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hadit.com Veterans
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About pepperD

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    E-3 Seaman
  • Birthday November 20

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  • Service Connected Disability
  • Branch of Service
    Air Force
  1. EODCMC, I can certainly help you with this. Awarded SA claim came through for me this summer. I too was diagnosed on AD, but didn't get a Bipap until 2 years ago. Took VBA another 1.5 years to award claim, and I was successful through Board of Vet Appeals. I did a few things to prepare for BVA while they were gathering eveidence. #1 was I researched similar claims that BVA had awarded/granted compensation for the vet with SA. There are hundreds of similar case to ours. Then I had my Sleep doctor sign a nexus letter after he reviewed my military records and he concluded that SA was diagnosed and symptoms were the same / worse than when I was on AD. Show disease progressed. I send in letters to the Regional office handling my case by uploaded through eBenefits. #3, I went through my military med records and found each time I complained to a doctor about symptoms of SA. Put all that into another letter and uploaded to my claim. Well worth the effort. As for going to the VA sleep clinic, they wouldn't touch me until VBA granted SA claim. I did read somewhere that after your awarded you can do a claim for the part tri-care didn't pay for your machine. Sleep lab may be able to help you with that info, or maybe Prosthetics department. Best wishes
  2. Thought I was finally making progress

    rdnkjeeper; I agree with Broncovet. The remand gives you the opportunity to submit more evidence. It served me well as I was able to get referrals to 2 specialist through Tricare, and I used the diagnosis, treatment and confirmed diagnosis to resubmit statements of case for every condition that was remanded. It took 3 years from remand to completed appeal from BVA. So hopefully your case will move faster, but do take the time to get updated medical records and submit them as soon as you can. The folks on this forum are outstanding, so ask any question you have and they will assist you. I trust them more than any Vet Rep. Good luck.
  3. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    Also, I chose not to have a hearing. Requested a Veterans Law Judge to review and decide on my case. For me this worked out, but did take a lot of work in compiling medical records and dumbing down the diagnosis for the RO.
  4. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    Hi, Been awhile since I posted. I put in timeline as Gastone suggested and it either got moved or removed from this thread. Here's just the overview: Took me 5 and 1/2 years to get a final decision. Partly because someone at RO "lost" my documents. Appeal filed Aug 2010 and apparently was received by BVA and given a Docket number by board of appeals. Docket number was 10-XX-XXX. Which means it was assigned in 2010. With exception of a letter from RO stating they received my appeal and was forwarding to Board of Appeals, I heard nothing. I did not hear anything from VA for the first 2 and 1/2 years, and from what I read, it would take longer so I waited thinking my appeal would eventually be reviewed. So around November 2013, I sent a letter of inquiry to BVA. They replied in December stating they showed no evidence of receipt of my appeal and asked for any documentation I had. Well I copied and sent them the Appeal package that I originally submitted along with the signed post office documents showing RO had signed for package and a copy of the receipt letter from RO. Next letter I got was one stating they now had the information needed and provided me the docket number from 2010. From 2013 things moved on and around early April, was scheduled for C&P's. Jul 2014 BVA sent letter stating their findings and requested more documentation. By this time I was having more problems with my sleep apnea, so I went to a sleep doctor through Tri-Care, got the sleep studies started and confirmation of SA. Submitted over 1000 pages of medical records. Sept 2014 I got a Nexus letter from Sleep Doctor signed (had to write it for him), and when he signed it, I completed a Statement of Case and used similar VBA Docket information in my SOC in order to correct the mistake by my initial C&P examiner, who refused to retest me for SA. October 2015 Board of Appeals granted SA from date of discharge. RO failed to rate it for 9 months, so I contacted my local Congressman and asked his office to request an update to where RO was in process of rating BVA's awarded claims. RO rated me for 3 items but failed to rate SA. I again submitted a Statement of Case and attached a copy of the BVA letter stating SA was awarded and demanded a rating. July 2016, SA finally rated by RO at 50%. As I've stated before, it was a long fight but worth it an I've learned that you have to keep proof of everything you send to RO's and BVA, in the end, this is what kept my case going and ultimately getting a rating.
  5. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    I just want to clarify - why I state VBA instead of VHA. Both are part of the Veterans Administration. VBA is the problem, as I see it, they just can't get their act together and are inconsistent in ratings. VHA are the dr's and staff at your local VA hospital that provide your care, and most do an exceptional job. VBA Dr's on the other hand appear to try to do anything they can to contradict what's in our SMR's. None of us should relent on our fight with VBA. IMO they are understaffed and under trained which leads to mistakes on their part.
  6. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    Andyman73 and John Royal, Hope your appeals turn out in your favor. If/when the VBA schedules you for C&P exams, be ready. Best advise I have for you, take a copy of your medical records with you when you attend any C&P. Have the pages marked where the record reflects treatments, diagnosis and follow ups for claimed conditions. When VBA Dr's try to downplay your conditions, that's when you prove to the Dr. that you know what's in your records, they can only state the facts correctly. If your care is from a civilian dr, ask for agreement to sign an in my opionion letter. Type the letter yourself and put the statement in there that in my opionion the veterans condition is "at least as likely as" ....... Key is to tie it to military service. There are many folks on this board that will even review and give advice on your writing. I did this and took my letter to my sleep dr. Had the conversation with him, and when he agreed that he would sign a letter in my favor, I told him I had the letter already drafted, left it with him and the next day, got a call from his nurse that the letter was signed and ready for pick up. He signed it as written. Best of luck to you both.
  7. Decision date keeps bouncing around

