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Found 89 results

  1. My claim for ervice connection for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as a presumptive service connected disability due to my service in the Gulf War per 38 C.F.R §3.317 was denied. Wondering how I can succesfully appeal. VA DENIAL LETTER “ Service connection is not permitted if there is affirmative evidence that the disability was unrelated to military service in the Gulf War. Service connection for unexplained chronic multi symptom illness to include irritable bowel syndrome is denied because evidence established that this disability result from poor diet and fitness. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. We did not find a link between your medical condition and military service. On examination, the examiner indicated that your stated symptoms do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis for irritable bowel syndrome and are most likely the result of poor dietary and fitness habits.” SERVICE INFORMATION & MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS: I served in Southwest Asia during Operation Iraq Freedom. My unit did participate in ground combat in Iraq. I have been diagnosed with IBS from VA medical doctor. I currently take both RX & non-RX medication for IBS. This information was submitted in my claim but not listed as evidence considered C&P EXAM Examined at VA Loma Linda. Examiner is a physican assistant. Examiner did not ask about fitness or diet patterns. Blue Button says I am unable to view the exam notes.
  2. First of all wanted to start this out by saying thank you to all the members on this site. I have been doing all my own research and very often arrived here. Today I decided it might be better to get direct contact instead of lurking in the shadows. The short version is that I have not been able to find work after separating, I'm currently on unemployment to keep myself out of debt while I figure this all out. I was in school for a few months and while I was struggling a bit I did my best to push through which was kind of working out for awhile. Eventually I started getting to the point where I could only manage to push myself to get to class and landed right back in bed afterwards. This effect snowballed and now I have just been medically withdrawn from university after missing 2 weeks of class. Those two weeks I could not get out of bed almost the entire time, I have been taking my meds and everything but sometimes depression just decides its going to mess your life up and you don't have the will or energy strong enough to overcome and keep going. But back to the point, the VA awarded me 30% for depression, anxiety and insomnia combined into one rating. Trying to figure out how I am going to get by and what I can do to survive brought me to the vets group on campus where one of the other guys after hearing what was going on suggested trying to get my rating increased and possibly seeing if I am eligible for individual unemployability. After reading how the VA scores depression I believe I might be in the 70% range but I'm not sure how to go about this. I've got the NOD paperwork but didn't want to fire off half cocked. I look to you all for some help with this as time and again I've seen this community help each other navigate the labyrinth that is the VA. My question here is multifaceted, which I will break down for easier reading and responding. 1. When filing a NOD should I go for DRO or traditional? 2. What evidence should I include with this to increase the likelihood of conveying my situation properly? 3. Should I talk to my doctor about trying to raise my percentage or keep the two separate? 4. Should I focus on the depression or give information on insomnia and anxiety as well/ would they all go together? 5. Lastly What sort of timeframe should I expect, I've seen people saying a few months and others waiting years later. Thank you all for any help you can provide and if you need any more information or clarification I will gladly supply it. (There are other things in my disability claim but they are much minor to the mental health issues and I believe the ratings I received for the others were fair or fair enough.)
  3. SO MIAN POINT WAS ,,, DO NOT DO A DRO REVIEW IF YOUR SERVICE VET REP SAYS GO FOR APPEAL. THIS IS REAL BIG.... THIS MEANS IM SAYING TO ALL VETS TO SKATE OUT OF THE DRO REVIEW ... NOW,,, IF SOMEONE TOLD YOU THAT YOU CAN WIN WITH THE DRO THEN OK BUT,,,, YOU ARE ONLY SMART TO TO SIGN THE I9 PUSHING IT TO BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS., REASON IS,,,, ONCE YOU DO THAT THE RO WILL SAY OH xxxx,,,, THEN THEY WILL PUSH FOR ALL OF TYPES OF HEARINGS BUT AT SAME TIME KEEP YOUR PLACE ON DOCKET. SO,, SAY F-U TO DRO REVIEW THEN FILE YOUR FORM 9 AND LET THE RO DEAL WITH YOU AS YOU ASK FOR A PRINT OUT OF YOUR SUBSTANTIATED APPEAL. THIS WORKS FOLKS.. THATS WHY IM SAYING IT... THE ABSOLUTE MAIN POINT FOR BEGINERS IS THAT YOU REALLY WANT YOUR DOCKET NUMBER NOT YOUR DRO REVIEW. IM JUST TRYING TO HELP.!
