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Master Chief Petty Officer
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Vync last won the day on March 12

Vync had the most liked content!

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About Vync

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    E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
  • Birthday October 15

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  • Military Rank
  • Location
    Ft.Living Room, AL
  • Interests
    Family, fishing, movies, video games, gardening, hot rods, computer programming, electronics, music

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  • Service Connected Disability
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  1. I work in the field of processing scanned documents and images. If the VA scans the documents to PDF format, they might also utilize optical character recognition (OCR) during the scanning process to collect searchable text. It is far from perfect when scanning handwritten documents (extracted text may come out looking like gibberish). However, if the print quality was good and the characters are very readable (i.e. typed/printed), it usually does a fairly good job extracting searchable text. It might not be 100% perfect if you search or select/copy/paste text. If the VA scans the documents to a bitmap format (i.e. JPG/TIF), which I doubt, it would not be searchable.
  2. Based on what you posted, here is my opinion: It sounds like you have issues with the sciatic nerve (runs down the leg). I have the same issues you indicate and mine was rated under the sciatic nerve. Using that nerve table as reference, but advise you double-check against your medical records. If you become service connected, it looks like a potential 40% rating in each limb. If SC in both legs at 40% each, it likely will be rated as bilateral, which means they will roll both ratings into a single rating. The 40% and 40% would calculate to 64%, then 10% is added (6.4%), to equal 70.4%. That would be rounded it down to 70% even. The "no records were reviewed" part might be a factor. If the DBQ was filled out by a non-VA doctor, the VA might want you to come in for one of their doctors to perform a C&P exam. I have seen them do this because they want to ensure the records were reviewed. A medical nexus was not included in the material you uploaded, so I cannot advise on the likelihood you might get SC. Depending on your situation, the VA might want to bring you back in a year for reevaluation. If your doctor has determined your disability is not likely to improve, that might not happen. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=eb7493eb29df5c572d488350d31b4925&node=pt38.1.4&rgn=div5#se38.1.4_1124a
  3. @Berta I assume that for 1151's, it is not best to let the VA formulate their own opinion. Or, if I file and win approval for the regular secondary claim, might that suffice? Could negligence be considered as the VA prescribing me NSAIDs for decades instead of in smaller brief periods?
  4. @broncovet that is really good information! When it finally gets approval, I'm going to probably have to wait for extended clinical trials. Having a heart attack limits what you can take safely.
  5. That's excellent news! Really happy for your friend!
  6. He noted that I "have significant anxiety and depression related to the experience" and issued a MH referral, which I have later this week. I did find one error. He stated I did not have shortness of breath, which is correct if I am not standing or talking for extended periods. Once I get up, I run out of breath pretty quickly. No, I was still able to work. Lucky enough to have a desk job as a programmer, but have to talk on the phone a lot with customers and sales people. Despite being a desk job, it can be high stress because they are always pressing for deadlines to be met. How could this be considered a Section 1151 claim? Can a veteran file both an 1151 and regular/secondary claim for the same issue? I also read that the cardiologist advised me to discontinue one medication. I have no memory of that. When I went to the non-VA hospital, they always give me printouts showing what to begin or discontinue taking, along with the dosage recommendations. I don't think any VA doctor has ever done that for me. Additionally, I was recently diagnosed by a non-VA endocrinologist as having Cushing's. I filed a claim earlier this year for it along with a letter from her stating that is was caused by steroids used to treat my asthma and spine issue (both of which are service connected). I asked the cardiologist if Cushing's could be a factor and he said no. However, I found plenty of articles online showing that is can be a factor. Looking back, I am really glad I bought my house which is located less than two miles from a non-VA hospital which just happened to have a cath lab. My wife literally saved my life by driving me to the ER. If an ambulance was called or if we had to drive into the city to go to the VAMC, I might not have made it.
