Jump to content


  • hate-ads-subscribe-now.jpg


  • Ad
  • Ad
  • 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 ...
    Continue Reading
  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    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

  • Ad


Dear Veterans,

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. 

Semper Fi

Claim 2.jpg

Claim 1 .jpgScreen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.49.08 PM.png

Edited by YoungMarine24
Adding pictures

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

So the American Legion is your "VA Claims specialist" ? I don't suppose this expert suggested you hire an independent medical specialist to construct an IMO or get your c-file? Since the claim was closed on 9/10/2013, I'm sure he discussed the fact that the time to submit a NOD was not later than 9/10/2014. Your original 2013 claim is now dead in the water. You will have to refile but the claims specialist will hopefully tell you all that. Best of luck sir.

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • 0
1 hour ago, asknod said:
1 hour ago, asknod said:

So the American Legion is your "VA Claims specialist" ? I don't suppose this expert suggested you hire an independent medical specialist to construct an IMO or get your c-file? Since the claim was closed on 9/10/2013, I'm sure he discussed the fact that the time to submit a NOD was not later than 9/10/2014. Your original 2013 claim is now dead in the water. You will have to refile but the claims specialist will hopefully tell you all that. Best of luck sir.

Thanks for the reply Asknod. I don't know why it says American Legion, he's a VFW member who works for the county helping veterans. I wasn't informed about why we had to refile a new claim instead of using the old one. That's very unfortunate though. A lot of people on here have a ton of information like yourself and it would be great to finally understand the best solution.

He never suggested hiring an IMO, is that something I should do before filing the NOD? I'm going to the VA Hospital to pick up my c-file. I've sent a form to the DOD for my medical records but the CD they sent didn't have anything from when I was in the Corps, just my initial entry package. Is it possible they lost my medical folder?

I also have a question about the anxiety and depression claim. I believe I originally received 10% in July 2013, then I was bummed up to 50% in April 2015. I only received retroactive pay from February 2015. Am I eligible for retroactive pay from July 2013?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

More info please. What evidence  and when did you supply it to the VA, regarding your SA Claim? Do you have copies of your SMRs indicating treatment for sleep issues? When did you get your official SA DX?

Was your SA part of your original 2013 claim? Are you on Appeal now?

We're all in a hurry, just human nature, VA is not in a Hurry for anything. Some discussion regarding a NOD for a DRO Review, why not a DRO Hearing? You absolutely have to provide the VA with New & Material Medical Evidence, that was not available for the original Rater's review. Without it, your sunk.

How about posting redacted copies of your claims and Denials. Easier to get a grip on your situation. Have your filed a FOIA requesting your complete C-File? Will probably take a year to get, so get hot on it.

Burn a day at your RO, request to view your C-File as a walk-in.  It's the only way to verify what Evidence  is already in the VA's possession.

Semper Fi

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
21 hours ago, asknod said:


He never suggested hiring an IMO, is that something I should do before filing the NOD? I'm going to the VA Hospital to pick up my c-file. I've sent a form to the DOD for my medical records but the CD they sent didn't have anything from when I was in the Corps, just my initial entry package. Is it possible they lost my medical folder?

I also have a question about the anxiety and depression claim. I believe I originally received 10% in July 2013, then I was bummed up to 50% in April 2015. I only received retroactive pay from February 2015. Am I eligible for retroactive pay from July 2013?

There are three distinct areas of records.

1)All Service military and medical records are stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. That is the NPRC.

2)All VA medical records are stored in the VISTA computer electronically after 1996. Any before that date are archived and still accessible if asked for. That is the Veterans Health Administration or VHA.

3)Your c-file is maintained by the VA- as in Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and are located at the VARO where you filed. It takes time and sometimes dynamite to dislodge them from VA's grip.

Regardless of the resident expert representing you, remember one thing. They have 40 hours of training to get their learner's permit to do claims. I've studied VA law intensely for over 8 years and been filing since 1989 and I still don't know everything. However, it is a basic tenet that you have one year from a decision to object by filing a NOD. That is claims 101 and even a VSO rep with an IQ over 75 should be able to tell you that. I suspect his prowess is less than Specialist 1st Class.

Best of luck on your claims, sir. 

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I had an Employee /Records Clerk from NPRC St Louis mention to me on the phone a while back that some of the SMR's are stored in Ft Knox Ky.

Veteran can call information office at Ft Knox And give his SS# And if the Veteran has records stored there  they will make copies, IF not? they will refer on to NPRC.

