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Found 15 results

  1. Hello, Does anyone know if emails I sent to my wife (from my military email while active duty) and communication we had back and forth relating to my in-service health issues/injuries endured/symptoms and sleep issues I was experiencing count as evidence I can submit with my VA claims for disability? There are many emails going back many years while I was in the service. I just have very limited documentation in my service medical records as I only went to medical when I had no other choice so I thought to ask if these could help connect my claims to service? Thank you for any and all assistance. Brian
  2. JUST FOUND THIS! will be helpful for me instead on relying on the IRIS to forward my letters/emails to the VARO, i just submitted directly to them. first time using- anyone have any luck with this? https://eauth.va.gov/accessva/?cspSelectFor=dmhs
  3. 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?
  4. So to make a long story short, I was active duty since 1994 and medically discharged in 2005. Since around 99/2000 I have suffered from what I now know as sleep apnea. I was never tested for it during service, but I had no idea what the heck it even was. Only knew I was being woken up by my wife, and when in the field or deployment soldiers, because I would snore loud and then stop breathing. I placed an initial claim for this in 2010 after I had a surgery at the VA, and I was placed in the ICU due to low oxygen levels and having sleep apnea during surgery. 04/2010, I did the first claim on my own and it was quickly denied. 10/2010, I re-opened the claim with 3 buddy letters of soldiers who witnessed me in the same close sleeping questers during deployment, stop breathing. Had a C&P exam, with a doc who spent all of 3 minutes asking me directing questions. It too, was denied. 04/2012, I re-opended it again after I had my actual VA doc write me a nexus letter claiming it was "more likely than not" related to service and a new buddy letter from a service member who shared quarter with me in various units, and from my wife. It too, was denied. 02/13, I submitted the NOD, and had a DRO review, it too was denied. 02/15, I submitted the appeal, with the help of Military Order of the Purple heart. It was received 03/2015 and and it was been sitting since 09/2015 at "Awaiting place on docket" Anybody have this type of claim? Trying to use secondary evidence and Nexus letters because you have no service record of it? The advice I have been given depends on who I have asked. I have been told, I should have been awarded due to mixed views and having the benefit of the doubt. I have been told I have no chance without a record of it in service. I have been told it is just the process I have to go through, the VA denies denies denies and dwindles down the hopefuls to very few who will take it all the way through appeals. I have been told both do do a congressional investigation because it worked, and to not do a congressional because I will only provoke a quick "no" answer. I am hoping someone who has been in my shoes can tell me what they went through. I have no idea how long I will be in this appeal process, but I am now going on six years fighting this thing, although for the VA they only go back to the last time you re-opened so for them 4 years.
  5. I have four appeals at the BVA level that were certified by my RO and none of the appeals have docket numbers yet. I understand about waiver of initial consideration for additional evidence. My questions are these: 1. How do I know what evidence the BVA currently has? Could be that lots of evidence I have is not at the BVA level and want to ensure they have EVERYTHING. 2. Will a waiver of initial consideration automatically apply to all evidence, past, present, and future? That is, does a waiver of initial consideration, prevent any of my appeals from being sent back to the RO, assuming the BVA has all they evidence for my claims/appeals. I'm done dealing with the RO and want to avoid any remands as my claim challenges have been ongoing for 29 years now! Thank you very much in advance... James
  6. My exam is at the end of the month for my TBI for SSDI and they asked if I wanted a copy for my VA doctor. I was wondering if this is something I can send in as evidence for my letter I requested Permanent and Total last month?
  7. Hello Fellow Vets, I'll try to make this a quick an easy read. I joined the Navy in July 2008 and served 5 years of continuous duty. By the time I was out I had several issues that were not present at my join date and eventually filed a claim for my benefits. Upon departure from the Navy, I filed a claim and was denied benefits for headaches, depression, a left knee and right knee condition. When I received my decision packet, it stated that these conditions could be granted a rating if found service connection. When I met with the DAV representative, he stated that if I could have my primary care doctor write a letter and say the conditions were service connected I would be able to have it reconsidered. So my Primary Care Doctor who is a medical doctor, reviewed my medical record and she drafted a nexus letter that supported my claim (with proper language *more than likely service connected) for all the conditions I listed above (and others I will have to go back and file for at a later date). In addition, she diagnosed my headaches as being migraines as opposed to just headaches ( after I gave her the symptoms I had been experiencing). I submitted this letter in June of 2016. In September 2016 my claim went to preparation for decision and then was kicked back and the VA requested a C&P exam. This exam was conducted by a Nurse Practitioner. She opined that my headaches were due to elevated levels of estrogen and that I was cleared from physical therapy in August 2012 so neither condition was service connected. As I result I dug through my medical record and found evidence of reports of "severe and unusual headaches" on documents that were dated as early as October 2008 before I was ever on birth control. And reports of me complaining of knee pain after I was cleared from physical therapy in the year 2013. Though I found proof that I had been reporting these issues and nothing was being done about it, I also questioned how a science assumption could be made in this matter. If indeed I was suffering from elevated estrogen levels, shouldn't the NP have conducted some sort of blood work? It was not done....EVER. So my question today is Do you think that the opinion of the NP will out weigh the opinion of my MD ( who is also an employee of the VAMC in Atlanta, GA? Thanks For your time!
