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Berta

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Berta last won the day on July 30

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  1. The letter is excellent ,and as GBA said, a buddy letter can always help- I am very glad that the urologist gave them a link to the AUA report! Did you have a C & P exam prior to the reduction? ( Make copies of anything you send to the VA- they have a tendency to lose stuff.) Th report is surely here at the AUA site: https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/oncology-guidelines/prostate-cancer I think they require a login ( for Urologists) maybe not- but this is something probably some other vets with prostate cancer should look into- The VA will need to rate your residuals. Are you unable to work with this disability? Do you receive SSDI ( Social Security Disability) sole for this disability? Would the disability prevent you from being accepted by VA Voc Rehab? AMVETS would probably ask you those questions, as well.
  2. I found a few more BVA decisions that awarded tinnitus- "The Board finds that service connection for tinnitus is warranted. The Veteran has reported ongoing, recurrent tinnitus during the appeal period, and that his tinnitus began while he was a radio mechanic and equipment operator in the Army; he worked on and was in great proximity to running generators and was exposed to a great deal of noise. See May 2014 Form 9. " https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files5/21031005.txt ----------------------------------- The veteran below had multiple grants from the BVA to include tinnitus, In part: "The Veteran seeks to establish service connection for cervical strain, right upper extremity radiculopathy, left upper extremity radiculopathy, right knee degenerative arthritis, left knee degenerative arthritis, and tinnitus. Specifically, the Veteran seems to assert that the VA examinations are inadequate; that his tinnitus is due to his MOS as a multichannel radio operator, and due to his service with the air defense artillery unit and loud weapons fire; and states that he developed such disorders during active service. See Third Party Correspondence, April 7, 2020; see also VA Form 20-0996 Request for Higher-Level Review, September 2, 2019." and also was on remand because VA failed to do many things under 38 CFR 4. etc and the wife gave a statement thus, that was given much weight by BVA. "In her statement, she stated that the Veteran’s claimed conditions started during his military service and had progressively worsened following service." This was not only an important statement for the many conditions the BVA granted but also it showed that the conditions, to include tinnitus, started in service and were 'continuous' from service. https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files3/a21004927.txt I am not having luck finding a good place to find a buddy statement. But I do not use Facebook and there might be some vets there there who were in your unit. Did your Unit have a Nickname like the "Screaming Eagles" or "RED HORSE" ? ( my neighbor is 20 yrs Retired -RED HORSE- Rapid Engineer Deployable USAF)- sometimes a Nickname will produce a web site or forum that could hold reunion rosters etc with contact numbers-for buddy statements. But I dont think you will have any problems due to your MOS. My phone just rang , however, it was our radio show producer and it took him many years and some denials ,and one award for Tinnitus SC "0" rating, )to finally get his tinnitus service connected at 10%.
  3. GBA is RIGHT 100 % !!!!!!!! I will do some more research on your unit- and can post any direct cnact info Ihave if I know the name of the VA Regional Office you deal with. It will take some time because, with a half hour here the roofer will be making lots of noise hard to think straight---- To bolster GBA's point- many of these raters/adjudicators at the RO, might well be veterans but that does not mean they understand many of the MOS's fr each branch of service ,and what those military duties actually involved. I noticed in many of the BVA decisions, that the veteran had detailed exactly how they were exposed to acoustical trauma. Some of them were not even born when the Vietnam War occurred.
  4. http://www.hadit.com/veterans-benefits-claims-definitions.pdf That has most of the ones we use-----(I hope) US Army " Soldier's manual : radio teletype operator, MOS 05C, skill levels one and two." https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/2607799 US Army MOS O5e: http://www.mosdb.com/army/05E/mos/112/#:~:text=05E MOS&text=Installs and operates FM%2FSSB field radio communications equipment.
