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Found 170 results

  1. I had a higher level review, and new C&P yesterday. How long before I know something, since this is a higher level review process?
  2. I had a higher level review, and new C&P yesterday, and went to ebenefits this morning, and disabilities and payment history, and letters unavailable this morning. Is that a good or bad thing or is the site just down
  3. Higher level review letter states that VA returning 3 different mental conditions for correction of a duty to assist error in the prior decision. States Va failed to get an examination(s) and/or medical opinion(s). One of them states VA is developing exam to consolidate conflicting information. I told review I had a bad C&P, and that the person doing exam, had been reported by VSO's . I have new C&P tomorrow. Video C&P. What should I expect?
  4. After higher level review, VA is correcting 3 errors. Letter states that VA is developing for a examination to consolidate conflicting information about my mental health condition. I have a C&P Friday. What should I expect in this one?
  5. I am scheduled to be reevaluated for my combined disabilities of Major Depressive Disorder/Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Overall, anxiety is my #1 problem, with depression being #2, in my life but for the past month or so, I have been overwhelmingly depressed. I'm afraid of looking stupid trying to explain how anxiety is ruining my life while presenting as a depressed person. I still have a lot of anxiety right now but depression is my current elephant in my room. Do I have anything to worry about in this respect? I'm currently rated 50% and this is a routine future examination.
  6. I was rated 50% for mental health and placed on the TDRL in 2014. In 2016, I was placed on the PDRL. Fast forward to 2020, the VA is reevaluating me. I heard that the VA shouldn't be doing this because they usually take a PEB's opinion on stability into consideration. Is that true? Should I upload the 2016 PEB decision as evidence in my favor or bring it to my C&P exam? Please advise. Thanks.
  7. I recently received a re-exam for my anxiety disorder that I have a 70% rating for. They sent me a packet explaining they want to lower the rating to 30% because of "improvements made". When i told my treating physician about this, he disagreed that any improvements have been made and agrees to write a statement for me to send in as evidence. I'm just curious how much ground his statement can hold against their examiners and if it is likely that they will reduce my rating or leave it as is. Has anyone else submitted doctors statements and had the VA rule in their favor? Is it common?
  8. Hey all, First off, love this page it has been extremely helpful! Background: currently at 90% / 70-ptsd, 50-migraines, 10-iritis, 10-tinnitus, and I’m in the running for 100 at the moment. Current day: Was content at 90 but after all these years I have finally come out about my MST when I was in the infantry. Still working stuff out on that end as this is still fresh... Anyway, I submitted a claim for sleep apnea because of the MST. I submitted the following: picture of CPAP machine I use in my house, nexus statement from issuing doctor, Nexus statement from other doctor stating the sleep apnea is due to trauma from MST, copy of sleep study confirming I have sleep apnea from doctor listed above and buddy statements as well as the formal submission paperwork of my MST to three levels of my chain of command, NCO, O3, O5 etc... Wrap this all up with a successful expedited hardship approval and you now have me waiting for answers. Well today (a few moments prior to writing this) I found out I am getting a C&P exam for this...I almost feel like this is a slap in the face...I mean how am I to go up to that examiner and explain all this when I literally gave it all to them... Has anyone been in my shoes before??? Thank you all.
  9. I'm curious as to what, if any responsibility the VA may have for followup on conditions found during C&P that were not specifically on the original claim. Example: Claim for low back syndrome is approved at 20%, during the C&P exam, examiner notes radiculopathy down legs. Does the VA have any requirement to help "fully develop" the claim knowing that the radiculopathy is being caused by the original claimed condition. Thanks in advance, Randy
  10. So I will am heading to my in person C&P tomorrow. This claim is for arthritis (analogous to Rhuematoid). This is round 2 for this condition, I'm pretty sure I was a little to friendly with the last examiner and it didn't help things. I'm sure it has been covered many times before, but any suggestions on how to handle this exam.
