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Grilla79

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  1. Good morning Hadit, Asking a question for my USAF E9 Chief. We were in Air National Guard. We are both retired but i asked several questions here on my own disability rating and got outstanding support and answers. Back to the Chief. A few years back Chief was diagnosed for and treated for a Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He applied for disability benefits. He came out of it with 0% rating. That acknowledges its service-connected, correct? They assigned a 0% rating since he went into remission after treatment. That just doesn't sound right. Is it? He was also awarded a rating for some permanent neuropathy incurred as a result of the chemo treatment. Appreciate any opinions or recommendations
  2. thought i'd share an update. I still plan to appeal this back pain issue as well as another recently denied claim of multiple joint pain/inflammatory polyarthritis AND get a VA eval under the PACT Act (the VA has called me, probably in relation to my place on the Burn Pit list). However, i still had an appeal going back to 2011 that was getting close to a decision so i wanted to let that play out first. I got an electronic copy of the decision letter today in my favor, with a retro increase in my GERD from 10% to 30% effective 2016. This pushes my overall combined rating to 100%. There should be some back pay but i don't see where that's been computed yet. I poked around the website but didnt find anything. I figure I won't see it until Feb soonest. Need to pay the lawyer his fee , I want to thank the moderators, especially BroncoVet and TBird herself, and the members here for their advice, assistance and camaraderie. I think the camaraderie and support was more important to me than the advice sometimes and i a feel fortunate to have gotten both. Happy Holidays going back to work now, but with a different attitude now :)
  3. ty, that's what i was told. kind of a one per customer. the GERD appeal has been remanded ( second remand) pending a new C and P. I submitted an IMO for that shortly after it remanded the first time. When that's decided, i have another appeal to make for the back pain.. I was 10% for lumbar arthritis. I asked for an increase and the C&P doc ( same on who screwed up the GERD) measured my ROM without a goniometer and without me removing my winter coat. On the same application for increase, i included the medical notes for my latest previous orthopedic visit 6 months prior to the application. The Doc documented 20 degrees of flexion and 10 of extension. Clearly below the 30 degrees of flexion for a 30% rating. IT was increased to 20% but it should have been 30%. I thought about doing a CUE but I will wait. The last thing I had as part of the same claim was for inflammatory arthritis. its an autoimmune disease like RA but there is no blood test for it. There is a general marker in labs and thats an elevated C-RP, which I have. I submitted over 2 years worth of medical notes from a rheumatologist. Unfortunately i got what may have been bad advice - to file for " pain and issue" with each joint separately rather than a systemic diagnosis. the C and P doc diagnosed me with with things like sprain R knee and chronic strain left wrist with no medical history like that from me and nothing in the chart to back that up. I had included information in my claim from the VA site itself that found that vets with PTS had autoimmune diseases at the twice the rate of vets without PTS and similarly vets with GW and SRE Asia time, had an increased rate of autoimmune diseases. I did tours in Iraq in 2006 and 2008 and i am on the burn pit registry. So service connection was denied. I was also contacted a PA from my local VA shortly after the PACT Act passed and i will be getting evals with pulmonary for the wheezing i have now and ENT for my throat and swallowing issues from GERD and Barrett's esophagus. I know this was long winded but the point is everything I should need has been submitted but they seem to choose not to read or act on some things. I got to my present 92% rating without help but I have hired legal representation starting with the BVA appeal for the GERD. Thanks for "listening" - haven't met with the VA counselor I was seeing weekly for PTS since COVID. The meds I take for the inflammatory arthritis suppress the immune response so i really limit my exposure to others. GB Army had it right about limited social interaction. thanks again
  4. .ty SO i should enter 70 pts 50 OSA 30 GERD 20 back 19 left and right sciatica 10 clavicle 10 tinnitus ? btw i tried this using the excel calculating spreadsheet i use and got exactly the same answer for my current rating 92.91 but if i try it with an aspirational 30% rating for GERD, 70 - 50-30-20-19-10-10 is p4.49 but 70-50-30-20-19-10-10 = 95.04 (winner winner). at least now i understand why the calculators rounded to 100%. still gotta get the GERD 30% . I have the 4th C&P for that coming up. THe BVA Appeal was remanded and I had C&P #3, however my legal rep wrote a note and we submitted an IMO and it resulted in another remand with a note that the #3 C & P did not do a complete review. wonders never cease.
