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  1. Vets often ask, "Where can I get an IMO to get a nexus?" Recall that a Nexus is a key element in the Required Caluza elements of current diagnosis, in service event, and nexus. While I have not personally used Dr. Ellis, at least one Veteran has. However, $500 for an IMO is great. But, an IME (Independent Medical Exam) would be even better. I have heard of at least one doctor who charges up to $10,000 for an IMO. I think Dr. Bash quoted me $5000. At that time, Dr. Bash would do the exam without cash up front, then you paid him out of retro. Im not sure he does that any more. Dr. Ellis apparently requires payment up front, but at least its not $5000 up front! If I had need of a nexus, I would likely hire Dr. Ellis. I listened to his video and IM convinced he is for the Veteran and knows what he is doing. According to his website, you can use Mastercard/Visa/American Express. For me, being able to put it on a credit card was a great idea. Why? Well I was certain an IMO would get me many times that back in retro. I actually did the same thing..put my IMO on a credit card, then paid it back when I got the retro. My IMO was for a voc rehab specialist, and I also paid 500, and it was well worth it. If you do not have a nexus, you need an IMO or IME, like Dr. Ellis to win it. Source: Etrain's post on hadit. Thanks, Etrain. NOTE: Hiring Dr. Ellis would mean you would need to travel to Oklahoma City, as its an Independent EXAM, as opposed to an Independent OPINION. My opinion is that an EXAM is better. An IMO is only as good as the current medical records, but an EXAM, the doc can also add his opinions based on him personally examining you. Example: You applied for benefits, but were denied, and you figured out you dont have a nexus. Well, you didnt get treated for your arthritis, until 2021, but you have been suffering from it, since 2007. You can Tell Dr. Ellis your symptoms and how it affects your work, since 2007. Dr. Ellis "could" indicate, in his opinion, your symptoms began in 2007, for example, if he looked at an xray or other medical tests which showed degenerative arthritis. This could result in retro. back to 2007. If you got an IMO, from a doc who has never examined you, then that may not work as well.
  2. I live just about an equal distance from Springfield MO & Little Rock AR. Is there a Dr in this area that helps people with their VA claims? Because it's hard to find one that will help out with a VA claim.
  3. At a current rating of 70% for Unspecified Anxiety disorder with MDD, is it possible to get a increase without a C&P exam? The IMO rationale & DBQ were added as evidence. I have been getting Mental health treatment at the VA since my last award also.
  4. Instead of answering in this thread, please answer this thread in the IMO forum:
  5. My vocational expert wants to use my yet-to-be created IMO but my IMO doc wants to use my yet-to-be created vocational assessment. What should I do?
  6. I think that I have enough medical evidence for sizable increase but I don't know for sure or how to word my statement because the medical notes and tests are Greek to me. I don't want to ask my VHA provider to opine. Should I get an IMO? I know that it might be overkill. Or should I get another doc to fill out a DBQ?
  7. I just got what is basically an IMO from my doctor for my appeal. Wanted to get some opinions. The only thing I really notes is that she didn’t directly address the link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, but I have 2 other opinions in my file that do. As a note I was denied for specifically for no diagnosis on everything but my back, hip, and right ankle.
  8. I appealed my lower back condition (DDD, strain) and am still waiting on a virtual hearing since July 2020. I called and they said they are still on 2019 claims but would not give me any other information. From what I've read on here I'm better off withdrawing my hearing and submitting a supplemental claim with IMOs. I know I would lose the back pay though. Are there any other negatives to withdrawing my hearing? Does anyone have an idea how much longer I'd wait for a hearing? Thanks
  9. After Denials for OSA both direct and secondary to PTSD, this spring I decided to spend the money on a IMO and do the claim right. I contacted Dr. Anaise and was told to send all my records, decision letters and $1500. After about a week I was emailed with a final IMO report that was around 40-50 pages. It was excellent & well researched. Within 6 weeks of submitting the IMO with a supplemental claim OSA secondary to PTSD was approved. Yes IMO's dont guarantee anything and they can be expensive but they are definitely worth it when you have been denied already and have nothing else to submit and someone like Dr. Anaise will always outweight the NP the VA usually has doing exams.
