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I will ask the first question in this new forum. I have just been granted a 30% rating for Vertigo from a 2018 claim. If this were a "normal" first claim I would fall under the AMA and have to NOD using one of these three lanes. My confusion comes from the following. In my original award fro 2013, the VA knew about the vertigo. They had sent me for a VNG (waterboarding through the ear) and an MRI for vertigo. I had two C&P's, one for PTSD and one for Hearing Loss. Both knew about the vertigo and tests. The award letter from 2013 did not mention vertigo or the tests even though they were in my file (or at least the ordering of the tests and notes that said the results were being uploaded). Since it did not mention them, and I did not know they were compensable, I did not NOD the decision at that time. I also did not know what a NOD was so that makes things worse. I was denied SC for Hearing Loss in 2013. I did not know that they reason they denied was that they only looked at 1 enlistment instead of both which covered 10 years and were consecutive. I only found out the reason they denied in Aug 2018 and filed to reopen based on New and Material evidence even though I did use that exact term. They denied reopening the hearing claim for SC based on the old C&P form 2013 and did not offer a specific C&P for SC connection. In that same Aug 2018 claim I filed for "dizziness" which is what I have always called my episodes of vertigo. They sent me for a C&P. The doctor was incompetent and did not even have a DBQ in front of him and no computer in the office. He stated his wife does all his computer work at home. He stated he did not know why I was there or what the VA was expecting. I told him about the vertigo (I had learned that was the correct term). Further he looked up my nose, in my ears, then said the problem was between my ears meaning a problem he could not see. He did not ask about my gait, frequency of events or if I had nystagmus (I do and it is documented). The C&P for Vertigo did include a hearing test. I pointed out to Audiologis, and showed the records, that the 2013 C&P was wrong on SC. She stated she was not doing a C&P just an hearing test but would include a note on the SC and dates. The VA bounced this around for months, even reaching pending final verification with a Due date of 1/8/2019. They then bounced back to gathering evidence and ordered a C&P on Hearing Loss, ostensibly for the Vertigo claim. The results were finalized about 20 days ago and Ebenefits disabilities were updated to show Vertigo at 30% and Hearing Loss as SC. The BBE has not yet arrived so I don't yet know their reasoning. So my questions are: Do I NOD the 2018 Vertigo decision using the AMA and which lane? Do I NOD the 2013 award or CUE it? They VA failed to even mention the tests in that award. The did not notify me that a claim was possible and they did not offer me an assist in getting the C&P. They now claim they have lost the records Do I Nod the 2013 hearing denial for SC and request EDD? or Do I NOD the 2018 hearing decision asking for EED to 2013? Do I CUE this to get my EED? The doctor clearly did not look at my full record and even states it so. The VA did not notify me of that fact in the Award letter, which significantly changes any NOD choice I could have made back then. As I am still waiting on the 2018 Vertigo claim and Hearing SC connection I cannot post them. I will gather all the award letters and redact them once that shows up. Any help? suggestions?
Hey all I have been out of here for a while dealing with issues and am now in a wheelchair from leg surgery which just happens to coincide with my latest C&P results finally showing up. Before this latest I was at 100% plus few miscellaneous 10 and 0 %'s. The situation is complicated and I need to figure out my options in light of the changes between the legacy system, ramp and AMP (?). The first hurdle, is my original award in 2013 did not show evidence they evaluated my OSA even though it was documented, diagnosed in May 2013 and should have been in my medical records by the time they did the award. VAMC New Orleans claims to have "lost" those records but Tulane Hospital has provided them to me and I have notes in my record that I had one, that the records were annotated in my file (supposedly in my file) and that a CPAP was issued. I was never notified this was a compensable condition or that a C&P should be requested. I did not find this out until Aug 2018. There is also my tests done for Vertigo, including being waterboarded through the ear and having MRI's performed to find out if I had tumors causing the vertigo. VAMC New Orleans says they don't have these records but the same issue arises as with the OSA. I have the MRI, and my record has notes that the VNG was done. The award letter is silent on this issue. I have sent the VAMC FOIA requests on both issues multiple times and they don't even bother to answer me. When I call they just say there are no records and hang up on me. How can I reopen that original claim, and would it keep the original dates? To add complexity the original award denied me for hearing loss. The C&P examiner failed to look at my entire service record, instead she only looked at my first enlistment. I informed her of the Vertigo also but she made no mention of it in the report. On this particular issue, and the vertigo, the VA just rated me for 30% on vertigo and 0 for hearing loss. The dates for both were August 2108. At a minimum I want the hearing loss to be corrected back to the original date. It would also set up the argument for failing in their Duty to Assist and Notify on the Vertigo. I have my c-file and the notes and exams from external providers (sleep study and MRI). I believe this all constitutes New and Relevant (I guess that is the new term) Information. I just need to know how I process this under the new system? Is it a supplemental claim? will I get an EED? Other Factors: I will be filing a NOD on the recent 30% rating for Vertigo, the award letter has not yet arrived, it is over due, but the C&P doc was incompetent and my medical file shows that I am more in line with a rating of 60 or 100% for Meniures. I have VA treatment records recording my "drunk gait", nystagmus, and passing out from the vertigo. In 2013 time frame I would experience this 3 to 4 times a month in the worst months. Now it is 4 to 6 times a week, every time I roll over quickly or have any type of rapid head movement. So on the NOD, since it was for the August, 2018 claim, am I supposed to just file a typical NOD? can I ask for backdate (EED) based on the previous VNG and MRI from 2013 where they lost the records and failed to Notify or Assist me in filing a claim? My Vertigo has gone untreated and unassisted by the VA until 2018. It has grown significantly worse. This seems to constitute harm to me from their negligence. I want to note again in the decision about the August 2018 claim they did grant me SC for the hearing loss. Their error is clear and unmistakable. It is also tied to the Vertigo so the EED hearing would also seem to affect that; The VA does not send us for MRI's and VNG's (waterboarding) just for hearing loss, so they knew and started the process, they just dropped the ball in getting that info to the raters. Thanks for any help on the new processes.