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      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. 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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.
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    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Special Monthly Compensation At The Statutory Housebound Rate

55 posts in this topic

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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Veterans Benefits Administration

Washington, D.C. 20420

July 22, 2009

Director (00/21)

All VA Regional Offices and CentersIn Reply Refer To: 211B

Fast Letter 09-33 SUBJ: Special Monthly Compensation at the Statutory Housebound Rate

This letter provides guidance for adjudicating claims involving entitlement to special monthly compensation (SMC) at the housebound rate based on a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC or Court) in Bradley v Peake.

Background

38 U.S.C.

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Posted · Report post

Sure do wish that my concentration and ability to retain information was better, because this seems to be great info :huh::sad:

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I have the ratings and I applied for "S", so let's see. The lawyers at NVLSP said it is law. I sent in my claim about two weeks ago.

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I AM COMPLETELY UNABLE TO HANDLE MY VA PAPERWORK. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I CANNOT GET MY CRAP TOGETHER. I NEED TO FILE STUFF, AND CANT ORGANISE MY THOUGHTS ENOUGH TO GET STUFF IN LINE. WHAT CAN I DO???

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Take your stuff to a VSO or hire a lawyer. For statutory HB all you have to do is have the percentages and just ask for it. If you are IU plus 60% that is all you need. You don't have to prove anything. Just write a letter to your VARO stating you are IU or 100% plus 60% and ask for "S".

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New Evidentiary Standard

Based on the Court

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Bradley v Peake is a giant victory for Veterans who meet the definition as housebound. My question is can Bradley v Peake be used to ask for CUE if VA did not rate for SMC prior to the decision?

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Pete

I would try to CUE it. As I understand it Bradley is not a new law or regulation, but is the proper interpretation of an existing law or regulation. The VA was improperly not awarding HB to vets who were total plus 60% all along.

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I still see a problem with their "Fast Letter." See the bold underlined portions. They state "independently rated at 60% but then use a combined evaluation of 60%." WacVet75 and I discussed this previously, here, and the RO's are still using the combined ratings standard, rather than independently rated standard. I called the NVLSP offices, for an official clarification, but needed to wait for a call back and I'm unavailable at this time to wait for the call back.

New Evidentiary Standard

Based on the Court

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I have read literture and post all weekend.

Let me state my facts, and give me your best advice

8 Nov 2009, rated, effective 2 June 2009

100% PTSD permanent

17 Mar 2010 rated, effective 2 June 2009

20% Degenrative Joint disease of the right Ankle

20% Degenrative Joint disease of the Left Ankle

Bilateral rating should be includend in overall for ankles

10% Right Knee degenerative joint desease

10% Tinnitus

0% Bilateral Hearing

0% Gastroesophageal

1 Apr 2010 rated, effective 2 June 2009

20% Right acromioclavicular (AC) joint arthrosis

Using, VA math, straight math, and consisting the added Bilateral for ankle, I think it is round up to 60%, or exceeds

I would appreciate opinion, and computations

Thank you

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100 percent Ptsd P and T

plus 20

20

20

10

10

That equals 60 so yes. You shouls ask for SMC S.

J

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I haven't verified jbasser's figures but I'm sure he's correct, however, I do feel, he may have failed to mention that you should ask for that SMC "s" award, retro to the date at which time the last award was that brought it to the 60% level, because, I believe, the VA is supposed to proactively award that "s" award, meaning the veteran doesn't need to apply for it, the VA is required to award it w/o the vet asking. It is assumed the veteran doesn't know about it. Anyone, please correct me, if I'm wrong? Thanks!

pr

100 percent Ptsd P and T

plus 20

20

20

10

10

That equals 60 so yes. You shouls ask for SMC S.

J

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Just to note..... If, ratings in excess of 100%, are to be added, as I and other believe to be so, and not combined, I would venture to say that the bilateral factor could not be used. The bilateral factor is used in connection with the combined evaluation rating, and would not be considered "independently ratable".

The BVA has ruled for SMC using addition, as oppose to combined evaluation rating, and also used combined evaluation rating..... I believe the BVA has not been directly challenged on this law/regulation.

I am presently waiting for claims to be rated (in rating since Dec), then I will be challenging the interpretation of the law. I should have been house-bound since 1993, and additional 60% (50% for half step), since 1997, not including my present claims. I believe PR already has his claim in, challenging the interpretation.

