I am new to all of this so I just have a quick question that maybe someone can explain to me. I went to the VA last year and received a 10% rating for tinnitus and )% rating but that it was service connected for hearing. After my 3rd hearing test I was given a set of hearing aids because they deemed that certain frequencies and speech I could not hear. I did an appeal for the 0% hearing loss cause makes no sense to me that there is enough to rate hearing aids but not within specs for a 10% rating. Does this make sense to anyone?
I just had two C&P exams this morning and am trying to keep a positive mindset, but the glass looks half empty to me. Maybe someone else can offer some insight on my situation.
Since April, I have been rated at 60%; 50% for PTSD and 10% for tinnitus. The claims process for those went pretty smoothly, really, and I was awarded my disability ratings in very short time. I have since then filed three additional claims. My intent to file was back in April, but I submitted the claims on July 25. These three claims are for hypertension secondary to PTSD, sleep apnea secondary to PTSD and for hearing loss. Today I had my C&P exams for the hearing loss and hypertension. I have heard nothing about scheduling a C&P for the sleep apnea.
My first exam this morning was for hypertension. I was diagnosed with hypertension, by a private doctor, about 4 years ago and have been on medication since then and am currently being treated by the VA for my hypertension. My hypertension isn't very severe, but it is outside of normal parameters and has been this way consistently for quite a few years. Even though I wasn't officially diagnosed until 2013, I have (and submitted) evidence of prior medical records that show high blood pressure readings well before my actual diagnosis. I don't think I meet the criteria for anything more than a 0% rating, but that's all I really want, or need. I believe I have bradycardia (abnormally low pulse), as a result of my high blood pressure. My blood pressure has always fluctuated and spiked in relation to my PTSD symptoms, so I certainly think the PTSD aggravates my blood pressure, but I don't feel good about my C&P exam from this morning. The doctor was one of the weirdest people I've come across at the VA, so it was hard to get a good read on him. All he did was take my blood pressure 3, or maybe 4, times, all from my right arm, while I was seated. He wanted to know when I was first diagnosed and how many times they had taken my blood pressure during the visit in which I was diagnosed. I told him it was in 2013 and, although I didn't recall how many times they took a blood pressure reading, I did remember how high it was when I was diagnosed. I tried to discuss the evidence I had submitted to support my having actually had high blood pressure before my 2013 diagnosis, but he shut me down. He said anything that I sent in with my claim wasn't his concern. All he was doing was "checking the boxes" on my blood pressure exam and someone else would look at everything that was submitted. This doesn't make sense to me. Isn't the purpose of the C&P exam to look at the evidence, as well render an opinion? I have already been diagnosed with hypertension and am receiving treatment. I'm guessing my blood pressure readings from the C&P exam are within normal parameters...that's what the medication is for. I don't understand the point of putting me through this dog and pony show, but I certainly didn't walk out of there feeling good about it.
Next, I had my audiology exam for my hearing loss claim. I just had a audiology exam a little less than 2 months ago from a VA contractor and was subsequently issued hearing aids from the VA about a month ago. As I mentioned earlier, I already receive compensation for tinnitus, so part of me feels like the VA has already conceded that I had sufficient noise exposure in-service to cause damage, but I have also heard of people winning on tinnitus and losing on hearing loss. Since I had just recently had an audiology exam, I was only given an abbreviated C&P exam for my hearing. The audiologist stated that the contractor had not "submitted a full report", or something to that effect, so she only needed to do a partial test today. She asked me a little about my in-service noise exposure, as well as about my civilian occupations. It was over pretty quickly. I didn't feel quite as bad, or confused about that one as the hypertension C&P, but both of them seemed rushed and indifferent.
