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Berta

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Berta last won the day on October 12

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About Berta

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    PLEASE POST questions in the MAIN FORUM
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    Beautiful hills of NY andwidow of  2 vets, 2 HD each and mother of USAF vet-my daughter, 7 years Top Secret Intel
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  1. Can you scan and attach here the most recent denial? Cover your C file# ,name, address prior to scanning it. I hope you are not dealing with the Buffalo VARO. They can barely read. At least that is my opinion because of the ridiculous denials I got but I pursued them relentlessly until I succeeded. "I also have been working a veteran who also received a NOT SERVICE CONNECTED decision not only for his issues he was being treated for throughout his military service, but he also got denied for Tinnitus. Very surprising, maybe VA is working on budgeting, deny a bunch of claims, budget looks better." Does he have a copy of his SMRS and inservice personnel file? To include his discharge certificate that lists his inservice disabilities? Have you yourself seen his DD214 or DD 215? Can he join us here? Posted 4 hours ago Almost took two years to finally get a decision I have been given a rating of NOT SERVICE CONNECTED for all 7 of my claims. I'm hoping others are receiving better outcomes, this time around I had gone through a lawyer thinking that may help, but at this point not really. Next steps will be to appeal unfortunately since there is a massive backlog of claims. But when the VA cannot make a reasonable determination, this is what happens. One thing I will point out if it helps others, these claims did not have to do during a time I was deployed over seas. Could this be a reason why I was denied completely, who knows this game is very subjective. My other disabilities I have received were from overseas service, and I had actually applied for them myself, no help from law firm. I also have been working a veteran who also received a NOT SERVICE CONNECTED decision not only for his issues he was being treated for throughout his military service, but he also got denied for Tinnitus. Very surprising, maybe VA is working on budgeting, deny a bunch of claims, budget looks better. "I even have my deceased fathers claim which has been ongoing for almost 2 yrs and my family are waiting for a decision there for the sake of my mother receiving the benefits she is entitled too." Has that claim been denied? Was she able to send them the evidence they requested? As a widow myself of 2 veterans, I know how miserable the VA can make it for many widow's claims. Was he a Vietnam Veteran, or a Blue Water Navy Veteran? With more info we can try to help more.
  2. I believe it would take a pulmonlogist to properly opine on the claim.Or an expert in Fibromyalgia, who would have the most recent medical literate to support the claim-but I dont know if you claimed the fibro as a potential cause of the OSA. I thing that would be even a stronger way to go than the MDD meds. I personally would do both. We have the right, as claimants, to advance any possible way of entitlement to SC. But it all depends on the meds you take for each of those disabilities and the PDR and many other sites on line have detailed info and side affects of all medications. The opiner did not mention any VA prescribed meds in the page of th decision you posted. You could also find their name on the actual C & P exam and gripe to LHI,VES, QTC or whatever outfit did the exam,if they were not qualified to do it- but then again the claim still needs to associate both of your SCs with the medications side affects,--- anything that could cause weight gain and OSA. It might help to get a service officer as well, (vet rep)and feel free to copy my replies, so that they can see how the claim could be supplemented with evidence.
  3. You are correct- BVA cases are unique to the veteran who filed the claim- however they contain a wealth of info as to how to prepare and support a claim with evidence.They also cite VA regulations and Precedent opinions such as the OGC pres Op in one of the links I gave you-as well as precental US CAVC decision. They are not "evidence" except in rare situations. I had a very old BVA decision that contained a "clue"-I was using my own old BVA case as "evidence" but the RO ignored it. I called General Counsel. Then the VARO could not ignore what the BVA had stated to me long ago- and which was still a valid established regulation. But Evidence is Everything and you could follow my advice yourself to present to the VA any