  7. During the process of recovering from a major heart attack, I have begun collecting and reviewing my medical records and exploring risk factors. The most obvious factor is long-term NSAID use. The Army prescribed Ibuprofen almost daily. The VA and other doctors have prescribed various NSAID medications daily for about the past 20 years to treat my SC musculoskeletal and TMJ disabilities. The heart attack was a STEMI (aka "widowmaker") with numerous blockages ranging from 10-20% to 99%. The angioplasty began about two hours after the heart attack started, lasted over two hours, and several stints were inserted. I have some cognitive issues like short term memory loss, difficulty making decisions, and greatly reduced physical stamina since the event occurred which has made things much more difficult. I only partially remember visiting the VA cardiologist last week, but do remember him saying the NSAID use is a major factor in having a heart attack. He also said he could tell I had a heart attack by just looking at my EKG. I am considering filing the claim via Ebenefits this week and just letting the VA handle the C&P. I am already SC at 100% P&T (more than 10 years in effect). If things go downhill, the additional rating might make it easier to qualify for some level of SMC, A&A, or even SSDI. Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.
  8. Sure, you can talk to your doctor about it. I talked to my VA neurologist about CBD oil. He said it is approved for certain forms of epilepsy. Off the record, he said clinical research is being performed and the potential to treat chronic pain is very promising. This information should help you out: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/marijuana.asp
  9. After the VAMC travel office denied me a travel voucher request, I did my homework because it did not pass the smell test. I wanted to verify qualifications for my travel and explore any potential exclusions. I also learned that if the VA denies travel, they must do it in writing so you can appeal the decision. My primary care doctor asked me to return early the following week to have fasting blood labs performed. I completed this the next business day and visited the travel office to get a voucher. This is where it gets interesting. The employee refused to issue a voucher because I "did not have an appointment in the system" for that day. I visited the Patient Advocate, who has always been very helpful, but they told him the same thing. I later placed a call to the White House VA Hotline. Meanwhile, I researched 38 CFR 70 - VHA BENEFICIARY TRAVEL UNDER 38 U.S.C. 111 to arm myself with knowledge of the actual law. I qualified under the first few lines. However, paragraph (c) is in direct contrast with what I was told. Double-checked to confirm having blood drawn at the lab qualifies. This was a surprising find. Looking at the facts, the VA travel employee denied me an initial claim for beneficiary travel. However, they failed to provide me with a written notice of their decision. I was unable to formally appeal, which might be constituted as a violation of my rights to due process. It is also a good way for the VA to hide any paper trail. Fast forward to yesterday. I get a call from a VA employee who issued a verbal apology for the mix up and said I would be paid for one-way travel, which is partially vindicating. However, a lingering concern about how § 70.4 (c) defines how "for care or services that were not scheduled with VHA" should be applied remains. The VA does not make appointments to have blood drawn. It is impossible to simply walk in and get labs performed without a consult from a doctor. The word "appointment" is found only once in this entire law, but it applies only to a special aspect of reimbursement for food an lodging. Therefore, in my opinion, the primary care doctor's consult constitutes scheduling of follow up care at the patient's convenience without being scheduled for a dedicated appointment. The VA employee said they would look into it. In conclusion, learning that beneficiary travel denials must be issued in writing was a significant find. However, the VA loosely defining "scheduled" as meaning "appointment" is intriguingly disturbing. Could this be a simple incorrect reading of the law or is it an intentional effort to deny beneficiary travel payments to veterans under certain scenarios? Why doesn't the VA make appointments for labs, having glasses fitted, or picking up equipment for prosthetics? A veteran must travel to the VA facility to have them done much like visiting radiology to have imaging performed. If this happened to me, I can only assume it is happening all over VA-land.
  10. I would assume that the same laws that apply here in the US would also apply in the Phillipines. The laws governing travel are found in "38 CFR 70 - VHA BENEFICIARY TRAVEL UNDER 38 U.S.C. 111".
  11. Thanks @broncovet, I'm taking things slow. I wanted to add that in addition to CHAMPVA benefits, it is worth checking with your state to see if your dependents who are in college may qualify for additional benefits like free/reduced cost tuition or books.
  12. Next time you call, ask them if the claim shows as being filed under wounded warrior fast track or a regular claim. Something could have gone wrong and they might have screwed it up. I agree that I have read about most decisions being in less than 90 days, but five months is excessive.
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