pwrslm

Senior Chief Petty Officer
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pwrslm last won the day on February 19

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About pwrslm

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    E-7 Chief Petty Officer

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    Army

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  1. If it exists, the CUE for your case would exist here: 38 CFR § 4.2 Interpretation of examination reports. Different examiners, at different times, will not describe the same disability in the same language. Features of the disability which must have persisted unchanged may be overlooked or a change for the better or worse may not be accurately appreciated or described. It is the responsibility of the rating specialist to interpret reports of examination in the light of the whole recorded history, reconciling the various reports into a consistent picture so that the current rating may accurately reflect the elements of disability present. Each disability must be considered from the point of view of the veteran working or seeking work. If a diagnosis is not supported by the findings on the examination report or if the report does not contain sufficient detail, it is incumbent upon the rating board to return the report as inadequate for evaluation purposes. 38CFR § 4.6 Evaluation of evidence. The element of the weight to be accorded the character of the veteran's service is but one factor entering into the considerations of the rating boards in arriving at determinations of the evaluation of disability. Every element in any way affecting the probative value to be assigned to the evidence in each individual claim must be thoroughly and conscientiously studied by each member of the rating board in the light of the established policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the end that decisions will be equitable and just as contemplated by the requirements of the law. If they ignored existing medical records and instead relied on a C&P examination, then you may have grounds for a CUE. Check the dates to insure that the medical opinions were not overlapping the decision. If there was no excuse for them to not have had the cited records in their hands, then I would move forward with CUE. More info on CUE here: https://asknod.org/2014/05/02/cue-the-quintessential-elements/
  2. Symptoms sometimes make mountains out of mole hills.
  3. Is there anything in your service medical file that shows any problem w/neck? Arthritic and degenerative changes occur due to age as well as to injury. The key to win is to get an opinion about it from an MD, preferably a spine specialist, that ties your current condition to a problem in your service history. 1961 to 2008 is a long time considering only slight diffuse degeneration existed then.
  4. Just list them all and claim primary for all of them that come to light during active duty or the first year post discharge. Since you retired you should claim everything, if you sneezed claim it. If you twisted an ankle 18 years ago, claim it. Things get rated 0 because they dont cause pain yet, and everything that happened during active duty should be primary service connection. Go to the VAMC, get them to put every ache and pain in the medical record because the minimum rating you can get with pain on movement is 10%. When they send you for a C&P, if you didnt document a condition, claim it and amend your claim later. The key is just get it on paper. Make a note at the end stating that if any of these are not considered primary, that they should be considered secondary to any of the other conditions that are found to be primary. That way you dont give them an out because you make an additional inferred claim. An "inferred" claim is one not specifically identified by a claimant, but supported by the evidence. The real key is that if it is documented w/in 1 year of discharge, and you claim it they should give it to you. The part where you spent 20 years and retired means that they have to give you what you can document. After that 1st year is gone, its much more difficult because then you have the burden of proof of SC to jump through. Right now, before the 1 year expires, you have an open door and should throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, even if it only results in a 0% compensation because in 15 years, that could change.
  5. Not really, they have access to your computer file. She can tell you whats going on. Did it many times. Be nice to them, it goes a long way.
  6. Over X dollars, reward needs 3 signatures, never went that high so dont know how long they take. Check 2 things, Ebenefits and call Peggy (800-827-1000). One or the other should tell you what your claim is doing. It should be in appeal status or closed. At the least, peggy should get your BBE resent if the case is decided. If you cannot get the info, go to the regional office if you can. They should be able to provide you with the final decision letter, without that letter they wont pay a dime.
  7. Orlando Lake Nona VAMC has a new state of the art dental facility. Good techs there (so far). I got 4 implants last Dec, waiting till April for them to solidify for new teeth. This is under VR&E Ch 31.
  8. Finally came in VBA Decision.docx
  9. Not following you on this. You already approved for pension, and then got dependents included? If that is what it is, they should pay dependent increases back to the date you were awarded pension, or the date you acquired dependents (like if you just got married). I think you have up to a year to apply to get back pay, otherwise its lost.