  8. I'm putting together further evidence to show service connection for disability for multiple myeloma based on contact with TCE's and Benzene on the flight line 91-97. Min addition to photos, lay witness statements and a nexus letter from my oncologist, can I also submit a previous des soon by a VA judge advocate dated 2012? In that decsision the judge found in favor of a Marine who worked on the flight line in 91-92 at El Toro. He was in NBC and had contact with benzene also and had multiple myeloma. This is basically the same as my claim only a different MOS. thanks.
  9. my question is, should i send my IMO to the Regional Office to look at ? i brought my IMO to the BVA hearing in D.C. around 4 months ago. i asked for the bva to take over consideration of the IMO and it was aggreed by the judge to do so. but now since my appeal has still not been decided and looks as if im still going to be waiting for some time then should i send the Great IMO to the department of original jurisdiction for consideration?
  10. Ok Apparently there are many documents missing from my SMRs. a police report, an emergency room log and exit exam, because if it wasn't tampered with, I would have shown that this injury was suffered from an attack in the army, 1994, But its missing so I was asked among many other things to get buddy statements. I have 5, unfortunately, no one especially me can remember when this happened, because there is no "evidence" which is BS i didnt have he scars on my head when i went it but i did when i ets'd...,can some one help me?
  11. Folks: Back in Feb 2015, I had what looks like my final CP Exams for this first ever FDC Claim. Consequently, 98%of my SMR evidence was turned in originally with the first claim as well. So, during the exams I handed the SMRS and some other CT/MRI Evidence that I had gotte just after I turned my intial claim in to the Docs and they both said, Do you want this added to your claim and I said.."absolutley!". Anyway, this week I found out that the records were not scanned into the VBMS system and no one at the CBOC or RO can confirn that they received the hard-copies at the RO? When I asked the CBOC what their SOP for this kind of action was, to ship the CP exam record to the RO- andthey were not sure? Also, I can see the actual CP electronic exams in "MyhealthyVet" Bluse Button so at least that got done? Anyway, since, I'm close to a decision now on this claim, should I just ride it out and hope for the best at this stage of the game? The other option is to make an issue of it which with the RO which may delay my claim substantially? I'm already very concerned because as soon as I had the CP exams and submitted the 5103 waiver, my claim quickly jumped from gathering evidence to the Decision Approval Stage...and I know that fast is not always better--but we'll see???
  12. Greetings all! First, I wish to thank everyone who participates in these forums, especially those who give so much time in moderating them. You are a blessing to all of us. My question may have been asked before, but I'm not able to locate the threads, so forgive me if it's redundant. I'll put the actual question up front and supporting information after to save your time in case the answer would be the same regardless of the situation. The Question: Given what I think is my timeline (<10 years) should I submit the new evidence? I understand that i may delay the VA's next ruling. However, what bothers me is the effective date; if I submit new evidence *now* instead of waiting for a ruling in a year or two will the effective date of the new rating be today or be backdated to the original NOD (December 2012)? Current situation: Both reps I've worked with over the years have encouraged me to apply for C&T, but I've refused. I will work until I cannot do so any longer, but I feel the symptoms increase and there's something inside of me that tells me that I have less than 10 years left. Eventually I'll have to consider their advice, but as long as I can contribute I WILL. I will work until I cannot. History: I have a rating from VA that started at 10% and has increased to 80% over the years. As a 19D recon scout I was in combat in Desert Storm (and other places) and filed for the "presumptive" conditions of IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Fibromyalgia (FM) two years ago when Congress changed the law about them. Another presumptive is "skin conditions." I have a 0% for eczema from 1992, but since then have developed two types of skin cancer. I'm currently on a chemo routine to reduce them. My current rep filed a NOD requesting the denovo process in December of 2012 because I believed my IMO was quite specific (my rep gave me very clear guidelines and examples of "va speak," and my doctor followed them exactly), and I believe that for at least for the CFS and maybe the FM CUE applies. You know the deal--the typical VA lowball for the opening round. I have a wife and a 9-year-old daughter, and I earn a decent living. The wife has a part-time job but they depend on me as the primary breadwinner. We live modest lives, and are able to put away a small bit into savings each month. It could be more, but we tithe to our church and will continue to do so.
