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SC MS; Disagree with Rating. What is next step?

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    #16
    I can tell you, MY experience is they steer you away from a NOD, so the VA does not have to pay BACK bennies. Here IN Michigan, the VSOs & VA work together to minimize you bennies. (their cost). I had to go it ALONE, had my Navy MSR, (despite being incomplete), NIH info, Merck Manual & VA's own web site info.

    I pissed the hearing officer off, but I had my ducks in a row and NAILED them with a MS Sx in my MSR (navy medical records) UNTREATED of course.I connected ALL the dots! My PVA VSO worked AGAINST me & my clam. I have a NOD pending.

    30% SC is the MIN they can rate you, even w/o any related issues. They totally ignored my mobility issues. I use power-chair part-time EVERY day, a manual sometimes a scooter for out and about. Multiple falls, multiple surgeries, hospitalized for kidney failure (another fall, 5 broken ribs). & plenty of other MS related issues.

    GOMER aka Sir Falls-a-Lot

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      #17
      Marco - Update on my claim..

      Originally posted by Marco View Post
      Please let us know how the C&P examination went.
      Got my new rating. I received 80%. In the decision, they stated that there was a Clear and Unmistakable error found in the original decision in March of 2015.

      They adjusted the original amount from 30% to 50%. Then, as a result of my C&P exam given in the spring of this year with the correct DBQ, they increased to 80%. This is effective as of May 2015, the date the VSO filed the "intent to file for a new exam." Remember, did not do an NOD on their advice.

      I think it is fair since some of my issues were worse when I had the exam in 2016. For example, bladder issue were not as bad in 2015, but were much worse in 2016 along with severe weakness in my rt leg. That was not as bad in 2015.

      At the end of the day, I was given 50%in March 2015. I was given back pay from May 2016 all the way back to august of 2013. Aug 2014 was when I originally filed, but they backdated one year when you have a fully developed claim.

      Then I was increased to 80% in May of 2015, as this was the date on the intent to file document my VSO and I filed.

      So, at the end, I got over $26K in back pay and am now getting 80% along with around $105 for SMC. Again, I think it was a fair settlement. I am going to see my VSO in a few weeks. I will get his opinion as well. The only thing he might say is that they should have backdated 80% all the way, but I do not think I have enough evidence since at the original exam the symptoms were not as bad as the one I had a year later. Hard to fight that...

      Thanks Marco for helping me navigate the system..


      For all of the other Veterans out there. Keep up the fight. I knew the incorrect C&P exam and DBQ was given originally and I was patient, had all of my paperwork in order along with my Civ Neurologist records. I submitted a clear and concise cover letter when we filed for another exam stating the reasons along with the secondary issues as a result of MS (bladder, leg weakness, etc).

      Comment


        #18
        Thank you for the update. You are certainly most gracious considering the circumstances. The term "congratulations" seems so out of sort, but I am glad that you largely prevailed against the VA. They would have been more than happy to permanently leave you at 30% so I am glad you decided to fight them.


        What irritates me is that you lost back pay from August 2013 through May 2015 because your VSO instructed you to file a new claim instead of a NOD. This one decision may have cost you over $15,000 in back benefits. I would definitely ask your VSO if this can be appealed. You may also want to consult an attorney about this. An attorney could accept this on contingency so there's nothing really to lose. If you win, you'll get the bulk of $15,000 and if you lose the attorney eats their costs.


        Next questions (or did you think I was done with you? LOL)


        Are you able to work?
        If not, then please consider filing a claim for Individual Unemployability (TDIU). If approved, the VA will increase your future payouts to a 100% rating. You will essentially be 100%, but will not be permitted to work. With your 80% schedular rating you can still work without any penalty. The program details can be found here:
        http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensat...loyability.asp
        If you decide to file for TDIU, please do not let your current VSO file your claim. You need to learn a bit more about the program to avoid some of the pitfalls. There's a TON of good information online about it.


        Also, are you a post-9/11 veteran?
        If so, do you have someone serving a caregiver? For post-9/11 veterans, your caregiver may be eligible for a monthly stipend and other benefits. Vietnam-era veterans and before may soon qualify, but for now just post-9/11.

