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    • How to get your questions answered.

      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
    • Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests.

      Listen Live Every Wed 5:30 PM CST to SVR Radio, Veterans Issues are discussed with various guests. Please check the little home I am carving out for our SVR partners. http://www.hadit.com/svr.html
    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf


Senior Chief Petty Officer
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About justrluk

  • Rank
    E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday 12/08/64

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability 100%
  • Branch of Service Air Force
  • Hobby Proving the VA wrong...

Contact Methods

  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Location Central Georgia
  • Interests My family, gardening, cooking, Sci-fi, techno-geek

justrluk's Activity

  1. justrluk added an answer to a question Knees and back   

    First, welcome to Hadit! Was your denial in an official statement from the VA? If so, you need to file for reconsideration ASAP. Also, did you keep copies of what you submitted? If you submitted documents by hand, you should have a date-stamped copy for your records. If you search this site, you can find examples of the disagreement process. This is not to be confused with an appeal. I'd check to see how they notified you, what the reasons and basis is in the response from the VA (official) and the times they say you have in which to respond if you disagree with the decision.
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  2. justrluk added a post in a topic my battle for 100%, getting closer   

    Congratulations on not giving up on your claims and on yourself. It seems that at times, it is enough work to get up and have a life each day. Yet, we tend to have to work harder for benefits regardless of this. Keep fighting and keep moving.
    • 1
  3. justrluk added a post in a topic OMG, I am FINALLY PERMANENT!!!   

    Glad to hear you have finally reached the end. Relax and take a moment - you've earned it.
    • 0
  4. justrluk added an answer to a question Preparation For Decision   

    I received a call from the appeals team 'coach' that is handling my remand. I was told that the second set of eyes is to make sure the file is complete before issuing a decision. In my case, they were waiting for some treatment records from late 2004 from my VAMC. Yours could be different. Either way, it is a safety net prior to issuing a formal decision. In my opinion, that's a good thing. I'm not happy with the amount of time it has taken, but the coach reassured me it wouldn't be too long before I received a decision. That was about three weeks ago. I pinged him again to check the status but have not heard back from him yet. I'll follow up once he answers my status question.
    • 0
  5. justrluk added a post in a topic Anyone Win Appeal In Less Than 2 Years?   

    Others can provide timelines (we all tend to keep them when it comes to Appeals):
    Local office decision: 7/8/2008
    NOD: 2/17/2009
    Statement of the Case: 2/23/2010
    Substantive Appeal: 3/24/2010
    Certification of Appeal: 12/15/2010
    Received by BVA: 1/10/2013
    Hearing: 1/15/2013
    Remand Issued (BVA): 4/24/2013
    Finished C&Ps, etc and back with appeals team (VARO): 4/12/2015
    Pending Decision Approval (VARO): 6/30/2015
    and still waiting... My point is (in support of others) that it takes time. If as mentioned above you have hardship, request advancement on the docket.
    • 0
  6. justrluk added a question in E-Benefits Questions   

    New option box on letters
    I noticed today (after the system glitched for about an hour) that there is now an option box on the AB8 (?) letter showing if you are P&T or not. Interesting as I always wondered how I might know if this status changed for me. FYI...
    • 1 reply
  7. justrluk added an answer to a question would an increase migraines from 30 to 50% risk my 100%?   

    I agree with John. If for any reason they propose to reduce (and God knows, they might), the added percentage would accurately reflect your condition. That said, if you receive full treatment for the condition and have no future exams, what's the point of putting yourself through the frustration of requesting an increase, waiting for a C&P, etc.? Do you feel it will make your relationship with the VA any different? Will it afford you SMC for a given condition? If there is a possibility in a change of benefits, I would apply for the increase. If there is no real change in your benefits, I would let it go. JMHO.
    • 0
  8. justrluk added an answer to a question Clothing Allowances   

    Anyone using the Augusta VAMC received theirs yet?
    • 0
  9. justrluk added a post in a topic Future Award Of %100 Not Total And Permanent, Can I Request It?   

    Have you had any results on moving from 100% to P&T? I'm in the same boat (sorry for the pun) and was interested in your results.
    • 0
  10. justrluk added a post in a topic Email To Allison Hickey   

    First, this is the right place to voice your feelings. We have all been there. I have experienced bankruptcy as a result of physical disability, the stress that comes from watching my wife deal with my crap, how she can't work so she can take care of me, etc. I'm not minimizing your feelings, but I want you to know that if you need to talk, I'm here.
    Second, I think sending an email is completely appropriate at this point. However, please let someone else read and edit the email before you send it. It's easy to get emotional, but this isn't about emotions - this is about you not getting the consideration and support you need to get back to some sort of normal life. So, write an email and have a friend (or me) read and edit before you send it. Remember, we're on YOUR side.
    Third, I won't insult you by reminding you that things move back and forth between stages and that estimated dates provided are system-generated based on hard coded expected completion times. They are a wag at best and a joke for most. Just remember we want to help you and many here take pride in supporting one another. So, draft your frustrations and let someone here help you craft an email. Take control and remember: you are not a victim or a charity case. You are trying to get the benefits you have earned.
    Please let me know if I can help you in any way. Others with more experience may chime in as well.
    • 0
  11. justrluk added an answer to a question Clothing Allowance   

    You can contest the decision - similar to requesting reconsideration. Provide more evidence/documentation and quasi-appeal the decision.
    • 0
  12. justrluk added an answer to a question Pending Decision Approval   

    I agree that the system is not designed with the intent you mention. I think we make choices when using any system: try to change it, learn to work within it or do both. There are ways to apply pressure for the system to change. Contacting news and elected officials (or appointed personnel) can create change and results in a sense of accomplishment. Given the complexity of the system, learning to work within it also provides people with a sense of accomplishment. Personally, I try to do both. However, as with working in the military trying to change the system from within can be a real challenge. Larger Vet rep organizations meet regularly to advocate veterans issues (DAV, VFD, etc.) so I think both are happening simultaneously. I think there are people that are doing all they can just to survive the system (let alone try to change it). It is up to the rest of us to help them work the current system while trying to create a better approach for everyone. So, get involved (I'm sure you already are), make your voice heard, vote (vote, vote, vote), and work to help others through the process as you have worked through it. Remember, "cooperate and graduate"? We're still doing it, Airman.... just in a different system. Also, keep contributing and offer your experience to those that have trouble helping themselves. Pay it forward to those that you might still keep in touch with still in uniform. Lastly, don't give up - ever (doesn't sound like you would).
    • 0
  13. justrluk added an answer to a question Question Regarding "request For Decision" Button On The Claim Details Page   

    I don't know if you can waive your right to appeal. Appeals are a part of due process. As I understand it, it simply waives consideration of the full 30 days required after material is submitted and when decisions can be made. If you have nothing else to submit, you (used to) submit a request for immediate processing without waiting 30 days as there would be no more evidence offered within the 30 days.
    • 0
  14. justrluk added an answer to a question Can A Physician Assistant Do My C&p Pension Exam?   

    A PA did my initial C&P at the VAMC in Augusta. An MD had to sign off on it, but still evidence was collected by a PA.
    • 0
  15. justrluk added a post in a topic Oklahoma Veteran Faces Life In Prison For Treating Ptsd With Marijuana   

    This is also a result of mandatory sentences handed out for drug offenses. At times, they are worse than those that commit violent crimes. They need to be repealed, but no one seems brave enough to step up to the plate.
    • 0