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rway

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Everything posted by rway

  1. Thanks for everyones insight. I was not sure what types of things they did at in-pt besides a group therapy. It sounds just like the in-pt alchohol program I went through. Which didn't help. (A lot of B.S....Meditating, etc.) I agree, the therapist means a lot!! I just have not found one yet. I have finally ventured out from the VA and I am trying to find one in our community. I have not been able to even look at the 3 therapists that I've had. I am not sure why, but I believe it is because I know they're judging me. Even though I want to talk, I only say one to three word answers. They have gotten no where with me. I am better on the computer, where no one knows me. I need a Computer Therapist.LOL Thanks again all, rway
  2. Has anyone gone through In-Patient PTSD-MST Counseling? I know everyone will react differently. But, I would like to know what your experience was. Did it Help at all. Not sure if I can make that step right now. I do not want to give up my alcohol at this time it helps me. I would be going to Bay Pines, VA in Florida. Thanks for any info. rway
  3. Finally, Its been a long journey. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. (Especially, Mountain Time) Rcvd a total of 90% with TDIU. Had an increase on Migraines and Back, added NEW 70% for MST PTSD, and Stayed the same for Meneires and Left Knee Arthritis. Lost 20% for Left Knee ACL Repair and somehow Reoccurring Tinnitis Disappeared from all the paperwork. All in All a win. I went from 60% to 90% w/TDIU. I am still going to fight for an increase in Meneires and my left knee. I also, have inquired about my disappearing reoccurring Tinnitus. Again, a great thanks to all. I have read many hours from this forum and have learned a lot. I still have a lot more to learn. I will also remember TBird after my medical bills are paid. This site is the best that I have found for helping VETS. Thanks again, RWAY
  4. Letter states.... entitlement to individual unemployability is granted effective Dec. 2006 whis is the date you met the criteria and the evidence showed that you were unemployed. Compensation and Pension examination completed at, VA noted that on joints exam, your knees improved in stability but remainded painful, with non-compesable decreased range of motion. The spine exam noted a decrease in range of motion and painful motion. The ear disease exam noted Meniere's disease symptoms continued to cause vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss. Your rosacea is under control as noted on the skin exam. The neurological exam and VA evidence showed you have severe and prostrating migraines which affected your ability to work. This was confirmed by your employer. As the evidence shows severe migraines and PTSD symptoms that , with Meniere' disease symtoms, would make it unlikely that you could find and keep substantially gainful employment, individual unemployability is granted. I RCVD... 70% FOR PTSD (NEW CLAIM), 50% FOR MIGRAINES (INCREASED FROM 10%), 20% FOR BACK (INCREASED FROM 10%), 30% MENIERE'S (STAYED THE SAME), 10% MILD DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE, LEFT KNEE (STAYED THE SAME-just noticed this on back side of last page. This is for arthritis of the left knee), and Lost the 20% for chondromalacia and ligament repair left knee. AND ALSO I HAD 10% FOR REOCCURING TINNITIS, WHICH HAS SOMEHOW DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY AND NEVER MENTIONED. My new claim, put in yesterday, asks for an increase in left knee, a claim for cerebellar gait secondary to Menieres Disease and request Total and Permanent status. I wanted to NOD Meneires and Left Knee, but SO said it was best to go this route.??? RWAY
