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About DonH

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. 631a future exams? My husband received a FED EX packet desiring he come in to see the named doctor as indicated in the letter. It was noted in the letter that my husband was to report to a separate medical facility, not VA; yet, assigned by VA within the next few days (11/15/17) from the date he received the letter via FED EX.....Except it wasn't. a physical examination It was more of an inquiring discussion about his Prostate Cancer; erectile dysfunction specifically; diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago; as well as about (rectal colon cancer-2011) in general. In reviewing EBenefits; we noted something called: 631a future exams Control of Examinations (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) indicated on October 31, 2017 as a claim. Our Agent did not request it so it must have been VA initiated. (????) I googled 631a future exams. Seemingly, it has to do with determining: TDIU. The doctor mentioned that he believed the VA was trying to determine if my husband had been cured. Cured? He's not going to be cured. He's receiving Hormone shots every 6 months to contain the Prostate Cancer. Since he already had colon previously, rectal cancer, the VA doctors don't want to risk subjecting my husband with more radiation; particularly at his age (75). The VA doctors explained that the Hormone Shots are not a cure. It is a method in which to contain the cancer. Since beginning the regiment of the Hormone Therapy, remarkably his PSA has been kept low. The doctors told my husband if the Hormone Therapy ceases to be effective by showing that his PSA is rising out of control......then, at that point, they well have no choice but to intercede with radiation. So is the VA trying to determine TDIU or reduction? I read after age 55 and most definitely by the time a veteran is age 75, it violates a VA code for VA to keep scheduling exams on the same disability if the disability has persisted for 5 years or more. What does any one know about the purpose of 631a future exams?
  2. "Has the letter from the doctor ever been prepared and sent to the VA?" Yes, Dr. Williams submitted letter. "It seems to me that the July 2015 award letter should have taken note of the "helpless child" claim". No, the July 2015 did not mention our son. Actually when my husband had some earlier encounters with the VA in mid to late 1990's regarding his PTSD, our son was referenced way back then. No action to address the claim was taken by the VA. That's why it was apart of the Appeal. To that effect, why do you think (your insight) the July 2015 letter should have made note of the claim about our son?
  3. Have you heard anything at all, from the VARO on the remand or received any letters about what they still might need? No, have not heard from VARO regarding the remand or have not received any letters about what else still needed. Waiting to have a follow up discussion with Agent about new claims and adding new information to sure up appeal on denials as well as remanded issues. Denial of the Neuropathy to be connected to alcoholism has been a challenge. VA gets something in their heads and everyone who assesses the case chants the same reframe (prior to DM2 diagnosis). Yes......"After this remand it appears that the DMII claim was awarded as well as the 100% Prostate cancer."
  4. Berta, I've inserted the referenced issues discussed previously regarding my husband's BVA Remand since May 2015. BVA Appeal on Remand since May 2015.docx
  5. Got it! Thanks! God bless your friend and God bless you!
  6. No, my husband is just on regular Social Security received upon the age of 65. He doesn't receive any other type Social Security. Hmmm...so, the fact that your friend's rectal cancer had advanced to the colon is the reason he ended up with the having to wear a colonoscopy bag? We once had a doctor say to us that the need for my husband having to wear a colonoscopy bag was due to the VA doctors having accidentally punctured my husband's colon. I'm out of town and will be back in town tomorrow. I will look through my husband's documents to locate the number of his BVA case.
  7. Thanks for all this great insight of information. "I am sorry I have more questions here- the same ones the Agent should have asked you----Did the VA make a statement as to how they considered SMC (Special Monthly Compensation) in their 100% decision?" The only SMC my husband gets is the SMC for his erectile dysfunction under the VA. "Was that a 100% Permanent and Total decision?" It was just 100%....there were no other specifics. "Does your husband receive SSDI solely for the SC conditions?" No, I don't think so. Since my husband was already at SS age to be receiving SS for having reached SS age... No other type SS was ever mentioned. So is SSDI also available to him? That point has never been mentioned. I don't think he receives any compensation solely for the SC conditions under SSDI. "I got a friend 100% P & T with SMC under 1151 for surgery that required a colonostomy bag." Was your friend not diagnosed with rectal cancer and it was found? Or were they suppose to operate on his hemorrhages and mistakenly operated on his rectum resultant in him having to wear a colonoscopy bag?
