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  1. Happy Friday Eve Question about nexus letter. I had 2 doctors provide nexus letters to support my claim. I made sure to read the help guides and have a better understanding of what is required as in the verbiage and what nots. I read some articles and wanted to include to support my claim. My VSO said if it comes back as denied he can supply case file to support my claim. You can review past cases etc. Can I also add medical references from Pubmed or medical journals on your own to support the claim? I have 2 nexus letters and I included a reference page with medical journal information. The doctor didn’t quote medical journal but mentioned my specific issues. Will providing this help?
  2. https://www.federaltimes.com/management/2021/07/13/pandemic-exposed-strain-from-va-benefit-appeals-caseloads/ The amount of problem attorneys at the BVA is shocking. They only have to do two appeals per week?
  3. The Board just granted left and right sinus tarsi syndrome, osteoarthritis of ankles, and bilateral pes planus. What are the sinus tarsi syndrome rating percentages? Waiting on the decision letter.
  4. Request to Reinstallation for Sleep Apnea and Low back condition claims Back in January 2021, I received via mail a CD containing information to be used before the Board of Veteran Affairs for the MDD condition. I discovered VFW submitted a document on Jul/2011 where he withdraws the claims for Sleep Apnea and Low Back condition. This was the first time I learned about this document. For the claim of Sleep Apnea, I hand-delivered favorable IMO to the Hearing officer in 2010 and at the time they had also an IMO for the Low Back Condition(2008) along with a full medical report from the same doctor. After reviewing the CD and my paperwork, I asked the VA via phone on Feb/2021 about communications between July and September 2011. The VA representative emailed me a document dated 8/1/2011(attached) with multiple issues on it and an indication of; “We also withdrew all other issues on appeal as per your Veterans of Foreign Veterans letter dated and received July 2011". I kept working on the claims throughout the years; these were done in two different RO and to all effects VA indicated that they were working on these claims as presented in their communications on Feb/2012 and Jun/2012. Interestingly, for the latter communications, VA does not indicate a withdrawal of appeals nor that my claim is “reopened”. Finally, on Apr/2013, VA use different wording like “denied the reopening” since “Evidence no show event, Evidence not new. Claim not reopened. Not Substantive”. While still, VA did not evaluate IMO on the record. Out of frustration, I did not further pursue these claims; until I received the CD in January 2021, and realize that my claims for Sleep Apnea and Low back claims were withdrawn without my consent in 2011. Significantly, the VFW letter offers a conditional appeal, where indicates: (1) “As longer his appeals for increase in the other conditions…”, (2) “He would be satisfied with the decision made,” (3) “This withdraw does not mean…” Additionally, there’s an undated additional handwritten note in the printed proposal that indicated another “conversation” with the veteran. As I learned under Warren v. McDonald, docket no. 15-0641 (Sep 14, 2016) it is, held: An appellant or his/her representative may withdraw an appeal, but unless the withdrawal is on the record at, it must be in writing. A withdrawal “is only effective where withdrawal is explicit, unambiguous, and done with a full understanding of the consequences of such action on the part of the claimant.” I tried to get a hold of the VFW trough 12 emails (for 2 months) and multiples calls without success. I did change the VSO. Also, I wrote a letter detailing the events to the VA. Now the VA wants the request in a Form (20-0995). This form explicitly indicates that is to be used for “New and relevant evidence to submit for VA to consider”. I request that my claims of Sleep Apnea (2008) and Low back(2005) be reinstated at their original claim date since they were worked continuously since their inception and there was evidence that were not evaluated. As today My sleep apnea is worse indicated in a VA Study in 2019 and had Spinal Fusion in Kentucky (2015). I appreciate any help you can provide.
  5. I searched the forums but did not see this in the appeals section. I have a pending appeal for my right foot for service connection, and I'm in the process of sending a statement to the Board of Appeals. My question is can I ask the Appeals Board for a percentage rating prior to winning the appeal for right foot service connection. My reasoning is, if I just send the Appeals Board my statement without requesting a percentage and I win the appeal for right foot service connection, then I might have to file another appeal if the RO gives me a lower percentage, and wait another 5 years for that appeal. I'm unable to find any information on filing an appeal for service connection, and at the same time requesting a percentage. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks
  6. I noticed that BVA currently reviewing appeals are moving backwards. At one time it was August 2017 then June 2017 then May 2017 and now April 2017. Am I the only one that noticed this or is it just me? The Board is currently reviewing appeals from April 2017 or older.
