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From NOD, SOC, SSOC to Certified Appeal to BVA


OK So I filed a NOD for an earlier effective date on the claim of my service related claim of Asthma.  I received a rating decision dated May 5, 2016, of established service connection for asthma from September 9. 2014. That was the date the VA received my claim.  This was a reopened claim.  Now they knew this.  I had forgotten that back in 1984 soon after I was discharged I had filed a claim for Bronchial Asthma and was denied in 1985.  I never appealed it, and there are far too many reason why to get into them at this point in time.  But this rating decision in May gave me 60% right after I had a C&P exam done.  I was rather surprised at the time how fast the claim was processed and approved which all the news about appeals and denials.  Before this approval reached me I was told to go on line and join ebenefits because it was the best way to communicate with the VA and if my claim was approve I would be able to enter my banking information thereby making it possible to receive my benefits electronically. 

I did join ebenefits eventually found out that back in 1984 I had filed an initial claim for Bronchial Asthma it was denied in 1985. I had also signed the form for the DAV to represent me back then.  SO this is where my claim starts to get really screwed up.  In September of 2014 of course the VA didn’t know I had previously filed a claim for SR Bronchial Asthma, however by the time I was sent for the C&P exam they did know.  Yet at that time they still were not referring to this claim as my reopened claim.  Whenever I spoke with anyone regarding this claim it was always as if it was a new claim.  It wasn’t referred to as a reopened claim until my memory was refreshed when they FINALLY decided to grant me the privilege (what was actually my right and I to have to demand) of providing me with a copy of all my military files!! And at that point the Gig was up!!! Whereas the individual at the Boston VA office when I finally got through to someone there told me I should speak with my representative (For several weeks I had left messages at a number which stated it was the DAV Boston) I told Nicole, who also happen to have been the person who had scheduled that HORRIBLE PTSD/MST C&P exam and so conveniently did not send or provide all the statements in support of my claim to the examiner.  (NICE? Huh?) Anyway she told me I should be speaking with the DAV.  I told her that I had been trying to reach them for several weeks, that I had left messages everyday but never got a call back.  Nicole said she would make sure someone from the DAV called me.  Funny how within an hour I did hear from the DAV.  (Found out the Boston DAV is not only in the same building but on one of the same floors of the Boston Veterans Administration.)  (Anyone thinking conflict of interest here??? Because that is what I have begun to think)

Anyway if I don’t watch it I will go off subject and never get out the questions I have.  So eventually I pushed for a 2nd PTSD C&P exam that was granted and in July I was awarded compensation at 100% which was a combined rating with the Asthma and the PTSD and the UE rating.  But I had also filed the NOD for a EED on the Asthma. 

SO here is my first question.  I know when I filed my NOD that I asked for a person to person hearing.  I remember that being a choice and one that I did mark off.  So I was rather curious why I wouln’d be granted one?  I got the SOC on my NOD around the same time as the approval came and I called the DAV representative because there was a problem with the SOC and her attitude was really shocking to me and it really pissed me off to.  I mean she got pissed at me because I asked if there was anyway to talk to the individual who had done the review and written up the SOC, because it was wrong!! At first she said don’t make waves that I should just let it be!??  But as I read it over again I was like NO WAY!!!  This is WRONG!! SO I called her back and out right asked about speaking to the reviewer or possibly his supervisor?  That is when she got all pissy with me!!! 

SO I sent her an email that basicly let her know that she hadn’t done any thing for me any way so what the hell I’ll come in to the Boston VA and ask to speak to someone there, myself.  She sent me an email back that basically indicated she was no longer going to represent me.  So I sent an email to the DAV main Boston Office asking them for the forms that I needed to get rid of them and find someone that actually wanted to represent me in this matter.  I ended up getting an email from the 2nd in charge who said they were still my reps and that he would handle my case. 

Sounds good right??? NOPE it’s not.  He is every bit as evasive as the last person was. 

