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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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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Sc Increase Request For Headaches, Qtc For Headaches And Ptsd


We submitted a claim to increase SC from 0% to 50% for headaches in May 2013. Currently rated at 70% PTSD, 10% seizure and 0% headaches with 100% TDIU as of February 2011. Also drawing SSDI since 1990. Vet has not been able to work at all since 1990 largely due to mental illness as well as daily headaches at some level since 1970. No mental hospitalizations to date, and no active therapy due to area availability. Should we be concerned about the re-evaluation as vet is static for PTSD, neither improving or getting worse in respect to healing. Vet just turned 63 in September of this year. Currently in consideration for IHD claim as well. Found out in October this year that he has had at least 5 heart attacks and has a complete arterial blockage with collateral arteriogenesis previously undiagnosed. Were not previously aware of any heart attacks although dx'd with CAD several years ago by VA doctors. This is all too confusing for my brain to absorb. Amvets VSO on board that has been awesome in assisting and explaining as best he can about the process but vets medical history incredibly complicated to sort out what we can do, should do, or must do to get him what he deserves. There are 32 different medical diagnoses so far and counting with countless tests and labs that are all over the chart for severity. Nightmare trying to figure out and sort out which dx are relevant, which are severe enough for compensatory attention and which ones to leave as "sleepers" for back up if needed. Sorry for the rant but any advice or explanations at this point are more than welcomed because vet is not capable of explaining and I am somewhat overwhelmed in trying to help him with paperwork end. Thank you guys in advance for all you do and the prices paid for our freedoms, often taken for granted by the masses.

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4 answers to this question

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Unfortunately I sure jumped on this first:

"Found out in October this year that he has had at least 5 heart attacks and has a complete arterial blockage with collateral arteriogenesis previously undiagnosed. Were not previously aware of any heart attacks although dx'd with CAD several years ago by VA doctors.:

Was he a VA patient during all that time?

If this is a AO IHD claim, he also might have a basis for a Sec 1151 claim.

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Berta yes he has been a VA patient since around 1986 when some of his health issues started appearing or at least shortly there after. Was granted 20% for seizure disorder initially in 1977 upon discharge because of a grand mal seizure that occurred in service, then reduced to 0% 2 yrs later and now back up to 10%. Dx'd with COPD and CAD by VA and they cannot make up their minds whether he is a diabetic or not. Has a reoccurring GI bleed disorder, chronic high triglycerides, cholesterol, pre-hypertensive,hypercalcemia, daily headaches and PTSD to scratch the surface.Also has a chronic high white count but if the VA knows what is wrong, they aren't telling. They have him on so many medications that it is unreal, civilian doctor that has seen him from time to time in emergencies feels he is over medicated but doesnt feel safe removing any of them. He was exposed to AO shen he was stationed in Bien Hoa, Saigon and Long Binh in 1970-71 but has been told on numerous AO screenings that "we don't know why you are here." Have to ask what is a Sec 1151 claim? Can break his health issues down further if necessary. While still trying to put all the puzzle pieces in their respective places and feeling like a fish out of water as far as his claims, I am extensively familiar with his medical history since 1970. Will do my best to answer any question asked.

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This link explains the collateral arteriogenesis:


“Should we be concerned about the re-evaluation as vet is static for PTSD, neither improving or getting worse in respect to healing. “

This concerns me:

“and no active therapy”.......

Does he have current treatment records and/or medication records ,or Vet center records, to show that he still has PTSD at the same level (if not higher)to justify his PTSD compensation

“they cannot make up their minds whether he is a diabetic or not.”

Geez, his Blood Chem work should reveal that and particularly his HBAIC values.If he has DMII ,he should claim that due to AO in Vietnam.

“He was exposed to AO shen he was stationed in Bien Hoa, Saigon and Long Binh in 1970-71 but has been told on numerous AO screenings that "we don't know why you are here. “

I have no idea what an AO screening is ( in the olden days it was called the AO Registry and it didnt mean anything as far as AO Comp went).

If a veteran has proof of incountry Vietnam Service ,during the War, on their DD 214, and claims any AO presumptive disease, they do not have to prove exposure to the AO.

“Have to ask what is a Sec 1151 claim? “

If the VA is negligent in proper timely diagnosis and treatment or with a complete lack of proper diagnosis and treatment, and their negligence has caused the veteran to have an additional disability, the veteran can claim the additional disability under 1151 and be compensated for it.

