By Wayne TX
Back in May 2015 had a IME/IMO exam and was told I should put in a claim for deviated septum cause I had surgery for same while on active duty and again the same exact surgery in 2009 at VA. I had no intention of applying for it until it was brought up. I went ahead and submitted and it got denied, did an NOD and still sitting in Appeal now. I have not had any additional deviated septum surgeries since filing (2015) and no more clinical indications another surgery is needed therefore MY QUESTION:
(1) Does the fact I have had two surgeries mean anything as far as service connection goes or....
(2) is this just a lame duck I should cut loose since no more surgeries have occurred since 2009.
Final question, if still sitting and waiting on multiple Appeals does dropping one of those Appeals speed the others along any faster or does it even matter? Can those on Appeal be processed individually at any point in time that RO decides to overturn same..... or do they wait until all of the Appeals made and filed together are fully decided one way or another? Just seeking some opinion on this from more seasoned folks in Forum.
Hello all, Thanks for adding me as this is my first post. I am an Iraqi Veteran and left service in 2010. I filed my first claims myself between 2010 and 2013 for Obstructive Lung Disease, Tinnitus, and Polyarthralgia linked to Lyme Disease. For each of those claims, I only submitted VA 21-4138's and articles from medical journals supporting my claim. After Extensive C&P exams, I was granted the tinnitus and the Polyarthralgia, but only service connected at 0% for the lung disease. 2 years later I resubmitted for asthma as the symptoms had gotten more severe and I was now on a steroid inhaler daily. I was then granted 30% for asthma.
Moving forward a few years, I have now developed Sleep Apnea, and after a year of CPAP treatment, I decided to use "Vet Comp and Pen" for help for my claim. With all of my civilian medical treatment records, and CPAP prescription, they were successful at combining my Asthma rating with the OSA awarding my 50%. I filed with the new Decision Ready Claim and within 6 day of the VA made their favorable decision.
A few weeks later I attempted to submit a new claim for GERD through "Vet Comp and Pen". I supplied them with medical treatment records showing an Esophagram in 2006, Endoscopies in (2007, 2012, 2016, and 2 in 2017), another Esophagram in 2017, a Bravo PH Monitoring exam in 2017, and an Esophageal Manometry in 2017. All test show Esophagitis Grade B, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease with Esophagitis, Erosive Esophagitis Stage III, Hiatal Hernia, Diaphragmatic Hernia, and Duodenitis. I have been on Omeprazole 40mg since 2012, and have continual heartburn, acid reflux, a persistent cough, arm and shoulder pain, and worst of all, regurgitation of food, and vomiting acid into my mouth while sleeping. I was attempting to file this claim as a secondary service connection attributed to the daily dosage of NSAID's like naproxen, and Ibuprofen along with the Symbicort Inhaler usage. Unfortunately with all of the medical evidence I supplied them, "Vet Comp and Pen" only instructed me to submit a 21-4138 personal statement and a VA 21-256. Basically nothing was submitted in support of my claim, not one shred of evidence, no IMO, no Lay evidence, nothing to establish NEXUS. I even made three phone calls to Vet Comp and Pen confirming this is what they wanted me to do. Needless to say, after submitting it as a Decision Ready Claim as instructed, it was denied after the VA had it in their possession for 6 days.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think instead of going through a long and lengthy appeal process, it may be more beneficial and easier to file again as a new claim. This time I will be going through the DAV again but this time submitting a 21-4138 personal statement, a VA 21-256, all of my medical procedures, and plenty of medical journal evidence showing the link between NSAID's, Asthma inhalers and GERD. I am also having my Gastroenterologist complete a VA 21-0960G-1for Esophageal Conditions.
