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Everything posted by Cammy

  1. My brother was diagnosed with Huntingtons Chorea. My Grandfather had it and my Father has it and the disease is hereditary. My brother is trying to show that the Huntingtons may have been present while he was in the Navy (end of enlistment discharge in 1990). He has a letter form a neurologist that states the disease more than likely could have been detected while he was on AD and because it was not he was naot able to recieve treatment before or after dischrage. Has anyone ever delt with a Huntingtons claim? This is a rare disease but I'm hoping someone has had some experience.
  2. yes 50% is max unless you can get an extra schedular rating. A way around it????????? Do tell. Mine are rated as migaines but are more of the cluster type in that they come and go lasting a month to six months at a stretch and going into hiding for months at a time. Copy on the treatment working. As a fellow sufferer you know that these things never go away. They lay in wait for you and get you when you're not looking.
  3. OK so it has been a long while since I have posted but have question for the guru's. My PCP recently perscribed oxygen as a treatment for my headaches (supposed to lessen the affects of the headache). Does this open any doors for #1 an extra schedular rating (above current 50% rating) or #2 a new rating because I have oxygen prescribed. Any thoughts?
  4. I don't understand your reasoning for saying that IU is not implied when there is a significant impact on the economic well being of a veteran with migraines. A "severe impact" to me says that the individual is less likely to earn a living than someone who does not have migraines. I know that this has been a topic of discussion before and is even mentioned in several court documents. Just throwing my 2 cents in. My overall rating is 90%. 50% for Migraines, 50% for depression, 40% for lower back strain with siatica, plus others that bring the total to an actual of 92.168%. I find it hard to believe that IU would not be awarded based only on the 50% rating for migraines. I'm not ready to play the IU card at this time and have recently applied for VOC-REHAB. I'm not holding my breath there as I attended college before retirement and have a Masters in Business Administration. My feeling is that they (VA) will tell me I have all the tools I need to get a $30K a year job. That coupled with my VA disability and retirement should be enough to live on.
  5. Would the wording in the 50% diagnosis for headaches constitute infered TDIU? "With very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability"
  6. Thanks Berta for the heads up on the PIES. The vet I am helping had several ratings (MOS,AFSC) while in the Navy. Of that list he has one probable and two minimal according to the PIES list. OK so now the VA can say that there wasn't significant exposure while in service right? I'll be doing some research on the vessels he served on next.
  7. Other guy, Navy 1945-1948 and again 1950-1952. Served aboard ARD's (Auxillary Repair Dock). Held ratings as a metal smith and shipfitter. Both jobs were basically the same, maintain heating, air conditioning and ventalation systems as well as boiler type work. He can remember having to take apart ductwork and repair or replace asbestos insulation. The ARD's were basically a floating dry dock similar in design to the ship that brought the USS Cole back to the U.S.. He was awarded some cash in one of the asbestos law suits a few years ago but alas he foolishly squandered it on food and rent. Here is the statement I put with his package. Comments welcome I served in the United States Navy between 1945and 1948 and again from 1950 to 1952. I was trained as a ship fitter in 1945 and assigned to the USS Thompson DMS 38. As a ship fitter it was my responsibility to maintain the structural hull and mechanical systems on the ship. The mechanical systems included the boiler as well as the heating and ventilation systems. It is well documented that the Naval ships of this era utilized asbestos as hull insulation and insulation for steam and ventilation pipes. My work required that I perform my duties in close proximity to asbestos covered hulls and pipes. When a system malfunction occurred, the asbestos insulation would have to be removed in order to affect repairs. It is during the period of 1945 through 1948 that my first exposure to asbestos occurred. In 1950 I was called back to active duty during the Korean Conflict. During this period of active service I was assigned to the USS ARD (Auxiliary Repair Dock) -20 and the USS ARD-31 as a ship-fitter/metal smith until 1952. These ships were floating dry dock vessels tasked with completing repairs to ships in the theater of operations including battle damage and major hull damage repairs. During this period of service I was trained as a sheet metal worker and was assigned to repair and maintain the heating and cooling systems. This assignment required that I fabricate, repair and or replace damaged duct work which again was insulated with asbestos material. When I left active military service I did not apply for VA disability benefits and until recently was unaware that I was eligible to apply for disability benefits. I have received heath related care from a VA medical facility and I am currently registered in the VA health care system. I have been diagnosed and I am currently being treated for asbestosis by my civilian health care provider. I have been told by my doctor that I have only 1/3 of normal lung capacity and have been prescribed oxygen which I use daily. Based on the nature of my active duty job assignments and periods of service it is my belief that my asbestosis is a result of exposure to asbestos during active military service. I requested a copy of my service medical records from the National Archives in St Louis some time ago but have not received correspondence regarding those records. Your assistance in processing my claim for disability benefits is greatly appreciated.
