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Found 13 results

  1. My claim has been bounced around in a million directions (from what I read/hear is normal) but on 28 August, my claim moved to "pending decision approval" I had called the VA office about the status of it since eBenefits was not working. The guy was nice and told me that this is usually the quicker part of the claim that a decision was made but it was going to require 2 supervisor signatures and was usually a 1-2 day turn around UNLESS they find an error. For background purposes, my claim was started in February 2018, I had 23 different conditions claimed, by May 2018 I had completed 4 exams and it had been handed to the VA. My stuff went all the way to "preparation for decision" June 20th but then on July 19th it was kicked back to "initial review" and they wanted more exams. I never actually did the exams LHI essentially pulled the information out of my already completed exams and resent it to them. August my claim moved to "gathering evidence" and the VA said that LHI had still not provided them with my documents, I did call LHI multiple times where I was assured they had. I finally called the VA regional office directly where a person looked into everything and told me that LHI did submit them but the VA system did not "recognize" the files and a ticket with the IT department was submitted. On 7 August my claim moved to "preparation for decision" again. So fast forward today.... 30 August 2018. I suddenly show "documents past due" and decided to just call the office directly again because my gut was telling me it was not something due on my part. Apparently one of the supervisors put in a request for three more specialty exams, my soul was officially crushed. My question is, how normal is this and has anyone else similarly experienced this with the VA process? If so how far out were you "extended" when you had new exams? Also, I really really really need 3 of my medications and that is the thing that bothers me the most, one of them through my husbands insurance is still $200 a month.
  2. I separated from the U.S. Navy on October 10, 2016. I submitted a va claim on March 29, 2018. I have already attended all of my appointments, and submitted all of the required documents. Today as I was checking the status of my claim on ebenefits, I saw my VA disability verification letter. The letter stated that my combined evaluation was at 60%. However, according to the benefits, the my claim is still being reviewed, and I haven't received any official letter by mail. The letter also stated that I would be receiving $1,182.52, with the effective date of disability as December 1, 2017 Question #1:Is there any chance that this number will change? Question #2:Is $1,182.52 the correct amount for a 60% rating with spouse and child? Question #3:If my claim was submitted within 12 months of separation, shouldn't the effective date be the 1st day of the month after I separated?
  3. I recently went to a VA out east for my PTSD and was hospitalized for about two weeks. I am currently rated 100% and still have not gotten my first review exam yet. I got my records back from the hospitalization just now and there was an invention by one of the doctors. I got my PTSD from working at the USDB as a correctional specialist. The doctor in his notes said I worked for the department of corrections which I never have. Will this impact me in the review of my compensation? Should I try to have some kind of correction made if possible? If so how?
  4. So I found something out by accident that I'm not sure if all of you know. You know how when you're signed up for a premium account, you can send messages "directly to your doctor," right? >please keep in mind my wording may not be exact, but the meaning will always be the same< Well, I check my progress notes pretty often. Quite frankly, I have a claim pending and I want to make sure that there aren't any notes being put in that would jeopardize the outcome because it was something that was miscommunicated, or flat out didn't happen. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, I'm saying VA staff are still human beings. Anywho, I noticed when I downloaded all of my notes using the Blue Button that all of the messages I had exchanged with them were recorded in my file when I downloaded it from the VA site. So what am I saying? Well, if you use it, be careful what you say, in both directions. What you send in those messages goes into print, and it is something that will be able to be viewed when your claim is being reviewed. By no means should you embellish anything in your notes because it is leaving evidence that you are letting them know that you are having an issue, and you just want it to be recorded somewhere, so that when the time comes no one can say "you never mentioned that before." All I'm saying is to be mindful of how you use the secure message service.
  5. I ruptured my Achilles tendon in 2003 while on active duty and had surgery at McGuire AFB to repair it and then the VA for rehab. I filed a claim and received a 0% disability. Since then I am having problems with my feet. Should I re-file and how do I go about doing that? Has anyone received a disability rating for an Achilles tendon rupture?
  6. I filed a claim in 2002 for a condition that was not one of the VA's presumptive diseases. Of course it was denied. I reopened the claim based on medical evidence and a C&P exam that was scheduled by an adjudicator. The results were that the doctor conducting the C&P concurred with two private medical doctors in that "my conditions was at least likely as not" to have been a result of my exposure to Agent Orange. If, and when, the claim is finally completed, what would be the effective date of compensation or back pay? I was awarded 100% permanent and total in 2004.
