My husband's claim has been pending BVA review for about a year now. In the interim, he has had two more heart attacks. How will his current claim be removed from the BVA process - or will it just lay there until it is finally his turn? And, should he file new claims for the recent heart attacks or will that just complicate matters? Finally, any guesses on how the percentage of disability will be determined for claims dating back many years?
My husband's claim was filed in 2003, at which time he was not totally disabled from heart disease alone. He had by-pass surgery in 2001 and had been doing well. Then, in 2003, I finally got him to go to the VA for treatment of chronic PTSD. During their initial exam, they discovered that he was diabetic, had a hearing loss and confirmed PTSD. So, in 2003, he received several ratings, NOT including ICHD and ED, that combined for a 50% rating. When his ICHD was denied in Aug 2003, we started the appeal process that now has his claim with the BVA. Since then, he has also filed a claim for HBP and imparied kidney function. (Apparently, these claims were just rolled into the earlier claim since we have not heard one word on them and it has been at least 18 months.)
Then, in early 2007, he began to experience symptoms of congestive heart failure. The VA did a heart cath and that triggered a slight heart attack. From there, he went downhill FAST, suffering three major heart attacks and pulmonary emboli in both lungs in the span of about 3 months. By mid year 2007, he was declared totally disabled by SS when his heart function exams showed an EF of 30%. Over the past 3 years he had been getting stronger, even some improvment in his heart function, then, two heart attacks last month. For the recors, the VA appears to agree with the total disability assessment. They just haven't agreed yet that it is S/C
Long story short, he is currently 100% disabled due to ICHD alone, plus his diabetes, PTSD, HBP. But, since no exams, etc. were done between the time of his claim in 2003 and the congestive heart failure/heart cath in 2007, how can his level of disability for that time period be determined?