Disabled Vietnam Vet. I receive SMC-M for loss/loss of use both lower extremities A/K 1970. In 1997 received 30% for Hep.C. In 1998 was awarded 100% for IHD (2-mets). Other disabilities rated for: 20% diabetes 2005 and rotator cuff surgery 10% 2012. My contention: In 1998 when I received the single 100% for IHD VARO gave me a P-award,which raised my SMC from M to N. Nothing was mentioned about considering inferring SMC-L which can be for a/a. It's mandated that a single 100% rating has to be considered for a/a by VARO or is a clear quality control error by VARO. I would of had 2 SMC 's between L and O if A/A was awarded,which is automatic SMC -O and even eligible for R-1. Not a greedy person but am severely disabled and don't want to be short-changed..........Need help !! Thanks. Jim
I am always mystified why veterans in your situation have not already hired an attorney with experience and expertise in veterans law. One of the beauties of the VA system, compared to other areas of the law, is that compensation to attorneys who advocate for veterans either get paid if the claim is successful out of the award, or are compensated directly by the VA. For some reason, there are many folks, including some of my fellow attorneys, look down on attorneys who accept compensation for working for veterans. Do these same persons, especially attorneys, refuse their salaries or compensation for their work? It is absurd, insulting, and harmful to veterans. I do not practice veterans law, but I know some accomplished attorneys who do, and I will gladly make a referral, if you wish. Semper Fi, Patrick McLain
Jim: You could seek a reconsideration or raise this as a CUE issue, but be advised, CUE is a very high standard to meet. Also, the rules in place at the time the N award was made are what are considered, not the rules as they stand today. VA hates CUE claims, so there will be a natural resistance if you bring the claim. Get a consult w/ a local VSO as to their thoughts.
You need your C file to see what the VA had and when. SMC claims are inferred claims, meaning they become pending when they arise through the evidence. So this could be a claim that is still pending. Or it could be closed and if that is the case then your only recourse is a CUE claim, which as Mr. Early stated is a very high burden of proof for you.
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