We have considerable info here under 1151 and FTCA forums on that type of claim.

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As far as therapy.... his psych meds are constantly maintained... his primary is at a small CBOC that is overwhelmed with patients and the resident psychologist struggles to handle all local vets with therapy. As far as the DMII, whether he actually has diabetes depends on who you talk to, he has blood draws every two months and some of the A1Cs are elevated... some are not. We try to watch his daily levels, and again some are 130 and above, some are right around the expected norm of 110, and some are borderline low 70s and 80s. We have been told by quite a few doctors that he is a perplexing case cause he has all the symptoms of several different maladies such as the diabetes but when this or that test comes back, specific levels for this or that are within normal limits albeit sometimes it is to the high side of normal and sometimes the low side of normal depending on the test run at the time. I know that his situation is confusing to say the least because he is not "classic" stamped symptoms but as he does not drive for the last ten years I attend all doctor appts with him because his memory is shot and he will not, in most circumstances venture out without me so I have heard the confusion in numerous doctor's voices when he presents with these classic symptoms verified by the doctor and the doctor orders such and such test to confirm what he sees and comes up with benign results. He has been off and on seizure meds for over 20 yrs because one neurologist says epiletiform seizures, next time in the clinic and a different doctor... ptsd related seizures and takes him off the antiepileptics or a multitude of other named types of seizures. For almost 20 yrs the only consistent and constant care has been that there is no constant and consistent care. He has been on as high as 42 different pills a day for different issues accompanied by inhalants, sprays, ointments... you name it. The only meds that we can rely on working are his anti-psychotic meds that keep him tolerably docile most of the time and that is because they make him very tired and sleepy. Pain meds dont even dull much of the pain anymore so he becomes the irritable hateful unpredictable individual that everyone finds a means to totally avoid out of fear so he retreats to either sleep or hide from everyone. I have volumes of medical records to attest to what Ive told you as far fetched and crazy as all of this may sound and volumes more pages where I have researched every potential malady that doctors have suggested might be a culprit for his physical status desperately trying to find a key... any key to unlock what is really going on with him physically to put an end to this nightmare for him and let some puzzle pieces fall into place so he will feel better because I love him and miss the real him. There is enough of any particular issue to raise an eyebrow for a doctor but more often than not he ends up scratching his head cause test results arent as strong as they should be or all symptoms are present... only they have presented backwards from the "norm." I can only attest to what I know of his medical history and the countless 911 calls because of no bp, respiration or heart rate, syncoptic episodes similar to strokes, and evidentiary pools of dark blood on clothing and in toilets, and the reams of tests and labs and extended hospital stays til this or that returns to normal levels. I really am not trying to confound anyone because I know too well how absolutely confusing and mind boggling his case is and if I seem to be rambling or repeating myself, I humbly apologize. Its just that I am scared to death that he is slipping away from me right before my eyes and there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop it, hell I cant even slow it down cause I dont know what it is in the first place. I have to ask myself do they really not know what is wrong with him? Or has all of this been a really thick smoke screen to keep from admitting what they know? Im grasping at straws and I feel so inadequate in what I feel like I should know. I will hush... Ive ranted enough.... but thank you for trying to help... God bless you for all you do...