  7. I'm asking this question to see if anybody else has ever run into this, and this question is pertaining to only one of the conditions I was found unfit for. I was medically discharged out of the Army National Guard through the IDES system. The MEB determined that my degenerative disc disease, "was not incurred while entitled to base pay", did not "exist prior to service" but was "permanently aggravated by service". In the MEB Board summary "this condition could be a result of military duty during deployment, with permanent injury occurring while not on duty status". I should also note that I had been seen while in AIT for back pain due to sit-ups, and also was seen by an army doctor due to back pain upon return from deployment. (all documented in the records). As is the process with the IDES system, my MEB paperwork was sent to the VA for a rating. The VA's determination was: "2 . Service connection for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease (claimed as back) is denied. NIS; STR; NONEX 1. The veteran reported injuring his back in 2009 or 2010 at the beach and there is no evidence of a Nexus to active duty service. Therefore, SC is denied." "Your service treatment records did not contain complaints, treatments or, diagnoses for this condition." BUT for the purpose of the PEB: "For PEB purposes only-the evaluation for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease is 20% disabling based on ROM. This makes the combined evaluation for PEB referred conditions of 40% disabling (20% for right ankle and 20% for lumbar spine=40%)" Now here is where it gets odd, when I received my PEB documents there was not one mention of the degenerative disc disease. It was as if it magically disappeared after the VA disagreed with the MEB determination. Other conditions that were found "fit" for duty were even included in the PEB but anything relating to my back was not mentioned. My questions are: Has anybody else had the VA disagree with the MEB determination without providing any sound medically analysis to over ride their decision? I thought that Horn v. Shinseki, 25 Vet.App. 231, 235 (2012) determined “VA may not rest on the notion that the record contains insufficient evidence of aggravation,” and the Secretary’s failure “to produce clear and unmistakable evidence of lack of aggravation” entitles a claimant to a finding of in-service aggravation of the preexisting condition).” Has anybody else successfully appealed a VA decision similar to this one? and if so what was the approach you took when appealing the decision?
  8. First - I want to thank you all for your service! For many years, I've struggled through my health issues as many of you have. I filed a claim which was denied in 2008 and decided to wait some time to refile. Why? I have no good answer! Nevertheless - I am at the earliest stages of the claim process having just delivered all requested documents to a county VA representative. My question is this - with all the VA Scandal News - have any of you found the process to have been sped up for claims approval OR is it just as long as it has always been? Is the VA more 'lax' or is the process just as stringent?
  9. I would like someone to read my NOD I've created with there format. I was by rater per call to have my primary physician fill out DBQ which he did. Grade this attachment for me and any suggestions would be helpful. This is just one section. Notice of Disagreement 1. Service connection for sleep apnea: Your office continues to state not show an event, disease that my service records does or injury in service, but it should. I have stated previous of times that I went on sick call for snoring, throat and tonsils hurting. If you don’t see it in my medical file, they are incomplete and or not accurate. I recently found two individuals that I served with and one of them was my roommate from Korea. My claimed moved so fast, I don’t believe it was ever taken into consideration by the rating department or officer. My C&P exam was conduct at VA by physician assistant Lxxxx on Oct 3 2013. She never asked me any questions and made only two statements. (1) Hypertension does not cause sleep apnea, but untreated sleep apnea can cause hypertension but not the reverse. (2) Then she commented on the number of Lay Statements that was currently in my file, in which your office never stated one from Lxxxxxxxxxxxxx (step daughter). In physician assistant Leoras Rationale or justification of stating (less than 50 percent probability) incurred in or caused by the claim in-service, injury, event, or illness only addressed by secondary of sleep apnea to hypertension. All she stated was the evidence of what sleep apnea is. On July 18, 2014 at 09:15 I received a call from your claims office to answer any questions I had from my request on I.R.I.S. She told me that my sleep apnea case was denied because of the statement the doctor had made from my C&P exam, but in fact as I mentioned before concerning the exam and performed by a physician assistant and not a doctor. I asked the rater, how can the physician assistant answer questions without asking me any questions. Did physician assistant have any medical evidence for her medical opinion? The weight of a medical opinion is diminish where that opinion is based on an examination of limited scope and the evidence is not stated or fails to explain the bases of her opinion. Regulations require that any opinions rendered be supported by a rationale for the opinion. Bloom v. West, 12 Vet. App. 185, 187 (1999) Physician assistant Lxxxxxxxxxxx responded to a letter that I sent concerning a job with regulatory conditions set by FMCSA. Then reading your response from the examiners answers (The examiner also stated that you are able to work in any occupation that does not have regulatory restrictions preventing individuals with severe sleep apnea corrected by a CPAP machine and sleep apnea does not impact your ability to work. PA Lexxxxxxxx’s answers contradict themselves because FMCSA’s non qualifications is based on mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea and conditions in upper respiratory to include (asthma), and her response was to