This eBook will teach you how to get C-Files (paper and electronic) from the VA Regional Office.
How to Get your VA C-File


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    • CLAIM COMPLETE--Frm 80% to 100% Comb Rtg
      Congratulations on your win, hope you enjoy with your family!
    • Sc'd And Non Sc'd, How Do They Effect Benefit Rating.
      Non Service Connected ratings do not effect Service Connected ratings in any way.The purpose of Non Service Connected ratings is two-fold. 1. The VA acknowledges that you have a disability, but it is not related to your military service. The benefit of this is if at a later date you can prove it is from your military service then you would be compensated all the back to the date they acknowledged the disability. In order to do this you would need your service treatment records and show where the issue was reported during service or that it is a presumptive condition of your service. Not very likely. 2. Non Service Connected disabilities can help you if you ever need to apply for pension benefits. Keep in mind the income limitations for pension are so low you do not want to be in that position.
    • Intent to file
      I'm not sure I understand what you are asking as you stated " 3 claims that I made days prior to my original claim is in intent to file status". The 3 claims that you made prior to your original claim are the original claim, or maybe I misunderstand your question. Nevertheless, here is how the claims process works. But first, know that each Veteran only gets one "original claim", all subsequent claims are just that, subsequent claims. So, the first claim you submit is the original claim. If submitted on an EZ form it is a Fully Developed Claim (FDC), assuming all med evidence and secondary forms were submitted at the same time. The second claim you filed automatically removed your claims from FDC. No big deal, it will just take a little extra time to process your claim. If the second claim is submitted while the original claim is still open it is added to your original claim, but has a different contention date.  An example might clarify things a bit. Suppose I submit an original claim for left knee on January 1. Then on January 10 I submit another claim for right elbow. On February 11, I submit a third claim and the original claim is still open. The VA will add the January 10 claim to the original claim with a contention of January 10, and the February 11 claim is also added to the original claim with a contention date of February 11. Assuming all three claims are granted you would have qualifying disabilities with effective dates of January 1, January 10, and February 11. The January 1 and January 10 disabilities would be payable from February 1, and the February 11 disability would be payable from March 1. *NOTE: If you got out of the service within one year of filing your claim then every disability would have a qualifying disability date from your first day of return to civilian life. Here is where the claims process can get muddied. Suppose your original claim filed January 1 was for lower back pain, and your February 11 claim was for pain radiating down the left leg. The VA may have already scheduled an exam for the lower back pain from January 1, but now they have to recall the med exam to insert what is probably a secondary issue of pain radiating down the left leg caused by the problem in your back. This slows down the process, or might result in you having to report for an additional exam. To answer the last part of your question of why the second claim(s) have not been added to the original claim. There are several possibilities, but the most likely is this. When the VA processed your original claim they reviewed your evidence and probably submitted the claim for medical evaluation and automatically placed a thirty to sixty day suspense date on it. This means they will not look at your claim again until that time has passed. When they do look at your claim again, they will see the other claims submitted and determine what steps to take next. Do they need to recall the previous med exams, issue new med exams, or grant or deny outright due to evidence on file or in your service treatment records.  It is at this point they will change the new intent to file issues to the appropriate status. All in all, it is best to get all your ducks in a row and submit everything at one time, but that isn't always possible. You haven't done anything wrong, it just might take a little extra time to sort it all out. 
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      You need to order your Cfile, and review your records.  Does your entrance exam show a history of alcohol abuse?  Also read your C and P exams.  The decision states the examiner stated your shoulder issue was less likely than not related to service.  This means you have not got a nexus.  If, indeed, your c and p exam says this, then you will need to fix this to get SC, probably by an IME/IMO.   You need to check your records to see if the statments they made are consistent with the medical records/cfile.  If not, its possible either the VA did not read your evidence, they shredded some, or they used another Vets medical records (yes, it happens).     You posted (from your decision) : "You submitted a lay statement to Support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent and sufficient in this case to establish a diagnosis of your condition or to show that a diagnosis had been made by a medical professional. You submitted a lay statement to support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent or credible evidence of the symptoms of your claimed condition. Although, some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by an accurate account of the medical history and/or it is the most detailed and reliable depiction of your medical condition. While some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by your relevant military And/or personal history. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.  You submitted lay evidence that your claimed disability is..."   The underlined portion is not a valid reasons and bases.  They must be specific as to what medical evidence conflicted your lay statements.  They need to say something like, "The Veteran reported xx, but Dr. C on 4-14-2010 stated this was yy, and that xx was incorrect".   You probably need to file a NOD, after reviewing your cfile, before, if it does not arrive within  a year.    
    • Memorial Day Vets Freebies, discounts