  13. Not sure if this is where I should post this, if not please direct me to the right place. A claim for severe eczema was filed in 2011 and we finally just got the rating at 10% back. In reading the information on the letter, with the additional evidence from the dermatologist and family doctor, the ruling could have been at least 30% if not 60. I mailed to the Philadelphia office the additional evidence. What happens from here. The paper says a few weeks til its in the ebenefits site, but it has been at least 9 weeks now. I am not sure if I should just appeal, or wait to see what happens with the additional evidence. The evidence was showing that I was on prednisone for longer than 6 weeks, and the letter said if systemic therapy was needed for more than 6 weeks the rating would be higher. Would the copy of the perscriptions and the weaning schedule and the paper from the family doctor be enough evidence for the VA? I really wish I found this site while my claim was processing, bc the only info they have is from the days I went to the VA and then the day the claim dr appt was. Any insight would be wonderful.... Thanks!
  14. Hello all. I retired from the Army this past February. I've been following this forum since I received my initial compensation letter from the VA in July. I've learned a lot here, but I'd like to throw out a few questions, as well as post a letter for your review. I've been rated at 60%. (30% post hysterectomy, 30% PTSD, 10% right hip tendonitis, 10% thoracic spondylosis with scoliosis, and 10% tinnitus.) I also was SC at 0% for ten other conditions. The VA denied SC for eight more conditions. I do not feel I need to appeal every condition denied, but I would like to appeal some of them, specifically the ones related to my chronic skin condition. Here are my questions: 1. How can the VA deny SC, when conditions are clearly diagnosed many times in my active duty medical record? Shouldn't I, at least, be given SC on these conditions with 0%? 2. I sent in a huge amount of my active duty military medical records (2 copier paper boxes full), with all diagnosed conditions highlighted. Does the case worker not even review these records? 3. The VA claimed they did not have the SS#s of my two daughters and could only pay me with one dependent (husband). So I immediately sent in a 21-4138 upon receipt of my rating decision, to include the missing SS#s and also to request reconsideration for one of the denied conditions (Coccydynia). The reason for the reconsideration on this particular condition, is because it was denied based on "The evidence does not show an event, disease or injury in service."... "Your service treatment records do not contain complaints, treatment, or diagnosis for this condition". The VA obviously missed this or it was not included in the evidence. I had a two page report from my active duty records that clearly diagnoses the injury, so I asked for reconsideration and attached a copy of the report. Was this the right thing to do? 4. I am considering appealing a chronic skin condition. The doctors throughout the years could never agree on a single diagnosis. It was called eczema, atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, contact dermatits, and simply rash. The VA denied all of those stated conditions, saying "The evidence does not show a current diagnosed disability." "While your service records reflect complaints, treatment or a diagnosis similar to that claimed, the medical evidence supports the conclusion that a persistent disability was not present in service." These skin outbreaks were documented at least 30 times in my active duty medical record. One other diagnosis for this skin condition was papular urticaria. The VA has deferred a decision on the papular urticara. The letter stated that they would be sending me to an additional C&P exam, but I never received an appointment time/place. On ebenefits, it says my claim is back in evaluation of evidence, so I'm assuming they are not going to send me to another exam after all. Should I go ahead and file an appeal on the conditions denied and have my doctor write a letter explaining that all the different diagnoses are referring to the same skin condition or should I wait for a decision on the one deferred condition? (I am having an outbreak now and am scheduled to see my PCP on Monday, at the time of my first C&P I was not having an outbreak, so the doctor had nothing to evaluate.) 5. The other thing I'd like to appeal is my rating for PTSD. They rated me at 30%, but I clearly meet the criteria for a 50% rating. Would I get a letter from my current therapist to support this? She is a licensed social worker and specializes in PTSD and EMDR treatment. What documentation should be included to support and help me win an appeal? Sorry this was so long of a post. I hope some of you seasoned posters with lots of experience can give me some good answers on my specific issues. I dread the future fight with the VA, but I'm betting this forum will be an encouragment to keep going. Thanks in advance.
  15. Reading through this forum I'm not sure if it's allowed or not. Does anyone know where the "ten commandments" for C&P exams can be found? TIA!
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