The problem that I am running into is the NEXUS. I was in the Army National Guard from 1996 - 2010. I had Lyme disease in 1998 and had chronic arthritis pretty much from that time on continuously taking NSAID's. I saw a civilian Gastroenterologist in 2006 and 2007 prior to my last deployment to Iraq in 2008 - 2009. Unfortunately being a helicopter pilot in the Army, any type of medical issue had the high probability of grounding you rendering you useless to your unit. I self medicated with Prevacid and Tums until I returned home from my deployment and a friend urged me to see a Dr again explaining the problems if left untreated ie, Esophageal Cancer. I am looking for someone that can review all of my evidence and compose a solid Independent Medical Opinion connecting my symptoms to the required usage of NSAID's and Steroidal Inhalers for my Service Connected Polyarthralgia and Asthma.
Any help, suggestions, and input would be much appreciated.
Been a while since I posted on here, but I've been lurking and reading. After receiving my SOC on several conditions, and being informed by the Houston VARO that they will be sending an SSOC within the week, I think it's time that I hire somebody a good bit smarter than I am, and who can navigate the BVA system.
I ran the gambit myself for the most part, obtaining all of my military medical and personnel records from NPRC when the VA said they couldn't find anything, getting an IME/IMO from Dr. Ellis in Oklahoma, an IMO from Dr David Anaise in Arizona, an IMO from my oncologist of the past 18 years, and a bundle and a half of my civilian treatment records.
I fought with the help of Ted Ebert of the VA to get 95 pages of medical records that belonged to other veterans out of my C-File. (First denial and first SOC contained a ton of citations of these records, some of which were before I was even born.). I still have one record from some poor Airman whose name is nowhere close to mine, who has a rough condition that they still cannot seem to remove, but at least it's only one page now....I hope.
I requested and received three copies of my C-File, gettting a different number of pages each time, and always something new from my military records that they couldn't find before when they did their first rating.
I went through three C&P's, with an affirmative one in 2012, and two adverse ones in 2015 (after introducing Dr. Ellis' IME/IMO) and another in 2016 (after introducing Dr. Anaise's IMO).
I started all this in June, 2010, and have to say that it has been a ride, bumpy, but educational.
I've filed NOD's, Form 9 Appeals and all kinds of other junk, and have learned that eBenefits has a long way to go before being truly veteran friendly. (But it is better than the old VONAPP system that I used when I first started this mess.)
When I receive my SSOC in the next few days, (It should have already arrived by now, but hey...it's the VA, right?), I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep the ball moving, but old Mark is ready to let somebody else navigate. I don't mind working, submitting to more exams, blood work, x-rays, etc, but I think I need an attorney to move on.
My American Legion guys, who have been friendly, etc. through it all have only really served to help me eliminate the long waits on the 1-800 number, and that's about it. And of course, the VA finally has fixed that a bit and the waits are pretty small now.
So, question is, who do you folks recommend to help me from here as I enter BVA land?
Thanks again for the wealth of information so far, and I have to say that I would not have gotten the much-needed 20% that I received without your advice early on in this march. Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from everyone who has had experience with good law firms, and warnings from those who have bad experiences from others.
I am new to the forum but been an avid reader and learner from the posts listed here on this site as well as other sites.
My situation, I was able to get an IMO from the Ellis Clinic plus an Nexus from the VA Dr. and submitted in as a new claim and was wondering what are my chances in winning. I know every scenario is different and I review the citations as well on BVA.
Can anyone share their successes or disappointments?
P.s. Flores97 I emailed you :) I wished you well in your case.
Been a while since I've posted, but I've been reading, lurking and watching.....oh yes....I've been out there watching.....(that was creepy).
Took some great advice and contacted Ted Ebert from the VA, via e-mail about my frustration with 95 medical and psych records belonging to other veterans being contained within my C-File, and that they were cited by the VA's last C&P examiner (held by Veterans Evaluation Service in Houston by a 12 year old nurse practitioner dude with a ponytail and a whopping 2 years of experience as a nurse practitioner......ok he may have been 16 years old.....maybe) and the VA's rater (who apparently only knows two functions on his keyboard....copy and paste).
