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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    • Assistance With Sleep Apnea Claim
      I been diagnosed with Mild Sleep Apnea, how the VA came up with Mild is beyond me, ? my sleep study was done outside the VA & VA they got the results back from this private sleep study, the tech that did my study hook up about 15 or so wires all over my head /neck/chest area & woke me up after I was sleep for 4 hours, he told me I stop breathing several times & then hook me up with a C-Pap  and I did 100% better  the results was sent to the VA, VA said I had mild Sleep Apnea???but did Diagnose me with Sleep Apnea and prescribe me a C-PAP to start using immediately.  Now I am going to ask my MH Doc if that can be the same as OSA? & can that be aggravated by my PTSD & the Meds I take from it. she may not help me ? but I'm not going to tell her I'm filing a claim secondary to the aggravated  to the PTSD. if my Doc says it can be and puts it in my Notes I'll make copies and submit that with my claim..I know I may need to get a Dr to nexus the two..I'm working on that now...but what pisses me off why did the VA say I had Mild Sleep Apnea? Sleep Apnea is Sleep Apnea... According to the Tech that did my sleep study..I had OSA/Sleep Apnea...but he could not say that because he was only a Tech  a specialist Sleep Dr would need to opine that. I never heard of Mild Sleep Apnea? so if the Raters or the C&P Examiner says  denied for ''Mild Sleep Apnea''  is probably why the VA mention 'Mild'' jmo   ..............Buck
    • DRO review Congressional Inquary
      This below is the information I received the appeal I was not able to see for almost two years the regional office could not view it, and then the homeless veterans coordinator found it in the system and after two years of this appeal being lost this is what they have done within a week  it was posted on Ebenefits and when I called the 1800-827-1000 number they said that my appeal looked like it was stating eczema and Dermatitis in the system instead of a folliculitis claim for Inc could the VA having seen there CUE from losing my appeal to the DRO now be expediting it also since I am homeless and  I went to a standown where a coordinator helped me along with the Congressman. Also I am unable to tell if there the congressional inquiry is about my reconsideration I have re opened but the VA keeps closing in error it stated it is closed now but they say they are reopening the reconsideration I have new evidence there is a cue and there is evidence I submitted they never reviewed any help please<<<< Latest Progress Status Description Received 05/26/2016 Appeal Pending - Notice of Disagreement VA has received your Notice of Disagreement. You will be receiving a communication from VA in the near future describing the next steps of your appeal.   Pending Disabilities Table of Pending Disabilities Disability Submitted Type Actions Congressional Inquiry 05/18/2016 NEW   Folliculitis Face/beard 03/20/2014 INC
    • DRO review Congressional Inquary
      This below is the information I received the appeal I was not able to see for almost two years the regional office could not view it, and then the homeless veterans coordinator found it in the system and after two years of this appeal being lost this is what they have done within a week  it was posted on Ebenefits and when I called the 1800-827-1000 number they said that my appeal looked like it was stating eczema and Dermatitis in the system instead of a folliculitis claim for Inc could the VA having seen there CUE from losing my appeal to the DRO now be expediting it also since I am homeless and  I went to a standown where a coordinator helped me along with the Congressman. Also I am unable to tell if there the congressional inquiry is about my reconsideration I have re opened but the VA keeps closing in error it stated it is closed now but they say they are reopening the reconsideration I have new evidence there is a cue and there is evidence I submitted they never reviewed any help please<<<< Latest Progress Status Description Received 05/26/2016 Appeal Pending - Notice of Disagreement VA has received your Notice of Disagreement. You will be receiving a communication from VA in the near future describing the next steps of your appeal.   Pending Disabilities Table of Pending Disabilities Disability Submitted Type Actions Congressional Inquiry 05/18/2016 NEW   Folliculitis Face/beard 03/20/2014 INC
    • VSO
      I flied the claim, appealed the decision, gathered the medical reports to support my claim. DAV was my VSO  from a previous appeal and I never changed it. I know they're overworked and for that reason I tried to do the leg work myself. But I'm  wondering if because I didn't go to my VSO office to file or appeal the claim did I make the process longer. But after I received the letter from DAV congratulating me on my claim when it had  been denied made me think that no one had really looked at it and this was just a auto reply letter that was just signed by my VSO.  I knew it couldn't be from the previous claim because it was completed 7or 8 years prior to me starting my ongoing claim. 
    • I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS NEED HELP !!!
