Jim's Mailbag

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Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

I received a rating decision dated Sept 22, 2010. I disagree and plan on requesting a DRO review. On the A-Z Guide page under DRO you say "If you respond within 60 days of the date of the award/denial letter, you may ask for a Decision Review Officer (DRO) review and hearing."

Is that correct? I thought I had one year from the the rating to request a DRO review.

Reply:

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Is there and advocate/office where I can meet someone eyeball to eyeball for the purpose of preparing yet another appeal?

I was recently denied an increase in my % of disability......the shrink I was assigned to refused to provide the VA with his records of my visits with him.....he says he didn't want to because of my earnings during the latter '90's and eary '01, '02,'03....

Frankly, I don't think he kept much at all and didn't want to reveal his shortcomings...

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Don't have a specific question at this point so consider this just a calm "venting" after my mistreatment by the Phoenix, Az VA since 12/24/09. Just for the info of anyone who cares about the treatment our military men and women can expect from the VA and the US Government.

I will seriously condense in the interest of your time but would be most happy to support any of my statements honestly and with haste. I have accepted this mistreatment, paid the VA in full, and trying now to get on with my life.

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

I'm scheduled forACL reconstruction on 22 Dec 2010 for my service connected knee. Had surgery done on it while in service.My surgery is being done by a civilian orthopedic Dr @ civilian clinic. My question is that I have received my notice from my Dr which shows the date I'm scheduled for surgery and where.I'm going to apply fot 100% temporary convalecsent. I told the Va Dr at my c&p exam about the surgery and its noted in the exam.

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Im disable vet pension sc60 I wold like to know if when va asigned an apportiorment the custodian parent could the state court can order the not custodian parent to pay child support because I belive I will be paying twice

Reply:

You will pay twice in some states. If the apportionment goes directly to the custodial parent and does not first go to the state child support enforcement agency, it won't be recorded as fulfilling the obligation.

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

I was just rated 20%. My question is they didn't rate my peripheral neuropathy along with my DMII. So, which form should I use to send them my doctor's notes about the relation between DMII and peripheral neuropathy?

Reply:

Good news! You don't need a form. Once a veteran has filed a VA Form 21-526 there is no future need to duplicate that.

To make a new claim or to ask for an increase or modification of an existing claim, all you need to do is write a letter.

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

I was married to a Vietnam Veteran for 24 years. He was married to his second wife for two years. Am I entitled to any benefits after his death?

Reply:

There are many variables that could affect your eligibility.

You should complete VA Form 21-534 Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child. The form is here
http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-534-ARE.pdf

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

I’m an ex-veteran (U.S Army 1995-1998) receiving 30% disability since 1999: 1) left shoulder dislocation, sternoclavicular joint 20% and 2) right knee ligamentous laxity 10%. That said I am currently in the process of making a new c&p exam to increase my disability.

Jim's Mailbag
November 1, 2010

Jim,

Did you catch this one? “Veterans, for example, "might have to wait longer for their disability claims to be processed. That's something that people object to pretty vigorously, and rightly so, because we've got a sacred trust to our veterans." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/15/AR20101…

Reply:

Yes, I did see that and it makes me feel like some sort of seer or maybe a magician with the power to see the future.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

this morning I called the v.a. and spoke with a rep. regarding my appeal, that they told me three months ago it was being rated am still waiting for a decision. She stated it is still pending, how long does it take? 2) I then asked her about the three new diseases, she stated no decision has been made they are waiting for a congressional decision regarding the three new diseases and the nehmer court order, do you have any idear what she is talking about? I was diagnosed 25 years ago with (IHD) and had three major heart operations. Thanks

Reply:

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I made a claim for an increase of depression over six months ago it had been rated at 10% (already had a c&p exam on the 9th of june 2010 concering this issue) as of today I went to my local regional office that is located in portland oregon. I spoke to someone a VA repersenative I assume and they said my claim is still being worked on and that the VA is now seeking an "addendum" which is an addition for further documents added to my claims file.

I was also told that perhaps I may have to go to another c&p exam why I don't know because I already had one . Is this all normal procedure with the VA concerning claims of this nature or is this out of the ordinary I would appreciate your insite on this because I am at a dead end as of right now.

P.S. CURRENTLY RATED AT 80%

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

Know you're a busy guy, so will keep it short:

Viet Nam vet. My cardiologist just filled out VA 21-0960A for me; he wrote down ICD codes for CAD / history of CABG and checked the CHF and Chronic CHF boxes "yes". Also yes on continuous medication. (He did the cardiac catheterization and supervised the treadmill. The VA also did a treadmill for me in 2005; it was even more strenuous and complicated. )

As of 2007 METS was 7, in 2006 left ventricular ejection fraction was 60 percent (normal?) but hypertrophic.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

Well here goes. I have been in the Army for 8.5 years. i have had back and minor knee problems for about 5 years but have been grin and bearing it. I deployed to Iraq in 06 - 07. While deployed i recieved a purple heart for shraptnel to the arm "minor injury compared to most" god bless them. since the deployment I have developed several problems.

 

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

I found out about your website on the Veterans Bulliten Board and I was wondering if you could provide me with some advice, I'm at the end of my rope.

I was deemed incompetent by the VA due to my Bipolar Disorder. I have been trying to get the VA to allow my wife to become my fiduciary. Currently the VA has appointed a Lawyer in Albany, GA to be my fiduciary. I have been trying to get the VA to change this for over 2 years. I have done everything in my power to find someone to help me. I have used the 1-800 number, I have had representatives from the VA hospital to send forms. I do not have the money to get a lawyer to fight the VA. I even called a number direct to the fiduciary office in Decatur, GA, a machine answered and said this number was only for goverment employees. Can you please give me any advice on what to do. Thank you for your time.

Jim's Mailbag
October 28, 2010

Jim,

Well, I read your article and found it interesting. I've had prostate cancer since Aug.08 and was treated in Dec. 08 with brachytherapy. I had two types of cells. I had the something-else-will-kill-ya-first type and also had the medium aggressive cell structure. My PSA at time of treatment was only 2.6 and it's a good thing DRE found it or I still wouldn't know I had prostate cancer. My C & P is scheduled for the end of Sept.