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Found 115 results

  1. Hello all, I received my disability decision rating for my initial claim about 2 weeks ago. I would like to submit additional evidence to support my claim and receive a higher rating on some disabilities and service connection on the issues denied. On the VA Form 4107, it says I have two options: Start an appeal by submitting a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) Give us evidence we do not already have that may lead us to change our decision I am interested to learn more about option 2, because I have heard appeals can take longer. It is not clear how to submit additional evidence (who should I send to, can I submit through ebenefits online or do I have to mail?). If anyone has experience with submitting additional evidence instead of submitting a NOD, I would love to get your advice on exactly how to submit and how to track and follow up with the VA after submitting. Thank you!
  2. Hey all i recently put in a claim to reopen a prior decision on bilateral hearing loss and one with dizzines. VA tested but C&P doc only looked at first enlistment. said hearing loss is there but not service connected and did not give a percentage of what that hearing loss is. The hospital itself has ordered me to take a new hearing test but that is not until december 2018 VA deferred claim on dizziness and order new c&p and hearing test the hearing test is on the 13th of November 2018 and C&P is on the14th at QTC facilities. The question I have is should I bring my copies of military STR's concerning hearing test. Original claim was denied had this finding [X] Sensorineural hearing loss (in the frequency range of 500-4000 Hz)* ICD code: 389.11 and this write up 3. Etiology If present, is the Veteran's hearing loss at least as likely as not (50% probability or greater) caused by or a result of an event in military service? [ ] Yes [X] No [ ] Rationale (Provide rationale for either a yes or no answer): 1.RME dated XX/XX/XX (at induction) documents hearing within normal limits bilaterally. 2.RME dated XX/XX/XX (at separation) documents hearing within normal limits bilaterally. 3. Comparison of induction and separation exams indicate no significant change in hearing sensitivity and documentation of an OSHA-defined STS during military service CANNOT be established from this audiometric data. 4. The documentation of hearing within normal limits at induction, documentation of hearing within normal limits at separation, and the lack of documentation of an OSHA-defined STS during military service indicate that it is NOT at least as likely as not (50/50 probability) that veteran's current hearing loss is related to his military service Items 1 and 2 only refer to my first enlistment and what she called my "separation is actually marked as a re-enlistment physical. Item 3 there is an OSHA STS in the records she did not look at. The award letter used the same language denying my claim to (at least) service connection but probably 0%. The decision letter on reopening the claim should arrive by Monday the 12th and I plan on filing an appeal/nod on their denial of service connection based on them not looking at all the files and tests. AS it pertains to this newest C& P and hearing test, I want to make sure that this time they look at all the records to demonstrate that the hearing loss occurred in service particularly if they suspect Meniures (sp?) disease is causing my vertigo and dizziness. So will bringing my hearing test records and the first C&P to the tests at QTC help or hurt me? Thanks
  3. here is the latest question. I got my decision letter for my ED claim and a copy of the DBQ. The attached award letter says in the writing at the bottom that I can possibly file for a voiding dysfunction by opening a new initial claim. The actual DBQ for ED has several errors in how he documented my answers to the Voiding Dysfunction section of the ED DBQ which is VA Form 21-0960J-2 There is another DBQ VBA-21-0960J-4-ARE for bladder issues. since the doc recorded my answers incorrectly should I NOD that DBQ to keep the earlier Effective Date? Or should I just file new claim as the letter says and write a statement describing what info he recorded incorrectly? Thanks. redacted decision page 0ct 2018 award letter copy for Voiding claim.pdf
  4. Hello group - I had a sleep study in 2007 while on active duty and got diagnosed with "mild obstructive sleep apnea." There was no treatment provided/necessary. I retired from the Navy in 2017 after 25 years of active duty and submitted the sleep study in my claim. Unfortunately, I did not have documented proof of hypersomnolence. In May 2018 I had another sleep study with the result being "severe obstructive sleep apnea," and was prescribed a CPAP which I use currently. This particular evidence was not submitted in my claim package. I just received my VA decision letter on 10/4/18, the VA assigned a disability rating of 0% for the apnea (as expected), but listed it as "service connected." My question is this: I have the medical evidence now to prove I have severe apnea and I'm getting ready to submit a NOD. Do I have to also prove "service connectivity?" or has this been sufficiently established and cannot be taken away by the DRO? Also, do I have to provide evidence that I had hypersomnolence from 2007 to 2018 to prove it's all connected? This will be the tough part for me. It seems pretty straight forward, but I know nothing is ever a slam dunk in this arena so what am I potentially missing? Thanks! Joe
