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  3. I agree all this new stuff was put in place to hold or prolong a claim. The new comp system. My case is also been shop around for a unfavorable medical opinion. It been to qtc lhi the va hospital all in the last 5 months. The no phone number to the bva only the va 1800 which has to do iris if you have a problem with the board smh I even got a cavc remand in the new appeal system when I did even check the opt in box. And no one will address it. It's been sitting in the new appeal lane for 5 months. Smh So you are not alone I tell you one thing after this fight for my smc benfits. They can have all this VA stuff because it's not going to get any better only worse.
  4. Ms. Bertha, Thank you for all the information. I did claim OSA as secondary to both MDD and Fibro, both were denied in that letter I attached. I'm currently waiting on a decision to my supplemental claim for CF...QTC did a Gulf War exam in August and about 20 different DBQs were done (sleep apnea wasn't one of them though) - the exam was mainly for CFS, but VA sent a "rework" request back to QTC because the dr. didn't provide a medical opinion for the fatigue in regards to my MDD and Fibro. I'll have to decide if I want to keep fighting after this decision - hopefully I won't have to. If I do, I will certainly use all the advice you gave!
  5. Can you scan and attach here the most recent denial? Cover your C file# ,name, address prior to scanning it. I hope you are not dealing with the Buffalo VARO. They can barely read. At least that is my opinion because of the ridiculous denials I got but I pursued them relentlessly until I succeeded. "I also have been working a veteran who also received a NOT SERVICE CONNECTED decision not only for his issues he was being treated for throughout his military service, but he also got denied for Tinnitus. Very surprising, maybe VA is working on budgeting, deny a bunch of claims, budget looks better." Does he have a copy of his SMRS and inservice personnel file? To include his discharge certificate that lists his inservice disabilities? Have you yourself seen his DD214 or DD 215? Can he join us here? Posted 4 hours ago Almost took two years to finally get a decision I have been given a rating of NOT SERVICE CONNECTED for all 7 of my claims. I'm hoping others are receiving better outcomes, this time around I had gone through a lawyer thinking that may help, but at this point not really. Next steps will be to appeal unfortunately since there is a massive backlog of claims. But when the VA cannot make a reasonable determination, this is what happens. One thing I will point out if it helps others, these claims did not have to do during a time I was deployed over seas. Could this be a reason why I was denied completely, who knows this game is very subjective. My other disabilities I have received were from overseas service, and I had actually applied for them myself, no help from law firm. I also have been working a veteran who also received a NOT SERVICE CONNECTED decision not only for his issues he was being treated for throughout his military service, but he also got denied for Tinnitus. Very surprising, maybe VA is working on budgeting, deny a bunch of claims, budget looks better. "I even have my deceased fathers claim which has been ongoing for almost 2 yrs and my family are waiting for a decision there for the sake of my mother receiving the benefits she is entitled too." Has that claim been denied? Was she able to send them the evidence they requested? As a widow myself of 2 veterans, I know how miserable the VA can make it for many widow's claims. Was he a Vietnam Veteran, or a Blue Water Navy Veteran? With more info we can try to help more.
  6. I believe it would take a pulmonlogist to properly opine on the claim.Or an expert in Fibromyalgia, who would have the most recent medical literate to support the claim-but I dont know if you claimed the fibro as a potential cause of the OSA. I thing that would be even a stronger way to go than the MDD meds. I personally would do both. We have the right, as claimants, to advance any possible way of entitlement to SC. But it all depends on the meds you take for each of those disabilities and the PDR and many other sites on line have detailed info and side affects of all medications. The opiner did not mention any VA prescribed meds in the page of th decision you posted. You could also find their name on the actual C & P exam and gripe to LHI,VES, QTC or whatever outfit did the exam,if they were not qualified to do it- but then again the claim still needs to associate both of your SCs with the medications side affects,--- anything that could cause weight gain and OSA. It might help to get a service officer as well, (vet rep)and feel free to copy my replies, so that they can see how the claim could be supplemented with evidence.