  5. Sorry for the acronyms- VSO Veterans service officer BVA Board of Veterans Appeals-Washington DC I fund so far veterans who served in Germany who were radio operators and were awarded for Tinnitus. While a BVA decision only applies to the specific claimant- their decisions hold a wealth of info. This is in part: "Here, the Veteran contends that he incurred tinnitus due to noise exposure during his military service. See, e.g., Board hearing transcript dated March 2017. Specifically, he asserts that he was exposed to loud radio equipment noise, weaponry, and grenades while he was stationed in Germany as a communications specialist. He explains that during the course of his military occupational specialist (MOS), he was exposed to loud noises from his radio equipment, such as loud buzzing frequencies. Furthermore, during the March 2017 Board hearing, the Veteran testified that he experienced ringing in his ears since his military service. Id." "His DD-214 Form reflects that his MOS was a radio operator and a multichannel equipment operator, and that he was stationed in Germany as a multichannel equipment operator. His service treatment records reflect no complaint or diagnosis of tinnitus during service." "The Board has no reason to dispute the Veteran's credible lay statement concerning his in-service noise exposure. To this end, the Veteran's statements are consistent with his with his DD-214 Form. Therefore, his claimed exposure to loud noise is consistent with the circumstances, conditions, and hardships of his service, and is credible. See 38 U.S.C. § 1154 (a) (West 2012)." https://www.va.gov/vetapp17/files9/1759448.txt --------------------------------------------------------------------- Next one in part: "The Veteran contends that he has tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which developed during active duty as a result of harmful noise exposure. At the outset, the Board notes that the Veteran has credibly reported experiencing ringing in his ears during the pendency of the appeal. Moreover, he was diagnosed with tinnitus during a November 2014 VA audiological examination. Thus, the Board finds that the current disability element has been met. Additionally, the Board finds that the in-service element has been satisfied. The Veteran’s personnel records reflect that he served as a radio operator, and he has reported (for example, in correspondence received in April 2018) “monitoring and communicating with high frequency [M]orse code for long periods of time”—a task which involved exposure to “constant high pitched screaming and ringing.” The Board accepts his contentions of harmful noise exposure in service. See 38 U.S.C. § 1154(a). Consequently, the only question on appeal is whether there is a link between his current tinnitus and in-service harmful noise exposure. After reviewing the record, the Board finds that the evidence supports the Veteran’s claim that his tinnitus originated in service. As noted above, the Veteran has reported ringing in his ears since being exposed to harmful noises in service. A VA audiological specialist has noted the Veteran’s reports of ringing in the ears since service, and diagnosed him with tinnitus. Although there is some negative evidence in the record regarding the Veteran’s claim, the positive evidence put forth by the Veteran of ringing in his ears during and after active service renders the nexus element to be at least in equipoise. As such, a nexus to service is shown and service connection will be granted. See 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.303(b), 3.309(a); see also Charles v. Principi, 16 Vet. App. 370, 374 (2002)." https://www.va.gov/vetapp19/files10/19177782.txt I need to mention that the NPRC problems were reported on TV about a week ago- They do suffer a tremendous backlog, but the problem is probably at your RO. If you give us the name of your Regional Office ( VARO) I can post some contact info here- tomorrow----(in midst of men working on my home ,it has been hectic) GBA made a good point too- I bet your unit has a web site- if you tell us the exact unit designation of your DD214, you might find info on the site and maybe even be able to contact a "buddy" to verify the proximity to flight line or the other things you mentioned as to the acoustical trauma you were exposed to. By unit designation I mean like this I use my deceased husband's as example "1stMARDIV, 1st Amphibious tractor Battalion, USMC Danang Vietnam 1965" (it was originally 3rd Marines but Admiral Zumwalt changed that) You said :" We also used loud generators to power our mobile radio trailer. " That would be great evidence if you can get that verified by a buddy- but your MOS alone might do it-- I will try to find our acronym help list You said "I remember the NCO instructors shaking their heads saying why bother, a monkey can key a radio mike- and they were right." Yeah! Ha Ha
