Jump to content

Sponsored Ads

  • Searches Community Forums, Blog and more

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'lumbosacral'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • General VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Forums
    • VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum
    • RAMP Rapid Appeals Modernization Program
    • Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC
    • Veterans Compensation & Pension Exams
    • E-Benefits Questions
    • Vets.gov
    • PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims
    • Entitlement - Veterans Compensation Benefits Claims
    • Eligibility - Veterans Compensation Benefit Claims
    • CHAMPVA
    • TDIU Unemployability Claims
    • CUE Clear and Unmistakable Error
    • Success Stories
    • OEF/OIF Veterans
    • VA Caregiver Benefits for Post 9/11 Veterans
    • SMC Special Monthly Compensation
    • IMO Independent Medical Opinion
    • Veterans Benefits State & Federal
    • VA Medical Centers Navigating through it
    • Medication – Prescription Drugs-Health Issues
    • VA Training & Fast letters, Directives, Regulations, Other Guidance Documents
    • MEB/PEB Physical OR Medical Evaluation Forum
    • VA Regional Offices
    • VA Disability Claims Articles and VA News
  • VA Claims References
    • Title 38 / 38 CFR
    • 38 CFR 3 Adjudication
    • 38 CFR 4 Schedule for Rating Disabilities
  • Specialized Claims
    • TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Mefloquine / Lariam
    • Gulf War Illness
    • Agent Orange
    • ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
    • MST - Military Sexual Trauma
    • Radiation Exposure from Operation Tomodachi (Japan Earthquake Fukushima Nuclear Assistant)
    • Project SHAD/Project 112
    • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • VA Pensions
    • DIC
    • FTCA Federal Tort Claims Action
    • 1151 Claims
  • Veterans Helping Veterans Podcast
    • Veterans Helping Veterans VA Claims Podcast
  • Welcome Aboard
    • Help Files - How To Use The Forum
    • Introduce Yourself
    • Test Posting Messages Here
    • Roll Call
    • Technical Support For Forum
  • Extras
    • Hiring an Attorney Discussions on S. 3421
    • Social Security Disability Questions
    • VA Scandals
    • Discounts for Veterans
    • Federal Register Announcements
    • Active Duty MEB/PEB Physical OR Medical Evaluation Forum
  • Social Chat
  • Veterans Social Chat's Social
  • Veterans Social Chat's Topics
  • Hollie Greene's Multiple Sclerosis

