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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Responses: 143
MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
30
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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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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
22 d
SFC Gerald Revels Great. Now start working on getting SS disability!
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SP6 Bruce Kellar
SP6 Bruce Kellar
19 d
I was recovering from surgery in the hospital and someone came in while I was spaced and filled out some paperwork and several months later I started getting checks to my surprise after 50 years since discharge. At first I was embarrassed and called to refuse. I was told to donate it if I didn't want it. Still getting it and have not donated it. I do not feel any more disabled than before the interview and subsequent stipend.
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CPT David Donovan
CPT David Donovan
16 d
When I ETS'd I was told my tinnitus was usual and would go away. It wasn't even noted in my file and no mention was made of PTSD. I was a CIB Viet vet. I never went to the VA for anything, but 35 years later when I retired from my civilian job, I was told it only made good sense to get in the VA system in case my usual health plan collapsed. I went to the local clinic, got in the system, and was immediately given a 10% disability. Again, no mention of PTSD. My only complaint is that I missed 35 years of 10% disability. Month by month, it isn't much, but accumulated over 35 years, that's a lot of money!
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MAJ Dale E. Wilson, Ph.D.
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LCDR Rabbah Rona Matlow
20
20
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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.
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LCDR Rabbah Rona Matlow
LCDR Rabbah Rona Matlow
4 mo
Sgt Carlos Martinez - If it's Gulf War presumptive conditions it may be easy to get service connection. If you are within one year of ETS, it's considered presumptive. Otherwise, the only way to get a service connection is if you have evidence of continuous treatment for the issue since ETS, and/or you get a buddy statement from a squad mate attesting to the injury occurring in combat.
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SFC Dennis Yancy
SFC Dennis Yancy
1 mo
Sgt Carlos Martinez - Buddy statements work.
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SPC Nancy Greene
SPC Nancy Greene
1 mo
Excellent Advice @ LCDR LCDR Rabbah Rona Matlow
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SFC Lawrence Loughlin
SFC Lawrence Loughlin
17 d
I have a Remote Hearing on 9/14 and am suppose to be represented by DAV but still no contact from DAV. SFC Lawrence Loughlin, Ret. P.S. I now get a 10% VA disability & VA just takes the money out of my retirement pay and pays me the VA disability (which is tax free).
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
19
19
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I was rated after more than 30 years.
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CPO William Rys
CPO William Rys
1 mo
30 years? That’s nothing-LOL.

My wife’s friend from her high school days had a “new” husband (3 years Army service in the early-mid ‘70’s) that we were introduced to in 2015. After the normal Veteran “bonding” with the guy, he talked about having no health care, getting hurt a few times on active duty, difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight loss, couldn’t work or drive due to inability to stay awake etc, etc.
I mentioned I worked for the VA as a Contracting Officer, asking him if he was enrolled in VA healthcare. His answer: HUH?” I then asked if he had applied for a disability due to his Army service as a paratrooper (he entertained us with stories of jumps gone wrong, a drop zone that hadn’t been properly cleared of small tree stumps, and other mishaps involving head, back trauma requiring surgeries and extended hospital stays).

Well, we immediately got on my Government laptop, and I assisted him in submitting his claim, which took at least a week searching through files and scattered military documents he had squirreled away. Most of it was him searching his own memory bank, trying to determine exactly where he was when whatever issue occurred, getting a timeline going from the day he enlisted until he was discharged and sent on his way, never having ANY sort of contact with the military, VA, nothing! He was just glad to get out and be a civilian again.

Long story somewhat condensed: After about 18 months of MANY, MANY visits to VAMCs scattered throughout NY and MA, he received a letter from the VA to verify his spouse’s name, date of marriage, license, etc, etc. I told him to cooperate, since at least it looked like he was at least getting 50%.
HAH!!! A month or so later, he received letters from the DAV and the VA, letting him know he was rated at 100% unemployability, and to expect back pay from the day we submitted his claim.

He bought a new truck and bought my wife and I dinner at the nicest restaurant in western MA!!!
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
SGT (Join to see)
1 mo
CPO William Rys - Actually it was 37. It only took me a very short time to get my rating.
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CPT Charley Watkins
CPT Charley Watkins
1 mo
My Blood Pressure was screwed up by a"Fever of Unknown Origin" in Vietnam, The Army medicated it until my discharge 18 months later. I filed with the VA hoping to get meds. And filed again and again. Nineteen years later am AmVets rep got it for me 1o%. Ischemic heart disease and prostrate cancer much later got me up to 100%
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CPL John Donovan
CPL John Donovan
19 d
How did you go about getting approved for your dental records? My teeth were bad when I was released in 1963 and by 1964 I'd had all of my teeth pulled because they were so bad. Army shows several problems with my teeth too when I was discharged. I'm not on 10% for Tinnitus and appealing their decision on hearing that is also from my days in the Army as a heavy duty truck mechanic and if you have ever spent a lot of time in a garage with work going on all day you can understand how my hearing was ruined there.
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