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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    • Exams during flare up?
      A friend of mine who is a fellow Vet were talking about the C&P process. Like me he has a lot of inflammation issues in his shoulders. I told him how the examiner asked me if I was having a flare up when she examined my knee. We both became curious if that has any effect on a rating.   So if a veteran is experiencing a flare up during a C&P exam. Does the assigned rater take that into consideration and rate it at less of a percentage based on the restriction of movement due to a flare up? Or do they rate it as scheduled no matter what?    
    • My husband died in motorcycle accident
      Page1006 I never intended to up set you in any way and I know all this has to be upsetting to you to say the least. I hope you have sent in statements like this one? for evidence of record   your lay statements will be considered. I agree with you I believe your hubby did have some type of episode just right before his Accident..Proving it will be hard.
    • VSO
      JoebobCVSO Thanks for your service to vets and your honesty about working claims when you can get to them. Frankly, no matter how good you are you needs the Vet's evidence and lots of it to convince the VA. Although many characterize them as the enemy in some cases, I see them as hero's that are working theirs tales off to help Vet's. Have I had some negative experiences with exams, claims and interactions with the VA-yes. But, although my rater did not give me all that I expected, it's on me to provide more solid and compelling evidence. I learned early on, that no one is going to care more about a Vet's claims than themselves. So, it's very important for vets to learn as much as they can about the disability process and help you to help them. Recently, I've agreed to help some relatives with their claims due to what I have learned so far and my claims success. But, many of them just want to hand a pile of medical records and be told when to wait by the mail box for a big check? Before I submitted my claim, I do a great deal of work to put the package together. The head of a VA CP Section looked at my submission packages and remarked that they were the most organized that he had seen in 25 years. I told him that I did not want to leave much to chance and that I had some one once tell me that you have to make it easy for the rater to rate in your favor. For me, my VSO was not very good but I know that their are great one out there doing their best and helping Vets. I for one want to thank you for your incite and help via this post. Can you talk about the 3  to 7 big trends or  no/no-s that are hurting vets as they submit their claims packages right now? Goodspeed Rootbeer22
    • Mental Health C&P
      When possible, posting redacted copies of your Award/Denial letter and discussion of evidence reviewed, would still be of great assistance. Semper Fi
    • New guy here!
      I guess at least on the bright side, I'm pending an MRI via the Choice Program, should find out what's going to happen Tuesday. Beyond that, the first person I'll be calling will be my VSO :-) thanks. Patience is a virtue, Complacency kills. Never settle, never surrender.
    • Mental Health C&P
      I am so glad that you are seeing progress.  YAY!  It's great when a Veteran finally gets a little bit of what they deserve.  This whole process is so convoluted and frustrating.
    • Mental Health C&P
      Gastone, I just ordered a copy of my C file.  My exams were all done at QTC facilities so I can't get them online. It was a MH exam that was requested by the original C&P examiner on 4/26.  He even read me the referral request when I first walked into the room on Wednesday.  He also stated that it wasn't therapy but a fact-finding mission for the VA.  I asked if I could get a copy and he said it wasn't his to give.  It belonged to the VA to use for my claim.  I saw my file during my first C&P and it had a big red EXPEDITE stamp on it so maybe that is why the turn around was so quick?
    • New guy here!
      E Benefits dates are a joke.  You cannot assume that they have much meaning, honestly.  They whip around every so often without explanation, so dont take it seriously. Your best contact for updated info is the VSO, if you can get his cooperation.  He has access to more than any of the RO info that we dont.  If he doesn't, call peggy (800-827-1000).  Sometimes it is just best to forget it for a while and let it go.  Patience can be a killer. If you take a hit on your income, are facing foreclosure, you can also put in for hardship.  I know that losing your job is a lot of stress.
    • Knee Condition
      No yet, I've been on the waiting list. 
    • Assistance With Sleep Apnea Claim
      You will have a fight on your hands no doubt, but with your medical opinions and wife/buddy statements, personally I would pursue the claim.  JMO I am stubborn, however, I fight for what I can prove by medical evidence and medical rationale.  If I didn't I'd still be stuck at 30%.  Just facts, if you file for something, pursue it until the end, otherwise why put a claim in to begin with.   Principle is why I keep going.

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bigoc

Ratings Of The Spine

13 posts in this topic

I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar.  I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI.  The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected).   I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating).  I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain.  I do not understand how they rate the spine.  I will list my x-ray report. 

 Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?

  1. Cervical Spine:  Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes.  Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  2. Thoracic Spine:  Levoscoliosis.
  3. Lumbar Spine:  Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1 

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I think it is range of motin, but Rentalguy knows the facts and he will chime in I am sure. If you have chronic pain disorder that is rated as an emotional disorder.

