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  1. Just for your info I was very recently awarded GERD @60% and Tinnitus at 10% by VARO on initial claim. The decisions were only based upon a review of my long term VA medical records to include copies of prescriptions since 1985 and 2000 and also Army medical records in Nam and Japan in 1970 (for Tinnitus). I again supplied my own duplicate copies of all records and prescriptions just to be sure and save time and no excuses from VARO that there were no records or evidence. Favorable decisions on both were fast within 20 days from filing. VARO agreed with my own claim request statement that GERD is secondary to long term VA VN PTSD and PTSD medications and that my Tinnitus was direct service connected to my repeated combat incidents in Nam in 70 as Army medevac pilot and receiving the PH and CMB. The nice ladies Nurse Practitioners (not doctors) at QTC exam immediately agreed with my records as a mere formality. In 2000 the VA Austin, TX outpatient clinic made a simple one sentence note I had GERD among other medical issues and issued me a prescription for Ranitidine that I have taken over 20 years to present day. Medication was changed to Omeprazole few years ago. Over the many years other VA doctor and nurses entered GERD in my notes. I made always copies of my prescriptions for VA claims. Works well for me. Never did I receive any doctor's actual diagnosis or nexus statement from anyone that my PTSD caused GERD only my own statement in the GERD claim. If you have strong medical records evidence as me then you have a good chance to win your claim if you cannot find a VA or private doctor to give you a nexus opinion statement. I would have won my claim on appeal to BVA if it was necessary to do so. My very friendly VA primary care doctor is very lazy and speaks very poor English but is helpful with labs and meds and referrals only and will not give out nexus opinions or letters for anything at all. Also this note from Nurse Judy Rose at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Austin in 2000 about my GERD acid reflux. Problem: OTH SP DISORD/ESOPHAGUS Date/Time Entered: 17 Feb 2000 @ 1200 Location: CENTRAL TEXAS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM - TEMPLE DIVISION Status: ACTIVE Provider: ROSE,JUDY In 2017 VA Sleep Clinic nurse in Nevada stated I had acid reflux on Axis III My comment is not legal advice as I am no lawyer, paralegal or VSO.
  2. I am needing to find a Dr to give me a nexus letter. I live in Troy, Mo. I got out of the service in 1988 and am sc for my knee. This injury happened when I fell out of a helicopter and twisted my knee. I blacked out when I hit the flight line and when I regained consciousness I was in extreme pain in my knee. It was doubled up under me. At this time nothing else hurt and over the years I have suffered from back pain. I have since found out I have disc compress and arthritis in my spine in multiple places. I have had to have two nerve blocks due to the arthritis in my spine pushing on my spinal cord. I am needing to find a Dr to give me a nexus letter for this. Does anyone know of a Dr in the St. Louis area? Thank you for your help.
  3. There is a misconception put forth on some veterans benefits forums that a MD doctor's formal nexus opinion is almost always needed for a vet to be granted disability benefit claims from the VARO and BVA. This is not correct and misleading to the vet in an important way. I have since 1985, 1998 to present days successfully won almost a dozen claims and BVA, CAVC court appeals without the benefit of a formal doctors nexus statement and representing myself with only one recent exception. In all these claims and appeals I have used my extensive file copies of active Army, VA, VAHC, and private medical treatment records, hospital discharge summaries, test and lab results, doctors and nurses notes, medical prescriptions, along with other non medical evidence to win these claims and appeals. This evidence has served as the required nexus connection always. Out of many dozens of VA C&P Exams over many many years did I receive one exam that gave a favorable opinion to my claim. Here are just a few of many examples where I did not need a nexus statement from an MD or anyone else to win my claim. 1. PTSD and PTSD increases that were based solely on my Army Vietnam and Japan and VA medical treatment records. 2. TDIU based upon only my VA and VA medical treatment records and my submitted statements and forms 3. P&T TDIU rating since 1998 based mostly on my own submitted evidence, forms and one VA C&P favorable exam 4. VN Agent Orange IHD Ischemic Heart Disease claim based only upon my DD214, DD215 and other evidence of VN service and private treatment records, test results. 