As I understand Ft Knox is or was the first place for the records to be stored before being processed through NPRC in St Louis.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By hcorcoran01
      I appealed for an earlier date for PTSD and Individual Unemployability.  I received my 100% December 10, 2010, and appealed to the date I originally applied for benefits (November 2007).  I just received the Order approving both but the Order states "It is granted, subject to controlling regulations governing the payment of monetary awards".
      Does this mean that I get no back pay - as I didn't receive any back pay - just got the approval from Veterans Law Judge, Board of Appeals.  Should I appeal the fact that I received no back pay?
      Any help would be appreciated!
    • By mrstephens11
      Good news, I filed three CUEs and now have three C&P exams.  Great news, it's with the VES and not the VA.  The best news, I've seen one of these VES Doctors before and he rated the disability exactly correct!
      My question is, since I was given the C&Ps for the three disabilities that I filed the CUEs against, does this mean that the VA is agreeing that they made a CUE?  I understand the exams still have to happen for the rating portion, but does this mean the bureaucratic part of the VA agrees there was a mistake?  Logic tells me "yes, why would they schedule an exam if they were just going to deny the CUE."  However, this is the VA and logic is hard for them.
      Last night I was going through my records to get them ready for the C&Ps.  While I was doing this, I found another CUE that if accepted will net me another 10% back to 2005.  Go through your records, DBQs, and Rating Decision letters, you might have CUEs just waiting to be found!
      Thank you,
    • By mikeusaf1980
      Hello all,
      I separated in 2007 and was awarded 80% for a number of things (listed below) after awards I have never made another claim.  Since I got out I've used the VA for some care for my eyes and CPAP gear but not for everything as I have private insurance.  Last month on Dec 21st I had a heart attack at 37 years old (turned 37 2 weeks before on Dec 11th) with 1 each 100% blockage requiring a stent.  I was not on cholesterol or BP meds and I receive no disability for any cardio related issue.  I had an electrocardiogram and my heart looks great with 100% function and my non VA cardiologist said I have to take plavix for a year and likely statins and BP meds for life but other than that no restrictions and no other damage.  I read that OSA causes issues including heart attack but I have had high normal cholesterol  since I was active duty (ldl 150ish, tri - 100+, hdl 40s, total 210+) and  normal BP always.
      My questions are:
      1 - Can I tie the MI event to OSA?  And if so can it cause the MI even if my BP and Cholesterol are not really considered high?
      2 - If I have 100% function and no damage is it worth the effort?
      left knee strain
      left ankle strain status post talar break
      right ankle strain
      multi-level degenerative disc disease, thoracolumbar spine (claimed as lumbar and thoracic back conditions)
      bilateral keratoconus
      tinea versicolor
      allergic rhinitis (also claimed as sinusitis), status post septo-rhinoplasty
      central sleep apnea
    • By VietnamVetSis
      Has anyone had any luck with claiming Sleep Apnea as secondary to Hypertension and/or Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease ?  My husband has service connection for both hypertension and heart disease and now a current diagnosis and medical equipment for sleep apnea.  I've read where VA has approved hypertension secondary to sleep apnea and heart disease secondary to sleep apnea, but not the other way around. If anyone has an archived VA citation in this regard, or personal experience, would greatly appreciate hearing about it.    Thanks all.
    • By jbasser
      Alex Graham Aka Asknod will be our guest speaker. His with and humor along with his vast knowledge of the VA is amazing. Join us for this show. You will learn something. 
      Give us a call and join the conversation.
      To call in dial 347 237 4819 option 1.
      To listen: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/haditcom/2018/01/19/hadit-podcast-with-special-guest-alex-graham-aka-asknod
    • By Robert P
      I'm rated at 100% for PTSD with MDD with psychotic features,  60% for CFS, 30% for IBS. I had to medically retire from my job back in June of 2014. I got approved for Social Security in December of 2014. I get the SMC based on housebound criteria. My question is do I qualify for SMC L for Aid & Attendance. Thanks in Advance for any help...
    • By pctinc2001
      Is there a way I can service connect my diabetes and my sleep apnea. I have been suffering from sometimes severe back pain from a service related injury. How can I connect the two if was never mentioned in my service records. I injured my back while on a rotation at NTC. After injuring my back i was on a profile for the last 16months, before they Chaptered me for weight control (218lbs). Before my injury I never had a problem with my weight.  when I finally got my c-file i learned that i was up for the MEB, but they chaptered me before that. Again, how can I sc diabetes and sleep apnea?