  7. You are correct- BVA cases are unique to the veteran who filed the claim- however they contain a wealth of info as to how to prepare and support a claim with evidence.They also cite VA regulations and Precedent opinions such as the OGC pres Op in one of the links I gave you-as well as precental US CAVC decision. They are not "evidence" except in rare situations. I had a very old BVA decision that contained a "clue"-I was using my own old BVA case as "evidence" but the RO ignored it. I called General Counsel. Then the VARO could not ignore what the BVA had stated to me long ago- and which was still a valid established regulation. But Evidence is Everything and you could follow my advice yourself to present to the VA any medication info that could support your claim, along with the medical profile you have from the VA, as well as the fairly well established medical links above in my replies, and any other evidence you can find. These are bonafide very good medical sites. You might find more than I did. ".I guess it's just the luck of the draw..or maybe they had a better medical opinion given than myself. " I dont believe it is the luck of the draw- it is either getting a solid IMO/IME in difficult cases like this,or doing all of the leg work yourself. MANY if not most vets here succeeded without IMO/IMEs- I am sure. we do not get a fair shake from the C & P proess at all and this is why an IMO/IME can do wonders. In one of his IMOs for me Dr Bash quoted the VA endocrinologist and said what she had stated was "medically inaccurate" and stated how her opinion was not valid at all. Also she said I used a DVD acronym from Merck which the VA uses as well. Some had put into my husband medical records DVD (diabetic Vascular disease )and did not cross it out like the diabetes entry. She , as a VA endocrinologist, had the audacity to say it meant that the veteran "Denied Venereal Disease" -DVD. I jumped on that right away= the veteran had VD in service,and on his rating sheets and Never denied having inservice VD. The last incident O had like that was that a doctor opined on my claim and stated it was an inperson interview. By then my husband had been dead for 2 decades! I complained to the White House Hot Line and someone from the VHA called me and he said something so stupid I wont even get into it.I used the situation as "evidence" as well as the fact that this VA doctor had been relegated to the AO registery department long ago and I guess they didnt want her to be actually dealing with VA patients. I won that claim, very fast after that. These VA opiners people are slick. I have had to knock them down many many times. I am convinced that most of them love to have the power to deny claims that have validity. Then again if they awarded too many claims due to their opinions they would probably be off the C & P examiner list. ".I guess it's just the luck of the draw..or maybe they had a better medical opinion given than myself. " Maybe they did but we cannot rely on a good C & P exam outcome at all. I read at the BVA a denial from a female veteran who also was trying to get OSA associated with her SC disabilities. She had no IMO/IME and did not attempt to provide significant evidence herself. I had no doubt that with a little more evidence she could have potentially succeeded. I will re read your decision again to see if there is anything else I could add.
  8. Ms. Bertha, the sedatives are referring to the sleeping pills that I have to take each night, due to the MDD & and anxiety meds I take. I can't sleep a wink if I don't take them. I am aware that other veterans have gotten OSA awarded as secondary to mental health conditions...I guess it's just the luck of the draw..or maybe they had a better medical opinion given than myself. Also, from what I understand, board cases can't be used as "evidence" in a claim. Is this incorrect?
  9. Also you might want to read over some of these BVA decisions regarding Fibromyalgia and OSA under my search feature: I searched for OSA fibromyalgia in the BVA search engine and 504 decisions popped up. Some however might only had one of the search terms in them. You could also try a searh at BVA for fibromyalgia OSA, and maybe more would pop up. The highlighted links wiil be the ones you have already read. Research can take a considerable amount of time. But if I had not done lots of research for my many claims, as a widow of a disabled veteran, I would probably have lost them all. Also for my most important claim, I had 3 IMOs- one was a freebee and Dr Bash did the other 2 IMos - $4,000. It was the best investment I could ever make because it resolved my issue and it finally gave my dead Husband and me ---Peace with Honor. I wrote the initial IMO/IME criteria here ( added more to it since) based on the IMOs Dr Bash did for me and how he covered ALL bases. Dr Bash and my freebee IMO doctor both worked for the VA in the past and knew exactly what they needed to opine on with medical evidence from my husband's VA medial records and his 6 page autopsy. I do not know what the VA doctor meant by your use of sedatives. Your medication profile, in your VA medical Records , will list the meds you take for your SCs. You can look them up to see if contributed to your weight gain , and OSA. When I got my husband's full VA medical records, after his unexpected sudden death, I found two meds that possibly contributed to his death and General Counsel VA definitely agreed with my lay medical opinion on one of them.FTCa/1151 wrongful death. When I asked Dr Bash for