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    • A few months ago my service connected hearing loss  was increased from; 10% tinnitus
      20%  Bi-Lat hearing loss
      30% total to 10% tinnitus
      50%  Bi-Lat hearing loss
      60% total While I do not meet the single disability percent to apply normally needed to apply for IU, I do see a "Special Consideration"  which I believe applies in my case"  http://benefits.va.gov/benefits/factsheets/serviceconnected/iu.pdf Below is my letter asking for my increase.  I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on the content in order to determine of I should even bother to apply for UI ?   Thanks in advance, Mark   *********** 3/17/2016 Department of Veterans Affairs
        I am respectfully requesting consideration for an increase in my current Service Connected Bilateral Hearing Loss rating based on VA Autonomic re-evaluation dated 2/16/16, performed by XXX Snyder, MS, Audiology which included Maryland CNC word recognition testing, conducted at the VA Audiology Clinic, 760 XXXX Avenue, XXX Ca. 96001 (530) XXX-8830.       History:   I am currently rated at 20% Service Connected Bilateral Hearing Loss and 10% Service Connected Bilateral Tinnitus, dated 3/8/2011.  The details and evaluation of that service connection are documented in my VA file number XXX XX XXXX.     Continued and ongoing issues:   Based on my ongoing occupational, Retail Store Manager and non-occupational hearing problems, which include but not limited to;   Understanding and or comprehending spoken words
      Understanding and or comprehending telephone, conference call conversation and intercom announcements
      Understanding and or comprehending MIS helpdesk, police and other government or municipal telephone conversations.
      Understanding and or comprehending streaming television, computer, radio or other electronically produced broadcasts.
      Communicating in moderate to noisy environments, including retail store operations.
      Communicating with a group of individuals, including retail store operations, staff meetings and training.
      Communicating using retail store, company provided two way radio handsets.
          My service connected hearing problems, severely limits my ability to applicably react to audible occupational signals from:   Building alarm, emergency warning and other electronic security systems
      Fire and Loss prevention alarm / notification systems
      Point of Sale alarm / notifications and alert systems
      Point of Sale scanners; Symbol DS9808, Motorola LS2208,
      Inventory management scanner; Symbol MC3100
      EAS Loss prevention entry/exit scanners
      Refrigeration / Freezer malfunction notification systems
      Environmental systems (heating/cooling) notification systems
      Energy management systems NOVAR notification systems
      Freight delivery truck, backup warning notification systems
        My service connected hearing problems have resulted in:   My inability to efficiently communicate with friends, acquaintances, family, customers, vendors, subordinate employees, peers and supervisors.
      Frequent outsourcing or shifting of my normal and personally assigned managerial functions that require high amounts of communication, to my subordinate managers.
      Personal, occupational and social withdrawal due to reduced access to services and difficulties communicating with others.
      Experiencing significant emotional problems caused by a drop in my self-esteem and professional confidence.
      Exacerbation of my VA diagnosed PTSD, that I am currently being treated for at the VA XXX VA Behavioral Health Department.     Recent VA recommendations and action by XXX Snyder, MS, Audiology:   Since my recent VA Autonomic re-evaluation which included Maryland CNC word recognition testing, dated 2/16/16, I have been issued and subsequently fitted with updated VA issued hearing instruments: PHONAK AUDEO V90-13 RIC to replace my previous hearing instruments: AUDEO SPICE SMART IX UZ RIC.  I have also been issued and fitted with a Remote Control, ComPilot II and Remote Microphone in order to specifically assist with my occupational communication problems.  Mr. XXX Snyder explained to me that the new hearing instruments will provide a longer usable service life for my substantial and difficult to manage hearing loss.   ***************** Below is the actual examine results: 1. Objective Findings --------------------- a. Puretone thresholds in decibels (air conduction): RIGHT EAR +==============================================================+ | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========+ | 500 | 1000 | 2000 | 3000 | 4000 | 6000 | 8000 | Avg Hz | | Hz* | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | (B-E)**| |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========| | 30 | 50 | 75 | 85 | 95 | 105+ | 100+ | 76 | +=======================================================================+ LEFT EAR +==============================================================+ | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========+ | 500 | 1000 | 2000 | 3000 | 4000 | 6000 | 8000 | Avg Hz | | Hz* | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | Hz | (B-E)**| |========+========+========+========+========+========+========+========| | 35 | 50 | 70 | 80 | 85 | 105+ | 100+ | 71 | +=======================================================================+ * The puretone threshold at 500 Hz is not used in determining the evaluation but is used in determining whether or not a ratable hearing loss exists. ** The average of B, C, D, and E. *** CNT - Could Not Test b. Were there one or more frequency(ies) that could not be tested: No c. Validity of puretone test results: Test results are valid for rating purposes. d. Speech Discrimination Score (Maryland CNC word list): +=======================+ | RIGHT EAR | 56% |   Thank you,   Mark Nicholson
    • Thanks for the help!  I am happy to report that in less than 2 weeks from contacting the Secretary, my back pay was deposited into my account.  Still waiting on the back pay from the latest increase, but its only been a couple of months.  I will give them a little time.
    • There's  no known medical reason for tinnitus  but usually hearing loss and tinnitus goes hand in hand there are two types of tinnitus &. A medical Dr in this field of expertise will need to make that opinion & as for as a secondary to cause or aggravate tinnitus. I would recommend you request a Hearing test from the VA  and you need to let them know about the ringing in your head  not your ears this is the only way a Dr can know you may have tinnitus....the tinnitus is an unknow sounds that come from the middle of the head...and it bout drive a person batty, also if your wanting to get this S.C. AND Possibly rated   you need to  remember if you were around any loud noise while in the military  your mos AND what you did in the military,,,,you don't need combat to qualify for  S.C. Disability  as long as  any event that caused your condition/disability while in the military   if you can prove it  then you can get compensation for it.  but its on the veteran to prove that...you do this with medical reports hearing test  and your lay statement in detail as to how the even happen.  this is called bilateral noise induced hearing loss and it gets worse over the years.   with the exception of natural age progression. jmo ..................Buck
    • Is that your reply to my question here: "Is your inservice nexus to the anxiety/depression in your SMRs and/or established in any other way?" I guess I mean- is that surgical error the cause for the anxiety and depression? I found your past posts and this happened in a Military Hospital. That means it happened in service. I assume you have some Psyche treatment records in your SMRs? Did the SMRs reveal anything that confirms what actually happened ? There are still movements to get the Feres Doctrine abolished. The Feres Doctrine means a service person injured medically (or even killed) by Military malpractice has no way to really sue the Mil or get restitution. Except the way you might get it...via the claims process. I think the Military is better than the VA at covering up this stuff. Then again VA killed my husband and did a very good job of trying to cover it up. They failed however. You have anxiety and depression from a very traumatic inservice event. I just hope the VA sees it that way too,since they deferred that claim. Otherwise you might need an IMO/IME.            
    • Yes, I went through a group that has POA for assisting in this. I first thought something like that, but I read somewhere else that said when a Pending Disability is listed as type "REP", it indicates reopening of a case. That's what really got me concerned as I can't see a reason they would want to reopen it unless something was found to be way wrong. But I'm rather ignorant in most all of this, so it's just been flustered speculation on my part.


