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Found 24 results

  1. I’m currently waiting on 5 deferred claims all of which are now on Preparation for decision. If anyone of them are rated 10% but they don’t raise my overall rating. Do I still get backpay for that claim ? Or only if the overall rating is increase ? Thanks
  2. Hello fellow Vets! I recognize it’s a lot to read... It’s my first time making a blog post and I want to be clear and get solid and knowledgable responses from y’all. Thanks in advance!! History... Filed a claim for VA disability benefits April 2013. Hand delivered over 200 documents in support of my claim to the Houston VA office in January 2014 (prior to a decision letter on my claim). Decision letter received in March 2014. Failed to achieve a rating above zero percent on any of the disabilities claimed and no service connection for Major Depressive Disorder(MDD). The documents I filed at the VA were date stamped Jan 8, 2014 and included the only records I had in support of this claim, especially for the MDD. Fast forward... Intent to File submitted in August 1, 2018 (at my attorneys direction). His office then submitted a supplemental (including 16 pages of the very same supporting documents that I submitted to the VA in 2014) on the 364th day. Well, that supplemental got me appointments with two different C&P professionals and resulted in a combined rating of 70% (10% knee and 70% MDD) effective July 30, 2019. The same VA documents filed by me in 2014 and (fewer) mailed with the supplemental were recently reviewed at my C&P exam by the psychologist conducting the interview. He asked for my help to show him any document in my file that made it clear and unmistakable that my MDD was/is service connected. It took all of thirty seconds to search his computer with my VA records on it to locate a document from my psychiatrist and head of psychiatry at my last duty station. These are the very same documents which were in the VA’s possession prior to my initial claim attempted in 2013/2014. Meaning there is NO new or compelling evidence! Question 1 - So why did they schedule (allow) these appointments and the case to be reopened with no new and/or relevant evidence? Question 2 - Why was it right (or was it) for my attorney to file a supplemental (vs. just filing for a new claim)? At least with a new claim I may have been able to receive (the 11 or so months of) backpay from the Intent to File date. It seems the supplemental has NO benefit over just requesting to open a new claim. Or is it not allowed for veterans to file a new claim for any previously claimed ailment(s)? Question 3 - Is it a fact that the VA made a clear and unmistakable error with regard to no service connection for MDD? ... by not reviewing those documents which were right in front of them? And if the documents prove the date they were filed, isn’t it undeniable? And if I am now rated at 70%.... Question 4 - Shouldn’t this be one of those CUE cases that should/could be potentially won for backpay to April 2013? This is the first time they scheduled me for ANY C&P appointments for any reason ever. Yet, this is at least the third attempt at filing a VA disability claim. Question 5 - What makes the VA decide for or against these C&P exam appointments?
  3. Hey all, I recieved news that my increase claim was granted and I went from 60% to 100% On my ab8 letters it says the date changed is may 20th, with an effective date of june 1st. Does this mean I'll receive the backpay for june and july?
  4. I just received a letter today dated 11/7 It states that the Claim with the Board that was granted back in 10/2018. It states an accredited attorney or agent properly filed a valid direct-pay fee agreement per the provisions, it goes on to say that the amount of Past-due benefits for so much has been computed from the effective date of the award through the date of the decisions, is so much. That of that amount so much is withheld for fees in the amount of said dollars, which is 20% of past due benefits. Since it is stating that they are paying my lawyer and what they original amount before the lawyer was and what they are giving lawyer, when can I expect to see the back pay. I have always received direct deposit. And before anyone says 20% is allot this lawyer did not take a dime from me except this 20% and they have helped me to do what I was unable to get done for the last 15 years. Thanks for your help in advance.
  5. I appealed for an earlier date for PTSD and Individual Unemployability. I received my 100% December 10, 2010, and appealed to the date I originally applied for benefits (November 2007). I just received the Order approving both but the Order states "It is granted, subject to controlling regulations governing the payment of monetary awards". Does this mean that I get no back pay - as I didn't receive any back pay - just got the approval from Veterans Law Judge, Board of Appeals. Should I appeal the fact that I received no back pay? Any help would be appreciated!
