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  1. An Overview on DIC for Survivors of Veterans The death of a veteran spouse often brings more unique situations to the surviving spouse then a non veteran's death. Both types of deaths are as equally devastating and there is a lot to do in spite of dealing with the grief. Many veterans here have already established a Death file . We have done SVR shows on this and there is discussion here at hadit as well on that. http://www.svr-radio.com/archives.html (May 5th and May 12th , 2010) This file is a good place for copies of the DD 214/215, info on SGLI Life Insurance and other insurance policies, passwords the veteran uses that the spouse might need for paying online bills, and certainly for their hadit password, after they expire. Also the Marriage license, birth certificates of the children, any divorce decree papers etc etc, VA award letters and SSA award letters, all should be in this special file .Many vets here already have the blank 21-534 form in their death files. I have a large death file that contains my bank info, insurance policies, my will and Health Care proxy, passwords and even photos of where my septic tank lid is, where the well is, and how to turn the main power to the house and the barn off and on, photos of how the TV, and component cables are attached, and even a photo of how I set up my garden hoses to the main water line. As a widow, it also contains my VA Deed to the same plot at the VA Cemetery where my husband is buried. Also my file contains my signed statement that I am an Organ Donor. An advocate friend of mine has literally written a book for his wife when he dies, along with the important documents I mentioned above. Sometimes our spouses really don't know how to shut off water mains right away if a pipe breaks or how to change a blown fuse.The deed to the home should be in the death file too as it is one of many documents a survivor has to get changed,when their spouse has died. If your spouse is an organ donor or has mentioned that in their wishes, if not formally recorded by their PCP or on their driver's license,or in their death file , the Organ Harvest people make that call within hours of death and the survivor needs to be prepared for it. Organ harvests involve an autopsy and this autopsy could end up being the most important evidence a survivor can have, regarding many DIC claims, as it will be far more detailed than the death certificate. Of course an autopsy almost always involves cremation.These are things we all need to consider in our lifetimes. And burial in a National Cemetery,for the surviving spouse, eventually ,means they need to know that if the deceased veteran has been cremated and rests in the Cremains section of the cemetery, then the spouse will need to be cremated too, to fit on top of the veteran's grave. Also the VA as well as SSA (if the veteran receives SSA or SSDI, )should be informed ASAP of the veteran's death. Often the coroner will ask the surviving spouse for any conditions that that veteran had in their lifetime that the coroner can not list as the immediate cause of death. If a service connected disability has contributed substantially to death, that should be put onto the death certificate by the coroner.Also the coroner will ask what medications the veteran was prescribed. A list of them should be put in the death file and updated as needed. Death certificates are usually ten dollars each or maybe a little more. You might need more then you think.Also the Probate Court in your county can help with the various forms needed eventually for Probate and this is often a job you can do yourself,if the veteran died intestate (without a will). When a Funeral Director is contacted , he/she will need the veteran's DD214, and any 215 if one was issued, and since they often prepare the Obit, you will want to think about what it should contain. I wrote my husband's Obituary myself.The funeral director checked it against his 214 and 215 and had it published verbatim. If your spouse is being buried in a National Cemetery, make sure the Funeral Director and the VA knows of your wishes for a Military funeral: http://www.cem.va.gov/military_funeral_honors.asp http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/ The link to burial benefits does not include this information for surviving spouses of deceased service connected veterans as to burial expense and plot allowances here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/burials/Burial.pdf DIC: Dependents and Indemnity Compensation The DIC application VA form 21-534 is here: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/vba-21-534-are.pdf Although the form mentions if the veteran had ever filed a claim with the VA before,I suggest to note under Remarks, if there was a claim pending at time of death and the survivor should also fill out, sign, copy and attach (and refer to under Remarks) the Substitution form: It is explained here: You need to file the 534 and the Substitution form within one year after the veteran's death for any potential accrued benefits to be paid to you. The EZ 534 is here: http://www.veteransaidbenefit.org/forms/21-534EZ.pdf An Accrued benefits claim must be supported with evidence as well as the DIC claim and they are handled as two separate issues with the VA. Also I noticed that VA does not include the REPS application anymore along with the DIC app. REPS Restored Entitlement Program. My vet reps didnt even know what REPS was at all. It can involve a considerable amount of money. Here is the form that states which specific survivors are eligible for REPS: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-8924-ARE.pdf After receipt of a DIC application the survivor will receive a VCAA letter that must include the Hupp decision. As Military.com states: "DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of the following: Military service member who died while on active duty, OR Veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR Veteran whose death resulted from a non service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death, OR since the veteran's release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999. “ http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/dependency-and-indemnity-compensation.html DIC is also paid under a Section 1151 death, as explained below,with a more detailed description of each type of DIC here: 1.. Cause of Death “In order to establish service connection for the cause of a veteran's death, the evidence must show that a disability incurred in or aggravated by active service was the principal or contributory cause of death. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1310; 38 C.F.R. § 3.312(a). In order to constitute the principal cause of death the service-connected disability must be one of the immediate or underlying causes of death or be etiologically related to the cause of death. 38 C.F.R. § 3.312(b). In the case of contributory cause of death, it must be shown that a service- connected disability contributed substantially or materially to cause death. 38 C.F.R. § 3.312(c)(1). Service connection for the cause of a veteran's death may be demonstrated by showing that the veteran's death was caused by a disability for which service connection had been established at the time of death or for which service connection should have been established. Service connection means that the facts, shown by evidence, establish that a particular injury or disease resulting in disability was incurred in the line of duty in the active military service or, if pre-existing such service, was aggravated during service. See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 1110, 1131; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(a). Service connection generally requires evidence of a current disability with a relationship or connection to an injury or disease or some other manifestation of the disability during service. Boyer v. West, 210 F.3d 1351, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2000); Mercado-Martinez v. West , 11 Vet. App. 415, 419 (1998) (citing Cuevas v. Principi, 3 Vet. App. 542, 548 (1992)). Where the determinative issue involves medical causation or a medical diagnosis, there must be competent evidence to the effect that the claim is plausible. 