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Everything posted by tk3000

  1. GBArmy, it seems since I got 100% TDIU I got too accommodated and somewhat lazy, so I haven't really started process yet. But that is about to change now. I am on the planning phase now doing the research and preparation process. I plan on retrieving medical records tomorrow, and if I find out more relevant research papers I will share them here (this one that I posted is not all that interesting...). But the mainstay of my claim is going to be set of secondary conditions that I hold, all of each play a role development of sleep apnea: anxiety disorder, major depression, gerd, and obesity due to the lack of regular physical exercise (then due my physical disabilities) . I will share the main developments of my claim process and steps here with you guys. It just happens that the VA is too dysfunctional and too slow to be real as we all know so well, so it will probably take longer than what I would wish or what any rudimentary civilized society would expect: I anticipate 50% chances of it going to the BVA.
  2. There is also a nexus between GERD (chronic heartburn, or acid reflux) and sleep apnea. A causal relation of the former with the later. Below, I am attaching an article from an academic publication regarding this issue. So, if you have GERD and it is service connected you can add it to the list of secondary conditions that could contribute to the onset of sleep apnea SLEEP_APNEA_GERD_PAPER.PDF
  3. According to VA laws, regulations, statues the goal the Voc Rehab is to provide training that fulfills veterans aptitudes and interest (be it going to Law school, Med. School, a Phd, etc) and which ideally would lead to suitable and gainful employment. Therefore the law states – and there is plenty of legal precedent to back it up – that it is up to the veteran (and not to the VA counselor) to decide what school to go and what coursework to pursue. The latitude of decision making that a VA counselor has is very much limited to situations whereby the veteran demonstrate an inability to pass in his coursework (veterans has failed all his/her classes), and not to whether or not the veteran should or should be approved to go to school based on any other criteria (the decision has already been made and is within the preambles of the law) “There are too counselors “within the agency who refuse to fulfill the true purpose of the program – to help a veteran become as independent as possible and as successful as possible in employment; the emphasis herein is in the “as possible” so the sky is the limit. They instead claim they have a mandate to get you back to work as quickly and cheaply as possible, which is a claim written no where in the actual law.” (military.com), and it is otherwise a direct violation of the law. The right to go to school and to whatever school the veteran so choose is up to the veteran and the veteran only. The law clearly states and the doctrine of legal precedent restates that and thus any pretentious pathetic pseudo-decision of the voc counselor crafted in order to deny the veterans his legal rights and legal entitlement is nothing but a blatant violation of the law (where is the accountability Act) and an attempt to jeopardize the veterans legal rights and legal entitlements. Again, it is the legal right and the legal entitlement of the veteran to choose whatever school or training route he/se sees as suitable to his interests and aptitudes. The approval of the voc counselor is merely a formality, and the voc counselor must follow, obey, and observe the law, regulations, and statutes instead of pretending to be any type of powerful decision maker because clearly a counselor is not one – at best the voc counselor is a facilitator who should provide for and help the veterans in his training endeavors (unfortunately that is not the case the vast majority of the times as they tend to be liars, crooks, and manipulators).
  4. Ddsr, I just tried it and it also shows "Appeals feature has moved to VA.GOV" Thanks
  5. I saw the same message whenever I tried to look up the status of my appeals (currently at the bva level); a message in a large font size says that my opened appeals have moved to va.gov. But it is a failed state of affair -- at least in my case. Whenever I log on into va.gov and then look up my opened appeal status, it shows none opened; in other words no currently appeal opened. It shows some old appeals and some oddball closed appeals that at first does not make much sense (it may be be phases or aspects of my current appeal or even past appeals that have been completed; but to my current opened appeal is not shown). By the way, I know that my current appeal is opened because I contacted VA via iris and was informed that there might be a glitch or malfunction within the webservice and that my appeal is still open (it is an appeal for an early effective date). Now I have no way to check out the status of my appeals.