  10. Hi, new to the forum and thank you in advance if you can provide any insight. I talked to the VA today because I was confused about my claim, they approved part of my claim and deferred the other half of it. I searched a lot of post here and being deferred is normal for the va, but what confused me was why they deferred it. The reason they deferred my TBI was because they wanted a IMO (independent medical opinion) and also flagged my TBI and major depression for higher evaluation and entitlement. I had a C&P for both of these months ago, plus many pages from C file and from tricare to support my claim. My questions are: - I though you had to appeal to have your case reviewed by the higher level evaluation. I submitted the claim, evidence, and C&P and they moved it to higher evaluation on their own. -They also requested their own IMO following the C&P for TBI, is this bad or normal? The VA rep told me that the 0% rating is a place holder stating that it is service connected while it is undergoing higher evaluation and not to worry, but all I can do is worry.
  11. https://vaclaimsinsider.com/top-5-doctors-who-write-va-nexus-letters/ Dr Bash and Dr Anaise are on this list https://www.veteransaidbenefit.org/claim_support_disc/8 Sources for Claim Support Services/Sources for Medical Nexus Opinions, Claims Files Reviews and Other Claim Support Services.pdf Dr Valette is a member here I believe and also had helped many here. The hadit post here might help: https://community.hadit.com/topic/54428-national-directory-of-independent-medical-examiners/ https://americanmedicalexperts.com/veteran-nexus-letters/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAtqL-BRC0ARIsAF4K3WG5ISeHx4KojbAsqJkQkgoZwkGbAFFzImUzQHnmdfdWA1yKbAMUlKgaAlBgEALw_wcB
  12. https://vaclaimsinsider.com/top-5-doctors-who-write-va-nexus-letters/ Dr Bash and Dr Anaise are on this list https://www.veteransaidbenefit.org/claim_support_disc/8 Sources for Claim Support Services/Sources for Medical Nexus Opinions, Claims Files Reviews and Other Claim Support Services.pdf Dr Valette is a member here I believe and also had helped many here. The hadit post here might help: https://community.hadit.com/topic/54428-national-directory-of-independent-medical-examiners/ https://americanmedicalexperts.com/veteran-nexus-letters/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAtqL-BRC0ARIsAF4K3WG5ISeHx4KojbAsqJkQkgoZwkGbAFFzImUzQHnmdfdWA1yKbAMUlKgaAlBgEALw_wcB
  13. The Podcast is back. We have teamed up with Hadit.com. This weeks guest is Dr Bash and Bill Creager. To listen follow this link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/jbasser/2020/08/20/exposed-vet-haditcom-podcast-featuring-dr-bash-and-bill-creager To call in and speak to Dr Bash dial: (515) 605-9764
  14. Many Veterans ask, "Where can I go to get an IMO?" This is a great question! Answer below. An IMO is often needed when Veterans seek benefits especially when their VA doc's nexus statement is non existant, or deficient. This may also work if seeking an increase to document symptoms worsening. Thanks to Alex, who mentioned this company in his blog. While I have not tried Mednick, I may be soon shortly, and Alex Graham apparently recommends them. Now, A mednick or other IMO will NOT fix a lack of "in service event". This needs to be documented in your service records, an IMO can not fix that. But, a Mednick IMO "may" work to supply a nexus, including one that is secondary to a service conneceted condtion. On the website, it appears the cost is 1500. Mednick webisite: https://www.mednickassociates.com/2016/05/06/third-leading-cause-of-death-in-us/ In one of their blogs, they pointed out the third highest cause of death is "medical mistakes." This is not suprising. https://www.mednickassociates.com/2016/05/06/third-leading-cause-of-death-in-us/ Source: https://asknod.org/
  15. Hello All, I am planning on filing a claim for sleep apnea, which was not diagnosed while I was on active duty, as well as cervical pain and Allergic Rhinitis, which were noted in STR's but not officially diagnosed until a few years later, despite continuous treatment for them by the VA. While there is some reference to sleep issues while I was deployed, and treatment records in service for the other two, I want to make my claim as strong as possible from the start. Having read through many of the posts here and elsewhere regarding the nexus to service connection, I believe I will need an IMO to connect the in service event (injury on deployment) and my current diagnosis for sleep apnea, since it was diagnosed about 9 years after I left active service. My spouse is willing to write a statement regarding the symptoms she has witnessed since I left service until my diagnosis, and I have had two sleep studies confirming a diagnosis of sleep apnea (both done at the VA, 6 years apart). I plan on trying for direct service connection (unlikely but worth a shot) as well as secondary service connection (I have other SC conditions, but only rated at 20%, to connect it to). The pulmonologist at VA said my chronic pain likely contributes to my sleep apnea, but I am guessing this is not affirmative enough language for the VA rater, which is why I plan on seeking an IMO, for all three issues I am claiming. My