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      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
    • 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/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40963-va-fl-10-34/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40964-va-fl-10-32/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40966-va-fl-10-30/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40967-va-fl-10-26/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40968-va-fl-10-25/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40819-va-fl-10-24e1/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40818-va-fl-10-24/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40817-va-fl-10-22/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40814-va-fl-10-04/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40969-va-fl-10-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40812-va-fl-10-02/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40808-va-fl-09-52/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40806-va-fl-09-50/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40970-va-fl-09-41/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40971-va-fl-09-38/ 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  • 0

Secondary Vs New Advice

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I have Service Connected disabilities of the neck and back spine conditions, i contacted Dr. Bash to see if my ratings were correct and he sent me an IMO with several claims for me to file listed below. I assume they are all Secondary problems (claims) resulting from my original claims but the VA placed (new) or (secondary) behind each one and said i need to send evidence in which they originally lost and i recent Dr. Bash's IMO. What i am trying to find out is because the VA is placing (new) behind most of the claims are they trying to get around the fact that they are a result of my original claims? or is what they are doing correct? any advice would be greatly appreciated. All the claims below started after my neck surgery (triple fusion).

Contentions: Chronic daily headaches/ migraines (New), Major depressive disorder (mental condtion) (New), Renal disease (Secondary), Erection and ejaculation condition (Secondary), Special Monthly Compensation (New), Loss of Use (New), Neurogenic/ spastic bladder condition (New), Bowel condition (Secondary), Throracic Spine condition (Secondary), Sciatic distriution pain with foot weakness (New), Loss of use of left lower extremity (New), Thoracic outlet syndrome with numbness of the ipsilateral fourth and fifth digits (New), Radiculpathy upper extremities (including shoulder pain, bilateral hand weakness, radiating pain into right arm involvin (New)

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10 answers to this question

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"What i am trying to find out is because the VA is placing (new) behind most of the claims are they trying to get around the fact that they are a result of my original claims? or is what they are doing correct? any advice would be greatly appreciated. All the claims below started after my neck surgery (triple fusion)."

Secondary claims can only arise from established SC claims.

What is your 40% for?

Did Dr. Bash give medical rationales to warrant secondary potential SC that stemmed from the original SC 40% disabilty (ies)

or did Dr. Bash discover potential for additional 'new' claims ?

A secondary claim certainly arises from an original SC claim, but only when it is formally claimed.

Once it is formally claimed it becomes a 'new' claim which is what appears to be the case here and that this is what the IMO from Dr. Bash can support.

If the VA is considering some of these claims as "new" they will send you a VCAA letter .

Make sure you get a proof of mailing for everything you send.

My VARO ignored 2 IMOs I had from Dr. Bash for many years. and the BVA was the sole VA entity to read them, in spite of the fact that my vet rep said he personally gave them to the DRO at a DRO review.

The subsequent SSOC didnt even mention he did that.

Dr. Bash was livid about my ordeal ,suggesting I contact my Congressman or the press--but I let the BVA transfer play out.. I sent the RO my IMOs numerous times and the BVA took note of that fact in their award letter.

But I did tell of this ordeal in testimony I gave to the H VAC during Shreddergate.biggrin.png

I really dont think my situation happens too often but when you get their VCAA letter, I advise to respond to that letter with another copy of the IMO and enclose copy of your signed and dated VCAA response form.

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Posted · Report post

You said the VA admitted they lost your records. Did they do so in writing?

I suggest you not "guess" or assume they are secondary conditions, but get to the bottom of this, as you need that information to know what evidence to submit.

They could be informal or inferred claims. You can try calling or send an IRIS if you are not sure..after you have thoroughly read and reread all your VA mail, especially the VCAA letter.

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Posted · Report post

"What i am trying to find out is because the VA is placing (new) behind most of the claims are they trying to get around the fact that they are a result of my original claims? or is what they are doing correct? any advice would be greatly appreciated. All the claims below started after my neck surgery (triple fusion)."

Secondary claims can only arise from established SC claims.

What is your 40% for?

Did Dr. Bash give medical rationales to warrant secondary potential SC that stemmed from the original SC 40% disabilty (ies)

or did Dr. Bash discover potential for additional 'new' claims ?

A secondary claim certainly arises from an original SC claim, but only when it is formally claimed.

Once it is formally claimed it becomes a 'new' claim which is what appears to be the case here and that this is what the IMO from Dr. Bash can support.

If the VA is considering some of these claims as "new" they will send you a VCAA letter .

Make sure you get a proof of mailing for everything you send.

My VARO ignored 2 IMOs I had from Dr. Bash for many years. and the BVA was the sole VA entity to read them, in spite of the fact that my vet rep said he personally gave them to the DRO at a DRO review.

The subsequent SSOC didnt even mention he did that.

Dr. Bash was livid about my ordeal ,suggesting I contact my Congressman or the press--but I let the BVA transfer play out.. I sent the RO my IMOs numerous times and the BVA took note of that fact in their award letter.

But I did tell of this ordeal in testimony I gave to the H VAC during Shreddergate.biggrin.png

I really dont think my situation happens too often but when you get their VCAA letter, I advise to respond to that letter with another copy of the IMO and enclose copy of your signed and dated VCAA response form.

If i could get your email address i could send you the IMO and evidence Dr. Bash used.

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Posted · Report post

My 40% is 30 for a triple fusion, 20 for my lumbar and they overlooked my thoracic area which im not sure waht to do about and in which i have appeals awaiting BVA because i think i was rated to low for cervical and lumbar, thats why i originally contacted Dr. Bash.

If i could get your email address i could send you the IMO and eveidnec Dr. Bash used.?

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Posted · Report post

If i could get your email address i could send you the IMO and evidence Dr. Bash used.