The only reason the Boston VA issues a SSOC is because when it seemed after I was approved for the 100 percent the local VA was Fing with my case and no mater how many forms I gave them they kept pushing back the date that they would settle and send out the notification letter then start at least paying me the 100% monthly amount. The first date was the end of June then July some time, then the end of July then August, until it got moved all the way back to January 2017.  So I had enough and wrote an email to Secretary McDonald.  And believe it or not I got a response back from so one in Washington out of his office who said someone would contact me.  A week later the 2nd in charge of the Boston VA called me and we had a long talk.  He got the problem with the benefit taken care of like he said he would and I got the retroactive and pay by July.  He also said he would talk to the people in the review office about what I saw as an error and he would have them take care of it. 

Unfortunately he was transferred before they took care of the whole issue so only part of that was taken care of.  Hence the SSOC was issued.  But it was issued on the same date that my appeal was certified and sent to the BVA. 

So my 2nd question I have is this.

Does anyone know if my case could have been settled on a local level had I not filed the Form 9 if I have officially reopened the case instead of continuing on with what appears to be a new case filed in 2014?


And my 3rd Question is, what exactly is a medical Nexus???   See I thought that was a connection between the in service condition and the current disability??? 

So below is a statement made by the VA Doctor who performed the last C&P exam that was requested by the individual who did the review and this Doctor I believe absolutely creates this so called Nexus!!  SO if he has why didn’t they settle it and why would they deny their own Nexus??? 

Oh and part of this is the problem I found where there is a typo that the person who transcribed the Doctors notes left out ONE word in a sentence.  However it is a vital word for the sentence and the whole paragraph to make sense.  To date it still is NOT fixed!!!  Tell me if you catch it.  The word that is left out is “NOT”.   

SO the following is the VA doctors report PLEASE give an opinion or suggestion!!  I think I am about to go MAD!!! :blink:

Aileen M Dodge



 ACE and Evidence Review


    Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document:

      [X] Review of available records (without in-person or video telehealth examination) using the Acceptable Clinical Evidence (ACE) process because the existing medical evidence provided sufficient information on which to prepare the DBQ and such an examination will likely provide no additional         relevant evidence.

    Evidence Review

    Evidence reviewed (check all that apply):

    [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA)



a.       Opinion from general remarks:   Active duty service dates:   

    Branch: Navy

    EOD: 03/30/1980

    RAD: 03/30/1984

    Branch: Marine Corps

    EOD: 03/07/1978

    RAD: 03/24/1978

    OPINION: Direct service connection

    Does the Veteran have a diagnosis of   (a) asthma that is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) incurred in or caused by (the) respiratory complaints during service?


    Tab TAB A (Veteran's statement in VBMS): Veteran's application for service connection dated 09/09/2014

    Tab TAB E (STRs in VBMS): service treatment records show respiratory complaints to include bronchitis and asthma dated 01/16/2015

    Tab TAB B (Outpatient treatment records in VBMS): VA respiratory DBQ dated   04/18/2015

    Tab TABS F-K (Private treatment record in VBMS): Multiple records from

    Beverly Hospital showing treatment for respiratory condition dated 04/25/2015

    Tab TAB C (Outpatient treatment records in VBMS): VA pulmonary function test  dated 05/04/2015

    Tab TAB D (Veteran's statement in VBMS): Veteran's statement dated 06/10/2016

    b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: respiratory



    a. The condition claimed was at least as likely as not (50% or greater  probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness.  

    c. Rationale: I have reviewed all relevant documentation in the claims file, with particular attention to the documents cited in the 2507 and tabbed. The  period of service that seems relevant to this opinion is that of the  veteran's second enlistment, from 1980 to 1984. Her enlistment examination dated 11JAN1980 makes no note of respiratory disease. In her separation examination dated 20MAR1984, veteran reports having asthma and shortness of breath.  In the interval, the veteran compiled a substantial record of  respiaratory signs and symptoms, beginning May 1980 and intensifying during     June 1980. She was variously given diagnoses of asthma or bronchitis, and treated for both. Wheezing was heard on physical examination more than once.

Chest radiographs were non-diagnostic, and were normal at time of separation.

