Saturday, April 22, 2017

Diet Soda: Is It A Killer?

Diet Soda Killer?
I've seen two articles this morning on how bad a diet soda is for you. You have to be shitting me. All along they say you shouldn't have sugary drinks and now they are saying diet soda causes strokes and dementia...but when all the factors like smoking, age, weight, current medical problems, and health are figured in...the figures don't mean anything and are inconclusive. So in the end it's all bullcrap, probably promoted by the sugary drink manufacturers and the sugar growers.
They should be concentrating on the effects of mixing prescriptions and the many ingredients in the flu shots they now keep trying to push on people, who in nine out of ten cases get the flu anyway. Seems to me they would cause dementia and strokes more than any ingredient in diet soda.
At age 70, I have a case of Type 2 diabetes, which they say is from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. I was exposed to it...but I never got diabetes until I started taking blood pressure meds, some of which make your blood sugar go up and down. So I quit drinking regular soda and switched to diet. Now they are saying diet soda can kill you?
When I first got back from Vietnam, normal blood sugar levels at the VA were 140 or under. Then it went down to 130. When I was diagnosed it was 125, and that day my blood sugar was 126. Years later, it was an automatic service connection, but since I was already 100% service-connected, the extra 30% didn't matter in the long run. Pretty soon they will have blood sugar levels down to 100, and anything over will be diabetes and you will have to take meds...and the only people happy will be the ones who own the drug companies.
Live your life. If you like diet soda, drink it. They don't really know what causes anything, and sugar is a lot worse for you than no sugar.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

PTSD: Temporary Improvement

PTSD: Temporary

You’ve been fighting a long time with symptoms of PTSD, and after the VA grants your claim, you are told that your compensation may be cut in the near future due to a temporary improvement  or even just an improvement.
  I tell veterans not to worry about this. PTSD is a lot different than a physical disability. Certain physical conditions do show improvement, and the rating percentage can be reduced at some point. But with PTSD, any long term improvement is not likely to happen (at least improvement that would deserve a rating cut).
  When you are first service-connected for PTSD, you may be called in for the first couple of years for a Comp Exam, but this doesn’t mean you are going to lose your percentage.
  The VA is so swamped with claims right now from the new wars that an easily settled PTSD claim is not going to be called back in any time in the near future. That would just add another claim to the already full docket.
  Also, the VA cannot cut a veteran with PTSD for any short term improvement without considering the entire claim history.
  One veteran who is currently 100% for Individual Unemployability was told that he would be called in for a future exam because ‘improvement was anticipated with continued therapy’.
  Just because a veteran improves on a temporary basis (there is no permanent long-term improvement of PTSD) does not mean the veteran is all of a sudden capable of holding a job, or spending months or years in some Voc Rehab training program. Still, it would be best for the veteran to continue therapy, or start therapy again until the condition is made permanent.
  The VA must follow regulations in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) before reducing the percentages of any disabled veteran.
  Veterans who have held a rating for less than five years are protected under several rules. According to the CFR, the VA must find that there has been an improvement in the level of disability before reducing the percentage rating. The entire history of the disability must be reveiwed. The evidence must show that there has been some positive improvement in the veteran’s ability to live and work. (Improvement does not mean such silly things as your ability to walk your dog down a public street or playing cards once a year...such excuses have been used to cut veterans by saying their social interaction skills have improved).
  Any attempt at reduction must also include a current Compensation Exam covering the issue of the disability. A Comp Exam for PTSD which does not include the issues bothering the veteran is not valid.

  Veterans with PTSD can expect to keep their percentage without fear of reduction

Friday, January 20, 2017

CUE: When The VA Violates Their Own Laws


  CUE means the VA did something in your claim which is a clear violation of their own laws. One example can be when a veteran files a claim, the claim remains open until they adjudicate it.
  Many times, the claim will sit in a file for years before someone gets around to deciding the issues. Once in a great while, a veteran will submit a claim, and nothing will ever be done about it. Years later, the veteran may submit a new claim for the same disability. If the VA grants the claim, the effective date of the award should be the date of the old claim, not the new one.
  This applies only to claims that were never adjudicated. If the VA did anything in the way of rejecting the claim, then it has been adjudicated. I often suggest to every veteran to save every letter or piece of paper they receive from the VA. That way, if you do file for the same disability years after you haven’t heard about an original claim, you have the proof in hand. If you don’t save your paper work, the VA may say you never filed, and you wont be able to prove that you did.
  This situation is really not a mistake in the law, but a mistake in applying the law because they didn’t adjudicate your claim. In another case, a veteran was rated at 70% for PTSD and filed for unemployability based on the fact that he couldn’t work. Voc Rehab had turned him down for training, and he was on medication. The VA denied him the 100% rating because they said his isolation from society (typical among vets with PTSD) was self-imposed.
  The Code of Federal Regulations doesn’t say anything about self-imposed isolation, as far as I know. The only way you couldn’t have self-imposed isolation is if you were in prison in solitary confinement. The VA never mentioned anything about his inability to work or anything about his work history. The total isolation and withdrawal from society due to PTSD rates 100%.
  Not only did the VA violate the law by not examining him for his ability to work, they made up some fiction about his isolation. This is really grabbing at straws on their part, and is a clear violation of their own laws. This claim went to the Veterans Court of Appeals, and was remanded back to the Regional Office to be fixed. It had been going on since 1989. In the end, the veteran was granted 100% going back to 1989. He ended up getting somewhere around 60,000 in back pay.
  CUE can be hard to prove, but your service organization will probably be able to spot clear violations in the law, and follow up with you. If the service organization offers to take the case to the Veterans Court of Appeals, you probably have a good chance because they wont take a case they don’t think they can win.
  Any veteran rated at 70% for PTSD should file for unemployability when they can’t work.
   If you’re not sure about CUE in your claim, ask someone who knows the law. And never give up!

Dennis Latham Books