  5. Every thing written in CAPS was not in letter just a note from Me. My letter states... Evaluation of chondromalacia and ligament repair, left knee, which is currenly 20 percent disabling, is decreased to 0 percent effective Dec. 2006 which is the date we received your claim. Due process proposal to reduce procedures were not necessary in this case, as reduction of this disability does not decrease your total evaluation. A statement from ---------,----------,-----------,---------- recieved April 2007, noted that they all felt that this disability was increasing in severity. (ALL LETTERS WERE FROM FAMILY AND CO-WORKERS) Your statement that accompanied your unemployability claim noted that your knee osteroarthritis cause severe pain and you have had to leave work early. You provided a list of medications taken for thes conditions. (MEDICATIONS I LISTED WERE... METHYLPREDNISOLONE, IBUPROFEN, GABAPENTIN, GLUCOSAMINE, MOTRIN, ICE-PAK) Medical Evidence received for VA, noted that your told the doctor that you hurt your knee in a fall. You complained of left knee pain. The doctor noted a history of left knee arthritis. Compensation and Pension joints examination completed at VA, noted that you had a left knee ACL reconstruction in 1994 and left knee arthroscopy in 2000. You claim increased pain with difficulty bending. You claim your left knee pops out when you walk. You state that you wear a knee brace for stability. Your functinal limitations on standing aare to 15-30 minutes, and on walking limited to 1/4 mile. The exam noted that your left knee ws stabe in the medial and lateral ligaments (varus/vlgus in 30 degree of flexion) (varus/valgus in extention) and in the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (Lachman and anterior drawer). The left knee Mc murray's test negative. Your gait was antalgic. There is no evidence of lateral instability. The doctor stated that your range of motion or joint function is not additionally limity by pain, fatigue, lack of coordination, instability, weakness, or lack of endurance following repetitive use. The doctor diagnoed chondromalacia, status post ligament repair, left knee. As the evidence showed no instability in any direction on examination, a noncompensable evaluation is assigned for Dec 2006 A noncompensable evaluation is assigned unless there is recurrent subluxation or lateral instability of the knee whis is slight. THAT IS EVERYTHING, WRITTEN IN STATEMENT ABOUT MY KNEE. I AM HIGHLY UPSET WITH THE UNDERLINED PART OF THIS, BECAUSE IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. I CAN BE STANDING, AND ALL THE SUDDEN MY KNEE WILL GIVE RIGHT OUT. MY KNEE HYPEREXTENDS SO OFTEN, CAUSING ME GREAT PAIN AND TO FALL, THAT IS WHY I WEAR THE BRACE. IT IS ADJUSTED FOR MY KNEE NOT TO HYPER EXTEND. SEEN MY SERVICE OFFICER, HE DID NOT WANT ME TO NOD, BECAUSE I WAS RATED TDIU. BUT IF THEY DID NOT TAKE AWAY 20 PERCENT ON MY KNEE, I WOULD BE 100 PERCENT WITHOUT TDIU. HE HAD ME FILE A WHOLE NEW CLAIM, FOR AN INCREASE FOR MY LEFT KNEE. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. RWAY
  6. I was previously rated 20% for Left knee (ACL Repair and 3 left knee orthoscopic surgeries)and 10% for arthritis in the left knee, now after getting the results of my claim for my left knee and many other items, They gave me 0 for arthritis in left knee and 0 for left knee. I went over 10 years as of April 2008 but they back dated it, to the date I put the claim in "2006". That would make it 8 yrs 11 months What are my chance of clearing this matter up. I put in for an increase on many items and for TDIU. I had only 1 exam that covered all my claims (TDIU). She did not measure my knee's bending radius and nothing was stated in the results about bending radius. She sent me to have x-rays on my back and knees. Other than that, I have had no other CP's. I did qualify for TDIU with my other items claimed. My knees have not gotten any worse, and they definitely have not improved at all. My knees have not been able to perform for a long time. They are pretty much stable in the degree of disability. Therefore, I have not seen anyone for them, but have taken my medicine, Ibruprofin and have worn my brace religiously, non-stop for now over 10 years. I have been to the doctors many times for other ailments (mainly Meneires) and everytime it has been written by the nurse's station that I have a left knee brace and throughtout the 10 years. I am definely NOD'ing it. But not sure about the plan of attack. My problem is I walk fine (when I do not have active meneires) My problems are bending, climbing stairs, and when ANY added weight is given to me. (EI. 5 lbs. groceries will cause me to limp and ache.) Any advice is welcomed! I am able to walk about 1/4 of a mile, then my knee swells like a balloon and aches for a day or so. Thank you, rway