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


GooglePlus


Military Rank


Location


Interests


Service Connected Disability


Branch of Service


Hobby

Found 136 results

  1. Here is what it said. Entitlemen toidividual unemplyabilty is Granted effective January 13,2007. Basic eligibilty to Dependents educational assistance is established from January 13 2007 Am I P&T? In the letter it also said "Social Securty has found you to be 100% disabled due to right knee patella chondromalacia which is also a disability which is service connected". Can I know apply for 100% for my Knee? Here is how I am rated 5237 40% lumbosacral or Cervical Strain 5201 30% limitation of motion of the arm 5271 20% limitation of motion of the ankle 5271 20% limitation of motion of the ankle 5010 20% traumatic arthritis 5260 limitation of flexion, knee and 10% right knee laxity,s.p. lateral patellar release. Should I apply for SMC also?
  2. I currently have a claim in for herniated discs and sciatica as a secondary condition to my service connected lumbarsacral strain. My claim was in the Prep for Decision Phase a week ago but now has been kicked back to the Gathering of Evidence Phase and a C&P exam and medical opinion has been requested by the rater because of a new condition that I have that has been noticed since I filed my claim in Sept 2016. Apparently the rating saw that I have a CT Scan in my file that shows that I have Minimal levoscoliosis. No Signifcant abnormality of alignment. Vertebral body heights are preserved. Mild to moderate disk degeneration is present at C3-C4 C4-C5 and C6-C7. At most mild disc degeneration at the other cervical levels. Multilevel small disc osteophyte complex is present without significant spinal canal stenosis. Uncovertebral DJD causes neural foraminal stenosis as follows: Mild bilateral C2-C3 and left C3-C4, moderate to severe right C4-C5. The rater is requesting a medical opinion to find out if my cervical conditions can be considered to be secondary to my lower lumbar condition. I am currently receiving 20% for Lumbosacral Strain, 20% Right Lower Extremity Radiculopathy, 20% Left Lower Extremity Radiculopathy. My question is being that the rating is requesting if the cervical condition is secondary could the condition be granted without me filing a claim for it.
  3. Hello all I retired in 2005 have a general question in reference to back disability. I'm currently at 60% with 10% of it for "residuals of post laminectomy, lumbar spine, with mild degenerative changes, claimed as chronic back pain with radicular symptoms." In 2005 (after my retirement) I went to the VA and they inputed this into my medical record: " Images of the lumbosacral spine were obtained on 5/12/05. Mild degenerative changes are seen. A scoliosis is noted." I never submited a claim for "scoliosis". When I submitted my orginial claim it was due to back surgery that I received while on active duty on the L5 (fusion) and I was rated at 10% for it. Would it be worth to file a claim for "Scoliosis" or am I just wasting time? Please advise.
  4. I am looking at one of my DBQ for Back (Thoracolumbar Spine) Conditions for which i have file for a increase evaluation for my S/C Lumbosacral Strain. The following is what the C&P Examiner wrote verbatim "The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time". What does the mean. I am currently rated at 70% P/T with IU. The Social Security Administration has found me disabled as well because of my service connected back and cardiac conditions. A Medical Expert testified at my social security disability hearing as to the extent and severity of my service connected conditions which ultimately resulted in my being granted social security disability. My heart condition is currently rated at 10% but based on the research that i have been doing it appears that my heart condition should be rated at 100% because of the fact that i take medications to help control my stable angina and that I have been hospitalized twice in the past 12 months prior to my C&P exam for my heart condition. Please help clarify if possible. Service Connected: Lumbosacral Strain 20%, Right Lower Extremity Radiculopathy 20%, Left Lower Extremity Radiculopathy 20%, Right Acromial Fracture 20%, Coronoary Artery Disease 10% Current Claim filed for: Herniated Discs secondary to SC Lumbosacral Strain, High Blood Pressure secondary to SC Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Artery DIsease (Increase), Obstructive Sleep Apnea with use of CPAP secondary to SC Coronary Artery Disease, Lumbosacral Strain (Increase), Aid and Attendance.
  5. Good Morning All, I have a few questions regarding my VA compensation : 1) The (2) foot numbness and tingling disabilities are related to plantar fasciitis which was documented during one of my VA visits. Should I request this to be opened within eBenefits or do i need further documentation. 2) A few of my disabilities have further degenerated. Should I apply for an increase without any real documentation that supports my claims? 3) A few months ago I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. False alarm, apparently I was having anxiety attacks (first time ever). I had a few appointments with the VA mental health clinic and the shrink said I may be experiencing panic/anxiety attack from service related experiences. I was prescribed some kind of anti-depressant which I took for a few days, but had to discontinue do to the side effects. The main reason I have not pressed this issue with the VA is because I work for a company that requires a security clearance and in the future I will need to have my Top Secret. I guess what I am saying is... I do not want to somehow be diagnosed with PTSD from anxiety attacks than somehow not be eligible for a higher clearance. Below is a chart of my current disability status. Cheers, Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date strain, right knee 10% Service Connected 05/2016 left foot numbness and tingling Not Service Connected carpal tunnel syndrome, right upper extremity 10% Service Connected 05/2016 right foot numbness and tingling Not Service Connected gastroesophageal reflux disease 0% Service Connected 05/2016 strain, left shoulder 20% Service Connected 05/2016 carpal tunnel syndrome, left upper extremity 10% Service Connected 05/2016 strain, lumbosacral spine 10% Service Connected 05/2016
  6. On the 14th I had a C&P exam for SI joint/crest pain. The examiner used the low back dbq for the exam. Question, if so, then what ever findings would just be lumped in with the low back rating, right? That was the idea the examiner was trying to convey to me, that the max is 40%, which I already have. If so, then, would the SI crest pain, which is a pretty nasty burning sensation, be secondary to the low back? I know it gets a separate rating, since I had already looked it up on the rating chart. That exam was so...bogus, for lack of more polite way to say it. I wrote a pretty lengthy new topic post for that, first thing this morning, but as soon as I hit submit, it disappeared and wanted me to log in again!!! That examiner, a PA, spent more time focusing on my lower back, to which I have been SC since 11/98, than the SI joint area. After I saw the exam notes on myhealthyvet, I fired off a complaint via IRIS, about how this PA was downplaying what my local VAMC doctors had already DXd and been treating me for. Told them(IRIS) that I feel quite put upon, to have an under trained, under educated med tech, examine me and report findings that barely even match what my VA Dr had DXd! Told them I felt that this was just a ploy to set me up for an easy denial. At no point did I use any foul language or personally attack the examiner. GRRRRR!!! §4.66 Sacroiliac joint. The common cause of disability in this region is arthritis, to be identified in the usual manner. The lumbosacral and sacroiliac joints should be considered as one anatomical segment for rating purposes. X-ray changes from arthritis in this location are decrease or obliteration of the joint space, with the appearance of increased bone density of the sacrum and ilium and sharpening of the margins of the joint. Disability is manifest from erector spinae spasm (not accounted for by other pathology), tenderness on deep palpation and percussion over these joints, loss of normal quickness of motion and resiliency, and postural defects often accompanied by limitation of flexion and extension of the hip. Traumatism is a rare cause of disability in this connection, except when superimposed upon congenital defect or upon an existent arthritis; to permit assumption of pure traumatic origin, objective evidence of damage to the joint, and history of trauma sufficiently severe to injure this extremely strong and practically immovable joint is required. There should be careful consideration of lumbosacral sprain, and the various symptoms of pain and paralysis attributable to disease affecting the lumbar vertebrae and the intervertebral disc. Where it says limited ROM of hip, does this mean a separate rating, for loss of hip ROM, apart from low back strain? Strangely enough, I have a congenital defect of "transitional anatomy" in the form of a partial L6 fused to the sacrum at S1. And my fall down the stairs contributed the "Traumatism". Any ideas or comments?
  7. Hello brothers and sister! I went today for an increase on L Knee (currently 0%), R Knee and Back condition secondary to L knee. The left knee received a 0% rating at first because of the doc not doing the range of motion testing. This time the doc used the "at least as likely as not" and agreed that my Back and R Knee is because of my service connected L Knee. I cant get the C&P notes to transfer so ill type up the important parts on here and please ask questions. What im wondering is what my overall percentage would be. Back Condition: 1. Diagnosed Lumbosacral Strain 2. Range of Motion 0-50 Which should warrant a 20% rating?? 3. Functional Loss: yes 4. Pain on motion and repetitive use 5. Guarding or muscle spasms: Yes 6. numbness, pain, paresthesias: Mild on right side all 4 boxes checked 7. Cane and braces used Right and Left Knee: 1. Left meniscal tear 2. Patellofemoral Pain in left knee 3. ROM R Knee: Flexion 0-130 and 130-0 they say that normal is 0-140 and 140-0 4. ROM L Knee: 15-110 and 110-15 normal is 0-140 and 140-0 5. Strength testing is 5/5 on both knees 6. No subloxation 7. Lateral Instability: Moderate Left knee, Slight Right knee 8. cane and braces used 9. Meniscus surgery 3 times scars noted but not large and not painful any input would be awesome. As soon as I can get the C&Ps uploaded I will do that but if there are questions please ask. Based on this i feel that this is close to what I may get. 20% left knee limitation of extention and 20% left knee instability, 10% Right knee instability, do i get the bilateral factor and how does that apply???? and then 20 percent for lumbosacral strain due to the range of motion. Thanks for all the help!
  8. Greetings all! I thank you all - in advance - for the wealth of information available on this site to help vets. I stumbled upon it while researching what to do, where to start, etc. on filing for an increase for my S/C rated disabilities. At this point, what I have is: a full copy of my service records, and I have filed a notice of intent this week with VA. I am going to chronologically organize & flag my service records this weekend so I can identify where these things are noted in them. This will be long, but I want to lay out as complete a starting picture as possible to help understand my situation in hopes of getting advice on how to proceed. I've been fortunate to have had good health insurance through my employer for years, and have used it for treatment as needed vs. the VA because of how cumbersome getting to & through the VA system can be. In the last two years, my insurance is now an HDHP, which means until I pay out of pocket $3500, insurance doesn't kick in, so I need to start utilizing the VA for these issues because I cannot afford to pay for the injections, films, treatment, etc. anymore. The neck, shoulder and low back issues stemmed from a combination of a fall I took during a training exercise carrying way more gear on my back than I should have; a fall during a squadron event; and, a motor vehicle accident. What I feel may complicate things is that I have also been in a few car accidents since being S/C rated; none were my fault; I'm sadly just a crash magnet for inattentive drivers. The last one caused a minor rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder, further aggravated my cervical spine pain (to include shooting pain down my arms and fingers) and lumbar area & SI joints (to include severe shooting pain down both legs to the ankles). Following each accident, I've gone through ortho treatment, MRIs/x-rays, PT, injections in the SI joints and left shoulder, etc. And in 'settling' each accident, the insurance companies cite my 'pre-existing conditions' as reasons for low settlements. I had a bad flare-up of both the neck & low back problems earlier this week with the shooting pain down arms & legs, and went to the Durham, NC VA hospital ER because I'm not assigned a VA PCM yet (that appt is next week). The ER did x-rays which - according to the ER doc - showed: loss of disc space and degenerative changes in cervical & lumbar spine and SI joints and my cervical spine is too straight vs. curved - all of which is resulting in the nerves from cervical & lumbar areas being pinched causing my shoulders/arms/fingers to go numb, as well as the shooting pain down my legs. She also noted arthritis in my spine, but I didn't catch the specific locations. Her discharge diagnosis reads: neck/back pain; degenerative disc disease. I was prescribed cyclobenzaprine, prednisone, 800mg iburprofen, and hydrocodone/acet. What I currently have S/C per eBenefits (all from 2000, retroactive to end of service in 1998, except the lumbosacral strain which was increased in 2005 from 10%) Lumbosacral strain to include coccyx condition (previously claimed as coccyx fracture)(VCAA) 20% Service Connected Refractive error (claimed as astigmatism) Not Service Connected Degenerative joint disease and rheumatoid arthritis, secondary to a coccyx fracture -Not Service Connected Bursitis, right shoulder 0% Service Connected Bursitis, left shoulder 10% Service Connected Allergic rhinitis 0% Service Connected Cervical strain 0% Service Connected Tinnitus 10% Service Connected What has arisen/increased in severity (why I'm seeking an increase/file new claim/s): Sacroiliac joint pain - I know I verbalized this repeatedly in my C&P exams, but not sure it was factored into or as part of the lumbosacral strain rating or not, but this pain is noted in my service records with the word "sciatica", and it is excruciating. I remember describing it to the C&P examiner as someone smashing my tailbone area with a baseball bat. If you have this, you understand. I get injections about every other year for them, and take 500 mg naproxen to ease flare-ups in between injections. Shooting pain (sciatica, radiculopathy ... I've been told both and not sure what the difference is) in both legs to my feet and arms to include my fingers. Anxiety - I believe this is secondary to my injuries. I barely drive because I have panic attacks as a result of the pain I'm in and the fear of yet another potential accident worsening my injuries. I had a panic attack in my ortho's office when he suggested I might need surgery on my shoulder. I cannot sit in the dentist's chair without Xanax because the sounds and feeling have me clenching my jaw and fists (never had this problem before the injuries). I saw a psychologist after my last accident about the panic attacks, and my private PCM put me on anxiety meds, but I don't attend regular counseling, as there isn't much we can do except understand the triggers, perform exercises when they come on, and take my meds when it happens. Consequently, I work full time from home, barely drive anywhere, and take Xanax whenever I go to the doctor for anything other than a routine exam. Hearing - I was rated for tinnitus; however, I believe I mentioned to C&P examiner that I also had (at that time) some hearing loss/challenges. This has - over time - gotten far worse. I cannot differentiate conversations from background noises (e.g., music, tv, etc.), and I strain to hear people who speak in normal tones. I also experience a severe 'crackling' sound in my left ear if there is any loud noise (e.g., firetruck passing, in church if sitting too close to speakers, music being played too loudly - for me). The cause for the tinnitus (and I suspect the hearing loss) was from escorting media on the flightline during deployments as well as through other high-noise areas on base where - because of the need for interaction with the media and those they interviewed (make sure they weren't saying things they shouldn't) - it wasn't conducive to wear any sort of hearing protection. Questions I have to get started: 1) What is the most effective way to request my C&P exam documents and any films/x-rays/to see how earlier decisions were reached and what they considered for each S/C disability? I was initially evaluated at the VA in Wilmington, DE, and the low back strain (originally 10%) was increased in Winston Salem, NC. 2) How (if at all) does my having been in the car accidents (since being rated) impact my claim for increased pain/problems/aggravation of these injuries? Will the VA say 'too bad, not our fault', or are they considered aggravations/worsening of conditions and therefore 'rate-able' or able to be considered for increase? 3) Would the shooting pain in my arms & legs due to the pinched nerves be separate claims from the cervical and lumbosacral strains, or would those items include these items? I keep reading about 'secondary' ailments, but I'm not clear on what that means in regards to the VA process. 4) I used to have a DAV rep helping with my claim, and they still have a POA on record with VA. Is it better to keep working through/with them, or can/should I go it alone? I'm sure I'll have more questions but for now, hopefully that is enough to get started. And please, feel free to ask any questions to clarify anything I noted and/or make any suggestions/recommendations/etc. It's been so long since I went through this all that I don't know where to start, where to go, what to do, etc. Thanks again!
  9. Billielea

