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Master Chief Petty Officer
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About K_C

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability

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  1. @Navy04 Evidence is scant but there is at least a little, plus I can get a buddy letter from the driver. I am working on getting some kind of record of the accident, but so far it's proven more evasive than I expected it would be. I thought accident records would be relatively easy to get from the DMV or law enforcement. Apparently not. @jfrei It's not SC'd because I've never claimed it. I've had migraines since the accident, 14 years ago, but only recently started claiming any of my disabilities. I didn't even know veterans disability existed until about 2013, more than five years after discharge. Happy Thanksgiving.
  2. @Navy04 I have a brain scan via mri ordered now. Though, I've read that brain scans are mostly meant to help treat immediately following TBI or treat very severe TBI. Years later a TBI isn't guaranteed to show any signs at all, especially a mild one. I suspect my TBI was mild and it happened 14 years ago, so unfortunately it probably won't help me. Definitely worth doing either way. @jfrei You didn't misread. There's no way for me to contact the other driver because I never even spoke with her and this was 14 years ago halfway across the world. I have been in touch with LE agencies as well as the state DMV trying to get records of the accident. So far, it's like pulling teeth, but there's still hope. The driver has also contacted his insurance company, but they said they wouldn't have record of it anymore. Thank you both for the info.
  3. Sorry @broncovet, yes I understand about the in-service event now and believe it's manageable. I have my C-File and everything highly organized at this point from my other claim, I hope everyone reading this does the same--it's one of the most valuable pieces of advice out there. I will work on the diagnosis of TBI now that I understand it is necessary. Thank you for clearing up my confusion.
  4. Thanks @broncovet I didn't realize that (an old TBI diagnosis can have a current diagnosis). I'll have to check with my neuro or IMO provider to see if this is something they can diagnosis currently despite the event being years ago. I did read that TBI can show on MRI, but diagnostic tests are not guaranteed to uncover a TBI. I have no diagnosis of TBI, ever. I have the in service event (auto accident) and some loose documentation in my service records (because I was having persistent issues with my eye and vision after the accident). I was a passenger, no alcohol or any kind of misconduct involved. The other driver was at fault too.
  5. Thanks broncovet. I appreciate the info. This is my hang up: I need a current diagnosis of "Traumatic Brain Injury"? Is there even such a thing, since the TBI event was years ago? Like my analogy, if I broke my ankle ten years ago, but today have ankle problems, I wouldn't have a current diagnosis of broken ankle. This is where I am still confused. Do I need to ask my doctor to specifically diagnosis a TBI right now, or just draw a nexus from TBI event to migraine diagnosis?
  6. I have a question about proving my particular TBI and nexus. Looking for any help. All advice is welcome. Thanks in advance. No in-service diagnosis of TBI Was a passenger in an auto-accident while on active duty, was unconscious for an unknown amount of time (likely 5-10 minutes), and both myself and the driver (who was also active duty) experienced what I now understand to be symptoms of TBI following the accident. Did seek medical attention for several weeks following the incident, and the auto accident is documented there. However, I was only seeking help for an eye and vision issue that persisted after the accident. We never even discussed other symptoms, just the eye issues. There was no diagnosis of TBI and I was never even evaluated for it. I plan on having a sworn statement from myself and the driver, and possibly a coworker/room-mate at the time, entered into the claim detailing the event and what followed. I have a photo of the front of the wrecked car, and another of the front with me and the driver kneeling in front of it, but they are not dated and I'm not sure if/what weight it has as evidence. I have been trying to get some record of the accident, particular one listing me as a passenger, but thus far it's been fruitless. I have reached out to all law enforcement agencies I believe would have covered that jurisdiction and they could no locate any record of the accident, though having more information for their search to begin with might help (such as the date and exact location). The driver of my vehicle was not at fault and therefore not cited, which seems to make it harder to find. The driver has contacted the auto insurance company he had at the time, but they no longer have any records. My currently-pending research is focused on obtaining vehicle history for his car, as well as his driver's record. He is fully cooperative in this endeavor. Knowing the above information, and given any experience you've had with scarcely documented events or similar claims, any advice on proving the event and TBI? Is there any evidence I already have that should be emphasized? Is there any evidence which could be harmful, or assertions I should avoid making that might muddy the waters? Is there evidence I don't seem to be considering that might be worth seeking out?
  7. Hello everyone, This question feels incredibly silly, but it's stumping me. Would like to claim Migraine headaches due to TBI Not currently rated for TBI Not (currently) seeking anything related to the TBI other than migraines Are the migraines secondary to TBI, or Are the migraines directly service connected with TBI being the in-service event? If the migraines are secondary to TBI, how does one ever get a current diagnosis of TBI, seeing as it's an event sort of thing? Or, how do you work around this? In other words, if I broke a bone ten years ago I wouldn't be able to get a current diagnosis of broken bone, thus there is no "broken bone" disability. I would claim the actual disability that exists today, but referencing the broken bone incident as the alleged in-service event and cause. I imagine this is how it works with TBI; claim the current disability but reference the TBI as the in-service event and show nexus between them. Or, am I way off? Thank you in advance!
