Just wanted to thank the VBN and all its members for the wealth of info I have received the past years. I was rated 60% in 2001 after back surgery. Attempted repair at 1 level, 1 side of spine, surgery unsuccessful for attempted results due to existing scar tissue. Had numbness and muscle atrophy in left leg due to sciatic nerve scarring in lumbar. All was well until Nov 08 when I suffered another "attack". This time required major surgery, 4 levels, both sides of spine. I figured I would bounce right back like the first time but not the case. Unable to work due to pain, balance problems (numbness in both legs and feet now), and medications for pain (hate the meds).
I filed for VA compensation in Mar 09 and the VSO rep I used seemed more interested in getting it filed than whether the meat of the claim was actually there. 6 Nov 09 I was denied. Letter referenced the C&P evaluation. I was depressed and did nothing initially but watch the credit card bills stack up. In Apr 10, my LTDI provider said I was an ideal candidate for SSDI and "recommended" (read "required" because a clause in the policy stated I would lose my insurance if I did not follow their recommendations) I use a law firm they retain for my SSDI claim. I used their law firm and had a favorable decision in Oct 10.
In the course of it all, I had moved and in August 10, visited a PVA rep who thought I had a very good chance with a NOD if the SSDI came back favorable. Using a lot of advice given on this site, I composed a NOD. I wrote it in a very concise manner, with all statements made by me referenced to a tab with supporting documentation. The last tab had a CD of all my SS records (found out about CD from this site). When the PVA rep saw my NOD, he commented I needed to get a job as a rep!! We got the NOD date stamped 1 day before the 1 year deadline and in Mar 11 it came back with a favorable determination, 100% IU P&T, effective date Jan 31, 2009, the date my temporary 100% determination ended.
My son applied in May 11 for CH35, effective date Jan 31, 2009, and was approved all the way back to my effective date (over 2 years) and received his payment.
Once again, thanks everyone for all the info posted. Many times throughout the process, even if I did not find the answer I was looking for, I found links and such that did provide the answers. So if you think some of the threads on here are not relevant to you, keep an eye out as it may trigger another avenue in your quest for answers. An example is when I was researching CH 35 for my son, I came across some additional research I have to do on the Hazelwood Act in Texas, triggered by a post someone made to a CH 35 thread.
Sorry the post is so long, making up for the 2 yrs I didn't post!!