When I got home, I logged in to eBenefits to check on something unrelated and decided to look at my claim status. It had gone from Gathering Evidence to Preparation for Decision, since the last time I had checked on it. How could it be in Preparation for Decision? Mind you, I just had two C&P exams a couple of hours before. There is no way those reports had been sent in and considered already, so it had to have moved to Preparation for Decision a day, or more ago. Since I have not been scheduled for a C&P exam for my SA secondary to PTSD, I suspect now that they don't plan to give me an exam for the sleep apnea. The fact that they'd already moved my claim to Preparation for Decision before my exams leaves me with the impression that my claims are doomed to denial. Realistically, both the hypertension and hearing loss should each be rated at 0%, so that won't get me an increase in disability pay anyway, but a positive decision on the SA would. I also need the 0% ones, though, because of their relationship to other problems I have.
I'm a little confused by all of this and am certainly not feeling hopeful about my prospects at this point. Am I jumping to conclusion prematurely, or am I making a reasonable conclusion that things aren't going my way? It's been less than 30 days since my claims were filed and it's already been moved to Preparation for Decision before my C&P exams. I don't know what that means, but it doesn't seem good.
I filed my first claim and recently received va decision. 10% awarded for tinnitus, sleep apnea denied, wrist tenosynovitis denied, and hearing loss denied. I have county VSO but I know they are very busy and want to put paperwork in good order before I file the NOD with them. I was only given audio exam from VA but no other exam.
I retired from the Air National Guard and have twenty years of service. The service history is convoluted but I have all the records involved 3 DD214's (Active Duty Army and Air Force), Title 10 orders for (Air Guard), and NGB22 (Air Guard and Army Guard). My career was Infantry to start and Flightline Avionics for the latter part. I have my Air Force medical records. What I don't have is my Army medical records covering Active Duty Army (including initial entrance exam) and Army National Guard. Somehow Army records never crossed over into the Air Force but I located (after many requests) the records in MO and have requested 8 months ago. The recently confirmed that received the request but said it would be about 2 more months...I was not able to provide any Army medial records with my initial claim. I have request my C-file last week by fax and certified mail so hopefully I will receive soon. Just wondering what else I should be doing while I wait for those records to show up.
Sleep apnea: The denial letter stating the sleep study date was wrong, I had it 10 years previous to the date they mentioned. So I figure I would point that out first thing. Also believe I will have evidence in Army medical records to back up the claim but there is the waiting game.
Wrist Tenosynovitis: For this I have complaints on webHA and civilian medical records but it was aggravated by fall from helicopter. Stupidly I did not file an incident report, wrist hurt but also was embarrassed and just want to "shrug it off". I did have witness and maybe I could get lay statements....but this was also preexisting condition, but also aggravated by regular flightline work.
Hearing Loss: I was told that I that I have left ear hearing loss but i didn't show service connection. I remember being told by Army medical on exam that I had hearing loss related to gunfire and that "I would want to keep these records.". I was very young at the time and was ignored it but now those are the records in MO that I am waiting on.
I was also recently diagnosed with severe and recurring depression and prescribed medication and have long history of diagnosed sleep disorder and medication. I don't know weather to purse these as separate claims or as part of sleep apnea, which are symptoms.
I do qualify for both gulf war exam and burn pit registry exam due to Kuwait deployment I and am wondering what the difference between those two are and if they are worth pursuing? I had throat surgery for diverticulum and diagnosed with barretts esophagus that could be related as well as forest fires in Idaho (Army) as well as fires during LA riots (Army Guard) and breathed in massive amounts of dust driving personal carrier in Mohave desert during 4 Ft. Irwin rotations.
Once all my C-file and Army medical records show up I was considering going to the Ellis Clinic for exam and report to file with NOD...I figure I could fly out and pay for exam less than $1000 and was wondering if anybody else thought it was worth it?
Sorry, that is a lot info to throw out there but I'm trying to figure my way through this claim process and would just appreciate any advice form the community.
By Guest Pdiddy
I received a determination letter stating that my husband's stomach issues and liver tenderness would not have been a symptom of HCV noting that these started prior to Viet Nam, where he was wounded. He totally messed up the dates. Injury occurred 05/70 symptoms started 07/70 - shown in his medical records.