5. VA VOCAB Training for both Accounting Degree and additional civilian helicopter pilot license 6. U.S. CAVC Court CUE appeal I won thru a court remand and based upon many years of VA medical and non medical evidence. 7. Loss of Use Disability Claim based upon medical and non medical records only with no doctor's nexus opinion. This comment is not legal advice as I am not a lawyer, paralegal or VSO. https://www.facebook.com/Vietnam-Dustoff-Medevac-112614780575067/?ref=pages_you_manage BA Degree Finance & Tax Accounting, Former SEC CFP, Former Army Guard and Civilian helicopter pilot to Two Texas Governors, Advanced FAA and British CAA/Singapore Helicopter Airline Transport Pilot IFR License, FAA and CAA Helicopter Instrument Instructor Pilot License for all Weather Flight, etc. etc. Former volunteer Army medevac Pilot Vietnam with Purple Heart, CMB, DFC medal, AMs 1970, Former volunteer UN civilian solo helicopter rescue pilot 1980 south China Sea (Saved over 1000 VN boat people)
  4. Vets often ask, "Where can I get an IMO to get a nexus?" Recall that a Nexus is a key element in the Required Caluza elements of current diagnosis, in service event, and nexus. While I have not personally used Dr. Ellis, at least one Veteran has. However, $500 for an IMO is great. But, an IME (Independent Medical Exam) would be even better. I have heard of at least one doctor who charges up to $10,000 for an IMO. I think Dr. Bash quoted me $5000. At that time, Dr. Bash would do the exam without cash up front, then you paid him out of retro. Im not sure he does that any more. Dr. Ellis apparently requires payment up front, but at least its not $5000 up front! If I had need of a nexus, I would likely hire Dr. Ellis. I listened to his video and IM convinced he is for the Veteran and knows what he is doing. According to his website, you can use Mastercard/Visa/American Express. For me, being able to put it on a credit card was a great idea. Why? Well I was certain an IMO would get me many times that back in retro. I actually did the same thing..put my IMO on a credit card, then paid it back when I got the retro. My IMO was for a voc rehab specialist, and I also paid 500, and it was well worth it. If you do not have a nexus, you need an IMO or IME, like Dr. Ellis to win it. Source: Etrain's post on hadit. Thanks, Etrain. NOTE: Hiring Dr. Ellis would mean you would need to travel to Oklahoma City, as its an Independent EXAM, as opposed to an Independent OPINION. My opinion is that an EXAM is better. An IMO is only as good as the current medical records, but an EXAM, the doc can also add his opinions based on him personally examining you. Example: You applied for benefits, but were denied, and you figured out you dont have a nexus. Well, you didnt get treated for your arthritis, until 2021, but you have been suffering from it, since 2007. You can Tell Dr. Ellis your symptoms and how it affects your work, since 2007. Dr. Ellis "could" indicate, in his opinion, your symptoms began in 2007, for example, if he looked at an xray or other medical tests which showed degenerative arthritis. This could result in retro. back to 2007. If you got an IMO, from a doc who has never examined you, then that may not work as well.
  5. Good morning everyone, Got a veteran who is not SC, and was just denied SC for arthritis. Q. Considering arthritis is a presumptive condition, is the veteran required to show a Nexus to active duty? Veteran served from 1960-1963 if it matters, did not serve IN Vietnam or any war zone. Even though his denial letter addresses arthritis being presumptive, it's vague about the requirement to show a connection. Veteran's active-duty medical records show NO indication of arthritis. Q2. Send it in for Higher Level Review? Thanks, Allan 2-2-0 HOOAH!
  6. Looking to connect an arthritic left hip as a secondary to a service connected rt knee. The left leg has been my power leg for 20 years, so it has extra wear and tear. PCP PA-3 states in evidentiary notes "certainly reasonable to assume hip is caused by knee". The issue is that the VA cases I've looked at all say there is no literature that supports bilateral joints - only adjacent joints. Questions: 1) has anyone won such a case with a bilateral lower extremely? 2) does anyone know of any lit that connects opposite leg secondaries? Thanks
  7. Does anyone know if bruxism or TMJ can be SC secondary to sleep apnea? If so, how do I do that? Would a sleep doctor or dentist need to write a letter?
