I have to say I don’t really have a question YET, but I wanted to share my story as It makes for an interesting read. Feel free to comment…
In 1987 I was medically discharged from the Army for Subluxing Bicep tendon Bilateral. I went to the VA and they agreed and issued 10% rating for each shoulder. In 1993 I had a C&P Exam and I was all better so they say and reduced it to 0% in each shoulder. Now keep in mind nothing was on the internet because it didn’t exist and I was young and uninformed so it never occurred to me to get my medical exams. I knew something was still wrong as I lived with shoulder problems since then. Lets fast forward to 2013 when my shoulders were beginning to get worse with the right shoulder leading the way I decided to see a VSO and he opened a claim for my right shoulder. I went to the c&P Exam and the PA found it was Subluxing bicep tendon, he also mentioned that he was looking at my records on his system and said my last exam was 1993, a few months later I received a decision that said they found right shoulder impingement syndrome and shoulder instability and rated each at 20% and left the original Subluxing Bicep Tendon at 0%. The VSO also filled out paperwork for me to get a copy of all my C&P Exams. As time passed I received some of the C&P Exams but not the one from 1993 so I requested it gain by the exact year and received a phone call from a lady saying she cannot find one from that year and she even looked in the boxes in the basement. Going forward about a year or so later my left shoulder began to worsen so I went to a different VSO and they filled out a claim for the left shoulder. After the C&P Exam I went back to the VSO and they printed me off a copy of the exam and opinion and while I was there I mentioned that the VA has misplaced an exam I had from 1993 and after a few clicks on their system they said here it is and they printed off a copy and also mentioned that I shouldn’t tell anyone as they are not supposed to do that. So after reviewing the new exam it said I had rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, impingement syndrome and guarding all movement of both shoulders. I also reviewed the exam from 1993 and it said they didn’t find subluxing bicep tendon but they did find significant rotator cuff grinding and impingement syndrome of both shoulders right worse the left. I also read the opinion from the recent left shoulder exam and it said it was less likey connected because there is no known mechanism that would put what I have now with what I was discharged for. So like you have to do with all exams I began typing up by corrections to the exam and I also noted that the significant rotator cuff grating and impingement was first diagnosed in 1993 and it was the VA’s responsibility to request at that time whether it was service connected and since it wasn’t done then we have to say that there is a 50/50 chance that the Dr. would have said it was since we cant go back and ask him now and I sent it in. So a few months later I get a decision that says its not service connected and didn’t say way and it didn’t recited any laws or anything like that so I file a NOD while getting the NOD ready I did a search on the internet about Subluxing bicep tendon and rotator cuff tears and found a lot of information connecting the two so I printed off one and also got a Doctor of Physical Therapy to review my records including the 1993 exam and she wrote a very detailed opinion on the connection between the two with a conclusion of its more likely than not directly connected and I sent it all in with the nod requesting a DRO . Fast forward a year or so and I get a call from the VA to schedule another C&P Exam and I could see where this is going so I pick the same place knowing I would get the same examiner. After the exam I download a copy of it and wouldn’t you know I no longer have torn rotator cuff and I am not guarding all movement along with many other things that have disappeared from the last exam and to top it all off they asked the NP who’s certification and specialty is family practice to opine on a statement from a Dr. who’s specialty is the musculoskeletal system which of course she keeps saying throughout her opinion that I was first diagnosed with impingement syndrome in 2015 when it is actually 1993 so now I have to again write and state that they need to change that date to the correct one which is 1993. I can’t believe that people will go through so much effort to not acknowledge a date the changes everything. Its tooo funny and sad at the same time. What’s really funny is that somehow they found the connection in 2014 but can’t seem to find it now.
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.
This is a "research administration" question and how to include it in my NOD.
I'm completing my NOD, I have physician reports, etc. I will also rely on articles published in medical journals.
When I quote from the journal, I will always state the reference, (of course). But do I need to attach the entire paper in my attachments?
Sounds silly? But my concern is that if I attach only the pertinent page, the evidence will be "disqualified" as being incomplete. The NOD will be about 3 pages, but with "complete" articles about 40 pages.
Filed a claim for Esophageal Stricture (DC 7203) Secondary to SC GERD. Below is result of C&P Exam. Seems pretty straight forward. VSRO asks if Stricture is at least as likely as not due to GERD. Examiner responds in the affirmative. Decision letter mentions nothing about esophageal stricture and continues disability rating for GERD for 30%. Viewed many BVA decisions where 7203 can be rated separately and is not considered pyramiding. Filed for Stricture Secondary to GERD after recent EGD Exam diagnosed me with Schatzki ring and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Both of which cause narrowing of the esophagus.
MMEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY
DBQ GI Esophageal (including GERD & hiatal hernia):
TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection.
The Veteran's esophageal condition is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of
GERD, currently rated as hiatal hernia.