      Hello, I have a few questions. I just received a letter from the VA. I was not expecting anything. I opened the letter and  they did a review under the special initiative. First off I do not know what that means anyway. It was just more in depth than the letter i received when they first denied my claim in September 2015. I read through it and basically what they are saying as to why they denied me was because they state that I had a substance abuse problem before I joined. I am not sure how they came up with that. I was 18 when I joined right out of high school. I am trying to think why they would say that. Anyway it should not even be part of the decision. I enclosed the letter I received . It also stated that my timeline is off and i am contradicting myself in my statements. First off the incident happened in 1995 and I did not say anything about it until July of 2014. I now believe because so much time has passed they don't believe me and the want to blame it on something else. I believe the statements they say I contradict myself are probably the one where I did not disclose yet and I tried to get benefit from the VA without disclosing it. Now i feel like theirs no path forward for me to get approved   May 23, 2016           Dear Mr.                       DEPARTMENT  OF VETERANS  AFFAIRS                           ?.       A special review of your file was mandated on January 6, 2016.   Enclosed is the decision that finalizes the previous provisional evaluation completed on your claim under. The special initiative discussed in our letters dated August 29, 2013, September 9, 2015, and January 21, 2016. Please see the attached finalized decision and appeal rights provided with this letter.   You submitted Notices of Disagreement on September 10, 2013, September 25, 2015, and December 4, 2015. These Notices of Disagreement were received premature as you were not properly notified of the decision which finalized the rating decisions.   This letter tells you about what we decided.  It includes a copy of our rating decision that gives the evidence used and reasons for our decision. We have also included information about additional benefits, what to do if you disagree with our decision, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance.   What We Decided We dete1mined that the following conditions were not related to your military service, so service connection couldn’t be granted:     Medical Description Right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition) Lurnbosacral  strain (claimed as back condition) Cervical  intervertebral  disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain) Anxiety disorder Posttraumatic  stress disorder (PTSD) Bipolar disorder Deoression to include alcohol  abuse           We determined that the following service connected condition hasn't  changed:   Medical Description Percent (%) Assigned Left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear 20%   We have enclosed a copy of your Rating Decision for your review. It provides a detailed explanation of our decision, the evidence considered, and the reasons for our decision. Your Rating Decision and this letter constitute our decision based on a special review of your claim mandated on January 6, 2016.   We enclosed a VA Form 21-8764, "Disability Compensation Award Attachment-Important Information," which explains certain factors concerning your benefits.   Are You Entitled to Additional Benefits? If you served overseas in support of a combat operation you may be eligible for mental health counseling at no cost to you at the Veteran's Resource Center. For more information on this benefit please visit http://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/.   You may be eligible for medical care by the VA health care system for any service connected disability. You may apply for medical care or treatment at the nearest medical facility. If you apply in person, present a copy of this letter to the Patient Registration/Eligibility Section. If you apply by writing a letter, include your VA file number and a copy of this   letter.               You should contact yom State ofiice of Veteran's affairs for information on any tax, license, or fee-related benefits for which you may be eligible as a Veteran (or surviving dependent of  a Veteran). State offices of Veteran's affairs are available at  http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm.   The VA provides Blind Rehabilitation services to eligible blind, low vision, or visually impaired Veterans to help them regain their independence and quality of life. The Veteran's blindness, low vision, or vision impairment does NOT have to be related or caused by military service. If you need help with yam vision loss, please contact yam nearest Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST) at the eye clinic at yam nearest VA Medical Center. For more information, go to http://www.rehab.va.gov/blindrehab/.   What You Should Do If You Disagree With Our Decision If you do not agree with our decision, you must complete and retmn to us the enclosed VA Form 21-0958, "Notice of Disagreement" in order to initiate your appeal. You have one year from the date of this letter to appeal the decision. The enclosed VA Form 4107,  "Your Rights to Appeal  Our Decision, " explains yam right to appeal.   What Is eBenefits? eBenefits provides electronic resomces in a self-service environment to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. Use of these resomces often helps us serve you faster! Through the eBenefits website you can:   •       Submit claims for benefits and/or upload documents directly to the  VA •       Request to add or change yam  dependents •       Update yam contact and direct deposit information and view payment   history •       Request a Veterans Service Officer to represent  you •       Track the status of yom claim or  appeal •       Obtain verification of yom military  service, civil service preference,  or VA benefits •       And much more!   Enrolling in eBenefits is easy. Just visit www.eBenefits.va.gov for more information. Ifyou submit a claim in the future, consider filing through eBenefits. Filing electrortically,  especially if you participate in om fully developed claim program, may result in faster decision than if you submit yom claim through the  mail.           If You  Have Questions  or Need Assistance Ifyou have any questions, you may contact us by telephone, e-mail, or   letter.   If vou Here is what to do. Telephone Call us at l-800-827-1000. If you use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), the Federal number is  711. Use the Internet Send electronic inquiries through the Internet at httos://iris.va.gov. Write VA now uses a centralized mail system. For all written communications, put your full name and VA file number on the letter. Please mail or fax all written correspondence to the appropriate address listed on the attached Where to Send Your Written Corresoondence.   