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awgv001 last won the day on March 10 2020

awgv001 had the most liked content!

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  1. Well, I'm on the docket (Apr. 2019). Still no scheduled hearing in sight as of yet. Just giving you perspective on what to expect. Hope they will send us updates soon, or at least update the appeals metrics... "Last updated January 14, 2020"
  2. Organizing your military medical history is extremely important - finding a method of organizing that works for you can take a considerable amount of time, and it's well worth it. I personally did it this way --- I first sorted each (medical) problem individually - and if a document carried some component of another injury/issue, I placed a copy in the folder with the separate issue as well. I used highlighters and book/page tabs mainly for the most important (Caluza) elements in each folder so I could go right to it if needed. Additionally - protect the information you have especially if you believe the VA doesn't have a copy of something...one of the best ways IMO is a Flash drive (not one of those cheap-plasticky "thumb" drives) and store it in a fire-proof safe or safe deposit (and ensure someone has permission/access these things - should something happen to you.) I find it almost equally important to get in touch with people you served with. Buddy letters, buddy letters....DETAILED...buddy letters. Ensure they don't give their own diagnosis of your issues, leave that to the doctors. Yes, it can be daunting, you may have to talk to a lot of people you haven't heard from in years - they may not recall what happened, or the aftermath - however, this can be a key component in getting a witnessed injury service connected. I was one of the stubborn types who never went to sick-call - thus pulling the metaphorical rug out from under myself. Dig through those box(es) of old stuff from when you were active etc... we all have at least one right? I still have sea-bags full of stuff just gathering dust. Found a slip of paper amongst my things that had a roster with names and numbers of people I served with - proceeded to call them one by one until someone answered. Surprisingly, some had kept the same number after all these years. After a quick catch-up and reminisce, explained what is happening today, and if they are able to assist. After all, in some cases it may take 5 minutes to jot down what was seen/heard/felt etc. Could be what turns the tide for you.
  3. Update - So it was discovered that the original issue specifically kept being tossed around in "word play" and thus the VA had not added "TBI" specifically to my "problem list", therefore no ICD code (127295002, btw) or any data was a component of reviews/treatment for the last several years. It was originally listed as "headaches" and "syncope episode(s)" but everyone seemed both hesitant and reluctant to say TBI until it became irrefutable. I suppose, that may also be why even with all the evidence, that the issue was tossed even at the higher level - they didn't read the Nexus/diagnosis and IF they did, made it up that the opinion was "inconclusive" without explaining any further. This has since been corrected, and now the VA acknowledges that I have had TBI for years - and it all starts with the headaches I reported in service. Now - I'm unsure if when I go to the hearing that I can address it that way. I just want to state my case - explain that this all started in service with injuries, secondaries, and ultimately a conflicting difference of opinion between two different Neuro's who 1: the first diagnosed the headaches and visual changes - and DOCUMENTED my injury details - yet failed to remark TBI. 2: the 2nd Neuro gave a second opinion and concluded that his diagnosis and prior workups are all cause for my headaches etc. I'm still awaiting a hearing at the BVA - I assume they aren't taking any claims cases yet other than a video-hearing....thing. I don't want to go it alone, from what I understand is that opting for video-hearing (at home) can leave you without a rep? IDK. End point. Next comes the hearing - April 2019 docket. - No updates on my place in line, as it doesn't show the line on my page at all.
  4. Both VA/eBen posted letters and updates which I have duly made copies of. I'm now awaiting a decision letter. New rating at 100% (scheduler) Not P&T - (several claims still in appeals) After BVA it "more likely than not" will move to P&T. Haha, see what I did there? Hey -- You just rolled your eyes, didn't you! We will just have to wait and see what comes next. All the credit belongs to Team Hadit, Thank you all for imparting your wisdom with me and many many other Veterans whom you have aided along their journeys. I look forward to learning more, and assisting where I can, like you guys do! Onward!