  8. I spoke with the Agent last week.....in summary of overall claims presently and previously. I mentioned BVA Appeal due to the Agent having specified at a prior point that the BVA Appeal/Remand are age sensitive upon the approach of a 75th birthday. My husband turns 75 on July 19. Accorded E-Benefits, the BVA Appeal case was remanded May 2015 to the Regional Office or to the Mangement Center (vague language not exactly specifying which). On the Hadit Podcast, I heard John Dorley state Houston Regional Office is 5 years behind with appeals and remands. Although remands should be prioritized....,but, it's not happening. Our Agent has done well. Yet because my husband is,now, 100%.....seemingly, there appears to be no necessitated urgency. That's why recently I sent (a) documentsrion outlining the new diagnosis: Monomelic Amyotrophy (b) On one hand Noting successes already accomplished. Only the other hand reminding about issues needing to be revisited....that were previously denied.... (c) the BVA Appeal.... and (d) the 1151 and/or FTCA claim... (e) I did also mention the possibility of needing a IMO because in reading over BVA cases, the cases winning most often were those having an IMO. For instance the colorectal/rectal cancer cases when veterans or veterans' widows challenge that it is a presumptive soft tissue resultant of AO Exposure; or is direct resultant of AO Exposure; or because it was equipoised to some other presumptive AO cancer suffered by the Veteran. I've read BVA decisions granting the claim. However, I've read BVA decisions denied with the same set of circumstances of those granted. The difference hinged on the IMO....the cases granted affirmatively were those having IMO's. It doesn't seem fair, but obviously the IMO makes the difference. I expressed my observations in reading I've BVA cases. Waiting to hear back from the Agent p.s. I heard AskNod on the Hadit podcast mention the inconsistency of BVA decisions so I know, now, somes cases won and some cases lost on the same body of circumstances is true and not my imagination.
  9. Prostate removal not possible due to no spinchter/ butt hole is stitched ....,it/the spinchter had to be removed during the surgery to remove the cancer from his rectum; however, what began as a Laproscopic surgery went bad..,, the laparoscopic needle went haywire and off course because of running into a build up of scar tissue and my husband's colon was punctured.....they had to change course in midstream to do traditional surgery. He bled profusely and lost a lot of blood so they had to do blood transfusions. The surgery lasted way longer than it should have. My husband went into surgery about 9:30 or 10 am and the surgery ended around 9:45-10 pm. My husband is, now, anemic as a result of having lost so much blood and takes a medication for it. It was a horrific ordeal! Even though they/VA Doctors had cautioned my husband of the possibility of losing his spinchter... but the odds were good that he may not. To add insult to injury, upon follow up consult after surgery, we found out that the radiation prior to surgery had zapped the cancer. My husband and I were dumbfounded to learn this information too late. My husband was upset because he stated had he known that the radiation had gotten all the cancer, he would have liked to be given the opportunity to weigh in to thereby not move forward with the surgery. To that effect, he would still have his spinchter and not have to wear a colonoscopy bag! We are dumbstruck that the VA doctors would schedule a laparoscopic surgery after a patient has been given radiation. Radiation builds up scar tissue so the doctors should have known my husband wasn't a good candidate for high tech surgery and just stick with traditional surgery. Although, it was obvious after the fact that the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing to pursue surgery when the radiation had already done the job! Upon further reflection my husband remembers feeling a premonition that something was not going to go well because the operating doctor had become extremely upset because the operating room had not been preped timely for the surgery that morning so surgery was late getting started. My husband stated he almost asked the surgeon for a rain check a postponement due the surgeon's angered upset mood. Regarding Rectal Cancer being determined for a presumptive......reading over BVA cases, it can be logically connected if not presumptive via direct causation of AO exposure. Having no spinchter makes any further surgery on the prostate risky to cause my husband to not be able to urinate without assistance of a urine bag. So, the doctors don't want to risk that occurrence nor does my husband desire to be a candidate for another bag.