  5. I hope it's OK to jump on here. I had a related question about how the calculators round. Also i don't understand how the bilateral thing works. My current ratings are 70 PTS/50 apnea/20 back/10 GERD/10 tinnitus/10 clavicle/10 sciatica RL/10 sciatica LL. The straight math is 92.91. I didn't make any adjustments for bilateral sciatica I have an appeal in that may take the GERD to 30%. that by my straight math comes out to a 94.49. however, when i use a calculator like the CCK, i enter 70 (PTS), 50 (apnea), 30 (GERD), 20 (back), 10 left leg, 10 right leg and 10 tinnitus, it displays 100%. I didnt even include the 10% clavicle yet. what am I missing?
  6. wow. today on VA.gov i see they closed the notice for request 3. Closure of requests 1 and 2 were followed in by a C&P appt about 5 days after.
  7. not sure what a c file number is by i think ive removed all the PII. So -there's no upload document function, or am i just missing it. found the upload but the pdf looks pretty funky. is there a better wa - like convert the pdf to word. lots of odd stuff in the decision but to strt with, all my joint claims were like left hand and fingers condition/pain, right ankle condition/pain. WHere they came up with the various sprains and strains -well it had to be the c &P. ;looks like the biggest gig was denting on the basis that these were diagnosed conditions, not undiagnosed. wondering if i would have done better submitting them all under autoimmune inflammatory arthritis since i do have that diagnosis from my rheumatologist. I guess i will let the lawyers i hire for the appeal figure that all out DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office Rating Decision 03/04/2022 INTRODUCTION The records reflect that you are a Veteran of the Gulf War Era and Peacetime. You served in the Air Force from November 18, 1983 to June 30, 1990, from September 10, 2001 to September 11, 2001, from September 9, 2006 to February 23, 2007, from May 1, 2008 to October 17, 2008, from January 21, 2009 to April 3, 201 I and from June 24, 2011 to November 20, 2011. You filed a new claim and a claim for increased evaluation that was received on November 15, 2021. Based on a review of the evidence listed below, we have made the following decision(s) on your claim. DECISION 1. Evaluation of degenerative arthritis, lumbar spine (claimed as low back condition/pain), which is currently 10 percent disabling, is increased LO 20 percent effective November 16, 2020. 2. Service connection for radiculopathy, left lower extremity sciatic nerve is granted with an evaluation of 10 percent effective November 16, 2020. 3. Evaluation of radiculopathy, right lower extremity sciatic nerve, which is currently 10 percent disabling, is continued. 4. Evaluation of hiatal hernia (also claimed as GERD), which is currently 10 percent disabling, is continued. 5. Service connection for left ankle strain is denied. 6. Service connection for left chronic wrist sprain is denied. 7. Service connection for left foot degenerative arthritis with posterior calcaneal spur is denied. 8. Service connection for left knee strain is denied. 9. Service connection for right ankle strain is denied. 10. Service connection for right chronic wrist sprain is denied. 11. Service connection for right foot hammer toes with posterior calcaneal spur is denied. 12. Service connection for right hand degenerative arthritis is denied. 13. Service connection for right hip strain is denied. 14. A_ decision on entitlement to compensation for left hand degenerative arthritis is deferred. 15. A decision on entitlement to compensation for left hip strain is deferred. 16. A decision on entitlement to compensation for right knee strain is deferred. EVIDENCE • Service Treatment Records, received September 11, 1993 and December 28, 2014, for multiple periods of service between November 18, 1983 to November 20, 2011 • DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, received April 8, 1991, September 11, 1993, November 13, 2012, December 28, 2014 and July 14, 2016, for multiple periods of service between November 18, 1983 to November 20, 2011 • VA Form 21-0966, Intent To File A Claim For Compensation and/or Pension, or Survivors Pension and/or DIC, received November 16, 2020 • VA Form 21-526 EZ: Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits, received November 15, 2021 • Private Treatment Records with supporting evidence, received November 15, 2021 and January 26, 2022 • VA Fotm 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim, received November 15, 2021 . • Back (Thoracolurnbar Spine) Conditions Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Knee and Lower Leg Conditions Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, 05BZ303300085200080014 026682 conducted December 8, 2021 • Hand and Finger Conditions Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 202 J • Wrist Conditions Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Ankle Conditions Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Esophageal Conditions (Including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia and other esophageal disorders) Disability Benefit Questionnaire, VES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Foot Conditions, including Flatfoot (Pes Planus) Disability Benefit Questionnaire, VES­ Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Hip and Thigh Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • Gulf War General Medical Examination for Compensation Disability Benefit Questionnaire, YES-Contractor, conducted December 8, 