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  • Similar Content

    • By Togore101
      Hello everyone I am new to the site. And I recent submit a the dbq for an increase for my PTSD and I trying to understand it but im just not getting it. So I figured would ask you all. Below is what the examiner put in the record.
      Review Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
      Disability Benefits Questionnaire
      Name of patient/Veteran: =========
      Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      SECTION I:
      1. Diagnostic Summary
      Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with PTSD?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      ICD Code: F43.1
      2. Current Diagnoses
      a. Mental Disorder Diagnosis #1: PTSD
      ICD Code: F43.1
      b. Medical diagnoses relevant to the understanding or management of the
      Mental Health Disorder (to include TBI):
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      3. Differentiation of symptoms
      a. Does the Veteran have more than one mental disorder diagnosed?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      c. Does the Veteran have a diagnosed traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Not shown in records reviewed
      4. Occupational and social impairment
      a. Which of the following best summarizes the Veteran's level of
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      [X] Occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and
      b. For the indicated level of occupational and social impairment, is it
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      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No other mental disorder has been diagnosed
      c. If a diagnosis of TBI exists, is it possible to differentiate what
      of the occupational and social impairment indicated above is caused by
      [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] No diagnosis of TBI
      Clinical Findings:
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      Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):
      [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)
      [X] CPRS
      Evidence Comments:
      DATE OF NOTE: MAR 05, 2018
      CHIEF COMPLAINT: "same old same old"
      Veteran is here for 6 week follow up for PTSD, Alcohol Use Disorder,
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      He reports symptoms are about the same. His wife is pregnant with twins,
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      daughter and points to her persistence as the reason they are close now.
      He see no change in sleep, remains irritable, and more hypervigilant due
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      does talk to himself when he is trying to work something out, but denies
      hearing voices other than his own. It can be embarrassing as coworkers and wife
      have caught him.
      DSM 5 Diagnostic Impression
      Alcohol Use Disorder, Unspecified, episodic
      1. Decrease irritability and anger- does not interfere with home or work
      life more than one time per month, ongoing, improving
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      - monitoring labs at next appointment
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      2. Recent History (since prior exam)
      a. Relevant Social/Marital/Family history:
      Last C&P PTSD DBQ May 2016
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      d. Relevant Legal and Behavioral history:
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      ((A quick FYI during this time I have been consistently getting spinal injections, spine fusion surgery, quad tear surgery, take pain meds(which make it hard to impossible to think theoretically) and doing physical therapy and PTSD group n one on one at VA PTSD clinic for 3 years now which helps with my daily anxiety.))
      Thanks again. 
    • By anxiousinMD
      Hello and TYIA for any responses and for reading my long post.
      BLUF: I would appreciate some insight or just plain ol speculatin on why the VA raters would submit me for a lumbar strain increase (that I didn’t submit for) while working on my current claim? Also, are secondary conditions disqualified in the 60% calculation for SMC Housebound? I know it says the 60% must be separate from the 100% condition, but how does this work if I’m on IU, with secondary conditions? 
      I’m probably overthinking at 4am but why would they submit me for an increase for a condition when I didn’t ask them, and the increase has no bearing on the final rating due to VA math, unless it qualifies me for SMC, or they believe I should be qualified. I’ve never raised the issue of SMC and I’m still learning about it trying to figure out my claim, and I know they are supposed to do due diligence, but that’s not my first hunch since that’s why I’m still in this process.
      History: I filed a claim in 2015 for PTSD increase and TDIU, was granted increase in 2016 to 70% PTSD, denied TDIU. Combined, 80% with other SC conditions. BBE/VSO said I was denied increase to 100% even though I had a nexus statement from a psychologist saying total social and occupational impairment, at least as likely as not, etc., but they said because I was still employed (I was on long term disability leave but not yet “terminated” and yes they had the relevant evidence through my employer and insurance), and my VA treating provider’s opinion took precedence who didn’t feel my symptoms quite qualified me for total of course, though he‘s a CRNP versus a psychologist and I don’t think he even knows me. I thought they were supposed to take the rating and credentials that favor the Veteran but never mind me. I also survived and was approved for Social Security and life insurance premium waivers during this period without having to appeal, with the same medical information and evidence, with the same VA SC conditions, even coming from VA docs and providers.