  6. I am showing an increase in one of my SC conditions on E-Benefits as when I opened IU claim they also evaluate SC for increases before IU decision. Does anyone know how long it takes to receive retro back pay for this increase? I am owed 4 months at this point.
  7. ***EDITED TO ADD RATED DISABILITIES****** I hadn't checked Ebenefits in a while because I became frustrated with the change in open claim status from gathering evidence to awaiting documents are past due. I asked my VSO if there was anything I needed to do and he said that it wasn't at our end, but between C&P and VA. All medical records were uploaded by VSO and intent to file was sent within 12 months of retirement (20 years in Navy), so any backpay would be retro to NOV 2016. So I clicked on the Disabilities TAB, and to my surprise is says, "You have a 100% final degree of disability". -All of my rated disabilities had effective dates of 11/01/2016 (except the Not Service Connected). One had been deferred.........."trigger finger right, tenosynovitis thumb right and tenosynovitis index finger right" Before I update my profile on Hadit: - Since there are effective dates, do I assume this will be my final rating? - Since my claim is still open and gathering evidence (I assume from the one deferment) will this delay the closing of the claim? - If the deferred item does not effect the overall total disability (don't think there is higher than 100%) would that delay payment or backpay? - Should I expect payments anytime soon or not expect anything till the deferred item is complete? Is backpay and disability withheld or initialized now since it is at 100%? I guess I am just looking for a timeline....something like, "Matt, don't even look at that anymore. You have like 2 years before anything hits your account." or "Yup, you should be seeing a payment by next month and backpay two weeks after that!!" (I like that one better!!) I think it is worse now that I looked at the damn disabilities tab.........I feel like I am assuming too much and am gonna be one of those Vets that stare at my email waiting for the "deposit posted" email. Here is a screenshot of what is listed on Ebenefits: Thanks to all that respond and to all that are on here helping. I hope my post helps others find answers as well
  8. Hey folks new here I was Diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood / occupational problem. I tried to file for benefits IDK if I did before I got out. Someone told me to go to the VA and I did they told me to go see a private doctor and then apply. I was broke within a month after I was discharged and never saw a doc for about 7 years. I finialy hit a rock bottom so I applied anyway with 17 different Ebenfits Problems. I also have not recieved a letter notifying me of the decision. I recieved a letter saying I qualified for disabled va life insurance I recieved a call from va health care welcoming me to va health care Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date drug abuse Willful Misconduct phobic anxiety disorder unspecified also claimed as (nervousness, bipolar disorder, memory loss, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) 10% Service Connected 06/09/2017 eye condition, left eye Not Service Connected sleep apnea Not Service Connected non-specific digestive complaints Not Service Connected alcohol abuse Willful Misconduct right wrist condition Not Service Connected back condition Not Service Connected nutritional deficiency Not Service Connected so After this Im Considering appealing For either more benefire or retro pay. since I dont remember If i filed for va compensation before i was discharged I know I spoke with the VA IDK how to find out if I did. I also have A VSO who wouldnt answer an email from me but ID like to know if I could get any GI Bills I was give an GENERAL(UNder honorable conditions) discharge and donno if it could get upgraded. Either way I never expected to get service connected years later im just learning about all this stuff now years later
  9. What's up Fellow Vets, I have a question about back pay. I was medically discharged from the Army in 2004. In my VA paperwork, prior to discharge, I claimed my asthma ( which I am 30% sc) and my left hamstring stains. I was approved sc for my asthma (30%) but my the claim for my leg was denied because they said it wasnt a chronic. Since my discharge, I have re-injured the same hamstring at least 2 times a year. I am currently receiving physical therapy for the same hamstring at the VA hospital. I noticed on Ebenefits that my claim for my leg was still there waiting to be reopened, so i clicked the option to reopen my claim. Do you think I have a case for my leg? If so, do you think this will qualify for back pay since the original claim was filed in 2004? Thanks for the advice.
  10. Good Morning community- Earlier this month I recieved 100% service connection, a surprizing 2 1/2 months after submitting my claim on e-benefits. After living off of a few hundred bucks a month for the past 3 years I woke up to $6k in my bank account, so life feels great right now. A friend of mine is telling me to file my NOD anyways, for the other disabilities they didn't connect, and also to get my SC backdated to the onset of condition - which would be considered starting in the last 2 months of service before recieving my honorable discharge, 9 years ago. Who has experience with this? Is there a legitimate route I can take to get my 100% backdated to the diagnosis of my PTSD, and without a lawyer? Thanks and happy Sunday.