  4. OK Folks, Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading. After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system. I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records. I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File. (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope. I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating. I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO). I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational. I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.) When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but hey...it's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate. I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on. My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it. And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now. So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land? Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march. Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others. Mark
  5. I have submitted multiple NOD Appeals (4) nearly a year ago now.......my question is that one of these is just for an increase in disability compensation from 10 to 30% based on exceeding the criteria for episodes, but I submitted as NOD along with the others. I achieved the required number just a month after getting approved for 10%. Since this appeal amounts to an increase and meets all the qualifying criteria do I benefit any at this stage by notifying EVIDENCE INTAKE CENTER that this particular appeal is for an increase only that has since been obtained under the required regulations......or is it better to just let it ride out now as a NOD. Has anyone had a similar situation?.
  6. My appeal to have my OSA service connected rating back dated to my original claim was completed in December. I've waited for the letter, but nothing. Just today I noticed that my effective date for the service connection on the OSA has actually been changed to 2004. I'm still waiting for the letter, but does that mean I'll receive back pay? I filed my initial claim two months after leaving active duty in 2004. The VA denied service connection because they did not have all of the information. I re-submitted for the OSA service connection, which they agreed was service connected but the effective date was 2014. I filed the appeal/NOD back in 2015 and it just now finished. Old effective date was 2014. New effective date is 2004. Will I get retro pay?
  7. i see a lot of things on line regarding time frame. most start with the word NOD,,,, well im trying to get a real conversation on time frame. im not asking about returns to bva or when your appeal started,, i know that info.... MY QUESTION IS,,, ONCE YOU MET THE JUDGE IN DC AND DISCUSSED YOUR CASE AND HE SAID THATS THAT,, NOW WAIT FOR MY DECISION,,,,,, HOW LONG IS NORMAL..... HOW LONG IS NORMAL TO WAIT FOR A JUDGE TO MAKE A DECISION ON A CASE HE HAS PRECIDED OVER?
  8. I hope you can help me; not sure what I should do. I was rated Service Connected Disable for PTSD on August 21, 2012 @ 70%. I didn't expect this at all. If anything, I thought I would get a low rating for my physical aliments............(neck, back head shoulder). When I applied in 11/2011, I had been out of work for 3 yrs and was totally distraught,confused and disoriented. Needless to say, I finally got a job in 02/12 and it is no where near what I use to do or the money I use to make. I'd like to know what your advice would be for this: I see where I do have serious social and economic problems and believe I am totally diasable & want to ask for 100% PTSD, Permanent and Total. I'm still on this job that wrecks my nerves, can't stop the obsessive thoughts and wants to hurt people because I don't work well with people at all. I took this week off because I couldn't pull up the gumption to go back in there after the week, mentally. What should I do; appeal my rating 1st and then apply for TDIU while working or do I go ahead and let the job go in order to apply for TDUI and then appeal the VA's decision? Thanks in advance.
