The VA also said my back was not so bad. I ended up getting an IMO for $250 from a specialist in Orlando for my service connection. He said I needed surgery. They also sent me to a young neurologist who said I needed surgery. Thanks to the VA dragging its feet, I ended up with permanent nerve damage, to slow to act.
The Choice program has to be approved by the VA Dr. If they cannot see you in 30 days, you can ask them to give you choice authorization. The neurology department never gets you in that fast. Its like 7 to 11 weeks to get an appointment, so you should be within your rights to make them give you the choice option.
From that point, you can get on the healthnet website and find a good spine surgeon, and get an opinion from them if you need surgery. They in turn must request authorization from healthnet, and you can get free surgery at the best hospitals in town that way. If the Choice people dont ask you who you want to go to, tell them, there is a list on the web site based on your zip code. The orthopedic surgeon in downtown Orlando is the only one in town that accepts healthnet, and comes with good recommendations.
Link to healthnet:
go to find a provider link in top left side of front page to find (surgeon-orthopedic of the spine)
I agree. Any time there is a significant amount of retro on the line, it is definitely better to hire an attorney who only gets paid if you win. There are good VSO's out there but there are also vso's that seem to work for VA rather than the veteran, and they get paid regardless if you win or lose. Best of luck to you.
Hellon and I hope everyone is finding success in their quest for fair treatment and we'll deserved benefits. I was stationed at Fort McClellan in Alabama and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. I conducted my basic training at Fort McClellan and was duty stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground. During the time at both locations I along with many others was exposed to radiation and many other harmful chemical agents found in ammunition. I was in the PRP program at Aberdeen Proving Ground in which I was assigned to the nuclear reactor. Every month we were required to do blood test in order to monitor radiation levels in our body. Tried to file a claim and it never left the starting block. I was told that the type of radiation didn't warrant a claim which I never accepted. Can anyone be so kind and walk me through possible steps I can take to file a claim?? Thank you all for your heroic service.