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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    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      Navy 4 Life.......I requested a DRO Hearing.......I read a lot of opinions on here saying DRO Hearing is the way to go so you can challenge the evidence eyeball to eyeball in person.  My question is if my EVIDENCE submitted to DRO is clearly evident that a disability increase has exceeded the criteria for an increase why would I even need to wait all that time on Waco backlog (12-24 mos) for a Hearing date when clear cut evidence sits right there in front of him/her right now?????  This is the question I am still trying to understand / seek out if clear evidence makes any difference time-wise on an NOD to be granted an increase, and thus a Hearing would no longer be necessary (I assume) unless they simply wish to be blind to the evidence and facts to play out the string until a Hearing is set Thanks Wayne. 
    • Is this a cue?
      Ok i'm 100% now as of septermber 2015 but i was wondering my original claim I won sleep apnea and lost depression and anxiety. I filed an apeal for anxiety and depression and also filed a new claim depression anxiety secondary to sleap apnea. well 9 months went by and then they just closed my claim i called they said i had an appeal in for the same thing. I canceled my appeal refiled sleap apnea and depression secondary to sleap apnea and won. I took a break because all this has taken a toll on. me and i had been a 4 year battle because claims use to take 2 years. I think i should of won my original claim, is there anything I can do about this. thanks for all the advice
    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      Right now I think the hold up is them getting all documents digitized. The VA was suppose to get the wait time down to 125 days at the end of 2015..they missed that goal and now it looks like at the end of 2016. VBMS is a web-based, electronic claims processing solution complemented by improved business processes. It will assist in eliminating the existing claims backlog and serve as the technology platform for quicker, more accurate claims processing.  .........Buck
    • Question about NOD wait time after applying.
      I filed my NOD November 2014 and I inquired through IRIS and Under Secretary for Benefits in January 2016.  I got a hearing February 2016 with WACO.  I had the DRO hearing and I think it went well BUT now I am awaiting the decision for over 3 months. WACO is about 12-24 months for a DRO hearing. Did you request a DRO hearing in your NOD?
    • PTSD-MST Treatment(s)
      Yes - please utilize the above link- I had to write the statement for the Parole Board to assist in denying the parole for this inmate.  I made a lot of mistakes with my claim but self education has been essential and being proactive. God Bless.
    • PTSD-MST Treatment(s)
      mkah - check out this article  How to Write a Stressor Statement for a PTSD Claim for Veterans Disability Compensation
    • PTSD-MST Treatment(s)
      Thank you for those kind words.   Do you think I should fill out a victim impact statement and upload it to my claim?  Or was this a state document fir the rape? If so, where would I get one electronically?   Thank you again, I still have four more weeks of Prolonged Exposure therapy.   Mark
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      I'm in the process myself for claiming PTSD (MST) - You need to file a 21-0781a form with all the details you can recall, even if it hurts or is infuriating, there's all sorts of calming techniques that may help you concentrate to put all this down on paper. If you are seeing a Social Worker for PTSD, then you should be able to include that info, as well as any other evidence you can muster.
    • New guy here!
      Alright, so now, it is Memorial Day, I've got to break this habit of daily e-bennies check, strangely enough, today was the day that the status had changed to "Requested Documents are Past Due." I am just assuming that this is the C&P from QTC a little over two weeks ago...I should follow up with and give them a call (QTC) right? 482 Days since I submitted an ITF, and 326 days since my claims have been received. I know that I'm probably/possibly not done with C&P exams at this point either, especially since the evidence on hand for the issues I'm claiming for SC aren't descriptive like the Encyclopedia Britannica Of which, are only buddy statements. *tap* *tap* *tap*....at least it's being taken care of now instead of 20+ years down the road (for this initial process anyways) Oh, and to anyone who didn't know, this is not my first filing. I went through the IPEB/IDES/MEB while on AD. Naive as I had been, it was still wrong for those people who were assigned to help and guide a young buck through a portal to hell like they did, and probably still do to this day. I'm curious now though, to any information regarding persons who have also been through CL's MEB and found themselves backtracking claims to collect errors or input overlooked claims/injuries.
    • Miss Figured EED?
      Note: some of these dates maybe off..I need my C-file to compare the EED. And how they gave the EED. From what date did they start it is my main question. if they said they started it from 1998  that is CUE  because I know they didn't.....the first time this disability arose is when I had emergency surgery from the VAMC for Appendix surgery.I was sent to..the Audiology & Doc did a hearing test on me  and that was back in the 80's He stated my hearing was bad enough to receive Compensation and hearing aids...but I was working and never consider filing a claim until it got worse  in 1997..1998 is when I first filed for  the noise indused hearing loss...and tinnitus.....the tinnitus shows to be awarded a year before the hearing loss...which is all untrue  they awarded the tinnitus when I won the DRO Hearing.2002/and awarded the IU IN 2003..if they have all these records  the records will show I am right..if they don't have these records in my C-file  something is up with that...its not that much retro for them to be shredding these records if that's the case? I remember Flip mention they cheated me out of years of retro  on the 50% as well as the IU BEING PAID AT THE 100% Rate. But these dates I put up here is just my recollection from my memory and they could be off   so I need my C-file to do anything  if the VA is correct on the dates and I have no evidence to raise a fuss..Then yeah I will not file a Claim or reopen to fix this  EED I am Contesting since I seen that 1998 start date for the 50% on my 70% PTSD Award letter this year. I do have an ITF open started  back in Jan of this year. If i get my C-file and these records can prove my evidence is right and VA Cue...I will submit the INT...so hope I GET MY c-file in time.?? So hopefully by the time I get my C-file  I hope Asknod is crediting with his Aurthrozition/Certified to help Veterans.   ..............Buck

