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bh1981 last won the day on June 20 2015

bh1981 had the most liked content!

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About bh1981

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    E-3 Seaman

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  1. For the TDIU, I have to say I was very fortunate to have had my coworkers sign forms and statements in support of my claim prior to me leaving. Even my boss did on my behalf. With that respect, I felt that I was pretty prepared as far as the paper process was concerned. However, the psychologist I saw at the VA, he was incredible. He was understanding, approachable, and he listened to my concerns and understood what those concerns were. With respect to SSA, I threw that application together under the thought that I would be denied. So when I received a call about a day ago saying I had been approved, my initial thought was the call was to tell me that I had been denied and I would have been okay with that. I guess there's a lesson in that...if you feel you are due your fair shake then apply and let the examiners tell you 'no' as opposed to denying yourself initially.
  2. Hello all...I just wanted to post a couple successes that just recently came through. The first is on the social security front. As soon as I became entitled to TDIU I applied for SSDI. at process took 4 months and required absolutely no medical or physical appointment in person. I just printed out the TDIU letter from ebenefits, downloaded my medical history from myhealthevet and printed it off, which was subsequently sent to Social Security. That process took 4 months and required absolutely no medical or physical appointment in person. Just a quick 10-15 minute phone call with a representative. I was awarded yesterday and applied initially February 24th. The other is the Total and Permanent Disability discharge for student loans. Again, I applied the second I was awarded TDIU and that, as well, came back as being discharged yesterday. My loans totaled $64,000! I feel very fortunate to have some of the resources that have been made available to me by this website. The joy I experienced yesterday was like Christmas, my birthday, and coming home from both of my deployments wrapped all into one! I wish you all the same amount of fortune.
  3. I imagine it would be secondary to cervical DDD but I would have your neurologist state it in writing that your CTS is directly related and secondary. Good luck.
  4. Also, I forgot to mention that there is a device that has been approved for the FDA in alleviating the symptoms of CTS. I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with the device or manufacturer so hopefully this post does not get deleted by moderators. But it has helped me at night, when CTS is worse, and I figured I'd share it with you. It is called CTRAC for CTS. It's basically a device that can be used on both hands and the intended purpose is to stretch the ligament that pushes against the median nerve in the wrists. So it acts as a sort of "release therapy" without the surgery. I have been using it for about 3 full weeks now and have noticed a significant difference in my non-dominant hand and a difference in my dominant hand that makes CTS more manageable. It's still there but the tingling and numbing have gone down significantly at night and during the daytime. It might be something to look into for whatever it may be worth.
  5. Yeah, I got a positive in both Phalen's and Tinel's as well. I've had great luck with fully developed claims in the past. For my TBI screening they sent me to an outside provider and that was a horrendous experience. At least with these FDC's and DBQ's I can select and interview my treating physician and use my private insurance to pay for the assessment. When possible I can and will use my own selected provider for these assessments because I can follow up with them if I have a question pertaining to the DBQ they filled out. With the person I saw over the TBI assessment, because the VA was paying for it, they would not give me the results which I feel is completely erroneous. That's neither here nor there. Hopefully my physician makes it crystal clear that my condition is what it is and will alleviate the VA in making assumptions for "rating purposes". Philly VAROIC seems to be going pretty quick with FDC's as of late and I cannot go through the usual claim process as I am moving out of state next month, back to my adopted "home state" of Florida. So hopefully they won't send me for further C&P evaluations with a FDC. They didn't with my last FDC so we'll see! Good luck to you as well Julie. I hope your NOD works out well for you and you get your fair shake.
  6. I found the bilateral calculator as well. For those interested it is http://www.pebforum.com/VA%20_CALC/VA%20_CALC/calc.html
  7. Thanks for sharing Julie! The last paragraph in your assessment is what my confusion is over. "The examiner reported moderate symptoms...but your sensory symptoms are more suggestive of a mild severity rating." How do they determine the severity rating as being mild if the rating examiner determined you had moderate symptoms!? I guess I'll throw my fully developed claim at them and see what happens. Thanks again for sharing!
  8. I'm glad yours was fixed. Surgery for me, at this point of time, is out of the question. I cannot afford to have any downtime due to recovery.
  9. So, if rated for moderate, my dominant hand would be 30% and non-dominant would be 20% correct? Using VA math that comes to about 48% with a bilateral factor, rounding up to 50%. Would that be correct?