  11. I have found this forum today searching desperately for answers and help, and I'm hoping that some can be found here. I have been working with a representative from the American Legion to assist me in preparing and filing a service connection claim. We started last May (an intent to file was sent on May 17, 2019), and this week of all weeks I finally received a series of letters from the VA Intake office saying my claim was being worked on and that I would be getting a call from a local doctor to schedule my C&P exam. The rep I have been working with told me to call him (or see him at his office) when I got this information, but his office is closed for another week at least (automated voicemail and email responses say through Apr 6) and I am very concerned about what is happening. The rep had mentioned the name of a local physician as who most everyone he has worked with in the past was sent to, but I just this morning got a call from Logistics Health Incorporated and the reviews I found for them online are varied from awful experiences to good ones. I have no way to contact the one person who has been helping me navigate this process and I am very worried on how to proceed. My primary claim is Anxiety/Panic Disorder (it has become so severe that I have been put on ADA Medical Leave from my part time job and my university professors/staff are working with me through their version of a disability office to provide accommodations to help me try to finish this term). I have been on that ADA Leave since Nov 17, 2019 and it is currently slated to last until May 17, 2020. Due to the nature of my primary issue, I have been unable to sleep recently trying to figure out what to do as I can not access the resource I had come to rely on over the last nearly one year. I have several claims being made other than just the Anxiety/Panic Disorder and can elaborate if someone needs that information to help, but frankly I'm terrified to call this large impersonal corporation to schedule a C&P when I had been expecting to work with a local physician. EDIT: I just received a Voicemail from LHI, and they have already scheduled an appointment for me for Mon 4/13. One of the primary issues of my Anxiety/Panic Disorder is that I am unable to travel long distances (anything out of my own city, and even long distance within town is problematic even with medication). In light of this, we had submitted along with our filings a request to have an appointment scheduled within my own city, but the appointment was made for me at an office in a city more than 30 minutes away, a trip I can not make.
  12. I have some questions and wondering what some of your observations are. I had a c and p exam recently and got ahold of the DBQ. All the boxes the doctor checked were good for me. She checked all the right boxes and checked that I had PTSD and all the symptoms they went with it but in some of the comments she made, they seem really bad. So I'm wondering what matters more, the doctors observations or the boxes she checked? I'm rated at 60% currently with anxiety NOS and Tinnitus. I did not initiate the exam for an increase. It was one of the random c&p to see how things are going. This is from the PTSD initial DBQ that she filled out 1) yes 2) PTSD, paranoid personality disorder with avoidant features, other specified anxiety disorder with depressive symptoms 3) a. Yes. B.no 4.) A.Occupational and social impairment with deficiencies In most areas work, school , family relations...etc B. Yes--most impairment is attributed to PTSD and anxiety disorder with paranoia secondary. Under PTSD criteria she checked 2 in A, 3 in b, 2 in c, 6 in D and 4 in E . 6) Argumentative and irritable veteran who is hiding behind his wife and looks at her instead of the examiner; has poor eye contact; unable to tolerate questions without interrogating examiner about "meaning" of question; makes people want to avoid him due to his paranoid arguing. Hopeless attitude; does not accept hopeful comments; arrogant and appears to think he knows more than others; thinking was designed to perceived threat, not to answer questions; emotional overactivity; exaggerated affect; affect constricted; everything annoys him; meds do not touch symptoms and he does not sleep; problems with lack of trust. 