2021 • YAlv[C (Veterans Affairs Medical Center) treatment records, Washington, for the period September 2016 to October 2021 REASONS FOR OECIS[ON 1. Evaluation of degenerative arthritis, lumbar spine (claimed as low back condition/pain) currently evaluated as 10 percent disabling. The evaluation of degenerative arthritis, lumbar spine is increased to 20 percent disabling effective November 16, 2020. (38 CFR 4.1, 38 CFR 3.400) The effective date of this grant is November 16, 2020. The increased evaluation has been established from the day VA received your intent to file (ITF) a claim for compensation. (38 CFR 3.155, 38 CFR 3.400) We have assigned a 20 percent evaluation for your degenerative arthritis, lumbar spine based on: • Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine greater than 30 degrees but not greater than 60 degrees Additional symptom(s) include: • Combined range of motion of the tboracolumbar spine greater than 120 degrees but not greater than 235 degrees • Objective evidence of flare-ups • Painful motion The provisions of 38 CFR §4.40 and §4.45 concerning functional loss due to pain, fatigue, weakness, or lack of endurance, incoordination, and flare-ups, as cited in DeLuca v. Brown and Mitchell v. Shin:>eki, have been considered and were applied based on additional joint limitation. A.higher evaluation of 40 percent is not warranted for diseases and injuries of the thoracolumbar spine unless the evidence shows: • Favorable ankylosis of the entire thoracolumbar spine; or, • Forward flexion of the thoracolumbar spine 30 degrees or less. (38 CFR 4.7la) 2. Service connection for radiculopathy, left lower extremity sciatic nerve as secondarv to the service-connected disability of de2enerative arthritis, lumbar spine. Service connection for radiculopathy, left lower extremity sciatic nerve has been established as related to the service-connected disability of degenerative arthritis, lumbar spine. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.310) The effective date of this grant is November 16, 2020. Service connection has been established from the day VA received your intent to file (ITF) a claim for compensation. When a claim of service connection is received more than one year after discharge from active duty, the effective date is the date VA receives the intent to file when a prescribed form is received within a year of the ITF. (38 CFR 3.155, 38 CFR 3.400) An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned from November 16, 2020. We have assigned a 10 percent evaluation for your radiculopatby, left lower extremity sciatic nerve based on: • Mild incomplete paralysis (38 CFR 4.124a) A higher evaluation of20 percent is not warranted for paralysis of the sciatic nerve unless the evidence shows nerve damage is moderate. (38 CFR 4.120, 38 CFR 4.124a) 3. Evaluation of radiculopathy. right lower extremity sciatic nerve currentlv evaluated as 10 percent disabling. We reviewed the evidence received and detennined your service-connected condition hasn't increased in severity sufficiently to warrant a higher evaluation. The evaluation of radiculopathy, right lower extremity sciatic nerve is continued as 10 percent disabling. We have assigned a 10 percent evaluation for your sciatica, right lower extremity based on: • Mild incomplete paralysis (38 CFR 4.124a) A higher evaluation of 20 percent is not warranted for paralysis of the sciatic nerve unless the evidence shows nerve damage is moderate. (38 CFR 4.120, 38 CFR 4.124a) 4. Evaluation of hiatal hernia (also claimed as GERD) currently evaluated as 10 percent disabling. 05BZ303300085200090014 026684 We reviewed the evidence received and determined your service-connected condition hasn't increased in severity sufficiently to warrant a higher evaluation. The evaluation of hiatal hernia is continued as 10 percent disabling. We have assigned a 10 percent evaluation for your hiatal hernia based on: • Arm pain • Pyrosis (Heartburn and/or Reflux) • Regurgitation • Substcrnal pain A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted for gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd) unless the evidence shows: • Persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health. (38 CFR 4.114, 38 CFR 4.113) 5. Service connection for left ankle strain as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 200 l" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for cbronicity. the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of cbronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for left ankle strain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis ofleft ankle strain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of left ankle strain. 6. Service connection for left chronic wrist sprain as due to an undiau;nosed ill css. The"Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of l O percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (l) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for left chronic wrist sprain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of left wrist sprain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of left chronic wrist sprain. 