primary care Dr is at the VA, and tends to write in generalities, so I don't think she will be a good choice for writing the IMO/DBQ (she tells me I have to wear my CPAP or I will stop breathing or die in a car accident, but only writes in my chart that "CPAP is recommended"). I have been looking (unsuccessfully) online for doctors who specialize in providing IMO's, and have read about the ones reviewed here, but was wondering about another I keep seeing pop up in the google searches - VA Claims Insider. Seems like a one stop shop, but I have not found much information about them other than what is offered on their website and Youtube channel. Also, the idea of paying after a claim increase seems like a good option, since multiple IMO's can be expensive, but I would think this could present a conflict in the eyes of the VA, since the fee increases with the size of the award. Also, I'm not going to lie, I think it would be great to have someone go over my records and possibly identify issues that I can rightfully claim that I am just not aware of. That seems to be the service they also provide, along with IMO's. So, any guidance or reviews would be appreciated. I am pretty confident that I will need the IMO's. I just don't know where to get them without a potentially awkward first visit to a new Dr, "Hi, I know that we just met, but can you write this very detailed letter for me so I can get disability compensation. No pressure." Thanks, and thank you all for the great info on this site. P.S. - I do not intend for this to become a thread to bash one service over another, or to endorse any particular service. I would just like some honest opinions about any of the people you folks have used. The nexus letter seems to me to be the deciding factor in many of the BVA appeals I have read. Despite its importance, I have had difficulty finding solid info and advice about getting one. Also, I assume VA Claims Insider probably reads this forum, and I don't want to disparage anyone who is trying to help vets.
  16. Hi all, looking for feedback regarding my progress and chances, along with any other suggestions. I served in the Navy from 1999-2005, Honorable discharge as a nuclear mechanical on subs. Sadly, like many I rarely reported medical issues while I was in, didn't want to hurt the command with absences. If only I knew then right? In 2015 I filed put my first claim in, Rhinitis (this was well documented inservice) sleep apnea, i had symptoms inservice that were documented but never diagnosed and hypertension secondary to OSA. I thought I had a good package, I had buddy statements and an IMO from Dr Ellis. Well the VA disagreed. They granted SC Rhinitis at 10% and declined SC for OSA and HTN. I applied for a denovo review and they upheld the first rating. I then let my 1 year expire and things ended there. A few years later my sinuses were getting worse. I saw an ENT who diagnosed severe sinusitis a deviated septum and polyps. We tried steroids and antibiotics and then went with a pretty complex sinus surgery. Post op several rounds of steroids and still have polyps. I currently use daily steroid irrigation. That sucks. My OSA of course was diagnosed with a sleep study, it was rated as severe and I use a CPAP daily. I strongly feel that the fact that I can barley breath through my nose makes it a lot worse. The diagnosis on all of these are unarguable. Its the SC that will be the battle. HTN: I have pretty severe HTN, it is controlled with 3 meds daily. The literature is pretty clear that OSA worsens HTN. And for what its worth, I don't use the VA for health care. So my packet: I had hoped to try the DRC process as, I am very lucky to have the resources to build my own claim. I used Bethany who is a PA at Valor 4 Vets to do my DBQs for Rhinitis /Sinusitis, OSA and HTN. She also wrote IMOs for each with literature cited. The least as likely then not phrase is there for every condition. I'm happy to post if it will help anyone. I also wanted an IMO from a doc with a little stronger CV so I went with Dr Aniase, I know he's been talked about here and like others have said the service was great. Also he is a former lung transplant surgeon, who has focused a lot on OSA so I thought that was a good fit. He put together a solid 65 page letter with a lot of literature and medical rationale that OSA is make worse by Rhinitis and that HTN is made worse by OSA. He went on to say that sinusitis is only caused by rhinitis and pointed out the rationale for increased rhinitis. I of course had all of my private medical records. I took these to my local VFW service officer on 4/17. I had no problem doing the claim myself by a DRC claim has to be submitted by a VSO. She tried to discourage the DRC process as it shifts the responsibility to the Vet and the VSO. I get that but I already have everything and hopefully wont need additional exams as I have my DBQs. She relented and took all of my compiled paperwork to submit. Well shockingly while her cover letter asked it to be processed as a DRC, it wasn't uploaded to the DRC portal and is now showing as a regular pending claim. The OSA and HTN are re-opens. So I think i have a pretty bulletproof packet. What thoughts do you all have? Is there anything else I should do?
