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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 01-13-2013, 7:22 AM
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Default Anyone had a VA reexamination for an existing service-connection? What was it like?

I've had a service-connection disability for about 5 years.

I just received a letter saying they are 'working on my claim' and scheduling me for 'review examination'. I believe my initial rating letter in 2007 said they would check back in 3 years, but, I need to pull it out and see. This is the first I've heard from them since the initial one.

When I got my original service-connection I never had a formal C&P evaluation. I basically just saw someone at a VA medical facility for treatment and apparently that was good enough.

So, while this letter doesn't say "C&P' anywhere, I wonder if this is basically what it is? Also interesting is that the letter comes from a VA office in Lincoln, Nebraska, not the local Oakland one. I googled a bit last night and seems case overload is being handled at various other locations?

I am e-mailing my VA doctor so she knows what's up. So, anyone had a re-exam? What was it like? Basically nothing has changed for me. So, is it a simple process, aside from me not really wanting to go in and talk to someone new about it. Or, is the VA looking to give me a hard time?
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Last edited by TonyNorCal; 01-13-2013 at 7:28 AM..
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Old 01-13-2013, 8:05 AM
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They usually send you to an outside doc that is contracted by the va to do your examination. They even pay you to go depending how far it is. Its pretty straight forward. It may vary on what your disability is on how they handle it. But for me it was a lot of questions about my service and where and what I did. Its kind of like one big new exam. And then you wait months for your new eval hoping it stayd the same or goes higher.
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Old 01-13-2013, 9:21 AM
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Hmmm.

Seems like there are things one might talk about with a VA doctor that develop from a comfort level over time. Seems like some of that might be hard with some contract hack one has never seen before.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:48 PM
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I have not nor has anyone I know told me about them. I had a discussion about them with a counselor at the local Vet Center. He told me about how physical conditions dont merit re-evaluations as often as the mental health conditions. In relation to the mental health conditions (i.e. PTSD) the VA pays out A LOT for that and it is one of the areas that is re-evaluated for, to see if your condition have improved (thus cutting down on the compensation and pension you would receive if condition got better). The theory is that with ongoing treatment from the VA, that your mental health condition will just magically get better (which in reality mental conditions like PTSD rarely just "go away").
From what I was told, at certain compensation payout levels, vets are re-evaluated at a certain interval as they show up on the radar. I thought he said every 10 years, but in your case you said 5 years, soo... i dunno.
Best advice I can give you is that you act and look the part. If it's PTSD they are contesting, you got to appear like someone with PTSD. If it is a physical condition like muscle-skeletal injury ect, you need to walk into that appointment with some hisorical documentation to help prove you still have the condition like any tests or exams you got outside for the condition. If you go years without going into the VA for that condition and the VA hasnt been handing out meds to you for it, then I greatly suggest you go into the VA and get it documented that it is still affecting you. Otherwise, if you walk into this comp and pen re-evaluation without any recent or ongoing history of the condition be prepared for them to doubt your need for compensation.
If you have a local Vet Center, the counselors there are good at looking at this stuff with you (they also have access to CPRS, the VA's hospital's medical record system). They can also help you build a case for this upcoming compensation and pension re-evaluation, especially if the VA is challenging the compensation level you are getting for mental health condition. A counselor/provider there can write a formal letter in VA language to drastically help in that situation.
As with ALL compensation and pension stuff. Make sure you are on eBenefits website if you aren't already. In some circumstances you can track the situation more efficiently through the site then you can waiting for VA letters to come in the mail.
From what I've been told, the re-evaluation encounter is much like an original comp and pen encounter. Either way, weather its for an initial comp and pen or for a re-evaluation you just need to make sure you have the evidence to back it up and be able to demonstrate that condition during the comp and pen exam.
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Old 01-13-2013, 2:06 PM
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Kinda stressful, but the whole VA disability thing is. Oh well. Gotta do what you gotta do.

My initial letter said I would be reexamined in 2010. So, maybe they were busy and are just now getting around to it.

I've also googled some vet forums and seen posts by people who got re-exam letters and then no follow-up from the VA in scheduling the appointment. Some were told to then just ignore the letter. Some others had appointments come quickly. Hopefully I am in the former category.

I'll start getting organized and probably contact a Veterans Service Officer (they were helpful the first-time around).
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Old 01-13-2013, 2:14 PM
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Thanks for the eBenefits suggestion. I've done the initial online sign-up, but need to go in person for verification. I'll get on that.
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Old 01-13-2013, 9:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyNorCal View Post
Thanks for the eBenefits suggestion. I've done the initial online sign-up, but need to go in person for verification. I'll get on that.
I was under the impression that you can activate the eBenefits account by answering some challenge questions on the website (I did). I'm in Eureka here and nowhere near a VA regional office. I learned you can go to a Tricare office on a military base to activate it and was about to do that, when my counselor at the Vet Center showed me how to just activate it with the challenge questions. You want to get the Premium (gold access), the Basic (blue access) only allows you to change your contact information mostly and not much else. The Veterans Service Officer might also be a good resource as you said.

It is also a portal to VONAPP, for you to activate Post 9-11 GI Bill/GI Bill benefits.

The first thing I suggest doing when you get access is go through everything on the site and update every piece of your contact info that you can. It's amazing how many people dont get info about their benefits, appointments ect because they have outdated numbers and addresses. It can take over a month for the post office to forward to your change of address many time. A month can make or break you if the VA is requesting information from you and you're not answering.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:27 PM
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Thanks!

I was able to get the premium version activated here at home. Saved me a trip.

It can't access my letters at the moment, but I called tech support and was told that it can take a little time, to give it a few more days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangSteveGT View Post
I was under the impression that you can activate the eBenefits account by answering some challenge questions on the website (I did). I'm in Eureka here and nowhere near a VA regional office. I learned you can go to a Tricare office on a military base to activate it and was about to do that, when my counselor at the Vet Center showed me how to just activate it with the challenge questions. You want to get the Premium (gold access), the Basic (blue access) only allows you to change your contact information mostly and not much else. The Veterans Service Officer might also be a good resource as you said.

It is also a portal to VONAPP, for you to activate Post 9-11 GI Bill/GI Bill benefits.

The first thing I suggest doing when you get access is go through everything on the site and update every piece of your contact info that you can. It's amazing how many people dont get info about their benefits, appointments ect because they have outdated numbers and addresses. It can take over a month for the post office to forward to your change of address many time. A month can make or break you if the VA is requesting information from you and you're not answering.
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