Inall cases, be sure to refer to your VA file numbe..-..   If you are looking for general information about benefits and eligibility, you should visit our website at https://www.va.gov, or search the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at https://iris.va.gov.   We sent a copy of this letter to your representative, California Department of Veterans Affairs, whom you can also contact if you have questions or need  assistance.   Sincerely yours,     Director VA Regional Office   Enclosures:     Where to Send Your Written Correspondence Rating Decision VA Form 21-8764 VA Form 4107 VA Form 21-0958   cc:   CA DVA   21/144           jsl079:ng             DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office               Represented By: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS   Rating Decision 05/20/2016 ·   INTRODUCTION   The records reflect that you are a veteran of the Gulf War Era. You served in the Army from January 18, 1994 to May 21, 1996. A special review of your file was mandated on January 6, 2016.   Enclosed is the decision that finalizes the previous provisional evaluation completed on your claim under the special initiative discussed in our letter dated August 29, 2013, September 9; 2015,  and January 21, 2016.   You submitted Notices of Disagreement on September 10, 2013, September 25, 2015, and December 4, 2015. These notices of disagreement were received premature as you were not properly notified of the decision which finalized the rating   decisions.   Please see the attached finalized decision and appeal rights provided with this   letter.   Based on the review and the evidence listed below, we have made the following   decision(s).             2 of 10     DECISION   1.   Evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear, which is currently 20 percent disabling, is continued.   2.    Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain) is denied.   3.    Service connection for right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition) is denied.   4.    Service connection for lumbosacral strain (claimed as back condition) is denied.   5.    Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder is denied.   6.   Service connection for anxiety disorder is denied.   7.    Service connection for bipolar disorder is denied.   8.   Service connection for depression to include alcohol abuse is denied.     EVIDENCE   VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension received August 12, 2012 •       5103 Notice Letter dated December 12, 2012 •      Martinez VAMC reports (in VVA) VA compensation examination conducted April 17, 2013 VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim received May 27, 2013 •       VA rating decision dated August 23, 2013 VA letter dated August 29, 2013 VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement received September 10, 2013 Correspondence from the veteran received September 10, 2013 VA Form 21-078la, Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post­ Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Personal Assault received August 21, 2014 VA Form 21-526ez, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits received August 21, 2014 •       Service treatment reports from 11/1992 to 3/2000 Kaiser Permanente records from 1/2004 to March 2006           Sacramento County Mental Health records 3/2007 UC Davis records 1/2006 to  1/2010 Contra Costa records 9/2005 to 9/2014 John Miur Health records 1/2005 Request for VA treatment reports from Long Beach, Sacramento VAMCs dated October 9, 2014 •      DPRIS reply received  October 9, 2014, and  October  17, 2014, indicating no service  personnel Records are available •      VA Form 21-0820, Report  of General Information  dated October 20,  2014 •       Service personnel  records from November  1993 to May  1996 VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated January 31, 2015 VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated April 2, 2015, from MST coordinator VA compensation examination conducted July 2015 VA letter dated August 5, 2015 •       Statement from Shawn  received  August 22,  2015 •      VA Form 21-0781a, Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post­  Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Personal Assault received August 22, 2015 VA rating decision dated September  8,  2015 VA letter dated September 9, 2015 •      Notice  of disagreement received  September 25, 2015 (Premature Notice of  disagreement) •       Long  Beach VAMC/Anaheim  CBOC reports  3/2014 to 9/2015 VA Form 21-526ez, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits received October 1, 2015 •      VA Form 21-0958, Notice  of Disagreement received December  4, 2015 (premahrre  NOD) VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated January 5,   2016 •      Fax request  dated January  5, 2016 to Martinez VAMC •      Compensation examinations conducted November 2015 Martinez VAMC  9/1997 to 6/1999 VA rating decision dated January 19,, 2016 VA letter dated January 21, 2016   REASONS FOR DECISION   1.   Evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear currently evaluated as 20 percent disabling.   The evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear is continued as 20 percent disabling. (38  CFR  §3.32l(a);  38  CFR §3.32l(b)(l)}       We have assigned a 20 percent evaluation for your left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear based on: •  Limited motion of the arm at shoulder level   Additional symptom(s) include: •  Painful motion of the shoulder   The provisions of38 CFR §4.40 and §4.45 concerning functional loss due to pain, fatigue, weakness, or lack of endurance, in coordination, and flare-ups, as cited in DeLuca v. Brown and Mitchell v. Shinseki, have been considered and are not warranted. Although there was additional loss of range of motion with repetitive movements, these changes did not rise to the next higher level of disability.   