing some help getting a nexus letter for my VA claim. Please send me information.

Reply:
I've published the basics on my blog. Have a look at:
   https://www.vawatchdog.org/How_To_Write_A_Nexus.html and http://www.vawatchdog.org/imo-ime-medical-opinions-exams.html

That should give you most of the information you'll need to get a good nexus letter for your claim.  There's a lot of other data about how to be successful with your claim spread throughout the pages of the web site. I suggest that vets who have claims for benefits spend some time perusing it all so that they are better prepared overall to deal with the VA in the future.  Check it out. I'll be here for specific questions if you have any.

Jim's Mailbag
October 29, 2012

Dear Jim,

Thank you for being there for us fellow vets. I have a question I'm hoping you can answer.

Situation: - Put in PTSD claim back in Dec 2010 - Slowly snaking its way through the crazy VA system (I'm at peace with that..ha ha) - Certifying my stressor with the JSRRC was completed. They were to verify I was deployed to a location which was the source of my stressor. {JSRRC - U.S. Army & Joint Services Records Research Center} - No one will tell me what the JSRRC's findings were or not. Did they find it legit or not? No one will tell me.

Jim's Mailbag
October 26, 2012

Jim,

keep up the fantastic work your doing for all the veterans of all the wars and conflicts . they shud build a statute of you by the vietnam vets wall . my question is im taking glyburide 5 mg for diabetes 2 my doctor increased my medication to take METFORMIN HCL ER 500 MG TABLET TWICE A DAY (THATS 1000 MG ) IM RECEIVING 20% FOR DIABETES FROM THE VA AGENT ORANGE RELATED. CAN I GET AN INCREASE IN BENEFITS FOR INCREASE IN MEDICATION ?

Jim's Mailbag
October 23, 2012

Jim.

Thank you for all your blog postings regarding VA disability questions. The information you provide is very helpful.

My question - I am 80% service connected. I have several other conditions for which I may be successful in getting ratings. Of course, it will still take sometime for me to reach 100% s/c. My DAV rep is recommending I apply for 100% IU and, if successful, cease pursuing additional service connected ratings. If I am successful in getting 100% IU, will I still be allowed to seek ratings for my s/c conditions or should I just give up doing so.

Jim's Mailbag
October 23, 2012

Jim,

I am former USMC Staff Sergeant stationed in Vietnam during Agent Orange. I was diagnosed and treated surgically for prostate cancer in 2008. I just found out that prostate cancer is considered presumptive disease for Agent Orange. I am starting to file a claim, but a VA rep told me verbally that there will be no retroactive compensation. All I will be doing in filing a claim will be putting on record the fact I had the condition for future medical purposes, but no retroactive compensation is available because I did not make a claim within one year of diagnosis.

Jim's Mailbag
October 21, 2012

Jim,

I'm a VFW service officer, Still following you on Vawatchdog, and I have question. A vet I am helping had a C&P done a few years back for an increase in his PTSD rating related to increase in symptoms, job difficulties, increased outbursts, the gambit of things increasing...So of coarse it was denied, he appealed, and has been waiting...in the meantime he was fired from his job and denied unemployment (worked 52 years/never filed before)...

Jim's Mailbag
October 5, 2012

 Jim,

I seem to be spinning my wheels lately trying to get answers to some questions I have about Rating Decisions etc. Does the VA ever deny a claim but at the same time, on their Rating Decision, give a 0% rating anyway? It doesn't make sense to me, but in finding the Rating Decision from 1968, someone wrote 0% near the bottom, right near what appears to be a 4 digit code of some kind. It might mean nothing at all but I am puzzled by it. Would you care to take a guess?

Jim's Mailbag
September 30, 2012

Jim,

This week I was awarded 100% Service - Connected P & T Disability and I want to put my spouse in CHAMPVA for med coverage. The VA disability ($2769) plus social security are my only income. My questions regards the "Declaration Of Status Of Dependents" form 21-686-c (box 13) www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-686c-ARE.pdf which asks "How Much Do You Contribute Monthly To Your Spouse's Support?" My spouse is employed full time. What is the correct answer to box 13?

Jim's Mailbag
September 30, 2012

Jim,

I am 100% service connected and have been for 20 years, since I was 29 years old. My question is does the VA stop paying the 100% rate when a vet turns 65? I've heard the VA calculates what may have been a pension rate and pays the veteran that instead. Is there any truth to this?

Reply:

No, there's no truth to that rumor. As long as a veteran is rated at 100% she will be paid that rate.

Jim's Mailbag
September 29, 2012

Jim,

I served during the Vietnam era and honorably discharged and the only medical I can afford is the VA benefits at my local VA hospita.  My service dates were May 1960 to Sept. 1964. My medical classification is almost on the bottom of the totem pole but I used to get very good care at least twice a year and the Physician Assistant was thorough and caring.

Jim's Mailbag
July 13, 2012

Jim,

I have a question on my findings from my C&P examiner. I am at maximum rating with (2) 100% service connected P&T ratings as well as several others from 10%-50% all service connected. I also receive Aid & attendance and SMC (R) ratting.

My C&P examiner stated in the C&P exam that I have Fibromyalgia and in his opinion it was service related and service connected. The VA gave this a 0% ratting and stated it was non service connected.