7) " he may be playing this up out of a desire to avoid working at jobs that are low pay---he has no job skills and comes from a highly educated family --father is lawyer, sister a geophysicist; he may prefer the sick role, rather than go back to school and stretch himself; there is an element of malingering and playing to an audience." I found this highly offensive because I've been going to the VA for at least 5 years. I didn't initiate the exam so I'm not trying to get more money. However, I wasn't honest in my first c&p in 2011 because I was ashamed and held back a lot of the really bad things I experienced. This time around I made sure that I was brutally honest. I know that I'm supposed to tell them about my "worst" day and how bad it really is and I did. And now my sincerity is questioned? The lady was incredulous that my wife married me even though I didn't have a job and still don't. I said that I don't believe I can work which I don't think that I can because I barely can stand to leave the house and that I hate being around people because I'm constantly thinking in my head that I'm going to be attacked or have to attack someone else. I also don't sleep, I have diagnosed insomnia from the VA. Because of all this I don't think I'd be able to hold down a serious job. Is that crazy? I haven't worked in a long time. I stay at home and take care of our kids. I said something like at least I can feel useful like that. The woman seemed stunned by this. I'll admit I was extremely uncomfortable during the exam because I hate talking about this stuff and prefer to not think about it. And she interpreted it in the way above. Her comments seem contradictory to all of the boxes she checked. If I'm "malingering and playing to an audience" why did she check all of the other boxes? It's driving me crazy. This feels really bad for me. I'm having anxiety attacks almost daily thinking about this. Am I crazy to worry about how this will turn out for me? This woman was in her late 70s or early 80s. The exam was through VES and was done at her in home practice
  13. I have 4 C&P exams this Friday. All for increases. (Migraine, PTSD/depression/anxiety/chronic pain/agoraphobia, bilateral foot pain and knee pain increase [including VA issued knee brace and civilian issued AFO foot brace]). Should I have my wife ad adult kids who both witness and suffer from my mood swings, depression, anxiety and antisocial like living on a daily basis? They can also talk about my constant leg pain and migraines. I also want my supervisor to do one regarding my migraines that have me leaving work early, alot. But that is a touchy subject, because I don't want me asking him to affect my employment. Also I hide a lot from them, to keep my job, like just suffer with headaches and migraines at work. Or fake my way through the day, pretending to want to be around people.
  14. Hello, I have C&P exams all in one day in January. Any advice on what to expect? Here's a synopsis on what I'm up against/working with. - PTSD increase is based off several years of VA mental health treatment and a Nexus letter written by my mental health doctor, which named PTSD, Depression, Chronic Pain Syndrome with depression, Panic D/O with Agoraphobia and survivor's guilt as a diagnosis (last 3 are recently added to records). - Knee pain- VA issued me a big knee brace and my primary care (tricare) orthopedics specialist just put me an Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) brace because she says I have drop foot and weakened ankle support which tried to compensate for my weak knee/muscle strength - Foot pain- I reviewed all of my previous C&P exams and realized my foot pain rating had dropped from 30% to 10% because the rater misquoted me (lied) on the C&P exam. I told him these insoles and stuff didn't work. that my feet hurt all the time. He wrote, I said they were not effective insoles and I have to use all kinds of feet massages equipment to get through my work days. The primary care sent me to this foot pain doctor. All she did was cortisone shots (3 times) in my feet and tried to up-sell me on her brand of insoles. - Migraines- Been at zero percent since retirement. Last year I was hospitalized twice and misdiagnosed with having TIA and strokes/CVA. My VA advocate put in a secondary claim to my service connected cervical damage. End result not service connected for CVA/TIA. However, ALL TESTS revealed that I've never had a stroke. The neurologist diagnosed me with Hemiplegic Migraines. These rare migraines an mimic strokes, causing weakness on one side of the body. They can last from a few hours or in my case,first one lasted 3 months. The neurologist provided a letter stating that all of the hospital doctors had misdiagnosed me with having CVAa. He also diagnosed me with exertional headaches. I know I'm no more special than the millions of other veterans out here, but this "deny 'til they die" tactic is wearing me down. Thanks for any advice.
  15. http://www.benefits.va.gov/PREDISCHARGE/DOCS/disexm58.pdf 12 page guideline the VA docs must use for a TBI assessment. Review this along with the ratings guide for 8045 to be well prepared for the C & P exam. http://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/docs/regs/38cfr/bookc/part4/s4_124a.doc After the exam, go to the Release of Information office at the VAMC & request a copy of the exam be mailed to you. Or MyHealth E Vet website Blue Button feature will allow you to view it in 3 days. Check over the exam report to make sure doc wrote down correctly what you said. If not, you can fill out a form to request a correction of your medical records.