  8. I have a relative that is a WWII Vet that never filed for disability. He now is diagnosed with asbestosis. Having read here that so many of you have taken control of your own cases, I helped him fill out the VA claim form, get his DD 214, and documentation from his primary care provider (civilian). We sent his claim package and recieved a letter from the VA saying that they have recieved his claim and will process it. In talking to the local AMVET rep he tells me that I screwed up. According to the AMVET rep "...the VA will eat him up because he does not have representation". The rep told me that no service organization will take his case and represent him to the VA after the claim is filed. So basically this guy is taking on the VA by himself. So did I screw up? Is it ok to have filed the claim (this vet could die tomorrow) without a VSO? Is the local VSO just blowing smoke? This VSO has my power of attorney and has filed paperwork for me in the past. Having said that, I sometimes have a better idea what is going on than this guy so my confidence level with this guy is not sky high. To be brutally honest I get the impression that he is paid on commision.
  9. Wow I didn't realize how long it has been since I posted to this forum. Here is the original topic I posted in October of 2006. I retired from the Air Force in June of 2005 and was awarded a combined rating of 90%. 50% of that rating is for chronic migraine headaches. In September of 2006 I asked the VA to reopen my claim for the headaches due to the frequency and severity of the headaches increasing. I have a C&P scheduled for 1 November. Here is my question. Knowing that the VA can award an extra-schedular rating what are the chances that this may happen? I know that this type of rating is applied in the rare case but how rare does it have to be? In that rare case where they award an extra-schedular rating how much higher do they go (or are they inclined to go)?
  10. I am currently taking burupropion (welbutrin) check spelling on both of these as I tend to spell these phonetically cause I'm too lazy to go get it out of the cabinet. Too soon to tell if it helps but it does save on the alcohol. Tell my wife it feels like I've got a cheap beer buzz without the hangover.
  11. Time, Sounds like you have the system working for you. Unfortunatly for me I take 5mg of Zomig in a nasal inhaler. Most times it knocks the headaches down in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes. However there are those times that it just takes the edge off for a few hours. I understand the want to die comment, been there begged for that a few nights. There was acctually a group that petitioned Congress to enact a bill that would provide for a 100% rating for migraines. Of course that was back in the '90's and nothing ever came of it. But hey they VA change 38 CFR to make it harder for Vets to get compensated for back injuries so they do change things.
  12. Or as jstacy has just pointed out the vetran can be considered Totally Disabled based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)
  13. More information is required to answer your question. Is the 90% rating from one disability? What is the disability? Is the veteran considered unemployable? Generally if a veteran reaches the 90% level on a schedular rating (by use of VA math the veterans disabilities add up to a TRUE 90% or greater disability not a rounded to 90% rating) the veteran can be moved to the 100% level. It would depend on what the disability/disabilities is/are and what was requested by the veteran or awarded by the VA.
