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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ken1939

Spine - Secondary Condition - Headache

7 posts in this topic

Can anyone quote the exact reference in VA regulations where "characteristic prostrating attacks" is defined? I thought I had seen it somewhere in the forums but can't find it now. I have found many references to it but never a real definition. The best I could ever come up with is that a "characteristic prostrating attack" is a "characteristic prostrating attack". And I have read a lot of interpretations as to what that means but not the official VA definition. I sent an IRIS asking this question but haven't gotten an answer. Thank you. Ken1939

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There is no VA definition of "characteristic prostrating attacks," per se. It is a common medical definition that is specific to each parent condition that creates the prostrating symptoms. A prostrating attack is one that completely incapacitates the sufferer for a period of time. The word "characteristic" comes into play in regards to the parent condition suffered. In the case of headaches, this term would mean a headache so severe as to totally incapacitate the sufferer for a large part of the day due to common (re. characteristic) symptoms such as severe pain, vision problems, and nausea or vomiting. Imagine the migraine sufferer displayed on medical shows who is in such severe pain that he has to have the lights off, no noise, is banging his head on the floor, and puking all over the place. That would constitute a (severe) characteristic prostrating attack.

I'm not sure if that is what you were looking for, or if you were looking for a definite piece of VA literature that can prove that headaches is a secondary condition of cervical spine disorders. If that is the case, then the following from the 2002 VA Training Letter on IVDS should work:

a. Cervical IVDS

Pain

• Neck pain

• Pain radiating down the arm (brachialgia). The pain may be sharp, burning, stinging, or stabbing in the arm, elbow, wrist or fingers, depending on the disc site. It is the upper extremity equivalent of sciatica in the lower extremity.

• May be referred pain in the upper middle of the back.

Sensory abnormality - May be numbness, burning, or weakness in the arm and hand.

Motor abnormality - If there is pressure on the spinal cord, there may be weakness in the legs, shock-like pain down the spine, numbness, or poor coordination.

Other - Headache is common. Cervical problems tend to be less debilitating than lumbar problems.

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There is no VA definition of "characteristic prostrating attacks," per se. It is a common medical definition that is specific to each parent condition that creates the prostrating symptoms. A prostrating attack is one that completely incapacitates the sufferer for a period of time. The word "characteristic" comes into play in regards to the parent condition suffered. In the case of headaches, this term would mean a headache so severe as to totally incapacitate the sufferer for a large part of the day due to common (re. characteristic) symptoms such as severe pain, vision problems, and nausea or vomiting. Imagine the migraine sufferer displayed on medical shows who is in such severe pain that he has to have the lights off, no noise, is banging his head on the floor, and puking all over the place. That would constitute a (severe) characteristic prostrating attack.

I'm not sure if that is what you were looking for, or if you were looking for a definite piece of VA literature that can prove that headaches is a secondary condition of cervical spine disorders. If that is the case, then the following from the 2002 VA Training Letter on IVDS should work:

RG,

is that quote you listed stating that lumbar conditions are more debilitating for headaches than the cervical spine?

Edited by MRRRR5

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the quote means that generally lumbar IVDS is more debilitating that cervical IVDS. I'm not sure where they pulled that gem out from.

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Thank you rentalguy1,

I am interested in VA literature to prove headaches as a secondary condition. My current 10% SC for the neck is for "degenerative disease of the cervical spine". I guess I could assume that Intervertebral Disc Syndrome (IVDS) is the same thing but I have learned not to assume anything. I am also SC for a secondary condition, "headaches associated with degenerative disease cervical spine". The VA examiner diagnosis was actualy "Muscle Contraction Headaches". My rating is 0% because of no "characteristic prostrating attacks" averaging 1 every 2 months over the last several months.

I intend to appeal this but I need to know exactly what it is that I am appealing. I deal with headaches almost daily but about once every 2 to 3 weeks I have to lie down until the headache goes away.

I have an appointment with a private neurologist on 1/29/09 and hopefully I can suggest the right wording for his report that the VA will accept. I know prostrating attack is important but I'm not sure it is in the doctor's vocabulary. I have searched medical dictionaries and other medical journals and have yet to find a reference to that phrase. The only place it shows up is on VA web sites and there is never a definition or a reference to VA regs. Your definition is as good as I've seen but I never get that wiped out.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your input.

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This, so far is the best I've found on characteristic prostrating attacks.

It is from a BVA decision.

Hope this helps a vet.

carlie

http://www.va.gov/vetapp94/files1/9404239.txt

The medical evidence and the veteran's own testimony do not depict

characteristic prostrating attacks, as contemplated by Code 8100,

where the affected person is truly incapacitated for a substantial

period of time and must lie down and rest until headaches abate.

Rather, the evidence shows low-grade headaches that are readily

relieved and which have no major impact on the veteran's ability to

work. The aggregate impairment from these headaches does not exceed

that which would be found in a migraine condition with characteristic

prostrating attacks averaging one in two months over the last several

months (i.e., the 10 percent criteria of Code 8100). Thus, an

increase in the current 10 percent rating must be denied.

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Thanks Carlie,

It helps. The more I look at decisions and opinions the better prepared I am to come up with my own definition that fits my circumstances. Once I decide what needs to be said I will have to convince the doctor to cooperate and use the VA terminology. By the way, I got an answer from IRIS where my question was what is the definition of a "characteristic prostrating attack" and where is this definition referenced in the regs. The answer was to refer me to the rating table which tells me nothing. It tells me how to rate it if I have it but it doesn't tell me what it is. In other words, a "characteristic prostrating attack" is a "characteristic prostrating attack." Just take our word for it. Ken

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