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McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?
My wife was eligible for 100% Post-911 GI Bill, which I believe passes to me. My question is that if I use her GI Bill, do I get to keep mine also? Can I exhaust her 100% benefits before resuming my lovely 60% or once I use hers does mine go away?

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McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?

Kawasaki Nun posted:

a modicum of proactivity on the part of the VA

fuckin lol

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Beast Pussy posted:

Yeah, what it actually was is he didn't want to do his job. When I went back today he sent me to another DEERS office so he wouldn't have to work. But, at the end of the day, I got my ID, and he got to not give it to me, so it was a success all around.
Thanks for the help.

Wait, DEERS people not knowing their jobs? Preposterous!

Next you'll tell me that DEERS tells survivors that they can't have an ID card because survivors don't get benefits after the deceased service member's ETS date.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Gooble Gobble posted:

I got rated 10% because the examiner put down that my only limited ROM was forward flexion and that was 80 degrees, which is nuts. From my super unscientific view with a mirror I can't bend more than 30-40 without pain. Never mind flare ups where I can hardly move. Then again I guess it's possible I'm being retarded and they measure it differently. I think part of the problem was even though I have records of going to PT, pain management, etc I don't have a solid diagnoses because I hardly ever got the chance to do anything with being TDY all the time my last year in. That plus minor scoliosis (of course Army didn't cause that) plus ROM reading is what got me 10 I'm sure.

They don't measure how much ROM you have without pain, they measure how much ROM you have period. Doesn't matter if any movement at all causes pain, if you have 100% range of motion but you're screaming the whole time, that's 0%.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Do you like muskets?
eBenefits doesn't even show me as enrolled yet. Goddamnit.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?
Backchannels are the way to go because regular channels are always broken.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?

TBeats posted:

Wasn't I supposed to get BAH today even though I was only in school for three days in August?

I'm not hurting without it, but it'll suck next month if I don't get it because I only budgeted to go without it for so long.

I got mine like last week. Maybe look closer? If it's not there, then definitely start looking into it.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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TBeats posted:

I got my book stipend on the 18th. Would it have been lumped in to that even though I hadn't even started school til the 29th? Ebenefits makes zero differentiation between different types of GI Bill deposits and my book stipend seems bigger than what it's supposed to be (a little over $700 rather than $500, which I believe is supposed to be the semester cap?)

But the $700 was a single deposit in ebenefits as well as my bank account. Wouldn't BAH be a separate deposit from my book stipend?

I'm trying to talk to the VA rep dude at my school but I keep missing him every time I try.

If you haven't gotten your housing money yet, it might be because your school still has to send an enrollment cert to the VA. I got my book stipend around the 18th too, then my August BAH around the 27th-ish (I forget the exact date), and my school received my tuition around the same time. If tuition and/or BAH haven't shown up but you did get your book stipend, then talk to your school first because they probably haven't submitted your enrollment to the VA yet.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Tight Booty Shorts posted:

Anyone roughly know about how soon the VA takes to mail a Certificate of Eligibility back to a veteran? I completed the DoD form 22-1995 on Monday and I believe the regional office is in St. Louis.... my classes are gonna start the first week of November.

I know the VA can vary a lot but I just found out today my NYS unemployment claim was denied (since I was mostly a "contractor" and not an actual employee for most of last year) and I was really gonna rely on that money 'till I got my BAH payments coming in...

holy gently caress.

It took them three weeks when I applied in, like, March.

Then again I submitted a 22-5940 on September 23rd and I'm still waiting, so who knows.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?
So I have a hosed up left shoulder that, so far as I know, I screwed up on a week long mission where at one point I propped my elbow up on the turret shield for eight hours for comfort and the next day it was stiff. It got progressively worse to the point where I can't lift my arm above my head anymore.

According to a VA doctor in Memphis, my shoulder actually has nothing wrong with it because he couldn't see "any evidence of soft tissue damage in the x-ray." (lolwhat)

I filed a claim on it that was denied because the VA says that there's no evidence that my injury is connected to my service in Iraq, a determination they made after looking at my claim where I said I hurt my shoulder in Iraq.