Also they said my claims will take up to Dec 2012 and i filed them in JULY of 2011 thats 17 months.

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Posted · Report post

I am sorry but I never handle claims stuff in emails or by phone, PMS, etc.

You need a good vet rep to go over the IMO, and the issues you have on appeal, and then see what has been claimed or should be claimed as secondary , also how the issues were claimed in the appeal , and what the IMO specifically supports.

We have vets here more familiar with these types of conditions then I am and maybe they will respond here and you could email them.

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Posted · Report post

I went over all this again and certainly agree with Broncovet's point here:

"They could be informal or inferred claims. You can try calling or send an IRIS if you are not sure..after you have thoroughly read and reread all your VA mail, especially the VCAA letter. "

By all means you should submit the IMO to the VA and use a 21-4138 cover letter explaining it's relevance to your claim.

"My 40% is 30 for a triple fusion, 20 for my lumbar and they overlooked my thoracic area which im not sure waht to do about and in which i have appeals awaiting BVA because i think i was rated to low for cervical and lumbar, thats why i originally contacted Dr. Bash."

I suggested getting a vet rep because I dont know how the NOD was prepared nor how they responded to it with a SOC and any C & results.

I sent Dr. Bash my SOCs, and C & p results for his IM0s and I am sure he left nothing lacking in his IMO in your case as he is very thorough and his IMO might have raised issues they are going to infer.

But Broncovet is correct and IRIS could possible define your issues better.

You mentioned "ALL" of your claims so IRIS would be the best bet to verify those claims and their status and maybe get more info as to the "new" claims.

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Posted · Report post

Wow..thanks Berta...I need a little affirmation once in a while. It was especially sweet coming from you as we all have the utmost of respect for you.

It sometimes boils down to the 5 P's. Proper preperation prevents poor performance. It would be almost impossible to write a good appeal if you did not read the decision you are appealing thoroughly.

I know reading decisions is dry and boring. I also know that some people are not that good of "readers". Its okay. You have 3 choices:

1. Get past your lack of reading skills and read and reread your decision and proceed. Look up terms you dont understand. Keep at it until you do understand it.

2. Get someone else, who is a good reader, to do it for you.

3. "Shoot from the hip"...making guesses and speculation as to what the decision says, and base your long winded appeal on that. Dont expect a favorable outcome if you do this one, but look for someone to blame...the Va, your VSO, your dog...the mailman, etc.

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Posted · Report post

I will add, and Im guessing Berta does this too, that I read my decision, especially the "reasons and bases" with a view to "refute" their reasons in the appeal. I never tell the VA "how sick I am" or how much I need the money. I have never seen benefits awarded yet on "how sick you are".

But, for example, if the VA says they are" denying your hearing loss because it has been xx years since you have been in the service."

I "pounce" on that statement like a cat. You can read over the hearing loss criteria, and nowhere does it say, "rate the Veteran on how long it has been since military service...if its been over xx years, deny the claim". Nowhere. It isnt one of the criteria. The VA can not deny my benefits because I wear a beard or take my kids to disneyland. They have to base their decision on the criteria, which you can look up.

Many BVA decisions state "the criteria has been met" or the criteria has not been met. You either meet the criteria or you dont, and whether you wear a beard, or how long since military service, is not one of the criteria. Its a trick the VA often does, because it "sounds good" but is complete VA crapola.

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Excellent.

"I will add, and Im guessing Berta does this too, that I read my decision, especially the "reasons and bases" with a view to "refute" their reasons in the appeal. "

You bet. Refuting the VA is what I live for!!!!

Unless the decision is a good one.

I view the NOD as the first avenue of attack,meaning it is one of the most important responses a veteran or survivor ever makes to the VA.

At AMU I had to learn how to develop War plans so why not do that for the VA too.

My "war plans:" were simply a list of the goals I felt I had to reach in order to succeed.and I listed different approaches I could use. It all boiled down to finding and producing evidence-some easy to find and other stuff took time but in the long run persistence and leg work do pay off.

My last claim didnt need a war plan rigamorale but many many claims need the claimant to sit down in a quite place, and read and read again the denial and then take notes on what they need to develop. And then put it away for a week or so and read it all again. and again. Your suggestion is great-have someone else read it too.

A NOD should not be too long and involved...simply tell them why their decision is wrong and in the NOD refer to and attach copies of anything that proves your point.

NODs I wrote over the past 17 -18 years turned decisions around for my husband, for me a few times, and even for my daughter, a veteran.

But for my main claims the proper decisions took years to arrive.

As you said the NOD and really no submission to VA should involve personal problems ,grief, pain and suffering...etc ...the VA does not have the time to read that stuff and it does nothing to advance the claim.

I have stuff here from VA over the years that I have read many many times before responding to them.

It took me weeks to prepare my 2003 AO DMII claim. It was an additional negligence claim against VA but I could not FTCA or 1151 them again for the same death so I really had a heck of a time writing it up properly.

I prepared the' war plan' and took it step by step as the evidence I would need.

This is the claim I never got a proper VCAA letter for. So I wrote myself one.

During the next 6 years this claim took to award,I continually went over my exhibits every week and submitted more evidence during that time..

When I obtained the IMos, I was able to prepare a cover letter that Dr. Bash had no problem with as to the exhibits I listed.

He went over everything in the record of course, but there were specific pieces of evidence he had to focus on.

Although I had won FTCA and 1151 without an IMO, suddenly VA, in order to deny this claim right away in 2004, found me to be not competent to render my own medical opinion and diagnosis based on the established medical record.

Not competent my butt

However, a strong IMO can be the best investment any of us ever make.

Although they are costly, an IMO fee is absorbed in time with additional comp we might never see without the IMO.

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