  6. L, an interesting article that somehow confirmed something I conveyed and knew from my readings of analogous BVA claims. Sure enough, but even certified mail can somewhat fail with the hectic way the VA handle paperwork. I did not know about sending it through ebenefits was an option, that is convenient!
  7. I got your point. And also there is a need to file and send that notorious form every year to showcase that we got no gainful and meaningful employment. Sometimes it occurs to me: what would happen if this correspondence gets misdirected by the USPS during transport? I would imagine that there would be some failsafe mechanism and that they would not instantly kick one out of IU; after all, correspondences are know to get misdelivered during transport sometimes.
  8. Yeah, I know that, but in a cinch it gives me safety net and a failsafe net in case I am out of IU for any reason. thanks for your insights!
  9. I read somewhere that ones primary or originated condition would be the main condition, in my case it is the left leg condition from which other conditions are related. For instance my MH condtion (which is rated at 70%) is mostly attribute to my left leg condition (pain and difficult of mobility). But, then, I also read somewhere that the condition with higher rating is considered the main condition which seems to be the correct one. I understand how the VA math works, the whole body theory and how the main condition can precede the other conditions that it ties together: after 70% disability, there would 30% of a whole body which the other conditions would affect, etc. But what are the odds that any rater would give anything but schedular 100%? Besides the MH rated at 70%, I don't have any condition above 30% so the SMC comes from the fact that I have peripheral neuropathy on my left foot rated at 20%. The neuropathy would be considered a loss of a sensorial part of the body and thus would grant me the SMC. thanks
  10. You are probably rated the SMC due to the 10% for peripheral neuropathy; a loss of a sensorial part of your body.
  11. I also happened to have neuropathy in my left foot which is a lack of sensorial body part and I believe that is what gives me the extra SMC compensation. You should have SMC too I assume. Yeah, it seems that sleep apnea itself and the plethora of other conditions you have would have an impact on you gaining weight, and thus also contributing to sleep apnea in a sort of vicious cycle since sleep apnea itself can cause fatigue (the machine is supposed to help with the fatigue caused by sleep apnea). You have been diagnosed and are service connected for depression and PTSD which are known to cause obesity. I believe that these conditions combined could conjure up a good case of obesity causing sleep apnea, but I doubt the RO would give it to you; it is a case for BVA to decide -- likely favorably. There is an actual case that was decided at BVA level for a veteran whose claim was that depression would lead to overeating which would then lead to obesity and consequently sleep apnea. I know that the BVA is not an independent court and does create precedent of ruling per say, but it is a strong case on your side and shows the likelihood of a positive outcome. Sure enough, calories intake, genetic predisposition, aging all cause obesity but physical exercise is probably the main tool to combat obesity. Make sure you always sleep with CPAP machine, the machine should help you have a good night sleep and wake up refreshed and reinvigorated; and most importantly, it could also save our lives. John, thanks for reviving the thread, soon this thread will be old and abandoned and maybe someone will necro-bump it.
  12. But according to the VA math that would put my overall rating above 95% which would translate to 100% schedular. Besides, I am already eligible to SMC, I receive it every month.
  13. No, I haven't started it yet. But I will file soon (intent to file). I believe that it can be done on ebenefits? I was not i a big hurry for two reasons: 1) it is not going to affect my level of compensation since I already at 100% due to IU, but it would put me in another bracket; that is schedular 100%. 2) I have a pending appeal with the BVA, but I don't expect that to be finalized any time soon. Another thing that is worrisome is how the VA operates with its lack of accountability and some many horror stories to go along with it. I have well diagnosed conditions whose rates have been increased by the BVA, I am afraid that it can prompt reviews of such conditions by the RO (as indicated by broncovet) which could then bring the rates down however absurd it may sound. And it may seems absurd, but sometimes absurdity is the norm with the dysfunctonal VA whose employees often amass to plot against veterans. Besides some of my disabilities are more than 10 years old (original diagnosed) , so they may have protective status. Still, the idea that they can wrongly and purposefully review my conditions is worrisome to say the least. My very first post in this thread is actually a rough initial draft of what my claim is going to be. What do you mean by "Reverse Nexus"? A flipped nexus? As building up of the case, I am beginning to collect medical evidence. The following is an excerpt from the notes taken by the VA primary care physician: “SLEEP APNEA: Discussed the various causes of OSA, and purpose of F/U to titrate pressure & fit mask. Pt takes trazodone prn, and is not on any meds that I know cause apnea. He says he has gained some weight since his prior study, and I agreed that this may have some impact.”