    Cobra4v, As many have stated, that's the norm for eBenefits. RO had my claim scheduled for decision for 5 months. After the Feb 4th date passed, about 2 weeks later I inquired through IRIS they changed the date to April 15th. That date came and went, then the date changed to May 24th one day. When that date was passed, I inquired through IRIS, never got a return email or call, but guess what, the scheduled completion date changed again to Jun 13th. Five days later another change, to expected completion date June 11th - June 13th. This was odd, because the 11-12th was a weekend. Then for some reason on June 5th, the date changed to June 11-12. As usual those dates came and went, but finally on June 15th, my claim showed as complete in eBenefits. Took another week to get the envelope. In all, the dates changed so much I could keep up with the reasoning. The envelope arrived but all open claims were not completed as expected. So try not to get caught up in the back and fourth, but do contact them when they miss a date, just to let the RO know you are engaged, and know they're kicking the can down the road. Best wishes. PepperD
  8. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    Thanks Buck52 and Broncovet, It called the 1 800 VBA number Wednesday and the guy was confused, said my case was still open. Called the Obudsman at Board of appeals, he confirmed VRO should rate SA or if they disagreed, RO would return file to BVA. That hasn't happened. Then I sent a statement of case to VRO to spell what they are required to due along with the copy of Oct 2015 BVA letter granting SA. Sent it all Certified mail with signature receipt to evidence intake center. Haven't heard from the IRIS inquiry from last week, tomorrow I'll send them another and follow up until they call me or reply to me so I know they got the message. I'm holding out on a Congressional as my last resort. I'm not sure what the writ of mandamus is but I'll google it and follow up with that action. I'm over waiting for the RO's at Winston Salem to do their job! Buck52; I fell into the same boat with a dr. at Jackson, MS VA. I went to his boss on my way out and spoke to her, she promised to get back to me with a resolution. I emailed her daily for a week, until she finally admitted she had spoken to the dr. I replied back to her that "Dr. Kavorkian" pun intended, was not going to screw up my C&P exams. I submitted a CUE, requested the RO remove his documents from my files and then reschedule my C&P at New Orleans VA. Been a long fight, but I'll never give up. Sad veterans have to fight a system like VBA. Thank god for the brothers and sister we have that help one another through this fight. Much thanks to all. PepperD
  9. Success! Finally Sleep Apnea Approved @ BVA

    9 months later and still no compensation from RO for BVA's award of service connection of sleep apnea. Frustrating!!! Can someone shed some light how this process may work. I saw in my medical records where RO mention the SA award when asking for a medical opinion of a VA doc for my heart condition. Hear condition awarding in letter received yesterday, still no award on the SA. Do I need to worry that RO has lost something and dropped the ball? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks
  10. jfrei - RO possibly has all the exams needed, and just need to doctor to make an IMO statement. I too recently had a remanded appeal and their was one of my issues where the RO requested a VA doctor to review and provide another opinion on the case. I went into my health records through eBenefits and was able to see what the VA Doc opinioned on after about 5 days. Best wishes. PepperD
  11. I can type in key points from the BVA Appeal Notification from Oct 19, 2015. Finding of Fact The weight of the evidences shows that the Veteran has sleep apnea as a result of active service. Conclusion of the Law The criteria to establish service connection for sleep apnea have been met. 38 USCA 1110, 1131(WEST 2002): 38 CFR #.303 (2014) Reasons and Bases for Finding and Conclusion I'll paraphrase this - it's almost 2 pages: My etiology - A Jan 2008 sleep study .... The diagnosis was mild obstructive sleep apnea. A January 2009 VA examination report reflects veterans reports of having sleep problems since 1991. The examiner did not perform a sleep study, but rather cited the Jan 2008 Sleep Study which the examiner noted showed obstructive sleep apnea. The examiners assessment was sleep apnea. Order Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea is granted. Signed by Veterans Law Judge Thanks for your help.
  12. Hi all, been a while since I've posed a question to the forum. October 2015, my BVA appeal was remanded to Regional Office with wording that states BVA judge agrees, I do have sleep apnea, service records indicated SA along with several other ailments and SA was diagnosed while on active duty. During my initial CP exam, Dr. refused to indicate SA, and I have been appealing since 2009. I haven't received the yellow envelope yet, but just tonight ebenefits shows claim is complete, but there is no rating or indication that SA was awarded, still states not service connected for Obstructive SA. My question is does the RO have authority to ignore or nullify what the BVA Judge awarded? Will be anxiously awaiting the yellow envelope. Been a 7 year fight with VBA and still no resolution on SA, at least from the looks of what's in ebenefits.
  13. 100% P&T - Merry Christmas!

    Congrats, been a long road for you, glad you won!
  14. Yes same for m for the past 2 days. Nothing new, somebody must have unplugged the ebenefits Server when the went home yesterday.