    • By ardodd
      Improper handling of 1999 VA Compensation Claim
      I will do my best to present this in a short and respectful manner. I will do my best to truthfully represent all facts and evidence as it was presented in 1999 VA Claim. It is therefore I am seeking help in identifying any missing documents, missing evidence, non compliance of VA Regulations, etc...
      I will post the photo copies of the record on my C-file which I received in 2015. I will present the Claim as it was filed through the local VSO in Farmerville, Louisiana County/Parish: Union
      VA Compensation Claim for Albert Dodd
      Dated: 15 June, 1999 
      Copy of Claim Submission: ** ( All files are in PDF format and saved to my Google Drive ) ** ( View Only ) **
      VA Claim submitted on: 15 June 1999
      VA Claim Received on: 18 June 1999 ( Dept of Veterans Affairs New Orleans, LA )
      VA Form 21-526 Pg. 7
      VA Form 21-526 Pg. 8
      VA Form 21-526 Pg. 9
      VA Form 21-526 Pg. 10
      Authorization and Consent Included: 
      VA Form 21-4142 Pg. 1
      VA Form 21-4142 Pg.2
      ** ( Notes of Interest ) **
      Supporting Evidence Attachments:
      1) Certified copy of DD 214
      2) Copy of Discharge Account Summary ( Severance Pay ) ** ( My Certified True Copy from SMR ) ** 
      3) Copy of Findings of the Physical Evaluation Board ** ( My Certified True Copy from SMR ) **
      4) Copy of SMR's to support S/C Claim
      ** Physical Evaluation Board Decision **
      Pg. 1
      Pg. 2
      Pg. 3
      Pg. 4
      Pg. 5
      All Evidence and Supporting documents where sent in along with the Authorization and Consent ( VA Form 21-4142 ) for Release of Medical Records on June 15, 1999
      **** Dept of Veterans Affairs New Orleans, LA ****
      Intake of Evidence for VA Claim for Compensation for Albert Dodd
      Dated: 18 June 1999
      **** Timeline for Review of Evidence and Decision ****
      June 18, 1999 VA Claim Received
      June 25, 1999 VA Claim Reviewed
      July 08, 1999 Rating Decision ( R.M. LaCOMBRE, Rating Specialist )
      Rating Decision Pg. 1
      Rating Decision Pg. 2
      Rating Decision Pg. 3
      July 10, 1999 Compensation and Pension Award **( VA Form 21-8947 ) ** Signed into record
      July 12, 1999 Notice of Decision mailed out  **( Cover Sheet ) **
      **** Questions for CUE ****
      1) Duty to assist **( Did not attempt to help get copies of Hospital stay )**
      2) Duty to assist **( Failure to assist by not scheduling a medical exam for current medical condition(s) )**
      3) No Development Letter **( Failure to Notify Veteran of any further evidence needed to substantiate Claim )**
      I Albert Dodd do swear that all information is correct and included. If you or someone you know has information that would help me in getting the VA to correct this wrongful Decision please post your comments. 
    • By nova
      New here. Found the community through google. I'm still learning to navigate the site, so please bear with me. Searching got me in the right direction but not close enough.
      I was recently diagnosed with Service connected PTSD through the VA. I have not done a C&P exam yet. On the same day I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea through a VA sleep study. I've read that there is a slim chance to connect my sleep apnea as a secondary to my PTSD. My VA psych Dr said they aggrevate each other, but a pulmonologist opinion would have more power than his. I've seen some advice from other members talking about letter templates, DBQs and supporting articles. However, I haven't been able to find them here. 
      I've scheduled a civilian Dr. appointment with a pulmonologist in about 2 week and would like to come prepared with any information I can.
      Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
    • By RODboricua
      I still active in the ARMY. Im been using my CPAP machine for more than a year. I got the machine because the ARMY send me to the hospital because I cant sleep. The hospital exam show that I have a moderate condition. The question is, Can I request another sleep study exam? If so, How long I have to wait? Maybe if my condition is worse I can get a 100% when I get retired.
    • By Remodelman1958
      I had filed a claim that was denied based that it was not service connected.  However, I found 3 places in my medical records
      that show otherwise.  I am already past my appeal cut off date.  I am going to put it in again.  If they approve it this timee
      will they go back to the original start date, or is there some other paperwork for that?  Thanks in advance.
    • By jfrei
      Im trying to figure out today why I was denied last time today. I will be talking to the woman in charge again who said my condition isn't severe because I can drive myself. When I applied in June was I was denied since then I have an appeal decided which granted me Permanent and total for my TBI which was just raised to 100% scheduler. What more would I need to show this program to help me and my family my recent C&P my wife explained how she has to be the one to use the GPS or we get lost?I was denied for the caregiver program.
    • By sgtsy2017
      I applied for Sleep Apnea secondary to PTSD (Aggravation). I submitted a FDC on 9/17/17 with the following evidence
