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    • https://community.hadit.com/topic/53826-read-first-if-getting-an-imo/ (This is the link to the IMO/IME criteria here)
    • I agree with the others, but will add: 1.  Like always, you will need all 3 Caluza elements for your claim to suceed.  Current diagnosis of a back condition by a doctor, Documentation of an in service event, and nexus or doctors opinion that your current diagnosis is related to an in service event.   2.  If you dont have documentation of an in service event, then an IMO wont help you.  Buddy letters may suffice to establish an in service event.   3.  Order your cfile and medical records.  See if you have a diagnosis, (back issues), as well as an in service event.  If you have these 2, an IMO doc can provide a nexus.   4.  Documentation of symptoms "continuity and chronicity" may be required.  Does your condition show up on an xray or MRI?  This should help, if it does.  Generally, SC compensation is paid to Veterans based on their loss of ability to earn a living, to some degree.  Do your back issues limit your ability to work, or is it limited to early morning pain?  I dont know that, but you may have to have documentation of that for a disability rating above 0 percent.  Its gonna boil down to your records, and, as always, evidence.   I think there may be some restrictions on benefits "unless you are on ACTIVE Duty".  (Excuse my ignorance I dont know if you served on active duty or reserves).
    • This BVA decision award for Back pain regarding a Coast Guard veteran: https://www.va.gov/vetapp18/files7/18117241.txt As you can see the claim had multiple opinions from VA as well as private doctors and they were all basically deficient. "The evidence weighs for and against the claim which puts the issue into equipoise. Since his INACDUTRA injuries, the Veteran has sought treatment from private rather than VA providers for much of his care. As such, some of the clinicians have been treating him since the time of his injuries, or at least for many years. While earlier private opinions did not provide requisite rationales, subsequent submissions have attempted to provide a basis for the opinions. While the language utilized did not always track the more-likely-than-not legal standard required for service connection, the clinicians attempted to show that the Veteran’s current disability and symptoms resulted from in-service incurrences, and provided years of treatment notes to support their opinions. Therefore, reading the evidence in a favorable light, it is at least in equipoise and the appeal is granted." This case shows why any IMO/IME doctor needs to follow the IMO/IME criteria and give a strong rationale for their opinion, using the specific "as like as not" wording.  Although the above vet had an inservice injury , which I assume you did not have, still these claims can succeed. But one other thing ..."back pain" is not as specific as a proper diagnosis would be....which I assume a IME doctor would want an MRI result for. I have seen claims wherey "Back Pain" was too general a term ,for a proper rating. The VA would be more able  rate your claim if in fact it is diagnosed as DDD of the lumbar spine or  vertebral degeneration, etc, two of many terms for back issue diagnoses.        
    • Just wanted to put this post out there because it genuinely took me as a shock. Luckily, it shouldn't have a huge effect on me, but it really might for some. So as most know, each state has different benefits given to vets with disabilities and most notably is that many states give property exemption for 100% P&T or TDIU vets. See link here for info: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/state-veterans-benefits-directory.html   This is all fine and good, but I just applied for my exemption in my state only to learn that I would see no benefit from it until September 2021. The reason behind this is that our state is bass ackwards and pays property taxes in "arrears". So September 2020 and March 2021, I will actually be paying my 2019 property taxes, since my application will for some reason only begin for the 2020 property taxes that are to be paid September 2021 and March 2022.  Maybe this all makes sense to you all, and I hate to bite the hand that feeds, but I will be contacting as many state government officials that I can to try to get this changed so that it is effective upon application. I can afford to pay until September 2021, but what about someone who had to go on TDIU suddenly or for a widow of a vet that passed from a service connected injury?  So moral of the story is, check on all of your bennies because some of them may still be just out of reach.  
    • It sure is Spot oN! So is GB Army! " Do I even have a case? even though they could chalk up my injury to my current job with no previous documentation? " they  will if they can-  A good IMO/IME doctor ( you might need an inperson exam) will need a copy of our SMRs and Discharge Certificate- as you might have mentioned the back problems when you mustered out.And any private medical records too. A good IME doc can rule out any other etiology ( cause) for the current back problems, which are 'aggravated' by your current occupation. You might need to explain how your CG MOS caused back problems, and that would help the IMO/IME doctor to be able to prepare an air tight opinion. They will need to follow the IMO/IME criteria here at hadit in the IMO/IME forum.  
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