VA Claims: Disabled Veterans Community|

Philpott: VA, Rep. Roe tie caregiver benefit expansion to tightened eligibility

Sec. Shulkin supports extending caregiver benefits under the following conditions:

  • The current 26,000 caregivers should be protected from the following changes.
  • Current caregiver fall under Tier 1 which provides the benefit if your injuries prevent you from performing 1 activity of daily living.
  • Proposed caregiver changes would fall under Tier 3 which requires if you injuries prevent you from performing 3 activities of daily living.

Providing the benefit program as Sec. Shulkin lays out would make an additional 40,000 veterans eligible. If the benefits were extended to Post 9/11 without the changes 188,000 veterans would be eligible.

“…if starting with Tier 3 is what we have to do to start, we absolutely support that. It just won’t be the end of the conversation”. Sarah Dean of PVA
“… wants to explore a timeline on how we move beyond Tier 3 and make sure that all pre-9/11 caregivers who need and deserve support with this benefit receive it (but) yeah, I think we’re open to that …”. Steven Schwab of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation
DAV also didn’t reject Shulkin’s plan, noting that critically important benefits for veterans often start by Congress “making incremental improvements.” But lawmakers shouldn’t delay more actions to ensure every veteran “is equitably treated,”. Adrian Atizado Disabled American Veterans
We should be working to expand support for veterans’ caregivers, not restricting it even further,” Murray said.  “I absolutely oppose this … and I will fight against it any way I can in the Senate.” Senator Murray rejects Shulkin’s compromise.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many activities of daily living a veteran isn’t able to perform.  What matters is if they need the assistance of a caregiver.  And there are some cases where being unable to perform one ADL — eating or going to the bathroom or another activity — requires the assistance of a caregiver,” he said. “Doctors certainly should receive more guidance as to how to make those determinations,” Fuentes said.  “But we think that savings [through cost avoidance] can be achieved by extending eligibility criteria as is.” Carlos Fuentes Veterans of Foreign War
Veteran representatives spent much of their time before the House committee knocking down claims by Republicans that the current caregiver program is widely abused or offers benefits duplicative of other VA programs.
Read the full article at the link below:

21st Anniversary Veteran to Veteran Podcast Veteran to Veteran 21st Anniversary. Tbird, founder of will be the guest and talk about the history of and will take calls from veterans.

A little history … Veteran to Veteran the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997.  The domain is registered and paid for thru 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 who 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 Veterans Affairs.
Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, read the first insert, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “You will be 50% for the rest of your life” and that 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. I didn’t even understand what PTSD was then.
By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friend’s apartment and pretty much was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called the suicide hotline. 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, 1st, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn’t come till May and secondly, even if it had come thru it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together.
I relay 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 miscommunications, 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
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 about the system.
While in the navy, I was a data analyst. I 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 where I earned 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 them. There was so much knowledge around me, it was
like the gold rush in those days. I could just sit on a bench where 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 as 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 flyers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better. 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. 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.  I learned html and worked as a marketing systems analyst and worked on my claim. 1996/1997 a major ptsd cork blows and unemployment follows. Working my claim, working the website. January 20th, 1997 I register the domain name right after getting off the phone with the Veterans Affairs and saying, “I’ve had it with this”.  As fate would have it, the old DAV board went down just as mine opened up and folks start to wander in.
So has two main components, the website and the the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. that support it.  The website starts to grow, I can’t tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features.  Emotionally 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 hard on pulling myself back up. 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 better.
My 100% finally came through from the Veterans Affairs.  I have a friend Patrick Heavy who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim. He was literally at my side through the entire process. For him I am grateful. My therapist and sister continued to try to 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 and finding more information. 2003 I bought my own home with my VA loan. For years now I have just considered my purpose in life. And so goes the story of the conception and birth of At 21 years old, she is established and going strong, I couldn’t be more pleased or proud. Thank you to everyone who has supported her growth.

2017 Top 10 Discussions on VA Disability Claims Forums


100% Rating Reduced To 40%

I live here in Central Texas near Fort Hood and was talking with a Vietnam Vet a Marine veteran who told me he got a letter from the Waco TX VA regional office saying that they purpose to reduce his disability from 100% un employable to 40% I was under the impression that 100% was permanent and total and would never change

I myself am rated at 80% overall with my highest disability rating at 30% then others at 20% and 10% The DAV told me that I have to maintain that rating for 20 years before it becomes permanent and total according to 38 CFR they already tried to reduce one of my disabilities from 30% to 0% because they say during a recent exam the VA medical doctor an neurologist at the Temple TX VA hospital said tat me condition improved ?? I had to go back a submit civilian health report form my Tricare provider at Hillcrest Baptist medical center in Waco to overrule the incompetent C&P evaluator. Now it’s this kind red tape that needs to get to the Top people in Washington i.e. the President and the VA secretary and congress. But my primary question has to do with my Vietnam Vet friend that the VA is trying to screw. Thank You Jim Horak, TSgt USAF Chapter 61 Disability Retiree Belton Texas


Retroactive Back Pay

My claim is scheduled to close tomorrow for my back pay.

Does anyone know if it does close how long till the back-pay hits the bank?

Also does information only get updated on our claims whenever the site is down?


