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Hello fellow Vets!
I recognize it’s a lot to read… It’s my first time making a blog post and I want to be clear and get solid and knowledgable responses from y’all. Thanks in advance!!
History… Filed a claim for VA disability benefits April 2013. Hand delivered over 200 documents in support of my claim to the Houston VA office in January 2014 (prior to a decision letter on my claim). Decision letter received in March 2014. Failed to achieve a rating above zero percent on any of the disabilities claimed and no service connection for Major Depressive Disorder(MDD).
The documents I filed at the VA were date stamped Jan 8, 2014 and included the only records I had in support of this claim, especially for the MDD.
Fast forward… Intent to File submitted in August 1, 2018 (at my attorneys direction). His office then submitted a supplemental (including 16 pages of the very same supporting documents that I submitted to the VA in 2014) on the 364th day.
Well, that supplemental got me appointments with two different C&P professionals and resulted in a combined rating of 70% (10% knee and 70% MDD) effective July 30, 2019. The same VA documents filed by me in 2014 and (fewer) mailed with the supplemental were recently reviewed at my C&P exam by the psychologist conducting the interview. He asked for my help to show him any document in my file that made it clear and unmistakable that my MDD was/is service connected. It took all of thirty seconds to search his computer with my VA records on it to locate a document from my psychiatrist and head of psychiatry at my last duty station. These are the very same documents which were in the VA’s possession prior to my initial claim attempted in 2013/2014. Meaning there is NO new or compelling evidence!
Question 1 – So why did they schedule (allow) these appointments and the case to be reopened with no new and/or relevant evidence?
Question 2 – Why was it right (or was it) for my attorney to file a supplemental (vs. just filing for a new claim)? At least with a new claim I may have been able to receive (the 11 or so months of) backpay from the Intent to File date.
It seems the supplemental has NO benefit over just requesting to open a new claim. Or is it not allowed for veterans to file a new claim for any previously claimed ailment(s)?
Question 3 – Is it a fact that the VA made a clear and unmistakable error with regard to no service connection for MDD?
… by not reviewing those documents which were right in front of them? And if the documents prove the date they were filed, isn’t it undeniable? And if I am now rated at 70%….
Question 4 – Shouldn’t this be one of those CUE cases that should/could be potentially won for backpay to April 2013?
This is the first time they scheduled me for ANY C&P appointments for any reason ever. Yet, this is at least the third attempt at filing a VA disability claim.
Question 5 – What makes the VA decide for or against these C&P exam appointments?
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Hello fellow Vets! I recognize it's a lot to read... It's my first time making a blog post and I want to be clear and get solid and knowledgable responses from y'all. Thanks in advance!! History... Filed a claim for VA disability benefits April 2013. Hand delivered over 200 documents in support o...