  8. Hello all, I'm hoping to get some advice from members in this forum that may have been in my shoes, or knows someone who has been. I have been retired 22 years now after 20 years of service. I currently have a VA rating of 70% for back issues and headaches. The 70% rating breaks down to 40% for lower back, 20% for upper, and 10% for headaches. It's been nearly 20 years since I've been back to the VA for a rating increase. My lower back is worse now, and about 6 years ago I ruptured a disk. I also lost my job this past October because my back issues limit my mobility so much. I plan on going back to the VA around October of this year to try for an increase. I'm waiting until October because that will be the 20 year mark of my VA rating. I have definite trust issues and I don't trust the VA, which is why I've waited so long. I wanted to make sure they couldn't take the rating I have away. I've had ongoing mental issues for quite a while now. Upon doing some research, it seems I have many symptoms of PTSD. My wife and daughter are encouraging me to start seeing a psychologist. I have no problem with that, but one of my questions is: would be a good idea to ask the psychologists office upfront if they would provide a NEXUS letter if they feel I do have PTSD related to my military service? My daughter advises me not to do that and to take the chance that they will supply one. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel it's better to see a psychologist that I know will supply a letter. I feel a NEXUS letter carries a lot of weight, and it's frustrating when specialists tell you that your condition is likely caused by your military service, but they won't supply a letter to back it up. Another question concerns TDIU. I've been working in the maintenance field my entire life. As stated earlier, I was let go from my job because I could no longer effectively perform the duties due to my very limited mobility. Of course my employer gave me a letter that I was let go because they were "cutting back." I know they were protecting themselves because I was one of the more senior and experienced techs there. In any case, my second question is: should I file for TDIU as well as PTSD at the same time, as well as any secondary issues that I feel may be related? Or should I just file for one or the other? All replies and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks to all who took the time to read this.
  9. Hey all, Currently awaiting BVA hearing next month and was quite surprised to see this in VA Notes from my psychiatrist a few days ago: ”Veteran has PTSD and depression due to his military service as a corpsman.” She then goes on to write about my PTSD stressors and how PTSD and depression has impacted my life. Now, my initial claim of PTSD was denied because of an unfavorable C&P exam. Can I submit the above evidence to the BVA by waiving RO consideration? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Recently diagnosed by VA Psychologist with Major Depressive Episode with service connection to Tennitus. Eval by private Psychologist wrote nexus confirming diagnosis and service connection. What else if anything do I need to proceed with secondary claim and receive approval?
  11. Good day to all. A little background before I get to my questions... I am a 70% disabled veteran and was recently let go from my job as a service technician. Admittedly, the job was hard on me because of my main disability (back condition). The owner of the company gave me a letter that stated I was "laid off" on a permanent basis. Essentially, I was fired. I was "laid off" the day after I came back from a week off for recuperating after aggravating my back condition on the job. I did have a doctor's note and the owner was already aware that I was a disabled vet. During my meeting with the owner I told him that I knew he was letting me go because of my disability issues. He said nothing. I have a good rapport with the office manager. She said she would add something to my "layoff" letter or possibly write a letter for me that I can have for VA purposes. Now, on to my questions: I'm unsure as to how I should phrase the letter. Should I just have the office manager put a sentence in my original layoff letter that states "Unfortunately, due to the nature of this position, no reasonable accommodations can be made" or "Unfortunately, due to the nature of this position and your physical limitations, no reasonable accommodations can be made?" Or should I ask if she would type an entirely new letter for me? If so, what should I have her write? Would this letter hold any weight on my behalf when I go for a re-eval? This leads up to my second question. The 20-year anniversary is coming up on my rating. Which means, if I'm not mistaken, that the VA cannot decrease my rating unless they can prove fraud. Is that correct? I'm waiting for that anniversary because frankly, I do not trust the VA. If I go before that time there's always that small chance that they could find a way to decrease my rating. And I just cannot risk that. If my rating falls below 50% not only would I lose 20% of my VA income, but also my retirement concurrent receipt. That would be a devastating blow, and that's the main reason I'm waiting for the 20-year mark. Should I have an organization like the American Legion or DAV work on my behalf? Or should I look at getting a disability attorney? Not sure which is better. I do know that a caring and knowledgeable representative is hard to find. I do see VA disability attorneys often on YouTube but I'm not sure which one to go with. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. All replies are very much appreciated!