  7. So, if I did not put in for TDIU, I would have probably received seperate CP exams for each disibility???
  8. Hi everyone, I haven't been on this site for awhile. Meds have been taking a toll. I am currently 60% (Meniere's, Knees, Back, Tinnitis and Migraines). I put in for an increase in each and added new (MD and PTSD) in Dec. 2006. Because of the long duration, symptoms getting worse and this site (with great info) I applied for TDIU and for Total and Permanent in Apr. 2007. I have had only the routine appointments thus far. Then, the other day I received 2 letters with appointments. One was for the very next day and then another for 2 days later. The 1st appointment was for disbility for unemployability and the 2nd for MD/PTSD. I called and asked about any other future appointments and they said there are none scheduled. Question---Is this common NOT to go to Ortho, Neuro, etc. and just go to the TDIU appt. Will they just use her info for the increase? She did measure back and knees and had x-rays of back and knees done. She did not talk to me about MD or PTSD thou. She said she had Migraine Log from Neuro. I was definitely not prepared for this appt. I thought I would have individual appt. for each. I am glad its over though, if that is all I will have to do. My PTSD exam consisted of a doc that asked yes and no questions. I never went into detail with him. He said he was unable to locate my C-File. I did give him a copy of my PTSD Letter. He just hen pecked at the computer, which gave him a lot of trouble. He did ask me if I heard of some sayings. In which I said I had heard them before. Then he asked me what the sayings meant. That blew me away because, I didn't know any of the meanings. (Just heard Grandparents say them before)??? How do I ask for copies of these appt's? Do I just fill out the same release of info form at my VA? Thanks for any insight. rway
  9. rway

    A Rough 2007

    I have been in a fog lately. My husband passed right before Christmas. Not a good 2007 for me at all. I put my claim in Dec. 2006 and I am still waiting for my first C&P. I hope 2008 is better for me. I guess it can't get any worse. For those people who wrote and helped me on the info for my husband's claim, Thank you, but I never submitted the claim. I just had my hands full. RWAY
  10. Thanks for all the great replies and Berta for doing research on the ships location during that time frame. Today, we had a call from the Home Base Primary Care, they want to have a consultation with us. I am not sure exactly how they will be able to help, but I know my VA mental health physician called them. My husband has been in denial of even having the cancer. He has had all the radiation treatments that he can have, and is now only doing Chemo. He believes, he can beat it, God Bless Him. His doctor is terrible, he hasn't told him anything about his cancer. Although, my husband, doesn't ask and doesn't want me to either. I know only be researching on the internet. He on the other hand doesn't use the computer at all. I am hoping the Home Base Care will help with this situation. RWAY
  11. Thanks Pete. My husband was only on the ship during that time. I looked up the ship and it was listed as having asbestos. But, then again, every ship during those years were made with asbestos insulation. I was told by my va doc that the navy had certain time frames that admitted to the asbestos and are paying disability. I have been unable to find it via the internet. I just thought maybe someone has heard something this. rway
  12. My husband has been diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer since Nov 06. He only smoked 3 years while he was in the Navy. He spent those 3 years on the USS Lester from Jul 1959- Jul 1962. The rest of his working career was with the Depart. of Defense working for the Air Force, now retired (1995). He is enrolled with the VA, but has never filed for any service connections. Is there a chance that we could win a claim for service-connection for his cancer? Thanks rway
  13. Josephine, Yes, I am 30% SC for Meniere's. But, I looked at my award letter for the 30% and it stated that for a higher rating I must have a cerebellar gate. Then if you look at the 100% rating for Meniere's: Hearing impairment with attacks of vertigo and cerebellar gait occurring more than once weekly, with or without tinnitus. The only thing is, for some reason they want me to LINK it to Meniere's and show them that I had it back in 1998. (which I did, but I did not have it more than once a week) (And if I had any evidence of that, I would have been rated 100% back then???) I am currently waiting on my recent copy's of my records from my visits to my ENT and Primary. At both appt. I had gait problems, but not sure they wrote in that they are from Meniere's. I did not know I had to go that far into depth with these people. I am afraid they are considering that I may be I/U because of Gait problems and GAD, becuase I have a laymans letter that was sent stating they seem me back in 2004 with these symptoms at a temp job. So does this mean, I have to go to my Psych. Doc and ask him to clearify my Anxiety symptoms and link them to PTSD or Depression??? If I do not link them, I feel they will say that these two items are the cause that I am unable to work? Can they do this?
  14. The good thing is that I have finally recieved something, meaning they have not lost my claim. The letter states that they are working on my application for; Then it list all my SC disabilitis, then adds they are working to service connect for depression secondary to your service connections and ptsd. (I agree with all of this) My question is, the next paragraph states that THEY are amending my claim to include cerebellar gait(secondary to Meniere's Disease) and GAD as well as increased service connected compensation based on individual unemployablility(IU). It states "This letter deals only with these three issues newly claimed issues. They say, please submit medical evidence on your current cerebellar gait disability as well as evidence showing a connection between your cerebellar gait disability and your service connected Meniere's Disease. And they need evidence showing that the following conditions existed from military services to the present time: Cerebellar gait and GAD My question is Cerebellar gait is a symptom of Meniere's and GAD is a symptom of my PTSD...right?? It looks like they want to rate these separately??? And maybe it has to do with the date for IU??? Any help would be appreciative. I've been out of the Service since 1998. Thanks RWAY