      Add yours to the list if you have one: Memorial Day is May 30. It's a time set aside to honor those who lost their lives in the service of their country. It's also become a time for people to thank active duty military personnel and veterans for their service to America. Some stores, restaurants and attractions offer freebies, deals and discounts for both current and former military personnel. It's always good to check with individual merchants to ensure their participation and make sure you have military identification. Here are some of the best Memorial Day offers: Restaurants Applebee's: Up to 10 percent off with valid military ID. Cinnabon: Save 15 percent at participating locations daily with your military ID. Dunkin' Donuts: Take 10 percent off all online orders every day with your Veterans Advantage membership. Hooters: Present military ID at Hooters on Memorial Day and for a free burger, buffalo chicken salad, or 10-piece wings. Lone Star Steakhouse: 20 percent off on Mondays, and 10 percent all other days of the week with valid military ID. McCallister's Deli: Free meal to all active duty military. Includes complimentary entrée, drink and dessert on May 30. McCormick & Schmick's: Active-duty military and veterans can get a free entrée for dinner or lunch on Monday, May 30. The options include buttermilk fried shrimp, parmesan crusted chicken, beef medallions, or beer battered fish and chips. Outback Steakhouse: 10 percent off with valid military ID. Red Robin: Free appetizer with any $10 purchase all weekend. You have to be a Red Robin Royalty member to qualify and can sign up here. Shoney's: One All-American Burger with fries is available to each guest with military ID on Memorial Day. Texas Roadhouse: Receive up to 30 percent off depending on location with valid military ID. Attractions Museums: More than 2,000 museums around the country offer free admission to active-duty military and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. You can find participating museums here. National Park Service: Current U.S. military members, dependents of deployed members of the armed forces and most Reservists and National Guard members can get a free annual pass year-round with military ID. Walt Disney World Resort: Four days military promotional tickets with park hopper option is $196 plus tax. Purchase through Dec. 16 for use now through Dec. 19. Zoos: Many zoos, including the Birmingham Zoo, offers free admission for all active duty and retired military and their dependents on May 28 from 9 a.m.-May 30 at 5 p.m. Other Lowe's  Year round 10% Discount for Active Duty, Disabled Vets, retired.     General motors: Active duty, reservists, retirees, veterans and their spouses can receive the General Motors military discount on Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC vehicles through May 31. Hyundai: Hyundai is doubling its usual $500 military discount for active, retired or veteran military members and their spouses for all eligible 2015, 2016 and 2017 model-year new Hyundai vehicles. Lowe's: A 10 percent military discount to active duty military members and retired veterans, or VA recipients. Valid military ID required. Nike: Save 10 percent at Nike.com and U.S. Nike retail stores throughout the year as an active duty, retired or reserve member of the armed forces. Under Armour: Veterans and active duty service members receive 15 percent off with valid UA Troop ID from May 24 to May 31. You can find out more here.
    • Increase Upgrade rather then DRO or Re open
      Your Award has to pass the 1 year mark, without a NOD filing, to become final. I was in the same situation back in 07/14. Secondary 04/14 FDC Awarded @ 0%. At that time, I had just been Awarded IU at a 06/28/14 DRO Hearing, from a 2010 NOD. Sure didn't want to wait another 3 to 4 yrs for a DRO Decision. Filed a New Secondary FDC 01/15, exactly the same as the 04/14 FDC. C & P took place 04/15 (real Negative VA Dr), 07/15 Decision letter, same Secondary SC @ 0%. I was getting ready to get back on the NOD Train 12/15, just hadn't mailed it in yet. Went on E-Ben 01/03/16 to get a copy of my IU Award for MI Property Tax Exemption. Low and behold, the VA Quality Control Phantom Rater, had taken me from 90% IU to 100% Scheduler with SMC S (1), in mid December. I have no idea of how long the Quality Control Rater had my 07/15 Decision. Had I jumped back on the NOD Train right away, would that have stopped his review and subsequent Award, I don't know. Semper Fi
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      The decision states: "Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015.  The examiner diagnosed major depressive disorder and other specified anxiety disorder.  The examiner indicated it is at least as likely as not the" stressor occurred. However the examiner indicated The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress." That, in my opinion ,is not a stressor. We have a topic here I did on what is and isn't a stressor available under a search.  Although combat is not the only prerequisite for a stressor, this does not come close to a non combat stressor. Others might disagree with me and chime in here.    
    • Should I file a claim now or wait?
      Sax, your NEW claim has no bearing or affect on the Issues being Appealed to the BVA. I don't recall you mentioning that you actually started a New claim on your E-Ben site. You know, right, just starting the Claim on E-Ben, establishes your Retro Date? Filing as an FDC, is the way to go. My experience has been very positive with filing FDCs, as soon as the New DX Condition is in my VMC Medical Record. Some would caution, that Filing New Claims would slow down your other older claims or appeals. I filed (2) Secondary FDCs 02 & 04/14, 4 yr old DRO Hearing request was held 06/29/14. Both FDCs (1 Denial, 1 Awarded) were done by 07/14.  Semper Fi  
    • Exams during flare up?
      Oh okay, very good info. Seems similar to the one I had as well. Crossing my fingers for an increase. 
    • DRO hearing
      Rpowell, I would hold off on this until John Dorle sees it.     I think that is the John D you mean. Maybe Dr Bash or even John Dorle could provide an Addendum solely supporting the P & T Issue. I do not see a CUE here. And I do not feel you should drop those pending issues if any of them could possibly cause or contribute to your death. P & T is a medical determination, and like all of the other disability ratings, it requires a C & P exam unless they have significant evidence already, as you said they do in the opinion from Dr. Bash. Even if this involves a new IMO ( Dr Bash might want them to do a new C & P so that his IMO can attack that word for word) it would be well worth the investment  (his fee) in my opinion because the benefits of 100% P & T to your dependents and even with impact on your property tax, depending on where you live, all of that would be worth an IMO specifically for the P & T.        