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. Jandreau v. Nicholson, 492 F.3d 1372, 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2007).” This means that either a primary cause of death is listed on the death certificate, as cause of death, or that a service connected condition is listed as a contributing cause of death. http://www.va.gov/vetapp10/files4/1039644.txt For example, a death certificate of a non - AO vet lists NSC heart disease as prime cause of death but with diabetes as a substantially contributing cause. If the diabetes has been service connected, the survivor should succeed with the DIC claim, although it might take an IMO if the veteran had not pursued the heart disease as secondary to the diabetes. DIC Under 38 USC 1318: Governing Laws and Regulations for 38 U.S.C.A. § 1318 Claim: “Under 38 U.S.C.A. § 1318, VA death benefits may be paid to a deceased Veteran's surviving spouse or children in the same manner as if the Veteran's death is service-connected, even though the Veteran died of non-service-connected causes, if the Veteran's death was not the result of his or her own willful misconduct and at the time of death, the Veteran was receiving, or was "entitled to receive," compensation for service-connected disability that (1) was continuously rated as totally disabling for the 10 years immediately preceding death, (2) was continuously rated as totally disabling for a period of not less than 5 years from the date of his discharge or release from active duty or (3) was continuously rated as totally disabling for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding death, and the Veteran was a former prisoner of war (POW) who died after September 30, 1999. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1318 (West 2002 & Supp. 2012); 38 C.F.R. § 3.22(a) (2012). The total rating may be schedular or may be a total disability rating based on unemployability (TDIU).” 38 C.F.R. § 3.22(c). “The term "entitled to receive" means that, at the time of death, the Veteran had filed a claim for disability compensation during his lifetime, and the Veteran had service-connected disability rated totally disabling by VA for the requisite time period, but was not receiving compensation due to six possible circumstances: (1) VA was paying the compensation to the Veteran's dependents; (2) VA was withholding the compensation under authority of 38 U.S.C. § 5314 to offset an indebtedness of the Veteran; (3) the Veteran had not waived retired or retirement pay in order to receive compensation; (4) VA was withholding payments under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. § 1174(h)(2); (5) VA was withholding payments because the Veteran's whereabouts was unknown, but the Veteran was otherwise entitled to continued payments based on a total service-connected disability rating; or (6) VA was withholding payments under 38 U.S.C. § 5308 but determines that benefits were payable under 38 U.S.C. § 5309.” 38 C.F.R. § 3.22(b)(3). In addition, the term "entitled to receive" can mean that the Veteran filed a claim for disability compensation during his lifetime and one of the following two circumstances is met: (1) the Veteran would have received total disability compensation at the time of death for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling for the period specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section but for clear and unmistakable error (CUE) committed by VA in a decision on a claim filed during the Veteran's lifetime concerning the issues of service connection, disability evaluation, or effective date; or (2) additional evidence submitted to VA before or after the Veteran's death, consisting solely of service department records that existed at the time of a prior VA decision but were not previously considered by VA, provides a basis for reopening a claim finally decided during the Veteran's lifetime and for awarding a total service-connected disability rating retroactively in accordance with §§ 3.156(c) and 3.400(q)(2) of this part for the relevant period specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. 38 C.F.R. § 3.22(b)(1) and (2). The Federal Circuit has ruled that § 1318 DIC claims are not subject to a "hypothetical entitlement" analysis. Rodriguez v. Peake, 511 F.3d 1147, 1156 (2008). See also Tarver v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1371, 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2009). In essence, under Rodriguez and Tarver, the amended regulation 38 C.F.R. § 3.22 does not have an impermissible retroactive effect, and it may be applied to bar DIC claims filed by survivors under the "hypothetical entitlement" theory, no matter when the § 1318 claim was filed. Simply put, there is no longer "hypothetical entitlement" to DIC benefits under any circumstance. Therefore, the state of the law is such that claims for DIC benefits under 38 U.S.C.A. § 1318 must be adjudicated with specific regard given to decisions made during the Veteran's lifetime and without consideration of hypothetical entitlement for benefits raised for the first time after a Veteran's death. See again Rodriguez v. Peake, 511 F.3d 1147 (2008). http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/view.jsp?FV=http://www.va.gov/vetapp13/Files3/1327019.txt DIC payable under Section 1151,38 USC: Title 38 U.S.C. 1151 Claims “Title 38 U.S.C. Section 1151 allows VA to pay compensation for death or disability "as if service-connected." Don't be confused with this subtle difference. The disability is not considered service-connected. Under Section 1151, benefits may be paid for: Injuries incurred or aggravated while receiving VA-sponsored medical treatment. Injuries incurred or aggravated while pursuing a course of vocational rehabilitation under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 or participating in compensated work therapy under 38 U.S.C. 1718. If eligibility is established under Section 1151, the disability is considered service-connected for payment purposes ONLY. Eligibility Requirements You must be a Veteran You must have a disabling condition that is the result of or has been aggravated due to VA sponsored medical treatment or training Evidence Requirements As a result of VA hospitalization, medical or surgical treatment, examination, or training, the evidence must show you have: An additional disability or disabilities, OR An aggravation of an existing injury or disease, AND The disability was: The direct result of VA fault such as carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, or error in judgment, OR Not a reasonably expected result or complication of the VA care or treatment OR The direct result of participation in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment or compensated work therapy program. “ http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-special-1151.asp In the case of a surviving spouse, it should clearly be indicated on the 21-534 form that this is a claim for death of the veteran due to negligence, under Section 38 USC, 1151. This type of claim for VA negligence as the cause of the veteran's death will need probative medical documentation ,almost always in the form of a strong IMO, to support this type of DIC claim ,in order to provide a full medical rationale. FTCA claims can be filed simultaneously with claims under 1151 for DIC, but any favorable FTCA award will be offset to the DIC compensation payable, until the settlement amount from FTCA is recovered by the VA. DIC monthly amounts include that which is for any children under 18. Also there is more info on that here: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/resources_comp03.asp In some cases parents of deceased veterans are eligible for DIC and that info is here: http://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/survivors/parentsdic.pdf Eligibility Requirements; what is a surviving spouse for VA purposes: A surviving spouse may qualify for pension, compensation or dependency and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC), if the marriage to the Veteran occurred before or during his service, or after his service if certain requirements are met. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1541; 38 C.F.R. § 3.54. Under the regulations, a "surviving spouse" is defined, in part, as a person of the opposite sex whose marriage to the Veteran meets the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 3.1(j) and who was the spouse of the Veteran at the time of the Veteran's death. 38 C.F.R. § 3.50. VA defines a "marriage" as a marriage valid under the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of marriage or the laws of the place where the parties resided when the right to benefits accrued. 38 U.S.C.A. § 103©; 38 C.F.R. § 3.1(j). In jurisdictions where marriages other than by ceremony are recognized, marriage is established by the affidavits or certified statements of one or both of the parties to the marriage, if living, setting forth all of the facts and circumstances concerning the alleged marriage, such as the agreement between the parties at the beginning of their cohabitation, the period of cohabitation, places and dates of residences, and whether children were born as the result of the relationship. This evidence should be supplemented by affidavits or certified statements from two or more persons who know as the result of personal observation the reputed relationship which existed between the parties to the alleged marriage including the periods of cohabitation, places of residences, whether the parties held themselves out as married, and whether they were generally accepted as such in the communities in which they lived. Marriage may also be established by any other secondary evidence which reasonably supports a belief by the adjudicating activity that a valid marriage actually occurred. 