  15. Thanks Berta and Josephine for responding, I haven't been able to work for a couple of years because of the Meniere's and my Migraines. I do not have any past history, were I had to take off from work because of these disabilities. When my disabilities became severe enough to effect my work, I quit(2001). I did put in for TDIU about a month ago and I also put in for clothing allowance because I wear a metal knee brace. Both of these, I did, because of what I have read/learned on this great site. I also believed I was low balled the first time around with the 30%, but did not know I could fight it. I dug out my paper work and the reason they said I did not receive 60% was because I had not reported cerebellar gait problems. That went right over my head, and I just excepted the 30%. Reading a lot of the appeals, I found that generally, they do not award 60% unless you have cerebellar gait problems witnessed by a physician or fail the heel toe test. So, I told my Primary Doc at the VA this and she told me to call her when I have a bad attack, and she would try to get me in to verify and enter it into my records. This is what I have done. Hopefully, it will be enough to open their eyes. I have had balance and walking problems all along, but in my records it always stated severe balance with wide gait, it never stated that I was unable to walk. I hope this helps other vets to realize that sometimes "wording is everything". I do not really want an operation that will cause me to be deaf. But, when I am at my breaking point, I wish for them to cut my head off. After, my attacks are over, I keep telling myself, that I would be an idiot to let them operate. Thanks for letting me vent.. rway
  16. I am currently 30% for Meniere's. I put in for an increase in Nov.2006 and have yet heard anything back. I have not even had a C&P yet. For the last 2 years my Meniere's has significantly increased. My Primary Doctor has been trying everything to help me. I have tried every medication under the table for this. My main complaint is VERTIGO, DAILY and 2/3 Drop attacks weekly!! I have been to the VA Nuerologist, and ENT. In fact, I have been seeing them so routinely, they are like family. They are now talking about operating. My question to anyone who has Meniere's or knows of someone who has gone through any of the operations. (Labyrinthotomy, Sac Decompression, Vestibular Nerve Section, or Membrane Removal) Has anyone had any success? They have told me about each operation, with success rate,etc. But, I am finding via the internet, success was great, then a year or two later, people are getting their vertigo attacks back. I have only moderate hearing loss in Left ear and slight in Right ear and do not want to give up my hearing at this time, but.... THIS VERTIGO is killing me. I am current getting prednisolone shots in the left ear, which gives me some relief (Vertigo wise...but I have been very depressed and down right mean. I think that the shots have a lot to do with this) I take Meclize which doesn't seem to help at all,along with Diazpam,hydrochlorothiazide, and Phenergan. I am also wondering if the RO is waiting to see what I do.I can't believe I have not be scheduled for a C&P yet! Any help or suggestions would be nice. One last question, I have been seeing the VA doc's approx. every week for something. At the end of each month I get copies of all my records (which are pertinent to my case) and send them in monthly. Am I slowing my case down by doing this? thanks for any inputs rway
  17. Thanks Vike17 I am applying today. The VARO called me and told my PTSD claim might take up to 1 year and to call her if I needed anything. She also stated that she was setting me up with a C&P for this, and asked me were the closest VA was. I told her 4 miles away but it was a real small one and she asked me if I minded if she made my appointment for there. Of course I said it was o.k. There is only 1 Psych doc there and he is the one I see. I couldn't beleive it. Is this normal??? I figured, I would have to go to St. Petersburg (1 1/2 hrs away). I know that they can only rate one mental disorder, but I was scared that if I applied for depression only, they would say it was ptsd, or visa a versa. So, I put in for both. Thanks Berta for the Link to the Form and the good info. (Born and raised in NY. Even spent most of my military life stationed there. Love everything about it except the COLD!! Moved South to Florida, Love the HEAT!!) RWAY
  18. My SC include Meniere's, Migraines, Back, Knees, and Tinnitus. I asked for an increase on all but the Tinnitus, since 10 is the highest that can be given. I also added Secondary Major Depression w/anxiety and PTSD, which are not currently SC. The VA Psych seems to think I have a case which he linked the PTSD to my service time and the Major Depression to my current SC disabilities and lowered my GAF from 55 to 45. My Meniere's (I have vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus)is rated seperately from my Migraines. I also have tinnitus rated seperately, because its reoccurring. I am dumbfounded that my DAV Rep. did not tell me about TDIU. He did however tell me about education classes. But with my disabilities and my spouse in need of constant care, not to mention my 2 year old, there is no way that I am able to further my education at this time. I can not take care of my family or my home the way that I should. I applied for SSA 3 years ago and was turned down the first time around and I never fought it. I figured I would wait to see how the VA rated me and go from there. The DAV Rep said, I probably would have a hard time becuase I am only 43 yrs old. I think I should apply now for TDIU; because thoughout my claim I stated several times that I could not work do to my disabilites. Also, in some of my statements from family and past co-workers, they describe how I am unable to work. Will this TDIU form catch up to C-File? Thanks RWAY