  12. I received a VA rating early last year for tinnitus and hearing loss. I recently started another claim for back pain, PES Planus(flat feet) and a ankle injury. I have proof in my service medical chart of a back injury on 2 occasion. Plus during the second visit it's document that my pain was continuous for the previous 6 months. The arch of my feet were recorded as normal during my first enlistment. When I reenlisted in the Army after being out of USMC for 4 months i recieced a entrance medical exam. In that entrance medical exam it's documented that i have flat feet. Lastly my ankle injury was documented in my service medical records. What is the opinion of getting a Nexus letter with so much proof in my service medical records. Get a Nexus, YES, or NO.
  13. Does anyone know an IME in the San Antonio area? San Antonio is known as Military City USA. It would be sad not to have some here.
  14. Hello All, I am planning on filing a claim for sleep apnea, which was not diagnosed while I was on active duty, as well as cervical pain and Allergic Rhinitis, which were noted in STR's but not officially diagnosed until a few years later, despite continuous treatment for them by the VA. While there is some reference to sleep issues while I was deployed, and treatment records in service for the other two, I want to make my claim as strong as possible from the start. Having read through many of the posts here and elsewhere regarding the nexus to service connection, I believe I will need an IMO to connect the in service event (injury on deployment) and my current diagnosis for sleep apnea, since it was diagnosed about 9 years after I left active service. My spouse is willing to write a statement regarding the symptoms she has witnessed since I left service until my diagnosis, and I have had two sleep studies confirming a diagnosis of sleep apnea (both done at the VA, 6 years apart). I plan on trying for direct service connection (unlikely but worth a shot) as well as secondary service connection (I have other SC conditions, but only rated at 20%, to connect it to). The pulmonologist at VA said my chronic pain likely contributes to my sleep apnea, but I am guessing this is not affirmative enough language for the VA rater, which is why I plan on seeking an IMO, for all three issues I am claiming. My primary care Dr is at the VA, and tends to write in generalities, so I don't think she will be a good choice for writing the IMO/DBQ (she tells me I have to wear my CPAP or I will stop breathing or die in a car accident, but only writes in my chart that "CPAP is recommended"). I have been looking (unsuccessfully) online for doctors who specialize in providing IMO's, and have read about the ones reviewed here, but was wondering about another I keep seeing pop up in the google searches - VA Claims Insider. Seems like a one stop shop, but I have not found much information about them other than what is offered on their website and Youtube channel. Also, the idea of paying after a claim increase seems like a good option, since multiple IMO's can be expensive, but I would think this could present a conflict in the eyes of the VA, since the fee increases with the size of the award. Also, I'm not going to lie, I think it would be great to have someone go over my records and possibly identify issues that I can rightfully claim that I am just not aware of. That seems to be the service they also provide, along with IMO's. So, any guidance or reviews would be appreciated. I am pretty confident that I will need the IMO's. I just don't know where to get them without a potentially awkward first visit to a new Dr, "Hi, I know that we just met, but can you write this very detailed letter for me so I can get disability compensation. No pressure." Thanks, and thank you all for the great info on this site. P.S. - I do not intend for this to become a thread to bash one service over another, or to endorse any particular service. I would just like some honest opinions about any of the people you folks have used. The nexus letter seems to me to be the deciding factor in many of the BVA appeals I have read. Despite its importance, I have had difficulty finding solid info and advice about getting one. Also, I assume VA Claims Insider probably reads this forum, and I don't want to disparage anyone who is trying to help vets.
