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  1. Hello I am posting this in the hopes that I can get some insight on my situation, A brief description about myself, I served in the active duty army as an EOD technician from 03-08, conducting 2 tours of duty in Iraq. I then served in the army reserve from 09-11 however I did not see combat during this time. I received an approval for PTSD and brain damage with 70% for PTSD and 0% for brain damage, which I agree with the VA's assessment on the rating as I feel this best describes my mood and habits for the past few years and have been receiving VA assistance for them since 2010. I also applied for claims for lower back pain, right knee pain, tinnitus and sleep apnea all of which were denied due to not being service connected. During my time in active duty I did not request any medical services for any of my issues due to my fear of being removed from the EOD community and I did not have a lot of time available to me to seek medical attention (EOD techs are busy stateside even when not in deployments). When I was in the reserves (early 2010 to be exact) I went to the VA to seek medical assistance with all of the claims I described above. I received multiple MRI's from the VA and my civilian doctor for my lower back in which I was advised I have arthritis, bone spurs and degenerative disk disease which causes constant pain. I was advised by my civilian medical provider that these issues were due to the extensive lifting and bending I did during my time in active duty however this was not specified in any documentation he provided to me. I have received a MRI through the VA for my knee pain in which I was never advised on what was actually causing me pain. As an EOD technician dealing with explosions on an almost daily basis during my time in Iraq I assumed tinnitus would have been given to me. Since I started seeing the VA I have been receiving sleeping pills to help me sleep, I also received a sleep study for sleep apnea in which the VA advised I had sleep apnea. When I submitted my initial claim I only had a few civilian medical documents for my back and a dd214 from my time in active duty, I did not have my medical files for either active duty or reserves and did not have my dd214 (not sure if same document) for my time in the reserves at which my representative told me not to worry about it, that the VA would pull all military documents. Since I started seeing the VA for medical assistance while I was still technically in the service (reserves) I assumed the claims I filled for would be covered as service related, not just the ones that applied to my active duty time. I am not sure if I should file an appeal as I do not want my PTSD rating to drop however I feel the VA was incorrect in their determination of my other claims based on the fact that I started seeing the VA for these issues when I was still in the reserves. I am not sure what route I should take in this as I have heard a lot of horror stories about the claim process yet so far I was lucky to have my claim completed in 6 months and given a high percentage for the PTSD issue. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Hello, I have a question regarding the claim I just filed and am hoping I can get some help. A little background on myself I was a EOD tech in the active duty army from 03-08 and I then joined the army reserves from 09-11. During my time in active duty I never went to sick call or discussed any issues I may have had due to fearing my removal from the EOD community, I did not start seeking assistance for my issues until 2010 through the va. I filed for ptsd and brain damage which i was awarded 70% for ptsd and 0% for brain damage. I do not have any issues with their determination as I feel this does accurately portray my moods and habits for the past few years. I also filed for lower back pain, right knee problems, sleep apnea and tinittus, all of which were denied due to the va determining they were not service connected. I completed multiple MRI's for my back, which I have arthritis and bone spurs as well as degenerate disk disease all of which cause constant pain in my back. I was told by my doctor could have been caused from my time in the army. I also completed a MRI for my knee which I have yet to receive an explanation on why I am having knee pain. I completed the sleep study and was advised I do have sleep apnea. I have also been receiving sleeping pills to help me go to sleep from the va since 2010 as it takes me a few hours to go to sleep. Due to my exposures to explosions as a EOD tech I would have assumed tinittus was a gimme. Although I did not seek medical attention for these issues when I was in active duty I did start receiving treatment for them in 2010, while I was still in the reserves. When I submitted my claim all I had on me was my dd214 from active duty and a few documents from my personal doctor outside the va but the documents did not connect my back issues to the army, I also did not have any information for my reserve time. My va representative at the time told me not to worry about it, the va would pull all files including the dd214 (not sure if same form) for my time in the reserves. What I am concerned about is that maybe the va did not pull my reserve information and are basing the denial on my active duty time only. I am not sure if I want to appeal as I do not want my ptsd rating to drop yet I feel they incorrectly denied my other claims. What should I do? Any info would be greatly appreciated!!
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