  17. My VSO let me know that my OSA appeal was denied. My original claim was a direct service connection. I read the sleep apnea field manual from Chris Attig and appealed the decision. On appeal I stated the OSA should be secondary to PTSD and sinusitis. I obtained an IMO from Dr Anaise and a DBQ with the at least as likely as not and medically necessary (CPAP) statements from my psychiatrist. My question is on appeal can you submit evidence to make it a secondary condition or does it need to be filed as secondary from the beginning? I haven't received the RAMP appeal denial letter yet. Also is there a section in the 38 CFR regarding secondary conditions with an original direct service connection claim?
  18. I sent in my packet to the Ellis Clinic in OKC. Does the $500 include the exam and nexus letter or is the nexus a separate charge?
  19. im currently writing my award time frame and my success story for this Great Veterans Blog Information site. but, in the mean time i want to stress and admit that all the others here stressed to me ,,,, if you get any type of small retro and believe your going further in your VA quest for benefits you deserve. please please,,, do your self a favor and save $2,500 and get an IMO/IME... it is the world of difference... if i can say that 1 of the 5 most important things ive learned here on this site is,,, the importance of realizing that a C and P exam will never get you there no matter your evidence. please take this advice and save up to get your imo/ime and then get your win from the VA.
  20. Morning all, I am new to the forum but been an avid reader and learner from the posts listed here on this site as well as other sites. My situation, I was able to get an IMO from the Ellis Clinic plus an Nexus from the VA Dr. and submitted in as a new claim and was wondering what are my chances in winning. I know every scenario is different and I review the citations as well on BVA. Can anyone share their successes or disappointments? P.s. Flores97 I emailed you :) I wished you well in your case. Sincerely, Thank you.
  21. Back in May 2015 had a IME/IMO exam and was told I should put in a claim for deviated septum cause I had surgery for same while on active duty and again the same exact surgery in 2009 at VA. I had no intention of applying for it until it was brought up. I went ahead and submitted and it got denied, did an NOD and still sitting in Appeal now. I have not had any additional deviated septum surgeries since filing (2015) and no more clinical indications another surgery is needed therefore MY QUESTION: (1) Does the fact I have had two surgeries mean anything as far as service connection goes or.... (2) is this just a lame duck I should cut loose since no more surgeries have occurred since 2009. Final question, if still sitting and waiting on multiple Appeals does dropping one of those Appeals speed the others along any faster or does it even matter? Can those on Appeal be processed individually at any point in time that RO decides to overturn same..... or do they wait until all of the Appeals made and filed together are fully decided one way or another? Just seeking some opinion on this from more seasoned folks in Forum.