  5. Hello to all the amazing people who are helping more people than you know, Looking for help with a few questions so here is the short (longer than intended*)rundown...My ETS was Mar2016.. While still active in 2010 was on my Sr year finishing premed degree with 4.0 gpa had to stop going to college when my second kid was born and wife was very ill the following years missed alot of work but always made up for it (i had very supportive chain of command that made alot of my own med issues go unnoticed or possibly pitty..not sure but love them all miss them all) fast forward to 2016 after ets wife is better all the kids in school and with full post911 benefits left why not try to finish my degree, unfortunately over that time my health had greatly deteriorated and school was not so easy anymore, and it wasnt just school but all areas of life had become to much for me(ALL). Without going to far into a long story I was in two major car accidents in 2014-2015 went into a mental breakdown loosing touch with reality on the reg and it wasnt until this year the "Helpful Psych at VA" actually taking her time to talk with me that we found out it was more than just failing in all areas that was making me act like a different person. Turns out that a blow to my head caused alot more damage than I originally thought, and i hope one day my friends and family can see who i once was again. Towards the end of my enlistment I went to see my pcp a few times and to mental health only once very bad communication between me and anybody from that point in my life to today which I still have trouble seeking/getting help especially when i have to wait months for an appointment and speak maybe 2 min max with the dr who never remembers anything and thinks its the first time we have met almost everytime and being a walk in is even more pointless as they really are already overwhelmed with patients already....so frantically rambling to a dr or dav or vso about a number of issues just trying to get the point across with no useful outcome is how I always leave and I constantly not remembering what im talking about by the time I start talking is why I thought it might be good to get on here and write it down...sorry...so va claim background: June 2016: First claim filed (4months after ETS) August 2017: First claim closed rated at 80% 0% for groin > for foot injury> for facial scar> and knees 10% tinnitus 10% Blood Pressure 10% arthritis wrist 20% back issue 30% migraine 30% maxillary <Denial: Dental> No complaints for dental had unbelievable issues with teeth dont know what or why but by this time next year i wont have ANY left. I have had 2 molars pulled in last year less than a month after dental c&p Side note* no dental or med exam when I got out no exit exam at all..whatever the exit medical exam is called to show you are healthy and well ready for civilian transition the clinic scheduled the exam the day my orders ended so Dr said he couldnt legally see me as I was no longer in the military. Last conversation I had on base... <Denial/TREATMENT ONLY: active psychosis/ gw claimed depression, anxiety/stress" (reason: i did not have any evidence or complaints in service but symptoms developing within time limit of leaving service hence treatment only) even though i did go to MH clinic while in service>>>#didnt know the only service records that the VA doesnt get/have access to is mental health! (Found out after calling the MH clinic at my old base with hopes that maybe a past appointment might be in their computer system somewhere...turns out they did have a record of the appointment with the MH Dr notes from the visit! #only one appointment but still #in service treatment record thats good right? **side note after receiving the "Treatment only" decision by VA and visits and advice from the "Helpful Psych at VA" who told me I should have got service connection "at least deppression 2ndry to chronic pains associated with scd's" which i filed for within a yr of the original notification letter. <Denial: hemorrhoids> (had/have but owell) no treatment in service prep h worked fine <Denial: genitourinary condition> #i had a mucosal discharge documented breifly in smr> with Dr visits in service noting possible relation to <Denial: Digestive condition> problems with gallbladder heavily documented in smr which va said existed before service in confusion with an appendectomy prior to entering service. #visits in 2017 to urologist documented discharge havent been back. <sometime between all of the psych visits from 2017 to now i have a history of TBI of what level is still unclear to me> have met with tbi specialist> still have alot appt scheduled with neurologist and neurosurgeons> TBI not rated as of right now... June 2018: file for increase in knee rated 0% and groin 0%, and claim Depression secondary to chronic pains associated with service connected disabilities Beginning of August 2018: Discover missing Mental Health records were available I notified VA of new material evidence to make sure service connection established and to maintain the effective date of original claim (being made available to VA within 1 year of original rating notification). This was done via VA written statement form