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Second Class Petty Officers
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About bozoc

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class

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  • Service Connected Disability
  1. I asked my private cardiologist which part(s) of my heart condition is ischemic heart disease. He said, "It all is. You had a clogged artery which caused your heart attack. Your heart attack caused damage to your heart muscle and irregular growth of your heart which caused one of your valves to no longer fit. You had surgery to repair that valve. You also have congestive heart failure. Everything started with and was caused by your initial artery blockage". I filed my claim back in October. My cardiologist gave me some notes to send in with my claim that basically said the above in a detailed manner. I also signed the forms to let them have access to my cardiologist's and heart surgeon's records. It will be interesting to see how the VA looks at all of this. I am already paid at the 100% rate so my main concern is just to get service connection because the old ticker may do me in before I reach the DIC requirement of 10 years.
  2. I have been on Klonopin for about a year. It has really helped cut down on anxiety attacks and the severity of those I still have. It also helps me sleep. I take it twice a day and it made me groggy in the mornings at first but that stopped after a few weeks. I currently have no side effects that I'm aware of. Of everything I have to take I think Klonopin is the most effective. I carry xanax with me at all times but don't take one unless I absolutely have to.
  3. When I was in Vietnam in '69 (Army) they were sending a few NCO's to a 3 week sniper school in country. I know because they asked me to go and I told them I felt I could be of more use as a squad leader in an infantry platoon. It was voluntary. They took another guy from our company and I never saw him again. I think they were working in 3 man teams. I'm sure today's sniper schools are more sophisticated and intense than the 3 week course in Vietnam.
  4. There is a special place reserved in Hell for those that would harass a disabled vet. Do as "vaf" suggests and keep your cool. You have received some good advice here on how to handle this situation. I have a bad case of PTSD and would have already taken a baseball bat to somebody which is exactly the wrong thing to do. I can reason until I lose my temper and then anything goes. I am glad you are not as ignorant as I am. B)
  5. Thanks LarryJ. Those are all good points. I did have my wife do a statement but like you said I don't know how much weight that will carry. My VSO suggested I find at least one of the doctors who treated me for headaches after leaving the service. Even though medical records will not exist at this late date, a written letter from a treating physician might help. One of them is a family friend. I am going to pursue that and see where it goes. If the IU thing is approved, the headaches issue becomes much less important. It is more or less the principle of the thing to me. I am already 80% with one issue (PTSD) being at 70%.
  6. Thanks for all your suggestions Berta. I appreciate it. I think we came pretty close to doing as you suggested. We pointed to specific language, attached old forms that proved they got the information the first time around and used some fairly strong language. As far as TBI, I did not file a claim for that. I have done some research on it lately and I believe I likely have that sort of injury. I have quite a few of the symptoms. I do know I have had headaches since the day I was wounded and had maybe two or three in my life prior to that. My problem is the time lapse is now 39 years. I may go see a private doctor to evaluate me for TBI. I saw a couple of different private doctors over the years after I returned home and was prescribed pain killers. I found that aspirin, excedrin, bufferin, etc. worked just as well if I took enough of them and didn't have the side effects of the prescription pain killers. I still take them daily (9-12 per day) and have to continually switch around as taking the same one all the time eventually becomes ineffective. Over the years though I have developed a bad case of acid reflux which is probably due to the excessive amounts of aspirin, etc. I take Nexium for that. In Texas the doctors are only required to keep records for 5 years so those old treatment records are long gone. I was young and dumb and had no idea at that time those records might be of value to me some day. The VA will not take my word that I recieved treatment between the time I got home and the time I filed the claim. All I have going for me as far as the headaches is the existing shrapnel, my old service records showing hospitalization for an infection and headaches immediately after being wounded, and my word that I have seen doctors in the past.
  7. John, I agree. I think they are just hoping I will go away. They are badly mistaken. I won't say my application for IU is iron clad but it is close. The Va's own C&P doc that did my exam for PTSD stated in his exam write-up, "The veteran has lost the ability to work", and SSA awarded disability within 10 weeks of application using VA medical data. I never even saw a SSA doctor.
