Posted on Jun 8, 2020
SPC Motor Transport Operator
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How many of you are rated through the VA If so did you wait till you were out or did it while still in If you waited how long were you out when you made your first claim?
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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
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When I had my retirement physical, the doctor conducting it had a clerk make a complete copy of my health record and told me that as soon as I got settled in my new home I should go to the VA and file a disability claim. I expressed surprise and he told me that within 10 years I would be a "hurtin' cowboy"!

I followed his advice and filed a claim after I'd been retired for four months. I was surprised when they came back to me with a rating of 30% for three conditions. I went to the California Vets Affairs rep in Santa Rosa and she had me add PTSD and told me to refile. I told her I didn't think I had PTSD and she asked me several questions that made it clear to her I did and should expect a rating of 50% or higher.

VA raised my rating on one condition and gave me 10% for PTSD, which stunned the CA rep. She had me appeal and they eventually raised my PTSD rating to 50%. Over time, Agent Orange has continued to take a toll on me and in 2005 I was rated 90% with Individual Unemployability and also was awarded Soc. Sec. disability. In 2010 VA increased my rating to 100%.
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Col Matthew Branigan
Col Matthew Branigan
3 mo
SSgt Charles Winegardner - I think the level of interest and assistance varies widely among the veteran support agencies. The DAV I interact with are fundamentally provide no assistance, and often don't respond to emails. The state VSO I used when I filed my initial claim didn't do anything more than list my issues and provide my medical records. I didn't realize until years later I should have gone back immediately and asked for another review. I know there are scores of VSOs who are amazing people and do phenomenal work, but if you don't have a reference from a buddy, you're rolling the dice.
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SFC Joseph Behmke
SFC Joseph Behmke
3 mo
Col Matthew Branigan - Your local VFW and American Legion also has VSO's to support veterans, some are more helpful than others.
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PFC Sammie Collins
PFC Sammie Collins
2 mo
I got out early for another reason but my injured knee, which was documented in my military medical records continued to get worse so I had to have major reconstructive surgery, then went to college, THEN I went to the employment office to get help finding a job and filled out the paperwork. The Vets Rep called me back and said "So, your a Vet" I said no, I wasn't in combat or combat era so didn't consider myself a vet. He said "OH NO!! Another one!!!" Then asked if I was injured while in service and I said yes but I already got it fixed after I got out. He said "SO you are a disabled vet" I said "NO, I wasn't shot or anything" He popped me on the side of the head, said you are a disabled vet and to get my bootie down to the DAV and file for disablity!!! SHOCK!! He said the guys come in with their hand out and know all about what they are entitled to. The women don't. I"d been out for 6 yrs. At that time, 7 yrs was the limit. Now, that leg, hip and blow back is a 60% disability and it's geting worse, left hip and knee are paying for it.......
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MAJ Ward Odom
MAJ Ward Odom
3 d
PFC Sammie Collins - You should contact a VSO about a new claim for the existing rated condition causing an aggravation.
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I retired 20 years ago. I filed while on terminal leave.

You are supposed to get your 214 six months before ETS these days, so you can file before you get out.

One note - if you were in combat: The field medics rarely record their treatment notes, and even in Role 3s and other places treatment records got lost. So if you were injured or ill while deployed, make sure that your record is up to date with ALL injuries and illnesses that you had. If there is something missing from your record, see your provider at home and get it documented while you are still on active duty, so you can easily claim it.
SFC David Reid, M.S, PHR, SHRM-CP, DTM
SFC David Reid, M.S, PHR, SHRM-CP, DTM
>1 y
TSgt Brent Strickland In life and the zvA the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
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CDR R J
CDR R J
>1 y
CPL Chris Palmberg - I was an RVSR at the VA (rater at the VA) in my "new" career upon retiring from the Navy. We called these "buddy" statements. I recall one such statement from a Korean War vet who was claiming tinnitus (ringing in the ear(s)). He submitted a statement from a friend he served with and it went something like this: "I very distinctly recall hearing a bell sound coming from Sgt. Joe's ears one time when we were traveling from Pusan to Seoul". Regrettably, this claim was denied.

If you choose to submit a buddy statement, be sure you understand what it is you are claiming and, better yet, seek out the services of one of the Veterans' Organizations, such as DAV/VFW/Amer. Legion, etc. These folks will help you get your claim perfected and help to prevent you from torpedoing your claim by submitting something that will harm your claim.
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CPL Chris Palmberg
CPL Chris Palmberg
>1 y
CDR R J that's hilarious.
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SCPO Rick Hunter
SCPO Rick Hunter
>1 y
The Commander is correct. I instructed both my Son and Daughter to go to sick bay for every cough, cold, sniffle, hang-nail and stubbed toe they ever had while on AD and have it documented. I didn't and it's cost me dearly.
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
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I was rated after more than 30 years.
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SrA Zo Evans Sr
SrA Zo Evans Sr
11 mo
Same here. I’m at 40% and still trying to get my wrists and the toxic exposure increases.
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SSG John C Quigley II
SSG John C Quigley II
8 mo
WOW, hope my 4th try will be the one, I left service in 83, and still trying to get VA to recognize that I had before I left service they wanted to fuse my lower lumbar, I should have reupped and had it done.
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CPT Gary Calvert
CPT Gary Calvert
7 mo
I applied in Aug 2010, 36 years after leaving the service. Never heard anything until in late 2012 early 2014 I received notice that I was denied because I didn't attend my exam. I never received any instructions to report. Had to reapply. Again, nothing until another denial for not attending. I had a very aggressive Texas Vets rep who went into my files. Found that in 2011 I received notice from VA that my paperwork was in process and I should hear soon. Then he found the first orders for exam were sent to my old address, the one before they wrote to me at the new address. Then he found on the second go around they sent it to an address that I never lived at and had no idea where it was. He filed a claim for me explaining all this. Finally got my eval. Was awarded for hearing loss and right shoulder impingement back dated to 2010. But had also applied for tinnitus and it was in my records when I applied and again after testing in 2013 and was linked by civilian evaluator and my personal physician, to my service. They never accepted the evaluations and refused to give me the 10% for tinnitus until 2021 when they agreed I had it but would not back date the award to 2010. Went to Judicial review under Clear and Unmistakable error because of the delays due to misaddressing my mail TWICE. They just denied it again. With a bunch of procedural excuses and never addressed the mail issue. VA has gone down hill about as far as it can go.
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PO3 Henry Brandow
PO3 Henry Brandow
3 mo
After seeing nodules in my lungs I filed in April 2023. I got out in 1970 honorable discharge. I have a 10% for hearing but as of yet no determination on the asbestosis which the VA docs say I have. The asbestos exposure is covered under the PACT act and the claim was filed with in the time frame. I have gotten 3 apology letters that the eval hasn't been completed yet but is in work.
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