38 C.F.R. § 3.205(a). In the absence of conflicting information, proof of marriage which meets the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section together with the claimant's certified statement concerning the date, place and circumstances of dissolution of any prior marriage may be accepted as establishing a valid marriage, provided that such facts, if they were to be corroborated by record evidence, would warrant acceptance of the marriage as valid. 38 C.F.R. § 3.205(b) A surviving spouse should always try to find a good vet rep to help with the DIC claim. Regardless of what the rep says they have sent in to the VA, the survivor should keep copies of everything , to include their filled out DIC form, and double check that VA has received everything they send. VA will not allow us survivors to use ebenefits but the ebenefit section ( # 5 I think on the phone pad), after you call 1-800-827-1000 will give you a status from a VA rep if you can hold on the line for a while. Office of Survivors Assistance VA...http://www.va.gov/survivors/ This office is an excellent resources for survivors who have questions that do not regard their DIC claims. For example there is info at this site on bereavment counselling available to survivors through the VA.They have a direct email addy as well at the site. Hadit has had superb discussions here in our DIC forum as to all of the nuances of the DIC benefit and advice to many, as each DIC claim can be either a very simple one or can be actually quite complex. Also Tbird has put an entire Survivors packet here: http://www.hadit.com/veterans_dependent_survivor_package/veterans_dependent_survivor_package.html Surviving spouses of veterans, even if they had been very involved in the spouse's VA issues, find there is a lot to the DIC process and will also learn that our motto here, Knowledge is Power, is what can sustain them and that knowledge can hopefully reverse any DIC denial they might get. If the survivor is age 60 or older, (age 50 if disabled)they can consider receiving an early SSA survivors benefit: http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm I only wish that some of the above information was available to me long ago when I was widowed of a veteran. Grief can stop us in our tracks and even cause us to put off filling out the many forms and sundry paperwork that the death of a spouse involves. I even had many flashbacks as I prepared this article,because ,when I was newly widowed , I was dealing with a pre -internet VA, whose web site holds a wealth of info now, yet I did have the VBM by NVLSP and that gave me good direction for my initial DIC claim. Also I advise to file for SC death under more than one theory if possible. If one theory fails, than perhaps the next one will succeed. That is good advice for any veteran claimant as well, to raise as many logical theories of entitlement ,as possible, to gain service connection. Meghp0405 has added this important advice: “Submit a VA FM 21-534ez for DIC claims. I've also submitted this form along with a VA FM 21-526ez, FDC. The response times that I've experienced using this process is around 90 days.. The DIC claims have been directed to the Milwaukee VARO. I've always submitted the applications right to that office instead of the local VARO. Saves some time.. hope this helps”
  2. Just Passing on information that some may not know they have an Immune Disorder. This may not be a complete list. This is archived but wanted to update. List of Autoimmune and Autoimmune-Related Diseases Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Acute necrotizing hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis Addison's disease Agammaglobulinemia Allergic asthma Allergic rhinitis Alopecia areata Amyloidosis Ankylosing spondylitis Anti-GBM/Anti-TBM nephritis Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) Autoimmune aplastic anemia Autoimmune dysautonomia Autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hyperlipidemia Autoimmune immunodeficiency Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) Autoimmune myocarditis Autoimmune pancreatitis Autoimmune retinopathy Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ATP) Autoimmune thyroid disease Axonal & neuronal neuropathies Balo disease Behcet's disease Bullous pemphigoid Cardiomyopathy Castleman disease Celiac disease Chagas disease Chronic fatigue syndrome** Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) Chronic recurrent multifocal ostomyelitis (CRMO) Churg-Strauss syndrome Cicatricial pemphigoid/benign mucosal pemphigoid Crohn's disease Cogans syndrome Cold agglutinin disease Congenital heart block Coxsackie myocarditis CREST disease Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia Demyelinating neuropathies Dermatitis herpetiformis Dermatomyositis Devic's disease (neuromyelitis optica) Discoid lupus Dressler's syndrome Endometriosis Eosinophilic fasciitis Erythema nodosum Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis Evans syndrome Fibromyalgia** Fibrosing alveolitis Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis) Glomerulonephritis Goodpasture's syndrome Graves' disease Guillain-Barre syndrome Hashimoto's encephalitis Hashimoto's thyroiditis Hemolytic anemia Henoch-Schonlein purpura Herpes gestationis Hypogammaglobulinemia Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) IgA nephropathy IgG4-related sclerosing disease Immunoregulatory lipoproteins Inclusion body myositis Insulin-dependent diabetes (type1) Interstitial cystitis Juvenile arthritis Juvenile diabetes Kawasaki syndrome Lambert-Eaton syndrome Leukocytoclastic vasculitis Lichen planus Lichen sclerosus Ligneous conjunctivitis Linear IgA disease (LAD) Lupus (SLE) Lyme disease, chronic Meniere's disease Microscopic polyangiitis Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) Mooren's ulcer Mucha-Habermann disease Multiple sclerosis Myasthenia gravis Myositis Narcolepsy Neuromyelitis optica (Devic's) Neutropenia Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid Optic neuritis Palindromic rheumatism PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcus) Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) Parry Romberg syndrome Parsonnage-Turner syndrome Pars planitis (peripheral uveitis) Pemphigus Peripheral neuropathy Perivenous encephalomyelitis Pernicious anemia POEMS syndrome Polyarteritis nodosa Type I, II, & III autoimmune polyglandular syndromes Polymyalgia rheumatica Polymyositis Postmyocardial infarction syndrome Postpericardiotomy syndrome Progesterone dermatitis Primary biliary cirrhosis Primary sclerosing cholangitis Psoriasis Psoriatic arthritis Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis Pyoderma gangrenosum Pure red cell aplasia Raynauds phenomenon Reflex sympathetic dystrophy Reiter's syndrome Relapsing polychondritis Restless legs syndrome Retroperitoneal fibrosis Rheumatic fever Rheumatoid arthritis Sarcoidosis Schmidt syndrome Scleritis Scleroderma Sjogren's syndrome Sperm & testicular autoimmunity Stiff person syndrome Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE) Susac's syndrome Sympathetic ophthalmia Takayasu's arteritis Temporal arteritis/Giant cell arteritis Thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) Tolosa-Hunt syndrome Transverse myelitis Ulcerative colitis Undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) Uveitis Vasculitis Vesiculobullous dermatosis Vitiligo Wegener's granulomatosis **NOTE Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are listed, not because they are autoimmune, but because many persons who suffer from them have associated autoimmune disease(s)
  3. My father in-law first filed a form 21-526 on 8/2/2001 for prostate cancer and heart condition due to AO. The VA has conceded that this claim remained opened from that date until 3/25/2020. The VA conceded service connection for CAD, prostate cancer, diabetes mellitus, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, etc with an effective date of 12/20/2017. The VA conceded on 3/25/2020 an effective date of 8/2/2001 for the CAD and prostate cancer, but denied an earlier effective date for diabetes and neuropathy. The VA has conceded a first diagnosis date for diabetes and neuropathy of 10/3/2006. I would like to appeal the 3/25/2020 rating decision denial of the diabetes and neuropathy to an effective date of 10/3/2006. I am hoping to use an "expressed or inferred claim" due to the fact that the initial claim remained open continuously from 8/2001 through 3/2020, and that with an open diagnosis of CAD, that a diabetes claim was inferred. I would appreciate any guidance on language to use, cases to refer to, and which type of appeal format to use. This was initiated under the old system, and a Nehmer de novo review was done on 4/28/2020. Thanks for your help!