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Old 5311

Service Connected Osteoarthritis And Degenerative Joint Disease

27 posts in this topic

The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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The bright side of this is that the various conditions are now service connected. So, you can ask for higher ratings and TDIU due to the multiple SC conditions. The VA often "low balls" original compensation claims. A notice of disagreement (NOD) is one way, and perhaps the first of several steps. You should, if eligible, also file for SSDI. An SSDI approval for SC connected conditions is extremely useful, and will help substantiate your claim.

As for a detailed description of how and why the VA assigned the various 10% ratings, a look at the VA's disability/compensation schedule will provide some idea. You should ask the VA for an "SOC" and the details concerning the way they assigned the 10% ratings. (If they have not already given you that information.) You will need to conduct most of the research and so forth personally. This helps provide a rationale for the NOD.

The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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Are you saying they totalled all this and gave you 10% ?????

also did any consider the bilateral factor?

if you are not working did you formally apply for TDIU?

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Let's see:

10 X 10 = 10

People keep asking me, "Why is the VA so SCREWED UP?"

The above is a perfectly good example, I would think.

I'd be willing to bet that they can't do much better with adding or subtracting, either. :lol:

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Chuck75 and Berta,

Thanks for the replies. You are exactly right all those add up to 10%. I did get a Statement Of Claim, but do not know about a bilateral factor. I could get 20% if a group of joints were affected. You are right I got low-balled. I have deformity and have lost 2" of height. Also wearing VA issue braces on the legs. Two VA doctors knew my condition was SC and made the notes. They gave the civilian doctors statements credibility. My employer has given me Special Accomodation so I'm thankful for that.