  5. I tend to do some light gardening. Spices are simple, and can provide a simple sense of accomplishment you get to savor with your (family) meals. Other than that you'll catch my poking around in my shed, making crafts and simple projects that I can handle and put away for a time if I need to. I also surf the web, as most of us here do to some extent or another. Learning the ways of living for one's self can be an arduous process, and sometimes looking inward at oneself is too much for some. From the examples you wrote of those who made shallow choices - we can learn from their mistakes. I'm "young" - and so I don't have a "plan" as to what I will do... My plan was to stay in the Corps 'till one day I retire. Boy, that changed real fast...seems like a blur how fast I was flown through separation years ago, with many medical ailments in tow. I make decisions planning "toward" a future, of one form or another, but merely as guidelines meant to help keep the train from derailing. Now it's something to the effect of - raise my kids, make more friends, smile and laugh when I can, and NEVER sweat the small stuff. Do random acts of kindness and good deeds where applicable. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift - that's why they call it the "present" !
  6. Yeah, I ditched the Neuro because he refused to complete a DBQ, quote, "Usually it's the VA that prescribes these kinds of forms" - Then proceeded to hand the packet back to me...Note - He also refused about my inquiry to having a sleepy study (never had one before)...he essentially said "No" that it's not a regular part of something something rather....It's like the guy didn't want anything to do with anything I had politely requested. At least I won't be wasting any more of my time around the guy, as that made my decision very quickly! So I cancelled any new scans and tests etc. I do NOT want to move forward with this doctor. So instead, I sent a message to my PCP about getting referred back to Director of the TBI/Poly I had seen before, who was already familiar with my symptoms, and had entire workups completed in my favor. -- I had filed for review via RAMP back in 2018, but they tossed it out with a handful of bogus reasons for denial. I have all that I need for when I get to the BVA (Caluza elements, strong medical opinions, evidence, etc.) and get this show turned around without the possibility of remand for C&P. I just wanted the DBQ done. smh...
  7. Hey guys! It's me again! Hope you are all as healthy as possible, with all this 'Rona stuff going on, and people/neighbors nearby me are behaving rather erratically. I understand their frustrations and fears. Anyhow, I very recently filed a claim of muscle injury (left arm) - I only had SC for the ulnar nerve damage and left wrist "strain" upon exiting service, while the documented muscle injury/atrophy etc was not part of the original claim, but a factor OF it. Also despite my left arm issues - I don't have any claim filed or SC'd for bilateral factors currently other than left/right neuropathy because of back surgery and sciatic issues, however I use my right arm to compensate a lot of the time and I'm concerned about how that will effect me in the future. Though I'm fairly young now, I don't want to leave any stone un-turned as I know that it won't last long in my current state. Now, short backstory - let me know if anyone needs more details please. In 2010 I had ulnar nerve decompression surgery - which caused further issues with my wrist (also SC'd upon exit), but I mainly want to focus on the muscle injury itself It was unclaimed though it was obviously due to the surgery that was performed that left most of my arm atrophied, weak, and numb and/or tingly (Ulnar nerve issues greatly impair grip strength etc. This is thoroughly documented throughout my STR's as I had spent roughly a year or so doing physical therapy and everything under the sun to restore as much of my arm as possible. I don't have limited ROM for fingers or SC for any finger issues so that wouldn't warrant a rating other than 0% despite numbness, weakness, and tingling, though if they develop problems I "think" I should file...something - That way it won't be a SC issue and instead just an increase of rating, right?
  8. Just wanted to note that it is REQUIRED that you be Dx'd by a VA psych or other equivalent (LCSW for ex). They won't accept a diagnosis from private.
  9. I'll agree to disagree here, if that's alright. @Berta has widely covered IMO's along with several other Hadit Elders and many others have weighed in on the EXACT verbiage that is accepted by the VA. Regardless of how old the posts are, the facts of the matter are the same, "is as likely as not" "is due to" "is most/more likely to..." Not trying to spotlight here either, sorry if it comes off that way. How about you redact (personal information) the IMO you have from your doctor, and upload it here and we can pick it apart for weaknesses, such as missing "reviewed all records" or "my opinion is based on medical reports such as ...""..." It has been my personal experience that IMO's are fairly easy to obtain, albeit that some come with a price tag if you go with private IMO's - but from what I have seen these IMO's in particularly are more thoroughly completed. Again, everyone's case is different, and ever time you visit a doctor you aren't completely sure how it will go if and once they produce some kind of material for you to drag into battle. Once again, redact the info, post it in this thread, then we can assist you better.