        If qualified the VA will generally pay your caregiver 50% of the rate of a normal caregiver. There are three tiers for care essentially equal to the amount of care you require. The information for the program can be found here: http://www.caregiver.va.gov/support/...t_benefits.asp


        Lastly, now you need to check with your state for benefits.
        Most states have discounted license plates, education benefits, reduced hunting/fishing permits and even limited property tax relief.


        You have earned the benefits so please do not let them go unused.
        I wish you well and again Thank you for your service!

        Comment


          #19
          Marco - Update on my claim..

          I do work. Issues not bad enough to prevent me from working. Also, I am a pre-9/11 vet.

          I am meeting with my VSO in early Aug due to travel. The main reason my disability was bumped to 80% was due to bladder issues (rated at 60% by itself), that along with the other issues (leg weakness, nerve damage, etc, had a combined rating of 80%. When I had my first C&P exam in March 2015, the urinary issue would not have been rated high. As I noted earlier, when we fought the C&P exam due to them using the wrong DBQ, we filed a "intent to file" on 15 May. When I had my second C&P exam in March 2016, the urinary issue was worse and, according to the CFR, would hold a rating of 60% by itself. So, when the VA backdated to May of 2015, I thought that was fair since I have no documentation or exams for the worsening of the bladder issue.

          I agree with you about fighting for backpay to Aug 2013. The bladder got worse between the C&P exams, not before. Everything else remained the same, and the VA compensated me for everything else to 2013.

          I will definatly follow up with my VSO during my visit in Aug and discuss. It obviously won't hurt to try. I am becoming an expert at maintaining all of the records and clearly explaining the situation..

          I will follow up once we meet.. Thanks!!

          Comment


            #20
            Still FIGHTING

            I am also still fighting the VA.

            This eply editor is still NOT working 4me
            Sorry

            Comment


              #21
              Not sure if I should disagree with rating

              I've been diagnosed with RRMS in April of this year, but my symptoms(double vision) started while on active duty in 2013 and never treated for it. I am now separated and filed with VA and awarded 30%-service connected multiple sclerosis with voiding dysfunction and occasional bilateral diplopia(double vision). Does this seem low compared to most I have seem for the same symptoms.

              My question to you all is, should I file an appeal for this? I am also going to file for my other secondary symptoms that the VA examiner did not include which is my fatigue and sleep apnea due to MS.

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by Omar78 View Post
                I've been diagnosed with RRMS in April of this year, but my symptoms(double vision) started while on active duty in 2013 and never treated for it. I am now separated and filed with VA and awarded 30%-service connected multiple sclerosis with voiding dysfunction and occasional bilateral diplopia(double vision). Does this seem low compared to most I have seem for the same symptoms.

                My question to you all is, should I file an appeal for this? I am also going to file for my other secondary symptoms that the VA examiner did not include which is my fatigue and sleep apnea due to MS.
                I would definitely appeal. Considering you are at the minimum percentage of 30% you cannot go any lower unless they undiagnose you. Are you being represented by a VSO? If not, I would suggest you meet with a couple and see who you are most comfortable with. There are some great VSOs, but also some quacks to avoid.

                A good VSO should be able to take your claim and award letter and construct a good notice of disagreement for you.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Thank You Marco

                  Thank you Marco for the advice. I will definitely be seeking out for a VSO to help me out with this.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    You need a good VSO. After my final appeal at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Oakland CA I was finally granted 9 years of back pay and 100% service connection. I used the PVA and I was very happy but others have had bad luck with them. It depends on the location.


                    Originally posted by Omar78 View Post
                    I've been diagnosed with RRMS in April of this year, but my symptoms(double vision) started while on active duty in 2013 and never treated for it. I am now separated and filed with VA and awarded 30%-service connected multiple sclerosis with voiding dysfunction and occasional bilateral diplopia(double vision). Does this seem low compared to most I have seem for the same symptoms.

                    My question to you all is, should I file an appeal for this? I am also going to file for my other secondary symptoms that the VA examiner did not include which is my fatigue and sleep apnea due to MS.

                    Comment

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