7. Service connection for left foot dee;enerative arthritis with posterior calcaneal spur as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran sufTering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability'' to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicily, the claimed illness must haye persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) 05BZ303300085200100014 026686 Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for left foot degenerative arthritis with posterior calcaneal spur is denied because this disability is detennined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of left foot degenerative artlu·itis wilh posterior calcaneal spur, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Service connection may be granted on a presumptive basis for left foot hand degenerative arthritis if this condition is manifested to a compensable degree (severe enough to be evaluated at least 10 percent disabling) within a certain period after military discharge. As the medical evidence fails to show a diagnosis of left foot degenerative arthritis within the time period specified under 38 CFR 3.307, service connection on a presumptive basis must be denied. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.307, 38 CFR 3.309) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability.VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of left foot degenerative arthritis with posterior calcaneal spur. The claimed disability of left foot degenerative arthritis is a chronic disease which may be presumptively linked to your military service. You have sufficient service to meet the minimum requirements for presumptive service connection. Records show you served in the Air Force for multiple periods between November 18, 1983 to ovember 20, 2011. 8. Service connection for left knee strain as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 200l" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include ( L) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibrornyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that lhe Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presw11ption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for left knee strain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of left knee strain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of left knee strain. 9. Service connection for right ankle strain as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-montb period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establisbes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for right ankle strain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis ofright ankle strain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.3.03, 38 CFR 3'.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of right ankle strain. 10. Service connection for right chronic wrist sprain as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or 05B2303300085200110014 026688 combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of200 I" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for right chronic wrist sprain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of right wrist sprain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incwred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of right chronic wrist sprain. 11. Service connection for ri ht foot hammer toes with posterior calcaneal spur as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (I) a medjcally unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for right foot hammer toes with posterior calcaneal spur is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of right foot hammer toes with posterior calcaneal spur, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR3.317, 38 CFR3.303, 38 CFR3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a current diagnosis of right foot hammer toes with posterior calcaneal spur. 12. Service connection for right hand degenerative arthritis as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more within a presumptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for cbronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes that the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for right hand degenerative arthritis is denied because this disability is detennined to result from a known clinical diagnosis of right hand degenerative arthritis, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.3l 7, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Service connection may be granted on a presumptive basis for right hand degenerative arthritis if this condition is manifested to a compensable degree (severe enough to be evaluated at least l 0 percent disabling) within a certain period after military discharge. As the medical evidence fails to show a diagnosis of right hand degenerative arthritis within the time period specified under 38 CFR 3.307, service connection on a presumptiye basis must be denied. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.307, 38 CFR 3.309) I) ' Favorable Findings identified in this decision: 05BZ303300085200120014 026690 You have been diagnosed with a disability. VA examination conducted on December 8, 2021 confinns a current diagnosis of right hand degenerative arthritis. The claimed disability of right hand degenerative arthritis is a chronic disease which may be presumptively linked to your milita1y service. You have sufficient service to meet the minimum requirements for presumptive service connection. Records show you served in the Air Force for multiple periods between November 18, 1983 to November 20, 2011. 