A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted for limitation of motion of the arm unless the evidence shows: •  Limited motion of the arm to 25 degrees from the side.   2.    Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain).   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.   Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain secondary to left shoulder) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.   Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May I 996 show no complaints of or diagnosis of cervical spine, neck condition.   You were provided a VA compensation examination in November 2015.  The examiner reviewed the claims file, including service treatment reports, private medical reports, the history and the evidence presented at the examination. The examiner opined the neck condition is less likely than not due to the service connected left shoulder strain. The examiner indicated the neck condition is more likely due to left cervical radiculopathy       3.    Service connection  for right shoulder  rotator  cuff tear  (claimed  as right shoulder condition).   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused  by some event or experience in  service.   Service connection for right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition secondary to left shoulder strain) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service.  Your service treatment   records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military   service.   Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May 1996 show no complaints of or diagnQsis of a right shoulder disability.   You were provided a VA compensation examination in November 2015.  The examiner reviewed the claims file, including service treatment reports, private medical reports, the history and the evidence presented at the examination. The examiner opined the right shoulder condition is less likely than not due to the service connected left shoulder strain. The examiner indicated the condition may be right shoulder weakness and pains may also be secondary to a cervical radiculopathy and/or an undiagnosed rotator cuff tendinopathy.   4.    Service connection  for lumbosacral  strain (claimed  as back condition).   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.   Service connection for lumbosacral strain (claimed as back condition secondary to left shoulder strain) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service.  Your service treatment    records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present.  The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by,  a service-connected disability.                                                                             The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military    service.       Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May 1996 show no complaints of or diagnosis of a low back disability.   You were provided VA compensation in November 2015. The examiner reviewed the claims file, the service treatment reports, the post service treatment reports, the history and the evidence from the VA examination. The examiner opined it is less likely than not the lumbar spine condition is secondary to left shoulder strain.  As a result of the claimant's inability to lift heavy objects with either his left or right shoulder it would ·be highly unlikely for the claimant's unilateral  or bilateral shoulder condition to cause a lumbar strain since the claimant is unable  to lift heavy objects that would strain his lumbar spine. Also, since the claimant’s post-service Medical records have not established a baseline back condition because his post-service medical records have been silent for post-service back condition; there is no evidence of aggravation.   5.   Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder.   Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder requires medical evidence diagnosing the condition in accordance with 38 CFR 4.125(a); a link, established by medical evidence, between current symptoms and an in-service stressor; and credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred.   A diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder must meet all diagnostic criteria as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The evidence does not show a confirmed diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder which would permit a finding of service connection.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition.  There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present.  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         7  -=-r-   of 10       Related to events or treatment in service. We have determined that the service treatment records and post service evidence contradict your statement(s) of a connection between your service and your claimed condition, and find the other evidence is more credible when considered in light of all the evidence.   November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were.promoted.  Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed   in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996.   You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding you’re claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling.          The time line indicates onset over one year after your release from    active duty.   Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004.   InJanuary 2005 you are diagnosed  with  bipolar disorder.   The correspondence frodocumenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed.   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 indicated you do not have a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. The examiner did not diagnose posttraumatic stress disorder.   6.    Service connection for anxiety disorder.   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by  some event or experience in  service.   Service connection for anxiety disorder is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records  do not contain complaints, treatment,  or diagnosis for this condition.   