So now I'm in appeals hell. I started working with a VFW rep when my claim was over 300 days old. He had pretty amazing tendency to not answer emails and phone calls for months at a time, so I ended up contacting VFW's national headquarters and got put in contact with a guy who basically told me that everything this rep told me to do was the wrong thing to do. He told me what I needed to do (see a real doctor for a diagnosis, get buddies to write statements saying they remember me bitching about my shoulder, etc.), and I started on the process.

Then my wife died.

And then I went through VA purgatory waiting for them to approve some survivor's benefits. I asked my VFW rep to help, but never heard back from him. I'd last heard from him in May of 2015. I sent him a follow-up in August 2015 that he never replied to, then asked him for help with my survivor benefits application in May 2016.

When I didn't hear back from him by July, I looked up the contact where he was working and, lo and behold, his name wasn't listed anymore. So I contacted this new person, included the entire email chain, and asked her for help. I got a reply about a week later.

quote:

Good Evening Mr. McNally.
I am sorry it took so long to get back with you but I have a lot of emails in which I need to process as well as in person visits and telephone calls.
After reviewing your file, this is what I determined. **** filed your appeal on April 9th 2015. He filed your election of a DRO conference in May of 2015. I see a phone call in which you talked with a **** and he explained what you needed to prove your case in August of 2015. In order to get service connected for a disability you need three things:
1) A current diagnosis of a condition Ė Right shoulder/Arm condition
2) An event in service/injury that caused the condition Ė not sure how placing your arm on a Turret for comfort would cause the condition whatever it is.
3) And a medical opinion from a doctor connecting the in service event to your current condition.
You can provide degrees of connection from the 2009 incident to now by getting statements from friends, family, fellow soldiers who know of your condition and or saw you/heard you complain through the years about the condition. Saying it did not start until so long after you were in Iraq is a problem, since the shoulder / arm condition could be caused by many things including a vehicle accident, a weight lighting incident, or even a sports related activity which VA is very aware happens all the time. What you need to do is rule out those other type of injuries so that is can be linked to your service.

I am sorry **** has not gotten back with you but like me he has a lot of veterans he has to answer on a continuing basis. At this point there really is nothing to report on your status, because you started your appeal in 2015. VA (while striving to complete as many appeals as possible now) are only on the 2013/2014 appeals. They are doing appeals by date of receipt so there is a while yet before they will work on yours.

This gives you time to work on gathering up the evidence you need. If and when you get those statements or letters, please send them into our office, either through **** or myself and we will make sure it is filed for the DRO to be able to use.

Wow, sounds like she's already made up her mind here. So I wrote back:

quote:

I'm really not sure how you can claim that I said the issue started "so long after" I was in Iraq, when I clearly stated that it started as stiffness during that specific mission in Iraq, never went away, and progressively became worse. Moreover, your comments about how you're not sure how my actions would result in my condition, coupled with the claim I mentioned, make it sound like your mind is already made up on this matter.

That **** is busy is completely understandable, however I have emailed him since I last heard from him in May of 2015, to include a request for help with an issue regarding survivor benefits following my wife's death in December 2015. There's busy, and then there's whatever he's doing.

I've already resigned myself to the fact that the VA can't help me. The VA couldn't help my wife, either, and now she's dead because of it. I don't know why I thought you could help me either.

Yeah, okay, I lost my cool and could have handled it better. I admit it. I got this reply two days later:

quote:

Okay, Mr. McNally,
I understand your frustration and your loss of your spouse, as I have recently lost mine. But do not put words in my mouth, and say I have already made up my mind that I can not help you. I gave you some suggestions as to what you need to do. I also read to you what I saw in your file. I was only repeating what was in the file, not what I determined by that. I said it could be a problem because you told the doctor that, not something I am assuming. (what? I've never seen a doctor about this since the doc in Memphis. And that was like seven years ago. And I told him that the stiffness STARTED IN IRAQ WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THIS INFORMATION FROM?!) And as I can not say what happened between you and ****, I can not judge that either. That I am extremely, busy is no dispute. That I am willing to try and help you is another. If you do not want my help, I do have other veterans, as well as the problem about my personal loss and having to go to court about that. I will be out of the office next week dealing with that. If you still want help, please let me or my office know.

