SincityCJ

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About SincityCJ

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Location
    "Vegas baby...yea"
  • Interests
    Family, the grandkids!, the outdoors, ATV's, firearms, enjoying life.

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  • Service Connected Disability
    80
  • Branch of Service
    USAF
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    Family, outdoors, off road, firearms...

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  1. I think you already know all of this but if you go for a lawyer, talk to several and hire one thats credentialed in your city and preferably with good Union/City/County Gov't experience. I wouldn't say another word to anyone in your chain of command or on the department for that matter until you get representation. The city is going after a fit for duty determination on you. You have PTSD, it's documented. Chances are, they already know but dont have the proof. You know how people are connected. The city can and did legally put you on an administrative status if they determine you are not "fit for duty" in any way, shape or form. Thats to protect you, the city and most importantly the people that you are sworn to serve. They can order you to an exam to determine the fitness. You don't make coffee for a living, you're a firefighter, world of difference, especially if you're an EMT, paramedic, an engineer, or an officer. Like it or not, your opinion of being fit for duty is only that, your opinion. HPPA or "Hippa" will not protect you at all from a fitness for duty determination. You missing promotions, overtime, etc... doesn't matter either if you're not eligible, meaning fit for duty. Not signing an ROI may slow them down, but they can legally keep you on medical leave until you satisfy the "fitness" requirements. They can also terminate you legally if you intentionally withhold information regarding that disability and its effect on your fitness for duty. Again, your opinion isn't the deciding factor, those job requirements you agreed to when you hired on are. I spent a career doing public service in a different city. Trust me, the city is not necessarily looking out for you. You may also want to research medical retirement from your position. Requirements vary from state to state...
  2. Hello Ms. Berta! Thanks for the quick response. I sincerely appreciate the help and your opinion. Looks like I have some homework to do on how to prepare the CUE. Hello Vync, The claim was for peripheral neuropathy, in both hands and feet, so in that sense it was specific I guess. I listed them as separate conditions (hands/feet) on the claim form when I filed, since each has a different diagnosis. As an FYI- For the rating of this overall condition, the VA lists specific codes for each individual nerve instead of a single code. So while I claimed the condition, in the supporting documents I also indicated the disability (noted by the Doc) on each nerve, hoping to make it simple enough for the claim examiner to follow the dots. They followed along great for the hands, but basically ignored the feet. Its almost like a typo or like i said above they just quit, at least thats how it seems anyway. I did watch the claim progress on e bennies. I had a sense of foreboding when I saw they approved the hands, adjusting the verbiage to match the appropriate disability coding for the hands of course and the claim for the feet dropped off the radar. The claim is now closed of course but it reflects what was awarded, not what was originally submitted, nothing left open or deferred on even or in the award letter. I submitted several different claims simultaneously. One was awarded outright, #2 they combined several into one rating and this is #3. ( I am kicking myself for not taking a screen shot of what was on E ben. ) So now I have to craft the appropriate appeals. The letter was issued the end of Sept. Thanks for the assistance, I appreciate any and all advice!
  3. Hello Berta, et al, I've been researching this issue of 'lack of rating' pretty extensively since receiving an incomplete decision letter, or more appropriately a lack there of, for a substantial portion of a claim. I believe I have a " Lack of rating CUE" but don't know for sure. Here's the history: I submitted a claim for a diagnosed condition (Peripheral Neuropathy) that was well documented, including detailed reports, diagnostics and an IMO. For reference, this condition effects both upper and lower extremities and is bilateral. The claim spelled out the desired ratings, the individual impairment, including dx codes, individually by each afflicted nerve where applicable, as per title 38. In the decision letter the VA only rated the upper extremity disability. Their letter completely and totally ignored the lower extremity. There is literally no mention of, no denial of, no combined rating of or for the lower extremities. There is absolutely nothing at all regarding the lower extremity in the decision. It's as if they got to a point and just stopped. According to everything I can determine through M21 and 38 CFR, for peripheral neurological disabilities, each nerve impairment is rated individually based upon exam and test results. Bilateral factor applies as does upper/lower extremity consideration when determining the final degrees of disability. So I'm trying to determine the best course of action. I think it meets CUE due to the fact that the RO completely ignored a claimed disability. Factoring in the lower extremity ratings significantly increases the overall rating for the condition and of course overall rating. Is it best to just file the timely NOD? or is CUE more appropriate? Please review and let me know your thoughts. Thanks to all at Hadit!
  4. The DX for IBS will certainly help the appeal. You now need to collect any documentation you have for that claim to file with the NOD. You have 12 months from the date of notification. IBS is listed on the GW presumptives. You absolutely can claim the shoulder, because it occurred while in service. It is a standard claim. What you cannot do is claim it as a GW presumptive. Just because it occurred during DS doesn't automatically make it a presumptive. The GW presumptives are for totally different conditions that are specific to the exposures. See the link below: http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-gulfwar.asp The skin condition you mention may qualify if it was undiagnosed. This one will likely take some serious work including an IMO as Berta mentioned above to get sorted out.