  10. Did the Rectal cancer metastasize from the Prostate cancer? That's a possibility when considering the nearby location of both organs. A good IMO could argue that point to make the of connection.. However, the rectal cancer was discovered first. HIs high PSA was not noted until afterwards. It was his psychiatrist that noted his extremely high PSA. And from there began the testing/bioscopy for Prostate Cancer. I have read BVA Opinions affirming the relationship between Colorectal/rectal cancer and the Prostate with equipoise (spelling) justification; usually an IMO making that argument. Our argument in appeal is that rectal cancer is a soft tissue cancer and its particular type of soft tissue is not in dispute as being excluded from the tisting of soft tissues cancers that were excluded. My husband was sent to an outside C & P Exam---but, doctor confirmed that the 100% should continue. No, my husband is not employed. When he became ill to the point that something was obviously wrong, he was retired by then. Upon retrospect, his job was actually a sheltered environment....that's a concluding reason as we reflect why he was able to last on the job until retirement.--because his attitude could be unreasonable when he experienced flair ups in temperament. I don't have the BVA Docket # and Citation # at hand. However, I will work on trying to locate it before the week is over. We are leaving to go out of town for family reasons so I will update later. Thanks for all the insights!
  11. His rating is 100%---the 100% came with the Prostate Cancer diagnosis. His Prostate cancer is being 'held in check" with a hormone shot at this point and time. He began having the shot every 3 months; now it's every 6 months. As long as the hormone shots keeps the cancer maintained and his PSA low, the hormone shot will continue. If suddenly, PSA rises to not be controlled, they VA Doctors will revert to radiation. They are not desiring to do radiation due to my husband having already had radiation with the rectal cancer. A MRI was done. But not on the brain. The did the MRI o his vertebrae. The Neuropathy was denied prior to the DM2 diagnosis. My husband is not on medication for DM2 and prior to the Motor Neuron disease. HIs DM2 is controlled by diet at this time.. Actually in 2015, his DM2 was diagnosed. However, beginning in 2011 when my husband decided upon my late father's insistence, as a Disabled Vet himself,, my husband sought medical treatment at the VA, the medical staff like nurses, upon perusal of vital records//charts would always inquire did he have diabetes. We have an Agent we work with.......so I have submitted the new diagnosis as well as my concerns regarding issues we need to revisit, My husband has been PTSD diagnosed going back to 2008-----however, we are seeking an increase. I thought he should have been at least 50% from the very beginning. The rectal cancer was denied in 2011; It is at the BVA on appeal since 2015--it was remanded in May 2015; we had a Video conference in December of 2014. My husband turns 75 on July 19th. It's still no word from the appeal since May 2015.
  12. ALS Variant? I'm a Vet Wife. I post on behalf of my husband, I'm his note taker at doctor's appointments and consults. I'm his support system and all around cheerleader. Lord knows we have had our VA battles. All these years after Vietnam, the onset of my husband's emerging illnesses, obviously percolating internally has emerged one after another. We've seen subtle signs and some not so subtle. But didn't; know what those sign meant. The VA didn't do a very good job of educating the older veterans about what to be aware of regarding SC disabilities, My veteran husband's a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran served in US Marine Corps. My husband has several service connected disabilities. My husband diagnosed with Monomelic Amyotrophy recently; it is a Motor neuron (MND) disease that is the umbrella covering all type Motor neuron diseases and variants. To which ALS/ Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and variants falling under the same umbrella as being classified as Motor Neuron Disease (MND). As exhibited in cases of muscle loss: Monomelic Atrophy. ALS causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that leads to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, and spontaneous muscle activity. The VA Doctors pondered whether my husband had ALS or MS. Yet, the Neuromuscular Head Physician conceded that my husband's illnesses was an ALS variant because his illness fell under the umbrella of Motor Neuron Diseases as did ALS......is a Motor Neuron disease. ???? We don't know how VA will decide. Other complicating issues: *Spinal issue (S Curve of spine) *Multi focal motor neuropathy associate with Diabetes 2 is a part of the mix/entwined as well. However, most severely is the inability of identifying the exact reason for the monomelic atrophy. Although it was hoped a more exact finding will be determined when all results of updated blood tests were in. On May 2017: *Blood test are in; determination that no immune diseases are present Possible treatment of an intravenous treatment once every three months or medications with steroids would be beneficial. No effective treatment available. MMA Diagnosis. Inflammatory Arthritis is Part of the neuropathy (Special kind of neuropathy) As well as severe spine problems. Very rare complicated illnesses intersecting and exacerbating primary and/or secondary with veteran's service connected disabilities. Monomeric atrophy......Veteran has