Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Status Update

Since my last post a few things have happened. I got the C & P exam for allergic rhinitis and was denied because it existed prior to service and there is no evidence that my time in service aggravated it. So, I requested to be evaluated for all of my respiratory and sinus problems lumped together. I am still awaiting an answer on that.

I have applied for VA vocational rehabilitation and I am still undergoing tests to see if my returning to work is feasible. Right now, it is looking unlikely. I have also submitted an application for 100% disability due to individual unemployability caused by my service-connected bipolar disorder. We will see how that one goes.

Mike Serovey, MA, MISM

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

VA Sluggishness

I have been waiting for the VA to send me an appointment with both podiatry and orthopedics for over a month now! I'm going to have to call them about these appointments tomorrow. I'm also awaiting an C & P exam for allergic rhinitis. Probably not much will happen until aftr the holidays!

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Final Decisions from the BVA

In today's mail I got a letter from the BVA with the decisions concerning my disabilities. Everything was pretty much as expected. What surprised me was that my back pay was direct deposited today as well. The amount was pretty close to what I had guessed it would be. After reading the letter I realized that I need some more documentation to send to them and then I should be able to get the rating for bipolar disorder raised from 30% to 50%. I hope that the letter that I sent to them a few days ago succeeds in getting me the correct effective date for that.

I made an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my individual ratings and their effective dates. The reason for this is because I need to know when I have had an item service connected for more than 10 years and when a particular rating is 20 years old. The VA can't deny service connection on anything that is more than 10 years service connected and can't lower a rating that is more than 20 years old.

I also confirmed that most creditors can't go after my disability pay. The federal government, however, can. I'm still not sure if they can take away my disability pay if I default on my student loans but it looks like they can. I'm 51 years old and have so much student loan debt that I will never be able to pay it off unless I get a dramatic increase in income. Going from 60% service connected to 80% service connected does increase my income some, but not enough to pay back those loans and live by myself too. Until I can get to 100% service connected I will need at least a part-time job or a successful website.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tentative Rating Decisions

I recently received a letter from the DAV stating that the BVA has reached some tentative decisions. They have granted service connection for my facial acne at 10% which surprises me because I was expecting 0%. I'm also getting about 9 years back pay on that.

They granted 30% service connection for my bipolar disorder but only back dated it to 2007. I sent a letter to them protesting that and stating that they should back date it to when I filed my claim for Depression. If I have to appeal this to the veterans court of appeals it will take several more years to get my money, it will be worth less then due to inflation, and I will have to split it with a lawyer. So, no matter what the eventual outcome is, I will lose money if I have to appeal this in court!

I don't have an effective date yet on the 10% increase on my right shoulder. I got 0% for gastritis secondary to the bipolar disorder. The effective date is the exact same as the bipolar disorder.

I sent a letter to the DAV asking them how to get the evidence of TMJ Disorder reconsidered because I can't afford to go through more testing to prove that I have it. I'm still waiting on a reply.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good News

Recently, I got a letter from the VA Board of Veterans Appeals. It was a decision on some issues that I had appealed. They raised the service-connected rating on my right shoulder from 0% to 10%. I don't know the effective date for that yet so I have no idea how much back pay I am going to get for that. I also got service connection for my acne scars, my gastritis and my bipolar disorder. With all 3 of these I don't know the effective dates or the ratings for each one. When this is all sorted out I could be at 100% service connected. The back pay could end up being quite a bit! The issue of allergic rhinitis was remanded back to the regional office.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Update on Medical Records

About a week ago I finally read the contents of the big envelope that I got from Congressman Adam Putnam's office. It contained some things that I completely forgot about. Much of the information in my files was useful to me in furthering my claim. However, they failed to send me what I specifically asked for, my C&P exams from June 2007. So I called his office and spoke to Pam Fuller and told her that I still need those records. She said that she would inform the person that is handling this. So, I am still waiting for those records.

I also sent a letter to the VA Appeals Management Center telling them that they had overlooked a great deal of evidence in my favor when making prior decisions concerning my claim. I hope that they actually read my letter and verify my information. That should lead to an increase in my service-connected rating.

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