  9. OK So I filed a NOD for an earlier effective date on the claim of my service related claim of Asthma. I received a rating decision dated May 5, 2016, of established service connection for asthma from September 9. 2014. That was the date the VA received my claim. This was a reopened claim. Now they knew this. I had forgotten that back in 1984 soon after I was discharged I had filed a claim for Bronchial Asthma and was denied in 1985. I never appealed it, and there are far too many reason why to get into them at this point in time. But this rating decision in May gave me 60% right after I had a C&P exam done. I was rather surprised at the time how fast the claim was processed and approved which all the news about appeals and denials. Before this approval reached me I was told to go on line and join ebenefits because it was the best way to communicate with the VA and if my claim was approve I would be able to enter my banking information thereby making it possible to receive my benefits electronically. I did join ebenefits eventually found out that back in 1984 I had filed an initial claim for Bronchial Asthma it was denied in 1985. I had also signed the form for the DAV to represent me back then. SO this is where my claim starts to get really screwed up. In September of 2014 of course the VA didn’t know I had previously filed a claim for SR Bronchial Asthma, however by the time I was sent for the C&P exam they did know. Yet at that time they still were not referring to this claim as my reopened claim. Whenever I spoke with anyone regarding this claim it was always as if it was a new claim. It wasn’t referred to as a reopened claim until my memory was refreshed when they FINALLY decided to grant me the privilege (what was actually my right and I to have to demand) of providing me with a copy of all my military files!! And at that point the Gig was up!!! Whereas the individual at the Boston VA office when I finally got through to someone there told me I should speak with my representative (For several weeks I had left messages at a number which stated it was the DAV Boston) I told Nicole, who also happen to have been the person who had scheduled that HORRIBLE PTSD/MST C&P exam and so conveniently did not send or provide all the statements in support of my claim to the examiner. (NICE? Huh?) Anyway she told me I should be speaking with the DAV. I told her that I had been trying to reach them for several weeks, that I had left messages everyday but never got a call back. Nicole said she would make sure someone from the DAV called me. Funny how within an hour I did hear from the DAV. (Found out the Boston DAV is not only in the same building but on one of the same floors of the Boston Veterans Administration.) (Anyone thinking conflict of interest here??? Because that is what I have begun to think) Anyway if I don’t watch it I will go off subject and never get out the questions I have. So eventually I pushed for a 2nd PTSD C&P exam that was granted and in July I was awarded compensation at 100% which was a combined rating with the Asthma and the PTSD and the UE rating. But I had also filed the NOD for a EED on the Asthma. SO here is my first question. I know when I filed my NOD that I asked for a person to person hearing. I remember that being a choice and one that I did mark off. So I was rather curious why I wouln’d be granted one? I got the SOC on my NOD around the same time as the approval came and I called the DAV representative because there was a problem with the SOC and her attitude was really shocking to me and it really pissed me off to. I mean she got pissed at me because I asked if there was anyway to talk to the individual who had done the review and written up the SOC, because it was wrong!! At first she said don’t make waves that I should just let it be!?? But as I read it over again I was like NO WAY!!! This is WRONG!! SO I called her back and out right asked about speaking to the reviewer or possibly his supervisor? That is when she got all pissy with me!!! SO I sent her an email that basicly let her know that she hadn’t done any thing for me any way so what the hell I’ll come in to the Boston VA and ask to speak to someone there, myself. She sent me an email back that basically indicated she was no longer going to represent me. So I sent an email to the DAV main Boston Office asking them for the forms that I needed to get rid of them and find someone that actually wanted to represent me in this matter. I ended up getting an email from the 2nd in charge who said they were still my reps and that he would handle my case. Sounds good right??? NOPE it’s not. He is every bit as evasive as the last person was. The only reason the Boston VA issues a SSOC is because when it seemed after I was approved for the 100 percent the local VA was Fing with my case and no mater how many forms I gave them they kept pushing back the date that they would settle and send out the notification letter then start at least paying me the 100% monthly amount. The first date was the end of June then July some time, then the end of July then August, until it got moved all the way back to January 2017. So I had enough and wrote an email to Secretary McDonald. And believe it or not I got a response back from so one in Washington out of his office who said someone would contact me. A week later the 2nd in charge of the Boston VA called me and we had a long talk. He got the problem with the benefit taken care of like he said he would and I got the retroactive and pay by July. He also said he would talk to the people in the review office about what I saw as an error and he would have them take care of it. Unfortunately he was transferred before they took care of the whole issue so only part of that was taken care of. Hence the SSOC was issued. But it was issued on the same date that my appeal