    Increase to 70%

    Thank you everyone on HADIT! Checked ebennies and I have been increased to 70% from 50%. I do not believe I was awarded TDIU, but I guess I will have to wait for BBE or DD to know for sure. Nothing in my VA letters except spouse benefits letter. (My husband is AD). Here is what disabilities shows as of now, Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date residuals of gallbladder removal with irritable bowel syndrome 30% Service Connected 10/23/2015 gastroesophageal reflux disease Deferred residuals of traumatic brain injury (TBI) 0% Service Connected 10/17/2014 migraine headaches 10% Service Connected 10/23/2015 bilateral hearing loss Not Service Connected lumbosacral strain 10% Service Connected 10/23/2015 posttraumatic stress disorder with major depression 50% Service Connected PTSD - Combat 10/17/2014 tinnitus Deferred
  10. Good evening everyone, I opened an increase for a SD on my lower back pain due to its worsening condition. I've been service connected since 1996 starting at 10% at mechanical lower back then it was increased to 20% in 2002 and changed to Lumbosacral Degenerative. I also have fibromyalgia which is not yet been service connected. My primary doctor treats me for this condition with muscle relaxers, tramadol and a very strong cream. He has recommended that the next stage be steroid shot and possibly back surgery since the pain is persistent and worsening. The increase was opened on August 30th and on September 12th I received a letter to call the Hampton VA medical center to schedule and appoint for a C&P examination. They scheduled me for today September 17th and advised how important it was for me to make the appointment. I had to have someone drive me there because the pain was just unbearable. The pain has become more frequent and severe for several days at a time. I checked in at 11:55am and the doctor came to get me at exactly 12:12pm. She said hello and I said hello in return. She took me to the examination room and the first question she asked was for me to have a seat or to stand if I was too uncomfortable to sit. I stood. She asked me what type of job I had and if it was desk job and I said yes. She didn't ask me any questions about my condition but mentioned that she read my VA file and noted that I have a lot going on and was sorry I was having such a bad day. She also stated that the last X-rays and MRI show a degenerative condition and that no new x-rays or MRI would be done today. Next she asked if I could take off my shirt and when I tried to she saw that I was struggling she asked if she could raise my shirt to check my spine. Afterwards she did the standard ROM exercise (left, right, front) she asked if I could repeat them twice and said "I see you can't bend backwards" so there was no ROM conducted in this direction. She asked if I took my shoes off could I feel the temperature of the floor and I could. She asked if the pain radiates to other places and I replied yes it does. Her entire examination took 17 minutes. I'm curious if I should have requested the x-ray and or MRI despite the fact that ones already exist in my records. In addition, I noticed that she didn't have the standard C&P worksheet and wondered if this was is normal for a C&P examination. In fact the sheet she worked from looked to have been 1 page and printed from the hospital system. I'm not so sure. I did ask her politely how long after would I be able to request a copy of her report and she stated that she didn't know. She further stated that my claim is a lawsuit against the United States for my service connected disability and that it's up to the regional office to provide me with copies. I'd never heard it put quite like that before. Maybe this information will be in the VA system since it was conducted at the VA hospital? Also is this normal for the examiner not use the standard worksheet? Looking for you guys helpful insight as usual.
  11. Hello, I have a few questions. I just received a letter from the VA. I was not expecting anything. I opened the letter and they did a review under the special initiative. First off I do not know what that means anyway. It was just more in depth than the letter i received when they first denied my claim in September 2015. I read through it and basically what they are saying as to why they denied me was because they state that I had a substance abuse problem before I joined. I am not sure how they came up with that. I was 18 when I joined right out of high school. I am trying to think why they would say that. Anyway it should not even be part of the decision. I enclosed the letter I received . It also stated that my timeline is off and i am contradicting myself in my statements. First off the incident happened in 1995 and I did not say anything about it until July of 2014. I now believe because so much time has passed they don't believe me and the want to blame it on something else. I believe the statements they say I contradict myself are probably the one where I did not disclose yet and I tried to get benefit from the VA without disclosing it. Now i feel like theirs no path forward for me to get approved May 23, 2016 Dear Mr. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ?. A special review of your file was mandated on January 6, 2016. Enclosed is the decision that finalizes the previous provisional evaluation completed on your claim under. The special initiative discussed in our letters dated August 29, 2013, September 9, 2015, and January 21, 2016. Please see the attached finalized decision and appeal rights provided with this letter. You submitted Notices of Disagreement on September 10, 2013, September 25, 2015, and December 4, 2015. These Notices of Disagreement were received premature as you were not properly notified of the decision which finalized the rating decisions. This letter tells you about what we decided. It includes a copy of our rating decision that gives the evidence used and reasons for our decision. We have also included information about additional benefits, what to do if you disagree with our decision, and who to contact if you have questions or need assistance. What We Decided We dete1mined that the following conditions were not related to your military service, so service connection couldn’t be granted: Medical Description Right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition) Lurnbosacral strain (claimed as back condition) Cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain) Anxiety disorder Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Bipolar disorder Deoression to include alcohol abuse We determined that the following service connected condition hasn't changed: Medical Description Percent (%) Assigned Left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear 20% We have enclosed a copy of your Rating Decision for your review. It provides a detailed explanation of our decision, the evidence considered, and the reasons for our decision. Your Rating Decision and this letter constitute our decision based on a special review of your claim mandated on January 6, 2016. We enclosed a VA Form 21-8764, "Disability Compensation Award Attachment-Important Information," which explains certain factors concerning your benefits. Are You Entitled to Additional Benefits? If you served overseas in support of a combat operation you may be eligible for mental health counseling at no cost to you at the Veteran's Resource Center. For more information on this benefit please visit http://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/. You may be eligible for medical care by the VA health care system for any service connected disability. You may apply for medical care or treatment at the nearest medical facility. If you apply in person, present a copy of this letter to the Patient Registration/Eligibility Section. If you apply by writing a letter, include your VA file number and a copy of this letter. You should contact yom State ofiice of Veteran's affairs for information on any tax, license, or fee-related benefits for which you may be eligible as a Veteran (or surviving dependent of a Veteran). State offices of Veteran's affairs are available at http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm. The VA provides Blind Rehabilitation services to eligible blind, low vision, or visually impaired Veterans to help them regain their independence and quality of life. The Veteran's blindness, low vision, or vision impairment does NOT have to be related or caused by military service. If you need help with yam vision loss, please contact yam nearest Visual Impairment Services Team Coordinator (VIST) at the eye clinic at yam nearest VA Medical Center. For more information, go to http://www.rehab.va.gov/blindrehab/. What You Should Do If You Disagree With Our Decision If you do not agree with our decision, you must complete and retmn to us the enclosed VA Form 21-0958, "Notice of Disagreement" in order to initiate your appeal. You have one year from the date of this letter to appeal the decision. The enclosed VA Form 4107, "Your Rights to Appeal Our Decision, " explains yam right to appeal. What Is eBenefits? eBenefits provides electronic resomces in a self-service environment to Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. Use of these resomces often helps us serve you faster! Through the eBenefits website you can: • Submit claims for benefits and/or upload documents directly to the VA • Request to add or change yam dependents • Update yam contact and direct deposit information and view payment history • Request a Veterans Service Officer to represent you • Track the status of yom claim or appeal • Obtain verification of yom military service, civil service preference, or VA benefits • And much more! Enrolling in eBenefits is easy. Just visit www.eBenefits.va.gov for more information. Ifyou submit a claim in the future, consider filing through eBenefits. Filing electrortically, especially if you participate in om fully developed claim program, may result in faster decision than if you submit yom claim through the mail. If You Have Questions or Need Assistance Ifyou have any questions, you may contact us by telephone, e-mail, or letter. If vou Here is what to do. Telephone Call us at l-800-827-1000. If you use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), the Federal number is 711. Use the Internet Send electronic inquiries through the Internet at httos://iris.va.gov. Write VA now uses a centralized mail system. For all written communications, put your full name and VA file number on the letter. Please mail or fax all written correspondence to the appropriate address listed on the attached Where to Send Your Written Corresoondence. Inall cases, be sure to refer to your VA file numbe..-.. If you are looking for general information about benefits and eligibility, you should visit our website at https://www.va.gov, or search the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at https://iris.va.gov. We sent a copy of this letter to your representative, California Department of Veterans Affairs, whom you can also contact if you have questions or need assistance. Sincerely yours, Director VA Regional Office Enclosures: Where to Send Your Written Correspondence Rating Decision VA Form 21-8764 VA Form 4107 VA Form 21-0958 cc: CA DVA 21/144 jsl079:ng DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office Represented By: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Rating Decision 05/20/2016 · INTRODUCTION The records reflect that you are a veteran of the Gulf War Era. You served in the Army from January 18, 1994 to May 21, 1996. A special review of your file was mandated on January 6, 2016. Enclosed is the decision that finalizes the previous provisional evaluation completed on your claim under the special initiative discussed in our letter dated August 29, 2013, September 9; 2015, and January 21, 2016. You submitted Notices of Disagreement on September 10, 2013, September 25, 2015, and December 4, 2015. These notices of disagreement were received premature as you were not properly notified of the decision which finalized the rating decisions. Please see the attached finalized decision and appeal rights provided with this letter. Based on the review and the evidence listed below, we have made the following decision(s). 2 of 10 DECISION 1. Evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear, which is currently 20 percent disabling, is continued. 2. Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain) is denied. 3. Service connection for right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition) is denied. 4. Service connection for lumbosacral strain (claimed as back condition) is denied. 5. Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder is denied. 6. Service connection for anxiety disorder is denied. 7. Service connection for bipolar disorder is denied. 