One medical examiner stated that his medical records did not show he received a transfusion. That's because there are no records from his time in the hospital in Saigon. Maybe I should restate that-those records were requested beginning 1999, again 2001 by my husband and by me in 2016. None were ever produced.
Would either of these qualify for cue?
The VA made their decision, denial of course, after I had requested his c-file and again, the medical records from the dates he was in the hospital. I requested and extension, 30 days after I receive the info. Wouldn't they have to honor that request?
Good day to you all,
I have a few questions concerning the appeal process as it concerns the decision, BVA, RO, and claim date that hopefully you all can chime in to help clarify.
1. When the BVA letter indicates a "complete grant" for sought benefits, does that mean award the maximum rating allowed? or just award and process?
2. Story Line - In my case, the BVA stated in my letter a few remands (for nasal related issues) and a "complete grant" for sleep apnea (Received the letter 5 days ago). The letter indicated my claim was through a credible lay statement (which described my condition while in service), DBQ from the sleep specialist (who indicated my symptoms started while in service from a nasal injury), and a sleep apnea study performed by VA post service in 2009. The letter indicated consistency of my condition. My claim for sleep apnea was entered in 2013.
My question is in regards to the effective date.
2a. What is meant by the date entitlement arose?
The va.gov website states "an effective date for service-connection for a disability that is directly linked to an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated by military service is the date VA receives a claim or the date entitlement arose, whichever is later"..
2b. What is meant by whichever is later?
For instance, if these two dates (2/4/2016 for the date Va receives the claim and 1/5/2014 for the date entitlement arose) are in question, which is meant by later... the 2016 date or the 2014 date?
3. If the lay is credible and is indicating the time the condition was first noticed, and the medical evidence through the years also backs up my claim as credible without being a secondary condition, is it possible for the entitlement date to be initialized by back to my date of separation? or would it be the date of the 2009 exam? or would it be when the claim was entered in 2013.
4. Do remands put you in a bad situation or is it for our advantage?
As of now I am in Preparation for Decision for the granted condition and the remanded appeals are currently in the works which date back to 2008. I am just trying to get an idea of what to expect prior to a decision. Thank you for your responses in advance.
I just received another denial letter from the VA for my Left Knee and Sleep Apnea service connection.
I'm currently working with a VA Claims Specialist in Long Island, New York to help me with the claims process. He has told me we will have to file a Notice of Disagreement / De Novo Review for the Left Knee and Sleep Apnea. He also advised me this process could take up to 1-2 years. This is unfortunate and I want to make sure the VA has everything they need to give me the proper decision.
I've attached pictures of my original claims from July 2013, and the decisions I've received for Sleep Apnea and my Left Knee condition in May 2016.
I originally submitted my Left Knee claim right before I got out in July 2013 and I was denied. I dislocated my Left Knee cap in 2012 while in service. Since 2013 my knee has gotten worse, I've attended many months of physical therapy and I recently had surgery in March 2016. My knee is now worse after the surgery, I'm unable to run and I'm still in physical therapy. All of this is coming out of pocket because the wait times were too long for physical therapy at the VA Hospital, and I didn't trust the VA with surgery. I was unable to submit the surgery to the VA because I received surgery after I submitted. I've submitted two (2) lay statements, a physical therapy report, and VA examination which was requested by the VA. The VA examination explained that I couldn't stand up for more then 15 mins without pain and that my knee would lock up making it difficult to walk.
I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in October 2013, just 3 months after I got out in July 2013. I submitted the claim a few months after because I wasn't sure about the claims process. I've submitted two (2) lay statements from Marines I deployed, lived and served with. I also have the doctors report from the VA hospital sleep study. With all this evidence I was still denied the claim. When I spoke to the VA rep on the phone they told me they didn't have my lay statements, however, the VA Claims Specialist I'm working with said this wouldn't matter because I was diagnosed within a year of discharge.
I'm currently 50% with Anxiety and Depression and I have a special purpose claim for Erectile Dysfunction.