Okay, wow. I'm sorry this person lost their spouse, but seriously?

Anyway, I think I need to rescind the VFW's authority in my appeal and find a new VSO.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?
Can we have a show of hands of everybody who had interesting experiences while in (and sometimes even after!) the military?

Should I go first?

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?

Mike-o posted:

yeah read mcnally's post history. you'll find out why we in GiP roll our eyes back into our heads so loving hard that our retinas disconnect when we hear "THANX 4 UR SERVICE" and all that bullshit lipservice especially from politicians or the VA. you know the only thing i miss about the military? and this isn't going to happen to you, i was lucky to deploy with a bunch of guys who i'm closer with than anyone i ever will be in my life. we had a poo poo deployment and a lot of people got killed. besides that friendship everything else was poo poo. i got poo poo on in my second unit when i told them i didn't want to re-enlist and treated like subhuman trash. i got TB. i've got bad loving PTSD and rage issues, depression, and anxiety. i live off my disability pay because i'm such a loving wreck that i can't even keep down a community college class because of my issues, and i'm not loving qualified for any sort of work except temp jobs at construction sites because i wasted my twenties getting shot at and being blown up in iraq and afghanistan instead of trying to get into a career or college. i've put a gun in my mouth more times than i can count on my fingers. i'm completely antisocial and basically don't have friends anymore because no one gives a poo poo. that's the "interesting" experiences you'll get.

This poo poo right here makes me realize those people who are all "people have it worse than you suck it up" need to get hosed. I see that and go "Jesus, that's hosed up."

Then I vent about my issues which I feel are trivial in comparison and get "Jesus, that's hosed up."

Not really sure what my point was anymore.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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The Unholy Ghost posted:

That is all terrible stuff, so I'd hope that a high enough ASFAB score would give me a position away from the front-lines. Regardless, I have to go to graduate school, and pretty much the only way I can pay and go is with a big scholarship.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

...

...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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But not ASFAB as us.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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The Unholy Ghost posted:

So, to summarizeó it'd be better to go into debt for life than spend three years in the military.

Is there no benefit to the skills the military teaches in information technology? With my current degree (international relations) my job options are largely poo poo without a graduate degree or special experience.

The military uses computers that run Windows 98. What can you learn about IT from that?

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Delizin posted:

Zero, just hop on ebenefits or call up a VSO. You should be able to pull up the decision letter where they decided to back pay you. On the disabilities page in ebenefits it should also say what the effective date of your disabilities is which should let you know if that is what they are back paying.

lol ebenefits

I haven't been able to access anything other than my name and address on ebenefits since fuckin' August.

I've contacted the VA many times about this and all I've gotten was "we'll look into it."

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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TBeats posted:

plus you cant have dogs in dorms. you know what's a pussy magnet? monty.

I'm a ten minute drive from my campus, otherwise I'd be walking my dog on campus a lot.

Of course, I do need to walk her more...

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Nostalgia4Murder posted:

Make poo sculptures.

And then fling them at the VA. Say they're donations so that the VA can reallocate its arts budget.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Howard Phillips posted:

My school just told me that I need to pay my student health insurance and that the VA won't pay it under Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Is this correct?

I've been googling all morning trying to find official verbiage on whether student health insurance is covered under Post 9/11 GI Bill. Seeing as how I am required to have insurance under ACA/Individual mandate, I feel like the GI Bill should cover it. It's a hefty bill at $2700.

Why does the school say you have to have their student health insurance? If it's an ACA mandate thing, tell them you're covered as a veteran by the VA and they can pound sand. I don't understand why your school would require you to have their health insurance.