  22. Hello all, Thanks for adding me as this is my first post. I am an Iraqi Veteran and left service in 2010. I filed my first claims myself between 2010 and 2013 for Obstructive Lung Disease, Tinnitus, and Polyarthralgia linked to Lyme Disease. For each of those claims, I only submitted VA 21-4138's and articles from medical journals supporting my claim. After Extensive C&P exams, I was granted the tinnitus and the Polyarthralgia, but only service connected at 0% for the lung disease. 2 years later I resubmitted for asthma as the symptoms had gotten more severe and I was now on a steroid inhaler daily. I was then granted 30% for asthma. Moving forward a few years, I have now developed Sleep Apnea, and after a year of CPAP treatment, I decided to use "Vet Comp and Pen" for help for my claim. With all of my civilian medical treatment records, and CPAP prescription, they were successful at combining my Asthma rating with the OSA awarding my 50%. I filed with the new Decision Ready Claim and within 6 day of the VA made their favorable decision. A few weeks later I attempted to submit a new claim for GERD through "Vet Comp and Pen". I supplied them with medical treatment records showing an Esophagram in 2006, Endoscopies in (2007, 2012, 2016, and 2 in 2017), another Esophagram in 2017, a Bravo PH Monitoring exam in 2017, and an Esophageal Manometry in 2017. All test show Esophagitis Grade B, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease with Esophagitis, Erosive Esophagitis Stage III, Hiatal Hernia, Diaphragmatic Hernia, and Duodenitis. I have been on Omeprazole 40mg since 2012, and have continual heartburn, acid reflux, a persistent cough, arm and shoulder pain, and worst of all, regurgitation of food, and vomiting acid into my mouth while sleeping. I was attempting to file this claim as a secondary service connection attributed to the daily dosage of NSAID's like naproxen, and Ibuprofen along with the Symbicort Inhaler usage. Unfortunately with all of the medical evidence I supplied them, "Vet Comp and Pen" only instructed me to submit a 21-4138 personal statement and a VA 21-256. Basically nothing was submitted in support of my claim, not one shred of evidence, no IMO, no Lay evidence, nothing to establish NEXUS. I even made three phone calls to Vet Comp and Pen confirming this is what they wanted me to do. Needless to say, after submitting it as a Decision Ready Claim as instructed, it was denied after the VA had it in their possession for 6 days. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think instead of going through a long and lengthy appeal process, it may be more beneficial and easier to file again as a new claim. This time I will be going through the DAV again but this time submitting a 21-4138 personal statement, a VA 21-256, all of my medical procedures, and plenty of medical journal evidence showing the link between NSAID's, Asthma inhalers and GERD. I am also having my Gastroenterologist complete a VA 21-0960G-1for Esophageal Conditions. The problem that I am running into is the NEXUS. I was in the Army National Guard from 1996 - 2010. I had Lyme disease in 1998 and had chronic arthritis pretty much from that time on continuously taking NSAID's. I saw a civilian Gastroenterologist in 2006 and 2007 prior to my last deployment to Iraq in 2008 - 2009. Unfortunately being a helicopter pilot in the Army, any type of medical issue had the high probability of grounding you rendering you useless to your unit. I self medicated with Prevacid and Tums until I returned home from my deployment and a friend urged me to see a Dr again explaining the problems if left untreated ie, Esophageal Cancer. I am looking for someone that can review all of my evidence and compose a solid Independent Medical Opinion connecting my symptoms to the required usage of NSAID's and Steroidal Inhalers for my Service Connected Polyarthralgia and Asthma. Any help, suggestions, and input would be much appreciated. Thank you
  23. Are there any suggestions or preferred methods on how to approach an independent doctor to perform a VA evaluation for your conditions, service connect an event during service, and fill out a DBQ?
  24. I want to start a thread for people to post names of IMO/IME's they have used. THIS IS FOR GOOD AND BAD DOCS. We want to know who to go to and who to avoid (Keep in mind if your symptoms and evidence does not support a DX or SC that does not mean they are a Bad doctor, it means you havent given them what they need to do what you want) Rules: (and Tbird/mods have final say) 1) Follow the template below, Copy and Paste 2) do not list out your whole story of your claims spanning back 20 years, keep it concise 3) If they were good or bad, list concise (ie quick and to the point) reasons why. TEMPLATE: COPY AND PASTE -------------------------------------------- WHERE ARE THEY: NAME: WHAT IS THEIR SPECIALTY (or what you were seen for): COST: CONTACT: REVIEW (keep the Yes or No, based on whats correct) Did they review your entire file (YES) (NO) -- Did they provide a well written DBQ/IMO/IME (YES) (NO) -- Were they familiar with VA Claims (38 cfr, M21, etc) ? (YES) (NO) -- Would you classify them as "Vet Friendly" (YES) (NO) -- Would you recommend them to other veterans? (YES) (NO) -- Comments: (Be Brief) --------------------------------------------------
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