RATIONALE: EGD Report dated 9/8/17 supports esophagitis which has been
linked to chronic reflux of GERD/hiatal hernia. Veteran has no other documented condition to which it could be related.
supplemental data: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/hiatal-hernia
RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION:
a. Opinion from general remarks: DBQ GI Esophageal (including GERD & hiatal hernia):
TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection.
Is the Veteran's esophageal condition, stricture at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of GERD?
POTENTIALLY RELEVANT INFORMATION:
TAB A: Bedford VAMC Treatment Records, 02/06/2013 to present
TAB B: EGD Report
b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: GI
TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE
a. The condition claimed is at least as likely as not (50% or greater
probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition.
c. Rationale: Recent EGD with biopsies supports esophagitis which is mediaclly accepted as having a link to hiatal hernia.
TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ OPINION REGARDING CONFLICTING MEDICAL EVIDENCE ]
I have reviewed the conflicting medical evidence and am providing the following opinion: The Veteran's esophageal condition is at least as
likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of GERD, currently rated as hiatal hernia.
Topic deleted by OP.
I filed a NOD for being granted 0% for a foot condition on 3/07/2017 and opted to not have a disposition instead I provided medical evidence. I provided this evidence and was required to have a C&P exam. I went to this exam on 07/21/2017 and the doctor went through the DBQ. Today I check eBenifits to see that my appeal went from Appeal received to Appeal Pending - Statement of the Case (SOC) "VA has received your Form 9 and will begin completing final actions regarding your appeal before it is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals." and I have now have an open claim that gives the status of Pending decision approval.
I know SOCs are not always the best thing to get, am I getting denied again?
US Army Veteran 1978-1984 Rocky Mountain Arsenal
I filed my initial claim 11/2008. It took me 7 years to go before a judge, so in 2015 I was awarded exposure to Mustard Gas, which was in my records. I was awarded 40% mustard gas exposure for prostate, 0% for sinus, 0% for headaches, 10% lumbar, 30% cervical, 10% tinnitus, 0% hearing loss , SMC-K, so 8 service connected disabilities. I have been unable to work for 4 years now, due to chronic problems from those service connected injuries. I filed my notice of disagreement, as well as unemployable and an increase for my chronic migraines, which I'm being treated for by the VA, and have been being treated for several decades. I filed within the 1 year timeline, the proper forms, and it shows 2 pending appeals. One for Unemployability, and the other for the increase for the chronic migraines, E Benefits doesn't show anytime line or where my appeal currently stands. So I called the number and was told the average here in Colorado was 238 days for appeals. Mine is at 10 months now, over 300 days and I'm starting to lose hope and getting desperate watching my home fall into disrepair, which I no longer have the financial means to fix. Any advise would be helpful. Anyone else going through long wait times on NOD in Colorado?
Thanks in advance,
My claims were closed on 5 Jun. It was obvious that lot of evidence was completely overlooked so I did a letter to request reconsideration. The claims all opened back up the following week.
Does this mean I do not need to worry about a NOD date at this time? In other words, if my claims are not decided by Jun 2018, will I need to file a NOD, or does getting the claim re-opened reset the NOD deadline to one year from the date they are closed out in the future?
The new estimated completion dates are Jan - Aug 2018.
Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I was not able to find an answer anywhere else.
After collecting dust for 480 days after filing an NOD with a DRO, my appeal has apparently entered a "Review" phase. According to the VA rep, the electronic system had a new note entered into my file a few weeks back stating that a DRO had begun to review the file. Can anyone offer insight into how long it could take from here to get to a DRO decision? I understand it depends on what else the DRO has going on and how complicated my appeal is, just wanted to see what others' experience has been.
Appreciate any feedback.
I am considering doing my first NOD. I received 20% for peripheral neuropathy (pain and tingling in my arms and hands) secondary to Cervical Spondylosis (narrowing of the spinal openings in my neck) for both my left and right sides in February 2017. I just received a copy of my C-File that I requested back in July 2016, and it has the C&P exam that was done on me for the peripheral neuropathy. In the C&P exam, I was clearly rated for SEVERE pain on my non-dominant side and moderate numbness and tingling on my dominant side.
I was given a 20% rating for mild conditions on both left and right side, but from the DBQ the doctor submitted it looks like I should have been given severe to moderate ratings, which would be 40% for my dominant side and 30% for my non-dominant side.
Do I file a NOD and request a DRO review?
Am I missing a reason why the VA only gave me 20% on each side? I have attached screen shots from the DBQ.
Code 8710: Neuralgia of the upper radicular group. Neuralgia cannot be rated higher than moderate, even if it is severe. If the condition is moderate, it is rated 40% for the dominant and 30% for the non-dominant. If it is mild, it is rated 20% for either arm.
This is the quote from my decision package:
"Service connection for left upper extremity radiculopathy (peripheral neuropathy) has been
established as related to the service-connected disability of cervical spondylosis.
● We have assigned a 20 percent evaluation for your left upper extremity radiculopathy
(peripheral neuropathy) based on: • Mild incomplete paralysis of the minor extremity
● Although the lower radicular group and middle radicular group nerves were shown to be
affected, only one evaluation is allowable in this case. This rating is based on the highest
● A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted for paralysis of the middle radicular
nerve group unless the evidence shows nerve damage is moderate.