How Is Tinnitus Tested by The VA For Compensation Purposes?

I am trying to understand how I will be tested for tinnitus by the VA. I have a pending compensation claim for hearing loss and tinnitus (and a couple other things) that is in stage 5 (preparation for decision).

I am now awaiting a C&P exam (I believe). I am already S/C for shoulder and lower back (20% total). How is tinnitus tested by the VA to receive the 10% rating? I served in OEF and have a Combat Action Badge (all on my DD214).

I have hearing loss, but what happens if I pass as “normal” for hearing loss. I have occasional ringing in both ears from OEF (artillery/heavy machine guns/IED’s), and it has gotten worse over time. My tinnitus came later after I had separated from the US Army. I am trying to understand how I am tested for tinnitus to receive the 10%, even if I get 0% for hearing loss (which I have heard is very difficult to get above 0% for hearing loss). With my claim, I submitted my civilian primary care physician’s professional opinion that I could definitely have/probably do have hearing loss and tinnitus from combat.

I have read/heard differing opinions, and I am just trying to find a straight answer to how tinnitus is tested for by the VA (since I see that some vets get 0% for hearing loss, but 10% for tinnitus). And what are my chances of getting the 10% for tinnitus even if I get 0% for hearing loss? Great, good, not good, etc.? Please help. Thank you.


How Do I Prove Sleep Apnea Was Service Connected?

I am planning on writing a Notice of Disagreement on my sleep apnea decision. The VA in their decision letter, did acknowledged that I do have sleep apnea and currently on a CPAP machine issued by the VA’s sleep center.

So, all of the conditions and treatment are concrete. However, and as usual, ” No evidence to support that sleep apnea was service connected “.

I am burned out with paperwork but is currently satisfy with my rating.

Any suggestions on how I can respond and prove that it was service connected?


How Is Degenerative Disc Disease Rated?

Hello to everybody, I need to know how the Degenerative disc disease is rated and on my last C/P I was rated @ 10% My thoughts are if all they used were x-rays how accurate would the rating be?

I have some MRI of my spine from 2006 that I am going to present for evidence in a claim. The MRI was done at my local hospital I have had a discectomy where they cleaned out the disc that was falling apart. I am no neurologist but I have Disc Disease in L3, L4, L5 and L5 S1 I know that it hurts me every day. Any advice from those of you cursed as I am with a bad back let them know. Should I wait a period of time before putting this or right now since the claim just came back? I told the fellow I would post it and find out. I look forward to anyone one who has been down this road.

Surprise 70% PTSD Rating; Now What Can I Do………….?!

I hope you can help me; not sure what I should do.

I was rated Service Connected Disabled for PTSD on August 21, 2012 @ 70%. I didn’t expect this at all. If anything, I thought I would get a low rating for my physical aliments…………(neck, back head shoulder).

When I applied in 11/2011, I had been out of work for 3 yrs. and was totally distraught, confused and disoriented. Needless to say, I finally got a job in 02/12 and it is nowhere near what I use to do or the money I use to make.
I’d like to know what your advice would be for this:
I see where I do have serious social and economic problems and believe I am totally disabled & want to ask for 100% PTSD, Permanent and Total. I’m still on this job that wrecks my nerves, can’t stop the obsessive thoughts and wants to hurt people because I don’t work well with people at all. I took this week off because I couldn’t pull up the gumption to go back in there after the week, mentally.
What should I do; appeal my rating 1st and then apply for TDIU while working or do I go ahead and let the job go in order to apply for TDUI and then appeal the VA’s decision?

US Treasury 310 Direct Deposit Payment, What Is This?         

I have no idea what this is. I did a google search, I searched the forum, went to eBenefits and nothing. I did apply for Social Security. But hopefully it’s not. My back pay goes back to May 6, 2010. This would be a problem. I was granted a 100% disability with the VA but it’s the same story my back pay goes back so this amount would be incorrect. If anybody knows what this is please share your knowledge with the forum.

This morning I saw the particular income in my bank statement “US TREASURY 310 by the sum of 4,780. Any insight would be great.


New Rulings on Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

I have heard that there is a new ruling out concerning presumption of service connection on hearing loss and tinnitus, can anyone provide info on this topic?

Thanks for any and all assistance.

Total and Permanent Disability

I am currently rated at 90% and have a question about the requirements for receiving total and permanent disability.

Do you have to not be working to receive it? Is there a limit on how much you can earn? Do you have to be rated 100% to be eligible if you are still working? How do you apply? Any other information would be greatly appreciated!!

When Should I Expect to Receive My Retroactive Pay

 I just received an increased percentage rate from 40% to 70% w/ spouse 1 child, due to a CUE claim. I am owed retroactive pay from Sep 2011-present. My questions are: What is the average time to receive this back pay & approx. how much should I be expecting or how do I figure it out?

I received a deposit for $88 from DFAS the other day, & the deposit comment says: RETSPCL. I have no idea what that means & why I’m getting a deposit. I read somewhere that military pay has to do an audit before the VA releases back pay. Could that deposit be something the military owed me from whatever audit they’re supposed to be doing? I just received my very first 70% monthly retirement & VA checks this month & those were correct. I just want to know if I’ll be waiting years for the back pay now.

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