Regards "Old 5311"

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•The decision was a disappointing surprise. I am living with a service connected disabling handicap with continuous pain. I cannot stand, walk or take steps. This condition increases my PTSD symptoms. Their decision is for only 10%. Do you have any thoughts or advice on this? Page no. 7 says a 20% evaluation is not warranted unless X-ray evidence shows involvement of two or more major joint groups with incapacitating exacerbations of flexion limited to 30 degrees; or evidence of limitation of abduction lost beyond 10 degrees. This disability is very hard to live with, the limitations are endless. I would think it should be 40-60%.

R/"Old 5311"

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I sure would check the diagnostic codes too as well as the rating schedule-

and I would think the braces would put you into a higher rating for some of this-

Bizarre-

I guess if ten vets showed up -with one claim each -and each claim was just like one of yours then VA would pay 10 vets 10% each.????

maybe that doesnt make sense what I just said but sometimes the VA's Rationale is utterly weird to me.

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I don't know whats going on I am new to the game but I have arthritis degenerative in the neck wrist and foot/ankle

I get 20% for the neck

10% for the wrist (pain)

10% for the foot (pain)

40% but fuzzy math makes it less.

My xrays so the radiologist says doesn't show arthritis, but I can see it on my films.

I will NOD this I think my pain should be rated higher and the xrays they used were 18 months old.

If you have wrist and fingers involved that 2 joints, if you have both hands its bilateral. Check the rating codes it is explained there.

Re file a new claim for pain and limited motion.

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Veteran Forum Friends, Thanks for your thoughts. I Faxed my DAV VSO and will wait for that reply. For the record, I waited nine years for this decision, with the condition worsening continuously. I really expected a >40% rating. Every claim I have submitted has been denied by the same person at St. Pete. You must understand, they are understaffed and have huge case loads. So the easiest thing to do is deny, deny and deny. Then you wait and wait. ATRITION is the main objective! Definitionof atrition: we are gone! I think these VA employees are in low pay grades, although I understand the majority are veterans who must comply with their boss's orders. Annual evals are important and now under NSPS it is a new ball game. Only the good ole boys will see promotions and bonuses. The managers are largely non-vets who avoided the draft somehow. They are promoted, rewarded and recognized for keeping costs low and below budget.

I guess I'm just too young to be this darn old!

39 nholdin, not bitter.

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I plugged these numbers into my spreadsheet calculator, and assuming none is rated as 'bilateral', 10 tens crunches down to 67% - or 70% in comp terms. I would venture a guess there was an error somewhere on your letter or in your process. Did you submit a form for IU? Good luck,

--Jim

The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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Thanks Jim,

No I have not filed IU. Still working under special accomodation status. I'm Warm, Dry, and comfortable. Thank God! Still bewildered by this rating.

Jim

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"Still working under special accomodation status"

Make sure you tell VA that and supply any documentation of this if you can-

that decision you got is outrageous.

In Voc Rehab my husband needed accomodations to his PTSD which the college gave him-and they documented this.

the VA never considered this as part of his evidence but there was plenty more evidence they had anyhow- still this shows to VA that

you are more disabed than they think.

And a picture of the braces might be worth a thousand words (or more comp)

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Berta,

Since you slept on this, you really came up with excellent thoughts. I never considered these factors. The NOD, Pictures w/braces and w-o/braces, and employer's Special Accomodation document should make a good point. My VSO can carry it to the RO and place it in his hands. We'll do it! P.S. I did file for clothing allowance due to the wear and tear the braces have on my trousers.

Thanks for your message,

Jim

NEW WORLD DICITIONARY. Second College Edition.

"Outrageous"

1. having the nature of, involving, or doing great injury or wrong.

2. exceeding all bounds of decency or reasonableness; very offensive or shocking.

3. violent in action or disposition; unrestrained.

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Today I sent a NOD for the 10% OA Appeal. Also sent employer's comments regarding accommodations and many pictures. I sent it via my new DAV VSO at St. Pete. Kelly Sunday. This VSO is a real go-getter. I wish I knew the gender but what ever, the e-mailed NOD was forwarded to the Appeals Board. I had to ask the question about how long it would take to get a response. Typically 2-3 years!! The best thing the VA has going for them is ATTRITION!

