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  1. 2 points
    How far do you live from your RO? I think most actual VAROs are set up the same way, maybe not. At my RO in the Downtown Det Federal Bldg, VA Rating Dept Shares the 12th floor with about 6 or so VSOs. An in person visit is in order. Call to be sure the office is staffed, see if you can make an appointment with the MFIC. Semper Fi
  2. 2 points
    III.v.9.B.3.i. Conducting a Hearing Prior to a Final Determination The Decision Review Officer (DRO) or designated hearing official conducts the hearing in accordance with the provisions in M21-1, Part I, 4.4. Due to the nature of the hearing, the DRO or designated hearing official must provide latitude to allow participation on behalf of, and assistance to, the beneficiary by the next of kin or any other person of the beneficiary’s choice.
  3. 2 points
    From M21-1 III.v.9.B.3.a. Elements of a Notice of a Proposed Ratingof Incompetency Notice of a proposed rating of incompetency must include a copy of the proposed rating decision or a short summary of the facts and evidence of record that supports the finding of incompetency an explanation of the effect that a finding of incompetency has on the payment of VA benefits notice that a VA rating of incompetency prevents the beneficiary from purchasing firearms, according to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) a statement of the beneficiary’s right to submit evidence to show why the proposed action should not be taken request a personal hearing to present evidence, and have representation during the hearing, and an indication that the beneficiary has 60 days to respond to the notice. Note: If a beneficiary requests a hearing at any time before VA makes a final decision on the beneficiary’s competency, VA will postpone making the final decision until after it holds the hearing.
  4. 2 points
    First, congrats on the win! I agree with the others. You need to: 1. Request a hearing regarding the declaration on incompentency. 2. Gather your evidence. Get a copy of the applicable C and P exam. Did the doc opine your incompetent? Do you have other doc opinions which differ from that? You want this evidence at your hearing. Get a representative to help you, if necessary. 3. Can you get an IME/IMO which opines you are competent? 4. Lastly, do you have a family member or trusted friend who could/would manage your finances, such as your spouse? I would not "go there" until/unless the hearing goes bad, and you see the handwiting on the wall that VA has evidence to declare incompetency. Then, if your spouse was your fiduciary, for example, it may not make TOO much difference, assuming you trust your spouse. But, its best to be prepared.
  5. 2 points
    You don't have too much time to ask for a hearing on the incompetency proposal. I think it is 30 days from the date of the award letter....someone here will know... (seems to me the examiner was incompetent...not the veteran.....) Dementia is a whole different ball game than Aphasia. I know because my dead husband had dementia from a 1151 stroke. "Awarded 100% for PTSD and p&t with no future exams." FABULOUS! " I was denied the first time I filed for ptsd." You sure might have a basis for CUE in that older decision ( and potentially more retro $) " So I took it on with a vengeance. I had to research and ....." YES you did what it takes! I think you should get a good VSO hopefully near or in the same building the RO is in, and fight this with a hearing request (ASAP)
  6. 2 points
    I think it is SC, "...at least as likely as not...". Now, whether they are going to give you anything above a 0%, that may not happen, but you will be SC and that is huge since spines don't tend to heal well from my experience. Keep getting documentation of continued treatment when you have flare ups to support an increase later, if that's warranted. Good Luck!