medication info that could support your claim, along with the medical profile you have from the VA, as well as the fairly well established medical links above in my replies, and any other evidence you can find. These are bonafide very good medical sites. You might find more than I did. ".I guess it's just the luck of the draw..or maybe they had a better medical opinion given than myself. " I dont believe it is the luck of the draw- it is either getting a solid IMO/IME in difficult cases like this,or doing all of the leg work yourself. MANY if not most vets here succeeded without IMO/IMEs- I am sure. we do not get a fair shake from the C & P proess at all and this is why an IMO/IME can do wonders. In one of his IMOs for me Dr Bash quoted the VA endocrinologist and said what she had stated was "medically inaccurate" and stated how her opinion was not valid at all. Also she said I used a DVD acronym from Merck which the VA uses as well. Some had put into my husband medical records DVD (diabetic Vascular disease )and did not cross it out like the diabetes entry. She , as a VA endocrinologist, had the audacity to say it meant that the veteran "Denied Venereal Disease" -DVD. I jumped on that right away= the veteran had VD in service,and on his rating sheets and Never denied having inservice VD. The last incident O had like that was that a doctor opined on my claim and stated it was an inperson interview. By then my husband had been dead for 2 decades! I complained to the White House Hot Line and someone from the VHA called me and he said something so stupid I wont even get into it.I used the situation as "evidence" as well as the fact that this VA doctor had been relegated to the AO registery department long ago and I guess they didnt want her to be actually dealing with VA patients. I won that claim, very fast after that. These VA opiners people are slick. I have had to knock them down many many times. I am convinced that most of them love to have the power to deny claims that have validity. Then again if they awarded too many claims due to their opinions they would probably be off the C & P examiner list. ".I guess it's just the luck of the draw..or maybe they had a better medical opinion given than myself. " Maybe they did but we cannot rely on a good C & P exam outcome at all. I read at the BVA a denial from a female veteran who also was trying to get OSA associated with her SC disabilities. She had no IMO/IME and did not attempt to provide significant evidence herself. I had no doubt that with a little more evidence she could have potentially succeeded. I will re read your decision again to see if there is anything else I could add.
  4. Also you might want to read over some of these BVA decisions regarding Fibromyalgia and OSA under my search feature: I searched for OSA fibromyalgia in the BVA search engine and 504 decisions popped up. Some however might only had one of the search terms in them. You could also try a searh at BVA for fibromyalgia OSA, and maybe more would pop up. The highlighted links wiil be the ones you have already read. Research can take a considerable amount of time. But if I had not done lots of research for my many claims, as a widow of a disabled veteran, I would probably have lost them all. Also for my most important claim, I had 3 IMOs- one was a freebee and Dr Bash did the other 2 IMos - $4,000. It was the best investment I could ever make because it resolved my issue and it finally gave my dead Husband and me ---Peace with Honor. I wrote the initial IMO/IME criteria here ( added more to it since) based on the IMOs Dr Bash did for me and how he covered ALL bases. Dr Bash and my freebee IMO doctor both worked for the VA in the past and knew exactly what they needed to opine on with medical evidence from my husband's VA medial records and his 6 page autopsy. I do not know what the VA doctor meant by your use of sedatives. Your medication profile, in your VA medical Records , will list the meds you take for your SCs. You can look them up to see if contributed to your weight gain , and OSA. When I got my husband's full VA medical records, after his unexpected sudden death, I found two meds that possibly contributed to his death and General Counsel VA definitely agreed with my lay medical opinion on one of them.FTCa/1151 wrongful death. When I asked Dr Bash for the IMos, I had already done considerable work on that direct SC death claim ( undiagnosed and untreated DMII from AO) and I found out an odd prescriped VA med was for a condition that is known in DMII patients and part of the 1997 original VA Diabetes training letter. Also I found a Diabetes diagnosis had been crossed out, because most of his VA doctors by then knew he had DMII but tried to cover it up. They failed. Research and careful reading and re reading VA medical records and SMRs etc etc etc can often be the road to Success. But IMO-IME doctors certainly earn their fees by doing that for us. I had to study cardiology and neurology and endocrinology to succeed in the claims that I did not have an IMO for. That's OK- my lay medical opinions were solid. BVA search feature I used: https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_search.jsp?QT=OSA+fibromyalgia&EW=&AT=&ET=&RPP=10&DB=2021&DB=2020&DB=2019&DB=2018&DB=2017&DB=2016&DB=2015&DB=2014&DB=2013&DB=2012&DB=2011&DB=2010&DB=2009&DB=2008&DB=2007&DB=2006&DB=2005&DB=2004&DB=2003&DB=2002&DB=2001&DB=2000&DB=1999&DB=1998&DB=1997&DB=1996&DB=1995&DB=1994&DB=1993&DB=1992