the IMos, I had already done considerable work on that direct SC death claim ( undiagnosed and untreated DMII from AO) and I found out an odd prescriped VA med was for a condition that is known in DMII patients and part of the 1997 original VA Diabetes training letter. Also I found a Diabetes diagnosis had been crossed out, because most of his VA doctors by then knew he had DMII but tried to cover it up. They failed. Research and careful reading and re reading VA medical records and SMRs etc etc etc can often be the road to Success. But IMO-IME doctors certainly earn their fees by doing that for us. I had to study cardiology and neurology and endocrinology to succeed in the claims that I did not have an IMO for. That's OK- my lay medical opinions were solid. BVA search feature I used: https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_search.jsp?QT=OSA+fibromyalgia&EW=&AT=&ET=&RPP=10&DB=2021&DB=2020&DB=2019&DB=2018&DB=2017&DB=2016&DB=2015&DB=2014&DB=2013&DB=2012&DB=2011&DB=2010&DB=2009&DB=2008&DB=2007&DB=2006&DB=2005&DB=2004&DB=2003&DB=2002&DB=2001&DB=2000&DB=1999&DB=1998&DB=1997&DB=1996&DB=1995&DB=1994&DB=1993&DB=1992
  10. My question doesn't really point at the requirements for TDIU, I already have that, but more toward the aftermath of TDIU as it relates to claims that were denied earlier, and later approved, as in my case. Recap: Was approved for TDIU P&T back in 2017. In 2019 filed for secondary Over Active Bladder(was earlier denied) as it was secondary to SC for spine issues, and that claim was approved, and was connected by the C&P doctor to my SC spinal problems. Question:(already answered by pacmanx1), anything on the bone for retro concerning the approved OAB claim? As a footnote, I do understand there are possible SMC's involved here, and I understand the criteria for getting SMC's-100% either TDIU or Scheduler, and another totally different condition rated at 60% or more. Thanks, Allan 2-2-0 HOOAH!
  11. I took note of the word "sedatives" they said you used. I do not know what they mean by 'sedatives' but perhaps they mean the SC meds you take. If any of those SC meds can cause obesity, then an IMO/IME doctor could write a strong opinion for you-qith medical abstracts or current medical literature, and then include a medical rationale for why the obesity has caused the sleep apnea. https://community.hadit.com/topic/79792-david-anaise-md-for-osa-secondary-to-ptsd/page/3/ There is info above from some members here- They mention Dr Bash, Dr Anaise, and a Dr Trippi who helped them with IMO/IMEs. Have you asked your pulmonologist- wther VA or private to give an opinion that would help? Also the VA probably listed your SMRs as evidence, but I wonder if they really did read them for the OSA. I found the Feb 2015 decision frome lotzaspotz but could not magnify it to read it. https://community.hadit.com/topic/60866-copy-sleep-apnea-grant-of-sc-nam-vet/#comment-362128 Also there is a link between fibromyalgia and sleep apnea: Sleep Apnea in Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Growing Concern Patients with fibromyalgia have a tenfold increase in sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. Proper diagnosis and treatment will improve health and quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. By Victor Rosenfeld, MD https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/myofascial/fibromyalgia/sleep-apnea-patients-fibromyalgia-growing-concern and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500898/ A n IMO/IMEpulmonologist would have updated info on the association of Fibromyalgia and OSA. By googling your state and Pulmonologists IMO IME they might have a site to find an IMO/IME You might have mentioned SC fibromyalgia in your posts-but maybe I am wrong.
  12. Almost took two years to finally get a decision I have been given a rating of NOT SERVICE CONNECTED for all 7 of my claims. I'm hoping others are receiving better outcomes, this time around I had gone through a lawyer thinking that may help, but at this point not really. Next steps will be to appeal unfortunately since there is a massive backlog of claims. But when the VA cannot make a reasonable determination, this is what happens. One thing I will point out if it helps others, these claims did not have to do during a time I was deployed over seas. Could this be a reason why I was denied completely, who knows this game is very subjective. My other disabilities I have received were from overseas service, and I had actually applied for them myself, no help from law firm. I also have been working a veteran who also received a NOT SERVICE CONNECTED decision not only for his issues he was being treated for throughout his military service, but he also got denied for Tinnitus. Very surprising, maybe VA is working on budgeting, deny a bunch of claims, budget looks better. I even have my deceased fathers claim which has been ongoing for almost 2 yrs and my family are waiting for a decision there for the sake of my mother receiving the benefits she is entitled too. For our OLDER veterans to go through this crap process is horrible to see and for their widow to to have to standby for way too long wondering if they will received benefits needs to change. Just sharing my experiences, hoping you others have a better outcome.
  13. After 1 yr 6 months and doing the same cp exams twice with both contractors, a decision has finally been made and I have been told by the VA all 7 of my claims are NOT SERVICE CONNECTED woooo! haha Time to see what my lawyer can do. The fight continues.