  4. I am looking for anyone who was on Kadena AFB, Okinawa or .Chanute AFB, IL. My dad was there from Oct. 68-April 70. He has ichemic heart disease, diabetes which has resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee and peripheral neuropathy. We were denied in 2002 AMVETS filed a claim on his behalf for heart condition, diabetes and back problems. I refiled in December 2011 and have just received the claim statements and medical release forms. I am familiar with filling out this paper work because my husband is a combat veteran of Iraqi Freedom. I have been reading articles from the Japan times and I am a member of the Agent Orange Okinawa facebook page. Another thing that helps make my dad's case is that he was on Chanute AFB, IL and it is on the EPA Superfund list and has PCBs/Pesticides and Dioxins/Furans listed as ground and water contaminants. I welcome any advice, tips or articles that I may have missed in my own research.
  5. This is a post looking for information and how to proceed. I applied for diabetes when I got out of the Navy in 2011 and was denied. I put in another claim in 2016 but never received a C& P exam. So I applied again and they recommended I submit a supplemental claim which they denied. I did have a C& P exam and the examiner stated it was less likely than not incurred or caused by military service. I was diagnosed with prediabetes and was taking METFORMIN and taking blood glucose three times a day. I have had full diabetes since 2013. Favorable findings shows a qualifying event during service (prediabetes) and disability of Diabetes Mellitus II. I have an HLR in but think I will get denied. What is my best option for fighting for service connection?
  6. Should I file a claim for diabetes (chronic diseases) under conditions “presumed to be caused by military service” if I am outside the one year window for diagnoses? I was medically retired on 14 Feb 2014 and was diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus on 21 July 2015. It was discovered through routine blood work and is controlled through diet and exercise (what little I can do without being in pain for days).
  7. Hello. If my diabetes has worsened and that I now take pills, must it also be stated in my files that I am on a restricted diet? I would like to file for an increase. Thanks for any comments.
  8. Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:33 AM Subject: FW: Guam AO Award VA Appeals Court Agent Orange win for people who were on Guam. Pass along to anyone fighting VA for Guam benefits http://www.countyofkings.com/vetserve/Vete...0on%20Guam.html Citation Nr: 0527748 Decision Date: 10/13/05 Archive Date: 10/25/05 DOCKET NO. 02-11 819 ) On appeal from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Boston, Massachusetts THE ISSUE Entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus secondary to herbicide exposure. REPRESENTATION Veteran represented by: Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services WITNESSES AT HEARING ON APPEAL The veteran and his brother ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD L. J. N. Driever, Counsel INTRODUCTION The veteran had active service from December 1966 to December 1970, including in Guam from December 1966 to October 1968. This claim comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal from a March 2002 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Boston, Massachusetts. The veteran and his brother testified in support of this claim at a hearing held at the RO before the undersigned in May 2004. In September 2004, the Board remanded this claim to the RO via the Appeals Management Center in Washington, D.C. FINDINGS OF FACT 1. VA provided the veteran adequate notice and assistance with regard to his claim. 2. Diabetes mellitus is related to the veteran's active service. CONCLUSION OF LAW Diabetes mellitus was incurred in service. 38 U.S.C.A. 1110, 5102, 5103, 5103A (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. ?? 3.159, 3.303 (2004). REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION VA's Duties to Notify and Assist On November 9, 2000, the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (VCAA), codified at 38 U.S.C.A. ?? 5100, 5102, 5103, 5103A, 5106, 5107, 5126 (West 2002), became law. Regulations implementing the VCAA were published at 66 Fed. Reg. 45,620, 45,630-32 (August 29, 2001) and codified at 38 C.F.R. ?? 3.102, 3.156(a), 3.159 and 3.326 (2004). The VCAA and its implementing regulations are applicable to this appeal. The VCAA and its implementing regulations provide that VA will assist a claimant in obtaining evidence necessary to substantiate a claim but is not required to provide assistance to a claimant if there is no reasonable possibility that such assistance would aid in substantiating the claim. They also require VA to notify the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of the information and medical or lay evidence not previously provided to the Secretary that is necessary to substantiate the claim. As part of the notice, VA is to specifically inform the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of which portion of the evidence is to be provided by the claimant and which portion of the evidence VA will attempt to obtain on behalf of the claimant. The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court) has mandated that VA ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the VCAA. See Quartuccio v. Principi, 16 Vet. App. 183 (2002). In this case, VA has strictly complied with the VCAA by providing the veteran adequate notice and assistance with regard to his claim. Regardless, given that the decision explained below represents a full grant of the benefit being sought on appeal, the Board's decision to proceed in adjudicating this claim does not prejudice the veteran in the disposition thereof. See Bernard v. Brown, 4 Vet. App. 384, 392-94 (1993). Analysis of Claim In multiple written statements submitted during the course of this appeal and during his personal hearing, the veteran alleged that he developed diabetes mellitus as a result of his exposure to herbicide agents while serving on active duty in Guam. His military occupational duties as an aircraft maintenance specialist allegedly required him to work in an air field, the perimeter of which was continuously brown due to herbicide spraying every three months. The veteran also alleges that he recalls seeing storage barrels at the edge of the base, which he now knows housed herbicides. Following discharge, Anderson Air Force base in Guam, where the veteran was stationed, underwent an environmental study, which showed a significant amount of dioxin contamination in the soil and prompted the federal government to order a clean up of the site. Service connection may be granted for disability resulting from disease or injury incurred in or aggravated by service. 38 U.S.C.A. ? 1110 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. ? 3.303 (2004). Service connection may also be granted for any disease diagnosed after discharge when all of the evidence, including that pertinent to service, establishes that the disease was incurred in service. 38 C.F.R. ? 3.303(d). Subsequent manifestations of a chronic disease in service, however remote, are to be service connected, unless clearly attributable to intercurrent causes. For the showing of chronic disease in service there is required a combination of manifestations sufficient to identify the disease entity, and sufficient observation to establish chronicity at the time, as distinguished from merely isolated findings or diagnosis including the word "chronic." Continuity of symptomatology is required only where the condition noted during service is not, in fact, shown to be chronic or when the diagnosis of chronicity may be legitimately questioned. When the fact of chronicity in service is not adequately supported, then a showing of continuity after discharge is required to support the claim. 38 C.F.R. ? 