  5. I took note of the word "sedatives" they said you used. I do not know what they mean by 'sedatives' but perhaps they mean the SC meds you take. If any of those SC meds can cause obesity, then an IMO/IME doctor could write a strong opinion for you-qith medical abstracts or current medical literature, and then include a medical rationale for why the obesity has caused the sleep apnea. https://community.hadit.com/topic/79792-david-anaise-md-for-osa-secondary-to-ptsd/page/3/ There is info above from some members here- They mention Dr Bash, Dr Anaise, and a Dr Trippi who helped them with IMO/IMEs. Have you asked your pulmonologist- wther VA or private to give an opinion that would help? Also the VA probably listed your SMRs as evidence, but I wonder if they really did read them for the OSA. I found the Feb 2015 decision frome lotzaspotz but could not magnify it to read it. https://community.hadit.com/topic/60866-copy-sleep-apnea-grant-of-sc-nam-vet/#comment-362128 Also there is a link between fibromyalgia and sleep apnea: Sleep Apnea in Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Growing Concern Patients with fibromyalgia have a tenfold increase in sleep-disordered breathing, including obstructive sleep apnea. Proper diagnosis and treatment will improve health and quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. By Victor Rosenfeld, MD https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/myofascial/fibromyalgia/sleep-apnea-patients-fibromyalgia-growing-concern and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500898/ A n IMO/IMEpulmonologist would have updated info on the association of Fibromyalgia and OSA. By googling your state and Pulmonologists IMO IME they might have a site to find an IMO/IME You might have mentioned SC fibromyalgia in your posts-but maybe I am wrong.
  6. Can you scan and attach here the denial of OSA due to weight? Cover your C file # name, address prior to scanning it. Your medical records would reveal when the weight gain started and a strong IMO/IME could determine if that was when the SC meds were given, if they were meds that could cause weight gain and/or OSA. This fairly recent BVA decision awarded for OSA due to weight gain from SC medications. "[T]he Veteran's prior to (EPTS) PTSD and SC depression have been treated with multiple medications and the onset of the significant weight gain roughly coincides with the initiation of regular use of several medications which have strong association with significant weight gain, specifically, olanzapine and divalproex. Therefore, although there is no definitive evidence that the major depressive disorder did not cause the obesity, there is significant evidence that the treatment methods which were utilized in the treatment of the depression more than likely than not contributed to the onset and progression of the obesity. Based upon the May 2017 VHA medical opinion and the February 2015 VA examination, the Board determines: (1) treatment of the Veteran's service-connected depression caused the Veteran to become obese; (2) the Veteran's obesity was a substantial factor in causing his OSA; and (3) the OSA would not have occurred but for the obesity cause by the treatment of the service-connected depression. See VAOPGCPREC 1-2017. For these reasons, and resolving all reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, the Board finds that the weight of the probative evidence supports an entitlement to service connection for OSA, secondary to service-connected major depression. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1110, 1131, 5107 (West 2014) ; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.159, 3.310." ORDER Entitlement to service connection for OSA is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/Files4/1720242.txt Also Chris Attig, vet lawyer, and I believe still a hadit member, has info here: https://www.veteranslawblog.org/obesity-obstructive-sleep-apnea-ptsd/
