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Second Class Petty Officers
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JKWilliamsSr last won the day on February 15

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About JKWilliamsSr

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class

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  1. I am not familiar with the PTSD rules but does the VA require veterans are treated by VA docs for PTSD or only require a diagnosis?
  2. Awesome. Thanks....this helps a lot.
  3. Buck did you put specific dates or date ranges? My wife made the comment while starting a letter for me. She asked me about dates and said she could not pinpoint dates because she sees my symptoms pretty much ever day and they have been ongoing for years.
  4. As a layperson, the appellant is competent to provide information regarding visible, or otherwise observable, symptoms of disability. VA has a duty to inform a claimant that lay evidence may be submitted to associate symptoms of disability to military service. Case law on this is Washington v. Nicholson, 21 Vet.App. 191 (2007) SwiftSig regardless of what the examiner said make sure you upload every lay statement you have in support of your claim. I will not speak to the credibility to what is in them as I am not privy to what was written but at a minimum they are required to be considered. That is a matter of law.
  5. This right here is why no one believes the VA cares about the Veterans it is supposed to support. Not only was this person wrong. she is also pretty ignorant and does not know how to do her job. There is case law that requires the VA to consider Lay statements. Not only are they required to consider them if they deem them "worthless" like this person has done they have to specifically say why. Now I could be wrong on this so I am going to research it further. I remember reading somewhere and there is case law to support it but the VA is required to tell you that Lay Statements can support your claim as part of it's duty to assist. If I am wrong on that someone can correct me and I will continue to try and back this up with some facts.
  6. I think Bronco hit it dead on. I think people may overthink lay statements and try to do more that what is necessary by adding information that may not necessarily be relevant but used against you. I think lay statements fall into two categories, physical and mental and how that information should be presented is different. Mental (PTSD, Depression, etc..) - Letters from a spouse here can be tricky and it is here where I feel Bronco's comments really hit the mark. Mental disabilities are so subjective it is not even funny. It is probably very difficulty to be on the same page with someone that views things differently than the veteran. If the letter has some discrepancy in it as far as not being on the same page the rater probably often uses that to question the validity of the spouses statement. One person's interpretation can be different than someone else's and that often can come back to bite someone in the but. Physical issues are probably easier to document in lay statements. I think where people tend to get into trouble is they will say things like I noticed my spouse was limping and he stated his knee was hurting and it was because of his arthritis. Once a statement like that is made the rater will assume that the spouse is making a diagnosis that the knee pain was caused by arthritis and then ignore the lay statement. The only think that needed to be said was I noticed my spouse was limping and he appeared to be in pain and he complained that his knee was hurting. That is all that needs to be said. Nothing more. It is a statement that shows you observed an issue.
  7. I personally believe that a letter from your spouse or significant other is one of the most important pieces of evidence you can have inside your claim. I believe that many examiners and raters do not consider them important and tend to dismiss them and give them no credibility. However, on appeal it is something that seems to be a deciding factor in overturning a poor rating decisions by the BVA. There are two important pieces to this letter that I believe is critical. 1. Your spouse should only list symptoms they see. They should never state in the letter a diagnosis. If your letter has a diagnosis in it and your spouse is not qualified to render a diagnosis the rater will immediately ignore it. 2. Your spouse should state how your disabilities impact your day to day living. What things you could do in the past but cannot do now because of your disabilities. No one is more qualified to stated how your daily life is impacted than your spouse. I think anything else in the letter would be overkill but that is just one man's opinion.