8. Service connection for depression to include alcohol abuse is denied. EVIDENCE VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension received August 12, 2012 • 5103 Notice Letter dated December 12, 2012 • Martinez VAMC reports (in VVA) VA compensation examination conducted April 17, 2013 VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of Claim received May 27, 2013 • VA rating decision dated August 23, 2013 VA letter dated August 29, 2013 VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement received September 10, 2013 Correspondence from the veteran received September 10, 2013 VA Form 21-078la, Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post­ Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Personal Assault received August 21, 2014 VA Form 21-526ez, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits received August 21, 2014 • Service treatment reports from 11/1992 to 3/2000 Kaiser Permanente records from 1/2004 to March 2006 Sacramento County Mental Health records 3/2007 UC Davis records 1/2006 to 1/2010 Contra Costa records 9/2005 to 9/2014 John Miur Health records 1/2005 Request for VA treatment reports from Long Beach, Sacramento VAMCs dated October 9, 2014 • DPRIS reply received October 9, 2014, and October 17, 2014, indicating no service personnel Records are available • VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated October 20, 2014 • Service personnel records from November 1993 to May 1996 VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated January 31, 2015 VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated April 2, 2015, from MST coordinator VA compensation examination conducted July 2015 VA letter dated August 5, 2015 • Statement from Shawn received August 22, 2015 • VA Form 21-0781a, Statement in Support of Claim for Service Connection for Post­ Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Personal Assault received August 22, 2015 VA rating decision dated September 8, 2015 VA letter dated September 9, 2015 • Notice of disagreement received September 25, 2015 (Premature Notice of disagreement) • Long Beach VAMC/Anaheim CBOC reports 3/2014 to 9/2015 VA Form 21-526ez, Application for Disability Compensation and Related Compensation Benefits received October 1, 2015 • VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement received December 4, 2015 (premahrre NOD) VA Form 21-0820, Report of General Information dated January 5, 2016 • Fax request dated January 5, 2016 to Martinez VAMC • Compensation examinations conducted November 2015 Martinez VAMC 9/1997 to 6/1999 VA rating decision dated January 19,, 2016 VA letter dated January 21, 2016 REASONS FOR DECISION 1. Evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear currently evaluated as 20 percent disabling. The evaluation of left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear is continued as 20 percent disabling. (38 CFR §3.32l(a); 38 CFR §3.32l(b)(l)} We have assigned a 20 percent evaluation for your left shoulder strain with rotator cuff tear based on: • Limited motion of the arm at shoulder level Additional symptom(s) include: • Painful motion of the shoulder The provisions of38 CFR §4.40 and §4.45 concerning functional loss due to pain, fatigue, weakness, or lack of endurance, in coordination, and flare-ups, as cited in DeLuca v. Brown and Mitchell v. Shinseki, have been considered and are not warranted. Although there was additional loss of range of motion with repetitive movements, these changes did not rise to the next higher level of disability. A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted for limitation of motion of the arm unless the evidence shows: • Limited motion of the arm to 25 degrees from the side. 2. Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain). Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connection for cervical intervertebral disc syndrome (claimed as neck strain secondary to left shoulder) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May I 996 show no complaints of or diagnosis of cervical spine, neck condition. You were provided a VA compensation examination in November 2015. The examiner reviewed the claims file, including service treatment reports, private medical reports, the history and the evidence presented at the examination. The examiner opined the neck condition is less likely than not due to the service connected left shoulder strain. The examiner indicated the neck condition is more likely due to left cervical radiculopathy 3. Service connection for right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition). Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connection for right shoulder rotator cuff tear (claimed as right shoulder condition secondary to left shoulder strain) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May 1996 show no complaints of or diagnQsis of a right shoulder disability. You were provided a VA compensation examination in November 2015. The examiner reviewed the claims file, including service treatment reports, private medical reports, the history and the evidence presented at the examination. The examiner opined the right shoulder condition is less likely than not due to the service connected left shoulder strain. The examiner indicated the condition may be right shoulder weakness and pains may also be secondary to a cervical radiculopathy and/or an undiagnosed rotator cuff tendinopathy. 4. Service connection for lumbosacral strain (claimed as back condition). Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connection for lumbosacral strain (claimed as back condition secondary to left shoulder strain) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The evidence does not show that your condition resulted from, or was aggravated by, a service-connected disability. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. Your service treatment reports from November 1993 to May 1996 show no complaints of or diagnosis of a low back disability. You were provided VA compensation in November 2015. The examiner reviewed the claims file, the service treatment reports, the post service treatment reports, the history and the evidence from the VA examination. The examiner opined it is less likely than not the lumbar spine condition is secondary to left shoulder strain. As a result of the claimant's inability to lift heavy objects with either his left or right shoulder it would ·be highly unlikely for the claimant's unilateral or bilateral shoulder condition to cause a lumbar strain since the claimant is unable to lift heavy objects that would strain his lumbar spine. Also, since the claimant’s post-service Medical records have not established a baseline back condition because his post-service medical records have been silent for post-service back condition; there is no evidence of aggravation. 5. Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder. Service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder requires medical evidence diagnosing the condition in accordance with 38 CFR 4.125(a); a link, established by medical evidence, between current symptoms and an in-service stressor; and credible supporting evidence that the claimed in-service stressor occurred. A diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder must meet all diagnostic criteria as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The evidence does not show a confirmed diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder which would permit a finding of service connection. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. You submitted a lay statement to Support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent and sufficient in this case to establish a diagnosis of your condition or to show that a diagnosis had been made by a medical professional. You submitted a lay statement to support your claim. A credible lay statement may establish what was seen, heard, and directly experienced. The lay evidence was found not to be competent or credible evidence of the symptoms of your claimed condition. Although, some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by an accurate account of the medical history and/or it is the most detailed and reliable depiction of your medical condition. While some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by your relevant military And/or personal history. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. You submitted lay evidence that your claimed disability is 7 -=-r- of 10 Related to events or treatment in service. We have determined that the service treatment records and post service evidence contradict your statement(s) of a connection between your service and your claimed condition, and find the other evidence is more credible when considered in light of all the evidence. November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were.promoted. Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996. You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding you’re claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling. The time line indicates onset over one year after your release from active duty. Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004. InJanuary 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The correspondence frodocumenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed. Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015. The examiner indicated you do not have a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. The examiner did not diagnose posttraumatic stress disorder. 6. Service connection for anxiety disorder. Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connection for anxiety disorder is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no 3lr 8 of 10 Continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were promoted. Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996. You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding your claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling. Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004. In January 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The correspondence from documenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed. Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015. The examiner diagnosed major depressive disorder and other specified anxiety disorder. The examiner indicated it is at least as likely as not the stressor occurred. However the examiner indicated The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress. The examiner indicated it cannot be said with confidence that his depression or anxieties are solely attributed to the claimed in service event. Your depressive symptoms are reported to be related to significant negative views of self and guilt/shame over past alcohol abuse and its sequelae including domestic violence, Dills, impact on his military career, and current alienation from wife and child. 7. Service connection for bipolar disorder. Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. 9 of 10 Service connection for bipolar disorder is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. Although, some evidence supports your claim, we found other medical evidence more persuasive because it is supported by an accurate account of the medical history and/or it is the most detailed and reliable depiction of your medical condition. Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004. In January 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 8. Service connection for depression to include alcohol abuse. Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Service connection for depression, dysthmic disorder to include alcohol abuse is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service. 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. There was no continuity of symptoms from service to the present. The VA medical opinion found no link between your diagnosed medical condition and military service. November 1993 service entrance examination shows a history of substance abuse before service. Service records show you were recognized for outstanding performance in December 1994. In January 1995 you were promoted. Your enrollment in counseling is noted as command directed in August 1995. Discharge action was initiated in January 1996. March 1996 service separation examination shows no complaints of or diagnosis of the record from November 1993 to May 1996. You have provided statements in August 2014 and August 2015, regarding you’re claimed in­ service event. The time frame you identified is not consistent with the timing of the onset of the substance abuse counseling. Kaiser Permanente treatment reports show treatment for mental health symptoms beginning in 2004. InJanuary 2005 you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. JASON SIPES 552 35 1079 10 of 1O The correspondence fro, documenting his recollection of the history has been reviewed. Because we were able to identify a marker in your service treatment reports you were scheduled for a VA compensation examination which was conducted in July 2015. The examiner diagnosed major depressive disorder and other specified anxiety disorder. The examiner indicated it is at least as likely as not the" stressor occurred. However the examiner indicated The series of experiences you found to be distressing, you reported antagonistic harassment by superiors related to alcohol rehabilitation contributed to his distress. The examiner indicated it cannot be said with confidence that his depression or anxieties are solely attributed to the claimed inservice event. Your depressive symptoms are reported to be related to significant negative views of self and guilt/shame over past alcohol abuse and its sequelae including domestic violence, Dills, impact on his military career, and current alienation from wife and child. REFERENCES: Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Pensions, Bonuses and Veterans' Relief contains the regulations of the Department of Veterans Affairs which govern entitlement to all veteran benefits. For additional information regarding applicable laws and regulations, please consult your local library, or visit us at our web site, www.va.gov.