ask for a waiver. She received her information from a frequently ask question section but failed to read in entirely, because severe obstructive sleep apnea nor does asthma have a waiver. When PA xxxx noticed my prostate cancer, she told me to send in a disability questionnaire form to your office, then your office ask why did I send it in. You indicated that by a series of question marks. Lay Evidence: Competent lay evidence is defined as any evidence “not requiring that the proponent have specialized education, training, or experience,” but is provided “by a person who has knowledge of facts or circumstances and conveys matters that can be observed and described by a lay person.” Competency is a legal concept which determines whether the lay evidence is admissible before VA as the trier of fact; credibility is a “factual determination going to the probative value of the evidence to be made after the evidence has been admitted.” Prior to the enactment of the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (VCAA),11 the general trend was to focus primarily upon medical evidence when adjudicating a claim. Cases such as Hickson v. West12 stated that establishing service connect generally required “(1) medical evidence of a current disability; (2) medical or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence of incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury in service; and (3) medical evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service injury or disease and the current disability.”13 As a result, lay evidence played a limited role in the development and analysis of medical nexus evidence. Medical examiners were likely to discount a veteran’s lay statements as to the history of a claimed injury or disease on the grounds that service treatment records did not document the claimed disorder and/or because they found that there was a lack of medical documentation generated since the veteran’s separation upon which it could be determined that the claimed disability was “at least as likely as not” related to his or her service. Lay evidence can be competent and sufficient to establish a diagnosis of a condition when (1) a layperson is competent to identify the medical condition, (2) the layperson is reporting a contemporaneous medical diagnosis, or (3) lay testimony describing symptoms at the time supports a later diagnosis by a medical professional. Contrary to [CAVC’s finding], the relevance of lay evidence is not limited to the third situation, but extends to the first two as well. See Dalton v. Nicholson, 21 Vet. App. 23, 39 (2007) (holding that a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) examination is inadequate where a VA examiner ignores a veteran’s lay statements of an injury or event in service unless VA expressly finds that no such injury or event occurred). Competent and credible lay evidence of record which establishes that the Veteran suffered from symptoms of sleep apnea during service, as well as the competent lay evidence of continued sleep apnea symptoms since service, the Board finds that the lay and medical evidence of record is sufficient to establish a medical nexus between the Veteran's sleep apnea and service. See Davidson v. Shinseki, 581 F.3d 1313, 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2009)
  10. My story, Its long but its detailed.... ------------------------------------------------------DENIED CLAIM--------------- I am currently receiving the NSC pension I didn't even know anything about it until early 2011 it took me only six month to get the whole process done. Should I file for IU and P&T or one over the other? At my very first C&P in Dec 2005.I told him about my time in Iraq and the whole nine yards. I was diagnosed with Dysthymic Disorder. I was discharged from the service in Sept 2005. A couple months later I found out my local VA had mental health help and I started seeing a Doc. Since then I have been in and out of the VA mental center plenty of times. My VA psychiatrist has Baker acted me on four separate occasions since 2009. Currently I am on Depakote 500mg two at night. My VA psychiatrist has put me on many meds. I checked my records a few days ago and my VA doc has written that I had PTSD then a few months and visits later she changed it to Bi-polar disorder. I have been trying to get a service connection rating above 0% which is what the VA has given me since I was discharged in 2005. Should I open a claim for Bi-polar disorder or try to get the VA to re-rate my Dysthymic disorder? How do I get the VA to acknowledge my mental illness? I don’t understand how I can get NSC pension and treatment/ meds for my disorder but not have them rate my mental illness above zero. I regret not seeing a mental health while I was in service, but I was diagnosed at my C&P within 3-4 months of being discharged you would think the VA could put 2 & 2 together. Here is pretty much my last decision below(I currently have a SC appeal going for things that are not service connected.) If someone could help me out I would be grateful. I just found this website and it has given me more information than anyone at the VA. ------------------------------------------------------Last Rating Decision--------------- The records reflect that you are veteran of the gulf war era. Decision 1.) The claim for service connection for dysthymic disorder remains denied because the evidence submitted is not new and material. 