  8. Wow, asknod, you never disappoint. It's worth loitering around here just to see your commentary on the VA, if nothing else. I decided to go with my attorney's advice on anything appeal-related (basically anything they represent me on). I do my research and I see a lot of great info here and there, but I sought highly-rated legal representation because I felt they could navigate the appeals better than I could, when push came to shove, so that's what I'm going to do--let go and let lawyer. I put the RO visit idea in their court to see what they advise. If they don't oppose it, I'm doing it. I have had success getting mistakes corrected by going up the VA chain before (on the VAMC side), so right now I can't see how this could hurt short of retaliation. If I get the go on the RO visit or advice from my attorney on why it's not a good idea in my case, I will report back.
  9. Appreciate the responses. I have put all of the RO-level options I'm interested in in front of my attorney, but I'm confident that the path he chooses will be the best and have said I will follow his advice on the matter. I just have to wait for him to review everything and let me know which way we'll go. I'm interested in the idea of getting things done at the RO, but really only if there's a high probability it's going to get action in less than a year. I feel there's a more likely than not chance that the RO is going to spit out the same decision without much, or any, new investment in fact checking. So if it's something that is going to take a long time, I'd rather just be in line at the BVA I suppose. Thank you all!
  10. On asknod's recent blog post on VBMS (VBMS–THE NEW ELECTRONIC FRONTIER-PART I) he suggests visiting the RO an attempt to speak to your rater, in person: Sounds interesting, but what are the chances that (1) I'll actually get the face-to-face with the rater and (2) that I'll be escorted out of the building by VA MPs as soon as I show up asking to speak to the rater? Okay, so I'm mostly joking on #2, but really, it seems like just another one of those situations where you'll be told to shove off, there's no way, Sir! I love the idea in concept, but what is the reality of the situation? How many have tried? Succeeded? Any suggestions for success? Any pitfalls to watch out for? Note: This is about a denial that happened in August in which I was not given a C&P, the decision reason is complete nonsense (gasp!); I now have an IMO that asserts my present condition exists, impacts work, and is more likely than not SC'd; and several new signed sworn declarations. Also, thanks to all who have helped me along the way. It has been invaluable to the successes I have managed to secure. Last post I was on the fence yet again about my VSO. I finally dropped him and obtained a real life attorney. (I've posted this here instead of asking directly so others might benefit from the question. I searched the forums but could not find an answer to all of my questions.)
  11. Damn, 25+ years? I wonder if they're going to adjust it all for inflation. My wife has also wtfo'd me about my VSO, but I gave benefit of doubt. He's a nice enough guy, but his constant discouragement might make him a hindrance more than a help. I guess I have some more thinking to do on that. Thanks again for all the wisdom. This community is the single most significant reason I have succeeded as much as I have.
  12. VSO says in-person hearing for a claim denial is 100% waste of time, that they do nothing but parrot the original decision (I'm paraphrasing), that they are not in any way obliged nor will they answer questions about specifics, and that they exist mostly just for adverse-action rebuttals. I even asked if I brought an attorney if that would change anything and he assured me it wouldn't. Wtfo... It seems nuts, but I've been surprised by the way of the VA more than once. The stage I'm in right now is original claim denial of conditions. Is an in-person hearing really as useless as my VSOs claims for this stage? EDIT: asknod, glad the CAVC got it right. I can't imagine how long that took, start to finish.
  13. lmao... Well, DRO Reviews seem like they would be highly susceptible to that sort of 30-second-to-close temptation. But, a [DRO?] In-Person Hearing would have more potential for a win, no? Particularly if well prepared with organized evidence, contention arguments, and maybe even an attorney present? Can anyone confirm that one can request the in-person hearing before filing NOD? If so, is there a time limit on requesting it and is there a time constraint placed upon the VA to hold the hearing (in order to complete it prior to the 1-year NOD due date)?
  14. Thanks broncovet. I am looking to make it accurate and all inclusive of the options. The order you see options isn't necessarily the order of preference, it's in order of most available options to least. That's why I have [OPTION] next to everything, so that it's clear this is just an option you have, but could continue further whether or not it's an option. I could draw an arrow from the termination point back to the next decision to make it clearer. IIRC, CUE was the only way you could appeal a claim older than a year, which is why I put it above the "older than 1 year?" decision. N&ME is next because it allows for you to choose whether you want to execute that option (N&ME) or you can choose any of those further down the chart. Then it's asking for a hearing (I'm actually not even clear on the pros/cons of this or if it's even an option outside of a NOD. The CFR made it sound like it might be?) Finally, at the bottom of the chart you're out of options, upward appeal is all that's left. That is, of course, if I'm not missing any other options which I probably am. Is the "order of available options" accurate? If so, would it still make sense to order it differently? What if an emphasized bullet point on the "CONS" list identified "Very difficult to prove" or something of that nature? Would that make it more obvious to us considering our options?
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