  12. I’m 40% service connected for chronic lumbosacral strain. I want to add a “Secondary” claim as I have extreme chronic pain on a daily basis that affects my life big time. My chronic lumbosacral strain CAUSED my chronic pain and I have a doctor that will write “Is due to” for my NEXUS letter. If I understand correctly, they will most likely put this under “9421 Somatic symptom disorder”. A few questions about this... 1. Is my thinking above correct? 2. If my Doctor, a certified MD, writes that I have chronic pain that is DUE TO my service connected chronic lumbosacral strain, is this good enough or should we expand on that and talk about all the ways the pain affects my life like sleep, social life, can't play with kids, etc? 3. Do they rate this under the “General Rating Formula For Mental Disorders” at the 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, 100 rates? Thanks so much!
  13. lumbosacral spine strain with mild thoracic scoliosis20%Service Connected^^^ My current diagnosis... this was proven with an x-ray. My pain scale is at a 7, I went to the Examination for an increase and she seen how much pain I was in and how bad my muscles were swollen on the one side and she called it a "Flare up" even though I have this pain constantly and consistently every day all day. I can't even bench press half my weight with out it pinching and hurting enough to make me about drop the weight. They denied my increase, what more can I do to receive proper diagnosis and care? The doctors seem to brush me off, I seen a chiro for approximately six months and I am unable to receive a MRI because I have an AICD implant. I don't even know where to begin to try and get this fixed. Any input is appreciated!
  14. Has any body ever got a bilateral factor for 10% tinnitus. I just got my hearing test done and I look on myhealth.va.gov and notice he add in the report that I had bilateral tinnitus from years of ringing in the ears. I been back from Afghanistan 4 years now and I was thinking the ringing was normal but an veteran friend of mine told me about it so now I could possible be rated at a minimal of 80%. I wish I knew about this 4 years ago. Any body got any ideas. So know my disabilities look like this current Total Combined Disability You have a 70% final degree of disability. This percentage determines the amount of benefit pay you will receive. Rated Disabilities Table of Rated Disabilities Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date mechanical low back pain (claimed as mechanical lower back pain) 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 pes planus, right foot 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 gastroesophageal reflux disease (claimed as esophageal reflux) 10% Service Connected 11/14/2011 deviated nasal septum (traumatic) (claimed as deviated nasal septum {acquired}) 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 anxiety disorder Not Otherwise Specified (sub-syndromal PTSD) (claimed as PTSD) 30% Service Connected 11/14/2011 obstructive sleep apnea (claimed as sleep apnea) 50% Service Connected 11/14/2011 pes planus, left foot 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 bronchitis Not Service Connected tonsillar hypertrophy (claimed as chronic tonsillitis) Service Connected 06/08/2015 And these are my pending Disabilities Pending Disabilities Table of Pending Disabilities Disability Submitted Type Actions Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 04/04/2016 SEC Ear Infection 04/04/2016 SEC Foot Condition Left 04/04/2016 NEW Migraine (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 04/04/2016 NEW Vitamin Deficiency 04/04/2016 NEW Allergies 04/04/2016 NEW Asthma 04/04/2016 NEW Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 04/04/2016 NEW Sacrilliac Injury Or Weekness 03/25/2016 SEC Lumbosacral Strain 03/25/2016 SEC Sarcoma 03/25/2016 SEC Sarcoma Soft-tissue 03/25/2016 SEC Sciatic Nerve Paralysis 03/25/2016 SEC Mechanical Low Back Pain (claimed As Mechanical Lower Back Pain) 03/25/2016 INC Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Deviated Nasal Septum (traumatic) (claimed As Deviated Nasal Septum {acquired}) 03/25/2016 INC Flatfoot Bilateral (acquired) 03/25/2016 SEC Pes Planus Left Foot 03/25/2016 INC Schizophrenia 03/25/2016 SEC Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (sub-syndromal Ptsd) (claimed As Ptsd) 03/25/2016 INC Flatfoot Bilateral (acquired) 03/25/2016 SEC Pes Planus Right Foot 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Esophageal Condition (stricture Spasm Deverticulum) 03/25/2016 SEC Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (claimed As Esophageal Reflux) 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Tonsillar Hypertrophy (claimed As Chronic Tonsillitis) 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Adjustment Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Major Depression (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Unspecified Depression Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Other Specified Somatic Symptoms (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Gulf War Veteran With Diagnosed Illness As Qualifying Chronic Disability (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Illness Anxiety Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Obsessive Complusive Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Anemia Primary 03/25/2016 NEW Somatoform Pain Disorder 03/23/2016 SEC Somatic Symptom Disorder 03/23/2016 SEC Sinusitis 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Headaches 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Headaches 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Tinnitus (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/23/2016 NEW Unemployability 03/23/2016 NEW
  15. Has any body ever got a bilateral factor for 10% tinnitus. I just got my hearing test done and I look on myhealth.va.gov and notice he add in the report that I had bilateral tinnitus from years of ringing in the ears. I been back from Afghanistan 4 years now and I was thinking the ringing was normal but an veteran friend of mine told me about it so now I could possible be rated at a minimal of 80%. I wish I knew about this 4 years ago. Any body got any ideas. So know my disabilities look like this current Total Combined Disability You have a 70% final degree of disability. This percentage determines the amount of benefit pay you will receive. Rated Disabilities Table of Rated Disabilities Disability Rating Decision Related To Effective Date mechanical low back pain (claimed as mechanical lower back pain) 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 pes planus, right foot 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 gastroesophageal reflux disease (claimed as esophageal reflux) 10% Service Connected 11/14/2011 deviated nasal septum (traumatic) (claimed as deviated nasal septum {acquired}) 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 anxiety disorder Not Otherwise Specified (sub-syndromal PTSD) (claimed as PTSD) 30% Service Connected 11/14/2011 obstructive sleep apnea (claimed as sleep apnea) 50% Service Connected 11/14/2011 pes planus, left foot 0% Service Connected 11/14/2011 bronchitis Not Service Connected tonsillar hypertrophy (claimed as chronic tonsillitis) Service Connected 06/08/2015 And these are my pending Disabilities Pending Disabilities Table of Pending Disabilities Disability Submitted Type Actions Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 04/04/2016 SEC Ear Infection 04/04/2016 SEC Foot Condition Left 04/04/2016 NEW Migraine (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 04/04/2016 NEW Vitamin Deficiency 04/04/2016 NEW Allergies 04/04/2016 NEW Asthma 04/04/2016 NEW Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 04/04/2016 NEW Sacrilliac Injury Or Weekness 03/25/2016 SEC Lumbosacral Strain 03/25/2016 SEC Sarcoma 03/25/2016 SEC Sarcoma Soft-tissue 03/25/2016 SEC Sciatic Nerve Paralysis 03/25/2016 SEC Mechanical Low Back Pain (claimed As Mechanical Lower Back Pain) 03/25/2016 INC Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Deviated Nasal Septum (traumatic) (claimed As Deviated Nasal Septum {acquired}) 03/25/2016 INC Flatfoot Bilateral (acquired) 03/25/2016 SEC Pes Planus Left Foot 03/25/2016 INC Schizophrenia 03/25/2016 SEC Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (sub-syndromal Ptsd) (claimed As Ptsd) 03/25/2016 INC Flatfoot Bilateral (acquired) 03/25/2016 SEC Pes Planus Right Foot 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Esophageal Condition (stricture Spasm Deverticulum) 03/25/2016 SEC Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (claimed As Esophageal Reflux) 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Laryngitis 03/25/2016 SEC Tonsillar Hypertrophy (claimed As Chronic Tonsillitis) 03/25/2016 INC Chronic Adjustment Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Major Depression (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Unspecified Depression Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Other Specified Somatic Symptoms (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Gulf War Veteran With Diagnosed Illness As Qualifying Chronic Disability (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Illness Anxiety Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Obsessive Complusive Disorder (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/25/2016 NEW Anemia Primary 03/25/2016 NEW Somatoform Pain Disorder 03/23/2016 SEC Somatic Symptom Disorder 03/23/2016 SEC Sinusitis 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Headaches 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Headaches 03/23/2016 SEC Insomnia 03/23/2016 SEC Tinnitus (related To: Ptsd - Combat) 03/23/2016 NEW Unemployability 03/23/2016 NEW
  16. Hello All, I apologize anything redundant, i see this topic is overrun with similar cases but none ive found like mine exactly and Im hoping someone can help or provide some direction. Ive researched endlessly for an answer to my question. Im a medically retired fmf corpsman. Upon retirement in 2010 i was initially rated 80% (84) and ha a claim for tdiu as well as other increases. In 2013 after a c&p for psych and back injuries, I was upped to the following: 70% mood disorder (up from 30) 50% sleep apnea (up from 30) 40% lumbar (up from 20) 20% sternal injury 20% pectoral shoulder tear 10% cervical strain total 100% (95) P&T Interestingly my ebenefits lists these all accurately but still shows the previous rating for mood disorder (then diagnosed as MDD for 30%. I dont know why it still shows. the back increase was alone as was the sleep apnea (previously 20% and 30% respectively). So why MDD is still showing leads me to believe its probably a typo. Moving on. I am schedular 100% p&t. but i believe, because of the following explanation under my additional benefits section I am a Bradley vs Peake candidate: "Entitled to special monthly compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1114, subsection (s) and 38 CFR 3.350(i) on account of mood disorder (previously rated as major depressive disorder with anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder (also claimed as involutional melancholia, severe insomnia due to pain, and adjustment disorder with anxious mood)) a single disability upon which a total individual unemployability rating is based and additional service-connected disabilities of lumbosacral strain claimed as lumbago pain and spasm , independently ratable at 60 percent or more from 09/09/2011. Rating Date : 11/20/2013" Now i dont understand bc my back injury is rated at 40% NOT 60% But im not complaining. My concern and desires are this; Im in Voc rehab now, and when i graduate will use my remaining 8 months of GI bill to pursue veterinary or physicians assistant school. So, Can I work freely due to being 100% schedular and P&T? In other words does that trump or in any way effect my SMC for TDIU B vs P? I do not fill out the 21-4140. The only feedback ive gotten anywhere is a moderator on YUKU who seems as educated in this as you are. His response was this: "your disabilities combine to 95%. So, in the eyes of the VA, you are schedular 100%. That's why you don't get the annual employment verification form. However, because you were (or could have been) IU based upon a single disability,you are eligible for SMC S (see “Bradley vs Peak” for reference. I know it's confusing.) I think of it as a loop hole that allows for an additional benefit that you would not qualify for otherwise. Maybe that will help.In any event, you are not IU. As long as your current ratings remain in force, you can work all you want without affecting your benefits for dependents - ChampVA and Chap 35." So needless to say im confused. The overall goal is to get back into a career and maintain my 100% Schedular P&T, as ive earned it. Now i know there is no crystal ball that can see if ill be called for a C&P in the future, but would going back to work prompt this? Should i request the smc removed as well as tdiu or ask for forgiveness in the future not permission? If this moderator, who is extremely resourceful from what ive seen, is correct the tdiu is secondary and ive earned the smc s according to guidelines, regardless of actual employment ability and my employment should not prompt an evaluation, particularly because I dont fill out a 21-4140. So if and when anyone has time id love your opinion on this, as I do WANT to work, but i want to play this game of chess with the VA very carefully. Im happy to give up smc, and tdiu, but not 100% schedular PT or the benefits educationally my wife gets. Please let me know your thoughts. Work is still a minimum of 14 months away. Thank you. V/R Zat954 HM3 retired