  7. 2 points
    Absolutely! Every piece of submitted evidence was supported by 38 cfr regs. Its amazing how raters ease those decisions around and thru the regulations. Veterans have died on the streets, on mental wards and prisons because of indifference and downright meanness. Hopefully, my outcome will inspire others to hold on a bit longer. Remember, its a waiting game. If you are a VV--some may feel that you are on your way out. Say no to that. Stay around until you have to crawl to the bank. GBA
  8. 1 point
    Had a c&p exam March 8 2016. March 29th claim was closed. Received the BBE and was Happy about decision until I read VA finds you incompetent To manage your VA benefits. Such a big letdown. They based their findings on the c&p docs opinion. Examiner stated I have dementia, I do not have Dementia I have Expressive Aphasia which is the inability to speak a complete sentence so it can be understood. I know what is being said I just can't Reply in a sentence that can be understood due to my Aphasia. My wife and my family can understand what I am trying to say with no problem. I was Awarded 100% for PTSD and p&t with no future exams. I was denied the first time I filed for ptsd. So I took it on with a vengeance. I had to research and Get the proof that the incident did occur and in the exact month and year. Believe me this took many hours to gather and complete. VA claimed there was not enough Evidence that the incident happened to turn it over to the Army to investigate. But when I sent in a certain article written by an officer in the Army, it was no time Before ebenefits showed preparing for decision. I need any comments or suggestions as to what I should do next. File NOD or take what VA dished out. Thanks to all of you on this forum you made my journey easier to get to the information I needed for success. Marinevet61
  9. 1 point
    I have already been to the CAVC twice. The first time was when I filed a Writ of mandamus. (Pro Se). The writ was dismissed, tho, not until after the RO had to submit a report to the court "answering" my complaint. IN a nutshell the VARO awarded benefits and replied to the court I had nothing to complain about as they had fixed the problem. The second time was an appeal to the 2012 BVA decision. In that one, NVLSP represented me, and they got a JMR. I got an empty lollipop stick. The 2012 Board decision was a partial grant, partial denial, and partial remand. YOu can not appeal issues under remand. The court wont allow that. You simply have to wait until the remand is implemented, and, if they deny, then you can appeal. Now, for the next batter. One swing and miss, and one foul ball equals 2 strikes. The pitcher winds up...the catcher holds 2 fingers down signaling the pitcher... Interestingly, even if I strike out at the third CAVC trip, this does not mean Im ejected from the game. It means I will get another "at bat" when my claim reaches the applicable appeal stage. I just found out my attorney, Glover luck, filed a NOA. She has not sent me a copy yet, Im not even sure if she will. According to her, this means the VA has exactly 60 days to get her a copy of the RBA. After she gets the RBA she will prepare a "brief". (I dont know while they call these "briefs"..because usually they should be called "longs"). She explained that, after she prepares the Brief, the VA will decide if they want to "just concede" and give me my benefits (possible), or if they will continue on with the case. I think this is where VA often offers a JMR (Joint motion for remand). On strike number "2" I took the JMR, upon advice from the attorney. Big mistake. Yea...I "won" a remand for earlier effective date for dependents, which basically, the ro said I was entitle to the vast sum of $0.00 in retroactive benefits. Im smarter now, and am not accepting a JMR unless I have in writing the exact benefit they are offering..such as sleep apnea to March, 2007, and SMC S from that period.
  10. 1 point
    Traditional Appeal, possible 4+ yrs for a Hearing, even a Video Hearing. DRO Hearing (would be my choice) could take a couple years for the actual Hearing. DRO Review would probably be the quickest but may not be the best. With the BVA route, you wait x yrs for 1 bite at the apple, if Denied, it's CAVC time. As to the DRO options, if you have New & Material Evidence that really could be considered as "Compelling," I think this would be your best choice. If it didn't work out, you still have the BVA. Keep in mind, your claim remains at your RO, during the wait times for all (3) Choices. Get your N & M Evidence submitted ASAP. There is an off chance, per VA Reg regarding Receipt of N & M Evidence, that a Sr Rater or Actual DRO would review your Appeal before any Hearing date was on deck. You could get an award or at least a Contined Denial alon with a Supplemental Statement of Case, telling you your evidence sucks for a Big Dog. Semper Fi
  11. 1 point
    Thanks guys! I did talk to a few people this weekend while at drill and I went to Ft Lee medical clinic and talk to a civilian in the patient administration. He did point me in the right direction and he did say the medical documents that I had were enough to get started on an MEB. I will let you all know how everything goes when I get through some of the process. Thanks again everyone!
  12. 1 point
    Thank you Yync I like your post about Fort Living Room AL I am living in Huntsville AL maybe we are neighbors. LOL
  13. 1 point
    I will thanks again. I love to help other Vets on here, but when it comes to me, I just question everything, even though I know that I am 100% P&T.
  14. 1 point
    I believe tinnitus is a single 10% rating and as such the bilateral factor does not apply?