  10. Hello fellow Vets, I had a nerve conduction test done with my neurologist and asked if he felt my carpal tunnel was related to military service with which he replied, "yes, definitively and absolutely". I obviously requested him to fill out a DBQ and am currently standing by for it. However, I have read numerous citations for this and cannot come up with a conclusive answer. How in the world does the VA rate carpal tunnel!? I read a few citations that stated the VA does not use terminology such as mild, moderate, or severe to characterize carpal tunnel so how do they rate it? Also, my private neurologist stated that I have moderate to severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and moderate in my left hand. I have attached a PDF of the electric nerve scan and physician impressions for your view. If rated, does anyone have any idea what that rating might be? Also, I have read some stuff about bilateral factors. Would a bilateral factor be applicable with carpal tunnel?Thanks, as always. EDIT: For some reason I could not upload the PDF. Here is what was written by my doc; EMG & NCV Findings: Evaluation of the Left Median Motor nerve showed prolonged distal onset latency (4.7ms) and reduced amplitude (5.8mV). The Right Median Motor nerve showed prolonged distal onset latency (4.9 ms), reduced amplitude (3.3 MV), and decreased conduction velocity (Elbow-Wrist, 30 m/s). The Left Median Anti Sensory nerve showed prolonged distal peak latency (4.0 ms), reduced amplitude (13.5 uV), and decreased conduction velocity (Wrist-2nd Digit, 39 m/s). The Right Median Anti Sensory nerve showed no response (Wrist). All remaining nerves (as indicated in the following tables) were within normal limits. All examined muscles (as indicated in the following table) showed no evidence of electrical instability. Impression: Bilateral median neuropathies at or distal to the wrists, i.e. carpal tunnel syndrome which appear to be in moderate to severe in the right hand and moderate in the left hand.
  11. Thanks for all of your help. I called the VA and they said they couldn't even find that letter, that was sent to me, in their system. As it stands, I'm going to assume that I am temporary, which is still okay for me. They need to make that letter a little less perplexing. Perhaps just put "glossary of terms" on the top of the page as opposed to "VA benefit details"! Have a good one!
  12. That's what I thought as well, GP. However, the only reason why I question it is that the back of the letter is worded in such a way that made me think that I was, in fact, permanent and total. All of the benefits I receive from the VA are worded like "The Veteran is receiving". I guess I gotta make a phone call. Thanks man.
  13. Hello all, I wasn't sure where to post this. However, I recently received TDIU with SMC. I assumed it was temporary, and I was okay with it. However, I received a letter int he mail today (the one the VA sends out after the ratings come back that outlines the various benefits and entitlements). On the back with the words VA Benefit Details a couple things are stated and based on what is stated, am I to now assume I am permanent and totally disabled? As always, your help is always valuable and appreciated. SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY: A condition incurred during or aggravated by military service, for which the Veteran is receiving VA benefits. COMBINED SERVICE-CONNECTED EVALUATION: The Veteran’s disability rating for all conditions determined to be service-connected. CURRENT MONTHLY AWARD AMOUNT: The monthly monetary benefit paid to the Veteran or survivor receiving benefits under a VA program. NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED PENSION: Benefit for a non-service connected Veteran who meets specific criteria, which include disability or age, wartime service, minimum length of service, and income restrictions. If a Veteran is eligible for service-connected benefits and pension benefits, VA will pay the higher benefit. INDIVIDUAL UNEMPLOYABILITY (IU): The Veteran is receiving payment at the 100 percent rate, even though the combined service-connected evaluation is not 100 percent. The Veteran’s service- connected conditions cause him/her to be unable to obtain or maintain substantially gainful employment because of the Veteran’s service-connected conditions. The Veteran must periodically certify continued unemployability, but if there is no scheduled future reduction or medical examination required, he/she may be considered by some states to be permanently and totally disabled. PERMANENT AND TOT AL (P&T) DISABILITY : The V eteran is considered by V A to be permanently and totally disabled because of his/her service-connected conditions. SPECIAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION: The Veteran is receiving additional compensation for one or more of the following: a service-connected loss of or loss of use of one or more specific organs or extremities; a combination of severe disabilities; is 100 percent disabled and housebound, bedridden, or in the need of the aid and attendance of another person. SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOUSING and/or SPECIAL HOME ADAPTATION GRANT: Grants provided by VA to service-connected veterans and service members to help build a new specially adapted house, to adapt a home they already own, or buy a house and modify it to meet their disability- related requirements.
  14. Srisatta, If you feel your fair shake it to be service connected for TBI, and you honestly feel you have it, then you need to fight it. Other than that I would continue to work closely with your VSO or go to a private physician and have them fill out a DBQ for migraines, etc. I was also denied TBI recently but have decided not to pursue it. After numerous tests and examinations it has been determined that it doesn't really exist and my migraines are more likely than not related to PTSD than anything. Migraines will be the next claim as I have about 4-6 prostrating attacks per month which requires me to have my wife call out of work to watch the children. Good luck to you.
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