  11. Hello all, First, thank you all for your service! My claim was approved on some contentions and one deferred and two considered not service connected. I was increased from 60 to 70% while the other deferment is in development. My question deals with my award letter stating my increase from 60 to 70% is dated to Nov 1, 2015 and I received the letter today July 18, 2016. Will I receive a back payment for the difference of 60 to 70%(even though SOME of my claim is still in deferment) and if so when can I expect the retro to hit my account? Thank you for any information
  12. Okay, I retired at the end of 2012 and was smart enough to have my disability paperwork submitted with my clearing. October of 2013 I received my first determination letter stating I qualified for 60%. Nice, but they completely 0'd me on three issues so I immediately filed an appeal with the findings at the end of November 2013. The VA claimed they received my appeal in March of 2014, according to the website. It took until Jul/Sept 2015 for my first appointments to occur to justify or dispute the findings. I received an extra bump in my account this month (ending June 2016) which caused me to log in to eBenefits and see what it might have been. Good news is, I received my upgrade in disability from 60% to 80%. So, based on the 2016 VA Compensation tables with a spouse and two kids, I will increase to $1839.48 from $1275.09. (http://militarybenefits.info/va-disability-rates/), which is a difference of $564.39. Now I received a lump sum of $3477.92 which is approximately 6.16 months of the difference I should have recovered. By MY calculations, my backdated pay should be from my initial request. I say this because initially they rated my three issues as "Service Connected" but at 0%. Now that my appeal was accepted and those three items were given appropriate ratings, the backdate for my pay should be the initial date of submission. That initial date was 1 January 2013. So January 2013 to July 2016 should be 41 months of backpay, am I right? With the 6 months I received at the end of June, I SHOULD still receive 35 months of backpay at $564.39 a month, yes? If I am missing something or not understanding something, please drop me a response. Also, how would I go about energizing the VA to make this backpay occur? Thanks. Papa Weave
  13. Hello good people. I was just curious to know how retro pay would work in this situation? Of course this is something that could happen to me since I have a pending appeal, but I thought it would be a good question for those in a similar situation. Scenario: Awarded 30% in 11/2008 Initial appeal is dated back to 6/2009 Appeal was not worked on for years. Awarded for new claims in 2011 & 2014 that increased my rating to 40% If my appeal is awarded 10%(or so) higher and retro-pay is dated back to the 2009 date, do any of you know how they calculate retro pay with periods of increased ratings? Thanks Jfizzle
  14. Hello, I had three apeals for effective dates close on Jan 29, 2016. I received a letter from BVA on Feb 8, 2016 stating they were granting an earlier effective date for my 100% service connection. The original effective date was 2/03/2013 and now it's 2/04/2012. So my question is how long should I expect it to take for retroactive to hit my account? I've won one other appeal through BVA in 2010 for my 50% rating and retroactive hit within 3 weeks of the claim closing. My claim is flagged with hardship. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
  15. Hi all, I got this letter from the VA today and I don't understand what it means. I am going to type it in and see if someone can help me out. We have implemented the decision form the board of veteran appeals of march 12 2016 This letter tells you about your entitlement amount and payment start date and what we decided. Your monthly entitlement amount is shown below: $541 sept 1 2009 $770. oct 1 2011 $797 dec 1 2011 $810 Dec 2012 $822 de 2013 $836 dec 2014 $917 nov 1 2015 $976 Jan 2016 $917 Mar 2020 You can expect payment the first month following your effective date. What we decided is open reduction fracture which is currently 10% disabling is increased to 20% effective from Aug 2009. Also the 10% knee strain effective date is granted to august 2009 Your overall rating is 50% I was at 10% for years then up to 20% for a few more years and been at 40% for the last few yrs. Do you need more info? What does all this mean in laymans terms? Thanks for your time and input.