  7. I have hired an attorney and want to know if I or he can receive my file faster? Also has anyone went this route and what is about the average time line for an attorney to submit an appeal on your behalf? Thanks
  8. What are the proper procedures to request a copy of my c file? Thanks
  9. Hello everybody I hope everyone is having a Good Friday. Almost 18 months ago I submitted through the vfw a appeal and this went to the board. After reviewing they remanded the decision back to my local VA office. There was evidence that was not included and I guess errors. In the meantime I am working with a provider that’s working a nexus letter. Should be done in the next week. with that in mind I expected the appeal to get denied and it took a while. I figured if I can get a nexus letter and send it then it could be added to the claim. Now that the appeal is back with the local va can I just send this to the intake center or upload ? I would ask my local vfw but their offices are closed up. also about my provider. He is not a doctor but I believe a MSW or CSW with 35 years of working with the dept of VA treating PTSD. I am rated with ptsd. I’m trying to get my sleep apnea rated secondary. I know this is talked about a lot however my question is will the va toss the nexus because the person is not a doctor ? I’d think 30 plus years working with the VA and working primarily with ptsd patients should count for something. He was licensed and just couldn’t prescribe meds. I like to avoid meds altogether and get to the square root of my issues. I appreciate any feedback. I’m glad the board didn’t Just deny me. I think I have a good argument and this nexus will help.
  10. I’ve had an appeal on file since 2013 for Fibromyalgia and bilateral knee pain. The appeal went all the way to BVA. During the process they loss my appeal. When the VSO lawyer got involved I started to see traction. As of last week the BVA remanded back to the RO. I read the letter 4 times and it sounds like BVA is scolding the RO for “overlooking” pertinent information like my STRs. The judge gave specific instruction that RO must do assist with connecting my knees to my degenerative bank at 40%. I think I need an IMO and updated DBQ. But in addition to the above it would appear that the regional office turned around and opened 2 claims for RFE. These are unrelated to my appeal. I definitely feel being like this out of spite. What can I do.
  11. I have read a lot of Veterans appeals. I wondered "why" my attorney did not "argue" all my points, and instead just did one or two? Now I know why! I see Vets "complain" in their appeal, for example, "that the C and P doc only spent 20 minutes" on his exam. How is that relevant? Does the Veteran know that the doc could well have read his file for 3 hours and not need much more? Sometimes, we just want to shorten our appeal. Dont mention in your appeal how rude your "ask Peggy" person was. Just the facts, please. Here is why: Its a "dilution" effect: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-to-make-your-arguments-stronger-hint-longer-is-not-the-answer?utm_source=pocket-newtab
  12. Thanks pacmanx1, my SSDI letter states that " There are no jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that the claimant could perform". Should I appeal to the board with option 2, so that I can submit more evidence? Such as IMO etc.
  13. I received my denial letter. In the evidence it doesn't mention SSDI, I sent the award letter with the packet. The SSA states that my knees are the only reason I'm receiving SSDI. I also put in my right knee for secondary because they replaced it when they did my left knee which was SC at the time. They didn't mention the right TKR, they mention palpation and patella tendon, but it has been replaced and that's what I stated on my claim. When I submitted my TDIU I was rated at 30% left TKR and 50% major depressive disorder, I ask for a secondary on my right TKR on a separate claim. They combine both claims on one decision letter. I want to know what route to take on appeal. Shouldn't there be a mention of SSDI in the evidence. Thinking of filing NOD.
  14. Are appeals just long in general or does it depends on the evidence you are submitting and what route you are talking on your appeal? Is it best to get an attorney during this process? I've been reading and it seems daunting.
  15. If I file a NOD do I need to bring it to their attention that there was no mention of SSDI in the evidence section of my decision. How do I no if they considered it?
  16. I reviewed my 21-8940 and it ask if you receive Disability Retirement Benefits. Is that the same as SSDI? I marked no in that box , but I sent a copy of my award letter with my TDIU packet. Should I file a NOD and submit that as new evidence or what route should I take? I'm sorry if I'm asking too many questions. I've learned a lot in these last 2 days from all of your comments. I should've joined earlier, but I'm technology illiterate. What forms do I use or should I go to a VSO. They weren't much before I got this far on my own. Thinking about an attorney, what do you know about Hill and Pontoon or any recommendations.
  17. I haven't worked since 2009 and was awarded SSDI in 2014. When I filed for TDIU I included my award letter from the SSA. There is no mention of SSDI or SSA in the evidence that the VA used to make their decision. I know they had it because I included it in my claims packet. The awards letter states vocational expert opinion and only include my service connected condition as the reason for me being granted SSDI. Should I see this in the evidence the VA used to make their decision?
  18. I checked my decision letter again and as I said before there is no mention of SSDI anywhere in the evidence section. I know that the VA had it because I sent the judge's ruling as a part of my packet. I appreciate all of your help, but I'm new at this. I've gotten myself this far but now I need assistance. I've got to look up all of the abbreviations you used to further understand. I have no way to scan my decision letter is there any other way? What is the difference between CUE and NOD, and do they both require new evidence?