    Pulmonary function testing was abnormal as early as 06/26/1980, with marked  reductions of FEV1 and peak flow, both minimally responsive or unresponsive  to inhaled bronchodilator. By 2013, her pulmonary function had deteriorated  even farther, and chest imaging showed transient ground-glass opacities.  Pulmonary function testing at VA Boston in 2015 showed additional  deterioration, with no response to inhaled bronchodilator (I cannot determine  whether she was already maximally bronchodilated from medication).

    This veteran has a pulmonary disorder characterized by asthma-like symptoms and by moderately severe airflow limitation with inconsistent response to  bronchodilator. The correct diagnosis may not be asthma, but as a working  diagnosis asthma is adequate. It is clear that the veteran's condition began shortly after her re-enlistment in 1980, and has worsened since then. The condition was noted on her entrance examination. In my opinion, this veteran  has asthma or a similar chronic respiratory disorder that more likely than not was incurred in her military service from 1980 to 1984.



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I will try answer question# 1 and # 2

I think #1 is that you are trying to get a better EED for the asthma.

 "I received a rating decision dated May 5, 2016, of established service connection for asthma from September 9. 2014. That was the date the VA received my claim.  This was a reopened claim.  Now they knew this.  I had forgotten that back in 1984 soon after I was discharged I had filed a claim for Bronchial Asthma and was denied in 1985. I never appealed it, and there are far too many reason why to get into them at this point in time."

Sure they knew it, the denial is in your C file, but that had nothing to do with the re-opened claim. 

The only way you can  a better EED is with a successful CUE claim...CUE claims are explained in detail here in our CUE forum.

"Does anyone know if my case could have been settled on a local level had I not filed the Form 9 if I have officially reopened the case instead of continuing on with what appears to be a new case filed in 2014?"

A Re-open goes back to the date the re-opened claim was filed.

When a specific disability claim is denied, and then subsequently down the road the very same disability is SCed, there is always obvious potential for a successful CUE....depending on the past denied decision,and  the evidence they had when they made that decision....and many other factors ....all in our CUE forum. Many vets have gotten Mega retro that way ( as posted in the CUE forum) but it all depends on many factors.

Others will help with question # 3


Edited by Berta

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Thanks Berta You have really been a great help to me in this endeavor!!!  I really am stuck on this NEXUS thing simply because I just don't see how they don't see the SO called NEXUS.  Since definition of a NEXUS is as follows:  "the means of connection between things linked in series". and though that terminology is so typically specialized Military Jargon in other words it is just plain outright Gobbledigook!!  To write that in plain English it means the action connecting everything together proving that the current problem or disability is a continuation of the service related issue.  So given that being the definition of a NEXUS.  The last Doctor who did the C&P exam during the DOR review makes the NEXUS very clear in his review of the record.  

Since the Nexus is proven by that Doctor wouldn't the Local VA have to settle the case on that bases? I mean isn't that why that do the review before they issue the SOC?   

And the DAV is suppose to be representing me and they are of no help at all so i am not looking at hiring a lawyer.  I am NOT gong to loose this because the DAV happens to be in my opinion very incompetent!!!  

Anyway thanks for all your input you posted a link back in the summer that really helped a lot in what I wrote to the BVA in support of my EED.  I can't thank you enough for that link. 


Aileen Dodge

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"Since the Nexus is proven by that Doctor wouldn't the Local VA have to settle the case on that bases? I mean isn't that why that do the review before they issue the SOC?"   

Yes, I agree with that and also  that the C & P exam fully established your nexus......

but half of these RO people seem to be illiterate or too lazy to do this stuff right.:unsure:

Hadit should be the VA training program for raters. They would learn SO MUCH.




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Well I found my dependent spouse medical records and have sent for them.  Now I don't know if anyone else on this site has had a problem locating medical records such as these and if you have I will post the address of where those records are if the are in fact archived military medical records!!!  Seems everyone involved in my case absolutely had NO IDEA  where to locate those types of records and suggested i contact the original base.  And when I said that base and command no longer exists, take a guess at that response?  Shrugged shoulders!!! Yup No help at all.  Just kind of a Too bad guess you can't use those VERY IMPORTANT MEDICAL RECORDS!!  And they were in the same place as my Military service and medical records were!!  The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records. In ST Louis MO.  