Furthermore, the Left Knee claim is coming up as (New) on eBenefits even though I originally submitted in July 2013. Once I receive a decision will they back date the claim to July 2013 or from when the new claim was submitted?
I appreciate all the help and suggestions you can offer.
a long overdue Veterans Administration claim - 45 years ago for hearing loss and re-injured left foot limp - USMC 155mm self propelled artilleryBy Lancer Colorado
I need your help or a referral for an attorney to retain for a long overdue Veterans Administration claim - 45 years ago for hearing loss and re-injured left foot limp - USMC 155mm self propelled artillery
I’ve wasted years on getting this done – including last year trying to get Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans help in finding an attorney for V.A. claims. So I’m trying a new approach in finding an attorney with www.CassinoVersusVA.weebly.com.
Thank you for any suggestions,
I'm asking this question to see if anybody else has ever run into this, and this question is pertaining to only one of the conditions I was found unfit for. I was medically discharged out of the Army National Guard through the IDES system. The MEB determined that my degenerative disc disease, "was not incurred while entitled to base pay", did not "exist prior to service" but was "permanently aggravated by service". In the MEB Board summary "this condition could be a result of military duty during deployment, with permanent injury occurring while not on duty status". I should also note that I had been seen while in AIT for back pain due to sit-ups, and also was seen by an army doctor due to back pain upon return from deployment. (all documented in the records). As is the process with the IDES system, my MEB paperwork was sent to the VA for a rating. The VA's determination was:
"2 . Service connection for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease (claimed as back) is denied.
NIS; STR; NONEX
1. The veteran reported injuring his back in 2009 or 2010 at the beach and there is no evidence of a Nexus to active
duty service. Therefore, SC is denied."
"Your service treatment records did not contain complaints, treatments or, diagnoses for this condition."
BUT for the purpose of the PEB:
"For PEB purposes only-the evaluation for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease is 20% disabling based on ROM.
This makes the combined evaluation for PEB referred conditions of 40% disabling (20% for right ankle and 20% for
Now here is where it gets odd, when I received my PEB documents there was not one mention of the degenerative disc disease. It was as if it magically disappeared after the VA disagreed with the MEB determination. Other conditions that were found "fit" for duty were even included in the PEB but anything relating to my back was not mentioned.
My questions are:
Has anybody else had the VA disagree with the MEB determination without providing any sound medically analysis to over ride their decision?
I thought that Horn v. Shinseki, 25 Vet.App. 231, 235 (2012) determined “VA may not rest on the notion that the record contains insufficient evidence of aggravation,” and the Secretary’s failure “to produce clear and unmistakable evidence of lack of aggravation” entitles a claimant to a finding of in-service aggravation of the preexisting condition).”
Has anybody else successfully appealed a VA decision similar to this one? and if so what was the approach you took when appealing the decision?
I received a letter stating that I have not filed a substantive appeal in a timely fashion. Which is completely untrue. I had 60 days from July 1st (since my SOC) to send my form 9,(VA actually never sent my SOC until AUG. 12, I only found out of the status change due to my e-benefits status)I still sent a form 9 even though the VA never even sent my SOC to me. I send my first attempt to address given in my Statement of case to VA Regional Office of Appeals located in Winston Salem,NC 27120-1309. Sent Certified mail dated July 7/28/2014. Which I paid for fast delivery. I called with follow up and I have recored all follows ups with VA reps. I was told to wait that it would take 3-6 weeks to update. I called again 9/23/2014 was told to wait and also wait for an appeals agent to call me in 7-10 days. Agent called me and said that my form was forwarded to a "scanning office" it should be updated soon and to give it another 3-6 weeks. Called VA 12/3/2014 was told Appeals would call me back in 7-10 days. No call back. Called and was told to wait another 7-10 days for appeals to call me. I got a call back 1/6/15 I was told to resend the form to WINSTON SALEM I sent it Certified mail with fast delivery again. 1/20/2015 A VA rep advised me that my VA regional office has changed for the first time that my VA office changed from Winston Sale to Los Angeles and my case has been improperly handled, then gave me the Evidence intake center address in Janesville WI. Where I re-sent My form 9, 1/20/2015. I've done nothing but try to get this form to the VA since July 28th,2014, 28 days in to my 60 day time span which I only found out from calling the VA since my SOC was not properly sent. I Disagree With the decision to not take any further action to send my case to BVA. Due to all the statements above, the Form 9 was sent out in a timely matter with directions given from all VA reps and my SOC.