13. Service connection for ri2ht hip strain as due to an undiagnosed illness. The "Persian Gulf War Veterans' Benefits Act" authorizes VA to compensate any Gulf veteran suffering from a "qualifying chronic disability," resulting from an undiagnosed illness or combination of undiagnosed illnesses, appearing either during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Gulf War, or to a degree of IO percent or more within a preswnptive period following service in the theater. Section 202 of the "Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 200 l" expanded the definition of "qualifying chronic disability" to include (1) a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and functional gastrointestinal disorders) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms; and (2) any diagnosed illness that the Secretary of the VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption of service-connection. To fulfill the requirement for chronicity, the claimed illness must have persisted for a period of 6 months. The 6-month period of chronicity is measured from the earliest date on which all pertinent evidence establishes thal the signs or symptoms of the disability first became manifest. (38 CFR 3.317) Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition. Service connection for right hip strain is denied because this disability is determined to result from a known clinical diagnosis ofright hip strain, which, under current law, is not a qualifying disability associated with Gulf War service. Further, the condition was not incurred in or aggravated by service. (38 CFR 3.317, 38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.306) Favorable Findings identified in this decision: You have been diagnosed wilh a disability. VA exam conducted on December 8, 2021 confirms a cu1Tent diagnosis of right hip strain. 14. Compensation for left hand degenerative arthritis. The issue of compensation for left hand degenerative arthritis is deferred for the following information: medical opinion 15. Compensation for left hip strain. 05BZ303300085200130014 026692 The issue of compensation for left rup strain is deferred for the following information: medical opinion 16. Compensation for right knee strain. The issue of compensation for right knee strain is deferred for the following information: medical opinion REFERENCES: Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Pensions, Bonuses and Veterans' Relief contains the regulations of the Department of Veterans Affairs which govern entitlement to aU Veteran benefits. For additional information regarding applicable laws and regulations, please consult your local library, or visit us at our website, www.va.gov. VAdecision20220314_Redacted[7111].pdf
  8. Hi Berta i received the decision letter this weekend - a cople small wins, most of the joint claims were deemed not service related, 3 others were deferred and i have a second C & P today for them. following addvice here and from the Maryland State Vet Affairs guy i listed all the joints separately - left hand and fingers condition/pain, right hand and fingers condition /pain for hands, feet, knees, shoulders, hips, etc. Clearly they did not make the connection or take the hint that all the joint pain is related under inflammatory polyarthritis even though i included all the rheumatologist's records and mentioned it in a statement of support. and in the decision letter someone somewhere made some funky diagnoses - i claimed condition/pain, they diagnosed one a s chronic strain, another as a bone spur, even included "hammer toes) as diagnosis for one foot. but back to earth, i thought you asked that i attach a redacted version of the decision, but i can't find that note. Did you request that or if you didnt, would that be useful? I can do that when u return by the way i had reached out to Woods Lawyers for potential appeal - they have a lot of ads and marketing. I told them i had no interest in TDIU, wanted straight out appeal. they said they can;t help me. i will try cck
  9. Whats your experience with BVA appeals lately? I expect a wide range, but curious where the left and right boundaries are. Filed a NOD on a 2011 finding in 2012. The finding was GERD not service related. in 2016 received a decision service related, 10% rating. The decision said it was not rated higher because there was no evidence of higher severity or persistency. i filed for a BVA appeal noting why it was more severe using the appropriate criteria and persistent (diagnosed in service in 1989. In June 2021 i had a video appeal with a Veterans Law Judge.. She informed me in 90 days her report would go to the board for review and decision and although there were no guarantees i should have a decision within 60 days of that. in November (about 150 days) i was notified "Your appeal is at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals being reviewed by a Veterans Law Judge. If you submit evidence that isn’t already included in your case, it may delay your appeal". Also this note "decision soon, your appeal will soon receive a Board decision. Submitting new evidence at this time could delay review of your appeal. If you’ve moved recently, please make sure that VA has your up-to-date mailing address Now, about 90 days more or 240 days since the first judge there have been no updates. I would think it would be one of the simpler appeals - one issue, all the medical documentation is either from a military facility or i provided copies. I know there are no real standards, just curious whats the longest time anyone's appeal was stuck at the veterans law judge point in the chain. thanks
  10. I thought I updated this but it looks like i didn't. Quick recap - filed the claim Oct 6, C & P Nov 1, Decision Nov 9. 70% thanks for the great advice
  11. thanks. tossed out the old forms, KIS-ing. Write it like an 8th grader.