2.) Entitlement to service connection for treatment of dysthymic disorder specified under 38 U.S.C 1702 is granted. Reasons: 1.) Evidence is not new...Rating decisions dated June 13, 2006, Feb 6, 2008, and April 24, 2008, denied service connection and continued the denial of SC as the condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 2.) Service connection for dysthymic disorder for the purpose of establishing eligibility to treatment. Entitlement to service connection for treatment of dysthymic disorder specified under 38 U.S.C 1702 is granted. A determination of service connection under 38 U.S.C 1702 is for the purpose of providing eligibility for hospital and medical treatment for veterans of gulf war service who have develop a mental disorder during or within two years from the date of separation from such service or within two years of the end of the war period, whichever is earlier. Treatment reports from Bay Pines VA dated Dec 13 2005 to Aug 20, 2010 were reviewed. Mental disorders examination on May 31 2006 notes an Axis I diagnosis of Dysthymic disorder. You were discharged from the military on Sept 30 2005. Entitlement to treatment is established because a mental disorder was diagnosed within the required period of time. Subject to Compensation (1.SC) Residual of fracture of the left ring finger with pinning, to include post traumatic arthritis with ankylosis of the distal interphalangel joint (Dominant) Service Connected, Gulf War, Incurred 0% from 2005 Chest wall syndrome, claimed as chest pain, tightness and difficulty breathing Service connected, Gulf War, Incurred 0% from 2005 Syscosis barbae, claimed as razor bumps of the face Service connected, Gulf War, Aggravated 0% from 2005 Combined Evaluation for compensation 0% from 2005 Not service connected/Not subject to compensation (8.NSC Gulf War) Intermittent Low Back pain Hearing loss, Left Ear Tinnitus Rash on Chest PTSD/other/unknown-PTSD Dysthymic Disorder Treatment Purposes only Dysthymic Disorder -Active psychosis/GW mental, SC for treatment Only -----------------------------------------------------NSC pension--------------- Also to get the NSC pension which I am receiving it says In addition to meeting minimum service requirements, the Veteran must be: Age 65 or older, OR Totally and permanently disabled, OR A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR Receiving Supplemental Security Income -------------------------------------------- Recent events---------- I went and got some new copies of my records and in my C&P(one & only C&P) notes I found new things. Like it has a diagnosis of Neutropenia. In 2008 I found some hematology report that says... Tests: Completed by my VA Physician and the VA Health care system: Diagnostic and Clinical Tests: C&P VA/Dec 16, 2005: Neutropenia Hematology Report: VA Doctor on or around 09/08, 2012: States the Hematology as persistent leukopenia, now with mild thrombocytopenia. I was discharged from service in Sept 05 I have a diagnosis for Neutropenia and some other things added on my one and only C&P exam. The report was made based on records from 12/05. The report also says ..."In summary then, the medical evidence supports the current disability claim. The medical evidence supports the ocurrence in military service and the medical evidence supports a nexus between injury and his current disability." this report is signed on 6/06. -------------------------------------------My Q's---------- What do some you know? As far as my chances with the VA. I know its aways a long wait but does my case look good? Also why didnt the VA file a claim for me for most of the conditions I found in my C&P exam like neutropenia? Can I claim some of the conditions like Neutropenia, thicking of Mitral valve, as secoundary to the chest pain or open new claims since some of those things are on my 1st C&P report from 2005. -------------- If you need more information please ask. I know its a long read but I hope some people here can help. Those with any experince in this situation TY
  11. I came across this website as kinda a fluke, but IM SO GLAD I DID! I guess god really does give you what you need at the right time! My name is Nicki, I spent 11 yrs AD Navy. My husband Wade spent 20 years and was an AD1 (jet mech) from 1983-2004. He retired in 2004. august 2012 he was diagnosed with a rare form of bladder cancer (adenocarcinoma-lipid variant). At that time, our oncologist at University of Colorado said she truly believe it was from exposure to chemicals while in the navy (specifically benzene, but there were all sorts of crap he was exposed to) and advised me to file a VA claim and wrote a letter on our behalf stating no family history, non smoker, probably environmental related, etc. I met with an American Legion rep who started the process. Since that time, he has undergone chemo, had his bladder, prostate and appendix removed. We went to MD Anderson in Jan 13 where he was diagnosed with plasmacytoid urethral carcinoma. The cancer has spread to the liver, colon, pancreas and adrenal glands. He has about 9-18 months. He will be 49 years old on 6/13. He was in the best shape of his life. The doctor is now adamant he was exposed to something in the Navy that is the cause. He was also stationed at NAS JRB Willow Grove for 4 years, 1996-2000,which is a EPA Superfund Site (you would not believe all the people with cancer from there!). I have kept the VA and our rep with the most up to date records. I have been getting letters stating they have the claim. Wade was discharged with a 0% disability rating. Am I doing this right? What am I missing? Please advise
  12. I am SC for PTSD and was told that I should claim anxiety secondary to PTSD. Does anyone know if that is a true statement. I mean anxiety is a large part of PTSD so why would I be able to claim anxiety secondary to it?
  13. I am an OIF veteran that served from 2001-2005. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD and was awarded a rating through the VA. My first claim I did not claim many things because I was not very aware of the process or what was considered a "claimable issue". Over the years I have been getting migraines that get progressively worse and the doc that I see says that they believe it is directly related to the anxiety from my PTSD. I have been put on several medication and currently was provided blood pressure medication to ease my high heart rate and anxiety. The big question is how to I claim the migraines? Do I claim them "in connection with PTSD" or do I just claim it separate. I am just afraid I will get denied for them if I do not put in connection with PTSD because the migraines started after my second tour in Iraq and I got out about a month after that deployment. That being said there is no service records of my migraines. I appreciate any discussion this might generate. Semper Fi
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