  14. Can you scan and attach here the denial of OSA due to weight? Cover your C file # name, address prior to scanning it. Your medical records would reveal when the weight gain started and a strong IMO/IME could determine if that was when the SC meds were given, if they were meds that could cause weight gain and/or OSA. This fairly recent BVA decision awarded for OSA due to weight gain from SC medications. "[T]he Veteran's prior to (EPTS) PTSD and SC depression have been treated with multiple medications and the onset of the significant weight gain roughly coincides with the initiation of regular use of several medications which have strong association with significant weight gain, specifically, olanzapine and divalproex. Therefore, although there is no definitive evidence that the major depressive disorder did not cause the obesity, there is significant evidence that the treatment methods which were utilized in the treatment of the depression more than likely than not contributed to the onset and progression of the obesity. Based upon the May 2017 VHA medical opinion and the February 2015 VA examination, the Board determines: (1) treatment of the Veteran's service-connected depression caused the Veteran to become obese; (2) the Veteran's obesity was a substantial factor in causing his OSA; and (3) the OSA would not have occurred but for the obesity cause by the treatment of the service-connected depression. See VAOPGCPREC 1-2017. For these reasons, and resolving all reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the weight of the probative evidence supports an entitlement to service connection for OSA, secondary to service-connected major depression. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107 (West 2014) ; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.159, 3.310." ORDER Entitlement to service connection for OSA is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/Files4/1720242.txt Also Chris Attig, vet lawyer, and I believe still a hadit member, has info here: https://www.veteranslawblog.org/obesity-obstructive-sleep-apnea-ptsd/
  15. Ms. Bertha, Thanks for the information. I will have to review it. I am SC for MDD and anxiety, but was denied for sleep apnea due to weight...even though I didn't gain the weight until I started taking the meds for MDD and anxiety.
  16. To the original poster Donnie : This is an old BVA decision however: "FINDING OF FACT Providing the Veteran with all benefit of the doubt, sleep apnea is aggravated by medications taken for major depressive disorder." The Veteran's Major Depressive disorder was already service connected. https://www.va.gov/vetapp14/Files4/1427494.txt In this more recent case (2016) " "Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to service-connected disabilities." https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files4/1634144.txt Also some medications can cause OSA: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346880/#:~:text=Several medications (atypical antipsychotics in,can induce or exacerbate OSA. Both decisions contain a lot of info as to how the veteran succeeded. This would need a Very strong IMO/IME, that follows the IMO/IME criterias here at hadit. The Opinion independent doctor should have access to your inservice STRs, Military Personnel records, and all othe health care records. They would also need to bolster their opinion with any good medical excerpts etc.
  17. Man I am really sit here try to figure this one out. Ok here is the cavc remand. Upon consideration of the foregoing, the portion of the January 30, 2020, Board decision finding that Mr. October 2018 NOD did not encompass that portion of the July 5, 2018, rating decision granting a 70% evaluation, but no higher, for a psychiatric disorder is REVERSED and the matter is REMANDED for further adjudication; the portions of the January 30, 2020, Board decision denying an effective date before May 9, 2018, for the grant of SMC and entitlement to SMC in excess of the housebound rate, from May 9 to July 17, 2018, and at the aid-and- attendance rate from that point are SET ASIDE and the matters are REMANDED for further development, if necessary, and readjudication consistent with this decision; and the balance of the appeal is DISMISSED. DATED: January 29, 2021 Ok now the board change the cavc order and granted the same effective dates set a side by the court. An remand them To be granted in the first instance. So the board volate the court order. The cavc set them a side an told the board to address early period. So now the droc DC just used the nod that was send to me to continue my appeal. An remove the issue from the cavc remand docket which is to be expidate and return to the board. An now it's in the new appeal system I never check the box to opt in. Smh. An now been treated as a new appeal with a docket of 2021. In the new appeal system This is part of my petition for extraordinary relief. The Board response to the court. They it ok to change my docket. Lol that was it. Told the court that the board found that they need to be granted in the first instance. So now I guess the board doesn't have to follow cavc remand order now. Smh It's been with judge almost 7 weeks. And it with the chief judge the same judge who did my case an set it a side. And the judge was part of the grove cavc decision. I even ask the court to sanction the veterans affairs for this. I can't let this go because I didn't fight all the way to court. To fight the same effective dates over again. Lol I am venting again.
