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!