NO Your kidding!!!!  

So here is the address if anyone needs those Medical Records.  You can contact them by this phone number they will email you the form that has to be filled out and sent.  The number is 314-801-0800 just listen to the prompts.  Once you get the form it will have this address on it.  

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138-1002

Well I do hope this information helps someone!!!!

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      the following:
      [X] Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or
      expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g.,
      am bad,: "No one can be trusted,: "The world is
      dangerous,: "My whole nervous system is permanently
      [X] Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or
      consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the
      individual to blame himself/herself or others.
      [X] Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror,
      anger, guilt, or shame).
      [X] Markedly diminished interest or participation in
      significant activities.
      [X] Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
      [X] Persistent inability to experience positive emotions
      (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction,
      loving feelings.)
      Criterion E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with
      the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the
      traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more)
      the following:
      [X] Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no
      provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical
      aggression toward people or objects.
      [X] Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
      [X] Hypervigilance.
      [X] Exaggerated startle response.
      [X] Problems with concentration.
      [X] Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying
      asleep or restless sleep).
      Criterion F:
      [X] The duration of the symptoms described above in Criteria
      B, C, and D are more than 1 month.
      Criterion G:
      [X] The PTSD symptoms described above cause clinically
      significant distress or impairment in social,
      occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
      Criterion H:
      [X] The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological
      effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or
      another medical condition.
      4. Symptoms
      For VA rating purposes, check all symptoms that actively apply to the
      Veteran's diagnoses:
       [X] Depressed mood
      [X] Anxiety
      [X] Suspiciousness
      [X] Chronic sleep impairment
      [X] Mild memory loss, such as forgetting names, directions or recent
      [X] Flattened affect
      [X] Impaired judgment
      [X] Disturbances of motivation and mood
      [X] Difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, including work or
      worklike setting
      [X] Suicidal ideation
      [X] Impaired impulse control, such as unprovoked irritability with
      of violence
      [X] Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene
      5. Behavioral observations
      Veteran was open and forthright with no evidence of exaggeration or
      feigning symptoms. Affect blunted. Minimal eye contact. Speech regular
      rate, tone, volume. Thought process linear, logical, goal directed.
      Thought content absent for delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or HI.
      Endorses SI with no active plan, but drove car onto train tracks last
      week. Discussed safety, crisis line, Veteran has MHC appointment next
      week. Veteran reports safety to return home today.
      6. Other symptoms
      Does the Veteran have any other symptoms attributable to PTSD (and other
      mental disorders) that are not listed above?
      [ ] Yes [X] No
      7. Competency
      Is the Veteran capable of managing his or her financial affairs?
      [X] Yes [ ] No
      8. Remarks, (including any testing results) if any:
      PCL-5 score 72, indicating probable diagnosis of PTSD.
      Veteran continues to meet criteria for PTSD. He reports social
      withdrawal, sleep problems, memory problems, irritability, anger that is both verbal
      and physical, suicidal thoughts. He has work accommodations because of
      his PTSD symptoms. He misses several days of work a month because of his
    • 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.
    • By bc0311
      I'm new to this site, and somewhat novice with claims as I've ignored them since my discharge in 2012, but I have some questions that I've yet to find answers for that hopefully someone can help me with:
      In a nutshell, my story is I did my four years, two hellish combat tours to Afghan, got out in 2012, immediately filed my claims for a few disabilities like back and shoulder issues and got a 40% rating total. I've since not looked back as none of that concerns me. My issue now is that I was sent to a mandatory PTSD screening during one of my visits that year, and the examiner kind of went about the thing blase, and although I did tell her most of my traumatic experiences, she gave me 0% for "Combat PTSD not related to military service" as it says in their justification, whatever that means. I don't think they even attempted to listen to me as my experiences were extraordinarily traumatic and have been a detriment to my mental health and quality of life since. And yet I now have an effective date of a PTSD claim from day of discharge 6 years ago for 0%, says it right on eBenefits. I think you know where I'm going with this...
