The Path to 100 – Richard Shuminsky

This is the third part to Richard Shuminsky’s VA Disability story. The first two parts of this story can be found here and here.

Was I excited that I was rated at 60%? Sure. Was I also pissed that many disabilities were deemed non-service connected? Yep! This realization took me into the world of trying to find medical evidence to support my claim and anyone who could provide me with guidance.

I started down this path by trying to find a lawyer because I thought that’s what everyone did.  I totally bought into what they were selling me and regrettably signed up. Well, two weeks later, I got a package in the mail that included disability benefits questionnaires that needed to be filled out.  I was in complete shock that I had to find someone else to fill these out, why didn’t the lawyer do this? So, I called the lawyer and they said they didn’t have to fill these out and to ask my doctors.

The Hunt for DBQs

The next day, I reached out to the VA and asked my doctors/specialist if they would fill out this DBQ, but they declined. I even took it to patient advocacy and left with empty forms.  I then started to research on my own and found a doctor that performs independent medical options. I booked a time to get the DBQs filled out, went to his office, and it was the VA C&P examiner from my first exam! He completed the exam and I ended up paying him a TON more then what I was prepared for, but I had no other options (I thought).

When I got the DBQs back weeks later, it looked like a two-year-old had written them! They were very sloppy and missing information, but again, I thought I had no options, so I accepted the DBQs. I sent them over to my lawyer, but all they did was forward them to the VA.

Money out the Window

I ended up working with another company to get some more NEXUS letters for each condition under appeal. I figure the more NEXUS letters the better. The price for each NEXUS letter was $500 and there were additional fees involved. The NEXUS letters were very poor quality looking back on it now, so much copy and paste. I paid out of pocket, again, for the letters and sent them to my lawyer to send it to the VA.

Around this time, I found a company that was helping with lifestyle impact claims. I talked to them and after two months I was able to get in to see an examiner to file my lifestyle impact claim. Since my PTSD was under appeal, it was quickly lumped in along with the appeal. After that route failed, I ended up stepping away from filing claims for a while so that my appeal would complete. I waited 3 ½ years for my appeal to come back with only 30% for depression as a secondary claim to my back.  

100% P&T

I fired my lawyer shortly after I received that rating. I ended up paying them thousands of dollars to simply forward paperwork, that I provided, to the VA.  I then found VA Claims Insider and things changed quickly and in my favor. I immediately got another DBQ from one of the contracted doctors here on the VA Claims Insider team and filed for an increase. Within 7 days of filing that Claim, they awarded me 100% P&T, plus Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)! SMC is an additional tax-free benefit that can be paid to Veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents.

I am writing all of this to say, I understand how difficult the process can be. There can be so much back and forth, and years of waiting for a claim that you do not deserve. If you think that you maybe could be eligible for more from your VA Disability Claim, reach out to us. We can let you know in our professional opinion if you have more that you deserve.

Richard Shuminsky is our Chief Technology Officer, Veteran Master Coach, and an Air Force retired Veteran. You can contact him at [email protected]

📣 Want to help even more Veterans? Please CLICK AN ICON ABOVE and "SHARE" this post on Social Media! Thank You! 🚀


Hi Veterans, how would you like to learn 3 VA disability claim SECRETS from actual VA Rating Officials, aka, the people who determine your final VA rating?

Brian Reese here, USAF 100% disabled veteran, and founder of VA Claims Insider.

Part of the reason we call ourselves VA Claims “INSIDER” is because we get access to information that nobody else does…

In my brand-new 30-minute video training you’ll hear from “Actual VA Raters Who Reveal 3 VA Claim SECRETS (Learn What the VA Doesn’t Want You to Know…)”

Are you finally ready to get the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve?

Enter your email address below for immediate FREE access to the training:

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Easy VA Claims to Win!

How to File a Claim on (step-by-step)!

How to Get a 100 Percent VA Rating (if deserved)!

Dear Veteran, here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

STEP #1: Complete Basic Information
STEP #2: Sign Members Agreement
STEP #3: Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

*Website Disclaimer*

VA Claims Insider, LLC is NOT an accredited agent, VSO, attorney, or entity recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. VA Claims Insider, LLC does NOT assist veterans with the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim or work with an accredited representative, many of which offer services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO by clicking HERE. Veterans may also search and find Accredited Attorneys and Claims Agents by clicking HERE. By using this website or VA Claims Insider, LLC’s Mastery or Elite program, you acknowledge that there are completely FREE services available to assist veterans with VA disability claims for VA benefits. Veterans always have the option to utilize the free services provided by entities such as National Service Organizations (e.g., DAV, VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, among many others), Service Organizations, State Sponsored Veteran Service Officers, and/or the paid services of VA accredited agents or attorneys. Utilization of VA Claims Insider, LLC’s website or services is NOT required to submit a claim for VA disability benefits, and you may achieve a positive VA disability claim outcome with these other free or paid organizations. Information listed on this website, including but not limited to, success percentages, disability rating increases, and processing timelines are averages and not specific to any one claim. VA Claims Insider, LLC MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF RESULTS BY USING THIS WEBSITE OR OUR SERVICES, AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY. Under no circumstances does VA Claims Insider, LLC, provide medical or legal advice. This website is solely for marketing purposes and contains no medical or legal advice. The VA Claims Insider® name and logo are registered trademarks of VA Claims Insider, LLC.