  17. Here is my latest comp exam for my back. At 80% with a contention for IU in this is a guarantee. Contentions: severe fatigue caused by "all the medication I am on" (Reopen), hallux valgus, unilateral bilateral foot condition (claimed as bunions) (Reopen), bilateral malunion of tarsal or metataral, foot condition (claimed as 2 heal fractures of the foot) (Increase), flatfoot, acquired (claimed as flat feet) (Increase), CUE peripheral neuropathy upper extremity secondary to cervical condition (New), CUE peripheral neuropathy lower extremity secondary to cervical condition (New), CUE cervical spine (Increase), Temp 100% (New), individual unemployability (New), Headaches (New), Bilateral tinnitus (Increase), Lumbosacral spine now claimed as back pain (Increase) 1. Diagnosis ------------ Does the Veteran now have or has he/she ever been diagnosed with a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition? [X] Yes [ ] No Thoracolumbar Common Diagnoses: [ ] Ankylosing spondylitis [X] Lumbosacral strain [ ] Degenerative arthritis of the spine [ ] Intervertebral disc syndrome [ ] Sacroiliac injury [ ] Sacroiliac weakness [ ] Segmental instability [ ] Spinal fusion [ ] Spinal stenosis [ ] Spondylolisthesis [ ] Vertebral dislocation [ ] Vertebral fracture [X] Other Diagnosis Diagnosis #1: DDD & DJD of the Thorocolumbosacral spine. This Page 7 of 359is a more accurate diagnosis and progression of LS spine, strain ICD code: 722.0 Date of diagnosis: 1990 2. Medical history ------------------ Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (brief summary): Had back condition during service for several years diagnosed as degenerative disc disease. Had helicopter crash 1990 and injured neck and back. HE fell off a ship as well that aggravated the back condition. Over time his upper and lower back pain has progressed to chronic daily pain. States he has chronic daily pain at the 8-9 pain level. Has been given cymbalta 60mg daily which doe not seem to help, has burning feet from DM neuropathy, radicular pain from his neck condition & pain meds side effects for the medication of drowsiness and fatigue of cymbalta Has modified his bathroom and other house areas to alleviate back strain and his cervical spine condition, s/p cervical fusion. Has modified his bathroom and other house areas to alleviate back strain and his cervical spine condition, s/p cervical fusion. 3. Flare-ups ------------ Does the Veteran report that flare-ups impact the function of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of the impact of flare-ups in his or her own words: prolonged sitting or standing over 30 min 4. Initial range of motion (ROM) measurement -------------------------------------------- a. Select where forward flexion ends (normal endpoint is 90): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 [ ] 35 [X] 40 [ ] 45 [ ] 50 [ ] 55 [ ] 60 [ ] 65 [ ] 70 [ ] 75 [ ] 80 [ ] 85 [ ] 90 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 [ ] 35 [ ] 40 [ ] 45 [ ] 50 [ ] 55 [ ] 60 [ ] 65 [ ] 70 [ ] 75 [ ] 80 [ ] 85 [ ] 90 or greater b. Select where extension ends (normal endpoint is 30): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater c. Select where right lateral flexion ends (normal endpoint is 30): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [X] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater d. Select where left lateral flexion ends (normal endpoint is 30): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [X] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater e. Select where right lateral rotation ends (normal endpoint is 30): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater f. Select where left lateral rotation ends (normal endpoint is 30): [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater g. If ROM for this Veteran does not conform to the normal range of motion identified above but is normal for this Veteran (for reasons other than a back condition, such as age, body habitus, neurologic disease), explain: No response provided. ROM measurement after repetitive use testing ----------------------------------------------- a. Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive-use testing with 3 repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Select where post-test forward flexion ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 [ ] 35 [X] 40 [ ] 45 [ ] 50 [ ] 55 [ ] 60 [ ] 65 [ ] 70 [ ] 75 [ ] 80 [ ] 85 [ ] 90 or greater c. Select where post-test extension ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater d. Select where post-test right lateral flexion ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [X] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater e. Select where post-test left lateral flexion ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [ ] 10 [ ] 15 [X] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater f. Select where post-test right lateral rotation ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater g. Select where post-test left lateral rotation ends: [ ] 0 [ ] 5 [X] 10 [ ] 15 [ ] 20 [ ] 25 [ ] 30 or greater 6. Functional loss and additional limitation in ROM --------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have additional limitation in ROM of the thoracolumbar spine (back) following repetitive-use testing? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any functional loss and/or functional impairment of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No c. If the Veteran has functional loss, functional impairment and/or additional limitation of ROM of the thoracolumbar spine (back) after repetitive use, indicate the contributing factors of disability below: [X] Less movement than normal [X] Excess fatigability [X] Pain on movement [X] Disturbance of locomotion [X] Interference with sitting, standing and/or weight-bearing [X] Lack of endurance 7. Pain and muscle spasm (pain on palpation, effect of muscle spasm on gait) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have localized tenderness or pain to palpation for joints and/or soft tissue of the thoracolumbar spine (back)? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe: pain over paravertebral muscles of thoracic and ls spine b. Does the Veteran have muscle spasm of the thoracolumbar spine resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal countour? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Does the Veteran have muscle spasms of the thoracolumbar spine not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal countour? [ ] Yes [X] No d. Does the Veteran have guarding of the thoracolumbar spine resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal countour? [ ] Yes [X] No e. Does the Veteran have guarding of the thoracolumbar spine not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal countour? [ ] Yes [X] No 8. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Normal strength Hip flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Knee extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle plantar flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle dorsiflexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Great toe extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? [ ] Yes [X] No 9. Reflex exam -------------- Rate deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) according to the following scale: 0 Absent 1+ Hypoactive 2+ Normal 3+ Hyperactive without clonus 4+ Hyperactive with clonus Knee: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Ankle: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ 10. Sensory exam ---------------- Provide results for sensation to light touch (dermatome) testing: Upper anterior thigh (L2): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Thigh/knee (L3/4): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Lower leg/ankle (L4/L5/S1): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Foot/toes (L5): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent 11. Straight leg raising test ----------------------------- Provide straight leg raising test results: Right: [ ] Negative [X] Positive [ ] Unable to perform Page 12 of 359 Left: [ ] Negative [X] Positive [ ] Unable to perform 12. Radiculopathy ----------------- Does the Veteran have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to radiculopathy? [ ] Yes [X] No a. Indicate symptoms' location and severity (check all that apply): No response provided. b. Does the Veteran have any other signs or symptoms of radiculopathy? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Indicate nerve roots involved: (check all that apply) No response provided. d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected: Right: [X] Not affected [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [X] Not affected [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe 13. Ankylosis ------------- Is there ankylosis of the spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 14. Other neurologic abnormalities ---------------------------------- Does the Veteran have any other neurologic abnormalities or findings related to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (such as bowel or bladder problems/pathologic reflexes)? [ ] Yes [X] No 15. Intervertebral disc syndrome (IVDS) and incapacitating episodes ------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have IVDS of the thoracolumbar spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 16. Assistive devices --------------------- a. Does the Veteran use any assistive device(s) as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible? [X] Yes [ ] No Identify assistive device(s) used: Assistive Device: Frequency of use: ----------------- ----------------- [X] Brace(s) [ ] Occasional [X] Regular [ ] Constant . Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- Due to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition, is there functional impairment of an extremity such that no effective function remains other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? (Functions of the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc.; functions of the lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.) [X] No 18. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs and/or symptoms ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms? [ ] Yes [X] No 19. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the thoracolumbar spine been performed and are Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, provide type of test or procedure, date and results (brief summary): 2/14 Thoracic spine MRI: 1. Mild-to-moderate multi-level degenerative disc changes most pronounced at T7-T8, without significant spinal canal or neural foraminal stenosis. 2. Incidental nodular T2 hyperintense in the region of the right upper quadrant. Precise localization is difficult due to respiratory motion artifact, Ultrasonography of the is suggested for further characterization. 