  5. When did you receive the denial? Just curious as you have a year from their decision to file your NOD. I'm sure others will chime in, so FWIW, my thoughts are you can and should file a timely NOD after and only after: careful examination of what they determined, how/why they denied the claim. development of additional evidence to substantiate the claims/refute the denial. gaining a thorough understanding of some things you can glean from Had it and other sources. getting your C file to determine what evidence is in there. Sorry to say but my .02 is the shoulder condition and the Psoriasis are ineligible for the GW presumptive list. You can see the list on the VA web page for GW vets. Both are diagnosed conditions that are not specifically listed by the VA in 38 CFR and that basically makes them ineligible for that route of service connection. Doesn't mean you don't have them or can't win but it's just not the correct route for service connection. The IBS however, if you meet the criteria, is a GW presumptive and can be claimed as such with some additional documentation. From the denial, it appears your claim didn't include a diagnosis of IBS. You can start gathering evidence for your appeal by getting either a private doctor or the VA to dx you with IBS. I'd recommend the private doc if you can. It will involve a colonoscopy, multiple visits, testing to rule out other conditions, dietary logs etc... Did you have C&P exams for any/all conditions? If so , get those results and see what the C&P doc wrote. In the shoulder decision they refuted your nexus letter. So you may have to fine tune that with some visits to the doc that detail the condition and how is related to service, i.e you worked overhead on c-130 engines for 5 years. Hope this helps.
  6. +1 on the advice from Gastone. If you are referring to the cutoff for GW presumptive, you'll need proof (i.e. a DX) that the condition manifested prior to that date. Unknown if it will be extended or not with the current circa inside the beltway...
  7. First things first, were you granted service connection for the GERD or IBS? If you are a GW vet with qualifying service you may be able to claim it as presumptive. You'll need to check the regs for the particulars on it to see if that applies. Please post a redacted copy (no personal info) of the letter for the good folks here to view and that will make it easier to help you.
  8. just my .02... Did you receive the award letter or looking only at Ebennies? Either one should show the effective date and the rating once a decision is entered. Letter will usually have a table showing date, amount of payment etc... Also check the payment history section of Eben. Depending on the amount of the retro, it may require additional approvals which may eat some time. Congrats on the win!
  9. JATO, Do you have a NOD filed for a different claim in addition to the other FDC you mentioned filing in a another thread or are they one and the same? Asking only as having a NOD under review equals NO FDC for new claims per 38 CFR...
  10. Raza, That seems to be the norm now with Ebennies. Status and what is needed will toggle back and forth, depending on where it is in the process. Dont worry too much over it. My recent claim has done the same thing you mention for several weeks. Remember, if your claim was sub'd as an FDC, you dont want to submit additional evidence (at random during the initial eval ) as it may cause them to remove it from FDC status. There's a list of reasons in 38 CFR for them to bounce it from FDC.
  11. Had very similar MRI results and med notes as yours. Mine was approved first time through after about 10 months total processing time, (submitted as FDC). Initial was 30%, but currently in appeal now (Thanks to HadIt! ). History shows GWI claims are tricky at best. Lots of GWI vets get snared by the unexplained/undiagnosed. It really depends on the claims examiner, the references used and the medical evidence. ( and of course the VA magic 8 ball...) Hang in there bud! Sincerely hope you get it straight from the start! Whatever happens, do not quit! Once you get the packet, go over it very carefully and post any questions you have here. Do your research, see exactly what they condition they really rate you with or how they deny it and go from there. The good folks here will get you on the right path!
  12. DocCO3, We're in a similar situation as far as symptoms go. I was approved for part, working up my NOD now. Read the links Pete provided. Check the VA's page for their definition of GWI. I'd suggest you print it or save it and go over it a couple times as the language can be confusing. Here's the info you want to study (same info Pete posted, from the VA webpage instead of CFR) http://benefits.va.gov/compensation/claims-postservice-gulfwar.asp As it pertains to GWI, treat it as a heading, not a condition. There are several 'components'. For GWI, the 'presumptive' clause means you dont have to tie your condition to a specific incident in service, just prove you were in the selected area of the theater. You have that covered. You also have the conditions prior to the exclusion date on 12/31/16. Last, you also have to prove that you now have x disorder. That part messes up a lot of gulf vets. You must demonstrate that you have one or more of the conditions under the GWI heading: i.e.: a diagnosed illness that meets the CFR such as: CFS, ALS, Functional Gastric condition, or an undiagnosed, medically unexplained condition, or one of the infectious diseases listed. I'd try to get your private doc to sign off on the dbq's for the conditions listed, add the copies of the reports and go from there with your NOD. Hope this helps. Everyone I've dealt with at the VA avoids any mention of GWI like the plague. The latest IOM GWI study even calls them out on this. Don't know if it will have any effect tho.....
  13. The bubbles or foam can signify protein leakage or "proteinuria". "Hematuria" is blood in the urine. Constant presence of either above a set level can be an indicator of kidney problems. Something you should probably get checked sooner than later. I was DX well over a year ago, likely caused by autoimmune problems. For many GW vets the auto immune issues sure seem to be the common link when you look at the problems....OEF/OIF vets have had similar immunizations and exposures...jmho.
  14. Heck Yea!!
  15. Chris, One thing that is needed is "how to substantiate a solid connection for GWI to autoimmune and/or XXXX health issues" It's the white elephant in the room and may seem painfully obvious, but linking GWI aka "Undiagnosed Illness" to any other health issues is nightmarish to say the least. The connection seems obvious and many Docs will tell you so, but establishing a defensible position on that link is an entirely different story. There simply aren't enough specific case studies or tests that can show any link between the issues. As we all know, relying on the VA to make the connection is fools play...so the GW Vet is left to completing a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces gone...The presumptive service part is a huge card in our favor. However, it doesn't make filing the claim/appeal a walk in the park by any stretch. GWI is like a dead end road, full of mines... There's lots of varied symptoms, but no recognized treatment or classification unless you attack them individually. Then, you run the risk of being diagnosed with XXXX, which precludes the "undiagnosed Illness" clause... There's also a lot of misconceptions in the medical community about what GWI really is and isn't, when and how it manifests and how it progresses, since it seems to vary so significantly.