  15. 1 point
    Hi everyone, I just want to introduce myself. I have been using Hadit for about 3 weeks now. I just want to say thanks to all who make the website happen and to all that go out of their way to help other Vets like me to get the most out of their claim. I have learn a lot since I found this website and will continue to educate me self on all aspects of the claim process. I have already posted several topics and each time have had great people to try to give me the best answers and advice to my question. I am very grateful for that and want say thank you very much for your help. About me, retired from the Air Defense Branch of the Army In 2008. I am working as a DOD security Guard, but will be losing this job very soon to my PTSD. I am kind of scared and nervous about this. I am 47 years old and it is kind of hard to start over at this age. I tried to go to college but I can not concentrate or stay focus in class. I had to drop to many classes that I finally had to withdraw from college. Well, Thanks everybody, I will enjoy talk to you on my post or someone else post later in future. Take care, Bill
  16. 1 point
    YIKES I posted a decision that denied the aphasia!!!!! So sorry!!!!! I have been hurried today and haste makes Waste!!!!! Good point BUCK... I had a neighbor whose speech was very hard to understand and she also had hearing loss (the cause of her speech problems) SSDI determined that even with or without hearing aides her speech deficits would prohibit employment.
  17. 1 point
    Thank you Bill All Thanks goes to the one and only Ms Tbird. the founder and CEO of Hadit, she has helps thousands of veterans like you and me, so every year me and lot of the hadit members try to send her a little something to help keep the hadit site upgraded and running. She has did this with her own $$ and for her unselfish ness she ask For nothing in return so its up to us veterans to show our appreciation by donating to her worthy and most beneficial cause for us Veterans. But she don't require it. Thanks Again Buddy ......................Buck
  18. 1 point
    I never heard of that PTSD /with aphasia? Learn something every day but of course I'm no Doc either. I certainly would challenge them on this, get your past history together like Banking transactions and any financial things you participated in , private Dr stating he has examined you and you show no signs or actions of having ''Aphasia'' lay statements from family/friends (notorized) also if you have ever been tested for your Hearing via VA & You can get a copy of that test especially the word CNC Discrimination on test that shows your speech % if you have no loss of hearing and your word test shows to be ok that would be good evidence also. who ever wrote that in your report is just trying to mess you & your claim up jmo .................Buck
  19. 1 point
    This is a fairly recent award from the BVA for a veteran whose aphasia was attributed to his PTSD: http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/view.jsp?FV=http://www.va.gov/vetapp14/Files6/1447818.txt There are over 400 cases there and it will take me time to try to find more info but...... Some of those cases were 1151s and attributed aphasia to cerebrovascular accident, or cognitive organic brain disease... What did the VA attribute your aphasia too? Do you have a complete copy of your VA medical records? I need to go over your past posts here.... Have you ever had a stroke, or transcient ischemic attacks? The VA missed a proper diagnosis for about 6 TIAs my husband (USMC) had (I took him to the ER many times) and then a full blown stroke.Which they initially diagnosed as a brain tumor) but they didn't know my Army husband had suffered from a brain tumor and I knew the tumor was the wrong diagnosis. I made the MRI doctors at a different VAMC read the MRI to me by phone, as the doctor had just told my husband ( 100% PTSD) he was being sent to Syracuse VAMC for brain surgery. I immediately told the docs this was NOT a surgical problem at all...and within hours after he arrived at Syracuse they agreed with me. Again, like in the past 6-7 years, an initial diagnosis was what we believed, first for his malpractice heart disease and now for Labyrhinitus, which that day became a stroke, after he had laid there at the VAMC for 3 weeks with NO proper stroke treatment. You need to go over your medical records carefully, unless in fact you had been diagnosed in the past with TIAs and/or stroke...which could be the cause of the aphasia which I assume is NSC. What rating did they give the aphasia? Do you get SSDI? If so is it for PTSD and/or the aphasia? If so has the SSA deemed you as incompetent? I have lots of questions here......because aphasia does not come out of the blue and it shocked me to see 1151 cases at the BVA so similar to mine...which never got there.My case was a re open of my husband's 1151. In 1998 they gave his stroke the wrong diagnostic codes and considered it as NSC. The award however said it was part of the wrongful death FTCA case and caused by the VA. In 2012 they finally awarded my CUE claim on that. I live at a high altitude and again am in a cloud...it affects my internet access greatly this time of the year.... I hope I can offer more help today....and need to see what VA attributes the aphasia too. I assume you got some retro so that might be a good idea to hold unto some of it if you need to pay for an IMO/IME from a real doctor to properly assess your aphasia and it's cause ( or to SC it to the PTSD as secondary)
  20. 1 point
    If a vet is rated as permanently and totally disabled for 20 years does that rating become untouchable at that point? I send in my employment questionnaire twice a year and I am 66. I trust the VA about as far as I can throw my VRO. If you are totally disabled due to being unemployable what does that mean in terms of rating protection? I fear that one day in the future some politician will say that those that were TDIU and are now 70 years old are unemployable due to their age and not solely their disability. There are many in congress who want to renege on medicare and SSA and local, state and federal pensions. I hear them raving about budgets while they vote tax cuts to billionaires. The little guys and the needy are the first to get crushed when someone has to take one for the team. My retirement plan for my wife and myself works as long as I am p&t. If I were to get cut back to my actual 90% rating instead of TDIU then our plan begins to fall apart. John
  21. 1 point
    Because the C&P Exam noted at least as likely as not (50%) It should be SC'd. The ROM is not less than 60, so hey will probably give you 10% on the back issue. As long as they say that the onset of the symptoms was during active duty, you qualify. You are pretty young (it sounds like). Your back is a tough system of disc and bone. Good advice; get X ray and/or MRI to confirm that this is not a small problem that could get big later on. Correcting a disc problem (if one exists) now might save you a lot of trouble later. A good therapist or Chiro can fix it without needing surgery most of the time at the early stages.