Last week I sent a Notice of Omission. ED was part 2 of the appeal which was not addressed. ED is a result of years of PTSD meds, trial meds, cocktail meds, and routine anxiety/depression/insomnia meds. Word of advice, check the side effects of your meds, do your refills on time and be careful. The side effects may be causing your symptoms! ED is a real slam to the morale. Feb. 18, 2008 we will celebrate our 41st anniversary. She is a wonderful, faithful wife who honors the Oaths we took before God and witnesses. She is one in a million.

If anyone has a success story regarding ED please let me know.

Warm FL Regards, Jim

Old 5311

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Yesterday a fairly large direct deposit from the VA was discovered in my CU account. Nice surprise, but I don't know what it was for. I've akked my VSO and waiting for a reply. Do you think a letter will come soon explaining it? It could be an error.

Thanks.

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OLD5311: I think the Department of Veterans Affairs realized there Mistake and corrected it.....Hopefully....Good Luck. :)

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WOW!!!! all you can do is sit tight- this happened to me and I called VA many times as to what the heck one check was for-a biggy and no letter until a few days later-

Then again you got one of the most BIZARRE award letters for the 10% that I had ever seen!

I hope they acted on your TDIU and maybe that is what the $$$ is for-

you could play around with the VA Comp schedule and the date of month you filed the claim- use date of next month-

and see if something fits in to the amount (add your dependents too- OR just sit back and say WHEW and take the family out for a special dinner and wait for the letter -which is SOOOOOOO hard to do when one gets a big VA check)

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I am at 40% and in a similar boat with the arthritis but have not worked since 2004. I just yesterday got a SSOC and it stated continued denial of TDIU but made a point of mentioning the record of "severe debilitating arthritis." My ankles, knees hips and back are a mess with neuoropathy too.

I am connected for ankle injury and flat feet so I think they're telling me that if I can convince them my arthritis is service connected, I'll get it. I could then claim the side effects of the heavy meds (methadone for pain) I'm on too.

Can I ask how you got connected for arthritis???

I have scrounged a couple medical studies referring to it but I'm thin on the ground there. My sole provider is the VA and my Dr. there is good to me and conscientious as far as patient care goes, but he won't stretch far enough to flat say my arthritis is caused by my service connected conditions.

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

Yeah, I'd be interested to know the answer to this question also.

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JQ, if you have a "record of severe debillitating arthritis", to what do they attribute that?

Have they said?

No. No comment as to cause at all.

I see my Dr. next week and am going to try and get him to put it in his progress notes.

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Chuck75 and Berta,

Thanks for the replies. You are exactly right all those add up to 10%. I did get a Statement Of Claim, but do not know about a bilateral factor. I could get 20% if a group of joints were affected. You are right I got low-balled. I have deformity and have lost 2" of height. Also wearing VA issue braces on the legs. Two VA doctors knew my condition was SC and made the notes. They gave the civilian doctors statements credibility. My employer has given me Special Accomodation so I'm thankful for that.

Regards "Old 5311"

Hey Old 5311,

You might want to ask some of these guys about VA math. Don't quote me because I am not an expert, but I think using VA math you might be rated 70% schedular. Also, as they said earlier, you might get TDIU, or even SMC at some rate since you said you have major mobility issues. Berta and Pete probably know the most about that. OH,,,there's always Tincanman, Cantamont, Rick or well, you get the point. Good luck.

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You need MS spread sheet but you do the math list disabilties High % to lowest %

VA_Calculator.xls

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71.75%sc=70%sc

Lookslike some one type in 10%. made a one to a seven.

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71.75%sc=70%sc

Looks like some one type in 10%. made a seven to a one mistake.

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The VA just determined the following conditions are related to my military service, so connection has been granted:

Degenerative joint disease cervical spine, assigned 10%.

Degenerative joint disease, lumbar spine, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Shoulder, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Hip, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right Wrist, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Left knee, assigned 10%.

Osteoarthritis, Right knee, assigned 10%.

TOTAL 10%

Can this possibly be correct? I am crippled, and have continuous pain, even lying down. I cannot stand, walk or take stairs. The VA knows all this.

My hunch is they are waiting on attrition!

Someone please explain this decision to me or advise.

Thank You.

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i would raise hell.

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