was certified and sent to the BVA. So my 2nd question I have is this. Does anyone know if my case could have been settled on a local level had I not filed the Form 9 if I have officially reopened the case instead of continuing on with what appears to be a new case filed in 2014? And my 3rd Question is, what exactly is a medical Nexus??? See I thought that was a connection between the in service condition and the current disability??? So below is a statement made by the VA Doctor who performed the last C&P exam that was requested by the individual who did the review and this Doctor I believe absolutely creates this so called Nexus!! SO if he has why didn’t they settle it and why would they deny their own Nexus??? Oh and part of this is the problem I found where there is a typo that the person who transcribed the Doctors notes left out ONE word in a sentence. However it is a vital word for the sentence and the whole paragraph to make sense. To date it still is NOT fixed!!! Tell me if you catch it. The word that is left out is “NOT”. SO the following is the VA doctors report PLEASE give an opinion or suggestion!! I think I am about to go MAD!!! Aileen M Dodge ACE and Evidence Review ----------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] Review of available records (without in-person or video telehealth examination) using the Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) process because the existing medical evidence provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination will likely provide no additional relevant evidence. Evidence Review Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: Active duty service dates: Branch: Navy EOD: 03/30/1980 RAD: 03/30/1984 Branch: Marine Corps EOD: 03/07/1978 RAD: 03/24/1978 OPINION: Direct service connection Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of (a) asthma that is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by (the) respiratory complaints during service? POTENTIALLY RELEVANT EVIDENCE: Tab TAB A (Veteran's statement in VBMS): Veteran's application for service connection dated 09/09/2014 Tab TAB E (STRs in VBMS): service treatment records show respiratory complaints to include bronchitis and asthma dated 01/16/2015 Tab TAB B (Outpatient treatment records in VBMS): VA respiratory DBQ dated 04/18/2015 Tab TABS F-K (Private treatment record in VBMS): Multiple records from Beverly Hospital showing treatment for respiratory condition dated 04/25/2015 Tab TAB C (Outpatient treatment records in VBMS): VA pulmonary function test dated 05/04/2015 Tab TAB D (Veteran's statement in VBMS): Veteran's statement dated 06/10/2016 b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: respiratory TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE CONNECTION ] a. The condition claimed was at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness. c. Rationale: I have reviewed all relevant documentation in the claims file, with particular attention to the documents cited in the 2507 and tabbed. The period of service that seems relevant to this opinion is that of the veteran's second enlistment, from 1980 to 1984. Her enlistment examination dated 11JAN1980 makes no note of respiratory disease. In her separation examination dated 20MAR1984, veteran reports having asthma and shortness of breath. In the interval, the veteran compiled a substantial record of respiaratory signs and symptoms, beginning May 1980 and intensifying during June 1980. She was variously given diagnoses of asthma or bronchitis, and treated for both. Wheezing was heard on physical examination more than once. Chest radiographs were non-diagnostic, and were normal at time of separation. Pulmonary function testing was abnormal as early as 06/26/1980, with marked reductions of FEV1 and peak flow, both minimally responsive or unresponsive to inhaled bronchodilator. By 2013, her pulmonary function had deteriorated even farther, and chest imaging showed transient ground-glass opacities. Pulmonary function testing at VA Boston in 2015 showed additional deterioration, with no response to inhaled bronchodilator (I cannot determine whether she was already maximally bronchodilated from medication). This veteran has a pulmonary disorder characterized by asthma-like symptoms and by moderately severe airflow limitation with inconsistent response to bronchodilator. The correct diagnosis may not be asthma, but as a working diagnosis asthma is adequate. It is clear that the veteran's condition began shortly after her re-enlistment in 1980, and has worsened since then. The condition was noted on her entrance examination. In my opinion, this veteran has asthma or a similar chronic respiratory disorder that more likely than not was incurred in her military service from 1980 to 1984. *************************************************************************
  10. Good day all, quick question. May be a little confusing but I will do my best. My comp is currently under review for NOD. However, I recently admitted myself to a walk in VA clinic for MH. It is not one of the issues contested in my NOD. Do I have to file a new claim, or do I assume that all of this will work itself out. I'm not proud of the reason I went to the walk in, and I don't want to ask the question as if I'm trying to pull a bigger percentage, but after reading threads, I feel safer asking here than there. Thanks all.
  11. What is the best way to go if you do not want it to take forever to get a rating. I was looking at the DRO process and thought it was supposed to be the quickest way to go. After reading this, I see that it's not. I need the fastest results for someone I am helping who is currently homeless. Finally got PTSD diagnosis based on MST from VA doc and am in the process of filing a NOD. Seems like this may be a long route. Is requesting a relook the best way to go? Thanks.