  14. Still gathering evidence. We can not go to the battle without body armor!
  15. In England, US, and Commonwealth jurisprudence and thus court decisions have precedent over codified law. I know that may not necessarily applied to federal code of rules and regulations that is the domain of the VA. And while the CAVC is an independent court (as you pointed out on your case of the a/c for your vehicle), the BVA is not but still its decisions has some bearing and weight upon new decisions Sure enough, there are many overweight vets, but the vast majority of them do not have physical conditions that are service connected which then preclude them from doing physical exercise. And if somebody with depression has nexus to obesity (overeating due to depression) and then sleep apnea as a granted claim due to depression, I can not imagine how a real physical disability could not cause obesity and thus sleep apnea. It seems that the RO may not grant the claim, but likely the BVA would; anyhow it depends on my medical evidence too and what type of physical examiner one gets. Thanks for your input Richard
  16. I confess that I have not read the whole thing; I read the main point and skimp over the rest. To my redemption I read the full content of the following case: https://www.va.gov/vetapp13/Files3/1325545.txt It is an almost carbon copy of my case since I also have right leg overuse issues related to my left leg condition (lots of hardware with impairment, pain, etc)
  17. Gastone, Still it was a decision from the BVA granting him SA secondary to depression. And it also seems to consider obesity as a service connected condition. It was probably intentional. If a case is the just slightly above the average in terms of complexity or processing time they simply deny it, in effect bumping it up to the BVA. I happened to have a case of early effective date in which a previous BVA decision was simply ignored, so I was left with no recourse but to file another appeal in order to have the BVA re-interpreting its pre-existing determination and decision and then making the wording very clear to the RO.
  18. Unique11128, yeah I totally agree. The possibility of the DRO making a proper decision is a fluke (almost never happens)
  19. I tend to believe sometimes the condition is self-explanatory and self-evident by the chain of events and any reasonable physician or knowledge lay person could come to the conclusion of it being at least as likely service related. But a nexus from an outside physician certainly gives you extra assurance. I noted also that there are lots of threads about sleep apnea in this forum.
  20. broncovet, thanks for your insights. I just tend to believe that my case is intuitive in a sense since I have medical records that relate my obesity to pain and inability to properly exercise; and obesity is a major factor in the development of SA. But I will look for more information and maybe a nexus from a physician, or at least physician notes that relates both conditions. I hate having been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but then one is trying to get something positive out of it. And it seems that there is a clear and valid path for compensation there. I also have an appeal at the board now, and it has been going on for two years. I anticipate two more years (even though my last appeal to the bva took less than 2 years) considering its current position on the dock. Could there be a conflict and more delays in my appeal or a delay in any new claim?