3.303(b). In some circumstances, a disease associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents will be presumed to have been incurred in service even though there is no evidence of that disease during the period of service at issue. 38 U.S.C.A. ? 1116(a) (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. ?? 3.307(a)(6), 3.309(e) (2004). In this regard, a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era shall be presumed to have been exposed during such service to a herbicide agent, unless there is affirmative evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed to any such agent during that service. 38 U.S.C.A. ? 1116(a)(3). Diseases associated with such exposure include: chloracne or other acneform diseases consistent with chloracne; Type 2 diabetes (also known as Type II diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes); Hodgkin's disease; multiple myeloma; non- Hodgkin's lymphoma; acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy; porphyria cutanea tarda; prostate cancer; respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea); and soft- tissue sarcomas (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesothelioma). 38 C.F.R. ? 3.309(e) (2004); see also 38 U.S.C.A. ? 1116(f), as added by ? 201© of the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-103, 115 Stat. 976 (2001). These diseases shall have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more at any time after service, except that chloracne or other acneform disease consistent with chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarda, and acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy shall have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within a year after the last date on which the veteran was exposed to an herbicide agent during active military, naval, or air service. 38 C.F.R. ? 3.307(a)(6)(ii). The last date on which such a veteran shall be presumed to have been exposed to an herbicide agent shall be the last date on which he or she served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. "Service in the Republic of Vietnam" includes service in the waters offshore and service in other locations if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in the Republic of Vietnam. 38 C.F.R. ? 3.307(a)(6)(iii). The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has determined that there is no positive association between exposure to herbicides and any other condition for which the Secretary has not specifically determined that a presumption of service connection is warranted. See Notice, 59 Fed. Reg. 341, 346 (1994); see also 61 Fed. Reg. 41,442, 41,449 and 57,586, 57,589 (1996); 67 Fed. Reg. 42,600, 42,608 (2002). Notwithstanding the aforementioned provisions relating to presumptive service connection, which arose out of the Veteran's Dioxin and Radiation Exposure Compensation Standards Act, Pub. L. No. 98-542, ? 5, 98 Stat. 2,725, 2,727-29 (1984), and the Agent Orange Act of 1991, Pub. L. No. 102-4, ? 2, 105 Stat. 11 (1991), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has determined that a claimant is not precluded from establishing service connection with proof of direct causation. Combee v. Brown, 34 F.3d 1039, 1042 (Fed. Cir. 1994); see also 38 C.F.R. ? 3.303(d). In order to prevail with regard to the issue of service connection on the merits, "there must be medical evidence of a current disability, see Rabideau v. Derwinski, 2 Vet. App. 141, 143 (1992); medical or, in certain circumstances, lay evidence of in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and medical evidence of a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the present disease or injury. See Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 498, 506 (1995), aff'd, 78 F.3d 604 (Fed. Cir. 1996). Except as otherwise provided by law, a claimant has the responsibility to present and support a claim for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary. The Secretary shall consider all information and lay and medical evidence of record in a case before the Secretary with respect to benefits under laws administered by the Secretary. When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of a matter, the Secretary shall give the benefit of the doubt to the claimant. 38 U.S.C.A. ? 5107 (West 2002); see also Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 49, 53 (1990). The veteran's service medical records reflect that, during service, the veteran did not report herbicide exposure. In addition, he did not receive treatment for and was not diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. His DD Form 214, DD Form 7 and Airmen Performance Reports dated in March 1968 and October 1968, however, confirm that he had active service from December 1966 to December 1970, including at Anderson Air Force base in Guam from December 1966 to October 1968. He has submitted copies of articles indicating that Agent Orange may have been stored and/or used on Guam from 1955 to the late 1960s, which is the time period during which the veteran served there. These articles also reflect that in the 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency listed Anderson Air Force base as a toxic site with dioxin contaminated soil and ordered clean up of the site. Given this evidence, particularly, the articles reflecting the latter information, and the veteran's testimony, which is credible, the Board accepts that the veteran was exposed to herbicides during his active service in Guam. The veteran did not serve in Vietnam; therefore, he is not entitled to a presumption of service connection for his diabetes mellitus under the aforementioned law and regulations governing claims for service connection for disabilities resulting from herbicide exposure. As previously indicated, however, the veteran may be entitled to service connection for this disease on a direct basis if the evidence establishes that his diabetes mellitus is related to the herbicide exposure. Post-service medical evidence indicates that, since 1993, the veteran has received treatment for, and been diagnosed with, diabetes mellitus. One medical professional has addressed the question of whether this disease is related to such exposure. In June 2005, a VA examiner noted that the veteran had had the disease for 12 years, had no parental history of such a disease, and had served in Guam, primarily in an air field, which was often sprayed with chemicals. She diagnosed diabetes type 2 and opined that this disease was 50 to 100 percent more likely than not due to the veteran's exposure to herbicides between January 1968 and April 1970, when he served as a crew chief for the 99th bomb wing on the ground and tarmac. She explained that such exposure, rather than hereditary factors, better explained the cause of the disease given that the veteran's parents did not have diabetes. As the record stands, there is no competent medical evidence of record disassociating the veteran's diabetes mellitus from his in-service herbicide exposure or otherwise from his active service. Relying primarily on the VA examiner's opinion, the Board thus finds that diabetes mellitus is related to the veteran's service. Based on this finding, the Board concludes that diabetes mellitus was incurred in service. Inasmuch as the evidence supports the veteran's claim, that claim must be granted. ORDER Service connection for diabetes mellitus secondary to herbicide exposure is granted. "Keep on, Keepin' on" Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan" See my web site at: http://www.angelfire.com/il2/VeteranIssues/
  9. I have a service connected disability which includes Diabetes. I recently changed States and while getting set up for the new facility the Dr. stated that in an eye test over a year ago in another state they determined I have diabetic retinopathy. The prior VA facility did not tell me this, but the Dr. let me read it on the screen. My question is this, should I have this rated, does the diagnosis alone qualify me for a rating or does it require significant rather than minor damage? Thank you for your help!
