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

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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. The pyramiding rule applies here. The VA would evaluate you for each disability, but would grant you single highest the percentage of them. It is very helpful to read the rating criteria for each disability because one might worsen and you might be able to request an increased rating, which could in turn increase your rating. If the disability, or the medication the VA prescribes to treat it, causes a secondary disability, you could also file a claim for that. For example, I have chronic asthma and took inhaled steroids since I was in the service. Last year I was diagnosed with Cushing's and filed a claim for secondary service connection. One important thing is to read the entire section of the rating criteria, not just the specific disability. Some diagnostic codes (DC's) might be considered under pyramiding while others might not.
  2. In my last round of claims in 2012 or 2013, I did just this. Had return receipt certification for both times I mailed them. After I won my appeal, a few months later the VARO sent me back one complete set and indicated it was duplicate material. Ironically, recently I uploaded documentation to the VA via ebenefits and they somehow managed to lose it.
  3. I would not be surprised if it was a glitch. I went over to va.gov and looked there. It shows my claim as closed. I look under files and it shows two things: "<VA Medical Facility>" and VA 21-686c Declaration of Status of Dependents I can understand the VA screwing up HTML tags, but for the life of me I have no idea why a dependency form showed up under it. I haven't filed one in years. Yup, glitchy...
  4. I checked. They are not there. When I asked the lady at 1-800 about this, she said that I had originally filed an online "intent to file", but once the 21-526 form was received, any documents attached to the online intent to file were deleted. However, I look under "Work In Progress" and can see a line item for the intent to file under "Inactive Intents to File". Sounds fishy to me...
  5. I uploaded those records electronically via ebenefits, but mysteriously the VA somehow lost them. I would get the doc to try and rewrite, but she has since moved across the country.
  6. @broncovet I really appreciate the perspective you put on this. Would filing the new Supplemental Claim request be the same as a NOD? It was interesting when I called 1-800 the other day. The lady on the phone looked at my original claim and the Cushing's decision. She said the VA based their denial on me never being diagnosed with it and advised I submit records showing I was diagnosed. I have those now and am sending them in. The non-VA endocrinologist used what might be a magic word: "iatrogenic", which appears to have a nexus built into the definition: This is what she wrote: I am including the definition with my response. I had to look it up to see what it meant. I have a feeling the VARO would have no clue either.
  7. Bravo Sierra! I wonder if the VA was using medical doctors as contractor when the ruling was issued...
  8. The RO is about a 90 minute drive. Last time I went about 8 years ago, they were not very helpful. I'm not an expert on the revised claim appeal options, but for the Cushing's claim, I am sending the new Supplemental Claim Request form. For my heart claim, I'm just sending a regular Statement in Support of Claim because the VA stated a decision letter for it was never mailed and did not even exist in the system. I would not be surprised if I hear back from the VA and get asked to file a Supplemental claim also. Typical...
  9. My fuzzy memory recalls something about the VA being required to develop claims to maximize benefits (i.e. explore potential secondary claims). My recent claim was for "Heart condition due to medications for TMJ, upper and lower spine". Is the VA required to fully explore side effects of medications to treat all SC disabilities or just the specific scope requested? I ask because I found many medications used to treat other SC disabilities may cause risk factors (i.e. hypertension, weight gain, high cholesterol). I'm hoping to be able to tie these in as secondary conditions which contributed to my heart attack.
  10. This is a weird situation... Earlier this year I requested claims for Cushing's and heart condition. I recently received a decision letter for the Cushing's (denied due to no diagnosis). I called 1-800 and talked with them about it. I will be sending in a supplemental claim request with evidence and release auth forms on Monday. However, the lady said my heart claim was closed at the same time as my Cushing's claim. She asked if I received the decision letter. I indicated I received it, but it made no mention of anything to do with my heart. She then opened up their copy of the decision letter and confirmed what I saw. She sent an inquiry over to let the team who worked my claim know about it. === It is obvious that the presumption of regularity was broken here === Is my claim really closed? Should I send in a Supplemental Claim Request or just a Statement in Support of Claim on Monday?
  11. @Berta thank you so much for providing this link! It has helped shed light to help answer the question, "Why did I have a heart attack?" My brain fog has got a little better and I finally got around to reading it carefully. I feel the NSAIDs and other medications may have contributed to elevating my risks (hypertension, high cholesterol, and overweight), but sumatriptan was proably the medication that triggered the actual heart attack. I'm writing everything out to help me keep track of what to submit to the VA and for the IMO. The VA knew I had other significant underlying cardiovascular diseases (AFIB, hypertension), but prescribed it anyway The prescriber (VA) should be aware... The VA still continues to give me this medication even after I had my heart attack, despite the clear warning. The scare part is I have been taking it once to twice a week since! Not any more... The first dose of it was given in the VA ER, but no ECG was done. Hmm... The VA has prescribed it for years, but never once performed "periodic interval cardiovascular evaluation" per the recommended follow up guidelines. I first took the pill, then two hours later the injection, and then 30 minutes later the heart attack.
  12. I am working on this separately
  13. Per www.myhealth.va.gov, the VA has never performed a heart echo. However, they did perform a nuclear stress in 2016 (ejection fraction then was 68%, post-MI it was 49%) I looked over medications given to me by the VA from 1996 through the present which were given frequently (total of 37, but I was taking 12 when I had the heart attack). I bounced those off of drugs.com and rxlist.com to see possible side effects by themselves. What I found was surprising: 2 linked to Hyperlipidemia (HCTZ and propanalol) 12 linked to Hypertension (albuterol, HCTZ, sumitriptan, etc...) 23 linked to Irregular heartbeat, I have AFIB (albuterol, omeprazole, sumitriptan, etc...) 8 linked to Myocardial Infarction (sumitriptan, etc...) 12 linked to Weight gain (HCTZ, lansoprazole, mometasone furoate, etc...) All the meds I specifically named are among those I took the day of the heart attack. They were also daily meds, except sumitriptan which I took once or twice weekly. The NSAIDs were linked to AFIB, hypertension, and myocardial infarction, but I have not taken any NSAIDs since mid-2018. Additionally, Mometasone Furoate and a few other corticosteroids were prescribed 61 times and are linked to Cushing's. I then looked in my medical records to examine my weight gain (another symptom of Cushing's) over the years from when I left the service to now: 1995: 165 lbs, 2013: 194 lbs, 2017: 209 lbs, 2018: 224 lbs, 2019: 220 lbs, Now: 195 lbs My non-professional opinion: 1. Army service causes SC disabilities. 2. VA gives me meds to treat SC disabilities. 3. Medications given to treat SC disabilities are linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight gain, and some to heart attacks. 4. I end up having all those problems. The C&P doc claimed I had 5 risk factors for heart attack, but three of those are linked to the medications. Hmm...
  14. Yes, I was taking Pravastatin 40 mg daily for a couple of months prior to the heart attack. Afterwards, I am taking Lipitor 80 mg daily.
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