Members write me occasionally and during the course of their epistle, they always point out the increasing deterioration of their mental acuity. This happens to all of us as the HCV disease progresses. Others point out the Interferon therapy seems to accelerate it or increase the deleterious effects. I agree.
I noticed this today when I was roaming around the file cabinet and discovered something I was going to do but thought I hadn’t. It involved filing a claim for Special Monthly Compensation at the “S” rate. I filed for this legitimately in December of 2009 when I came home from the hospital- finally and permanently- after an extended stay of almost a year. I weighed 118 lbs (normally 165) and was so weak and dizzy I didn’t trust myself to drive. I had numerous appointments at the VAMC 42 miles away so I enlisted my wife, son and daughter to drive me out there. I filed for the SMC -S at that time. As most or perhaps some of you know, VA grants SMC-S for Housebound status. I have uncontrolled bowel movements to put it politely. I’m too dizzy from phlebotomies and anemia to trust myself behind the wheel beyond a short jaunt to the grocery store 3 miles away. I have started driving further, but am substantially confined to the house and the immediate rural area we live in. I do not travel extensively and the fear of incontinence keeps me close to a water closet.
So, I filed for the S rate in late 2009 and was denied in June of 2010. Some time this spring I must have filed a NOD but have no recollection of it. Cognitive brain fart. Here’s what VA has to say about that.
For the purpose of this subsection, the requirement of “permanently housebound” will be considered to have been met when the veteran is substantially confined to such veteran’s house (ward or clinical areas, if institutionalized)or immediate premises due to a service connected disability or disabilities which it is reasonably certain will remain throughout such veteran’s lifetime.
You can also get S if you have a 100% rating and another 60% from other combined ratings unrelated to the 100%. S gives you an additional $326.00/month or $3912.00 more per year. That’s not something to sneeze at. It stands to reason I’m going to fight for it as I am legitimately entitled to it. What’s smokes me is why VA denied me in the first place. Their reason? Why, I obviously can’t be housebound because I have attended all my appointments with my doctors at the American Lake VAMC! Colostomy bag? Not a problem. You can dump one of them anywhere in public without even pulling down your pants or going to the bathroom. Case closed.
What VA cannot explain is why they inserted cadaver flesh known as Alloderm into my abdomen in March of 2010.
Considering the product was recalled in 2005, they should have taken it off the shelf. I guess they didn’t want to waste it. Can you say §1151 claim? I expect that will give me the extra % needed to get the SMC-S. The scar from this baby is enough to send small children into seizures. Check it out. This is not for the faint of heart.
And you all wonder why I have a beef with the VA? They did this to me 4 times. This last one they didn’t even bother to button up because with their poor success rate, they figured they’d be going in again for #5 shortly. My grandson thinks I should dress up like Frankenstein for Halloween. I agree. I just need some big electrodes for my neck.