  14. I don't pay for VA meds and I have a $9.00 co-pay for Tri-care meds. Carlie you say "Most service connected vets and/or people with disabilities spend NO days without medications and their side effects." UMMM HELLO? I get at best 18 doses of Zomig in 30 days. worst case scenario 2 headaches a day X 30 days = 60 doses required. Best case scenario 1 headache a day X 30 days = 30 doses required. Ok just for the for the off chance that the three week Tricare script got filled early it's 18 doses a month. If not we are talking only 12 doses in a 30 day period. Side effects of my meds are no headaches. I'll take that.
  15. Started on Topomax a week ago just seems to dull the headache so its just not as sharp. I take Zomig to abort the headache. The problem is each dose is $33.00 and the VA only gives me 6 doses a month. The VA doc gave a perscription that Tri-Care fills but they fill it at 6 doses every three weeks. Sounds like a story problem from school, "How many days does Cammy spend without meds?" Now can you see where the depression comes in to play?
  16. John, Concurent reciept for retiree's is automatic if they are service conected and rated at 50% or higher. I'm not worried about "sqeezing" I'm looking for the slam dunk. I've got nothing but time and don't mind doing the research to to win.
  17. No known reason. Have had MRI, X-ray, chiropractor, Herbal remadies, done food diary, kept track of weather, kept track of allergy reports, you name it have tried it. I have seen two different neurologists (military) and both just handed me perscriptions for what ever would make the headache stop. If you told me chicken feet would make it stop I would try it today.
  18. While the case does mention headaches there are a lot of other factors in this case. The gentleman won his case in that he was awarded a 50% rating (previous was 10%) but the board thought that other health factors contributed to his inability to work. I am hoping that the frequency and severity of my headaches alone are enough to warrant a higher rating.
  19. Never thought about getting rated TDIU. I guess its a pride thing. Too many of these guys that were in Vietnam, Gulf War, OIF, Afganistan and other places that came home shot up gave more than me. My family always says I should be proud that I did 20 years but feel like I didn't do my share sometimes. Funny you should mention the depression. Not funny ha ha but I am rated at 10% based on treatment for alcohol abuse in 1995. 10% awarded based on mild symptoms transient in nature, GAF score of 80. I did not utilize mental health services after 1995 while on active duty (don't want people to think I'm crazy thing) but did use the chaplin service A LOT. Started seeing a VA shrink shortly after getting into the VA system. Initially declined meds but have since started Brupropion. This is the only antidepressant that I can take that will not interfere with my headache meds. VA shrink has changed diagnosis to mild to moderate do not know if GAF has changed. Headaches playing a major role in the depression. At this point the pain is unbearable and the uncertanty of when and where the next headache will come is wearing me down. Some days it is a real struggle just to get out of bed. Headaches are like being shot in the head and come on in a mater of a couple of minutes. Imagine the worst icecream headache you have ever had and multiply it by 10. shrink it to the size of a quarter focus it behind your right eye and have it go through your head and come out behind your right ear. Now at the same time have the entire right side of your face go numb and droop, your right arm go limp and have speech become a problem. Sounds like a stroke right? Nope thats my headache. Now have that headache last three to four hours and happen everyday for a week to two months one to two times a day. Never at the same time during the year, never knowing a precursor and you can see why I am asking for an extra schedular rating. I work as an on call substitute teacher for now but cannot work for fear of getting a headache in the classroom. I would like to pursue a career as a teacher but at this time it is not looking good.
  20. First let me say that I have spent many hours lurking here and have learned a great deal from you all. I want to thank all of you for your time and dedication to your fellow veteran. I retired from the Air Force in June of 2005 and was awarded a combined rating of 90%. 50% of that rating is for chronic migraine headaches. In September of 2006 I asked the VA to reopen my claim for the headaches due to the frequency and severity of the headaches increasing. I have a C&P scheduled for 1 November. Here is my question. Knowing that the VA can award an extra-schedular rating what are the chances that this may happen? I know that this type of rating is applied in the rare case but how rare does it have to be? In that rare case where they award an extra-schedular rating how much higher do they go (or are they inclined to go)?
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