  22. 1 point
    bruinboy, Heres the beauty of your report. Arthritis. It looks like you will get at least 10% for arthritis. You could get more from ROM, but you'll have to wait for thier desision. Now, after a while if you have (get) an x-ray of your neck and it shows arthritis, you can get that SC'd secondary to your thoracic. Then you can get 10% for that and maybe more if your have neck ROM issues. You could have your lumbar evaliated for secondaries, however, they count that with the thoracic, so it could be added and you would get the higher of the two and not each. I am currently 20% cervical and 20% thoracic/lumbar for range of motion. It started at 10% for cervical DDD (arthritis). Later increase cervical for ROM and then I claimed thoracic seconday to cervical and got 20% for DDD DJD (arthritis) for ROM. Any x-ray of arthritis will only get you 10%. ROM gets you more. Any key to Range of Motion is to stop movement UPON pain. I did this with my arm movement for a ROM test for my shoulder. Don't let the examiner pull/push you farther than first pain. Stop at pain. FYI, my neck and spine ROM didn't not involve pain (I literly cannot move any farther). Also, as other will opine, it will take you a while for all this to build a case/claim, you just have to keep plugging a long. There are a couple of big steps you want to make. 30%, 50% 70% and 100% are important markers for percentages and all have important benifits. My story; 2009 30%, 2011 40%, 2013 60% and lastly 2014 70%. And am planning my next claim as we speak. And your your only advocate. Read, read and read again. Hope this helps, Hamslice
  23. 1 point
    Hey Devil Dog, your making complete sense on a message board! Any chance you can use technology that way to get your point across to the VA rep? I don't know, I'm not the brightest bulb in the house but seems to me you could use a IPad or the likes to either type out responses or even have some pre-text sentences for quick responses to common questions? Then if they ask you a question just pull up the answer you want? I would think if you have the aptitude to put your thoughts on a screen then clearly your brain housing group is 10-4? just a thought.....
  24. 1 point
    Flores97, I was out of town since we last chatted. I thought my reply to your advice was submitted before I took my trip. I guess I hit the wrong key and lost my message to you. Nevertheless, let me try again. I warn you, my reply in long winded but I'm seeking your advice on how to properly proceed with my claim under appeal. So here we go, I'm just copying and pasteing what I wrote to you earlier. Flores97 Thank you for your advice. To answer your question, yes, I elected to select a DRO review of my appeal to increase my service connected disability rated as Coded as 5284, Foot Condition Other, described as "Residuals of foot injury." However, SHARE has them coded as 5284 "Degenerative Changes, Left Great Toe." Sir, I would like to ask you a few questions, than if you don't mind, provide you with further background to the horrors of my current claim. Regarding filing an Intent to File for lymphedema, should I accomplish this process online or through my VSO, Texas Veterans Commission? Regarding my IRIS inquiry for my claim that is under a DRO review, should it be conducted via phone or thru eBenefits? When I submit my inquiry should I discuss my claim from its origin, (VA's initial decision in April of 1990), or from my C&P exam in San Antonio, Texas on April 27, 2012? I believe it extremely important to assist me in arriving at a favorable on my behalf from the VA. I hope you are still sitting after reading what took place during the last three C&P examinations at San Antonio, Texas. If you are, please let me know it this statement should be forwarded and to whom. It was during the exam on April 27, 2012, when the examiner, Dr. Dinesman, asked me "Tell me about your arthritis in your left great toe?", and I replied, "I do not have arthritis in my left great toe and I was never aware that I had it while in the service." The physician responded, "Well, you are here today to have your left great toe examined for degenerative changes which is arthritis, so if you are saying that you don't have arthritis, than I'm closing your claim now!" In response to the examiner's statement, I said, "Sir, I was expecting to have my left foot examined to demonstrate that the current conditions from which I suffer (swelling, discoloration, venous insufficiency and severe pain) are the same residual disability complications/conditions that existed while I was in the Marines." I than said to Dr. Dinesman, "Here is my initial decision letter from the VA stating that service connection has been established for less than 10% for my left great toe condition and that my service records show treatment for left foot condition. Then their letter states there was no record of recurrence or complications during the rest of my service and no residual disability was