      Nexus Letter provided by my VA doctor stating " it is more likely than not Mr. xxxxx Sleep Apnea aggravates his PTSD and his PTSD aggravates his Sleep Apnea". DBQ filled out from my VA Pulmonologist stating "Veterans PTSD and Sleep Apnea is at least additive" VA Sleep Study showing Dx of Severe Sleep Apnea. Evidence showing prescribed CPAP from VA Statement in Support of Claim from Wife, and fellow NCO I served with observing my symptoms. 2 Studies providing link of Sleep Apnea and PTSD in returning Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran  On  Ebenefits my claim status went from Under Review to Preperation for decision without a C&P Exam scheduled. My question, is it possible I provided enough evidence to grant my claim? Or it is just being denied very quickly?
    • By jayb5224
      Thank You in advance! (First question after reviewing this book I wrote here should probably be, do i need to separate all of these questions into the different subject forums or is this OK ?)  I've been procrastinating now for almost 10 years (mainly because of denial, I volunteered, tough guy, I know guys that seen/did worse and horror stories with the VA) and have just this year decided to attack this VA Claims Process.  Putting it off for too long and ready to get the information needed to hopefully (fingers crossed) have a smooth process.  
      I have not filed for anything, have no medical records or injuries documented while active or since (I have just requested my military records from the right place after all these years, because I assumed the VA would have them and keep them safe, so I didn't need a copy. MISTAKE #1, Naive I know) and have not been to see a private doctor for anything. I medicate with over the counter and always have, but have never been officially diagnosed with anything.  
      Just last month I made an appointment with advice from an amazing local veteran group with a psychologist outside of the VA and she diagnosed me with PTSD.  It was extremely hard to even talk to her, I've never talked to anyone about it just denied it or pushed it back. (I know I'll still need a VA exam).  I was also seen by an outside, but VA referred hearing specialist and was diagnosed with tinnitus in the 3k range and hearing loss.  6 months after release from active duty in 2007 I was seen at the local VA for hemorrhoids and treated.  I have had issues with roids, constipation, diarrhea etc ever since.  This is also the only thing I have ever been seen for at the VA.  My wife has also complained for years about sleep apnea and me startling her in the middle of the night when I sleep, should I get an evaluation for sleep apnea.  She doesn't remember ifI did it when active or not, but does that matter for service connection ?
      I have already made the intent to file as of last month and am wondering how I should proceed from the above mentioned.  I have not been seen for IBS, by any professional but it reads like that is a high possibility, so do I need a diagnosis from outside of the VA or should I get one prior to filing?
      Should I file IBS, if diagnosed under "presumptive illness" (BALAD IRAQ 2005-2006) ?
      Should I get on the Burn Pit or Gulf War Registry (Is there anything I should know prior to going to these registry appts) ?
      Should I file for PTSD with just an outside evaluation (How are stressors confirmed, all mine are personal accounts and encounters) ?
      Should I file for hearing loss or tinnitus or both I served as a firefighter and have read that as being on some list hearing related jobs ?
      And finally, Should I file for all of these now at one time or should I wait and do them individually ?
      My main concern is going into this and not being fully prepared, if there is anything you believe would aid in the above filings please let me know.  I know there is a long road ahead, but I don't see any point in going alone and appreciate you all. Thanks again!
  • Our picks

    • Do not post your question in someone else's thread. If you are reading a topic that sounds similar to your question, start a new topic and post your question. When you add your question to a topic someone else started both your questions get lost in the thread. So best to start your own thread so you can follow your question and the other member can follow theirs.

      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.

      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.

      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.

      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.


      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?

      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?

      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?

      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.


      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
      • 0 replies
    • 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. 
    • 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
      • 0 replies
    • 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
      • 15 replies
    • Feb 2018 on HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran. Sharing top posts and a few statistics with you.
      • 0 replies