  18. Last week
  19. This post is quoting 38 CFR 4.16a This post is only half true and is misleading because it is 38 CFR 4.16a but if you read a little further in 38 CFR 4.16b it states: (a) Total disability ratings for compensation may be assigned, where the schedular rating is less than total, when the disabled person is, in the judgment of the rating agency, unable to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation as a result of service-connected disabilities: Provided That, if there is only one such disability, this disability shall be ratable at 60 percent or more, and that, if there are two or more disabilities, there shall be at least one disability ratable at 40 percent or more, and sufficient additional disability to bring the combined rating to 70 percent or more. For the above purpose of one 60 percent disability, or one 40 percent disability in combination, the following will be considered as one disability: (b) It is the established policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs that all veterans who are unable to secure and follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of service-connected disabilities shall be rated totally disabled. Therefore, rating boards should submit to the Director, Compensation Service, for extra-schedular consideration all cases of veterans who are unemployable by reason of service-connected disabilities, but who fail to meet the percentage standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The rating board will include a full statement as to the veteran's service-connected disabilities, employment history, educational and vocational attainment and all other factors having a bearing on the issue.
  20. 8940s are always processed as increases first- thats the only way to mark them in the system when they come in or they don't process as a new claim and they sit in limbo. Once they are classified, then they are considered for increases first before the IU decision comes into play. VIII.iv.3.B.1.e. Veteran’s Responsibility to Specify a Disability or Disabilities That Cause Unemployability II.iii.1.A.1.a. Requirements for a Complete Claim Received on or After March 24, 2015(referred to above)
  21. Yes Sir Mr. Broncovet is correct and beat me in his response. Here is another I agree and disagree, and VA and VSOs tell veterans this all the time, but I have helped several veterans get TDIU when they did not meet the rating criteria. When a veteran files the VA form 21-8940, it is a claim for an increase as well as a claim for TDIU. The VA can and has in the past increased some veterans rating percentages to help them meet those criteria but a look at the veteran’s current disabilities that veteran may not qualify but with medical evidence and a medical opinion it is very well possible to be granted TDIU.
  22. I did not quote 4.16b because it has no bearing on my job or what I do- its a rating decision, or has to be brought up by a veteran. My lane deals with getting the veteran's claim in shape so that it is in the best possible light for the rater, but I don't make any suggestions or decisions regarding it's outcome. I do bring items of note up for the examiner or the rater that I find, things like if you have had 8 WFH jobs in the last 4 yrs because thats what your PTSD allows you to do on good days but still have challenges with them do to (usually) medical appts timing, bad days, whatever, and I highlight the returned 4192's (when I get them back, which is rarely) sections where employers can comment (again, rarely), and I try to find things in the MH therapy notes under the Work History and Social history that might help contribute to a positive outcome. Its the best I can do, after that its out of my hands.
  23. There are actually at least "2" ways to get to TDIU. The first is the one broken soldier mentioned, sometimes called "schedular" tdiu. Also known as 38 CFR 4.16 a, which is the most common. Sometimes overlooked, however, by Veterans, Vet advocates, and VA employees, is extraschedular IU, aka 38 CFR 4.16 b, which reads: Interestingly, several years ago, I brought this up to a former rating specialist, who is a moderator at another Veterans website. He indicated, "there was pretty much no chance of getting tdiu under 4.16b". I did not listen to him, and was awarded 4.16b (extra schedular tdiu) in 2017, after a 15 year battle with VA. Im so glad I did not listen to the "expert" who put me down, as I could not possibly know as much as a (former) DRO, who knew all the ins and outs. Well, no I did not know all the ins and outs, but I did know how to read, and 4.16 b clearly says "ALL" Veterans, and not those who managed to finagle the VARO into 4.16b consideration. Of course, the VARO said, "ok, go ahead and submit a 4.16b, and see where it gets you". The short answer was "denied", but the BOARD was required to interpret 4.16b "AS WRITTEN ABOVE", and not the classic VARO rater who basically said, if you dont meet the percentage requirements, you are out of luck. Period.
  24. You claimed them when you filed your 8940 In Sec 1. Generally, though, the rules are: The Individual Unemployability requirements are (1) you must be a veteran to get IU Benefits and (2) you must have one 60% service-connected disability or two or more service-connected disabilities with one rated at 40% and a combined VA disability rating of 70% to qualify for IU Benefits.
  25. Not a problem Pacmanx1. Sometimes these threads do get a little long in the tooth.
  26. @pacmanx1, Now all I gotta do is find that decision for TDIU I like your "Do your homework" philosophy! Allan 2-2-0 HOOAH!
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