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

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  1. I think this is huge news and could really force the VA to actually start doing their jobs. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/06/17/court-allows-a-class-action-lawsuit-against-va-for-the-first-time/?fbclid=IwAR1HsZ8l8bnrI03WUb0uESmLH7BRAuRU0s1eawehDaabl8y0ufBeTjghQrQ#.XQgJRO27m0Q.facebook
  2. How long has it been since the original claim? If it has been more than a year I would hire an attorney to assist you. Granted they get 20% of the back pay but in the end I think it will be worth it.
  3. I am still completely baffled every time I read about what happened to you. Still kills me that the VA found a nurse practitioner more credible than a board certified podiatrist.
  4. The fastest route IMO is going to be using Ebenefits but you have to stay on top of it. You need to make sure you upload everything and confirm that it is listed. I have heard some suggest that if you file your claim electronically to also mail in a hard copy.
  5. I understand what you are saying and I could very well be talking out of turn here. I am trying to find info related to this because I was under the impression that the Bilateral factor is automatically included in combined ratings. I will keep digging and post what I find or maybe one of the seasoned vets here that know where this info is can show.
  6. VA does not add up ratings to come up with total disability ratings. They use a forumula. With that said it appears your ratings come up to 43% which is rounded down to 40% The VA gave you a bilateral rating which combined the conditions of both feet. I believe because of this be bilateral factor is included in the overall rating. Your decision letter should explain how they calculated the 30% rating.
  7. @USMC_SawGunner Based on the information I see so far it appears the rater for your claim could be completely clueless. It all depends on what your claim was for. I did not see the actual claim in your original post. Now with that being said, to me it seems clear that you are claiming depression because of the pain caused by your back. However the rater is having difficulty applying it to your claim. What was your claim request for? I am going to assume that you made the request for depression due to chronic pain. You have to spoon feed the VA for anything you are claiming for and they make behind the scene changes to make it harder. There was a recent change to the M-21 (VA Rater Bible) that allows the rater to request additional information in order to adjudicate your claim if you are not specific enough. If you do not respond within 30 days they will proceed with the claim which I am pretty sure will be a denial. M21-1 , Part III, subpart iii, Chapter 1, Section B, 1. Requesting evidence from claimant states: 'Whenever the disability claimed is not clearly identified, ask the claimant and authorized representative to clarify the issues to ensure appropriate development and accurate decision-making." M21-1 on requesting additional evidence. The VA is not required to show proof of delivery. All they have to do is show proof that they mailed correspondence to you and they say you never responded. Crappy but true.
  8. From what I can tell it looks like he is service connected for his back. He has 40% for arthritis in his spine and intervertabral disk syndrome. The denial I believe is for depression secondary to his back issues.
  9. For now I am doing it on my own. My personal opinon of VSO's are they are just as crappy as the VA but that is just from personal experience. I have dealt with 4 VSO's and none of them did anything. One actually said I am lucky to get 30% and to not rock the boat......LOL... go figure. If I have to appeal I am going to hire an attorney.
  10. The ankles are going to be secondary to my flat feet and plantar fasciitis. My Asthma is going to be an increase from my already service connected bronchitis but I also have a statement from a C&P examiner that my asthma symptoms started in service. Sleep Apnea is going to be secondary to all my disabilities preventing me to work out and gaining weight. Going to use obesity as intermediary step for that and can also couple that and use asthma as well.
  11. I am going to get an IME done for the Sleep Apnea, Ankle and Asthma (just to be safe). My feet and back issues are documented in my medical records. I am already service connected for both knees. The issues were always chronic which is why I am getting the statements to show symptomology over the years. My current wife is working on a letter as well to cover the last 10 years. I currently have an intent to file on records. I am just gathering all my evidence. In my denial letters the VA stated that my back and feet issues were not in my records. I now have my SMR and C-File to show they were incorrect and basically ignored it.
  12. Can you guys review this statement and let me know if it is ok or if it needs anything? This a statement my ex wife wrote for me. It is in basic format because we are going to put it a VA Form 21-4138 and then sign it. Just wanted to get some honest opinions. Thanks Statement in support of claim 1.docx
  13. I am convinced the VA when they receive a C-File request goes through them and removes some information. It appears that is what happened in my case. I made a request for my SMR's and the Regional office stated they did not have them. I though that was odd considering they should have had them in there since they adjudicated my claims. So I jump through hoops and finally get my records and in there is a letter on VA letterhead dated 5/2/00 that shows they were transferring my records Houston Regional Office. I know this because the "TO" in the letter was VARO (362/21) which is the Houston Regional office. Someone also put their initials on this letter on 5/15/00 and wrote records review. They had to have actually received them because the very same records is in my C-File. With one exception...... The letter with the date on when it was sent to them is nowhere to be found in my C-File. I have painstakingly went through my C-File at least 10 time trying to locate it. It is not there.
  14. you can be rated for secondary conditions at any time. However, in order to have a secondary condition you must first have a primary service connected disability. I have seen and heard of instances where secondary claims are denied quickly because the primary condition has not been yet adjudicated. From the statement you listed the C&P examiner is basically stated the issues you are claiming as secondary were more than likely not due to your diabetes. Since this was done in 2016 your best bet is to request your claim be reopened since you have new evidence to submit.
  15. In all fairness I should have stated my civilian medical records. I was officially diagnosed with asthma after I got out of service even though I exhibited symptoms on active duty. I have been seeing a civilian doctor for this and not the VA so they would not have had access to my records. However, I swear I signed an authorization form form them to obtain records but i did not see that in my C-File.
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