Early this year, Mr. Ebert was able to get the VA to acknowledge and purge all of these records, and the latest C-File I received in July looks like it was finally Mission Accomplished after several years of pleading with them to pull the records and reassess. While waiting on this, I received another IMO from Doctor David Anaise on multiple conditions. Although Mr. Ebert advised that the actual C&P examination report, rating denial and the rating decision letter (all three had information from medical records of other individuals) could not be removed or redacted, he advised that he would note in the file that there were incorrect records and that these documents had cited them.
The VA finally did a reset and pulled me back down from pending a BVA Appeal back down to the run of the mill Notice of Disagreement, and has now recently scheduled me for a third C&P examination with QTC (My first time dealing with them in this six year Disneyland ride line.) The first C&P by a real doctor at VES was favorable to me, the third was blackballed by Nurse Skippy with the ponytail citing other veteran's records, and now it looks like I'll see another doctor at QTC from what I read. I did an "interview" over the phone with an office employee, who went over the DBQ questionnaire with me and had me answer her verbally line by line each question on the multiple DBQ's. They had already FedEx'd me the DBQ questionaires with appointment information and instructions, which I filled out as instructed, but she said that this would save time and make it easier for the doctor to review than reading my handwriting or filling it out himself. (Don't worry, I plan to bring my own handwritten copies as well, as well as the IMO from my oncologist, affirmative C&P from the VES doctor in 2012, the IME/IMO from Doctor Ellis and the IMO from Doctor Anaise, as well as my STR's and other supporting medical materials. I may also bring a couple of Doctor Seuss books just in case.
The office employee was patient and friendly thus far. Fangs may be out when I arrive next week, but who knows? She even let me give her more information when I called her back with additional symptoms that I had forgotten to tell her in the initial telephone interview (I wasn't home when she called, and she caught me flatfooted.) I'll keep everybody advised of what happened on my first QTC experience. Gotta be better than the last VES experience....I hope.
This one will involve C&P's for service connection on several conditions and a rating increase on another.
Have a great weekend!
Anyone ever use http://www.valorcompensationconsulting.com/ to get an Independent Medical Option?
I spoke with the owner and they seem like they really want to help veterans out.
I was just wondering if anyone has ever used there services and what was the outcome of your case?
Okay I think I have a solid letter for my upcoming NOD Review Hearing. NOD Letter Redacted.pdf
Does this look good enough for my upcoming NOD? NOD 11.18.14_Redacted.pdf I think he connected the dots for the following contentions:
1. Status post avulsion fracture, 5th Metatarsal, right foot - read why it was denied. Here is my ISSUES and CONCERNS. This fracture occurred when I was 8 months pregnant in 1996. I was taken to Ft. Belvoir and they put me in a cast. I gave birth to my daughter while in the cast. MY PROBLEM....No SMR's to back this up! I have requested them since 2014 to no avail. I have the documentation where I requested the records but so far no luck. My podiatrist in my IMO letter attached indicates the fracture is old and s/c it to my AD injuries...Is this good?
2. Left Foot strain with Morton's neuroma - Read why it was denied. This I believe I have a good leg to stand on LOL - I went through my SMR's submitted and there are several pieces of evidence to support this claim. When I fractured my L ankle (Talus Hawkins I) back in 1991/92 there are notations on my medical records AD that I had numbness at the base of my L foot/toe. I previously provided this, along with my outside podiatrist DBQ's citing I had this condition and it had been since the 90's that I was suffering from it. What do I do here to prove this contention should be S/C?
3. Right Ankle Sprain - read why they denied it. I have SMR's that were submitted to back this up yet it was denied. I am not sure what "new" evidence" I can supply? Should I reiterate the already existing evidence? The denial indicates I had issues but I don't constitute a S/C. I also have DBQ's from my outside Podiatrist stating that my L/R ankles have synovitis. I was S/C 10% for my L ankle so why not my right????