Zero VGS posted:

the $200/mo book stipend

The what?

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Zero VGS posted:

Let me Google that for you: https://www.google.com/search?q=gi+bill+book+stipend

$1000/yr for books, so it's less then I remember. You can still just pocket it and not buy books. They should pay it automatically with BAH.

I assume he's not disabled hence is not covered by the VA for health insurance.

Okay, yeah. I thought you were talking about something else entirely, some monthly benefit I'd never heard of.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Soulex posted:

How long does it take usually for an unemployability claim to go through? Had my VA appointments about a month ago, and submitted it back in September (early). I'm not expecting a quick thing, just wanting to know how long I'm gonna be left wondering.

My experience with the VA tells me that it takes them six months to rubber-stamp a form, and that's after you bring it to the direct attention of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

So.... sometime between now and the heat death of the universe, I guess.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?
While you're at it, get a set of your medals, too. If there's a spot for it, they'll engrave your name on the back.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305


Do you like muskets?

Soulex posted:

Here's a question. I got my 3rd GCM when I was on terminal leave but noone awarded it to me. It's automatic right? I don't have to worry about orders for it?

It's not about what it means or whatever, it's about what is owed.

Thanks everyone.

If it's only your DD-214, then yeah, you're good. If it ain't, then ask yourself how much effort you want to expend on getting someone to get you paperwork for a GCM.

I never got a couple Guard medals due me but IDGAF because lol Guard.

"Yeah, I have the Mississippi War Medal too!"

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Soulex posted:

Just gave the VA my Notice of Disagreement. My neighbor is a lawyer and wrote/formatted it for me after I gave him an example of what mine would look like (using CFR codes and such).

He used the word Capricious which is a nice new word. It means sudden change through unaccountable behavior.

Iím pretty sure Iíll get it this time. Selected to have a DRO look at it again, and reattached the letter from my doctor saying as much too. I also demand reasoning if denied again.

How long you reckon Iíll wait to hear back?

You'll get a letter back saying they've received it within a few weeks, and then a letter saying "we're still working on this" every few months for the next couple years.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Soulex posted:

How long does it take for the VA to acknowledge that they got your NOD/appeal? I went the DRO option so I hope it all works out.

A week or two I think? Maybe longer since it's the VA and gently caress you?

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Sarah posted:

Just had the worst experience yesterday. It was resolved but I just need a place to vent. Just utterly disappointed at the level of disrespect I got yesterday.

I'm glad it got resolved, but I feel awful for everyone who has dealt with this person. :(

Anyone who has had to deal with a lovely person at the VA I'm so sorry. No one deserves to be spoken to like I was yesterday.

I once had an admissions nurse at the Baltimore VAMC emergency room try to turn my wife away. "Ma'am, this is a veterans hospital."

It's still a goddamned emergency room.

It still pisses me off, and it's been like three years.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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boop the snoot posted:

isn't there an oath or some poo poo that doctors take that covers this type of thing?

Maybe, but this was a nurse.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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LtCol J. Krusinski posted:

I only have the one card to play in this thread, and itís the patient advocate. After that Iíll just invite you to come to Memphis and get baked.

Wanna get baked?

The patient advocate at the Memphis VAMC is the guy I had complaints about when I went there. I didn't get anywhere with my complaints, oddly enough.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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MonkeyWash posted:

I was having problems getting an outside appointment in Wichita, when I spoke to the Patient Advocate she told me how she used to work in the department that sourced appointments and how the whole process worked, she also mentioned how she was friends with the person who kept dropping the ball. I gave her the amount of time that she said the process takes and then called back and she gave more excuses for her old office. That's when I looked up the local VA Medical Director's phone number and called him. The patient rep called back within 30 minutes and apologized and my appointment was scheduled the next day. Even the Patient Advocates have a boss, don't be afraid to be pushy to get the treatment you need.

Oh, I just wrote him a scathing email explaining how many times I tried getting in touch with him after he'd stopped responding to me after our initial contact (I got put in touch with him after a call to a veteran suicide helpline) and telling him that I'm not going to commit suicide, despite his best efforts.