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WAC-Vet75 - Mine was recently denied and has just been received, again, at the BVA, as part of a previous remand, where it's, according to the BVA's recent letter, being treated in a expeditious manner because it's been previously remanded. As I recall, I have two 100% ratings (PTSD 100% + PTSD w/alcoholism 100%), plus a 20% for DMII, two 10%'s for PN in legs w/bilateral factor, 10% for hypertension and 10% for tinnitus. We'll see what happens. This week, I'll send an additional statement explaining to the BVA where I feel the RO screwed up and waive any additional review of evidence by the RO. My current claim is twofold: The first is an appeal of a housebound claim from 1989 w/the "s" claim being an inferred issue and the second is them adding my new CUE claim for an "s" award, based on the 100% + 60% ratings. The RO has combined them which, in itself, is an error. Again, we'll see what happens? I will go to the CAVC w/it, if necessary. It's already been to the CAVC, where, if you recall, my atty won a remand on the 1989 housebound issue. They keep denying it because I'm able to attend my VA appointments and the C&P doctors won't speculate as to whether my SC disability(PTSD) interfered w/my ability to leave the house, to go to work. (which the CAVC requested in the remand)

pr

Just to note..... If, ratings in excess of 100%, are to be added, as I and other believe to be so, and not combined, I would venture to say that the bilateral factor could not be used. The bilateral factor is used in connection with the combined evaluation rating, and would not be considered "independently ratable".

The BVA has ruled for SMC using addition, as oppose to combined evaluation rating, and also used combined evaluation rating..... I believe the BVA has not been directly challenged on this law/regulation.

I am presently waiting for claims to be rated (in rating since Dec), then I will be challenging the interpretation of the law. I should have been house-bound since 1993, and additional 60% (50% for half step), since 1997, not including my present claims. I believe PR already has his claim in, challenging the interpretation.

Edited by Philip Rogers

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Posted · Report post

I haven't verified jbasser's figures but I'm sure he's correct, however, I do feel, he may have failed to mention that you should ask for that SMC "s" award, retro to the date at which time the last award was that brought it to the 60% level, because, I believe, the VA is supposed to proactively award that "s" award, meaning the veteran doesn't need to apply for it, the VA is required to award it w/o the vet asking. It is assumed the veteran doesn't know about it. Anyone, please correct me, if I'm wrong? Thanks!

pr

Your Correct PR. The VA should look at the effective date. The date you are entitled to is the date.

Basser

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The "S" award should be retro to the date you first met the total plus 60%. I claimed "S" in 2010 and got it retro to 2008 when I went to TDIU+ 60%. I know there is a question about if I had been total+ 60% in 2005 would I have got retro to 2005? I think I should since no new law was written only reinterpretation of old law. If VA is going to say that any vet who can make it to appointments is not HB then someone should sue them for not providing complete home care for every single one of those vets. If we are housebound the VA should be sending doctors and portable MRI and CT machine to our houses if this is the standard they set. I should have a nurse living with us to help me onto the toilet.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

PR, I will also be going for an inferred claim for my s, back to 93. Wish I would have known more about such things then, as I would have NOD'd right away. It's fortunate, for our younger comrades, that we have gone through all of this, as we should be a help to them getting what we had to fight so hard for!

I am most curious as to the VA's reasoning for trying to combine ratings after the 100%.

Here is a very interesting read http://www.va.gov/op..._Lit_Review.pdf page 55 states, "The legislative history for this law does not explicitly state a rationale for the extra awards. Although one might infer that the extra awards are to compensate for loss in quality of life, without a clear statement of Congress' intent, this is speculation." It is clear that Congress specifically stated, "independently ratable", as oppose to "combined evaluation rating of..."!

Basic disability ratings are rated from 0%-100%, and are subject to the combined rating evaluation, as the pdf explains. Under the VA's present system, unless you have one, single, disability rated at 100%, the highest rating a Veteran can receive is 100%, no matter how many disabilities, or percentages given. Even with TDIU, the VA continues to combine all the ratings. As an example, a Vet with 40% PTSD, 40% hearing loss, 40% left knee, 40% right knee (bilateral factor added), 40% right hand, 40% left hand (bilateral factor added), 40% DDD, would still only be 100% combined! The highest disability rating a Veteran can be awarded is 100%. SMC is SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION, not basic compensation, and should not fall under the same combined evaluation rating as basic compensation.

PR, I don't know if I asked this question before, but when you talk to the VA, do they state your percentage as 100%, 200%, or a combined rating of 100%? I wonder how they state the percentage of those with SMC......

Edited by WAC-Vet75

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I would like to see where VA has inferred a potential right to SMC "S" for any 100% mentally disabled vet. Do they discuss in anyone's claim here that they considered "S" for 100% vet?

