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pdepalma

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About pdepalma

  • Rank
    E-2 Recruit

Previous Fields

  • Service Connected Disability
    70%
  1. I filed a Request for Reconsideration on my Claim on Dec 15, 2013. About 30 days ago the VARO sent me paperwork to fill out for TDIU. I filled it out (and hand delivered it to the Satellite Office of my VARO here in Sacramento because that is where my claim was physically being handled. I am 70% SC all in my Lower Extremeties) on April 24th, 2014. Today the status of that claim changed in eBenefits that a Decision had been made and a Development Letter has been sent. In 24 yrs of dealing with the VA I have NEVER seen a rating decision made so fast...and it makes me a little bit nervous! Has anyone else seen them move this fast? I am not really sure how to take this. Positive? Negative? Anyone care to share an opinion? (I realize no one can answer definitively...I am venting!) If you want a little background you can read this thread:
  2. pdepalma

    Tdiu Claim Questions

    To answer your Questions... 1) In 2005 The C&P Examiner Opined that the Back injury was "as Likely as not..." (Which should have caused them to rule in my favor) but the Rating specialist Denied based on two factors... 1) He couldnt find it in my Military Medical Record (Duh! They didnt do the MRI til 10 yrs later!) and 2) They claimed I hadnt shown for my C&P. Ummm...the Examiner rendered an opinion based upon the exam! To me honest, I got sick of the VA's shenanigans and walked away for several years. at the time ?I could afford my own medical...that is no longer the case. 2) I had a C&P done, Yes. In fact they even did an extra one. that was the first time I was ever sent for multiple C&Ps...it rather surprised me. 3) Yes, the X-Ray was done by the VA...as was the MRI. The X-Ray did not initially reveal the damage and I was told by the X-Ray Tech that spinal fractures do not always show on X-Rays. 4) As for SSDI, I recently found out I don't have enough recent credits to qualify since I havent been able to work since 2005. 5) The Test for the Spinal Damage (Spinal contusion) was performed by the VA Doctor who specializes in Spinal Injuries and Rehabilitative Medicine. I believe it was her detailed notes that got me the jump in my current disability. She is actually with UCDavis but works with the VA as part of the partnership between the VAMC and the UCDavis Medical School. They just started treating the Back issue a few years ago when my financial situation deteriorated enough to where the VA started giving me full medical treatment. Unfortunately I wasnt eligible until then... I do have the Decision info but dont have my scanner up and running at the moment. I am aware of many of the tricks and games the VARO's can play and I am watching the timeline very closely. When I filed my reconsideration I summed up the disability, the NEXUS, and the proper decision in 16 pt type, bolded, in red with yellow highlight, and then attached a copy of the CFR that applied. If they happen to rule against me then, on appeal, its going to make the Rating Specialist look REALLY bad! lol As for the TDIU Paperwork, I provided a detailed list of my meds and dosages. Even the average layperson has some understanding of how narcotic pain killers, especially at their max dosage, can affect a persons mental clarity, so I imagine that should work in my favor. I apologize for the delay in my response. I kind of have to type this up in parts since sitting too long is a bit of an issue these days. Thanks to all of you who responded with very helpful information. I just have one question for SVR... I am not clear on how this matter might be a 1151 Issue? I thought that was predominantly used for injuries sustained as the direct result of a VA action or while participating in Voc Rehab? Could you elaborate?
  3. I recently applied for TDIU after the VARO sent me the paperwork to fill out of their own accord. What I am curious about is why no two people at the VA or DAV seem to be able to agree on eligibility. DAV says I am definitely Eligible. The Benefits Counselor I sat down with at the Satellite of my Regional Office tried to tell me that I was not. I am currently 70% and have a reconsideration in because I dont feel my claim was handled properly. I will explain more on that in a moment... My rating breaks down as follows: 20% Rt Knee (Post OP Reconstruction DJD) 20% Neuropathy Rt Lower Extremity 20% Rt Ankle Partial Paralysis 10% Left Knee 10% Left Ankle I wear a brace on my right leg that locks my leg at 60% so that I don't fall when my leg quits on me. I also walk with a cane. These are both VA Dr. Prescribed. I had also claimed my Back due to a T-8 Compression Fracture and Spinal Contusion but they denied it because XRays had not initially revealed it even though I was complaining of pain all along. Several Years later they performed an MRI and discovered the Fracture...that was 2005. the Spinal Contusion and Spinal Cord Damage wasnt discovered until last year when a Dr actually finally tested me for it. This last claim jumped me from 20% all the way to 70% but what surprised me is that they SC all of this even though its caused by the back injury BUT...they denied the Back for SC. Go Figure... ALL of my SC is in my Lower Extremities which, to me and to the DAV Officer, satisfies 38 CFR 4.16 Part 1 yet the VA's Benefit Counselor tried to tell me that my Neuropathy disqualified me because its not an actually disability of the lower extremity. (I will clarify the VA's Counselor was extremely arrogant and worked overtime to convince me that he knew everything there was to know about...well. EVERYTHING!) This makes no sense to me because the wording on my award letter is precisely...and I quote "Service Connection for Neuropathy, Right Lower Extremity is awarded..." So I would like the input of any of you other Vets who have been thru this process... Bottom Line, I cannot Sit longer than 30 min without searing neuropathic pain and spasms in my right leg and cannot stand for than 15 min or so without extreme discomfort (pain, instability, etc) in my right leg. This doesnt include the damage to my back that has me permanently wearing a TLSO Brace (Full Torso Back Brace) and nauseating back pain that sets in after about 10 minutes standing. The Back Claim is currently being reconsidered. The only relief I get is laying down flat on my back for around 2 hours. Its a heck of a way to exist...And I have not been able to work since 2005 So my Two Questions are: 1) In your Opinion...does my rating satisfy the requirements for TDIU 2) For those who have gone thru this process, Please give your opinion of my chances...and fill me in on what to expect as the process unfolds... And I thank you in advance for your input and advice.
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