  7. To the original poster Donnie : This is an old BVA decision however: "FINDING OF FACT Providing the Veteran with all benefit of the doubt, sleep apnea is aggravated by medications taken for major depressive disorder." The Veteran's Major Depressive disorder was already service connected. https://www.va.gov/vetapp14/Files4/1427494.txt In this more recent case (2016) " "Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to service-connected disabilities." https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files4/1634144.txt Also some medications can cause OSA: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346880/#:~:text=Several medications (atypical antipsychotics in,can induce or exacerbate OSA. Both decisions contain a lot of info as to how the veteran succeeded. This would need a Very strong IMO/IME, that follows the IMO/IME criterias here at hadit. The Opinion independent doctor should have access to your inservice STRs, Military Personnel records, and all othe health care records. They would also need to bolster their opinion with any good medical excerpts etc.
  8. He is out of tthe Agent Orange DMZ criteria: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/locations/korea.asp "He talks about no records and stuff being classified." My daughter was told her Top Secret Classified MOS would be declassified if needed for VA purposes. VA did declassify all military records for a friend of mine (now deceased)who had succeeded in an AO claim. Since he is out of the AO DMZ timel you got good advice here-look into the Special Ops download, above, and make sure he gets his inservice SMRs as well as his inservice 201 ( Personnel File). If the VA doctors diagnosed him with PTSD,there might well be something in his VA medical records ,which he needs to get as well, regarding a stressor, that he would have to prove. . "Anybody have any idea how I might help convince him to apply for the benefits he earned?" That is a good question. I tried to help a local vet many years ago, who kept forgetting to show me his DD214, and said many other vets had told him to apply for VA benefits. Finally he showed me his DD 214 and I had to advise him to take the steps to try to get a better discharge. He said his PTSD was why he got bad paper. Possible -but there was not anything else I could do for him, accept give him advice as to how to get the discharge changed... a long process and I dont think he ever pusued that. But another local vet denied having PTSD ( he had 2 Purple Hearts) After many years of me asking him to apply for PTSD, he finally did and got awarded. Not saying this veteran is not sincere on his military experience, but on his DD 214 you will find his unit degination and the unit surely has a web site and/or history of the unit's involvement in Korea 1980. Nothing is impossible. I searched for US Army Korea 1980s and this popped up- there might be some info or op there that he could recognize. https://www.google.com/search?q=us+army+korea+1980s&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS695US695&biw=1280&bih=577&ei=ZEZoYavvB_S2qtsPsaeG2AE&oq=us+army+korea+1980s&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAEYADIICCEQFhAdEB4yCAghEBYQHRAeMggIIRAWEB0QHjoHCAAQRxCwAzoOCC4QxwEQ0QMQkQIQkwI6BQgAEJECOggIABCABBCxAzoOCC4QgAQQsQMQxwEQowI6BQgAEIAEOggILhCxAxCDAToECAAQQzoKCC4QxwEQ0QMQQzoLCC4QxwEQ0QMQkQI6DgguEIAEELEDEMcBENEDOgsIABCABBCxAxCDAToFCAAQhgM6BggAEBYQHkoECEEYAFDdMViWcmDkjwFoAnACeAOAAYcMiAHnmAGSAQg2LTcuMTAuMZgBAKABAbABAMgBCMABAQ&sclient=gws-wiz
  9. Buck, after the loss of 2 disabled vet husband's ,I found volunteer work gave me the help I needed to get through those losses. Somehow I managed full time work as well as volunteer jobs, many years ago. The best volunteer work I did was at a VA vet center. You have always been such a help here to veterans, that hadit will help you feel less lonliness I am sure. But, this week is the anniversary of my USMC husband's death- over 2 decades ago and the grief is always there but it hurts less than it used to. This link might help you with whatever SSA benefits you would get due to Brenda''s death: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors/ifyou.html They have a phone number there to call as well and could direct you to the closest SSA office.
  10. GREAT news GBA !!!!! We must Never Give up!!!!!
