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  1. I'm asking this question to see if anybody else has ever run into this, and this question is pertaining to only one of the conditions I was found unfit for. I was medically discharged out of the Army National Guard through the IDES system. The MEB determined that my degenerative disc disease, "was not incurred while entitled to base pay", did not "exist prior to service" but was "permanently aggravated by service". In the MEB Board summary "this condition could be a result of military duty during deployment, with permanent injury occurring while not on duty status". I should also note that I had been seen while in AIT for back pain due to sit-ups, and also was seen by an army doctor due to back pain upon return from deployment. (all documented in the records). As is the process with the IDES system, my MEB paperwork was sent to the VA for a rating. The VA's determination was: "2 . Service connection for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease (claimed as back) is denied. NIS; STR; NONEX 1. The veteran reported injuring his back in 2009 or 2010 at the beach and there is no evidence of a Nexus to active duty service. Therefore, SC is denied." "Your service treatment records did not contain complaints, treatments or, diagnoses for this condition." BUT for the purpose of the PEB: "For PEB purposes only-the evaluation for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease is 20% disabling based on ROM. This makes the combined evaluation for PEB referred conditions of 40% disabling (20% for right ankle and 20% for lumbar spine=40%)" Now here is where it gets odd, when I received my PEB documents there was not one mention of the degenerative disc disease. It was as if it magically disappeared after the VA disagreed with the MEB determination. Other conditions that were found "fit" for duty were even included in the PEB but anything relating to my back was not mentioned. My questions are: Has anybody else had the VA disagree with the MEB determination without providing any sound medically analysis to over ride their decision? I thought that Horn v. Shinseki, 25 Vet.App. 231, 235 (2012) determined “VA may not rest on the notion that the record contains insufficient evidence of aggravation,” and the Secretary’s failure “to produce clear and unmistakable evidence of lack of aggravation” entitles a claimant to a finding of in-service aggravation of the preexisting condition).” Has anybody else successfully appealed a VA decision similar to this one? and if so what was the approach you took when appealing the decision?
  2. To everybody: I just wanted to update this thread. I finally got fed up enough with the Baltimore VA's process of my NOD DRO that I went around asking the Denver Veterans affairs officer for the county for some help. He had me walk into the regional office here in Denver and I was able to speak with an individual face to face to get an updated status. In this meeting the VA employee saw the length of time since my NOD was entered and the fact that NO movement had been made not even a statement of the case. While I was present he walked over to another office to speak with the Head of appeals for the Denver office. Long story short, the head of appeals for Denver had the NOD transferred from Baltimore to her and expedited its processing. I was skeptical that this would actually happen. I spoke with her September 4th of 2015. Well that next Monday September 7th sure enough my Ebenefits updates that I have a claim "pending" from the same date I submitted my NOD. As of this date September 16th, the Denver VA office has started to completely re work my initial claim/appeal. They already have all of my military medical file requested, and have me in for two new C&P exams for both my appealed conditions: Lower back fusion, and right knee. I have to say shaking the tree and magically getting out of Baltimore really helped get the ball rolling. According to the Denver office, the longest amount of time before my appeal is completed is this December.
  3. First off thank you very much for the quick replies and help. Berta: My LOD MEB evidence was listed in the decision. But the decision I received only addressed my ankle condition which was given service connection. Nowhere in the decision did they address why they denied my degenerative disc claim. So my other question is that since my claim went from Roanoke VA to Baltimore MD, I no longer know how to send in any further information such as an “updated” NOD or any other evidence. Does it all go through a central processing place now? Or do I send it just to the regional office. I’m past 150% confident of my claim and evidence. Two reps from the DAV have looked over my file and blatantly one said “how the xxxx did they xxxx this up”. I’ve also done enough research now to know that my MEB file has all the evidence needed to prove “aggravation in service”. I do have proof that the VA received my NOD: they received it Dec 2013, and my file was moved to Appeal pending Feb 2014. So my last question then is, how can I shake the trees? What is the best method? I’ve sent a request in through IRIS and never received a reply. At this point I’m tempted to walk into my congressman’s office and ask what he can do for me.
  4. So good afternoon. I've spent some time lurking in the shadows learning what I could from all the great posts on here, and figured maybe I can get some more info concerning my scenario. I was med boarded out of the Army through the (at the time) experimental joint MEB/VA process. In that process the MEB found me unfit for service for my Ankle (lod and SC 20%) and for my "degenerative disc disease" which they determined to be permanently aggravated by service. Well the VA came back in March of 2013 and said that there was no evidence to support a service connected determination for my Degenerative dis disease. Once again on my MEB determination (first page) the army clearly checked the box "permanently aggravated by service" and in its write up states it again. In Dec 2013 I filed a NOD for the claim. At the time I was unaware of what a CUE was so I just stated in the NOD "I disagree with your rating". My NOD status as of Feb 2014 was appeal pending. My appeal was registered in the Roanoke VA office but was transferred to the Baltimore RO. Since then I have received nothing from the VA and quite frankly am not sure if the claim has been lost or not. The supposed average days for a DRO appeal in Baltimore is at 503 days, I'm sitting at 527 days and simply want to know when I should "start shaking trees"? Also how the heck in the case of the VA do I even shake the trees? Timeline: Sep 2012 Initial Claim March 2013 Notification of Decision Dec 2013 Notice of Disagreement (DRO Selected) Feb 2014 Appeal pending Thanks in advance for any help.
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