indicated on your VA examination of November 21, 1989." I further stated, "that this statement was not accurate," and I showed him notes made in my military medical records where these same complications/conditions (swelling, discoloration, pain) resulting from the injury that I sustained to my left foot in May of 1982. The initial complications were indicated in my medical records on June 22, 1982, June 26, 1983, January 11, 1986, January 15, 1987, August 16, 1987, and February 26, 1988." Finally, I showed him where the VA letter also stated, "You may submit evidence at any time to establish residual disability. It must show a continuing disability from discharge to the present time." I then said, "Doctor, I am prepared today to provide you with the evidence to establish my residual disability." Dr. Dinesman said, "I think your initial claim was misdiagnosed. This is Texas, we get everything right in Texas. So take your evidence back to your VSO and resubmit your claim." Which I did that very day after I left the examination room. On my VA form 21-4138, I referenced the VA letter 362/CORE1/DLR dated April 12, 2012 and my C&P exam 4/27/2012. My statement provided the VA where they can find evidence from my medical records where the same residual complications/conditions from my service connected left foot injury were noted by VA physicians on November 4, 2009, March 30, 2010, May 13, 2010, November 14, 2011, and March 14, 2012. I also stated on the VA form, "The C&P Doctor will submit his own impressions of the above issue, he thinks I was misdiagnosed in the first place." Nevertheless, my claim was denied so my VSO told me to keep gathering evidence to establish a connection of your current medical conditions to the residuals from your initial service connected foot injury. I did just that and resubmitted a claim on March 4, 2014 for Foot Condition Other. In my statement, I wrote, "My discoloration remained recurrent, chronic and incapacitating upon discharge." Thru my statement, I then directed the VA where they can find evidence from entries made by VA physicians who diagnosed me with a swollen left foot, edema, discoloration, and probable venous insufficiency. VA physicians even prescribed me with compression stockings and Gabapentin and other medication to treat my chronic residual conditions from my service connected foot injury/infection." I ended my statement writing, "The main problem I have had over the years is that the C&P examiners and VA personnel are simply looking at my toe and do not take into account the residuals I developed as a result of the laceration to the toe and the development of cellulitis. The problems I suffer from are directly attributed to my injury in 1982. However, once again, my claim was denied but I believe the VA did not handle it properly for the reasons which I will highlight below. Here's what took place: When my wife and I arrived for my C&P exam at the VA's Frank Tejada Outpatient Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, on September 12, 2014, we were greeted by Mr. Clark, a Physician Assistant, who sat us down in his office and asked me to verify the purpose of my examination. Mr. Clark showed me an examination request that was different than what I had stated on my VA Form 21-4138. I requested to have the residuals of my service connected foot injury in my left foot evacuated for an increase of its current disability rating of 0%. Instead, the VA scheduled me for a C&P examination for an increase to my service connected Achilles Tendonitis injury along with Degenerative Changes to My Left Great Toe. Since my request was not honored, I refused to allow Mr. Clark to examine me. He than tried to call the rater's office in Houston, Texas, but was unable to reach him. Mr. Clark also stated that he did not have my medical records. I told him, "that I brought copies of both my military and VA medical records as evidence to support my claim. However, I will not submit them unless I am examined for the purpose that I submitted my claim for. The residuals of my service connected foot injury/infection is what I expected to be examined for today!" My statement upset Mr. Clark, so he walked across the hall to a doctor's office and closed the door behind him. A few minutes later, Mr. Clark returned to his office with the Doctor who told me, "Just have the exam completed, it's the same foot." I told the doctor politely, "Sir, I am refusing to be examined today because when I had went for my C&P exam in this same building on April 27, 2012 with Dr. Dinesman for what I thought was the same claim that I made for today's exam, the residuals of my service connected foot injury, he told me that the VA instead ordered him to conduct an exam for the arthritic changes to my left great toe." He I turn told me to resubmit my claim for the residual conditions from that foot injury/infection which I did." So sir, since I clearly followed Dr. Dinesman's instructions, I refuse to be examined for anything