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About semperfam

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    E-3 Seaman

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service

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  1. I am not a hip replacement patient (yet), but something I was surprised to find out when I just had double knee replacements. According to my VSO: You want them service connected, even at 0%. Ideally, you are found to be SC prior to surgery. If the joint is replaced, you should qualify for temp 100% rating on the joint for 13 months-the month of surgery, plus 12 more. You send in your surgical report to VA as proof. If not SC, then no temp 100% rating. For the knees (and I am thinking it similar for hips) after the 13 months, you are rated either 30% or 60% for post-joint replacement residuals. Meaning, my SC knees will never be rated less than 30% each, plus the bilateral factor. I saw that the VA was trying to reduce the amount of months for temp total disability back in 2017 to 4 months, but it's generally accepted that the recovery time for a total joint replacement is one year, regardless of hospitalization. I am 3 weeks out from bilateral knee replacements, and it is not for the faint of heart.
  2. Thank you, BroncoVet and Berta. I am not as concerned with my effective date as trying to determine "what" to claim. I understand that they need to be current issues (I have many), but was curious about what constituted "nexus". Appreciate you.
  3. Hi all, I have a dumb question about service connection. Backstory: Apparently, I did not do myself any favors upon my retirement and initial VA claim-I did not claim several conditions (just choosing the worst ones) and the VA rated me pretty fairly (60%) in my first claim. I then did nothing for 9 years as my health deteriorated-put simply, I just felt like it was too much to ask. After having a Gulf War exam with a letter of admission for presumptive conditions from the examiner, and then having double knee replacements and needing both hips, I am finally ready to go after what I feel I deserve. It is unfortunate, since all of this compensation won't be effective till my intent to file date. However, I have learned a few things and am telling my fellow vets to go through their records with a fine tooth comb, consider ALL issues when doing their VA medical exam after retirement, and document, document, document. As an example, I am SC for my right knee and hip, but never filed a claim on my left knee and hip. They ARE in my service medical records as issues, with statements such as "increased instability and pain in L knee" and "audible grinding bilateral". These notes pale in comparison to the records for my right knee, which had 3 surgeries while active duty. There are several issues that are like this-documented in my record, but I did not claim them as issues originally. So my question is: if it is in my military medical records as an issue that I sought treatment for or as a peripheral "current issue" listed, does this give the VA sufficient evidence for service connection? These are current medical issues for me as well, ones that I am being treated for in the civilian sector, and I have provided those records to VA via eBenefits. Thanks in advance.
  4. Vync, I've done a request for my personnel records in May and the NPRC has sent me a notification that they have not received the records (I retired in '09) and has directed it to HQMC. I have a few documents and copies from reenlistments, but not anything that would depict my entire service. My DD-214 is correct, and my "summary" from the eBenefits is sort of correct-missing awards but my deployments, combat, hazardous duty periods are correct. Thanks.
  5. Thanks Buck, Yeah, as my health has deteriorated rapidly since I got out, I didn't spend a lot of time learning about how to approach the claim. My wife has taken on the burden of getting it all organized and looking at all the things that are in my record. Since most of my health issues appear to be presumptively connected to my Gulf War service (via a letter I got from the GW examiner), I would very much like to know what is in my records.
  6. Good morning all, My VA Claim was on autopilot for almost 9 years and I am now applying for increases and new claims that were missed at my retirement/discharge C&P exam. I have never requested my C File, and I understand this holds the key to what the VA has to decide my claim. I am missing 10 years of military medical records, '87-'97 (some missing since the Gulf War). I currently have a claim in "gathering evidence stage". Would it be best to request my C File under FOIA now, or wait till I get a decision and then request before I appeal? Curious if anyone had experience requesting a C file while a claim was in process. Thanks.
  7. Hi Berta, I did over 20 years active, so I guess I'm a lifer. Some days, it feels like more "life" than others. I am currently receiving CRDP and disability compensation at 60%. I am guessing that the claim I'll make will just increase my percentage. Much of my health issues I think are related to my Gulf service and they are all in my records-burning eyes, severe joint pain, severe fatigue, memory loss, weird rashes that come and go, breathing issues (I have sleep apnea also). I have young kids and my health is declining so significantly that I wonder what the future holds for me. So far I think I've been really fortunate to have my claims adjudicated fairly and properly, but that's no reason to not inform myself about what's coming. I am concerned that I do the claim right, so I am not sure what evidence that I need to include-does the exam come into play? I am thinking that I have to claim each ailment in the letter as seperate-fatigue as one, joint pain as one, and reference them all as presumptive GW conditions? I'm currently being 'seen' for these symptoms by both VA and private physicians, and have had multiple medical tests over 3+ years that all come back inconclusive; yet, all of my physicians agree that something is definitely wrong. For my original claim when I retired, they just looked at my service medical records. Thank you so much for your help thus far-this community here is really helping those in the fight.
  8. Hey folks- New to the forum, here. USMC retiree, currently at 70% disability, 60% for compensation. I have not had much difficulty with claims and such after reading all the posts-it's been pretty cut and dry for me and I've gotten fantastic service @ VA. However, I have been struggling with chronic fatigue, joint pain, rash, memory loss, etc since Persian Gulf (also did OIF). I told the Gulf War rep @ my VA, and he said I needed to do a GW Registry Exam. I did. I just got a letter back from the VA that states: "The examination is complete. Based on this exam we found: Following conditions which have been found to be presumptively secondary to Gulf War Service: Undiagnosed illnesses to possibly include fatigue, joint pain, rash, and shortness of breath." My question is, what does this mean? I understand a bit about the presumptive conditions listed by the VA and I guess this falls under chronic, multisymptom undiagnosed illness (I don't have a diagnosis and have been to so many Dr's I lose count). I am assuming I need to file a claim for these presumptive conditions-but do I have to prove service connection now, or did this letter just do it for me? What happens next? Appreciate any advice you can throw my way. I just don't want my claim to be screwed up. Thanks.
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