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WAC-Vet75 - I've never discussed my ratings w/them and, in fact, only found out about 6 months ago, I had all those ratings, when my attorney sent me a copy of the decision he'd received, which included the "blue sheet." I had always had ratings of 100%, 20% & 10% and found out on the "blue sheet" that I now had ratings of 100%, 100%, 20%, 10%, 10%, 10% & 10%, which was attached to an ED "k" award, retroactive 10yrs. They never notified me of my PN award, nor my hypertension award. The PN award was August 2010 and the hypertension award was 2002, I think. When I saw I had the added 60%, I immediately notified them that they failed to award the SMC "s" award, which they denied, quoting the combined ratings table, and sent the claim back to the BVA.

pr

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I would like to see where VA has inferred a potential right to SMC "S" for any 100% mentally disabled vet. Do they discuss in anyone's claim here that they considered "S" for 100% vet?

They didn't infer a potential to SMC for 100%TDIUs..... I am sure there are many who meet the requirement, yet aren't receiving SMC(s)! I have known many 100% mentally disabled Vets that ARE housebound... but never even heard of SMC.

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WAC

I never heard of TDIU until I posted on Hadit. No VSO or the VA ever discussed any of this with me and I have been SC for 40 years. Never have I heard a VA employee utter the word SMC. I think they are told to never volunteer any information a vet might use to get compensation. Big secret.

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Thank you for all the comments,

I was told that the bilateral for my ankles would be combined in the rating forSMC (s)

So, if that not true, maybe that the reason they didn't award it

95% of all posts say that I'm elgible, hope there right

I'm told its in the Development stage,

that doesn't make sense, what do they have to develop,

all the rating are in my system

it seems to me, they should says opps, we missed this, lets award this and retro back to the effective date

what are they developing????

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I was told that the bilateral for my ankles would be combined in the rating forSMC (s)

So, if that not true, maybe that the reason they didn't award it

95% of all posts say that I'm elgible, hope there right

I'm told its in the Development stage,

that doesn't make sense, what do they have to develop,

all the rating are in my system

it seems to me, they should says opps, we missed this, lets award this and retro back to the effective date

what are they developing????

If, the VA added up, as oppose to using the combined rating evaluation, then they would not use the bilateral factor. Since they are apparently using the combined rating evaluation, they have to use the bilateral factor.

What are they developing? Veteran FRUSTRATION, of course!

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WAC

I never heard of TDIU until I posted on Hadit. No VSO or the VA ever discussed any of this with me and I have been SC for 40 years. Never have I heard a VA employee utter the word SMC. I think they are told to never volunteer any information a vet might use to get compensation. Big secret.

I've yet to hear a VSO or VA employee tell me about SMC either.... I learned about A&A when I was searching the internet seeing if there was any help I could get, due to my limitations from s-c disabilities. I've paid, out of pocket, for caregivers, since 2008. Couldn't afford trained ones, so I hired people that I knew to help me. During my search, I ran across military.com (I believe), and read about A&A. Since then, I started really reading over the laws/regulations, and all the BVA and CAVC cases I could find.

I was shocked to find out that the VA was using the combined evaluation rating, for ratings over 100%. I remember reading (decades ago) that a Veteran could not be paid in excess of 100%. With the language of 3.350, and knowing the highest disability rating a Veteran can get is 100%, you can imagine the shock finding out that they actually were combining the ratings for Special Monthly Compensation! So, you are paid for being 100%, then the SMC is the way of compensating a Veteran for additional injuries/diseases/conditions that causes a loss of quality of life, since you can not be more than 100% disabled, according to the basic rating schedule.

For SMC (L) the rate is $654.00, regardless of marriage, or number of dependents, whereas marriage, and number of dependents does matter for your basic rating! So, once you reach 100%, you are paid at the highest basic rate allowable by law. Why should they continue to combine the rating, other than to cheat Veterans out of SMC, that Congress intended them to have!

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john - In 1999, when the BVA awarded my 100% schedular, for PTSD, retro to 1989, they stated that HB and/or A&A were an inferred issue and then denied me, quoting the regulation in the reason and bases, for my denial, stating that I did not meet the requirements. I've seen many vets who weren't advised of the inferred issue and some who were. Since my award was in 1999, my inferred issue has been under appeal, since then, and continues to be denied.

pr

I would like to see where VA has inferred a potential right to SMC "S" for any 100% mentally disabled vet. Do they discuss in anyone's claim here that they considered "S" for 100% vet?

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