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    • Will get an attorney. Thanks for the advice. Anyone know of any good VA attorneys? 
    • Just my opinion, but I would suggest that your doctor also explain exactly how the Xanax that you take to treat PTSD causes YOUR sleep apnea, specifically.  What is it about that medication that leads to sleep apnea?  Add what clinical evidence exists to back him up, like in a journal or something like that, then have him attach his curriculum vital (aka resume).   VA raters who review these forms are not healthcare professionals and need things spelled out in plain English.
    • The VA also said my back was not so bad.  I ended up getting an IMO for $250 from a specialist in Orlando for my service connection.  He said I needed surgery.  They also sent me to a young neurologist who said I needed surgery.  Thanks to the VA dragging its feet, I ended up with permanent nerve damage, to slow to act.   The Choice program has to be approved by the VA Dr.  If they cannot see you in 30 days, you can ask them to give you choice authorization.  The neurology department never gets you in that fast. Its like 7 to 11 weeks to get an appointment, so you should be within your rights to make them give you the choice option. From that point, you can get on the healthnet website and find a good spine surgeon, and get an opinion from them if you need surgery.  They in turn must request authorization from healthnet, and you can get free surgery at the best hospitals in town that way.  If the Choice people dont ask you who you want to go to, tell them, there is a list on the web site based on your zip code.  The orthopedic surgeon in downtown Orlando is the only one in town that accepts healthnet, and comes with good recommendations. Link to healthnet: https://hnfs.com/content/hnfs/home/va/home/veterans-choice.html   go to find a provider link in top left side of front page to find  (surgeon-orthopedic of the spine)
    • I agree.  Any time there is a significant amount of retro on the line,  it is definitely better to hire an attorney who only gets paid if you win.  There are good VSO's out there but there are also vso's that seem to work for VA rather than the veteran,  and they get paid regardless if you win or lose.  Best of luck to you. 





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SAR II

10% Rating, Should I Appeal?

7 posts in this topic

I had a meniscus tear in my left knee when I was in the Military, never recovered full range of motion in the knee, and I now have hip pain due to an altered gait. The VA documented that the knee extension is limited to 5-9 degrees, altered gate due to knee extension problem, arthritis in the left knee, bursitus in the right hip, & torn labrum on right hip. My claim was submitted without seeking help from someone familar with the process, which I suspect was a bad choice.

I received my rating letter today:

*10% for Degenerative joint disease status-post meniscus tear

*0% for Limited extension, left knee

*Deferred decision on right hip pain to include altered gait because they need additional information.

Should I appeal or is this normal for these problems?

Edited by SAR II

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The VA is not finished with your claim but I would definitely look into an appeal. The VA has a history of low balling Veterans on initial decision.

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If you feel this is inadequate for your situation then defintely appeal.

Evaluate how it impacts your ability to work & enjoy life.

You can also research what others have received for these conditions on the appeals site.

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Try to get more medical evidence and appeal. I did this for a heart condition and went from 0% to 60%. I was pretty shocked at this.I got this from a DRO. I would always try to get new evidence for an appeal or it can go against you, but not that often. So far I have got all my serious awards via appeals.

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Thanks for the responses. I didn't know what "Deferred Decision" meant & therefore didn't know that the VA wasn't finished with my claim. I wish I had visited this forum before I haphazardly submitted my claim. I thought the VA would do a thorough exam and diagnose my problems. I was wrong. The VA x-rayed my knee and hip, a physician’s assistant gve me a brief exam, and I was sent packing with an acknowledgement of a previously injured knee, limited knee extension, and altered gait. This didn't give me a warm and fuzzy, so I scheduled an appointment with my personal physician and was then referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon. Subsequent X-rays & MRI's revealed the knee arthritis, hip bursitis, & torn hip labrum in addition to the knee limited extension and altered gait. These exams were submitted to the VA, but I didn't know I needed a nexus letter till I visited this forum. I thought it was obvious that my hip problems were due to my altered gait.

Edited by SAR II

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I wish I had visited this forum before I haphazardly submitted my claim.

Just so you don't "haphazardly" submit a NOD in beginning your appeals process,

be sure to read over and fully study the Reasons and Basis and Evidence sections real good,

probably 4 or 5 times,prior to submitting anything else.

Find the DC's you are evaluated under, study WHY the percentage was awarded and WHAT

EVIDENCE is needed for a higher evaluation.

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