Here is a brief summery of my last yeah and a half trying to get my appeals to go through.
09/11/2012 Local VA Office Decision RO 06/24/2013 Notice of Disagreement (NOD) RO 08/12/2013 Appeal Pending RO 07/01/2014 Statement of the Case (SOC) RO 09/01/2014 Decision & Claims File Dispatch BVA Which is they closed out my case 9/1/2014 saying they never got my Form 9 .......which I have sent many many times......
So I received a letter stating that I have not filed a substantive appeal in a timely fashion on 1/26/2015 . Which is completely untrue. I had 60 days from July 1st (since my SOC) to send my form 9,(VA actually never sent my SOC until AUG. 12, I only found out of the status change due to my e-benefits status)I still sent a form 9 even though the VA never even sent my SOC to me. I send my first attempt to address given in my Statement of case to VA Regional Office of Appeals located in Winston Salem,NC 27120-1309. Sent Certified mail dated July 7/28/2014. Which I paid for fast delivery. I called with follow up and I have recored all follows ups with VA reps. I was told to wait that it would take 3-6 weeks to update. I called again 9/23/2014 was told to wait and also wait for an appeals agent to call me in 7-10 days. Agent called me and said that my form was forwarded to a "scanning office" it should be updated soon and to give it another 3-6 weeks. Called VA 12/3/2014 was told Appeals would call me back in 7-10 days. No call back. Called and was told to wait another 7-10 days for appeals to call me. I got a call back 1/6/15 I was told to resend the form to WINSTON SALEM I sent it Certified mail with fast delivery again. 1/20/2015 A VA rep advised me that my VA regional office has changed for the first time that my VA office changed from Winston Sale to Los Angeles and my case has been improperly handled, then gave me the Evidence intake center address in Janesville WI. Where I re-sent My form 9, 1/20/2015.I've done nothing but try to get this form to the VA since July 28th,2014, 28 days in to my 60 day time span which I only found out from calling the VA since my SOC was not properly sent. I Disagree With the decision to not take any further action to send my case to BVA. Due to all the statements above, the Form 9 was sent out in a timely matter with directions given from all VA reps and my SOC.
I asked to Please re-open my appeal and send it to BVA.
I also contacted my Congress Man out here in CA. I have many other factors to my appeals and mistreatment and threats from my VA Doctor in Landstul Hosbital when I was seperating in 2011 ... if I discolsed any mental health issues and lack of care from the Military doctors. So for my denials to my orginal claims I went and got diagnoses from civilian physiatrists, therapists and physical therapists right when I seperated the AF in 2012.
any advice ? They closed out all my appeals due to this awaiting response from my NOD for the close out to my appeal. of my
Hello Hadit Family.
VARO granted the following effective 26 December 2012 on a request to reopen a previously denied claim:
1. 10% for Tinnitus Associated with bi-lateral hearing loss; and
2. 0% for Bi-lateral hearing loss.
The approval reason in part reads, "Service connection is warranted because your service treatment records (STR) show your hearing loss began in-service. In addition, your military occupational specialty (MOS) of non-nuclear welder is consistent with acoustic trauma and your hearing loss has been linked to that acoustic trauma".
In the original claim sent to the VARO they received on 9 May 2011, the denial reason states: "Efforts to obtain STR from all potential sources were unsuccessful. If these records are located at a later date, this decision will be reconsidered. If a different decision results, that decision will be effective as of the date of this pending claim."
He did not have access to his STR at the time his VSO representative, the American Legion, assisted him with this initial claim. The underline part above is where my question comes in: should his effective date go back to 9 May 2011?