  16. I requested connection for psoriatic arthritis of the right hand, left wrist, and both feet. In addition to these joints the RO requested a C&P exam of shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle. I have no idea why they did this but it is possibly beneficial to me. I'll attach this part from my c-file at the bottom on this post. The VA only decided on the four claimed joints. The other joints that the VA put in the C&P request were never evaluated or referenced in anyway. This includes no mention in rating decision letter or during the C&P. Fast forward to 2015 I report for a VA requested future exam for the four SC joints. I made the complaint of joint pain in 11 joints to include the joints stated above from the 2009 C&P. These were recorded in the results as pain. In addition to the documentation in the 2015 exam, they VA acknowledged the additional joint pain and suggested I contact them if I wished to claim these. I stupidly did not see this until recently. Would I be able to get these joints connected and EED back dated to 2009 or 2015 based on an inferred issue and that no decision was made on the other joints? Again the VA is the one that requested the additional joints to be evaluated in 2009 and not me. Then they were never addressed. I am interested in this because I have been finding information on claims being considered open if the VA never renders a decision. While they rarely miss a veteran claim they often miss inferred issues. This seems like a pretty obvious inferred miss to me. The VA specifically requested the additional joints. Might be a stretch but this would be significant retro.
  17. Like the title says, i go to have an exam for fibro, gerd, and eczyma. Now the last one is a toss up, and the gerd maybe too i don't know. A doctor outside the VA diagnosed me with fibro a few years back. He was an idiot though so i don't know if it was documented(probably, but i also have 30 percent for p.s.t.d. so i'm probably being paranoid). Then again this doctor told me it was my weight blah blah blah. I told him multiple times that a few years prior i was going to the gym alot and the pain has become worse as i age amking it harder to be as active. I try to eat good(chicken and rice, oatmeal) most of the times but we are human. So back to the exam, i have only had one for the p.t.s.d. I was in Iraq day one of the war(March 2003). I was around burn pits and was exposed to the aftermaths of exploded tanks and buildings(hell some we even enter to make sure nobody was hiding or any wmd. I'm registered for the burn pits. I just don't know what to expect, will it be questions, will it be a physical? It's an outside contractor, so i'm hoping less va bias. I'm also too the point of drowning in debt. It's trigger my p.t.s.d. to the point my wife can't even sleep due to my nightmares and waking up with night terrors. I have become much angrier and lashing out. Not physically though, but i don't know what state i'll be in if i get another denial(btw with what i mentioned, i have a bva for freaking tinnitus even though i have stated where i have been. I was also a cavalry scout in the army so i was trained for combat. I have lay statements from a battle buddy, mom, wife, ex and a friend. I just need to know what to expect or what else i need to do to have a shot at an approval? I'm also filed for apnea, va diagnosed me and i have a cpap. Never had a chance to have any of this documented in service due to being told to man up.
  18. So, as some know I have been having a little war with the VA and my VSO, the American Legion, about getting my DBQ's. So today I went to the VSO's office in the VARO building during their "walk in" hours since I could not get them to give me an appointment. On the door was as sign saying the office was closed for the week for training and left the 800 number for Washington DC office. I knock on the door anyway. Two ladies answer. Tell them what I want and that I need them to do it today. They invite me into the office. I hand them a typed sheet with the Dates and Dr's of my C&P's and a list of documents for each one that I need. The first lady says she doesn't know why I am there. The second lady says she will help me. The first lady says show me how we do this. Okay I tell them again what I want and the 2nd lady says why do you want to file a NOD, I tell her. She says you don't need these files to file an appeal.......The VA already has them. I tell her I need to know exactly what the DBQ says and what the letters to and from VA says. I also need the code sheets as they existed at each point for each approved and denied C&P. She tells me no i don't and if I insist on filing a NOD I should just file an HLR.. I told her no, that would not work for this and the HLR results are not typically veteran friendly. She then spends 20 minutes more telling me that I need to listen to her because veterans don't know what they want and don't know anything about the VA and how to win their claim. She then says "We work for the VA not for you, and the VA knows what it is doing". this of course makes me mad and I say to her " I am asking you to get me these files. nothing more. I have heard your opinion and all you need to do is get me copies of these files." She then starts in again