There was no       3lr 8  of 10     Continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.   November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were promoted.  Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996.   You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding your claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling.   Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004.  In January 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar   disorder.   The correspondence from documenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed.   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. The examiner indicated it cannot be said with confidence that his depression or anxieties are solely attributed to the claimed in service event. Your depressive symptoms are reported to be related to significant negative views of self and guilt/shame over past alcohol abuse and its sequelae including domestic violence, Dills, impact on his military career, and current alienation from wife and   child.   7.    Service connection  for bipolar  disorder.   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.     9 of 10       Service connection for bipolar disorder is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present.                                                                      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.   Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004.   In January 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.   8.    Service connection  for  depression  to include alcohol abuse.   Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service.   Service connection for depression, dysthmic disorder to include alcohol abuse is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.   The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service. Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service.   November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were promoted.  Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed   in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996.   You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding you’re claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling.   Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004.   InJanuary 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.       JASON SIPES 552 35 1079 10 of 1O       The correspondence fro, documenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed.   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. The examiner indicated it cannot be said with confidence that his depression or anxieties are solely attributed to the claimed inservice event. Your depressive symptoms are reported to be related to significant negative   views of self and guilt/shame over past alcohol abuse and its sequelae including domestic violence, Dills, impact on his military career, and current alienation from wife and   child.       REFERENCES:   Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Pensions, Bonuses and Veterans' Relief contains the regulations of the Department of Veterans Affairs which govern entitlement to all veteran benefits. For additional information regarding applicable laws and regulations, please consult your local library, or visit us at our web site,   www.va.gov.
    • I think I made VA mad
      I understand how you feel as I have been going through a similar process I contacted my congressman they are doing a congressional inquiry(which is neither here nor ther it depends on who is the congressman liaison and his connections or that offices connections with the regional office and the effort they take)  mine has been since 2014 and the lost if found it the appeal and then the claim from  2016  was closed in error several times every thirty days lol . It may take a while but a bureaucracy has a way of correcting its self so thank goodness that you are self advocating every rock that is uncovered leads to the truth and some people may take it personal just keep your records and be patient.  This however slow or fast they go does not determine in my opinion if the claims is in my favor or not but at least we are able to move to the next phase if denied and not stagnated or reap the benefits that you so richly deserve study and be prepared for you are you best advocate and the best help I have ever gotten has come from another Vet and Hadit. Bureaucracy: Definition •      The government organizations, usually staffed with officials selected on the basis of experience and expertise, that implement public policy •      Hierarchical organization into specialized staffs •      Free of political accountability (non-partisan) –   Still affected by Congressional budget and oversight •      Ideal scenario: members apply specific rules of action to each case in a rational, nondiscretionary, predictable, and impersonal way  
    • Exams during flare up?
      Also, isn't it a 10% minimum for pain? 
    • Exams during flare up?
      i found this online. Is this what you are referring to? http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/kneeandleg.html
    • Sleep Apnea Claim
      All, thanks for your comments and thanks in advance for comments to come. I received the Development Letter dated May 22. It was essentially a form letter that I expect has been sent to everyone submitting a claim. A check in the box. On a personal note, the CPAP machine takes some getting used to. Strange noises!  It's hard to get a seal without gurring down on the straps. When I do, it gets claustrophobic. Whining over. If there is anyone with apnea experience, I have one question that I can't find in my research. Is 50% and 100% the only rating you can get or can someone be rated somewhere in between?
    • C&P Exams Results
      What type of increase do you think I will get? I am currently rated at 10% for Back, sciatica and depression. I have applied for an increase and unempoyability, C&P Exam.pdf