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I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar. I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI. The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected). I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating). I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain. I do not understand how they rate the spine. I will list my x-ray report.

Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?

  1. Cervical Spine: Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes. Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  2. Thoracic Spine: Levoscoliosis.
  3. Lumbar Spine: Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1

1: cervical lordosis is the curvature of the bones in the neck.

Reversed means it has transgressed the oppisite of what it should be.

You have arthritic changes compared to another exam. Clinical correlation is asking another clinician their view on your condition.

2: levo scolosis: spine is bending left or right not forward or back.

3> The curvature of the back is straightened,

The Va will rate on Range of motion. Know your ranges and compare it to the regs.

J

Edited by jbasser

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based on range of motion, or on incapacitating episodes (dr prescribed bed rest) if rated for intervertabral disc syndrome (IVDS). Spondylitic changes is IVDS. In layman's terms it is arhritic changes of the vertebrea.

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I was always wondered what the VA rated me for with my neck injury.  I do not have any loss of range of motion or incapacitating episodes.  I do however have several levels of diminished disk hight and narrowing of the spinal column per an MRI reading.  I guess this is what I am rated on.  It seems that they will throw a rating your way if you have some kind of diagnostic testing that shows an injury.  It is not always found in the rating criteria unless I am missing this one.  Thanks for the insight.

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bigoc,

You can call the 800 # and ask VA what Diagnostic Codes

you are rated under. They can usually provide correct information

an this type of question.

carlie

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You are most likely rated on the old criteria, which was prior to 2002. It was much different then.

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I was also wondering about how to claim the rest of the spine?  

Since this new x-ray report shows injury to the entire spine should I just list spine and leave it general or list the different sections?

My neck claim I specifically listed cervical disk protrusion which may have been a mistake since I may have limited myself in what body parts the VA rated.  I worked out well for me getting a 20% rating for the cervical spine but in the process I might have done better not not be specific in the claimed conditions section.  Any advice on how to word the claimed conditions section for the rest of the spine would be great.  Thanks a bunch guys(non-gender).

I have recently received an x-ray report that shows injury to the spine in the Cervical, Thoracic, and lumbar.  I am currently rated at 20% for my neck based on a cervical MRI.  The injury is from a parachute accident(service connected).   I did seek medical help in service which is documented(how I got my cervical rating).  I do not have any limit in the range of motion, just pain.  I do not understand how they rate the spine.  I will list my x-ray report.   Any idea of what kind of rating I should expect and insist on based on the x-ray, pain, and little if any loss of range of motion?
  1. Cervical Spine:  Reversal of cervical lordosis, spondylitic changes.  Clinical correlation recommended(whatever this means)
  2. Thoracic Spine:  Levoscoliosis.
  3. Lumbar Spine:  Straightening of lordosis. OA at L4-L5 and L5-S1 

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The cervical spine is a separate bodily segement than the Lumbar and Thoracic spine.

The Thoracic and Lumbar spine are considered the same segement.

J

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All three segments of the spine are rated separately. The different parts of the spine can be affected by each other. Speak wiht you doctor to see if the conditions are secondary to your service connected back condition.

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Sharon, the c spine is rated separate. The Thoracic and lumbar spine are combined. The VA uses the term thoracolumbar that is a combination of the two.

General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height

Edited by jbasser

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Sharon, the c spine is rated separate. The Thoracic and lumbar spine are combined. The VA uses the term thoracolumbar that is a combination of the two.

General Rating Formula for Diseases and Injuries of the Spine(For diagnostic codes 5235 to 5243 unless 5243 is evaluated under the Formula for Rating Intervertebral Disc Syndrome Based on Incapacitating Episodes):With or without symptoms such as pain (whther or not it radiates), stiffness, or aching in the area of the spine affected by residuals of injury or diseaseUnfavorable ankylosis of the entire spine100Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine50Unfavorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine; or, forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine40Forward flexion of the cervical spine 15 degrees or less; or, favorable ankylosis of the entire cervical spine30Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 15 degrees but not greater than 30 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine not greater than 120 degrees; or, the combined range of motion of the cervical spine not greater than 170 degrees; or, muscle spasm or guarding severe enough to result in an abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour such as scoliosis, reversed lordosis, or abnormal kyphosis20Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 60 degrees but not greater than 85 degrees; or, forward flexion of the cervical spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 40 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees; or, combined range of motion of the cervical spine greater than 170 degrees but not greater than 335 degrees; or, muscle spasm, guarding, or localized tenderness not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour; or, vertebral body fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of the height

Does the "thoracolumbar spine" include the sacral spine/sacrum and coccyx?

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T1 to L5. I dont think the Sacrum and coccyx are included but I may be wrong.

J

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