      Of course I appealed the rating and TDIU denial (they can decide) in 2016. I also submitted a new claim for secondaries to PTSD, and in my fog, with that claim an increase for PTSD and TDIU, even though I already had those on appeal. I believe I read or was told somewhere (or maybe my brain made it up) that if I submitted new evidence, the raters could look back at the effective date and could EED to the original claim if the evidence shows and close the appeal. Or, they could approve me from the date of the new claim and the appeal could deal with the stuff before that. But what they did was what they are apparently supposed to do (according to Peggy and the VSOs): defer the appeal related claims to the appeal. DOH.
      Current Status: Early this month my claim progressed and I was granted an increase to 30% for IBS secondary to my 70% PTSD, and since I had a pre-existing 10% for nerve condition and 20% for lumbar strain, that brought me to 90%. My claim never went to complete and I never got the BBE, ebenefits bounced around from gathering of evidence to pending decision approval within days of my last C&P (I had one for PTSD and one for IBS). I’m not sure why they would give me a C&P for PTSD if they are deferring that part of my claim to appeal as I was told. Maybe they’re just giving me a checkup because my 30 appointments and inpatient stays and shock treatments over the past year weren’t enough medical evidence.
      I learned of the increase bc I got a small retro and my ebenefits letters and disabilities changed within days, but the claim stayed open. I found out by calling Peggy and VSO that it’s due to an increase for my lumbar strain that someone in the rating chain put in. I do have plenty of evidence in my medical records that show my back is also crap. I got sent to a C&P for my lumbar strain and now I wait in GOE. The C&P examiner, Peggy, VSOs specifically say I was submitted for an increase for my back, not a review. BTW, in ebenefiits in the disabilities section, the PTSD increase is still open, the TDIU disappeared, the IBS is rated, and the lumbar strain doesn’t appear. Yes, I know ebenefits is unreliable and I should find something else to do, but compulsively logging into ebenefits is an activity quite similar to playing a slot machine for me. Every 1 in 10000000 logins I might get a glimmer of hope, and it keeps me going lol.
      I Wonder: What difference does it make if I’m rated 20% or 30% for my lumbar strain? Why would this be raised since my overall rating won’t change from 90% either way? Trust me, I AM NOT COMPLAINING AND I AM GRATEFUL, anything they do (and they have been getting faster and more Vet-friendly it seems) positive for the Veteran that saves future agony and torture is an appreciated blessing. It would help in the future in qualifying for SMC, but I don’t qualify with the math now. Just wondering if they don’t have enough to do over there, because in the future I’d probably have to get another C&P. Also, I would have to have another condition at 30% for that math to work out, and I pray nothing else worsens enough for that to happen.
      Does “separate” mean it can’t affect the same body system or it can’t be a secondary condition? Because with secondaries, I could potentially qualify for SMC, and therefore the VA rater would be setting me up for success. Otherwise, it just seems like extra work for them when they could close my case and get their quota numbers and help another Vet...again, not complaining but whoever is on my file seems to be thorough regardless.
      I know they could be doing anything over there, and I’m glad they’re working on my claim, but just for s&g I’d appreciate any guesses or suggestions, and any help clarifying the SMC Housebound math thing please.
      Thank you all.
    • By hawkfire27
      Please delete
    • By TexasMarine
      Recently awarded 70% for Bipolar Disorder, granted TDIU, proclaimed P&T, with correct claim date determined.
      I must Thank all of you for keeping my hopes alive over the years, when darkness set in.
      I must publicly thank Bergmann & Moore, LLC of Bethesda, Maryland, for without their perseverance and capabilities, I would not have had any measure of success.  Professional in every way imaginable.  I can not say enough about their latest hero, Fatima.  Fatima, thanks for being rational, thoughtful, knowledgeable and thorough!  Mr. Bergmann and Mr. Moore, you two rock!
    • By Stick Slinger
      I was never diagnosed in service with OSA. I weigh 220 and I am 6' tall. I am rated at 70% for PTSD and the meds I take add to the OSA. I had my personal Dr. and the Psychiatrist I see both write letters to support that the meds I take add to and cause the OSA. My Dr filled out the DBQ and sent it in as well. I had a failed sleep study results sent in  with my claim. I also have documentation I sent it that back up the fact that OSA is tied to PTSD and is aggravated by PTSD. Then sleeping with the prescribed CPAP machine adds to the PTSD. Just curious if anyone has ever won this claim? I am going to appeal but wanted to get any advise here first if someone has any to share.. not sure if there is anyone who has gone this route before and won?
    • By kent101
      I see now the VA is using ecstasy on Veterans saying it helps cure mental illness. Ecstasy causes some major brain damage. The VA Hospital forcefully did lobotomies on 2000 WW2 Veterans and ruined their lives.
      Roman Tritz’s memories of the past six decades are blurred by age and delusion. But one thing he remembers clearly is the fight he put up the day the orderlies came for him.
      “They got the notion they were going to come to give me a lobotomy,” says Mr. Tritz, a World War II bomber pilot. “To hell with them.”
      The orderlies at the veterans hospital pinned Mr. Tritz to the floor, he recalls. He fought so hard that eventually they gave up. But the orderlies came for him again on Wednesday, July 1, 1953, a few weeks before his 30th birthday.
      This time, the doctors got their way.