  10. Please, welcome new VET2VET podcast episode: https://youtu.be/waV5t0HPtbM Today we are joined by Thomas Wendel, DAV National area supervisor for West Cost Region. Thomas E. Wendel served in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1983 until 1997. Since 1999, Tom has worked assisting veterans in processing various entitlement claims on the local, state and federal levels; first in Clare County as a county service officer and then when he came to work for the Disabled American Veterans in 2000. In 2008 he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV Service Office in Detroit and later he was promoted to the position of supervisor of the DAV National area for West Cost Region. DAV is America’s largest, most effective veterans service organizations dedicated to the needs of those injured, ill or wounded in service. We have more than 1,300 Chapters in communities nationwide to help make sure veterans from all generations and their families get the benefits and support they deserve. Today, nearly 1.3 million veterans belong to DAV, and we encourage you to add your voice to the cause. Our programs and free services help all veterans get the health, disability and financial benefits they earned. Take advantage of our benefits claims assistance, medical transportation and employment resources. Your local DAV Chapter is a great way to connect with fellow veterans in your area. ★ JOIN US IN OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AND OUR FELLOW VETERANS ★ ▶ facebook.com/VETOVET2 ▶ itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vet2vet/id1077206523?mt=2 ▶ twitter.com/VETOVET2 ▶ youtube.com/c/VETOVET2 ▶ plus.google.com/u/0/+VETOVET2 ▶ goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iiqawbuzg7eviiyqm6xz7kju62m?t%3DVET2VET ▶ feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:198832065/sounds.rss ▶ soundcloud.com/vet2vet ▶ stitcher.com/s?fid=80842&refid=stpr ★ LIMITED LIABILITY CLAUSE ★ THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VET2VET MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. VET2VET MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES OF THE CONTENT AT ANY TIME. ADVICE RECEIVED VIA VET2VET SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR PERSONAL, MEDICAL, LEGAL OR FINANCIAL DECISIONS AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF VET2VET, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE CONSULTING VET2VET.
  11. I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2 on 2 Mar 10, my last day on active duty was 28 Feb 09. I was denied service connection when I filed since I was officially diagnosed 3 days outside the 1 year window. I never appealed this claim. I was rated 60% in 2010 and never looked back. I recently happened across this site and realized, I might be able to reopen the case and submit a nexus letter stating that the diabetes manifested within the one year of me leaving active duty if not before. Lab test taken on 25 Feb 09 show a Glucose reading of 324. For some reason HB A1C test wasn't take until 2 Mar 10. My HB A1C was 12.5. The 2 Mar 10 date puts me inside the 1 year window. There is no way my diabetes appeared in 3 days after the 1 year window. I am also service connected with Hypothyrodism (Hashimotos) which caused weight gain and slows the metabolism. I was diagnosed in 1998. Some medical evidence also shows slow thyroid can cause Diabetes. Due to weight gain from my underactive thyroid, I was clinically obese on active duty. If I can't get Diabetes added by showing it is service connected, maybe I can add it as a secondary to my Hypothyrodisim. What are your thoughts?
  12. I'm searching for advice. Like many other veterans I am appealing a compensation benefits claim for disabilities related to herbicide exposure while serving in Korea. The VA has confirmed my diabetes II and secondary conditions through my medical records but denied the claim due to lack of evidence for herbicide exposure. They said that Camp Casey was too far from the DMZ for me to have been exposed and that I arrived 4 ½ months after the herbicide spraying had ended. Bottomlime is I spent almost 13 months at Camp Casey South Korea. Arriving at the end of 1969 – herbicides were still in the ground - dioxin remains in the ground for decades. At the time I was stationed there, Camp Casey was home for the 7th Infantry Division and provided artillery, engineering and signal support personnel for the DMZ troops. The 7th Infantry Division defended the DMZ and since I was part of the signal corps I had guard duty along the DMZ when it was requested. The problem there is guard duty was out of my MOS and there weren't any notations in my personnel file. What can I do to help myself. I don't mind doing the research I just need to know what new direction I should pursue. Thanks.