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OldDave

Back Pain - Multiple Bulging Discs - Surgery

13 posts in this topic

I’ve been in the VA Health System less than a year. About 4 weeks ago, I went to my pvt doctor complaining of back pain (I still have pvt insurance). He sent me for X-rays and an MRI and gave me a muscle relaxer and some pain meds. The MRI results say I have multiple bulging discs in the lower spin. Pvt doc wants to refer me to a neurosurgeon. I have my deductible met but my 20% would still be about $3000. I’m not sure I want surgery in any event. I’m feeling a lot better than I was 4 weeks ago. I know that if I do nothing, I’ll end up in pain and flat on my back again. And, I probably won’t be able to afford the pvt insurance next year.

Should I take my X-rays and MRI results to the VA clinic and try for a referral to neurology or orthopedics? I didn’t go there first because I was in pain and not moving around very well. I figured a referral would probably take a few weeks at a minimum.

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks,

OldDave.

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Old Dave, is this a service connected injury? The reason why I ask is this past Feb. I went to see my Primary Care doc, before she left for good, and asked her to put in a consult to go to a different VA to see the neurosurgeon for my back. Same deal, leg pain and numbness, all service connected though. At that time she told me that she couldn't even refer me since the nearest VA was backlogged with patients just waiting for an appointment for an evaluation. I was approved for fee basis outside the VA. One of my happiest dealigns with the VA, since I didn't want them to operate on me, for the simple reason that the Richmond, Virginia, VA is a training hospital, and from month to month you'll never see the same doc when it comes to backs.

Is this something that just came on you, or have you battled it for years? I've battled mine for years, and finally found an alternative type of surgery, something the VA wouldn't have offered, that gives me more hope. I've been on painkillers for the last 7 years, Vicodin no less, and will have liver issues soon enough I'm sure.

Bottom line is, if it's at a point that you can't stand it, do something about it, but you said it was subsiding so not as bad. In the end it's about quality of life. Mine has been so bad for the last year, that I can't put it off anymore, even at the age of 40. Good luck.

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10thFO, thanks for your response.

I'm not service connected for my back. I'm at 80% though, so the VA should cover the treatment. My first visit to my VA PCP was last Feb. and it just so happened I was having back trouble at the time. He prescribed muscle relaxers and pain pills and I recovered nicely in a week or two. That was the first time in recent years that I've had trouble. I'm 64 so all in all I guess I shouldn't complain. If the worse it gets is two episodes within 8 months I can deal with that. The problem is, if I should have the surgery, the private option probably won't be there next year. Although, after October 2010, I'll be eligble for Medicare. But, between January and October, the VA will probably be my primary care provider.

Have you had the surgery already or are you working on it? I hope it gives you relief and good results. Good Luck.

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Dave, if you will be eligible for Medicare that soon, then I say wait. Use the VA for it's drugs or whatever for now. You should be good until then. I'm having surgery this friday, and it's acutally a surgery that the VA or Medicare will only pay for, more progressive. Private insurance companies won't pay for this yet as it costs more than other more risky to you alternatives. Good luck brother.