  21. Gastone, I believe I found it again. The following is the url: https://www.va.gov/vetapp13/Files5/1340261.txt
  22. I do not have documentation of service event or aggravation, but neither did I have for my heartburn/gerd condition when I initially file the claim and the C&P examiner stated that the "condition was as likely as not caused medication intake for a service connected condition". Besides there is a clear cause-effect relation and with a little bit of induction any physician would come to that conclusion (not 100% sure, but at least as likely as not) But I understand that having a nexus stating a clear relation between one and another would make the claim much easier. Though I have plenty of documents (medical notes) about my left leg condition with pain and difficulties of mobility and also have plenty of medical records/notes relating my obesity to my pain and thus difficulties of engage in physical activity. And obesity is number one cause of sleep apnea. Thanks broncovet
  23. Actually, I found at least two cases at the BVA whereby a veterans case was decided favorably (I don't have the urls though). But in one such cases the link was made between the veteran's depressive disorder to overeating which would cause obesity which then would cause sleep apnea. At first, I felt that it was a sort of far fetched case (but my opinion in such matters carry no weight): from depressive disorder to sleep apnea. But further research shows that according to the CDC such link is widely recognized. But does not the rater make a decision based on medical information and the medical examination? Many years ago, I have had a case and claim for heartburn/gerd related to the intake of pain medication. I had no nexus from any outside physician neither did I have a clear indication that it was service related. But the examining physician made a statement that it was as likely as not caused by my left leg condition due to pain medication intake. I would imagine that most people would not develop obesity while in the military since fitness in the military is so important, and an unfit person would likely not join the military to begin with. Yeah, that is the doctrine of don't rock the boat! Almost all my service connected conditions have been upped by the BVA, most decisions made by the RO were a recurrent disgrace (low ratings) done by cronies skewed and biased against veterans. The idea that the RO would yet again review and readjucate at will all my service connected conditions sounds insane, especially knowing that a "higher court" (BVA) have decided in my favor to begin with, moreover these decisions and medical opinions made the VA itself (C&P physicians) stated that there is no prospect of improvement for any of my conditions. So, maybe they would review conditions that are subject to review due to potential improvements of the condition in the near future, otherwise the idea that the RO could change a well established decision by the BVA based on their own ignorant, illogical and irrational criteria sounds completely crazy for me; and if that is the case nobody whom had decisions made at the BVA should ever file another claim ever again. Thanks, Gastone
  24. First off, there is a diagnose and the issuance of CPAP machine (in the near future). The reasoning is very simple and straightforward and several veterans with a much weaker and far-fetched case were granted the benefit (veterans whose only nexus was between sleep apnea and depressive disorder: depression => overeating => obesity => sleep apnea). In my case there is a physical impairment that make mobility and exercising much more difficult, moreover on top of that there is also depressive disorder; overall it seems that this to be self-explanatory and self-evident and that C&P examiner that is not biases toward veterans would grant the case. I don' t know whether or not obesity alone is a disability subject to any financial compensation. Thanks!
  25. Over the years, I gained weight which I attribute at large to my physical disabilities (left leg with hardware) and ongoing pain which makes exercising more difficult, currently my BMI is of 32.6 which is classified as obese. There has been cases within the VA whereby mental healhty issues have been grounds for a successful obesity claim, and one also have mental healty issues so this is another ground for the same claim of obesity (the rational being that depressive disorder would increase ones food intake). But it seems to me that the physical disability issues are a stronger case. Anyhow, both disabilities make for an even strong claim of obesity. I am not sure how a claim of obesity is adjudicated at the VA, but I am not morbid obesity by any means. Nonethless, my claim for obesity is a door for another claim; claim for sleep apnea. Recently I was diagnosed with sleep apnea through a sleep study, I have had the same study done in 2011 whence I was more fit and the result was negative but this time around the result indicated a diagnosed of sleep apnea with need of a respirator in order to sleep. So both the obesity claim and that of sleep apnea would have to be concurrent, and the later dependent on the second. The following are some of the arguments I plan on adding to my claim: Establishing service connection generally requires competent evidence of three things: (1) a current disability; (2) in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and (3) a causal relationship, i.e., a nexus, between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the current disability. Holton v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1362, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2009); 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(a). In this particular case the third criteria applies since there is a nexus between the veterans physical disabilities (physical limitations and pain plus depressive disorder) and his obesity and henceforth the development of sleep apnea. Therefore sleep apnea is proximately due to the veterans obesity disorder ( greatest risk factor for sleep apnea) which in different degrees of causality is a consequence to the following veterans established service connected disabilities: mainly left leg physical condition with pain which hinders physical exercise more difficult and depressive and anxiety disorder which increases one food intake (Obstructive sleep apnea and other symptoms of OSA are associated with probable major depression, regardless of factors like weight, age, sex or race, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.). ------- Does that sounds like a sound and quick claim to through even the notoriously dynfunctional VA claiming process?
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