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diegogarcia67

Psoratic Arthritis

Question

Hello, I have Psoriasis and have a 60% disability rating for this. I recently filed a secondary claim for Psoriatic Arthritis. The problem is I am not always in lot of pain because I am taking Enbrel. I notice when I run out of the drug my joints hurt so bad that I can't hardly walk, but as long as I am taking Enbrel, I still feel the pain but it is tolerable. My question is Enbrel is a drug that controls Psoriatic Arthritis. Will the C&P examiner take this into consideration? Also, I heard x-rays doesn't always show that someone has this type of arthritis. Has anybody experienced this situation?

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If you are not working you should be able to get 100%. My brother had it and my research more or less indicated that it should be at least 70% and if not working TDIU. Good Luck and be glad that you are seeing someone who gave you proper medication. VA did not give my brother Embrel and he did not do as well as you and Phil Milkenson

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X-ray may reveal some damage to the joints, but not nearly what an MRI will reveal, and again, a nuclear bone scan will reveal more than either of those. I don't know if you have medical insurance, but if you do it would be a good time to use it.

Since you have already been diagnosed with the condition, the C&P examiner may not require X-ray's or other testing if there imaging studies in your records. Have you received all records to include copies of X-ray and other imaging studies and provided them to the VA? iF NOT I WOULD DO SO QUICKLY, and keep a copy for yourself to take to the C&P exam

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I'm in the same boat (both conditions - SUX!), have tried several biologics (Enbrel was one that didn't work). When I first developed the PsA symptoms, I was told by my dermatologist that they would only prescribe topical medications, and let the Rheum work with me on the biologics, steroids, pain, etc. This is important as when you're asked as the examiner needs to note that whoever treats the psoriasis is aware and engaged in the treatment of the PsA.

>>>> I would not claim the PsA as secondary. <<<<

I'm rated for both on their own - two separate conditions, even though they're both auto-immune based and the treatment(s) over-lap. Don't assume your examiner knows this - educate him/her. When you go to your C&P, you need to make a point of your conditions being treated by separate doctors (if in fact they are). In addition, you need to mention any of the side-effects you've experienced from the treatment. It wouldn't hurt to take the fact sheet from the medication(s) with you. Don't assume the person conducting the C&P is a specialist. I ended up with asthma and several upper respiratory infections a year. Also, I ended up with several opportunistic fungal infections in some of the plaque areas - confirmed by a scrape test conducted by the dermatologist and again, a side-effect of the Enbrel.

Over the years, when I've filed for increases in either condition, I mention the other and it's treatment, but the C&P usually focused on the condition at hand. I agree that detection and degree of degradation of the joints is critical; for your treatment and the C&P. More importantly, you need to stay on top of the progression of the disease, document flare-ups that cause decrease in your quality of life, etc.

During the C&P, make sure you describe your worst days. I have flare-ups that last for weeks, and am either on steroids plus the other meds to keep it under control or pain killers and warm baths. I document every day, so that when I'm re-evaluated or meet with the rheum I can communicate what's working and what's not. Also, since the condition tends to put a lot of tension on the muscles in the effected areas, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. You might want to have someone check you for this.

Last, have you been tested for Rheumatoid, Ostio and Lupus? If not, and if you have access request these tests be done. Since you've hit the slim percentage of those that have psoriasis developing psoriatic arthritis, you are in the range that also develop these other conditions as well.

IM me if you want to chat about these conditions. I've worked through them for years and am more than happy to share....

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Hello, I have Psoriasis and have a 60% disability rating for this. I recently filed a secondary claim for Psoriatic Arthritis. The problem is I am not always in lot of pain because I am taking Enbrel. I notice when I run out of the drug my joints hurt so bad that I can't hardly walk, but as long as I am taking Enbrel, I still feel the pain but it is tolerable. My question is Enbrel is a drug that controls Psoriatic Arthritis. Will the C&P examiner take this into consideration? Also, I heard x-rays doesn't always show that someone has this type of arthritis. Has anybody experienced this situation?

i have rheumatoid and my orthopedic doctor told me years ago, it is impossible to look at an xray and determine what has been caused by rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.that was when i filed for an increase for my back. the va still only gave me 40 percent based on their dang range of motion.

Edited by iceturkee

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