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When I was at the VAMC neurological ward for diagnosic workup, a veteran in the bed next to me was in for neck surgery.

After the surgery they told him they would have to put him under again & finish the operation on the other side because they ran out of time on the operating table. They are only alowed so much time for the students to work on you I guess.

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10thFO, keep us posted on the surgery. Hope it goes well for you.

Allan, did that surprise you? You were only in for evaluation. If you were in for a procedure, would you have gotten a little worried? My dad used to say the best hospitals were teaching hospitals. Fresh inquesative minds with experienced teacher supervisors. Of course, dad was never in a VA hospital.

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The training VA hospitals are mostly associated with a Main Hospital and the Docs work both places.

Ours has one heck of a Medical school.

Check into it. Dont worry about the training aspect of it.You will receive better care.

J

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If it was me I would pay the 20% copay. Since you have 80% Insurance I am sure that they will work out payment plan if you need it.

I am sorry John I do not want someone learning on me and doing delegate surgery. I have also found that they will experiment on you without telling you. My VA is associated with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and I am sure that their people are top notch but if you have never cut or sewed or worked on anything but cadavers I don't want you cutting on me.

The guy who did my stent had problems and he had done it 19000 times. When something goes wrong I want the guy who has done it thousands of times over someone who has never done it.

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Hey OldDave,

I know how it feels to have back pain and I sympathize with you. When to have back surgery is the million dollar question. Some people say they would never have back surgery, all I can say is they just haven't hurt bad enough. If I could have, I would have tried to do my own, it hurt that bad. Some people that have had back surgery are disappointed because they're expectations are too high. They expect the surgery to give them a "new" back and that can't happen. All a surgeon can do is to try to get the pressure off the nerve that's causing the pain and if necessary stabilize the joint.

I've had 9 spine surgeries to date and probably more in the future due to my condition,(severe DDD). Each time I prayed and expected the pain to go away, and so far each time it did, but you will always know you've had back surgery! Remember, the surgeon cannot install or make your back like new. If you have a 60 year old back when you have surgery, it will still be 60 years old after the operation, but hopefully the surgeon has been able to reduce the pain.

It sound like to me that you will eventually need to have something down, but since there has been some improvement, this indicates to me that you may not be quite ready yet, but that's up to you and your doctor. And if there is the slightest chance you may need surgery, make sure you have done some investigating and pick the best neurosurgeon you can find. It's risky surgery so make sure you get the odds in your favor by getting the best "cutter" you can find. Make sure you can talk to him or her and they take the time to listen to you. (This will matter when you are laying in a hospital bed after surgery).

Sorry this is long, but as you can tell, I have been through it before. Hope this info some how helps you. I'll be praying for ya.

Blackbird

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I had my cervical sergery done at the Madison WI VA hospital. They did a great job. After my initial neurosurgery evailuation, I had surgery two weeks later. It's all according to the VA hospital. I was recently seen by the neurosurgery department at the Birmingham Alabama VA hospital. I would NEVER have surgery there. The quality of care was completely different. Even though I live in southern Alabaman now, I will drive back to the Madison VA hospital for my neurosurgery appointments.

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Surgery was laminoplasy and laminectomy spinal fusion of the C2-C7.

Good luck!

Tony

I had my cervical surgery done at the Madison WI VA hospital. They did a great job. After my initial neurosurgery evaluation, I had surgery two weeks later. It's all according to the VA hospital. I was recently seen by the neurosurgery department at the Birmingham Alabama VA hospital. I would NEVER have surgery there. The quality of care was completely different. Even though I live in southern Alabaman now, I will drive back to the Madison VA hospital for my neurosurgery appointments.

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Half the people in the USA have bulging discs with no symptoms. Wait before you have surgery and for heaven's sake don't let the VA do it. There is no certainty that your pain will go away after surgery. It might get worse. There is a condition known as "failed back surgery syndrome".

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Thanks to all of you for your feed back. I'm not in pain any more so I think I'm going to see if it will resolve on it's own. At least for now. I don't have a problem with teaching hospitals. I had a heart attack over 11 yrs ago and was treated in the Louisiana charity hospital system(I didn't have insurance). Including the placement of a steent. The hospital was training doctors for the LSU and Tulane medical schools. My steent is still working and not another heart attack (Knock on Wood).

Dave

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