  15. I was diagnosed with Diabetes type 2 on 2 Mar 10, my last day on active duty was 28 Feb 09. I was denied service connection when I filed since I was officially diagnosed 3 days outside the 1 year window. I never appealed this claim. I was rated 60% in 2010 and never looked back. I recently happened across this site and realized, I might be able to reopen the case and submit a nexus letter stating that the diabetes manifested within the one year of me leaving active duty if not before. Lab test taken on 25 Feb 09 show a Glucose reading of 324. For some reason HB A1C test wasn't take until 2 Mar 10. My HB A1C was 12.5. The 2 Mar 10 date puts me inside the 1 year window. There is no way my diabetes appeared in 3 days after the 1 year window. I am also service connected with Hypothyrodism (Hashimotos) which caused weight gain and slows the metabolism. I was diagnosed in 1998. Some medical evidence also shows slow thyroid can cause Diabetes. Due to weight gain from my underactive thyroid, I was clinically obese on active duty. If I can't get Diabetes added by showing it is service connected, maybe I can add it as a secondary to my Hypothyrodisim. What are your thoughts?
  16. I have been following the group for a while. My claim is currently sitting in “Pending Decision Approval”. My question is in regards to my C&P exam. In the notes section of the C&P under GW, the doctor states, “...is less likely than not”. However, directly below that under medical opinion, he states “...is at least as likely as not occurred in service”. Why would he have this distinction? All of my claims were for Gulf War syndrome. The C&P looks favorable for service connection, but not Gulf war. Am I missing something? Are there any thoughts on why he separated these items?
  17. NO PRE SERVICE PROBLEMS... THEN ENLISTMENT EXAM PASSES WITHOUT A PROBLEM..... THEN IN SERVICE PROBLEM..... THAT IN ITSELF CREATES A NEXUS.... DONT BE FOOLED THAT IT DOESNT.... BY DEFINITION IF YOU HAD ALL EXAMS PRIOR TO SERVICE THEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM THAT IN IT SELF IS A NEXUS BETWEEN .... DONT GIVE UP AND FIGHT IT..... IF NO ONE CAN SAY ITS BEFORE THAN YOU HAVE WIN AT BVA AND CVAC. DONT LISTEN TO VSO JUST GO ALL THE WAY TO COURT. THE CVAC HAS STATED TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO PROVE THAT NO PROBLEM WAS AGGRAVATED DURING SERVICE. NOT THAT IT WAS CREATED B4 OR AFTER BUT THAT THE GOV HAS TO PROVE NO INCREASE DURING.. THAT IN ITSELF IS THE NEXUS WHEN THEY BOTH AGREE THAT A PROBLEM EXISTS AND IT WAS EXISTING IN SERVICE.
  18. So to make a long story short, I was active duty since 1994 and medically discharged in 2005. Since around 99/2000 I have suffered from what I now know as sleep apnea. I was never tested for it during service, but I had no idea what the heck it even was. Only knew I was being woken up by my wife, and when in the field or deployment soldiers, because I would snore loud and then stop breathing. I placed an initial claim for this in 2010 after I had a surgery at the VA, and I was placed in the ICU due to low oxygen levels and having sleep apnea during surgery. 04/2010, I did the first claim on my own and it was quickly denied. 10/2010, I re-opened the claim with 3 buddy letters of soldiers who witnessed me in the same close sleeping questers during deployment, stop breathing. Had a C&P exam, with a doc who spent all of 3 minutes asking me directing questions. It too, was denied. 04/2012, I re-opended it again after I had my actual VA doc write me a nexus letter claiming it was "more likely than not" related to service and a new buddy letter from a service member who shared quarter with me in various units, and from my wife. It too, was denied. 02/13, I submitted the NOD, and had a DRO review, it too was denied. 02/15, I submitted the appeal, with the help of Military Order of the Purple heart. It was received 03/2015 and and it was been sitting since 09/2015 at "Awaiting place on docket" Anybody have this type of claim? Trying to use secondary evidence and Nexus letters because you have no service record of it? The advice I have been given depends on who I have asked. I have been told, I should have been awarded due to mixed views and having the benefit of the doubt. I have been told I have no chance without a record of it in service. I have been told it is just the process I have to go through, the VA denies denies denies and dwindles down the hopefuls to very few who will take it all the way through appeals. I have been told both do do a congressional investigation because it worked, and to not do a congressional because I will only provoke a quick "no" answer. I am hoping someone who has been in my shoes can tell me what they went through. I have no idea how long I will be in this appeal process, but I am now going on six years fighting this thing, although for the VA they only go back to the last time you re-opened so for them 4 years.