  8. Thanks for the advice vaf. What you suggested, the vso and I have done. We resubmitted the evidence and highlighted the important parts. We also showed they made the decision by not using all of the evidence which they had, but denied having. Apparently the parish representatives in La. receive information back from the VARO in New Orleans showing they received whatever the parish rep submits. Thank goodness the parish rep (vso) was able to show the VARO they were mistaken as to the evidence they should have had on hand.
  9. On May 9, 2008 I received a favorable decision granting 70% for PTSD and 10% for residual of shrapnel wounds (70% by va math). The letter said the issue of compensation for headaches secondary to shrapnel wounds was deferred and Individual Unemployability was implied but deferred pending further information.They said they needed me to fill out form 8940 for I.U. My VSO and I sent in form 8940 on June 6th and also a letter from SSA saying I was disabled on July 1, 2008 retroactive to July 1, 2007. The SSA disability was based solely on service connected issues. The SSA information was sent to the VARO in New Orleans on July 24, 2008. I had a C&P for the headaches on July 1st, 2008. In January of this year they had found 8 pieces of shrapnel in my head left over from 1969. The examiner in July stated that it was less than 50/50 that my headaches were caused by the shrapnel residuals."There is no found objective evidence that the headaches were present immediately after the injury". Therefore the headache claim was denied. They also denied the I.U. because "they did not receive a form 8940". The denials for the headaches and I.U. were mailed to me on September 15th . The VSO has a copy of the 8940 signed off as recieved by the New Orleans VARO on June 10th. My military health records also show that I was hospitalized for a week for "wound infection associated with severe headaches". This was four days after I was originally wounded. Obviously no one looked at my military records even though they said they did and we have proof that they received the 8940 form. We stated on the 8940 form that the VA doctor that did my original PTSD evaluation specifically stated "The veteran has lost the ability to work". They also never acknowledged receipt of the SSA disability in their decision even though we have proof we sent it and they received it.. We have asked them to reconsider the decisions before we file an NOD but I have little confidence they will do so.
  10. Clonazepam works well for me for anxiety. I take it before bed and in the morning as well. I carry xanax with me at all times but very rarely take it. I haven't found anything so far that helps with depression. Have tried Paxil, Celexa and Cymbalta to no avail. I see the shrink at the end of this month. My lack of sleep is beginning to become a problem again as well as frequent nightmares. I hope they can do something for that. I hate taking drugs but like most here have reached the point where I have little choice. Sure wish I could find something for the depression though.
  11. Shreveport does the same thing Pete. Like you, I would probably miss something if they didn't.
  12. 101airborne, you have asked some questions that are not easy for someone else to answer but I will give you some of my personal opinions and you are free to take them for what they are worth. Not knowing you, I don't know how your PTSD affects you personally. I do know there are no guarantees of TDIU from the VA and there are no guarantees of percentage increases. If you get TDIU, 35k or so is not a lot of money to raise a family on these days. If you are unable to work at all, it is a good lifeline though. I was awarded 70% for PTSD and SSDI just recently but I was able to work for many years even though I knew I had problems. I expect to be declared IU soon. I would trade both to be able to work again and I am 60 years old. Being on TDIU at age 25 and not being able to do any work your entire life will be no picnic. But if you are not capable of working at all then you probably don't have much choice. Personally, I would try school and work first before I gave up on the idea. Go into it with a positive attitude and tell yourself that "you can do it". If it doesn't work for you the other option is still on the table. If you go directly to TDIU, you lose your options to work. It will be a long life ahead for you in that case Regardless of what you decide or what path you may be forced to take, I wish you the best of luck and I appreciate your service to this great country. BO
  13. LLFLY, that is wonderful news. I am very happy for you. Hang around and help others!
  14. Pete is correct as usual in that they should tell you what the C&P's are for if you call them. Best of luck to you.
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