Reopen Claim That Has Nod Since 2011

3 posts in this topic

Hello, I am confused as to why the VARO reopened a right knee claim that has been in appeal since 05/2011. In March 2013 I faxed the RO and pointed out that my SMR has treatment records of my right knee in service. They had previously stated that I was denied because there was no proof that the injuries ocurred in service.

Also, the 05/2011 NOD includes back and left knee, which are being reviewed for an increase (don't know why the date is changed to 03/2013).

05/04/2011 Notice of Disagreement (NOD) RO 05/11/2011 Appeal Pending BVA

Claim Received: 03/19/2013
Claim Type: Compensation
Estimated Claim Completion Date: 12/01/2013 to 06/04/2014

Contentions: back condition (Increase), left knee condition (Increase), right knee condition (Reopen)
Claims Status Process

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It sounds to me as though they might call a CUE on themselves and reverse the decision you filed the NOD on.

Orr they are now considering the claim based on 'newly discovered Service records."

(38 CFR 3.156 et al)

"In March 2013 I faxed the RO and pointed out that my SMR has treatment records of my right knee in service. They had previously stated that I was denied because there was no proof that the injuries ocurred in service." That has changed everything on the right knee claim.

Do you yourself have copies of those SMRs?

This really gets me...why didnt the VA pick up on the inservice treatment when you originally filed the claim.

Sometimes I wonder if they even read SMRs and this is why it is always a good idea to highlight on a copy of pertinent SMRs with a bright mgjic marker and refer to the entries along with the rest of the evidence being sent in for the claim.( to include an evidence list and sent in with a Proof of mailing.)

Good for you! You didn't let them get away with that erroneous denial.

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Thank you for your response. I do have a copy of my SMR's. It is hard for me to digest, understand and remember things, but at least I finally caught the error. It scares me that the CnP doctor and the RO did not see this themselves. I know that we are our best advocate to win our claims, so I do try to read and re-read my documents, to make sure I did not miss something. I had my SMR records since 2010, but it took this long to understand that the RO said the injuries did not occur in service, while in fact my SMR records say otherwise.

Thank you again for the assistance you provide. It is very much appreciated.

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