  19. jbasser, when a person has 3 disabilities that would make them unemployable; in my situation, Meniere's (alone this makes me unempolyable)also my depression\ptsd and migraines, should I list all 3 disabilities? How should I word it. Should it be written with a and/or? Or doesn't it matter? I worried that if all three are listed and I do get TDIU, that later, if 1 is decreased they will reconcider the TDIU all over again. Thanks for any info. I haven't worked for 2 years because of any and all of them. The increases that I went for are Meneire's 100%, Major Depression & PTSD 70%, and Migraines %50. Of course not sure on what type of increase I will receive, if any. I do have a good case though. I also have asked for increases in knees and back, but not so strong of cases there. Thanks again. RWAY
  20. snomanx3, You are on the right track. Sorry, it took me so long to get back with you. If you plan to fight the VA for a higher rating, you might fight them on the 2 disabilities that matched the services, if possible. This will help you later when fighting the Navy. You may not think, you will have to, but they do not like retiring any one from TDRL. Meaning, they will try to lower it eventually, and you will be able to prove, that your conditions did not get better, only worse. The Navy, may also see, that your conditions will not get better and retire you quicker. Your pay, will come from the Navy, until the VA exceeds the amount you get from the Navy. (Either, higher percentages of disabilities from the VA that will total more than 1650, or the Navy lowers your disability ratings) When they lowered my TDRL to 20%, and a gave me a lump sum severance pay. It was all taxed. But RickB54, is right on the money. TDRL 30% or higher is not taxed. RWAY
  21. Was the 40 TDRL for more than 1 disability? Did the VA rate you the same for that particular disability or was it rated less? Also, CAUTION, your TDRL disability is not permanent for a least 5 years. You'll get rated about every 12/16 months. I was 60% and they dropped me to 20% (meaning no retirement, lump sum) You don't want that to happen! Keep going to as many appt. as possible and stay up on your meds! For the whole 5 years, then you'll be permanent. The VA check might look lower because they are deducting the 40% from the disabilities the military gives you. And they have to catch up those few months that you've already been paid. Remember, also the VA is TAX FREE and isn't lowered quite as easy as the TDRL. I was rated 10% on one disability in the military and the VA gave me 30% and I was rated 20% on one in the military and the VA gave me 10%. I found the Military hard to fight, it took me 10 years for one claim TDRL. The VA to me 6 months. Its good your still willing to keep fighting for your rights! rway
  22. The reason I am asking is because I read online, that if you have all the symptoms for a certain rating, then you should write all the qualifing symptoms along with the scheduled rating from CFR38, that you wish to obtain. This would let the rater know what you are looking to get. I think it is an excellent idea, if it is pretty clear cut. I know there are borderline, instances, but this would help the rater. I asked my DAV rep. and he said that it was a bad idea. What do you think? I don't think that it would hurt. rway
  23. When you have multiple disabilities, and have multiple C&P exams, who actually does the ratings? A team, a rating officier, who? I know the C&P exams are the guide for someone to rate you, but I also know one person alone does not have the knowledge in all fields of diseases and injuries. The C&P doctors only draw an outline for the rating, correct? clueless, rway
  24. I have not been asked to write a stressor letter yet for my PTSD claim. But, the DAV has given me a VA Form 21-0781 to fill out. My questions concerning Form 21-0781: 1.When filling out the form--Desription of Incident-- Do I write in detail about the Incident or write a brief description and only go into detail in the stressor letter? 2.One question asks..Let us know if you experienced any of the following... Then it is followed by a list. Can I just say yes to the ones that apply, or should I go into detail, or again wait for detail in my stressor letter? 3. When filling out "Other Sources of Information" Do I put down the Name and Addresses of the individuals that I have statements from? (These individuals know nothing about my stressors, but know of the affects they have caused. I do not have any sources that can provide information about my stressors) 4. I was treated at a Alcohol Rehabilitation Center, should I include that? The reason I am asking is, I not only discussed items that are about my stressors, but also other information that could open a hole nother can of worms that will not help my claim. (That happened prior to service).
  25. Yes, I first put in a claim for depression, secondary due to my disabilities. But after seeing the VA Psych. Doc. He asked questions about everything and said I had Major Depression and PTSD. I have requested my Medical Records to find out exactly where I stand but haven't received them yet. I have learned via this forum, that you can only get a rating for 1 mental disability. Therefore, I did not want my upcoming C&P for depression, saying it's NOT depression it's PTSD. So I quickly made an amendment and added PTSD to my claim that I have pending. Hopefully, I have done the right thing. I figure now they can sort out by brain and tell me which is worst, Major Depression or PTSD. RWAY
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