  12. So on Monday I had my C&P exams for my feet/ankles/toe and scars. I think it went rather well and the doctor was thorough. These C&P exams were ordered on September 8th, 2016 by the DRO in WACO after she over turned the other DRO's decision. She ordered the C&P exams so I could get a proper rating on my contentions. She over turned the DRO's decision due to his egregious errors in my decision that I brought to the attention of Mr. Robert McDonald's office and my local Congressman. After getting the representative from McDonald's office to contact me and then to get the WACO office to contact me, I sit here today awaiting the decision I should have had years ago. I am grateful the new DRO reviewed the decision that the previous DRO made and over turned it. The DRO that made the egregious errors in my decision has apparently done this to other Veterans. I hope they investigate this DRO. I am thankful I did not have to go another 2-4 years to the BVA to appeal a decision due to the egregious errors by one DRO. I am grateful the new DRO assigned saw the egregious error and reversed the decision at the RO level. I did talk to the DRO on Wednesday and she said she received the scar C&P exam but not yet received the Foot/Ankle/Toe C&P exam. She said it shouldn't be too long and then she can rate me. I am so anxious right now!
  13. In July of '15, I appealed a denial of service connection for a R shoulder condition. I submitted actual copies of a shoulder injury from my Navy medical record, along with evidence of surgeries in 200 and 2015 done by non-VA doctors. At the same time, I filed for an increase in my cervical spine condition. Of course, nothing has happened yet, but it appears that the VA has lumped the two together as one "appeal." I submitted the paperwork under the direction of my NSO. I'm sure this question has been addressed here periodically, but I'd like a fresh opinion: As time goes by, I continue to be treated, tested, injected, etc. for both of these conditions; they are getting worse and worse and the NSO is encouraging me to go for and IU claim, but I still want to try to work. Also recently lost my wife to cancer so i'm the only income anymore. I've been told that submitting additional evidence causes your claim or appeal to go back to the beginning of the process. Is this true? Also, does the VA, when they do get around to looking at my appeal, automatically go through my record and look for information pertaining to my claim? I began using the VA system exclusively last fall, so the new information should be readily at hand. Do I have to go through and pick it out and submit it to them as supporting documentation, or will they find it on their own? If I need to submit, then it goes back to my question above; am I just moving my appeal father away from being considered? Aside from that, I recently got a favorable 10% for tinnitus. I was already at 90% and the new award doesn't push me to 100, but i guess it always helps to document it. Considering a subscription - these ads are a killer and make using the site a lot more confusing to me. Thanks for all the work you do, all of you! Jim
  14. I posted this in my other ongoing thread but I want this brought to the forefront. I was recently denied by WACO DRO Steve Wilbur and I believe I was retaliated because I simply asked Robert McDonald in an email to step in after 6 months of waiting for a decision when the DRO told me in the informal hearing to give him 60 days. My hearing was 45 minutes long and I was well prepared. The DRO Steve Wilbur has a very bad reputation at WACO for denials. I received a call from DRO Wilbur on August 18th, 2016 stating he received my request for a decision. He told me he would be deciding it within the week but in fact he had already decided it that day! Now I have yet to received the SOC but I have a Women's Outreach Coordinator in St. Petersburg VBA who is a very close friend of mine and happened to see the denial in my records. This idiot DRO failed to put a cover letter with my SOC and no date on my SOC. He simply submitted it to Evidence Intake and never mailed it to me! If it wasn't for my connection I would still not know and would not be within the 60 days to file the Form 9. I emailed Robert McDonald earlier this week, firing off my distaste for this DRO and my local congressman. I plan to further put him on front street when I do file the Form 9. As for my NOD, I filed it back in 2014 for right foot (5th metatarsal fracture), right ankle condition, and left toe condition. I am attaching a lot of documents and I know we all have busy lives and I have helped a lot on here and now I need help please! I need your opinions on this situation. Original denial for toe condition was on decision letter in June 2014. They put the denial of the toe condition on the wrong foot! It was noted on the right foot when it should have been the left foot. I pointed this out since my right ankle and right fracture had yet to be decided on. November 2014 received denial for right foot/right ankle and toe condition noted on left toe continued to be denied. This was after I had a C&P exam July 2013 where I provided TWO DBQ's from my current outside podiatrist stating my injuries to my feet/ankles/toe was all in-service injuries and I was still affected by them to this day. That was 2013. I was s/c in June 2014 and was able to start getting treatment by the VA. My primary had X-rays completed and in 2014 it showed an old fracture to my right foot, the 5th metatarsal. The C&P examiner made a rationale that stated he noted diagnoses in the C&P exam. He felt comfortable with the DBQ's from what I gathered. November 2014, a medical opinion by some doctor I never saw but supposedly reviewed my records determined either I was healed and no further treatment or that I had in-service injuries but no loner had issues. So I filed NOD November 2014 citing the errors and why I felt the denial was incorrect. Fast forward to February 2016, I had my informal hearing with DRO Wilbur. I had submitted a Nexus letter dated February 12th, 2016 from my podiatrist indicating he reviewed all my SMR's and my current conditions were all related to in-service injuries. During the hearing, DRO Wilbur even stated that a fracture in s/c with no further residuals is at least 0%. He further went on to review the Nexus letter noting that my Podiatrist stated all three contentions were in fact in-service, continuity continued. DRO Wilbur told me 60 days to decided. DAV rep was present. I felt good......WELL, then I was denied last week. Here is the evidence I submitted to the DRO for review. I am just lost for words on this! DBQ ankle conditions_Redacted.pdf DBQ foot conditions_Redacted.pdf medical opinion w-o exam_Redacted.pdf Timeline for NOD hearing.pdf Nexus letter-redacted .pdf NOD - Denial Letter .pdf NOD evidence notes.pdf