  16. OffGridGrunt

    [[Template core/front/global/prefix is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]] Lower Back C&P plus backpay and neuropathy questions

    I recently finished a series of C&Ps for various conditions and I was hoping to get some input on just what exactly it all means - I was wondering what if any kind of rating might I be looking at? Is there a possibility for getting back pay? What can I do (possibly in an appeal) to do more to strengthen my case? At this point my case should be done with the gathering evidence phase (I can't check because ebenefits is being weird). All C&P's are done and everything that needed to be turned in is (I hope). The first C&P/DBQ I'd like assistance with is my claim for "Lower Back Condition". Originally I had claimed "chronic lower back pain" only to later find out that really isn't a thing and thus I was denied. When I went in for this most recent exam the reviewing doctor first went to my C-File and saw that I had claimed "chronic lower back pain" back in 2004. He then went into my military treatment record and found considerable amounts of treatment records for several issues in my lumbar spine and beyond. "They should have connected you back in 2004" he said to me. Sufficed to say that his positive first impressions put me a little more at ease with the C&P (which normally turns me into an anxious, nervous wreck). I've now gained access to the DBQ and would like any information that you well informed folks could provide. I've cut it down as much as I thought I could. If a question is missing and/or option is missing assume it wasn't checked. All non-pertinent information I cut out and did some heavy editing as far as formatting goes. Here it is: Back (Thoracolumbar Spine) Conditions Disability Benefits Questionnaire Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence review --------------- Was the Veteran's VA claims file (hard copy paper C-file) reviewed? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, list any records that were reviewed but were not included in the Veteran's VA claims file: VA medical records. 1. Diagnosis ------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition? [X] Yes [ ] No Thoracolumbar Common Diagnoses: [ ] Ankylosing spondylitis [X] Lumbosacral strain [ ] Degenerative arthritis of the spine [ ] Intervertebral disc syndrome [ ] Sacroiliac injury [ ] Sacroiliac weakness [ ] Segmental instability [ ] Spinal fusion [ ] Spinal stenosis [ ] Spondylolisthesis [ ] Vertebral dislocation [ ] Vertebral fracture Diagnosis #1: LS strain, chronic, with LLE radiculopathy Date of diagnosis: 2000s 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (brief summary): During military service, the Veteran did develop chronic left lower back pain with radiation down the left buttock to the calf. On 6/10/2003, an MRI of the LS spine was performed with the following findings: Broad based posterior/central disc bulging at L4-5 without associated neural impingement. After service discharge in 2004, the Veteran continued with intermittent lower back and LLE problems. Repeat lumbar MRi in 2009 was read as normal. Currently he continues with chronic daily left lower back pain with LLE weakness and paresthesias. He is taking Ibuprofen and has a TENS unit as needed. He deniesbowel/bladder/sexual dysfunction related to his lower back. b. Does the Veteran report flare-ups of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of the flare-ups in his or her own words: Increased pain and stiffness c. Does the Veteran report having any functional loss or functional impairment of the thoracolumbar spine (back) (regardless of repetitive use)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of functional loss or functional impairment in his or her own words. Stiffness/LLE radiculopathy 3. Range of motion (ROM) and functional limitation -------------------------------------------------- a. Initial range of motion [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range Forward Flexion (0 to 90): 0 to 75 degrees Extension (0 to 30): 0 to 20 degrees Right Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees Left Lateral Flexion (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees Right Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees Left Lateral Rotation (0 to 30): 0 to 30 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to a functional loss? [ ] Yes (please explain) [X] No Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam on rest/non-movement If noted on exam, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Forward Flexion, Extension Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joints or associated soft tissue of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe including location, severity and relationship to condition(s): There is localized tenderness over the bilateral paralumbar muscles and the left SI joint and left sciatic notch. b. Observed repetitive use: Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional loss of function or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Repeated use over time Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted immediately after repetitive use over time: [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with repeated use over a period of time? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Not currently flared up. d. Flare-ups Is the exam being conducted during a flare-up? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted during a flare-up: [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with flare-ups? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Not currently flared up. e. Guarding and muscle spasm Does the Veteran have guarding or muscle spasm of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No Muscle spasm: [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour Provide description and/or etiology: Left lower back muscle spasm is noted today. Localized tenderness: [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour Guarding: [X] None f. Additional factors contributing to disability In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: [X] None 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Normal strength Hip flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [ ] 5/5 [X] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Knee extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [ ] 5/5 [X] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle plantar flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [ ] 5/5 [X] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle dorsiflexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [ ] 5/5 [X] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Great toe extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [ ] 5/5 [X] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? [ ] Yes [X] No 5. Reflex exam -------------- Rate deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) according to the following scale: 0 Absent 1+ Hypoactive 2+ Normal 3+ Hyperactive without clonus 4+ Hyperactive with clonus Knee: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Ankle: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ 6. Sensory exam --------------- Provide results for sensation to light touch (dermatome) testing: Upper anterior thigh (L2): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Thigh/knee (L3/4): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Lower leg/ankle (L4/L5/S1): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent Foot/toes (L5): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [ ] Normal [X] Decreased [ ] Absent 7. Straight leg raising test ---------------------------- Provide straight leg raising test results: Right: [X] Negative [ ] Positive [ ] Unable to perform Left: [ ] Negative [X] Positive [ ] Unable to perform 8. Radiculopathy ---------------- Does the Veteran have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to radiculopathy? [X] Yes [ ] No a. Indicate symptoms' location and severity (check all that apply): Constant pain (may be excruciating at times) Right lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Intermittent pain (usually dull) Right lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Paresthesias and/or dysesthesias Right lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Numbness Right lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe b. Does the Veteran have any other signs or symptoms of radiculopathy? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Indicate nerve roots involved: (check all that apply) [X] Involvement of L4/L5/S1/S2/S3 nerve roots (sciatic nerve) If checked, indicate: [ ] Right [X] Left [ ] Both d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected: Right: [X] Not affected [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [ ] Not affected [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe 10. Other neurologic abnormalities ---------------------------------- [ ] Yes [X] No 12. Assistive devices --------------------- [ ] Yes [X] No 13. Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- [X] No 14. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, symptoms and scars ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe (brief summary): Vital signs are stable; Lungs are clear; Heart is without m/g/r; Abdomen is soft, and without masses or organomegaly or tenderness; Genitalia are normal, no hernias or testicular lesions, the testicles and epididymii are tender to touch bilaterally; b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No 15. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the thoracolumbar spine been performed and are the results available? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, is arthritis documented? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have a thoracic vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of height? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results (brief summary): Repeat lumbar MRI has been ordered and is currently pending; when completed and reported, I will review it and add any additional comments as indicated. 16. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition impact on his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes describe the impact of each of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) conditions providing one or more examples: The Veteran's current lower back condition would limit his ability to perform repetitive heavy lifting, pushing or pulling. 17. Remarks, if any: -------------------- The Veteran is claiming service connection for a lower back condition. Opinion: It is as least as likely as not that the Veteran's current lower back condition is proximately due to or caused by military service. Rationale: The C file was reviewed. The STRs do document a two year history in 2002 of chronic lower back pain with LLE radiculopathy. This is also noted on separation exam in 2004. I was able to elicit the same symptoms ongoing today, as well as to confirm this on phyiscal examination. Repeat lumbar MRI has been ordered since the last study was in 2009; when completed and reported, I will review it and add any additional comments as indicated. Thus, the service connection is substantiated. 