  6. The MOS criteria I posted ,can help: "The claim of entitlement to service connection for right shoulder disability, diagnosed as osteoarthritis and impingement syndrome, is granted. The claim of entitlement to service connection for left shoulder disability, diagnosed as osteoarthritis and impingement syndrome arthritis, is granted. The claim of entitlement to service connection for a right-hand finger disability, diagnosed as trigger finger, is granted. The claim of entitlement to service connection for a left-hand finger disability, diagnosed as trigger finger, is granted. The claim of entitlement to service connection for bilateral hearing loss is granted. The claim of entitlement to service connection for tinnitus is granted. FINDINGS OF FACT 1. The Veteran’s assertions of in-service noise exposure and the performance of strenuous duties associated with his military occupational specialty (MOS) are credible and consistent with the circumstances of his service." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files7/20044653.txt ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "The Veteran was exposed to excessive levels of noise during service. 2. Bilateral hearing loss was not shown in service or for many years thereafter and is not related to service. 3. The Veteran's bilateral tinnitus was incurred in service. "CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 1. The criteria for service connection for bilateral hearing loss are not met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1101, 1110, 1111, 1112, 1113, 1131, 1137, 5107; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.307, 3.309, 3.385. 2. The criteria for service connection for bilateral tinnitus are met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1101, 1110, 1112, 1113, 1131, 1137, 5107(b); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.307, 3.309." https://www.va.gov/vetapp19/files2/19111592.txt In Part: "Turning next to service incurrence, the Board finds that the Veteran was exposed to excessive levels of noise in service, based on his consistent statements regarding in-service noise exposure related to his MOS. The Board also notes that while the Veteran’s specific MOS isn’t listed in VA’s Duty Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Noise Exposure Listing, military personnel having an MOS of Engineer have for the most part been determined to have a moderate to high probability of noise exposure." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In this case.... In Part: "We note that, although the Veteran does not have a hearing loss disability for VA compensation purposes, the examiner did provide a positive nexus opinion for the Veteran's high threshold left ear hearing loss. The examiner noted the Veteran's military occupational specialty (MOS) during service was field artillery, which carries a high probability for hazardous noise. The Veteran had reported significant noise exposure including 105- and 155-millimeter howitzer artillery pieces in combat and training and aircraft and helicopters." and "Here, the credible evidence supports the claim and service connection for tinnitus is warranted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files6/21037517.txt My note here- remember you guys had No real type of acoustical protection during the Vietnam War-at all. And the ear plug lawsuit is advertised on google and tv- https://earplugs.injurymatch.com/int/?cid=1211&afid=3&project=Earplugs&usid=11260499982|military earplugs lawsuit-b&sid=GoogleSearch&msid=CjwKCAjwo4mIBhBsEiwAKgzXOAVyIAGGyHiqmwjFmlEBFcNec7FmIqORXeVDBbp5jxY5IVrgBvjhiRoCVNoQAvD_BwE&st-t=GoogleAds&vt-k=11260499982&vt-p=&vt-n=g&vt-d=c&vt-dm=&vt-c=military earplugs lawsuit&vt-t=118020728530&vt-ap=&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=11260499982&utm_content=118020728530&utm_term=524417910620&vt-p1=118020728530&vt-p2=524417910620&gclid=CjwKCAjwo4mIBhBsEiwAKgzXOAVyIAGGyHiqmwjFmlEBFcNec7FmIqORXeVDBbp5jxY5IVrgBvjhiRoCVNoQAvD_BwE
  7. That is Superb advice from GBA! By all means go over this list: https://criteria.njarmyguard.com/wp-content/uploads/fast-10-35.pdf This is an update of the original Fast Letter 10-35 that has helped many veterans here, http://blog.finkrosnerershow-levenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Duty-MOS-Hearing-Loss-Probability-Chart-VA-Fast-Letter-10-35.pdf As this notable vet law firm states, tinnitus is almost always rated at 10% and no higher for one ear or both ears: https://cck-law.com/blog/secondary-conditions-to-tinnitus-va-disability/#:~:text=VA rates tinnitus under 38,takes both ears into account. The article also reveals some conditions that could be found as secondary to the tinnitus. You are only claiming tinnitus? And not hearing loss as well? You might well be able per your MOS on your DD 214, and with this updated VA Fast Letter , enhancing the initial 10- 35, to get a reasonable response on your claim.