  13. Hi, I submitted a claim for DM1 last year and was denied due to presumptive condition. I served for about three years as an 11Bravo and had the following issues however was not diagnosed for DM1. After the Army it took a few years to be full blown Insulin Pump 24/7 Driven ex. super trooper. Timeline of events that I believe that I was undiagnosed for Pre-Diabetes/Diabetes. 15 June 1992 Issues leading to excessive Urinary Issues concludes with scoping (putting a camera) into my bladder. Figured I would suck it up and pee a lot after that.... 16 June 1992 Fasting Glucose Test is 104 (Pre-Diabetes according to NIH.Gov and the VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines) 19 FEB 1993 Fasting Glucose Test is 144 (Diabetes according to NIH.Gov and the VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines) 24 OCT 1994 ETS from the Army. Had a lot of problems with hypoglycemia, weight loss, thirst, urination fatigue and irritability. Finally diagnosed at age 34 in Jan 2005. I have done a lot of research and cannot find any really good info on DM 1 for VA claims in my personal situation. Are there any suggestions for me to make the Nexus between the issues above/argument that I had more than a 50% chance of being DM1 when I left the service. Thanks, M
  14. Seems the VA can on occasion consider obesity merely as a "symptom"* and perhaps even the type of symptom that the VA alleges is caused by the Veteran's own willful misconduct of overeating or being inactive so it can deny the claim. However, since the American Medical Association ( AMA ) recently in June of 2013 has officially declared that "obesity is a disease", might that allow disabled veterans whose service connected condition(s) led to excessive weight gain to now find more success claiming obesity as a ratable secondary medical condition or a disease aggravated by the Veteran's service connected condition(s)? *"Obesity Service connection is not warranted for obesity. Claiming service connection for obesity amounts to claiming service connection for a symptom, rather than for an underlying disease or injury which may have caused the symptom. In this respect, obesity, in and of itself, is not a disability for which service connection may be granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) has defined "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force." See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003), citing Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 901 (29th Ed. 2000). Thus, obesity caused by overeating or lack of exercise is the result of the veteran's own behavior, and as such is not an "injury" as defined for VA purposes. See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (defining "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force"). The Federal Circuit also defined "disease" as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ, or system of the body." Terry, 340 F.3d at 1384, citing Dorland's at 511. Obesity that is not due to an underlying pathology cannot be considered to be due to "disease," defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ or system of the body." Id. The body's normal storage of calories for future use represents the body working at what it is designed to do. It is well settled that symptoms alone, without a finding of an underlying disorder, cannot be service-connected. See Sanchez-Benitez v. Principi, 259 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001)." - from a BVA 2009 Decision ---and--- "Obesity or being overweight, a particularity of body type, alone, is not considered a disability for which service connection may be granted. See generally 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities) (2009) (does not contemplate a separate disability rating for obesity). Rather, applicable VA regulations use the term "disability" to refer to the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from diseases or injuries encountered as a result of or incident to military service. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995); Hunt v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 292, 296 (1991); 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 (2009). The question is thus whether the current obesity is a disability-i.e. a condition causing impairment in earning capacity. In this case, there is no such evidence. The veteran has not asserted that obesity causes impairment of earning capacity; instead he asserts that his obesity has caused other disabilities to manifest. There is also no other evidence that the claimed obesity is a disability. Inasmuch as the Veteran does not have a disability manifested by obesity and obesity is not a disease or disability for which service connection may be granted, the Board concludes that obesity was not incurred in or aggravated by service and may not be presumed to have been so incurred. This claim is not in relative equipoise; therefore, the Veteran may not be afforded the benefit of the doubt in the resolution thereof. Rather, as a preponderance of the evidence is against the claim, it must be denied. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b) (West 2002)" - from a 2010 BVA Decision But didn't the VA as early as 2006 already characterize obesity as a disease? "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that develops from an interaction between the individual’s genotype and the environment." - http://www.healthquality.va.gov/obesity/obe06_final1.pdf "The AMA's decision essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician's professional obligation." - Los Angeles Times http://www.today.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394
  15. Previously I was service connected for, 100% p&t for AICD implant. 100% p&t for class III kidney disease, 50% neuropathy right upper extremity, 40% neuropathy left upper extremity, 40% neuropathy right lower extremity,40% neuropathy, 30% for severe anxiety and depression, 20% type II diabetes 0% for chloracne, 0% for ED. I was rated and being paid as a 100% veteran with spouse. I had an "S" award and one "K" award. On a new rating decision dated August 2015, I was awarded Loss of use of upper right extremity and loss of use of right lower extremity. They combined the two loss of use awards at 50% each for a total of 100% for both. The loss of use of two extremities generated an "L" rating. I was given a ( P-1) bump to the next higher rating of "M" on account of the independent 100% rating for the implanted AICD. The "K" award for ED was continued. My question, A "K" award for loss of use of a hand and another for a foot was not mentioned in the decision. From what I read at 38 CFR 3.350 The "K" award is payable in addition to the basic rates. Should my correct rating be at the level of "M", veteran with with spouse, plus one "K" for the ED? Or should my rating be an "M", veteran with spouse, rating with three "K" awards, two for loss of hand and foot and another for ED? I know that a veteran can have a maximum of three "K" awards. From what I read at 38CFR 3.350 a "K" award is payable in addition to the basic rate of "L" through "N" provided the total does not exceed the monthly rate set forth in 38 U.S.C 1114 (o). The only thing that I can think of where I might be missing the point is if using the "K" award in addition to the "M" might be considered by the va as pyramiding? What am I not seeing when I read the first paragraph at 38 C.F.R. 3.350? I was also awarded the automobile grant w/ adaptive equipment and the SAH grant.
  16. I suffered a back injury while in the ARMY years ago. My back has continuously given me problems. I am SC for DDD and was wondering how can i go about service connecting Diabetes 2? Any information or case studies will be of great help.
  17. Hi: I went to a private MD for SA. I'm SC with diabetes II and NP in both hand and legs, 50% SC. He gave me this diagnose: "This patient has severe OSA with hypoxemia (!) and this explains the degree of hypersomnia and dysmtos. Also the onset of diabetes and OSA appear to be concomitant. In any case, he warrants therapy with CPAP. Will begin therapy with close follow up to ensure optimal CPAP compliance". Will this could help me to summit a claim? I need advice. Thx.
  18. From my C&P exam, it looks like I fall under the 100% for Pancreatitis. I also have Anemia and Diabetes. Have anyone on the board been rated for Pancreatitis? Does the Veteran have any of the following symptoms attributable to any pancreas conditions or residuals of treatment for pancreas conditions? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, check all that apply: [X] Abdominal pain, confirmed as resulting from pancreatitis by appropriate laboratory and clinical studies If checked, indicate severity and frequency of attacks (check all that apply): [X] Severe (disabling) Indicate number of attacks of Severe (disabling) abdominal pain in the past 12 months: [ ] 0 [ ] 1 [ ] 2 [ ] 3 [ ] 4 [ ] 5 [ ] 6 [ ] 7 [X] 8 or more [X] Other symptoms, describe: Veteran states he awakens at night he awaken and loses his bowel(defication) . b. Does the Veteran have any of the following signs or findings attributable to any pancreas conditions or residuals of treatment for pancreas conditions? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, check all that apply: [X] Steatorrhea If checked, describe frequency and severity: Veteran states greacy foul smelling stools 3 times per week. [X] Diarrhea If checked, describe frequency and severity: Veteran states has loose and watery diarrhea. Veteran states his last severe episode was 4 days ago. Below is the Criteria for 100%... Pancreatitis, total pancreatectomy, and partial pancreatectomy: With all of the following ..... 100% Daily or near-daily debilitating attacks of pancreatitis with few pain-free intermissions; Two or more signs of pancreatic insufficiency (such as steatorrhea, diabetes, malabsorption, diarrhea, and malnutrition); and Unresponsive to medical treatment. ~With the following .. 60% Seven or more documented attacks of pancreatitis per year with at least one sign of pancreatic insufficiency (such as steatorrhea, diabetes, malabsorption, diarrhea, or malnutrition) between acute attacks. ~With any of the following .. 30% Three to six documented attacks of pancreatitis per year with at least one sign of pancreatic insufficiency (such as steatorrhea, diabetes, malabsorption, diarrhea, or malnutrition) between acute attacks;
  19. I had a C&P last week and talked to the examiner about DMII in relationship to my cateracts, in Fayetteville Arkansas. The examiner explained , Cataracts are not contributed to by DMII?? The National Institute of health states on their website (National Eye Institute) That it is secondary to Diabetes. The examiner asked me if I smoked, and I told her I started in my Late teens (Mliitary Vietnam) and quit in my early thirties. So she didn't even mention it in her report. She informed me that smoking causes Cataracts, and age. This dawned on me today, The Military gave me cigarettes and approved of us smoking! In every pack of Both C and Lrrp Rations were Government Issued Cigarettes, as a matter of fact, that is when I started smoking, along with some other people. So in essence, weren't we encouraged to Smoke??? Cigarette brands issued included Camel, Chelsea, Chesterfield, Craven "A"-Brand, Lucky Strike, Old Gold, Philip Morris, Player's, Raleigh, and Wings. So , when I was 17 in basic, we had C Rations occasionally, and in Vietnam Both Kinds of rations (With Smokes) Saddletramp
  20. My brother's Ischemic Heart Disease as a result of Agent Orange exposure as a Marine Rifleman in Quang Nam Province in 1969-70 was just approved - and rated at 60%. Another AO disability of Diabetes II was also approved at a 40% rating last summer. These, combined with his previous disability of scars/lack of motion from his battle wounds, gives him a total combined disability rating of 80%. I couldn't have done it without the help of HADit. I had no clue about the claims process when I started. I am still going to keep plugging away on getting a schizophrenia nexus. But I wanted to say thank you to everyone out there in the HADit community that has given me guidance. God bless you.