12/23/2015 ADDENDUM STATUS: COMPLETED The Veteran underwent a lumbar MRI on 12/21/2015 with the following findings: L3-4: Mild facet arthrosis with minimal posterior disc bulge L4-5: Mild facet arthrosis with minimal posterior disc bulge L5-S1: Mild facet arthrosis with minonal posterior disc bulge ------END------- Any help interpreting this would be greatly appreciated. The "service connection is substantiated" is pretty straight forward. I'm curious whether or not I have a chance at getting the SC backdated to my original claim. It seems to me (a total non expert) that the evidence is there to support it. I am also curious about whether or not I can refute some of the conclusions that this doctor came to. While an awesome C&P doctor a back expert he is not. Since the writing of the C&P I had a chiropractor evaluation who found several more things than this doctor did. I'm curious if any of it will be enough to make a 10% difference when the rating comes down. In addition I am curious if within my C&P as well as the most recent chiro consult if there isn't evidence for a possible future claim for nerve pain in my lower body. "Many times spinal conditions have other conditions that contribute to the severity of the spinal condition. For example, many spine conditions also cause radiculopathy. These secondary conditions can sometimes be independently ratable." In my C&P I believe I meet all these conditions. I am diagnosed with lumbosacral strain - chronic, as well as Lower Left Extremity radiculopathy. In addition the C&P also diagnosed me with LLE weakness and paresthesias. The following is a list of conditions that the Chiropractor diagnosed me with just 8 days after the C&P doctor finalized his report. ----------Chiropractic Evaluation-------------- LOCAL TITLE: PM&R CHIROPRACTOR CONSULT RESULT STANDARD TITLE: PHYSICAL MEDICINE REHAB CONSULT DATE OF NOTE: DEC 31, 2015@11:04 Midback pain: medial scapula, left worse than right Quality: Burning (small area "about the size of a dime") Radiating: Patient Denies 0-10: 9/10 Timing: Intermittent Worse: working in a "hunched" or bent over position. Better: Standing up /stretching Low Back Pain: Thoraco-lumbar and lower L4-5-S1. Quality: Dull/Ache/sometimes sharp/Throbbing Radiating: buttock/thigh and foot ("tasered"), left worse than right 0-10: 6-7/10 Timing: Intermittent Worse: Standing/coughing while bent over Better: changing positions/activities Trunk ROM: Flexion:Mod dec Pain:Severe Extension:Mild dec Pain:No pain Rotation:Mild dec Pain:No pain Lateral Flexion:Mild dec Pain:No pain Muscle Atrophy: No Seated SLR: Positive L Supine SLR: Positive R (low back pain) Hip hyperextension test: Positive R Kemps test: Negative R L Spinous Process Tenderness: T3-7, L2,3, Right SI Myofascial Tenderness: Bilateral Rhomboids, Thoraco-lumbar paraspinals bilaterally. Lumbar MRI 12/21/2015 Impression: 1. Mild facet arthrosis and minimal disc bulges of the lower lumbar spine without thecal sac or neuroforaminal stenosis. Oswestry Disability Index Questionnaire Section 1 -- Pain Intensity: 2. The pain is moderate at the moment. Section 2 -- Personal Care (Washing, Dressing, etc.): 2. It is painful to look after myself and I am slow and careful. Section 3 -- Lifting: 2. Pain prevents me lifting heavy weights off the floor, but I can manage if they are conveniently placed e.g. on a table. Section 4 -- Walking: 1. Pain prevents me walking more than 1 mile. Section 5 -- Sitting: 3. Pain prevents me from sitting more than one-half hour. Section 6 -- Standing: 2. Pain prevents me from standing for more than 1 hour. Section 7 -- Sleeping: 2. Because of pain, I have less than 6 hours sleep. Section 8 -- Sex Life (if applicable): N/A Section 9 -- Social Life: 3. Pain has restricted my social life, and I do not go out very often. Section 10 -- Traveling: 2. Pain is bad but I manage journeys over two hours. DISABILITY INDEX SCORE: 38% Segmental Dysfunction: L3LP, RPIN, RAI_Sacrum, T3LP, T5LP Assessment: 1. Lumbar: Segmental dysfunction 2. Lumbar: strain 3. Pelvic: Segmental dysfunction 4. Sacrum: Segmental Dysfunction 5. Thoracic: Segmental dysfunction Alright. If you've made it this far thanks for taking the time to read this massive wall of text. If you have some information or experience to offer let me thank you in advance!
  17. bnthornton

    [[Template core/front/global/prefix is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]] Backpay and Monthly Comp After BVA Grant

    My husband, also a Vet, recently had a BVA appeal for increased major depressive disorder and TDIU. The BVA granted the MDD increase to 70% from the initial rating through the entire rating period and remanded the TDIU back to the RO for consideration with the new MDD rating. This increase to 70% for his MDD now puts him at 100% total rating and will be getting backpay to 2009. We know that it can take forever for the backpay to process, especially considering how large of a sum it will be so while we're hoping for it to be on the shorter side of time, we are not holding our breath. Our question is this: could he start getting his increased monthly comp amount before the backpay hits or do they always process both at the same time so we'll likely either see the backpay first or at the same time? Thanks!