  10. Hey, congrats and welcome to the club nobody ever wants to be invited to! If I were you, I wouldn't stop there - Unless you are content with ALL of your ratings and SC'd contentions (don't forget to claim secondaries!). I'm awaiting a few things to come back from C&P's and Hearings. All in all if everything I have claimed goes through I'll have a (combined) % of around 280%+/- (some of it I'm still gauging how the criteria is applied) --Not trying for a "high score" with this, but what it will prevent is potential loss of 100% P&T due to waxing and waning of different symptoms. Needless to say, I'll be joining the 100 Club in due time.
  11. I recently had this happen to me as well during the whole "RAMP" phase. They kicked the denial back at me and had decided to opine on it themselves. I'm now awaiting BVA for my hearing (almost been a year now). The scope is on the VA and they have been seemingly working double overtime to get caught up with all appeals, so it's looking good for a lot of our veterans (potentially).
  12. Maybe not in your specific case, but I have been through the med board process. Now is the time to speak to Doc about your injuries and get copies of your med folder and all reports. Talk to the people you serve with and get statements in regard to those injuries as well from an observational standpoint. "He was limping everywhere" that sort of stuff. Ask questions, proofread any correspondence from the med board and your exam doctors if they decide you are unfit and process you. Also, you can check pebforum for better detail regarding med boards, and DoD rating criteria is based on your MOS and if you're able to do your duties or not anymore. Should give you a better idea of where you stand anyways.
  13. Yes, it's nice to be able to follow the posts I have made from my profile link so I don't lose track as often. My ability to focus and retain all the new information is hindered by the complications of TBI and compounded by sleep problems. It takes everything I have to be able to research, keep my files organized, and to retain my records when I travel so I don't accidentally lay them down somewhere and forget about them. This may seem like a silly question @Buck52 . How do you use the regulation to keep the rater on the right path? Is it when you receive the decision and thus begin making your disagreement argument, citing the regs somewhere in the disagreement? (I've never cited regs on anything, paper or verbally, as of yet in any of my claims, but that should probably change, and get over my discomfort of telling them how to do their job "better") I have received the Rater "pin" you mention more than once unfortunately. I have a VSO, but they have proven to be less than useful beyond faxing info and printing DBQ's and such for me IMO. My best example would be that as I initially went to meet them, they had no guidance for helping me obtain my C-File, and would not look over my claimed contentions via VBMS for issues I could/should have been rated for...I don't expect anyone to sit down and leaf through my medical haystack, but I feel like something should have caught their attention or waved a big red flag, especially since I walked in at 40% with unclaimed TBI and PTSD (among others) and was 90% within two years later.. As for friends...I have you guys, and I'm otherwise all alone in this journey. (I have friends, but they all went back home after service and I'm nowhere close to them besides phone calls.) Many of who I served with don't even utilize VA services, or have SC for anything at all. I fear the worst, but hope the best for some of them who will most likely backtrack to seek aid later in life. I learned how to navigate the charts, albeit clumsily, by following what the doctors wrote verbatim through MHV or copies of my STR's, and then running a search for the keywords like "atrophy" or "rom" or "Dx" for shorthand stuff. Speaking of lowball --- I wish the separation exam doctor had looked at my NMA (non-medical assessment from my commanding officer) but I have to look at the date in regard to which happened first (I'm finally rated 50% for Migraines THIS YEAR, based on the same symptoms I have shared with doctors and examiners since 2012) an example: My CO wrote that I missed 40 hours of work per week, doctor recorded I missed No work due to symptoms...(insert car crash sound) - Since the NMA wasn't evidence that was ever reviewed for my claim, would that be N&M evidence even though it's from 2012? It's way beyond the time to appeal so i just don't know if there's anything to really be done about it at this point. I hate having so many questions >_< I feel like I pick ya'lls brains too much, though I'm extremely grateful for all the support you guys provide. My family and I wouldn't be the same without you.
  14. Ok, so this confirms that I should have had a separate rating for muscle injury from the git-go. Very helpful as always @Vync ! I filed the claim, and I guess once it is SC'd -- and that's when I can challenge the EED based on the original claim, where muscle injury and atrophy was recorded right? Or would the EED be the date of the FDC since the condition was not claimed at the time?
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