  12. last thing , hopefully. Trying to keep it brief. When i do the 21-526EZ do i file for joint pain, right hand, joint pain, left hand, joint pain left foot, joint pain right foot, joint pain left hip, joint pain right hip all as separate lines (disabilities) rather than joint pain, multiple joints ( then list)? and even though i have been diagnosed with RA and RA is an autoimmune disease, i need to stay away from mentioning that, other than maybe in a 21-10210 Lay/Witness Statement? A few months ago i did consult with a State of Maryland Dept of Veterans Affairs Benefits Specialist who gave me advice but told me their policy prevented him from representing me since I had an appeal in the system. An appeal that goes back to 2012. But that was all before i knew I had an RA diagnosis. The purpose of the consult was to ask the best way to submit for a re-evaluation of my back (lumbar arthritis 10%) since I herniated a disk and ended up with a lumbar fusion in April. I had multiple med visits to MTFs during my last 1-2 years in for back issues, got chiro, etc. AND i have a 10% finding for sciatica right side but my med records document sciatica both sides. I also wanted a reval for GERD (10%) since its gotten so bad i have to sleep sitting up 2-4 times a week and I've aspirated 3 times in the last year. When i got the 10% rating they said it was 10% and not 30% because it was not persistent or severe. Well I was diagnosed at Charleston Naval Hospital in 1988 (i think makes it persistent) and its so severe I have Barrett's esophagus ( diagnosed with a scope at Bethesda NNMC in 2009) so that with the current reflux and aspiration equals severe. So now I want to add the joint pain /RA on to that list.
  13. thanks soldier besides the 10 year gap between retirement and the claim I'm about to make, this is the part that threw me - right off a VA.gov site Eligibility requirements related to time of diagnosis If your illness or condition was diagnosed while you were on active duty or before December 31, 2021 You can get benefits for your illness or condition if both of these descriptions are true for you and you have one of the presumptive diseases listed below. Both of these must be true. Your illness or condition: Caused you to be ill for at least 6 months, and Resulted in a disability rating of 10% or more Its that last bullet that seems backward to me. I dont already HAVE a 10% or more disability rating for RA, that's what I'm trying to claim? So how can I meet the requirements for both those two conditions to be true. I'm probably overthinking it. As for the other point, I will KIS. In the 8 year break between active duty and ANG i became an RN. I stayed in civil engineering in the guard but i'm a nurse. my wife's a nurse. Her sister is a nurse and my sister is a physical therapist. My default is to talk "Medical" . I have to leave that all at the door, You've given me what I need to know and its much appreciated. My overall disability rating is 90% (91) now, i part because of HADIT.COM, and i plan on asking for re-eval for my back (arthritis 10%) since i had the lumbar fusion in April along with this RA claim. Who knows, this may be my last claim. thanks again
  14. I tired to research this here but I did not find this question so here goes. I retired in 2011, i was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in 2019. GW and burn pits 2006 and 2008. On the Burn Pit registry. I'll file a disability claim but will they just boot it since i'm filing almost 10 years after retirement? . I've read a lot of material, some on VA.gov websites, and I'm not clear if RA/autoimmune diseases have an established presumptive cause with GW service/burn put exposure. One article would make it sound like it was in the works, another like it was a done deal. I can think back and recall joint pain over and above as far back as 2007 (my 50th birthday) but I chalked up to aging, wear and tear and an active lifestyle. it started as occasional pain and stiffness in my hands, then progressed to my feet, continued to progress to shoulders, knees and hips and the episodes of pain became more severe, lasted longer and happened more often. By 2019 I complained to my civilian doctor saying this is not normal, referred t a Rheumatologist and diagnosed late 2019. Unfortunately blew a lumbar disk, fusion in April 2020, so i just got back to the rheumatologist, I've also read about the correlation of RA with PTSD and I've got a 70% rating for PTSD. Do i file for RA as a new claim with the nexus as burn pit exposure or as RA secondary to PTS. Multiple joints are affected but hands and feet without a doubt the worst. I can't write a sentence longhand that someone could read and I can't pull the tabbed metal lid off a can of soup or walk down the stairs without two handrails because the achilles area of my heels are so tight. IT loosens up with activity , but sit in a chair for 20 minutes and get up and its like i never loosened up. by the way, i mentioned to the Doc that I might be asking for a letter and shared that an important statement from a doctor might be something like it as more likely than not likely that my RA was caused buy my service/burn pit exposure and she was like, sure, no problem. Sorry for running on, grilla
  15. Wow. Appreciate all the advice but now its getting a little more complicated. I did have foot drop but that's improved. Still not as strong as the other side, but better. The big things are the lack of range of motion, the stiffness when i do move, the pain and the overall impact on my well-being. I was active - real active before this. Gym and or sports 5-6 days a week. I have gained about 40 pounds I just had a PTS claim approved (70%). Its all good advice - but filing for a re-eval vs filing for a new claim, primary and secondary, I don't really understand all that. I've had horrible luck with TSOs 2011-2017 so I do everything on my own now.
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