else but what I submitted my request for!" As soon as I said that, Mr. Clark left the office and returned shortly thereafter with the C&P Department's Administrative Officer, Mr. Edward Duenes. Mr. Duenes took my wife and I into his office where we discussed my challenge. After I explained to Mr. Duenes my frustration with the whole VA claims process and his C&P examiners, he attempted to call my assigned rater in Houston, Mr. Visokey, and have me speak with him. However, Mr. Visokey was unavailable, so Mr. Duenes left him a voice message. Mr. Duenes assured me that I would revive a personal phone call from Mr. Visokey and that I would be scheduled for another C&P exam to evaluate the residuals of my service connected foot injury. I thanked him, and then he asked to see the documentation that I had planned to submit as evidence. Mr. Duenes, reviewed my documentation that included medical options from doctors in Hawaii made in 2010 when I lived there. These private doctors stated that my prolonged swelling, discoloration, and pain are due to my prolonged cellulitis episode which occurred while I was in the Marines in the Philippines. I developed cellulitis when I stubbed my left great toe, experiencing a laceration on its tip and after entering contaminated water in the Philippine jungle, I incurred the severe infection. The residuals of that infection were prolonged swelling, discoloration, pain and diagnosed venous insufficiency, all of which are noted in my military medical records. Mr. Duenes then told me, "Tim, I don't know why Mr. Visa key hasn't approved your claim already based on the documents you presented me." He further stated, "I will keep your claim open rather than closing it so you won't have to submit a new claim, like you were told to do for this claim." After hearing his remarks, I felt much better about my upcoming exam and the results of my pending claim with the VA. Mr. Visokey did in fact call me and my C&P exam was rescheduled for September 26, 2014. Yet, my examination did not go well. When my wife and I arrived for the exam, to our shock, we were greeted by the same Physician Assistant, Mr. Clark. Right away, I was playing on unfair grounds, especially when Mr. Clark walked us by the same doctor, who I refused to have him examine my foot two weeks ago, and said to him, "This is the veteran I told you about!" Once we were inside Mr. Clark's office, the Physician Assistant asked me, "Have you straightened out the reason for your C&P exam with the rater, Mr. Visokey?" To which I replied, "I hope so, but you tell me Sir, since you have the request that he forwarded to you." I followed that up by asking Mr. Clark, "Well did he?" Mr. Clark's answer was, We will get to that later. I just want to know if you two worked it out?" I replied, "Sir, you know the answer to that question, why don't you let me know why I'm here today?" Mr. Clark didn't respond to my question but instead says, "Well he didn't send me your file, so I don't have any records to review on your case. Let me call him since he will be leaving his office in Houston in thirty minutes." It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I thought to myself, "Are you kidding me, these guys are something else!" I should of stopped him right then and there and requested to see Mr. Duenes. But I didn't, since I had all my documentation with me that I showed Mr. Duenes just two weeks earlier. My documentation included copies of my military records demonstrating my left foot injury, the subsequent sever skin infection that I incurred and the residuals of that infection; lymphadenitis in my left leg, swollen and discolored left foot and chronic pain. I also had in my possession, photographs of my left foot and diagnoses letters from physicians stated my current medical conditions and the origin of the residual conditions which are my in-service foot injury/infection. Given the statements that Mr. Duenes made to me and my wife two weeks ago and not wanting to return a third time for an exam, I felt comfortable giving the documentation to Mr. Clark to review on my behalf. So I did so, thinking this was the right move on my part. But it wasn't, as Mr. Clark completed discredited the evidence I provided him stating your condition isn't related to your military service and these doctors are not accurate in their findings!" My wife and I were appalled at his treatment of me. I said, "How could you make such claims as you don't even have my records and you haven't even looked at my foot!" "Photographs were taken of my swollen, discolored left foot in 2009 during my C&P exam in Hawaii and submitted to the VA. The conditions of my foot have not changed since 1982 when the injury and infection occurred." With that he asked me to sit down in an examining chair/table and went went to go get the doctor from across the hall. The fact that Mr. Clark did not have any of my records prior to the examination, nor did he request them in advance to review them except