Here is the Denial Letter .pdf
my question is, should i send my IMO to the Regional Office to look at ?
i brought my IMO to the BVA hearing in D.C. around 4 months ago. i asked for the bva to take over consideration of the IMO and it was aggreed by the judge to do so. but now since my appeal has still not been decided and looks as if im still going to be waiting for some time then should i send the Great IMO to the department of original jurisdiction for consideration?
When is it too late to submit new and material evidence in an appeal? I just got my Dear John letter from the VA this weekend in the form of a Statement of the Case from a NOD I had filed on an initial rating back in 2013.
I haven't filed my Form 9 yet, and know I'm a few days into my 60 day deadline clock, so don't want to waste too much time. I'm just wondering that if I receive another IME or IMO if I can submit them before my case gets transferred to the BVA.
I haven't decided my options for hearings yet....video...in person....etc. Any thoughts?
I want to start a thread for people to post names of IMO/IME's they have used.
THIS IS FOR GOOD AND BAD DOCS. We want to know who to go to and who to avoid (Keep in mind if your symptoms and evidence does not support a DX or SC that does not mean they are a Bad doctor, it means you havent given them what they need to do what you want)
Rules: (and Tbird/mods have final say)
1) Follow the template below, Copy and Paste
2) do not list out your whole story of your claims spanning back 20 years, keep it concise
3) If they were good or bad, list concise (ie quick and to the point) reasons why.
COPY AND PASTE
WHERE ARE THEY:
WHAT IS THEIR SPECIALTY (or what you were seen for):
REVIEW (keep the Yes or No, based on whats correct)
Did they review your entire file (YES) (NO) --
Did they provide a well written DBQ/IMO/IME (YES) (NO) --
Were they familiar with VA Claims (38 cfr, M21, etc) ? (YES) (NO) --
Would you classify them as "Vet Friendly" (YES) (NO) --
Would you recommend them to other veterans? (YES) (NO) --
Comments: (Be Brief)
I am wondering what is the best option, IME or an IMO, for wading through the VA's appellate process after a NOD has been filed?
Would it be wiser to go with a good quality IME examiner first, or just do an IMO with a records review, and then wait for the VA to decide to order any additional C&P's?
Part of me thinks that by going through a C&P process with DBQ's in obtaining an IME might be a time saver.
Thoughts or advice?
e-Benefits Status Messages
Claims Process – Your claim can go from any step to back a step depending on the specifics of the claim, so you may go from Pending Decision Approval back to Review of Evidence. Ebenefits status is helpful but not definitive. Continue Reading
68mustang posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I was rated at 10% for tinnitus last year by the VA. I went to my private doctor yesterday and I described to him the problems that I have been having with my sense of balance. Any sudden movement of my head or movement while sitting in my desk chair causes me to lose my balance and become nauseous. Also when seeing TV if there are certain scenes,such as movement across or up and down the screen my balance is affected. The doctor said that what is causing the problem is Meniere's Disease. Does any know if this could be secondary to tinnitus and if it would be rated separately from the tinnitus? If I am already rated at 10% for tinnitus and I could filed for Meniere's does any one know what it might be rated at? Thanks for your help. 68mustang
GlennieHB posted an answer to a question,I have a 30% hearing loss and 10% Tinnitus rating since 5/17. I have Meniere's Syndrome which was diagnosed by a VA facility in 2010 yet I never thought to include this in my quest for a rating. Meniere's is very debilitating for me, but I have not made any noise about it because I could lose my license to drive. I am thinking of applying for additional compensation as I am unable to work at any meaningful employment as I cannot communicate effectively because of my hearing and comprehension difficulties. I don't know whether to file for a TDUI, or just ask for additional compensation. My county Veterans service contact who helped me get my current rating has been totally useless on this when I asked her for help. Does anyone know which forms I should use? There are so many different directions to proceed on this that I am confused. Any help would be appreciated. Vietnam Vet 64-67.
If you are new to hadit and have DIC questions it would help us tremendously if you can answer the following questions right away in your first post.
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.