  10. I use VA for Healthcare. It takes time, and you must be persistent. PCP puts in misstatements, they know that I will immediately Email them asking for a correction. They are doing it faster now-days... You have to be your own watch dog, check blue button reports weekly, demand corrections immediately when you find errors. You also need to be the squeeky wheel, advocate for your own care. Not heard from a provider or referreal? Call them, dont wait more than 3-5 days for them to contact you or they will take 6 weeks. Got somethng that you need work on to make a claim for secondary service connection? Read up on the condition, ask for the treatment, give them a valid reason why you need it (not just for a claim, but actual condition needs recognition in the VA medical records). If you have recognition of a condition, you have half the battle won for making a claim. Step by step, you have to work toward specific goals because the PCP or Specialists at the VA are swamped with Vets and they do not keep their minds on your needs like you can.
  11. If you got 100% and not by IU decision (or PTSD), you can work to your hearts content. P&T wont change that, P&T will just insure you dont get called in for any future exams, they concede that you will never improve. It will affect the SSDI if you get a job, any job will affect SSDI if you work for something like a year but if you have any skills at all you should probably be able to work part time and make more than SSDI pays. Dial in on CH31 benefits also, if you cant work get involved with the ILP like AskNod, the VA can do a lot for a vet, but you have to get savvy and learn the ropes to get it.
  12. Put in your intent to file on EBenefits, then you have 1 year to get it together and submit the FDC. Dont forget your own lay statement, anyone who knew you were airborne back then can also provide lay statements, as well as, anyone who has known you through the years and has knowledge that you have knee problems. It should have been an ongoing condition over the years, so employers, non service related medical files, family members all can testify that you complained about knee pain/problems. The VA cannot discount this testimony without cause, cause would be that someone attempts to provide a medical explanation as to the physical condition when they are not Doctors...so keep it simple. Properly done, lay statements are powerful testimony on your behalf.
  13. Just the fact that he had Hypertension in the service that never resolved is a big jump to get SC. Have you had an MD opine that it more than likely was caused by the pesticides and/or carbon dioxide poisoning in service? Proof that pesticides were used and proof that he was exposed to them are 2 different issues. He must give a lay statement that it happened, and it would be very smart if you had more than one statement from buddies that had been exposed in the same fashion. If you were with him back then, did he tell you about this? If so, you should also provide a lay statement as to what and when he told you about the exposure (and did you smell it on his uniform, etc...) Did he have any spine related problems in service? Back pain or lumbar strain must be documented in SMR or its a real battle to get SC.
  14. You need an IMO. Take both of the MRI's (from 1997 and 2017) and ask if the 97 MRI shows anything that could have contributed to the 2017 one. You will not get SC from this DBQ because the examiner did not give you a positive opinion for SC. The info in your old medical records and current records need to be taken for the IMO as well, because C&P examiners are known to skip over a lot of information to come to conclusions. They are very sloppy! You should make yourself familiar with both records, highlight the info for the IMO Dr so they do not miss all the facts that they need to come to an honest opinion. If they say no, its not likely that you will get SC. Torn ligaments and muscle that do not heal properly can affect the balance of the lumbar spine and eventually lead to issues leading to IVDS/DDD. These conditions lead to advanced arthritic conditions. You have both. They said you had a congenital issue as well, and they have to show that the injury you had did not cause or contribute in any way to your current condition. They did not do that, leaving the door wide open for you to come in with the IMO. If they opined that you did not have any long term residual problems from lumbar strain, they would have had to document that as well (also absent). You can win BUT you have to do it the right way, leave holes in the claim and they will deny it till you die! Meanwhile, you should also make sure to see a good spine Dr for the IMO, your current condition with mild/moderate forminal narrowing can have some hefty effects if you dont watch it. I ended up losing a lot, left leg atrophy due to nerve damage 2 years ago, it will never heal, nor will my foot drop. I will now use a cane for life and cannot run anymore. Fair warning!! Your exam showed you have left leg pain/numbness, neuropathy is what it is called, dont ignore this.
  15. Over 50% means you should have 100% medical free at VHA. Talk to your PCP and ask to diagnose you neck pain issues, they should be able to get xrays and MRI done for a referral to a neurologist or orthopedic specialist. Make sure to tell them if you are getting any neuropathy in your neck/upper chest or arms that could be caused by cervical spine problems. That would be much more effective than just pain in the neck.