  19. I am submitting a claim for anxiety. My wife wrote a letter where she has included the following to show my military connection and timeline. I have been retired for 19 years (20yr Marine 0331) and have not submitted a claim for this prior to now. I am rated at 10% for migraines and service connected for back pain but rated at 0% for that. I do not have my military medical records although I requested them back on January 2nd. I know they will take a long time to get. I was seen by a clinical psychologist at the VA clinic and her diagnosis says "Adjustment disorder with mixed emotions r/o Trauma-related stressor". She is sending me to classes and recommended on-line options as well. Any suggestions? My husband served 20 years in the Marine Corp where he was exposed to many conditions that he tries, unsuccessfully, to deal with to this day. He suffers from impaired short and long term memory. He retains only highly learned materials while forgetting to complete simple tasks. This started very early in his military career when he studied long hours for promotion boards. He was trained to memorize and recite. He is suspicious of everyone and everything. Again, this is due to his military training, be aware of your surroundings at all times and be prepared for the worst. He sees the world as a completely dangerous place. He is easy to anger and very irritable. In his military career he was trained to do things at the drop of a hat, always ready to react at a moment's notice. When things don't move at the pace he thinks is appropriate he has difficulty dealing with it. “Little” things easily anger him. He suffers from lack of concentration. If the subject doesn't interest him he zones out. He was taught in the military to focus on the relevant and ignore the irrelevant. This makes it nearly impossible for him to concentrate on learning new things, i.e. new jobs. He served as a drill instructor at both Parris Island and San Diego. During those 4 years he trained many young Marines who later served in combat. He has expressed to me many, many times the feelings of anxiety and guilt he continues to have knowing that some of those young men were either injured or killed. He feels that he should have been there with them instead of on the drill field. His 20 years of training dictate his life to this day. He has a difficult time functioning in the “civilian” world. His nights are restless and his days are frustrating. He sleeps with a CPAP machine to control his breathing. He frequently gets up to check and recheck doors and windows. He is not comfortable in social situations unless he is surrounded by his military buddies. He can not work around other people unless they share the same military background. He believes that if he asks for help it is a sign of weakness. When he was on active duty he did not go to sick call or ever ask for help because he did not want to be labeled a “sick bay commando”. Although most of these conditions have been present since he was on active duty, they have gotten worse over the years. Only recently did he agree to seek help.
  20. Can someone please clarify these concerns? 1. During the presumptive period after my ETS, do I file everything under one claim? Is it better to file everything under one claim or separately under multiple claims? I'm afraid of the doctors and staff looking over my claim and think I am 'malingering' even though they are all true. 2. I do not have my actual medical record packet but do have a generalized medical data (still quite detailed) from Tricare Patient Portal via downloading from the Blue Button. Has anyoe had experience with this? 3. When do I submit my nexus? 4. Do I need a nexus if I was seen during service by doctors and diagnosed for the condition I am claiming? 5. Do I submit proof (being seen by doctors during service, diagnosis during service) a long with my claim? Do you just send them the entire medical record or do you organize it so they can easily match up your medical history and each claim? It would be a pain for them to search through your whole medical history and at that point they may not even want to bother anymore...I assume.