  8. There are some AO Prostate cancer vets here- The rating guidelines are in this BVA decision: In Part: "Rating Reduction The 100 percent evaluation for the Veteran’s prostate cancer was assigned under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, DC 7528, malignant neoplasms of the genitourinary system, which assigns a 100 percent rating for active malignancy and then assigns an evaluation for residuals following active malignancy under the appropriate genitourinary dysfunction under 38 C.F.R. § 4.115a. A note after DC 7528 provides that following the cessation of surgical, x-ray, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedure, the rating of 100 percent shall continue with a mandatory VA examination at the expiration of six months. Any change in evaluation based upon that or any subsequent examination shall be subject to the provisions of 38 C.F.R. § 3.105(e). If there has been no local reoccurrence or metastasis, the disability is to be rated on residuals as voiding dysfunction or renal dysfunction, whichever is predominant. See 38 C.F.R. § 4.115b, DC 7528, Note. Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.105(e), where a reduction in an evaluation of a service-connected disability is considered warranted and the lower evaluation would result in a reduction or discontinuance of compensation payments currently being made, a rating proposing the reduction or discontinuance must be prepared setting forth all material facts and reasons. In addition, the AOJ must notify the Veteran that he has 60 days to present additional evidence showing that compensation should be continued at the present level. The Veteran must be informed that he may request a predetermination hearing, provided that the request is received by VA within 30 days from the date of the notice. If no additional evidence is received within the 60-day period and no hearing is requested, final rating action will be taken, and the award will be reduced or discontinued effective the last day of the month in which a 60-day period from the date of notice to the Veteran expires. 38 C.F.R. § 3.105(e)." https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files3/a21004763.txt Basically the 100% rating is for 6 months and then, only the residuals, if any, are rated. Are you still in the appeal period? Medical evidence is needed for the VA to rate the residuals.
  9. I am glad I looked into this further------ That BVA search above is outdated -there are now 167 decisions at BVA on ALS in 2020 and 2021 so far-and it looks as if the BVA is certainly more up to speed on ALS claims!!! 1) https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files5/a21009033.txt PLS variant - ALS granted The veteran's private physician and a VA doctor agreed and the veteran also had submitted medical texts and info from good sources to support his claim ------------------------- 2. "Service connection for a neurological condition, to include frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS complex), is granted." "Service connection for the cause of the Veteran's death is granted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files5/21032237.txt _____________________________________________ 3."ORDER Restoration of service connection for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with bilateral upper and lower extremity weakness with atrophy, persistent daytime hypersomnolence, bowel impairment, and urinary frequency, is granted. FINDING OF FACT 1. The grant of service connection for ALS in a March 2013 rating decision is not shown to have been clearly and unmistakably erroneous." "After a review of the record, the Board agrees and finds that while service connection was originally improperly granted on a presumptive basis to a period of service that did not qualify for such presumption, the Veteran did in fact have a qualifying period of service for which presumptive service connection for ALS could be granted. Therefore, the severance of service connection for ALS was improper, and restoration of service connection is warranted." https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files4/a21007344.txt ( This case holds a very interesting CUE situation) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. " The appellant has established “veteran” status, as service connection is in effect for bilateral hearing loss and tinnitus due to his period of active duty for training (ACDUTRA). 2. The Veteran has a diagnosis of ALS. CONCLUSION OF LAW The criteria for service connection for ALS are met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 101 (24), 1110, 1112, 1113, 1131, 1137, 5107; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.318." https://www.va.gov/vetapp21/files4/21021092.txt -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think these cases are good to review if ANY ALS vet gets denied.