I don't wont to advise him incorrectly that 9 May 2011 should be his effective date and the VA owes him more than just a year's retro, which they have already sent him before I know for sure.
Just trying to see if I should have him to ask for the EED based on the VA's own response in the original denial; thanks.
My situation: I am an expat living in Europe that is taking a much-needed pause from work after being in Afghanistan the last 3 years straight. I anticipate taking the next year off from work. I recently separated from my employer on 30 Sep 2013. I currently have no medical insurance coverage from a private company. Paying for my health care out-of-pocket is feasible. I am 90% disabled, and expect that soon will be 100% disabled once my claim finalizes (December or January). I would rather not spend money on costly COBRA or anything else if I am in the situation I am in. I am currently looking for insurance that will cover me if something terribly catastrophic would happen (hit by a car, etc).
My concern: CIGNA (and other big insurance companies do this too, I am sure) just sent me a ”certificate of group health plan coverage” indicating I was covered through 30 Sep 2013 that is seemingly useful to gain coverage for pre-exisiting conditions when getting a new policy **IF** I get insurance within 63 days of the policy expiring (approximately 02 Dec 2013 in my case). I want to make sure I do not screw myself by not taking action now, but do not want to buy insurance I do not need, or will be too much of a hassle to use.
My question: Does being a disabled veteran exempt me from this ”lapse in coverage” stuff, at least for service-connected conditions that might not be covered in the future? And what about being outside the United States? If I am enrolled for VA healthcare, am I good to go?
ro → en the
Need some assistance from the many vets here:)
Here is the original posting:
Update my fellow vets:
Still waiting for RO in Oakland to complete the "review of evidence" per the ebenefits website. Since then, have been to the VA hospital for treatment 8 more times. I asked my VSO if I should send in additional evidence for my SC eczema but he says they will automatically investigate. Is this true???
Question I have: Been receiving corticosteroid intralesional injections under my skin in my hands since December of last year. Does this constitute "systemic" therapy for VA standards? Received injections once per month with "kenalog 10", a corticosteroid. Currently rated at 10% for eczema of the hands and stuff is much worse. Sent in request for increase on 11/2010
I noticed on the ebenefits website that the last evidence received was fro 4-2012 and have sent much more via my VSO. Should it show everything after 2 months?
Do you recommend me stepping over my VSO and go direct to regional office and request my "C" file copy? Maybe adding in manually all the latest data from the VA local hospitals?
Here is what the ebenefits website mentions below:
The ebenefits website displays in the header:
Claim Received: 11/10/2010
Claim Type: Compensation
Original Estimated Claim Completion Date: 12/13/2011 to 07/03/2012 Your claim is being processed by the Regional Office. We generally process claims in the order received. We recognize that your claim has exceeded the projected completion date and remain committed to completing our review as quickly and accurately as possible. Thank you for your patience.
Any help is always appreciated:)
68mustang posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,
GlennieHB posted an answer to a question,
What was the Primary Cause of Death (# 1) as listed on your spouse’s death certificate?
What,if anything, was listed as a contributing cause under # 2?
Was an autopsy done and if so do you have a complete copy of it?
It can be obtained through the Medical Examiner’s office in your locale.
What was the deceased veteran service connected for in his/her lifetime?
Did they have a claim pending at death and if so what for?
If they died from anything on the Agent Orange Presumptive list ( available here under a search) when did they serve and where? If outside of Vietnam, what was their MOS and also if they served onboard a ship in the South Pacific what ship were they on and when? Also did they have any major physical contact with C 123s during the Vietnam War?
And how soon after their death was the DIC form filed…if filed within one year of death, the date of death will be the EED for DIC and also satisfy the accrued regulation criteria.
The following is written from a VA Compensation and Pension Examiners perspective relating to psychiatric exams. It is a good guideline for all exams but I only did psych exams. I’ve been examined by the VA for multiple problems and this is my format when I go to be examined. A little common sense and clarity ...