2/14 LS Spine MRI Findings: There is preservation of vertebral body heights and alignment. The normal lordotic curvature of the lumbar spine is relatively maintained. Bone marrow signal is slightly heterogeneous without suspicious focal osseous lesions. Above L4-L5, degenerative findings are relatively minor without significant spinal canal compromise or neural foraminal narrowing. At the L4-L5 level, there is diffuse bulging of the intervertebral disc with superimposition of a right foraminal disc protrusion. There is resultant mild to moderate right neural foraminal narrowing. The left neural foramen is mildly compromised. A moderate degree of spinal canal narrowing is evident. At L5-S1, diffuse intervertebral disc bulge is present without significant focal posterior disc contour abnormality. No significant spinal canal narrowing is appreciated. There is adequate neural foraminal patency bilaterally. Mild degenerative facet arthropathy is noted bilaterally. 20. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition impact on his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes describe the impact of each of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) conditions providing one or more examples: Individual unemployability. DDD & DJD of the thorocolumbosacral spine. This condition prevents him from laborious type work, lifting over 5 lbs,prolonged sitting or standing w/o breaks to sit or stand every ten minutes. He should not climb as is a fall risk with his severely limited ROM & amp; decreased mobility w/chronic pain. He should not operate machinery due to sedation of pain medications. With the above limitations, he is more likely than not unemployable & would be considered a occupational health risk to employers. 21. REMARKS ----------- a. Remarks, if any: VBMS & CPRS reviewed document DDD thoracic and ls spin : emultilevel, chronic pain neck and back b. Mitchell criteria: MITCHELL FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT FOR BACK. Can pain, weakness, fatigability, or incoordination significantly limit functional ability either during flare-ups or when the joint is used repeatedly over a period of time? [ x ] Yes [ ] No [ ] It is not possible to determine without resorting to mere speculation, because there is no conceptual or empirical basis for making such a determination without directly observing function under these conditions. If Yes: [ ] Estimated loss of ROM due to pain and/or functional loss during flare-ups or when the joint is used repeatedly over a period of time, describing only the affected elements of ROM: [ x] Any limitation of ROM cannot be estimated, but loss of function during flare-ups or when the joint is used repeatedly over a period of time is described as follows: increased back pain and decrease ROM w/prlonged sitting or standing over ten minutes, lifting over 5 lbs or operating machinery on pain meds. I believe I need to see a back doctor ASAP as my back is getting worse, the VA never notified me of these results!
  18. Hi, I’ve been recently separated as a USAF Captain from active duty due to reduction in force, and I am new to this realm. (I was not medically separated.) I’d sure appreciate some advice. Background While on active duty, I suffered a bulging disc and had a lot of left hip discomfort after some long runs at the unit’s physical training sessions. They called it piriformis syndrome and gave me physical therapy sessions at the base clinic, muscle relaxers, & some pain killers. I’ve long had an issue with my low back which have been well documented throughout my career, and have paid for a chiropractic care out of my own pocket (Tricare does not cover chiropractor) for 10 years to keep my back in decent shape. I was identified as having a mild curve (scoliosis) before joining the service in fact. I suspected something more was wrong since I felt more discomfort in the back (in addition to the left hip), and so I asked for an MRI of my back. That is when they found a 5mm disc bulge at L4-L5, pushing into the nerve root there. The base physical therapy sessions (and some off base message work) did help my left hip muscles loosen, but I was still having left hip pain and back pain. So I did just go through round two of physical therapy off base (about 14 PT sessions). I couldn’t straighten either leg during their straight leg exam. I’m slightly better afterwards but still having about the same issue with what I believe is a bulging disc that is the main culprit for the pain in the hip. I’ve never had any shooting pain down the leg thank goodness. But recently I’ve also had some feeling of pin pricks sticking me in the toes of my left foot while driving, which I think is a bit of sciatica. I’ve also recently had mild twitching episodes/muscle spams, which happen intermittently on my left side. Since I limp and favor my right side, it has been taking all my weight. Recently, I have noticed my right knee has been hurting, and my right ankle too, with my right ankle hurting to lift up too far (angling the right ankle up to the right to far results in an interesting pop sound, which hurts). My 6 months of Tricare benefits post-separation are over, and I’m meeting with the VA doctor for an initial exam in early December. I am wondering how this will unfold. Here are a few of my questions: While standing I have very limited ability to step forward with my left foot (if keeping my left leg straight). I also cannot quite lift my right leg up fully (if keeping the right leg fully straight). I believe this is because of the bulging disc, and sciatic pain that results (felt in the left hip which prevents me from stepping forward very much without going into pain). If I have this issue with BOTH left and right legs, would bilateral factor come into play, or are they likely to say that is all because of the bulging disc (which is what I really think)? I researched and found that limited motion of the hip seems like the most applicable rating along with some radiculopathy (sciatica). Is that the most applicable for rating purposes? They had done an MRI of my left hip, and the MRI came back normal. But I think something may be going on with the hip such as trochanteric bursitis (though I’m no Doctor), since the remaining pain is along the outside of the left hip, and not just the buttock. There is also constant ache deep in the left hip, Should I ask the VA Doctor for examination of the left hip in particular? I assume they will give me a cane to help take the pressure off my right side. I have full range of motion of the right knee, but it has a wired feeling (as though it has been twisted), and it hurts to flex while bearing weight, and it hurts with certain motions. Would this be ratable as secondary to (caused by) the back issue which has forced me to put all this extra weight on the right knee over 8 months? Since I still have full range of motion, is the pain with motion all that must be evident for the knee to be rated more than 0%? Or is pain AND limited motion required for the knee to be rated above 0%? As to the right ankle, I cannot lift my toes up much (dorsiflexion). I think this falls under code 5271: If the ankle is not frozen, but limited in motion. If I lift the ankle up too much it pops, and that hurts. It aches in general. Apparently, the ankle is considered a major joint. If it only has pain and nothing else in this major joint, would that result in a rating higher than 0%? Or is BOTH pain and limited motion required for the ankle to be rated above 0%? I cannot bend down to touch my toes. In fact I cannot bend over much at all without feeling pain in the left hip. I think that will fall under 5237: Lumbosacral or cervical strain. (I certainly cannot bend over more than 30 degrees, which is certainly ratable.) Is 5237 the most applicable for rating purposes? For any of the tests the VA will ask me to do, must I go into pain to ascertain the maximum range that I can flex to? I intend to stop flexing before pain and let the VA examiner know of the pain. With these various issues, should I consult an attorney up front? Are there good attorneys or really, really knowledgeable people about this unfolding process to really get good advice? Who would you recommend? I appreciate any advice and thoughts for pointing me in the right direction for the best help.
  19. Background; This claim goes back 47 years. My induction in to the army took place in 1964 MOS infantryman. In basic training I was injured in a hand to hand combat training demonstration. The next day reported for sick call. A radiographic examination was made I was returned to duty by the examining doctor. My 1966 exit examination I complained of chronic pain in the lower back w/ lost of strength in both arms and hands w/lost of the ability to grip in both hands. In 1966 I was transferred to the army active reserve under honorable conditions. On returning to my previous work I found that my work performance was declining due to the pain in my back. The more I worked The more I destroyed my spine until; unable to work I became indigent. in 1968 I applied to the VA for medical benefits. Although at the time I did not know that I was not eligible because I was not a veteran in 1968 I was a member of an active reserve unit. The VA processed my claim just like was a Veteran. In 1968 the claim was denied. It was at this time that I became aware of the fracture to my spin in basic training. The 1964 x-ray became the sol source of evidence for the decision. This is the first time that I had become knowledgeable of the x-ray report. "Evidence of Record", Lumbosacral spine x-ray reviled irregularity on the anterior portion of the first lumbar vertebrae which could possible represent an old or acute fracture in this area. The reason given for the denial "occurred prior to service". Shortly after the decision I became homeless. In 1999 after many attempts to reopen the claim, I applied for a pension. With a IME dx, and the work of a great social worker I was granted a pension for, P&T disability for L1 radiculopathy and degenerative disk disease non service connected. 2003 reopened claim for service connected disability. Claim denied. 2005 C&P examination. Report reviled collusion between the VA ant the Military in determining service connection in the 1968 denial. Statement from the doctors C&P report states "Previous service connection for L1 compression fracture was denied by the military in07/23/68 saying that they (the military) could not conclusively say that this was service related or existed prior to service. The report continues 'we tried to reopen his claim again about the compression fracture, only earlier report from the social security administration in early 1968 to 1991 was not successfully reopened in 2001." 2005 DRO review. Decision resulted in service connected. P&T TDUI no future examination scheduled. The evidence of record for denial never existed. When the DRO asked of the adjudicator to produce a report based on medical evidence of record they could not. DRO's note "The examiner's report should include a complete rational for all conclusions. If the examiner cannot render a medical opinion without resort to conjecture, pure speculation, or remote possibility, then this should be specifically stated." In the decision of 1968 it seems that the VA reached a decision together with the "military" or maybe the "military" made the call and the VA went with it. What's you call?
  20. Update 5/11!!! My current FDC that was filed Nov 2014 has just completed!!! Below is what has been granted Migraines were Reviewed and Increased from 30% to 50% Below is New Conditions granted SC hemorrhoids 0% left knee strain with osteoarthritis 10% lumbosacral strain 20% radiculopathy, right lower extremity 10% asthma 10% Denied Rectal Bleeding and Dizziness, which is crazy considering I have Crohn's Disease and take a lot of meds, no Big deal though I want to thank all of you good folks on here as usual. Especially NavyWife, Berta, Carlie, Oiler and everyone that I did not mention. God Bless and you guys give me the strength to make it thru this crazy process. Over the last 2 years I have had 4 claims and over 30 C&Ps, and it has not gotten any easier. Thankfully I have learned so much from you guys!!!