      After 6 years of dealing with a slew of issues related to PTSD, I decided this week to start looking into trying to re open the case. My questions for you are.... Would I be entitled to any back pay if I could prove that I've suffered from PTSD since then, and that they made their original decision in error? And if so, how could I go about receiving the exact paper work / medical records from that one specific screening I had in 2012? I've looked everywhere and I don't really know how to navigate either of these situations... 
      Thanks a lot!
    • By Andyman73
      Recently I was DX and granted SCD for PTSD due to personal trauma (MST). I have also noticed a dramatic reduction in performance capabilities as well. I have not mentioned this to any of my doctors, VA or private. It's been hard enough to admit to the MST, without having to add the ED to it. But I've reached a point where I can no longer ignore it.  I'm only 44 years old and have far too much life left to live to continue ignoring the ED. I'd like to hear any suggestions or guidance as to the best way to file a claim for this as secondary to my SCD PTSD. Any and all suggestions from all parties are welcome. Also, should I start with making an appointment with my PCP?  Thank you to all who read and respond to this delicate and humbling matter.
      Semper Fi
    • By tazntaylr
      I have been working with a VSO to file my claim. I am currently in the process of gathering information. Only thing, file for MST with PTSD or file PTSD. VSO was hung up on the sexual part of MST.
      Was in service 1991-2000. In 1995 was involved with a female soldier, who also was involved with another male (married) soldier. After an exercise and the last night sleeping together she asked me to kill his wife. After the second time I went to CID and wore a wire twice. While the Article 32 hearing was going on she was let out of pre-trial and started harassing me, being around me. I was moved from my company to another, and ultimately to the brigade HQ (rear detachment). Brigade HQ was deployed then. Both the female soldier and male soldier were other than honorable discharged, but I was exiled for a year. Not the same after. As I was getting out in 1999 I learned that she had asked other people in the unit to kill me. I was seen at a Vet center into 2000.
      Same time as the Article 32, my chain of command was trying to discipline me for an Article 15/court martial. The incident was with the female soldier (before she had asked me) and was on a trumped up charge. Even had the 1st sergeant threatened me in his office about "if he could not get me on that charge he would find another". After my time in Brigade HQ I returned to almost a new unit, only 5% knew me. All I wanted was out, but he harassed me every day to change my mind and go to the promotion board. Would not even let anyone drive me to airport to PCS.
      It took my wife to point out that when I get harassed or witness it at work that I am affected by it. I am currently being seen for it by the Vet center I was seen at before. The vet center had listed me as PTSD and marked as military trauma. 
      Also, I don't have anything from that time as I was not in a good place and as a 26 year old did not want the reminders in my barracks room. So if anyone knows how to get the CID or JAG records I am all ears.
    • 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 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.”
    • By FAVet777
      Thanks for reading this. I have been trying to find all the information that I can about getting re-examined. So I thought I would start here and I did my research on here. I am rated at 70% for PTSD with Major Depression Disorder long with a few other claims that rounds out to 80%. Ill mostly be disscussing my mental health award and not the others Since the that is my highest rating. My benefits where awarded in July of 2017 as far what e-benifits shows. that was my backpay date. In my award letter that I got in the mail it states for all my conditions even tinnitus that "since there is a likelihood of improvement, the assigned evaluation is not considered permanent and is subject to a future review examination". First let me state that I am beyond grateful of my award and I do not wish to try to try to increase my ratings or bring any attention to my file or profile with the VA. I am content with where I am at. I go to the VA every two weeks for my 1 on 1 with my Mental Health provider. So I am knocking out two birds with one stone as far as getting my treatment and showing the VA that I am seeking treatment. 
      Now...What are the circumstances of me getting Re-evualutated? Is it the luck of the draw and I might get randomly selected? I know plenty of people with lower ratings that are not TDIU or P&T that have been rated for over 4-5 years with no exams what so ever. Consider me being paranoid but I want to be Pre-emptive. Especially since my award letter clearly states that ALL my conditions "is subject to future review examination". When would the VA see that my condition has improved if it did? Would they get an alert from the VA Hospital that I am doing better? Or would it would it arise if i get selected for a review and they review my medical records? Like I said earlier im contempt at 80% and more than anything I just want to stay out of sight out of mind on the VA's raters radar and continue my treatment in peace. 