after I provided them to him should be deemed "inappropriate." Clearly, I was placed on unfair "playing grounds!" The cards were stacked against me! The doctor came in the examine room and told me to take off my VA prescribed compression stockings while he sat on a small stool in front of my feet. I followed his orders and the doctor starts forcefully twisting my left foot side to side and starts talking to Mr. Clark instead of me. The doctor tells Mr. Clark, "he doesn't have a problem with his left foot except that it swells up a little more than the right foot." By the time that I was examined, which was after siting in the office less than 15 minutes, both my feet turned bluish/purple and were swollen despite the use of compression stockings. Mr. Clark than tells the doctor that he can't complete his report until he orders studies to be done by at least Vascular. He then asks me, "Were vascular studies ever done?" I replied, "Yes sir, they were ordered by my VA primary care physicians and I even went to see the Orthopedic Clinic. Both the vascular and orthopedic physicians believe that I have a venous insufficiency condition, just like the military doctors diagnosed in 1982. My primary care doctor agrees with their opinions." To that, the doctor tells Mr. Clark, "I'm an orthopedic doctor and I don't see how they concluded that. They are wrong!" Mr. Clark replies to the doctor, "Ok, than I will order X-Rays to be taken." I in turn say, "Sir, what will the x-rays show you Sir? He replied, "Everything!" The physician assistant further stated, "I just got access to your medical records and I see you were treated in your VA records that you were treated by an orthopedic doctor in Hawaii for a growth on the bottom of your left foot. Is that correct?" I said, "That's correct, I had a small bruise on the bottom of my foot which was burned off." Mr. Clark replies, "Doctor, that's why his foot is discolored !" I said, ""That's inaccurate, my foot was chronically swollen, discolored and painful well before that treatment and various VA noted this fact prior to my visit to the orthopedic clinic. They diagnosed my residual conditions as either venous in nature or Raynaud Syndrome." The doctor just laughed and said to Mr. Clark, "Order the studies" and left the office. Afterwards, Mr. Clark walked my wife and I down to the X-Ray clinic at the Frank Tejada Outpatient Clinic where I had several x-rays taken of both my feet. Afterwards, my wife and I left the clinic totally frustrated and quite upset because of how the examination was conducted and with the feeling that my claim would be denied due to the way I was treated and how my evidence was discredited along with the examiner not having my military records. Mr. Clark also ordered a Bone Scan test which I underwent on October 3, 2014. Seeking to have my claim handled fairly and appropriately by the VA, I contacted Mr. Jorge Manuel Vallejo, an advocate representative from the "Fighting For Our Heroes Foundation," who after reviewing my case, made an appointment for me to meet with Senator Cornyn' South Central Texas/El Paso Deputy Regional Director, Mr. Jonathan Huhn on October 21, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. I met with Mr. Huhn who reviewed my case and believed it should be forwarded to Senator Cornyn for action. So I completed a statement and letter for him that described the events surrounding my pending disability claim which was forwarded to Senator Cornyn on October 22, 2014. On December 16, 2014, I received a letter from Senator Cornyn regarding my claim informing me that my claim was finalized. In his letter, it states that the VA wrote him in an email dated December 16, 2014, stating "Senator Cornyn, Mr. McMahon received a $6,357.62 retro payment that was deposited into his account on November 13, 2014." The VA did not look very closely at my claim or file when they provided this information to Senator Cornyn. First of all, this payment had nothing to do with my pending claim for the increase of my current service connected 0% disability rating for "residuals of foot injury." These monies were owed me as back payment for my dependents from a favorable decision made by the VA on my behalf for a separate and different claim I submitted on September 14, 2009. In their letter addressed to me dated December 7, 2010, I was assigned a 10% rating for Cervical Spine, mild right C5-C6 foraminal stenosis and degenerative disc disease and an increase from 10% to 20% for Degenerative joint disease, thoracolumbar spine. It took the VA nearly three years to pay me the compensation for my dependents from those approved service connected disabilities. Clearly the VA misguided Senator Cornyn. I have tried my best in being patient with the C&P examiners and the entire VA claims process. It is my hope that the VA will review my claim and all the evidence that I have submitted to them, provide with an accurate evaluation, and approve my claim for an increase of disability rating