      The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal. Besieged by psychologically damaged troops returning from the battlefields of North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, the Veterans Administration performed the brain-altering operation on former servicemen it diagnosed as depressives, psychotics and schizophrenics, and occasionally on people identified as homosexuals.
      The VA doctors considered themselves conservative in using lobotomy. Nevertheless, desperate for effective psychiatric treatments, they carried out the surgery at VA hospitals spanning the country, from Oregon to Massachusetts, Alabama to South Dakota.
        Roman Tritz talks about the scars from his lobotomy.  
      The VA’s practice, described in depth here for the first time, sometimes brought veterans relief from their inner demons. Often, however, the surgery left them little more than overgrown children, unable to care for themselves. Many suffered seizures, amnesia and loss of motor skills. Some died from the operation itself.
      Mr. Tritz, 90 years old, is one of the few still alive to describe the experience. “It isn’t so good up here,” he says, rubbing the two shallow divots on the sides of his forehead, bracketing wisps of white hair. 
      The VA’s use of lobotomy, in which doctors severed connections between parts of the brain then thought to control emotions, was known in medical circles in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and is occasionally cited in medical texts. But the VA’s practice, never widely publicized, long ago slipped from public view. Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it possesses no records of the lobotomies performed by its predecessor agency.
      Musty files warehoused in the National Archives, however, show VA doctors resorting to brain surgery as they struggled with a vexing question that absorbs America to this day: How best to treat the psychological crises that afflict soldiers returning from combat.
        Between April 1, 1947, and Sept. 30, 1950, VA doctors lobotomized 1,464 veterans at 50 hospitals authorized to perform the surgery, according to agency documents rediscovered by the Journal. Scores of records from 22 of those hospitals list another 466 lobotomies performed outside that time period, bringing the total documented operations to 1,930. Gaps in the records suggest that hundreds of additional operations likely took place at other VA facilities. The vast majority of the patients were men, although some female veterans underwent VA lobotomies, as well.
      Lobotomies faded from use after the first antipsychotic drug, Thorazine, hit the market in the mid-1950s, revolutionizing mental-health care.
      The forgotten lobotomy files, military records and interviews with veterans’ relatives reveal the details of lives gone terribly wrong. There was Joe Brzoza, who was lobotomized four years after surviving artillery barrages on the beaches at Anzio, Italy, and spent his remaining days chain-smoking in VA psychiatric wards. Eugene Kainulainen, whose breakdown during the North African campaign the military attributed partly to a childhood tendency toward “temper tantrums and [being] fussy about food.” Melbert Peters, a bomber crewman given two lobotomies—one most likely performed with an ice pick inserted through his eye sockets.
      And Mr. Tritz, the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer who flew a B-17 Flying Fortress on 34 combat missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe.
      “They just wanted to ruin my head, it seemed to me,” says Mr. Tritz. “Somebody wanted to.”
      Counting the Patients
      A memo gives a partial tally of lobotomized veterans and warns of medical complications. A note about documents:
      Yellow highlighting has been added to some documents. The names of patients not mentioned in these articles have been redacted, along with other identifying details. All other marks are original.   The VA documents subvert an article of faith of postwar American mythology: That returning soldiers put down their guns, shed their uniforms and stoically forged ahead into the optimistic 1950s. Mr. Tritz and the mentally ill veterans who shared his fate lived a struggle all but unknown except to the families who still bear lobotomy’s scars.
      Mr. Tritz is sometimes an unreliable narrator of his life story. For decades he has meandered into delusions and paranoid views about government conspiracies.
      He speaks lucidly, however, about his wartime service and his lobotomy. And his words broadly match official records and interviews with family members, historians and a fellow airman.
      It isn’t possible to draw a straight line between Mr. Tritz’s military service and his mental illness. The record, nonetheless, reveals a man who went to war in good health, experienced the unrelenting stress of aerial combat—Messerschmitts and antiaircraft fire—and returned home to the unrelenting din of imaginary voices in his head.
      During eight years as a patient in the VA hospital in Tomah, Wis., Mr. Tritz underwent 28 rounds of electroshock therapy, a common treatment that sometimes caused convulsions so jarring they broke patients’ bones. Medical records show that Mr. Tritz received another routine VA treatment: insulin-induced temporary comas, which were thought to relieve symptoms.
      ‘Anxious to Start’
      The VA hospital in Tuskegee, Ala., asks permission to perform lobotomies. To stimulate patients’ nerves, hospital staff also commonly sprayed veterans with powerful jets of alternating hot and cold water, the archives show. Mr. Tritz received 66 treatments of high-pressure water sprays called the Scotch Douche and Needle Shower, his medical records say.
      When all else failed, there was lobotomy.
      “You couldn’t help but have the feeling that the medical community was impotent at that point,” says Elliot Valenstein, 89, a World War II veteran and psychiatrist who worked at the Topeka, Kan., VA hospital in the early 1950s. He recalls wards full of soldiers haunted by nightmares and flashbacks. The doctors, he says, “were prone to try anything.”
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