  15. Well good afternoon my fellow Vet's!!! I am really deflated right now....It's going on 3 months since I had my DRO review hearing with no end in sight. I was told that it could be weeks to months to up to a year for the decision. What erk's me is the fact that I had my hearing why can't the DRO take the time to review and come to a ruling? It's so frustrating! I am going on 3 years since my initial claim and almost 2 years since I filed my NOD. I understand there are others in the same boat or worse boat and I do sympathize with all my fellow Vet's! Now on top of this, most of you know my story.....I broke my right foot in two places on Christmas Eve. I had surgery on January 6th, 2016 and I filed an FDC January 12th, 2016. I filed that my left ankle was the cause of my right foot injury. I was granted 100% temporary convalescence for 4 months due to my left ankle giving out on me and causing my right foot injury. Now if you all remember, I have my NOD since 2014 trying to get my right foot/ankle and left toe S/C which was denied in 2014. My medical records back up my s/c as well as my doctor's letters (IMO) that state my injuries are directly related to my active duty. But here I sit awaiting the NOD decision. Well yesterday I took a bad tumble and fell down the stairs causing sever bruising and swelling to my left ankle and left leg. I am sitting here at the West Palm VA as we speak awaiting to see my Podiatrist for the results of the X-rays BUT while I had my visit with him today, he had another doctor come in and look at my X-rays for my right foot and both of the doctor's state I need revision surgery to my right foot because the bone graft is not "uniting" the bone together. The Podiatrist I had do my surgery in January put pins/screws/plate in the one fracture but only bone graft in the other. Since then the bone is separating and the doctor feels the surgery is necessary and will require me to be out about 2-3 months once again! It's my right foot so I can't drive and it's frustrating! On top of this, my left foot/2nd metatarsal toe has two screws in it that are "coming up to the skin" and they feel that at the same time they do the right foot surgery they need to look into that! I literally just got back on my feet and was feeling okay! My feet/ankles SUCK! I feel so depressed! I just want to cry! I will update you with my X-ray findings but I needed to VENT!!!
  16. I came across this blog and it really helped me understand my NOD process.... http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/25738/the-appeals-process-appeals-at-the-regional-office-level/
  17. I sent in my NOD application asking for a DRO HEARING but attached no new evidence (have plenty). My question is will RO ask me to send in my new evidence at some time prior to my actual scheduled-to-be DRO HEARING? I have read you should send new evidence immediately, then some say wait and show it to them in person. Do I even have either of these options, or not? Hope someone can offer their experiences ........(1) sent new evidence with NOD form.....and (2) anyone who waited till the Hearing to provide all new evidence. Wayne
  18. Vets: I submitted and am processing an NOD for my first claim. Also, can I file a new claim for a new contention while I have an NOD Pending or does everything stop while the NOD is being processed for the DRO that I asked for ? I know that the DRO review is going to take one to two years? Also. If I file multiple NODs, for multiple claims will the VA consolidate the NODs into one single NOD? Thanks in Advance, Rootbeer22
  19. QUESTION 1 - Is there normally a point in time after I send in my NOD that RO will ask me to send in my new evidence prior to my actual DRO HEARING. QUESTION 2 - Am I legally required to submit any "new" evidence prior to my DRO HEARING as standard protocol. I'd rather do all my "new evidence" in person than send ahead of DRO Hearing to be able explain in more detail and point out every nook and cranny? I'd like to build additional evidence and get additional IMO's done to make my Appeal even stronger while waiting to hear back on RO's next move before DRO HEARING gives a date. QUESTION 3 -- Can I hold back ALL "New" evidence until my actual DRO HEARING interview? Thanks, Wayne
  20. I have a rating for Scheuermann's Kyphosis, which is basically curvature of my spine. My total ROM is very close to the next highest rating. I have a C-shapped spine, meaning I already lean forward xyz degrees. So of course, it already looks like my Flexion when I bend forward is more than it really is, because of my C-shapped spine. My question is this. How does one get around the Total ROM testing, when the shape of one's back is already curved forward? Has anyone else had experience with alternative measurements in the ROM test? Below is similar to how my current curvature looks, which increases how my forward flexion looks on the goniometer. Basically my back is screwing me out of a higher rating. LOL Thanks in advance... P.S. No physicians have made any reference to already having a forward stance, so that may be an approach?
