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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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winddancer

Help Needed Please

Question

I am trying to sort through my husband's myriad of health issues and file a claim for increase in SC but there are so many issues and I have been told so many different ways to handle this that now I am totally confused. A retired VSO was helping me sort issues and saw a potential CUE but unfortunately he has passed away prior to telling me the issue. Without getting too winded on this post, a brief breakdown of the stats is: grand mal seizure of unknown origin while in service in 1977 resulting in award of 20% coming out of service by VA. Two yrs later at annual eval sc terminated w/o neurological eval. 20% disability stayed on records but no compensation until 1999 when local VSO filed new paperwork then granted 10%. Currently rated at 10% seizure, 30% PTSD, and 0% migraine headaches. He has dx of tendonitis, COPD, GERD, DJD, Anxiety disorder, CAD, Depressive disorder, and hyperlipidemia. Has had stents placed for aortic aneurysm and iliac aneurysm, has had toxic cataracts removed from both eyes, right retinal and macula repair for blown retina, surgery to repair L knee injured in service, tinnitus, decreased hearing, 2 septoplasty surgeries for chronic recurring sinusitis, is on 2 L of O2 at night for CO2 overload, and is considered to be prediabetic currently controlled by diet. He has not been able to work a day since Dec. 1999. Sorry for being so winded , there are more issues but at least you have a general idea of matter at hand. ANY help is greatly appreciated in advance because I am totally confused.

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Why don't you consider hiring a lawyer since this is so complex and involves so many issues? For increases you need some sort of medical documentation that the conditions have gotten worse. If it is multiple issues you might just go for the issues that will result in a 100% rating. When you file for multiple increases or ratings the VA usually defers some of them. Unless the issues can be proved to be service connected they don't count and I would not even bring them up in a claim.

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He needs a documented medical nexus (link) to his service for all conditions that he isnt SC for already unless some of them could be claimed as secondary to the SC disabilities he already has established.

Yes I agree there appears to be a CUE there when they dropped the 20% SC for the seizures and then restored the SC in 1999.to 10%

1979 to 1999 is worth checking into for retro due to CUE potential.

There are similiar CUE claims at the BVA and here at hadit.

The 10% seems wrong to since it was 20%-

maybe the VA had good medical rationale for the reduction in the first place-

do you have the reduction decision? you will need copy of it to determine if there was legal error made by VA in the rating, or the Diagnostic code or in some other legal way-

I suggest you focus first on the most likely potential SC conditions he has and their secondary conditions due to his service.

Pre diabetic? he presents a picture of long standing diabetes-with resulting diabetic CAD as well as the cataracts.

With hyperlipedimia too this also suggest he might have had diabetes longer then he thought-

sounds like my claim-

My husband was exposed to AO in Vietnam.Diabetes never appears once in his med recs.I proved 15 years after his death that he had diabetes, the VA failed to treat it and it caused CAD, CVAsm and his untimely death.

You need the veteran's complete clinical med records to see when he first developed diabetes symptoms-

I am not a doctor but what I see here is many conditions that could be due to full blown diabetes (such as the macular degeneration) and these conditions dont come from "pre" diabetes- they come from

diabetes mellitus adult onset Type II.

Did he serve in Vietnam?

Make sure you get copies of his full Blood Chemistry reports from the VA.

The ADA criteria for Diabetes changed some years ago- it altered the idea of what pre -diabetes is.

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On Veterans day you chose to seek assistance from this site where you will find the most versed people regarding VA claims. As you have noticed john999 and berta have offerred you suggestions on how to proceed. Follow their leads for the best assistance. :)

Edited by halos2

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I could really choke on the Pre-diabetes thing. They use that to deny compensation for DMII. The 126 fasting glucose level is just a number picked out of the air. You could have 125 for ten years and the VA never makes a DMII diagnosis. All the secondary conditions that came before the actual DMII DX are denied.

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I have several questions for the VA with regard to him. Yes, he was in Nam in 1970-71 in III Corps area. Headaches started shortly after return stateside and have continued on a daily basis, with a lot of days being prostrating. He had a grand mal seizure in Germany in 1977 that neither the military nor the VA have been able to identify the cause of. To our knowledge he has not had another grandmal but doctors, both civilian and a few VA, suspect as do we that he has been having petite mal episodes ever since. The VA stopping his comp in 1979 would not be so disconcerting if they had done any neurological evals prior to termination. Their exam consisted of B/P, temp, pulse, respiration,chest xray, urinalysis and loss of comp. They, as far as I can see, had no nexus to d/c based on eval. I am looking to increase PTSD because the only thing that the VA has done for it in several years is psych meds, no therapist whatsoever since his previous therapist left the VA. All they did is refer him to a Vet Center. The only thing that has transpired from there was a lot of discussion of how to perfectly word claim substance. Please do not misunderstand, I appreciated their efforts but at the time, his sanity and his well-being was more important to me. Input from several different people there is where my confusion originated. Part of his medical records have never appeared after numerous requests. He was hospitalized for several weeks following the seizure both at Frankfurt Germany and at Walter Reed. The only documentation we have is the initial ER report where he was seen at Frankfurt. No one seems to know, at least to this point, where I need to write or who I need to write to procure those records since Frankfurt hospital doesn't exist anymore. There is evidence in his records that doesn't directly point to a lot of his current dx but could be some of the dx in formation stages if that makes any sense. His blood levels have been screwy most of the 30 years that we have been married. He nearly always has a high white count but he also has a very high hemoglobin count. The hyperlipidemia group doesnt sway much on 2 statins and niacin, and a mostly vegan diet. He has elements in his blood levels that the VA says indicates allergy but my research says leukemia. A regimen of antibiotics drops the white count while on antibiotics and then it shoots back up again. He has dx of syncope in his military and civilian records but it has never been evaluated as to cause. I am convinced that he has sleep apnea because he has periods of breathing cessation when he can sleep. After a sleep study that he could not sleep during, the VA determined that it was CO2 overload because he still breathes as shallow as he learned to breathe in Nam. There are several issues that I see the fine details of as I am sure you saw little things with your husband that scare me for him. I have not as yet figured out how to get the VA to evaluate those concerns appropriately. My gut tells me that the VA knows a lot more about what is wrong with him than they are either addressing or will tell. When the last round of claims went in in 1999 the VA judged him 80% NSC for pension purposes. he has been dx with COPD, naturally due to smoking according to the VA, but I feel that the PTSD issues have a tremendous effect on his smoking, especially since he is not in any therapy. Its just a big mess and I truly apologize for rambling on about all of this. I guess maybe I am venting some frustration cause I am just scraping the service on his issues. I have spent the last 10 years combing his records, researching his health problems, fighting with doctors for him and with him. Even he makes me mad because I talk until I am blue in the face about concerns and issues and tell him they arent going to do anything unless it is an issue with him, get him fired up and ready to address the issue and he walks into a VA facility and immediately goes into Military decorum mode with quiet reserve and discipline and looses all fire initiative no matter how many times he is being fired at or screwed. Again, I apologize for my rambling, just trying to make some sense of this mess and get him the appropriate medical attention or at least enough money that I can afford a civilian source of care.

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