  21. I am attempting to help a veteran with a claim. This without this site I would not be at 100% myself. This individual is a Vietnam agent orange exposed vet with SC diabetes. I remember in doing my claim they added diagnosis I had not claimed and requested documentation. I stated that I was not at that time claiming those particular diagnosis. I was told back then that they are "required" to assist with claims for things they are aware of even if the veteran didn't state it. The example was also given that if a veteran used an incorrect diagnosis and it was obvious that should be brought to the veteran's attention and filed correctly. My question pertains to where in the regulations can I find that? The individual I am helping was denied for several conditions that are clearly complications of his diabetes which is SC. My gut says they should have advised him to change the claim for those denied diagnosis as secondary to his SC diabetes. I have no idea where to find anything that mentions the requirement. Any help???
  22. I filed a claim with the help of my doctor for sleep apnea as secondary connection. Denied. Filed a NOD. Denied. The NOD was denied over a year ago. A doctor for the VA said my sleep apnea was due to being over weight and that I "refused" to use my CPAP. They offered me a hearing, but I never responded. I have tried off and on for 10 years to use a CPAP and just cannot use them. Discouraged by the whole process I just gave up. Read this concerning weight: "Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor that raises the chances of a person developing a disease for type 2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight." Read this on CPAP machines and surgery in a forum in Thailand: "I went to Bummrumgard here in TH and the doctor told me he didn't dispense them to overweight people they didn't work well enough. He also didn't do the expensive surgery for sleep apnea on older or overweight people." Bummrungrad is a well known and highly respected hospital in Bangkok. I went there for heart disease and diabetes, but not sleep apnea. I'm now thinking about trying again. I have two questions: Do I start over like it is a new claim? Can someone recommend an attorney or doctor with experience in filing claims for sleep apnea? I think I have a case. It most likely will end up having to go to a hearing, so I need expertise in filing the claim. Thanks.
  23. Just a short note to announce that I received my "brown envelope" accompanied by a retro check dating back to May, 2015 and was awarded a 50 per cent disability mainly for diabetes related to AO and lower legs peripheral neuropathy. Also I filed a CUE about two weeks ago with my VSO on a claim that was denied for diabetes in 2011 and due to the currrent claim containing very valuable buddy letters proving I was in vietnam proving this nexus I am awaiting the brown envelope and hopefully will receive a positive decision for diabetes back to 1/11 with a retro check and possibly, just guessing here, a 30 percent disability (combined with an old dib for tinnitus.) Anyway if you were in country and are getting discouraged that you cannot find proof please don't give up and search the web because there is help out there!
  24. My private Dr. determined I had Diabetes Mellitus Type II October, 2010. I filed a claim for VA disability benefits in January, 2011 and this claim was denied for failiure to prove I was ever in Vietnam. I served in the Security Service and was TDY to Cam RAn Bay, Vietnam but this command had kept sparse records and my claim was denied. I had also followed up at the VA hospital and was taking Metformin until approximately early 2016. In 2016 I was awarded 10% for diabetes finally proving the NEXUS to service in Vietnam through the help of buddy letters that were not available when my original claim was filed. I was actually told I was SOL because of the nature of my command. Things change and the command is now doing an excellent job of providing buddy letters. I have filed a NOD at the behest of my representative because I believe the VA did not do enough to help me prove I was in country and therefore was exposed to AO. My question is how long will it take for the NOD filed October, 2016 to be addressed; and do you think my argument is sound enough to warrant awarding benefits back to January, 2011? Also since I was on Metformin until 2016 which is documented in the VA hospital records is there a chance that my percentage will be raised from 10% to a higher amount?
  25. I posted a question in one section for another condition. But I am interested to know another answer for another claimed condition question. My claim would fall under CFR 3.317. I'm already 80% combined. I went to the WRIISC last April and was given a lot of info on my conditions. All was really only to improve my health, and it has. Now I feel my health has improved as much as possible, I am prepared to file a claim and seek compensation for items that aren't getting any better. I have at least 2 types of headaches - Cluster and migraine. They are occupationally debilitating and I take 2 types of medication and have to carry a high flow oxygen tank in my company vehicle for when they manifest. I was originally denied as there were no complaints in service, and migraines are a diagnosed condition and do not fall under CFR 3.317. However, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 0% and plan on filing an increase as I'm on meds, and have constant pain and it's still no refractory to therapy. The headaches are going to be a secondary condition to the fibromyalgia. Is this the best path to take? My other issue. I was diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy. I do not have diabetes, nor any indications I'm pre-diabetic. There are some studies that show a correlation between neuropathy, gulf war veterans and fibromyalgia. This disease in contrast to the others is very disabling as well so I feel entitled to compensation for it. Especially since there is a strong correlation between neuropathy and toxic exposure. But I'm wondering if anyone else has dealt with a claim on it or not? Thanks for any guidance.
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