  18. So after waiting an entire year, two of my four claimed disabilities went through, and they gave me a rating of 40%. The other two conditions went back to gathering of evidence, but I'm curious if I will get back-pay for the 40% as of now since I have already waited an entire year. Has anybody else gone through this or know anything about it? I've been reading very conflicting information.
  19. I have a question which may seem a bit out there. I've noticed, in some forums, that vets have filed claims with an effective date of (for example) February 2014. However, when claim is approved, somehow it gets dated back to (for example) October 2013. One vet even suggested this may have been because of some 'informal claim' the vet made to the VA. I filed a claim which was denied in 2008. I found supporting evidence just a few weeks ago and opened a new claim as suggested by a county VA rep. Is it a 'pipe-dream' to even think that, perhaps, my claim can be back-dated by the VA to 2008 with no action on my part which happened to the other vets?
  20. I got my first payment for VA disability a few days ago. I little over 14,000. While that is great an all, I searched around and I found my approval letter on ebennifits and I was approved for 50%(around $850 a month) starting December 1st, 2014. The math doesn't make any sense. Can someone please explain this to me? At first I was thinking it was the last installment of my enlistment bonus, but I'm pretty sure that money comes from a the Army, not the VA and I was discharged early so I wasn't expecting that anyway.
  21. Hi guys, being a veteran myself, I know the issues we veterans face. One of those issues for me was the difficulty in calculating VA disability retroactive payments. So I've created this website www.vadisabilitycalculator.com/back-pay-calculator to help out the disabled veteran community. Check it out and compute for your retroactive payments in only a few seconds. Can you tell me if it works and can you please give a feedback or comment? Thank you!
  22. Okay I finally got a decesion letter or actually two for an 11 month old dependency claim to merely add back my daughter that was cut off from my benefits when she turned 18 back in January. She was still in high school and has since moved on to college. The first decision letter was dated 11/15/13 and stated that she had been added back from 2/01/13 to 6/01/13-which was from the time she was cut off in January until the time she graduated high school. The second decision letter was dated 12/19/13 stating she had been added back from 6/01/13 and ongoing. It also shows my new rate which was effective 2/01/13 up until present and ongoing. My question is, I havent received any backpay, even from the first decision letter 46 days ago. They send me these decision letters stating my current rate and even my AB8 reflects what they say but I'm still being paid with no dependents (12/31/13). Furthermore, when inquiring into this via IRIS and sending in a fax to the RO as well, I now see on eBenefits they have opened up a new claim for me dated 12/23/13 titled "dependency - retro pay (New) with an estimated completion date of 3/26/14 to 6/12/14. Can someone explain this to me? A new claim for retro pay? Shouldn't this be part of a completed claim when a decision is made and the decision letter is sent to you stating the effective dates and your current amount? So now I have to wait another possible six months for them to decide on retro pay? I am more than confused. My AB8 reflects I am being paid for my daughter as their decision letter shows but I am obviously still not and again, a new claim for retro pay, and a possible six months to do such?
  23. Hi guys, my story was that I was shorted over 2k in retroactive disability payments. For a while, I didn't know that anything was wrong. Then I was kicking some numbers around in my head and I realized the back pay amount didn't make sense. After doing the calculations on my computer, I was on the phone with the VA faster than a speeding bullet. I am now expecting another payment of over 2 thousand dollars. To help you calculate for your retroactive payment, I've created this website www.vadisabilitycalculator.com/back-pay-calculator. Try it for yourself and please give some feedback or comment. Thank you!
  24. hi, i have received my statement of the case from my appeal a couple of weeks ago. 3 out of 10 items were denied. it said that the other 7 are waiting a decicion or what have you. the first time i got a soc back in 2009 it had a long list of items that were denied and a couple that were approved. and it came with a ratings decision. but this time around only 3 were denied but no decision on the other 7. i called the 1-800 number and was told more than likely they were awarded but i have to wait for a ratings decision. does anybody know if they are more than likely awarded or they just haven't gotten around to denying them yet. also would my retropay be form sept. 2008? i have been waiting on this appeal since april of 2010. the original claim is from sept. 2008.
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