    • By Broken Cat
      I am in the process of putting together a claim package for mental health issues related to MST.  Try as I might, I cannot find a VSO with experience in my situation.  It's taken me years to accept that I need help and that I need to address this once and for all, so when I say that I cannot handle doing this twice (submitting a sub par claim and then doing appeals) I really mean it. From day to day, I vacillate between thinking my problems are actually other people's inability to cope OR feeling like there is no point to me and that I'm a burden.If it weren't for the whole not being able to pay bills and risking alienating my kids for all eternity, I'd be perfectly content letting the world turn while I hang out at home and being maladjusted and mean.
      In my perfect world, there would be a check list of things to submit for a fully developed claim. On this checklist, there would be a list of key phrases or high points that would help sway the decision makers into awarding adequate compensation. I haven't been able to find anyone that has had success doing this with a case like mine.  I have police reports from the MST.  I have trauma counseling records and AD medical records that clearly state a d/x for PTSD related to rape on X date. My counseling sessions identified dissociation behaviors, PTSD, and anxiety. One doctor even noted that I was combative and stated that I wished harm on my attackers. 
      Obviously, the Navy handled this clear cut case of rape, with evidence and my complete cooperation, like they do any scandal.  They buried it and came after me.  That might be a secondary stressor, but I've been warned that claiming a secondary stressor could hose up everything and to keep my mouth shut?  kind of amazing that the advice that is meant to help, sounds a lot like the advice that sent me careening out of control all those years ago.
      Anyhow, I survived, got married, got out, and went in and out of counseling.  Over the years, I've been diagnosed with PTSD, Chronic Depression, Chronic Adjustment Disorder, Agoraphobia, Generalized anxiety Disorder, and Dissociation Disorder.  I don't trust military medicine or the government, so most of my counseling was done through non-profit organizations and women's shelters. They're so secretive, that I felt it'd be safe to tell them what I went through and my statements wouldn't end up in the Navy's summary of Mishaps... again. So, I don't really have records of those, except for prescriptions that were reported to Tricare.   I do have my civilian medical records. It has page after page of doctors complaining that I broke down, was combative, emotional etc, etc.  I do have a few sessions with shrinks at MTFs in the last couple years. They were not keen on actual diagnostics, they just gave me the pills I asked for.
      I'm shopping shrinks to assess me and give diagnosis. I'm not sure I need a nexus letter, but I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt.  I have a letter from my ex boss describing how my work performance plummeted over the years and how he made accommodations to keep me on. I also have a letter from me, describing my bad days and my rituals to get through them. My husband and his best friend were witnesses to the fallout of my rape, in terms of the military's response to me.  They can verify in statements that I did report it and go into counseling. They can also verify that I'm socially isolated and very codepenedent on them to meet new people or get involved in activities.  I don't have a single friend that they didn't make for me, first.  I do not know how to people. I don't have friends from work. I don't have "my own" friends from church. I don't even have people who like me well enough, and include me in things, without my husband and his best friend acting as intermediaries.  
      oh, I also have the most recent sentencing transcripts for the ringleader of my attackers.  The judge stated that he felt this dude was unrepentant and a monster. He cited his past sex crimes, "both in the record and that didn't make it to trial" and his history of convincing others to help him conceal his crimes.  If that's not a shout out from the bench, I don't know what is.

      Anyhow, I guess my question is, has anyone here done a fully developed MST claim with multiple bullet points for anxiety, phobia, ptsd, and depression, and get 100% or at least, a high enough rating to qualify for unemployability?  Without having to go through appeals and lawyers?  Was a police report enough, even if the military dropped it?  Should I give the C&P my evidence, letters, and my personal statement too? I'm sure I have 1000 more questions,  but I'm mostly looking for someone who has done what I'm trying to do.
    • By Mikey5311
      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.
  • Our picks

    • 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
    • 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.
        • Like
      • 14 replies