trying to convince me not to file. I get more insistent and tell her that i heard her but I expect her to do exactly as I requested, nothing more. She then says "Well you don't need those files so let me file the NOD" I tell her NO. Resoundingly empathically NO> She then tells me I know how to file a NOD. She then remembers I am filing a CUE and says "you shouldn't file a CUE because you will never win and then the VA will be mad at you"...... Just f'ing wow. Then I tell her once again to do what I asked her to do and to stop trying to dissuade me from what I want. I tell her she is wasting her time and mine and that all I want is her to get those documents. She then yells to the other woman to get "Bill". Man comes in and says "those are VA files you don't get to have them". I tell him he is wrong and ask who he is. He refuses to answer. I look at woman 2 and say Please tell me your full name so I have a record. She wants to know why. I tell her point blank, that the next time I speak to AL in DC I am going to reference her and what she has said and not done. I then look at "Bill" and ask his name. He tells me 'you don't need to know that". I tell him I do because saying "Bill from AL means nothing to anyone". He snaps back 'I don't work for AL I work for VFW". I ask him why he is sticking his nose into an AL situation? He gets mad and leaves. She writes down her name, at least I think it is her name, date and time . Then says all she is going to do is fill out a FOIA. At this point I decide to let her do that and get a copy to submit with my complaint to the AL. She then asks me what I want. Types that I want my C-file and the files on the attached sheet, prints it, shoves it at me and says to Sign it. I tell her no it is not accurate and ask for a pen and write explicitly what I want. She literally tries to argue with me. I tell her to stop arguing and write the FOIA the way I tell her. She writes it wrong in her own phrasing and i made her redo it. Then I made her add Time is of the essence on the form. When she handed it to me. I initialed before and after the typing and drew a line threw the blank space. She gasped and asked why I did that. I said "its blank space and anyone could add words to that blank space. She then started to say, and got half way through saying 'I needed to put more stuff...." and then shut up as she realized she was admitting to falsifying a FOIA over my signature. I am not sure which is worse, having the people with my POA try and screw me over or having the VA which is supposed to be on my side try and Screw me over.
  19. I am serviced connected for ankylosing spondylitis back in 1985. I had a C&P exam on 7-7-19 since I am asking for an increase in my cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral ratings. After speaking with the DAV to find out progress and info on my exam, the Rep. noted sort of what I expected. Radiculopathy was noted and ROM was 0-15 for cervical, and 0-25 for back. I am currently rated as Cervical 30%, Thoracic 10%, and Lumbosacral 40%. The main question that I have is relating to the thoracic 10% and lumbosacral 40%. I am confused on these two. Is Lumbosacral separate from the thoracic/others ? Since my back ROM is at 0-25, does this mean that my thoracic might increase from the 10% to a higher rating ? I am confused how they break down my ratings from cervical at 30%, Thoracic at 10%, and Lumbosacral at 40%. Did the VA make changes to the names of the spine regions after I was rated and how they would rate each one?....because I don't see Thoracic as a region now. I only see cervical and thoracolumbar. I'm not sure how they would rate/increase me...totally confused. Also, with the radiculopathy, is this something that they will rate also ? I am currently at 90% total combined for all my disabilities. I hope this helps for someone to give me advice/answers.
  20. I just discovered that a C&P exam was held without me even knowing about it on August 16th. I just happened to see it in my Blue Button VA medical record download today. I have submitted a few claims last year. One in May and another in October. The VA combined my claims and back dated them to May 2018. The estimated completion date has jumped around 4 times. In July it jumped to an estimated completion date of 9 May 2019. At the beginning of August it jumped to 22 May 2019. It's still in the "Evidence gathering, review, and decision" phase. Does anybody know why they did a C&P without notifying me? Does anybody know what this means regarding my increase requests for the following? - VA exam for sleep apnea (Increase) -I'm trying to service connect my sleep apnea- I submitted Statements in Support of claim dating back to 2007. - VA exam for headaches (Increase)- I've been hospitalized twice in the past year diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines. They mimic strokes and can mess you up just like strokes. And exertional headaches. The worst headaches ever. I originally submitted a claim for TIA and stroke and got a 'not service connected'. Got the migraine diagnosis after they denied the claim, after the 2nd "stroke" episode. - 4138 and MTR for esophageal (Increase)- Not sure what this is for., but I di have a disc replacement in my neck....and my GERD is the weapon of demons.