and uploaded to the supporting documents for the now open claim for depression secondary on ebennies I also called the 1800# to advise VA and statement was taken over phone. I was also told that this would reopen the original claim for deppression. Mid August 2018 receive notification letter now combined rating is 90% : effective date June 2018 Increase Knee granted: 10% Increase Groin granted: 10% Depression secondary basis to chronic pains associated with scd's granted: 50% August continued>> while the claim was still open I met with the VA TBI specialist provided and she provided me with TDIU form since i have not been able to work due to the severity of my mental health conditions along with the form for spousal support which i faxed to claims intake but the claim closed and 90% rating was assigned but along with the tdiu claim I have a new claim opened for increase for depression and migraines which were the two most severe scds which the tdiu form asks to list on the form. The DAV has not contacted me at all throughout the entire claims process that started back in 2016 so I am not sure what I should be doing if anything more to make sure that i get the earliest effective date. I have been unable to get anything done in my day to day life and typing this has taken an entire day for me. Im failing out of school which means I wont get my post911 housing anymore of which ive used almost all of now, my wife has been taking care of me and our kids and i know its beginning to be to much for her to handle, to put iceing on the cake shes 2 month pregnant which i couldnt be happier to have another child but i dont know what im going to do, if anyone does read this long thing any advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry if it doesnt make much sense. Thank you to all of you who are doing great things for for the vets on this website it has been a go to place for me for the past 3 years Much love to my brothers and sisters i miss yall more than you know -c
  6. Hi all, As i said in another post I am new here and looking for guidance, opinion, options that may be available to me. Without all the gory and boring details, I am currently rated SC 70% PTSD, 10% Tinnitus with a statement that my bilateral hearing loss is not service connected. This all comes from the same original claim in 2012. I found out last year, 2017, that in making the bilateral determination the doctor only looked at my second enlistment and did not review any records from my first enlistment. I found this out when going through my records which took years for the VA to "Find". In the records are audiology test records from the first enlistment which show the damage occurred in service. In my first enlistment I had 3 audiograms. 1 to enlist, 1 diagnosing problem, 1 to re-enlist. in my second enlistment I had exactly 1 audiogram which was when I completed my enlistment. In the record from the first enlistment is a piece of paper that says "rehabilitation plan complete." but no other information. When I took the 2nd test they told me to wear earplugs when i could. That was it. In the test results between enlistment and the 2nd test it shows the loss in both ears. The final test on discharge says hearing is the same as at re-enlistment which was after the damage. So here is my question on this: What are my options to challenge this decision? I did not discover that they did not look at both enlistments until last year, which is 5 years after they granted me my initial 70 & 10 percent ratings. Is there an option? Do i start it all over again? would I need to get a lawyer? any suggestions would be great Thanks
  7. Sorry if this has been addressed before, but I was not able to find an answer anywhere else. After collecting dust for 480 days after filing an NOD with a DRO, my appeal has apparently entered a "Review" phase. According to the VA rep, the electronic system had a new note entered into my file a few weeks back stating that a DRO had begun to review the file. Can anyone offer insight into how long it could take from here to get to a DRO decision? I understand it depends on what else the DRO has going on and how complicated my appeal is, just wanted to see what others' experience has been. Appreciate any feedback.
  8. I filed my NOD four years ago, next month. Still waiting for a decision from the DRO. I am wondering how long other Veterans here, have been waiting for an answer on their RO Appeal.
  9. please help soon friends because,,, I NEED TO CALL MY VSO IN DC 2MRW BECAUSE HE JUST EMAILED ME SAYING THAT IF I WANT TO WIN A RECONSIDERATION CUE ABOUT A MISTAKE AT THE LEVEL OF THE AMC BVA LEVEL IM GONNA BE UP THE CREEK ONLY BECAUSE 5 OUT OF THE PAST 30 YEARS HAS BEEN GRANTED. SOME BACK DROP ON THIS IS,,, MY APPEAL WAS GRANTED BY THE AMC IN DC AND I FILED FOR AN INCREASE AT THE RO.... WELL RO CALLS ME AND SAYS ITS THE WRONG JURISDICTION AND THAT HE IS LOOKING IT OVER AND AGREES WITH ME ON WHAT THEY MISSED IN THE RANGE OF MOTION FOR FUNCTIONAL LOSS ... SO HE SAYS HES SENDING IT TO THE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE AMC IN DC AS A REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION AND AS WE ALL KNOW THAT IS ACTUALLY CALLED A CUE. SO IM STUCK ON WHAT TO DO NOW PLEASE HELP AS I NEED TO CALL THEM 2MRW WITH AN ANSWER. this is what DBQ states for abduction this is what the decision letter said and why this is cue?????