that is higher than my current 0% rating for Code 5284; Residuals of Foot Injury. Both VA physicians and civilian doctors have examined my left foot and noted on numerous occasions that I suffer from chronic severe swelling, discoloration, pain, edema and venous insufficiency in my left foot. Their well documented notes indicate that my medical conditions are identical to the diagnosed residuals of my service connected foot injury/infection episode in May of 1982. Therefore, it is "as least likely as not," that my diagnosed medical condition are the by products of my service connected foot injury/infection and are residual disabilities of my foot injury. It is my hope that my claim will be resolved soon with a favorable decision made on my behalf. Thank you for your time considering my request. Respectfully submitted, Tim
  25. 1 point
    Most people think VA is a unifed body. That is, if you file xx, then VA will yy. This is not always, or even most of the time the case, especially with ebenefits. Ebenefits varies wideley among RO's as to when/if they update it, how accurately the do so, and more. You just dont know. Sometimes, VA has been somewhat good about keeping my ebenefits up to date and accurate, while other times its terrible. Its as unreliable as a drunk, drug addicted teenager working at McDonalds.
  26. 1 point
    sorry i misread that. the examiner opined in your favor. that said, i'm concerned about only one entry in your military medical record. i got denied for service connection for my lower back because i had only 2 entries in my medical record. that was before examiners were opining least as likely or least likely. talon might be correct, you may get only 0 percent. what was your range of motion during your c&p?
  27. 1 point
    Get your Enlisted personnel records and enlisted medical records. Get a Veterans Service Officer after you receive your records.
  28. 1 point
    The VA did an MRI in January of neck and lower back, found out I have a bulging disk in my neck, impinging on foramina (?) space, have some radiating pain into left shoulder because of that. So for VA, I will claim: - Tinnitus with mild hearing loss (can pass standard hearing test, but great difficulty hearing when there is background noise, haven't had SPRINT test) - Cervical degeneration - Degenerative disk disease (mid and lower back) - Sacroiliac joint disorder - Patellofemoral disorder, secondary to grade 3 arthritis in knees - PTSD - Chronic pain/fibromyalgia - Degenerative scoliosis (mild curvature in upper and lower back, can probably prove that didn't exist prior to service, but may still not be considered service connected) Arthritis will probably be service aggravated vs. service connected, even though I'm only 45. I didn't even know I had arthritis until I fell first part of last year and tore the meniscus in my right knee (not service connected on that, happened at home)....but knee pain has been constant since surgery. Fortunately, outside of the knee surgery, I've had most everything handled at the VA, so hopefully will make the process smoother. It's the military that's making everything difficult, that's why I decided to go ahead and file with the VA to get a head start.
  29. 1 point
    With all due respect, there is no such thing as "slowing down" a VA claim, as they already move at the slowest rate possible. If they went any slower, they would have to go in reverse and return all our applications back to us. Case in point: Claim submitted in 2002. Not adjuticated until 2008 (six years for initial adjutication) Timely appealed, and went to BVA in 2012, where it was remanded. (That's 10 years total, so far!) Of course, it takes the RO another 3 years to implement a decision where "expiditious treatment" is required. I appealed the second denial, and it went to the board a second time in Feb. 2016. NOw, its being appealed to the CAVC. Fourteen years...no end in sight as the most likely result is...you guessed it...another remand. Please tell me how this claim could be slowed down???? I dont check on the "status", I drive stakes in the ground to see if it moved at all that year. I should get a senior citizen discount. I think I will apply for an "over age 75" special request status, now, because, by the time the act on it, I will be over 75. (Im in my early 60's).
  30. 1 point
    Berta has done well with asking VA to Cue themselves. She is exceptionally thorough and knows VA regulations better than many/most lawyers. I would rather stick my hand in a meat grinder than go against Berta, she is the best of the best. Only Alex (ask nod) has an understanding of VA law like her, and even then, Berta is the undisputed authority on any VA claims having anything to do with widows, or 1151. Alex is the expert on hep c claims. You wont go wrong taking Alex or Berta's advice, and I suggest you take their advice even when it conflicts with mine. Berta A+ Alex A+
  31. 1 point
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