  21. Hello everyone, This is a bit lengthy, but if you guys can help provide advice on some or all of the questions I have, I would really appreciate it. I have never applied for a clothing allowance (CA), but am asking for advice as to whether I should even try filing for it. I did some reading about the clothing allowance changes and some of it seems to be confusing and possibly misleading. I'm 100% P&T effective 2008 and here are the related details: - 30% cervical rating + 20% bilateral upper extremity radiculopathy, both effective 2008 (assume my condition is considered static) - 40% lumbar rating + 10% bilateral lower extremity radiculopathy, both effective 2008 (assume my condition is considered static) - Multiple nerve surgeries on both legs/feet and one arm/hand (dominant) during 2012 and 2013 - VAMC issued one lumbosacral back brace and two wrist braces in 2013 My 2013 brace no longer closed properly and fabric holding one of the metal stays wore out, exposing it and poking holes in clothing. I went to the VAMC and was fitted for a new lumbosacral brace after waiting forever for my primary care doc to write the referral. The new one has plastic buckles/loops instead of metal ones. Here is a link to the new brace. It states "four removable pre-contoured rigid posterior stays". The dude at the VAMC prosthetics desk said that none of the over the counter braces qualify for clothing allowance and then rambled on about how veterans try to file CA requests for irrelevant things like braces damaging bed sheets, other things, and how it ties up the system, but he still gave me the CA form. I found a topic here on Hadit where elcamino_77us posted a PDF VA letter stating off the shelf braces no longer qualify for CA because the manufacturers stated "they do not damage clothing". Others on that topic stated they had to bring in damaged clothing to prove it to the VA. I also found the VA Handbook 1173.15 regarding Clothing Allowance as of May 14, 2015, which raises some questions. Question 1 8a and 8b seem contradictory. 8a states "rigid braces" qualify. 8b states "elastic/flexible braces" and "hinged braces covered in fabric (metal stays covered)" do not qualify. My brace is a bit of both. It contains four "rigid metal stays" that are covered in fabric, so I guess it is a "rigid brace". It is not a "hinged brace covered in fabric (metal stays covered)" because it does not have hinges. It is partially "elastic/flexible", but not like a flimsy slip-on ace bandage. Based on the definitions in the policy alone, would the lumbosacral brace qualify? Question 2 Despite being covered with fabric, friction by the "rigid metal stays" wore holes in my shirts and frayed the top of my pants. 6b is regarding denials of evaluations and states pictures can be used to show damaged clothing. I found it interesting that others here mentioned being forced to bring in damaged clothing, even though the policy says not to do that. Unfortunately, when clothing got wore out I donated most of it to the nearby Goodwill box, but still have a few left. If I get denied, would bringing in photos of damaged clothing be helpful? Question 3 My non-VA Chiropractor said I should always wear the lumbosacral brace when sitting/working at the computer. Would it be beneficial to get a letter from my Chiropractor opining that the brace is required when sitting and friction from the "rigid metal stays" would cause eventual wear on my shirts and pants? Question 4 I am SC for radiculopathy in both arms and wear wrist braces while sleeping. My former VA primary care doctor said they could help relieve some cervical radiculopathy by keeping the wrist in a neutral position, alleviating related carpal tunnel problems. I didn't believe it at first, but he was actually right. Would it even be worth it to apply for these wrist braces? Question 5 If I file for CA, will I have to come in for a C&P exam? Or only if I am denied? Question 6 I won 100% P&T and the above listed spine/radiculopathy ratings in 2013 which were backdated to 2008. I did not know the specifics of what entails a CA until recently. I read that you have to apply by August and will be paid later. Is it possible to request retro CA back to 2013 when the braces were issued or is it go-forward only? Is it worth it for me to apply for CA? Thanks
  22. I've only just started the VA Claim in the past few weeks. I've learned a lot so far. But the more your read/learn the more questions you have. So I'm reaching out to try and understand the following. I've had multiple injuries to my knee while on active duty and in my SMR/STR which I have my 3 paper copies, 1 in firesafe and, 3 digital storage locations and a USB stick I carry with me. I have done absolutely NO damage to my knee since I left the service. I drive a mouse for a living and a liberal work environment where we can get walk around etc so no sedentary work and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that once I left the service voluntarily and honorably. Gulf War Vet. I would not have been able to do physical manual labor or standing anything for long periods of time if I had too. If one looked at my records while in service they would ask "where are your other records" because it's almost 70% knee issues. My knee story in a nut shell: injury/injury/ACL tear/surgery/injury back to the grind of full time active duy while nursing a messed up knee pain/swelling/lockups continued up until the day I ETSed. I hobbled around the last few years to sick call/ortho/profiles for running my last few years. My impression was they were never ever never going to send me to a MRB or whatever it's called. So I had two choice stay or leave and I didn't want to but I did. So I submitted for left knee pain and back pain among other issues with VSO Rep. I had an ortho DR visit and X-ray done for my knee this week and now MRI getting setup(I had an MRI right before I got out says Mild PF arthritis, loose body laterally Possible PFDS?). I haven't even started neck/shoulder issues but listed them also when starting claim with VSO rep. I have searched these individually and sort of understand them isolated but what is it altogether? Knee *Derangement of posterior horn of medial meniscus *Chondromalacia of patella *Localized, primary osteoarthritis *Localized, primary osteoarthritis of the pelvic region and thigh Back *Displacement of Lumbar Intervertebral Disc without Myelopathy *Degeneration of Lumbosacral Intervertebral Disc *Compression Deformities *Low Back Pain *Pain in Limb I'm trying to wrap my head around all this. And suffering through PAD both legs and had surgery on one already. I feel like I'm truly falling apart. I only be 49 in two months.
  23. Guys, I have a question about a potential CUE. I will do my very best to explain my case, but I will also try to keep is as short as possible and I would like any and all input I can get. Basically I do not want to waste a bunch of time if I don't have any real arguement. My Story- I served in the USAF from 1984 through 1988. During the time I was active duty I hurt my back, my hip, and my left knee. I was seen in the ER at homestead Airforce base on two seperate occasions, in 1985 and again in 1987 I was given time off, prescribed Physical therapy ect. But my pain would never go away. At times it would become less severe, so that I could work but the pain was always there at tims so severe that I could not get up off my bedroom floor. They had me under go GU exams because they thought I was having intestine issues. The specialist who examined me determined that my pain was not GU related and wrote as much that it was clearly muscle skeletal. I saw a specialist for my back and he wrote that my pain was no longer acute but chronic. Fast forward to 1988, I left the service and returned home to Toledo Ohio. At the urging of my wife I went to Brecksville for a Comp and Pen. I was denied when I was there. The examiner made a number of errors or at least errors to me and this is kind of where my saga with the VA begins. On the denial letter that I received ( I never got the rating decision packet until years later) the letter said "The evidence does not establish service connection for the following..." And went on to list the things I was there for, Low Back and Hip Pain, and Right Knee pain. Firstly I was there for my left knee, and they exaimined my left knee. But wrote about my right knee. Secondly I felt that I surely had a "service connection" for my injuries as I had a huge medical file to show for said injuries. I was so disheartened with the letter that I never went back because I felt that if they didn't care enough to read my medical files or to write about the proper knee that I didn't trust that they could medically be competent to treat me. I pursued treatments in the civillian sector and ended up having 3 major back surgeries as well as having my knee scoped. It is the medical opinions of the Civillian Doctors that I have seen that my current condition can be directly attributed to a progression of the injuries I sustained in the Military. I went back to the VA in 2009 at the urging of my kids and re-opened my case. At this time I was shown the "Rating Decision Packet" that the exaiminer used in 1988 to evaluate me. I found that the specalist that I saw while at the VA in 1988 wrote that he had done an "Impression" which showed a Lumbosacral stain and left trochantar bursitis. I work in the medical field and according to the professionals I know this would constitute a diagnosis. There however was no "Rating" applied to these as the VA's stance was my "injuries were not service connected" and that my pain was “acute and transitory, or not chronic”even though my service medical records indicate otherwise and specifically said so. However, in 2010 they awarded me a total of 30% for my injuries. Even though years earlier they had said my injuries were not service connected. I have been in the VA system since 2010 and I am now at a overal Rating of 70% for my injuries. There are alot of other "errors" with my case but basically I am trying to figure out if based on the overal rough outline of what I have laid out here if I have a true basis for a CUE, or what if there is anything I can do to get retroactive pay. I was out of the Airforce for over 20 years and than they decide when I re-opened my case that my injuries were serviced connected. Therefore (and I know in the VA world this probably doesn't matter) but morally and ethically I feel they owe me 20 + years of retroactive pay. Additionally if there isn't anything I can really do I don't want to waste my time or my families time. Also- I did have a representative from the DAV who felt that my issue was worthy of a CUE so he filed one and I am in the process of fighting the denial. I don't believe my DAV rep did the paper work correctly. So I did right a letter to my Representative Bob Latta as well as take all of my Military Medical Records and VA records to his office and outline all of the mistakes. His office told me to appeal the denial of my CUE but the more I read about my CUE the more I think the DAV rep didn't really do it right, and I feel that the VA has it structured in such a way that its almost impossible to successfully have them agree to the errors. If it helps anyone in answering my question I have the letter I submitted to Bob Latta's office, where I outlined the more than 20 mistakes with the Original comp I just don't know that any of the errors is truly a CUE.
  24. I am currently rated 10% for a lumbosacral strain in 2004. I am also rated for my Left knee and hip. I am currently in appeal status for secondary claims of my right hip and knee from my lower back. I was diagnosed with low back strain while on active duty so i understand that. I had an MRI that was used in the rating. It showed at the time L5-S1 disc herniation. Since that time, i have had 2 MRIs, with the latest showing a herniation of L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 with herniation contacting the nerve roots. I have started injections into my back and it has become rather difficult to deal with the pain and numbness that are going on right now down both legs and in my back. I am planning on requesting an increase for the low back strain in the near future. After reading in here about the change to the rating for IVSD, is this something that i could claim as a separate claim to the Lumbar strain? Or is this something that would all fall under the same category? I wasn't sure if i could have 2 separate claims that would be VA rated or if they would either convert the strain to the IVSD. Any help on this would be really appreciated.I am planning on meeting with the VSO in the coming month or so to see what the options are on this but just wanted another opinion. Thanks yo much!!
  25. I checked my mail today, and low and behold THE BOARD OF VETERAN APPEALS has come through for me!!!! I am currently service connected for lumbosacral disability, but was trying to get service connection for upper back and neck (cervical spine). It says ORDERS: Service connection for cervical spine disability is granted, subject to the laws and regulations governing the payment of monetary benefits. My question is this, this claim goes back to 2008, just the other day I was granted 20 percent for bilateral chronic ankle sprain, which increased my rating from 70% to 80%. If my new percentage for "cervical spine disability" doesn't increase my rating to 90%-100%, am I still qualified for retro pay? It says my file was forwarded back to the VA office having jurisdiction over this matter., I'm assuming this is where i'll get the rating, am i correct? THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME!!!
×

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines