Well many of you have been reading my post and have learned a lot about my struggles with military life, post military life, my medical issues and my continued fight for reason from the VA and my continued fight for Veterans. Good news came to me just a year after my first issues with the PHX VA. I finally received word from my claims that I had put in back in February of this year. First it was an email asking form my dependents information so knowing they are asking mean that I was at least 30%. That made me happy as it would open new doors for me. As the day went on I kept checking my online profile to see what or if anything had changed. It wasn’t until Saturday that I logged in and to my surprise I was awarded 80% disability for the claims that I submitted in February. I was so excited that I told a few very close friends and initially it said 100%, but it changed as they removed some disabilities and renamed a few. So I’m sitting at 80%.
Now many would be jumping with joy and excited, because to me and many others, its a game changer and a life changer. To me the added financial increase will offset many things that I pay for out of pocket and it puts me in a new bracket. After I told some other people many were relieved and said, “well now its time to focus on other things.” But that’s the thing. As I am happy with the increase I am not happy of how it increased. None of the pressing life threatening issues that disable me on a daily basis had increased and I am currently waiting for the appeals to show up in the mail so that I can read how they could come to that with all the current issues that I have. What was added and increased was my PTSD. My anxiety and depression warranted a 70% disability and that truly opened my eyes to no only the issues I have making them real, but the issue with the system. Plus my wrist issues were addressed and increased to 10% and my knee that I have been told I need surgery on didn’t change, but the name of what it is changed. Plus several other additions were added that were part of my knee.
Like I said I am happy that I am at 80%, but still to be denied an increase for the disabilities that affect my life on a day to day basis is still unacceptable, especially since everyone says there is nothing else they can do for me. So I will continue this fight and resubmit my claims, considering that during my Claims appointment, there was no mention of or talking about my Blood Clotting disorder or my back. It all pertained to my PTSD, knee, and wrist. So I am hoping they don’t close out this claim and I am seen for those issues soon.
Now many of you might think I’m trying to milk the cow and if you know me you know that’s not true. A few have said that I am just trying to get to 100% so I don’t have to work anymore. Again, if you know me, you know that’s not true. I love to work and would go crazy if I couldn’t be a productive citizen. I honestly still think they are dodging the real issue and that’s how I contracted this disorder. Still have no answers to how I got it and why its so aggressive.
But I will tell you I learned a lot about the VA during this process and how the claims works. I also understand more now that you may have a VSO, but you still have to do all the work and be aggressive and keep on task with your claims. This is what has helped me get this claim mainly closed within 5 months and an increase on my disabilities. If you don’t know where to start let me know and I can point you in the right direction. If there is anything I have learned during this process and don’t take no for an answer, there’s always another opinion, take your health into your own hands and don’t let the VA control it, and the more evidence you have the better, if you know your have something, but don’t have the records contact old colleagues and get signed affidavits. Make sure if you use an outside doctor you get copies to give to the VA. Don’t give up and keep fighting. Its your life and your health and no one is going to fix it but you. We can’t depend on the VA to make all the right choices so we have to do it on our own. VSO’s are mainly just a place holder. I get a monthly update and that’s it.
So to all my Veteran friends that need help, I am here for you if you need questions answered or pointed in the right direction. I also know some great folks that work for the VA that can help, yes there are a few. Once you understand who to actually complain too, your process will be smoother. Any Veterans that read this and are interested in getting involved, contact me or reach out to your local Concerned Veterans for America. I don’t think I would be where I am now if it wasn’t for their strength and ability to put the fight back in me. Visit my site for more information on CVA and other way you can help as a Veteran or as someone that just loves this country. We can’t do it alone.