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Being a SMC 100% disabled veteran, I had a heart attack which was related to agent orange and was awarded 100% for the first three months, then rated 30%. I thought I would get more money, yet I didn't get any monetary increase. Am I entitled to an increase?



A1:  Correct you do receive 100% for 3 months after a heart attack. Then you are rated accordingly with the measurement of metabolic rates or ejection fraction of your heart.  (JRD) 11/30/16

A2:  I had the same thing (IHD) and 30% which is the flat rate, no increase.  (RS)  12/1/16

A3:  You are entitled to a temporary rating of 100% for three months while convalescing. This can be extended up to another three months while under doctor care. At the end of vonvalescence, you are evaluated per the CFR for residuals.  (AP)  12/3/16

A4:  All answers above are correct, but, the VA will downgrade you to what the Ejection Fraction is after recovery. The VA will not even look at the METs because they have found a loophole that is called co-morbid conditions of nonservice connected disabilities. The regulations say that a doctor can state that the ejection fraction is a better measurement of the heart function if there are comorbid conditions. But, those conditions have to be nonservice connected and I am fighting a number of these claims now. I have one veteran who the VA said was not overweight but because of the Body Mass Index which exceeded 30% the veteran was Stage I Obese so that was a co-morbid condition and the veteran's METs of 1 to 3 was not considered. It's tough.  (CP)  12/19/16


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