And CC'd everybody in his office.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Do you like muskets?
Arthur Johnson at the Memphis VAMC is a piece of poo poo and saying so where anyone who might have the misfortune to deal with him can hear it is a goddamned public service.

Yes of course he still works there.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Rekinom posted:

If I submit a claim for tinnitus with the VA, are those pretty much rubber stamped? Or am I going to have to go to some VA doc and get examined and do tests or some poo poo?

Really all I need is 10% because I want to get the funding fee for a VA loan waived, and I was gonna do it regardless after I finish my stint in the reserves. But I want to do it sooner than later so I can buy a house next year and not dish out like 13k for the fee.

It's rubber stamped if you were in an MOS that is usually associated with loud noises (which is most of them), but they might still make you take a hearing test.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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white sauce posted:

Yea this is my main question. If thereís a way to get that BAH money into my account without waiting for the entire month of July to pass.

Almost assuredly not.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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keylez posted:

So, my claim went from prepare for decisioning, to review of evidence...because my military medical records were scanned sideways and no one knows how to rotate a document. Anyway...

I got the results of my C&P exam, and my intution was correct--this examiner was not paying attention to me and did not accurately note the things I've discussed. In fact, theres a traumatic event I mentioned that was not included in the notes, and the other situation I mentioned is missing major details.

For godsakes, she even wrote down my place of employment completely wrong. What the hell is "ben mole"?

Judging by these results, its not looking too good, she checked a box in regards to my diagnosis:

"mental condition has been formally diagnosed, but symptoms are not severe enough either to interfere with occupational and social functioning or to require continuous medication."

Toward the end, they also noted the following that I have other symptoms attributable to mental disorders that aren't listed above. (for the record, i filed for depression and anxiety)

Judging by the total inaccuracy of this appointment, and in an effort to get in front of anything regarding this claim, can I proactively do another C&P exam? Am I jumping the gun here.

Welcome to appeals hell.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Is anyone else getting shorted on their GI Bill BAH? The 2018 BAH rate for my school (and what the GI Bill Calculator says I should be getting) is $58 more than what I'm getting.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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UP THE BUM NO BABY posted:

Has the rate changed for the academic year yet? I know that BAH changes in January-ish but that doesn't go through for the GI Bill until September or so

Well, according to the VA's own GI Bill calculator, I should be getting the higher number which is the 2018 BAH rate for my school's zip code. According to my eBenefits page, it's the same amount I received last academic year, too.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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Soulex posted:

Thats some good info thanks.

I also just got the news im 100% rated. If youve been on the fence about a lawyer for your rating appeal, hire one. Its still a long process but its so much quicker and the results literally made me the happiest Ive been in months. Been fighting for 2 years, and I realized I couldnt do it alone.

I'm in the process for this now. I figure that since the lawyer has an interest in getting me as much money as possible, this is the way to go to make sure the VA doesn't try to say "yup, you're broken" and give me 0%

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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DoktorLoken posted:

I got denied for tinnitus

How?!

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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DoktorLoken posted:

They said it wasn't supported by medical records and thus undiagnosed/not service connected. I'm certain it'd have been won on appeal but it wouldn't change my total rating so I didn't figure it was worth it.

Yup, spending thousands of hours around generators and listening to probable millions of rounds of automatic weapons fire (lol oops shooting a 240B and forget to put your earpro in) over the course of 6 years didn't do anything negative to hearing.

That's bullshit. I'd fight it on general loving principle.

McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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DoktorLoken posted:

I mean if it would've been the difference between 40% and 50% rating obviously it'd have been worth it, but the math doesn't work out that way.

An extra ten percent is always worth a few extra points, and might be the difference between 40 and 50 or 50 and 60 further down the road when something else breaks.

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McNally
Sep 13, 2007

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DoktorLoken posted:

It wouldn't really make sense to now unless I had another pending rating that'd push me to the 50% level? :shrug:

Press. This. poo poo.

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