● Service connection for left upper extremity radiculopathy (peripheral neuropathy) is granted
with an evaluation of 20 percent effective May 11, 2016, the day we received your intent
to file, with your completed application received on October 29, 2016. VA examination
conducted in support of your claim notes that your noted radiculopathy is related to your
service connected cervical spondylosis."
In the midst of researching attorneys to replace my VSO, I got a call from the VSO who was working/not working on my claims. He wanted to get a few more details to work up his Form 646. After a week of speaking back and forth with him, he came to the conclusion that the VA had not reviewed several medical reports, including some of my active duty USAF medical records. (If the VSO would have woke up years ago, and saw that, maybe I would not have had to scream from the mountain tops for the past few years.) I know that it has been my fault all along though for keeping the VSO there.
Meanwhile, I get a call from the Houston VARO, who wants to discuss a couple of my FOIA requests for the curriculum vitae of the C&P nurse practitioner and family practice doctor (who from a Google search is actually a Family Practice guy who specializes in collagen and beauty cream treatments in Florida.) They also wanted to discuss my FOIA request for the complete bloodwork lab results and x-ray reports from my last QTC C&P examination (with the collagen guy).
The thing they wanted to "discuss" is that they can't seem to obtain the curriculum vitae for either medical practitioner, one from Veterans Evaluation Services and the other the QTC Collagen King. They also wanted to discuss that they can't seem to find the bloodwork lab results, nor the x-rays (and x-ray report), which were all done at the same QTC location near Fort Polk, Louisiana at the same time as the C&P, even though "some of the information" is actually described in the C&P report, which was half completed, with no "rationale" filled in, and excerpts of my time in the Army, although I have never served in the Army, and have always been USAF riff raff.
Meanwhile, my VSO guy calls back and says that he will send me my Form 646, and recommended a DRO hearing, and that I request one in writing, so I did. I'm also still kicking myself for still riding this VSO wave, when I should have pulled the ripcord and hired an attorney early on as about 90% of you recommended (and I'm still looking into it). I send one to Janesville in writing. I wait. I wait. I wait. Then I take a chance and call the Houston VARO back and request an update on everything. They tell me they will call me back. I wait. I wait. Then, they do call back and let me know they are still having trouble retrieving records, but that they received my request for a DRO hearing, and that they will forward the request on, warning me that it could be a year or more, and that they are still having hearings from requests from cases filed in 2008. I tell them that I filed mine in 2010, but I'll keep riding the wave.
While this is happening, I get a letter from the VA stating that they have addressed one outstanding NOD regarding my dependents, siding with me. So I go back to waiting on the DRO Hearing notice.
I wait. I wait. I wait. Then I call back. They say that the hearing request has been submitted, but cautioned that the wait time is still tremendous, and that if I wanted to, I could let them know that I would waive the hearing, and they would get me back on track for the BVA certification, which is still forever away also. I thought it over for about 5 seconds, and said no, I think I'll stand by my DRO hearing request. They seemed disappointed, and once again cautioned it could take months to years. I said it's already been like six and a half, so let the dice keep rolling. We parted ways with them saying that they would let "them" know that I still wanted a hearing, and that I could call back in a few months to check out the status of the request. I said thanks, and they gave me the usual sigh and "Thank you for your service." Such a tender moment.
Then three....yes, THREE days later, I get a letter from the VA stating that a VA DRO Hearing has been scheduled for June 6th. I called the MIA VSO to ask him about the hearing, and to see what I needed. He was surprised, pulled me up on the computer, and acknowledged that he saw it too, still surprised, and advised that I need to wear a tie and show up an hour early to visit with him. I plan to be there, and will bring my medical records (hopefully orderly), and see what happens.
Any advice on what to do? What not to do?
What a ride!
Good evening all.
I can't seem to find a convincing answer on the topic.
I receive my rating a few months ago and strongly disagree with some of the decisions.
I was on Ebenifits and it appears that i could appeal the process on the site. However, i'm not sure if this is the same process as filing an NOD.
Can someone please help clarify the difference.....
Good day all. Hopefully I can explain this clearly without confusion. I received my BBE in Sep 16, and immediately filed for a NOD with more evidence (related to neurological issues/damages). However, I am 0% service connected with sleep disturbances/sleep apnea. Recently, as in two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with apnea and required to wear and was given a CPAP. Long story short, my claim is with the DRO for appeal and review, and although I am not contesting/appealing the sleep apnea for increase, I have the necessary medical evidence including the VA form for sleep apnea completed by my sleep physician/dr stating my condition as well as the results of my sleep studies. How should I submit it? Should it be a file for increase, or submit it as I would with additional medical evidence to the evidence intake center to be reviewed by the DRO along with the other evidence submitted for the conditions I am actually appealing? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
Also, to make sure that I have the correct fax number and address, could you include that as well. That would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks all.
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.