  10. We had a PLS vet here - as a possible ALS variant and a DIC ALS widow and also there is more info here on ALS variants: https://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_search.jsp?QT=ALS+variant&DB=2016&DB=2017&DB=2018&DB=2019&DB=2020&DB=2021&RS=11 This was an old search I did at the BVA, but will try to update it if that will give more info.
  11. I certainly agree that, since ALS became Presumptive for EVERY Veteran, many veterans would have a hard time with VA and many probably never even know that ALS is presumptive to ALL veterans. This is some info- we have more here- "VA Provides Benefits to Veterans with ALS and Families Military veterans, regardless of the branch of service, the era in which they served, or whether they served during a time of peace or a time of war, are at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if they had not served in the military. For reasons as yet unknown, veterans are, in fact, twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS as the general population. In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented regulations to establish a presumption of service connection for ALS, thanks to the efforts of The ALS Association, key members of Congress, and advocates. Under the regulations, the VA presumes that ALS was incurred or aggravated by a veteran’s service in the military. As a result, veterans with ALS and their families and survivors are eligible for “service connected” benefits. Anyone who served at least 90 days of continuous active duty in the U.S. military may qualify for VA benefits. Survivors of veterans may be eligible for benefits, including monthly compensation, regardless of when their loved one was lost to the disease. Qualifying veterans with ALS are entitled to receive VA disability compensation, which is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or disease that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. Disability compensation is paid monthly and varies with the degree of disability and the number of veteran’s dependents. Veterans with ALS may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation. There is a minimum 100 percent disability rating for veterans diagnosed with ALS. These benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax. Tables listing current compensation levels are available at: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/." source: http://web.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=va_provides_benefits I bet many reps reps and VSOs still do not know ALS is presumptive. I will go over the info you gave us very carefully----
  12. This is Wonderful News Buck!!!!!! You both are on my church's prayer list and we are all praying for Brenda and for you1!
  13. "If you receive a combined disability rating of at least 30%, we’ll automatically consider your eligibility for additional compensation for your dependent." https://www.va.gov/disability/add-remove-dependent/ *The again you would think they could have considered this when they determined the EED. You might also need to file a CUE claim on this----but the decision will reveal what to do next. I need to add- when the AO IHD claim was awarded my husband by then had been dead for 16 years , and my daughter had served by then 7 years in the Military- but still they had to go back to the EED etc etc and include for her dependency allowance, because the AO IHD claim changed everything- I dont think that was part of the retro but it involved a CUE SMC award too- Am I reading this correctly: You said: "Within 30 days of receiving the earlier effective date (1999) award, I submitted a request to be compensated for the past period that my dependent child was eligible. Within one month, the claim went to notification and then returned to under review. It has since been closed as of July 22, 2021 ." When did you get the 2019 EED BVA award letter? I assume this is in formal appeal status at your RO? *
  14. Pacman is right on with this question- Part of my AO IHD death award certainly granted dependency to our school age child. But then again she had already been listed as his dependent, when he wat only at 30%. You said " Can someone tell me what this VA communication could possibly mean concerning the outcome of my dependent claim." I have two answers-they are possibly working on that issue- but they might request from you proof that the child was in school, not an adult, at time of the EED date, and fulfilled the dependency criteria-I fill find and post that here- my Second answer is they might not even be working on it because they might be illiterate. I base that on over 25 years of personal experience with the VA as a claimant. But I agree with all above, to wait for the actual decision.
  15. It is # 8 in the 1997 opinions https://www.va.gov/ogc/opinions/1997precedentopinions.asp By the way- re OGC- they have been backlogged by the Covid situation and have not made any precedent decisions since 2019. The OGC VA ( in my opinion the Brains of the VA) does a lot of work in many respects- I learned, since they also handle the accreditation program for those who seek to become accredited agents, that they also have many complaints on some agents that they need to address. That is all backlogged as well.
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