  11. I agree- and she should apply through a different VSO, for DIC and the Wartime pension. Wartime pension can involve many factors unique to the survivor. If the VA denies the pension, that is one thing and they have to give a reason why-but if a VSO denies a claim that has not even been filed yet- they are not properly doing their job. I disagree with the interpretation here of " However, if an individual withdraws a claim for Social Security benefits, after a finding of entitlement to those benefits, in order to maintain eligibility for unreduced Social Security benefits upon reaching a particular age, VA will not regard this potential income as having been waived and will therefore not count it." They wil not count it because is was "waived". That does not seem to be the situation here with this widow. This recent BVA decision shows what they mean by "income" In part: "ORDER Entitlement to death pension is denied. REMANDED Entitlement to dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), to include based on service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death is remanded. Entitlement to accrued benefits is remanded. FINDING OF FACT The appellant’s countable annual income for VA pension purposes is in excess of the established income limit for receipt of payment for nonservice-connected death pension." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files3/a20003567.txt The claim form is here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21P-534EZ-ARE.pdf It clearly states the SSA info they need. A VA claim for DIC is also a claim for Wartime pension if applicable. The above wiow's claim was not developed at all to see if she was eligible for DIC, and the BVA remanded it. It is always possible that a deceased NSC veteran's service medical records ,and VA or private medical records nd the Death Certificate could reveal something significant to establish a service connected death. However if DIC is denied for Good Cause the VA will consider the pension. It is also possible that the veteran did not meet the initial period of service for a Wartime survivor's pension, based on his DD 214 ,or something else triggered he VSO to say she was not eligible.Or the VSO didn;t want to take the time to help her fill out the EZ 534. These are the eligibililty requirements for wartime service, etc.: https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension/
  12. Buck, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I had PC problems all week, and could not be here. Actually it wasnt the PC, it was the fact that our trees in NY have grown so high due to all of the rain we have had, that I had to get quite a few trees cut down to be able to get the satelitte dish to pick up the modem access. At first the Sat people thought it was due to a stationary front putting me into a cloud for days. In any event I am so sorry what you are dealing with, but you know Brenda is now in a Good place and she is free from all of her physical problems. She would want you too be strong and have faith that God will see you through this, because He will. Thursday is the anniversary of my USMC husband's death and the grief never goes away but gets better to deal with in time.
  13. Buck appreciates all the concern and all of your continued prayers for his wife - this is an update from Buck : "They did remove the ventilator yesterday (Thursday) at 4:00PM and the Dr said the procedure placing the tube in her throat was successful ( Thank you Jusus) so if she can tolerate the tube they can un-sdadate her and we can communicate by writing /blacklboard .ect,,,,ect,,, It may take a couple of weeks or maybe sooner if her lungs will start to heal and she can breath on her own. When ? they can remove the tube and she can go home within a week or so...."
  14. Hello I want to ask do u no how to find out what department in the bath va hospital.

    Would be doing a medical opinion exam there.

    I was told my remand was send there September 23.

    I have always had all exam done buffalo ny. Dont understand why it was send to bath.

     

    Any info would be helpful

  15. Also , here in NY and I suppose in every state ,I asked th undertaker for some of my husband's ashes to take home with me and that was not a problem. This is the web site for the National Cemetery in Dallas Texas: https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/dallasftworth.asp I have given advice here in the past on Military Funeral for veterans. I wrote my USMC husband's obitury myself and th undertaker checked it all with his DD214-215 and it was printed in the local papers verbatim to what I wrote. Good thing I did that-The American Legion saw the Obit and had enough time before the burial date to get the Color Gurd and gun volley ready, and get their unitofrms ready too, as well as the bullets,too. 27 years ago it seemed neither undertakers or the VA National Cemetery Offices were taking the steps to do that, when the veteran was eligible for a full military funeral. A widow here in NY made quite a stink many years ago ( I dont blame her) when her dead veteran spouse's funeral was devoid of any Color Guard or gun Volley -maybe they did play TAPs, and he was fully eligible for a Military Funeral. I hope surviving spouses now get the proper info on that.
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