lost the use of his right hand and right forearm weakened and wasting away. One limb atrophy See notes…..described as one limb muscle atrophy Spinal cord (S curve of spinal cord) compression on top on addition the monomeric Toxic agent like Agent Orange could more likely than not" a contributor for neuropathy. Immune diseases (no) Deterioration. Of bones on vertebra Spondylosis...inflammatory arthritis Acts like spinal cord injury (Findings of EMG) EMG to confirm the diagnosis ( Neuromuscular VA Physician at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas) Table of Rated Disabilities Disability Rating Decision Related To Peripheral Neuropathy, Left Lower Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, D to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued. Peripheral Neuropathy, Right Lower Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Agent Orange - Vietnam Neuropathy, Left Upper Extremity Not Service Connected Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Bilateral Hearing Loss (claimed as diminished hearing) 0% Service Connected Tinnitus (claimed as ringing in both ears) 10% Service Connected headaches Not Service Connected depression Not Service Connected skeletal arthritis aching of the joints (unspecified) Not Service Connected Arthritis denied as…. early as 2015… Yet, ID to pinpoint as being symptomatic complexity of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, also claimed as depression and anxiety) 30% Service Connected PTSD - Combat Hypertension 0% Service Connected Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity Rectal carcinoma claimed as rectal cancer, a soft tissue cancer) Not Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam Still on since 12/11/14 appeal Remand 5/15 scar, shrapnel right knee 10% Service Connected 09/18/2013 diabetes mellitus type II 10% Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam 07/06/2015 prostate cancer 100% Service Connected Agent Orange - Vietnam 07/06/2015 erectile dysfunction 0% Service Connected 07/06/2015 Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet.ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of MonomelicAmyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Agent Orange – Vietnam
  13. Bertha, You are a walking wealth of knowledge. Whenever, I observe your posting, I generally stop to read. Interesting reading about PLS as a variant of ALS. Particularly as it relates to my husband's gradual worsening condition of indeterminate onset after Vietnam/Agent Orange Exposure. My husband finally took my advice and made it known to his VA doctors that he has lost use of his right hand. Since he is left handed, he has managed to cope for many years as he gradually lost use of his right hand.. This issue with his hand has been a gradual process over the years to which it is not one that can continue to be ignored at this point. It first became more noted about 9 years ago. However, his right hand has become increasingly clawed and deformed looking. One of his fingers on his right hand is completely crooked and immobile. He cannot push back on force when right hand or fingers are pushed on with force. My husband cannot screw lids off jars with his right hand. He can no longer grasp the car's steering wheel to steer the car with his right hand. The responsibility of preparing his ostomy bag by cutting a hole to fit the size of his stoma and clipping the ostomy bag closed at the end is completely on me now. Because my husband can no longer use scissors for cutting and cannot clip items together due to the loss of strength/use of his right hand. On the possible/likelihood of the contributing condition of my husband's neuropathy in both feet and hands; the VA's desire is to continue to blame my husband's past use of heavy alcohol consumption for his neuropathy. To that effect, he was denied the neuropathy claim. We appealed that denied finding. it is presently on appeal. He now has been determined to have DM2; but, his neuropathy was denied prior to the DM2 determination. My husband use to always say that a pinched nerve was causing his hand to gradually become worsened to the point of losing all use, The VA doctors in the neurology department are saying his hand has increasingly become worsen over time due to a pinched nerve in his neck and degenerative narrowing of his spinal cord. After my husband's MRI, we had a consult . it was proposed to operate on my husband's neck to relieve the pinched nerve. In discussing possibilities of the underlying cause, degenerative arthritics was mentioned. They also seemed to think tht my husband's condition could be related to the neuropathy;; however, had gone beyond neuropathy. ALS and MS was sort of mumbled by the doctors as a musings of wondering to pinpoint. Then, after the X-ray, the supervising/Chief doctor called to say upon viewing the X-ray, surgery would not alleviate the problem. So, next month, my husband has an upcoming EMG, So it seems, the jury is still out to say exactly what has caused my husband to lose the use of his right hand.
  14. DonH

    [[Template core/front/global/prefix is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]] Who decides amounts of DIC?

    My mothers is on TRICARE; she had her own SS Benefits; but, when Dad passed, she received an increase. I'm mot sure what SBP is. I remember some sort of offset. I don't recall exactly what type it was. My brother told me that the state has some type veteran's benefits, also contributable to help the veteran's widow.
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