  8. I have decided that I am going to go this route an contact Dr. Ellis and set up an appointment. It is probably the smart thing to do for those of us that are claiming secondary conditions. After discussing things with all of my civilian doctors the seem clueless as to what is needed in order to get service connection. One doctor even said to me it should be obvious. They seem to be willing to fill out the DBQ but tend to not have an understanding on what is actually needed. The diagnosis part seems to be easy. The VA required terminology......not so much. So I think it is best get an examination from a doctor that can look at all my medical records, give me an exam and help dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's" After reading a lot of the posts here and from a couple veteran facebook groups I belong to, I have zero faith in the VA's "desire" to help me. There is wealth of information here and I truly am thankful for everything you guys do here. If I have learned one thing it is this. When dealing with the VA I am in way over my head. While I may be intelligent enough to understand what is going on and to see the fallacy in the system it does not mean that fighting it will be a walk in the park. To me it feels as though I am completing my claim for submission to the BVA instead of to the local office for a rating.
  9. You are absolutely correct. The VA is not allowed to send you for a C&P with the purpose of obtaining negative evidence or to rebutt positive evidence that is in your favor. With that said if a C&P exam was never completed they could ask for one to be done for the purpose of getting a DBQ completed.
  10. My question is simple (I hope). Would a pain journal carry significant weight in support of a claim? As I have posted this before I am in the process of reopening a claim where the rater said things were not in my medical records and they were. I am working on getting lay statements from my current wife and my ex wife (we have a son together and are on good friendly terms and is also a nurse) this will cover more than 20 years of documented symptomology. My pain is daily without any real break once the flare ups begin. With the exception of my lower back. My pain there is 24 ours a day upon any manipulation. Pain medication does not touch my back at all and only limits the pain in my other areas. I have daily foot, ankle, knee, hip and back pain. I have heard of others keeping journals and I though about doing the same thing and upload it to support my claim. I could just give it to the examiner but I honestly do not trust VA C&P examiners but here is my plan. I want to complete a 30 day journal detailing the issues I have with pain and the severity if it as the day progresses. Once completed I will upload it in support of my claim. I will also do another 7 day journal that leads up to my C&P appointments making day 7 the day before my appointment. This I will give to the examiner (if they will take it) but I will also upload it as well. Thoughts please..TIA
  11. Almost all of these bad decisions are overturned at the BVA level. The problem is that the VA does not fix the problem at the rater level. Bad raters and examiners keep their jobs and it does not matter how many bad decisions they make. In most companies an employee would be fired if they performed like many of these raters./
  12. I have done an intent to file but have not submitted it yet because I am still gathering info. So my next question is this. Should I cancel that intent to file and start a new one? My current intent to file was started last month.
  13. 1. Entrance Physical has feet as normal 2. Active Duty Podiatrist diagnoses flat feet 3. Separation Physical documents flat feet That is a favorable Nexus and all you need.
  14. You only need to have it in your service medical records in order for it to be service connected. There does not be an individual event for this. The only requirement is to have it document. You do not need to be seen a number of times. It only needs to be listed in your records once. Your issue is almost the same as mine and truth is you are dealing with a moronic C&P examiner and you are going to have to fight this through the appeal process. Case Law is clear on how contradicting opinions are to be applied. Under the benefit-of-the-doubt doctrine, where evidence of record is in relative equipoise with regard to a material issue, that issue will be resolved in favor of the claimant. Shoemaker v. Derwinski, 3 Vet.App. 248 (1992). BVA erred in failing to address the benefit-of-the-doubt rule, which requires only that the evidence be in relative equipoise for the veteran to prevail, given significant evidence presented by the veteran in support of claim for service connection. Goodsell v. Brown, 5 Vet.App. 36 (1993). According to the benefit-of-the-doubt rule, claimant need have only approximate balance of positive and negative evidence in order to prevail. Cohen v. Brown, 10 Vet.App. 128 (1997); 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b). You have diagnosis while on Active Duty. You have a C&P examiner that gives a contradictory diagnosis. You also have a civilian doctor that you currently see that also confirms your active duty diagnosis. Neither of them state that your diagnosis was congenital and was acquired since birth. The thing here is that your entrance physical said your feet was normal and your exit says you have flat feet. To deny you benefits that VA examiner is required by law to prove otherwise and it is only acceptable if it was CUE.
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