  21. Welp, Just found out they closed my claim. Surprise surprise, nothing changed EXCEPT they reduced my GERD from 60% down to 10%! WHY and What the?! So apparently that random C&P without my knowledge played a significant part. So my questions are the following: 1. Should I reopen my claims or file an appeal? 2. How do I go about getting ALL of my C&P claim notes, especially whatever was said from this C&P without my knowledge? 3. Should I even attempt to ask for the much qualified for increase on other areas of my body, that have gotten worse, or fight this last round of let downs? I try to explain to everyone when you retire or get out and become a veteran, your own company (the VA) treat you like used tissue. Nobody has any use for used tissue...tossed to the side.
  22. Hi Everyone, In my most recent C&P the examiner noted and measured 2 scars on my neck and jaw. I've read the rating info for scars of the Head/Face/Neck and filled in the chart they had because the first rating option didn't apply. Can someone confirm for me that according to the rating info below, it would qualify me for 30%. There's pain noted in the C&P with each scar in addition to the characteristics noted below. "If there are 6 or more Characteristics, it is rated 80%. If there are 4 or 5 Characteristics, it is rated 50%. If there are 2 or 3 Characteristics, it is rated 30%. If there is 1 Characteristic, it is rated 10%." In addition, during the same C&P the examiner documented and agreed (50% more than likely service related) that I had TMD secondary to broken jaw, painful motion of mandible, reduced ROM, surgical wire in right mandible Thanks in advance! Randy
  23. My husband was just denied SC for hearing loss and tinnitus. I would have expected 0% hearing loss for left ear and 10% tinnitus. I attached the C&P resultsAudiology DBQ.docx - it seems to me like the audiologist contradicts herself in her rationale - or maybe I am just confused? But overall it does seem to say he has tinnitus and its linked to service? Not sure what to think of this. Any insight would be appreciated! Thank you!
  24. Hey brothers and sisters, So I just had my C&P for my right shoulder secondary to my left shoulder injury. Since I've injured I tend to put more strain on my right shoulder to compensate for functional loss. This has caused me to have pain and limited ROM in both shoulders. This scumbag at the VA left his opinion. Even though all my tests showed limited ROM and pain on movement of right shoulder. What's next? MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: Secondary Service Connection. Is the Veteran's shoulder condition right at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of rotator cuff tendonitis, left shoulder (non dominant)? b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: RIGHT SHOULDER TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECTION ] b. The condition claimed is less likely than not (less than 50% probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. c. Rationale: Within the concept of a pathologic entity of one specific site or joint of the human body (right shoulder in this case) it is very hypothetical to theorize or to try to conceptualize that such a pathologic process would be secondary to a SC pathological process at a separate site such as ROTATOR CUFF TENDONITIS, LEFT SHOULDER (NON DOMINANT). To ascribe a distant pathologic entity (RIGHT SHOULDER) to be secondary to the already mentioned SC condition, does not fit within the realm of a peer reviewed logical manifestation of diseases as written over centuries in the medical books. Even trying to force a connection between such SC condition and the RIGHT SHOULDER condition imperils the scientific knowledge in medicine that tries to explain disease processes and their interconnections in the most logical, reasonable and responsible ways. There is no evidence in the scientific medical literature of such connection. Therefore, the claimed condition is less likely than not proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. And the SC condition neither aggravates the RIGHT SHOULDER condition.
  25. I recently (October 2018) made my first claim and was examined and rated @ 10% for Tinnitus. Immediately afterwards, I received a letter from the VA stating that they had made an appointment for me for back pain that was from a claim in March of 2000. (I left the USAF in January, 2000). This is the result of that C&P exam. I was also sent a letter about foot pain that I had claimed in 2000. I ended up filling out more paperwork to explain condition, and sending in medical records from private doctors. I believe that they combined the foot pain, and the back pain into one claim. I cannot see anything on eBenefits regarding the status these claims since they are so old (that's what they told me). I am also soliciting opinions as to what the effective date for these claims would be. Please let me know what you think regarding this DBQ from a C&P exam: Thank you VERY much! Thanks! mhv_Xxxxxxxx_.pdf
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