  19. I have received my denial letter yesterday for IU. I'm rated 30% for left knee replacement ,0% for right knee replacement and 50% major depressive disorder. The VA replaced both knees in 2018, the left knee was service connected at the time. I tried to get the right knee rated as secondary but was denied. I have been receiving SSDI since 2014 solely as a result of the condition of my knees as stated in my award letter from the SSA. I don't no what my next move should be now. Should I hire a claims attorney and if so who? Need help badly. Thanks
  20. I started my first va disability claim in 2010. It was for sinusitis and rhinitis. I only had a few medical records documenting that I said I had sinusitis and rhinitis. The first doctor didn't agree it was from my service. So I didn't get the nexus. I appealed and it went back to the VARO for a review. After a year or so It came back and I put in for the BVA appeal. I got my C&P exam last year after a remand. recently I found out that everything I asked for was granted from VA.gov appeals history section. It says updates take one to two months. I don't know what ratings I got because the website doesn't have that information on it. Does anyone know if the one to two months is accurate for update to disability rating? Thanks to those of you contributing information that helped me figure things out.
  21. I have an appeal at the BVA from a claim I started in 2010. It was remanded and I had to do a C&P exam last summer. The current wait list says about 25,000 appeals are ahead of mine. It appears to be going down about 2000 a month. I figure that means mine should be at the front of the line in about 12 months from now. Do you know if this timeline thing on VA.gov is accurate?
  22. Hello! First off, Thank you all! - for this website, your time, and your passion towards helping fellow veterans! Started the PEB process on active duty (2012 at the time), so I'm just trying to sort this out and find where things went wrong. The claims submitted among this process only listed 3 contentions - of which the DoD rated me unfit at 10% W/ severance pay, while the VA rated those conditions (totaled) to 40% upon exiting service. My story - First, I don't agree with the PEB findings, but I signed off on it at the time without a full understanding of "what I could claim", so once the ball got rolling I found myself trying to correct my own mistakes along the way. I want to particularly point out to the Experts here that signing off on my PEB, as well as false statements/misquotations made by an off base neurologist has been used against me in regard to denial for SC TBI. In one denial, they took the exam from the off base neuro i saw, and threw the (positive) other out - Denying me the benefit of the doubt, or even the 50-50 rule.... The situation now is that I have a second doctor, who wrote a Nexus concurring with the diagnosis and rationale of the specialist I was treated by. (So 2 doctors post-service vs. the 1 I saw who didn't have all the details, lay statements, and misquoted me or failed to check the appropriate boxes based on my own testimony. TLDR - I was awarded increase for 1 contention in 2016 to (a total of) 60% - Followed by SC and increase in another (1) contention for an overall rating (total) of 80% in 2017 - Some corrections were made and a rating was re-established with the proper EED and my new total is now 90% (as of late 2019) - it is now 2020 and I have 4 contentions that never made it to SC (yet!) - I experienced narrative changes as to why the VA was denying SC for TBI and 3 other issues - such as "missing diagnosis" - I had included a document from their own specialist specifically stating I was diagnosed with TBI and 2 exams giving extensive detail as to my symptoms/history. Again, thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do for all of us. to Semper Fi !
  23. Hello, Quick background; I injured my back severely in Kuwait in 2013(I was 22) no proper medical exam or treatment at the peek of the injury just pumped full of pain meds. Once back in the states it still took months before Someone decided I actually needed an xray just to be told I was fine. There were times where I’d experience temporary paralysis below the waist, daily pain levels above 5, numbness, pinching and burning sensations in lower back and to be told nothing was wrong made me want to give up and suffer in silence because no1 seem to take me serious. However the pain was so intense I found myself in the ER sometimes twice a week with strange knots in my back that were shrugged off as muscle spasms and just given more pain meds. I was given a 10% rating after separating in 2014. I didn’t know what that meant or why. Almost 7yrs later the pain is worse back and forth with the VA with treatment that either aggravates or just doesn’t work and I recently discovered that I was diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain BUT it stated it didn’t come from work. I couldn’t believe it. I now live in MD near DC and although terribly discouraged feel I need to fight what seems to be a system that hasn’t cared for me properly since day 1 and appeal. The question is. IS IT WORTH IT? I paid out of pocket for X-rays and made some discoveries about my back that make much more since than what the VA tells me. Has anyone experienced anything similar?
  24. Hello everyone. I filed an appeal this past October 28th. Since the appeals process has changed and I am new to this, has anyone appealed a denied decision or a low rating recently and has received a decision on the appeal? If so, how long did it take to get a decision from the date you filed? I am just wondering how long the appeal takes. My claim was pretty quick, it took about 3 months which wasn't bad. Thank you all.
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