  21. Vets: Recently, I read where someone filed an NOD and their TBI was reduced from 10% to 0% but they got an increase in their PTSD? So, I'm wondering if this happens a lot where a Vet's claims contentions are actually reduced after their NOD/DRO reviews? I worked very hard to get to 90% that I'm at now. I'm trying to get pushed over to 100% but am concerned about it actually being cut? However, maybe that was just a rare occasion....and I should not be concerned? Does anyone know if this happens very often where a reduction occurs or not? Godspeed Rootbeer22
  22. When you file a NOD how long does it generally take on the average to hear back from a DRO?. I filed a NOD form last week with Waco, TX. Regional Office and also asked for a DRO Hearing right up front to get that part out of the way without further delays asking me what kind of DRO I wanted... Never done a NOD before so any input on average time frame of initial response is helpful. Just curious. Wayne.
  23. Hello I am new here. The question I have is Last year I finally got my V.A. rating of 90% 70% PTSD/TBI SC Sleep apnea secondary 0% not service connected 50% migraines SC 30% for total knee replacement SC Midline scar patella SC 0% 20% neck SC 10% Arthritis SC So I filed a NOD with a DRO to review it has been 10 months since I filed, last month the va called a set up a c&p for the following items Knee , sleep apnea, and the ptsd/TBI. the exams where done so what I was wondering will I have to meet with the dro or will they just make a decision. I am rated at 90% now and also should I file for IU.
  24. I know some of you have had your NOD reviews through WACO, TX. What are your thoughts as I sit here anxiously waiting the DRO hearing officer to finalize his review. I had my hearing on February 26th, 2014 and so far nothing..... Buck, I know you were pretty quick on you getting a response but any others here????
  25. Vets: Well, I'm running out of time to finish my NOD, was unable to get the IMO/IME's from Dr. Ellis. after arguing with my wife (who is already spending my retro) about the money to go which is short-sighted, I ran out of time and my C-File never showed up? The good news is that my earlier exhaustive efforts got me to 90% but the push to 100% has been difficult -at best. Now, I'm going to have to take what I already have SC for and work to get a change or increase to 20% more. Several of my contentions are at the 0% and 10% SC range and there may be room to move up to the next level on several. So, now, I need to pull everything out again to review what it takes to get to some of these or at least 2 contentions moved up to the next level. The good news is that although I don't have IMOs/IMEs, I do have some new evidence that would help me. Unfortunately, I have a lot of contentions that were low-balled and think, I can support an increase with new evidence. At this point, I was lowballed on my TBI at 10% because the TBI examiner said that there was not enough evidence beyond my own descriptions or indications that my work has suffered due to my TBI? So, I was thinking that I would go back and get statements from my former and current supervisor about my work memory and concentration issues that they have noted? I had several incidents at work over the years where it was difficult for me to complete projects on time due to my cognitive and memory issues. Also, although I was SC for Hypertensive Heart Disease, again they only gave me 10% because they said that I did not have chest pain, angina, and shortness of breath. Although, I reported this all during my CP exam, the clerk put just the opposite in the report anyway, even though I wrote those conditions plainly on the pre-exam form, it was not entered into the system...properly... So in terms of overall advice ...should I just ask for a DRO review or just submit a NOD package...? Godspeed ..Rootbeer22