  21. Please give me your opinion on how this headache DBQ is filled out. This was done by a board certified neurologist. My left knee is is rated at 10% for limitation of flexion. There are STRs that state my knee gave out in service. I have current medical records that also state my knee goes out. I'm also going to claim knee instability (I didn't know about this when I filed the first time.) I have a work accommodation forms filled out by my VA PC and Neurologist that state I need to leave work, not show up, and be allowed to complete my work on nights and weekends. The forms also state things like "Can't do any other activity during severe headaches" and "bedridden". I also have a letter from work stating they granted these work accommodations and 14 buddy letters. I'm planning on asking for an extra-schedular rating since the headache schedule doesn't talk about involuntary body tics, ability to focus/keep on task, interference with reading, and interference with driving. Opinions requested for: Nexus Does this fit extra-schedular ratings criteria? Does 1C and 2A cover medical reasoning that would normally be needed in an IMO to back up the doctor's nexus? What if anything should I ask the doctor to change? Thank you
  22. My husband was in service from 1999-2003. He did two tours to Iraq. He received 3 TBI's while in Combat, but no records were made of the incidents due to the Medic with them being killed. Is there any way to prove that his TBI's were service connected even though there are no actual records? I've found a friend of his that was in combat with him that is willing to write a buddy statement. I've also seen where the Veteran can write a statement themselves which makes it Service Connected. What can I do. He has 70 IU, but they never gave him his back pay for this because they didn't raise his rating. Also, I know they do reviews and I've read that you need to file for every Service Connected disability just in case they lower another rating at the review. I've read through his VA medical records and there's a few places where it shows he has a TBI....Some say Combat related with his story and one doesn't, but has no story with it. HELP!
  23. Need advice. I do not have anyone helping me at this time with filing a PTSD/MST claim. I do have a VSO appt. at a local vet center in a week or so. In the meantime from what I have read you need three things to file a MST claim. 1. evidence (I have police report...check). 2. PTSD diagnosis, but you can also claim other conditions such as anxiety and depression etc...(right?). 3. Nexus letter. Please correct or add to anything above if I am missing something. My question today, is that although I just starting going to a civilian therapist a few months ago I have not disclosed my MST and have only talked about my daily anxiety, panic attacks etc....trying to deal with the problem without talking about the problem I guess. When I decided to file a claim I thought I could start going to a VA mental health counselor to get therapy while at the same time getting diagnosed officially for my claim. At this time, I do not have a document or official diagnosis of PTSD as my therapist has not told me that. I did go to a therapist years ago who said I had PTSD, but she closed her practice and I cannot locate my records. I know or guess it would have been better to have this long history of therapy for my PTSD claim, but I don't. I ended up talking to a social worker at the VA last week who is the head of the MST dept. and although I fully intended to work with therapist there for my PTSD I am already not feeling good about working with the mental health staff there (without going into any details I just need to take another route). My understanding is that I need the Nexus letter from a mental health person...right? Does the Nexus letter come from a C & P exam or can you have a civilian therapist write it?? If you can have your civilian therapist write it I figure I would disclose my MST to her and start working with her in therapy then ask her to write the Nexus letter. If I have up to a year to pull together my paperwork my therapist could write a letter a little further down the road once we discuss my issues related to my MST...right. I think I read it's best to go to a VA therapist to get a diagnosis and Nexus letter??... but I don't feel comfortable doing that. If I understood what I read here...you may not need to have a C & P exam if you have the evidence and a Nexus letter...even if it's from a civilian therapist...is that correct? Anyways...sorry this email is all over the place, but hope it makes sense. Thanks in advance for your feedback!!
  24. I have been retired for 7 years now and was rated at 60% for various disabilities after I retired. One month after I retired, I had a colonoscopy; benign polyps (i.e. benign neoplasms), a type that could turn to cancer, were found and removed. I have had polyps removed twice since then. Now I would like to get my polyps service connected at 0% in case something more serious were to develop in the future. My question: Since my polyps diagnosis was only a month after I retired, do I need a NEXUS letter to say the polyps were "more than likely" to have developed while on active duty, or would it be presumed the polyps developed while I was still on active duty? I looked at the presumptives in Title 38, and I don't think this fell under any of the automatics. Thanks for any help.
  25. I am 40 percent service connected for Spondy 20% knees 10% patellofemoral.. I am also being treated for Anxiety, Depression, insomnia, fatigue at the VA. I have been diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder, and Major Depressive disorder (mod) In my records it references that this is because of my Chronic pain.. I also have a Note/letter from my VA MD that says my "Anxiety/Depression is "most likely" caused by my Chronic pain syndrome from my Service connected disabilities" is this sufficient to get these rated? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
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