  10. Quick question, my appeal was approved at 100% with eed. After having letters updated, how long does retro pay take to hit? I have heard up to 6 months? And seen people saying as little as 2 weeks? Edit: this is a NOD, at my regional office. Edit 2: my NOD was for an increase, and it was granted to 100%. Which, like I said, is reflected in my letters on ebenefits correctly at 100%. The letters updated last Thursday. Not sure what to think. Thank you all for your help
  11. according to 38 C.F.R. §§ 4.40 and 4.45 i believe i should be increased from 10% to 20% please look at these codes then look at the DBQ from Dr i provided you will see the flare up measurements. Code 5252: If the hip is limited in how far forward (flexion) it can move the leg, then it is rated under this code. If it cannot move the leg more than 10°, it is rated 40%. If it cannot raise the leg more than 20°, it is rated 30%. No more than 30° is rated 20%, and no more than 45° is rated 10%. Code 5253: All other limitations of hip motion are rated under this code. If the hip cannot swing the leg out to the side (abduction) more than 10°, it is rated 20%. If it cannot move the leg inward across the other leg (adduction), it is rated 10%. If it cannot rotate the leg outward (toes point off to the sides) more than 15°, then it is rated 10% DBQ+PG7.pdf this is the page that shows flare ups decrease motion ... the other is page for decreased motion for repeted use over time. please note that the 3 repeated uses was stated no. but these others state yes.
  12. Hello and good afternoon;I was wondering if anyone else has received this letter regarding the new RAMP program? I spoke to my representative and we are going to Opt-In for my particular appeals situation. We opted for the "higher level" review. Anyone else gotten this letter and Opt-In? Process says 125 days average for a decision. My appeal was submitted back in December 2016 regarding EED's on my awards.We did not opt to have an informal conference either.The letter is worth reading! EDIT: I removed my letter for personal reasons. If you want to know more, message me
  13. I have to say I don’t really have a question YET, but I wanted to share my story as It makes for an interesting read. Feel free to comment… In 1987 I was medically discharged from the Army for Subluxing Bicep tendon Bilateral. I went to the VA and they agreed and issued 10% rating for each shoulder. In 1993 I had a C&P Exam and I was all better so they say and reduced it to 0% in each shoulder. Now keep in mind nothing was on the internet because it didn’t exist and I was young and uninformed so it never occurred to me to get my medical exams. I knew something was still wrong as I lived with shoulder problems since then. Lets fast forward to 2013 when my shoulders were beginning to get worse with the right shoulder leading the way I decided to see a VSO and he opened a claim for my right shoulder. I went to the c&P Exam and the PA found it was Subluxing bicep tendon, he also mentioned that he was looking at my records on his system and said my last exam was 1993, a few months later I received a decision that said they found right shoulder impingement syndrome and shoulder instability and rated each at 20% and left the original Subluxing Bicep Tendon at 0%. The VSO also filled out paperwork for me to get a copy of all my C&P Exams. As time passed I received some of the C&P Exams but not the one from 1993 so I requested it gain by the exact year and received a phone call from a lady saying she cannot find one from that year and she even looked in the boxes in the basement. Going forward about a year or so later my left shoulder began to worsen so I went to a different VSO and they filled out a claim for the left shoulder. After the C&P Exam I went back to the VSO and they printed me off a copy of the exam and opinion and while I was there I mentioned that the VA has misplaced an exam I had from 1993 and after a few clicks on their system they said here it is and they printed off a copy and also mentioned that I shouldn’t tell anyone as they are not supposed to do that. So after reviewing the new exam it said I had rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, impingement syndrome and guarding all movement of both shoulders. I also reviewed the exam from 1993 and it said they didn’t find subluxing bicep tendon but they did find significant rotator cuff grinding and impingement syndrome of both shoulders right worse the left. I also read the opinion from the recent left shoulder exam and it said it was less likey connected because there is no known mechanism that would put what I have now with what I was discharged for. So like you have to do with all exams I began typing up by corrections to the exam and I also noted that the significant rotator cuff grating and impingement was first diagnosed in 1993 and it was the VA’s responsibility to request at that time whether it was service connected and since it wasn’t done then we have to say that there is a 50/50 chance that the Dr. would have said it was since we cant go back and ask him now and I sent it in. So a few months later I get a decision that says its not service connected and didn’t say way and it didn’t recited any laws or anything like that so I file a NOD while getting the NOD ready I did a search on the internet about Subluxing bicep tendon and rotator cuff tears and found a lot of information connecting the two so I printed off one and also got a Doctor of Physical Therapy to review my records including the 1993 exam and she wrote a very detailed opinion on the connection between the two with a conclusion of its more likely than not directly connected and I sent it all in with the nod requesting a DRO . Fast forward a year or so and I get a call from the VA to schedule another C&P Exam and I could see where this is going so I pick the same place knowing I would get the same examiner. After the exam I download a copy of it and wouldn’t you know I no longer have torn rotator cuff and I am not guarding all movement along with many other things that have disappeared from the last exam and to top it all off they asked the NP who’s certification and specialty is family practice to opine on a statement from a Dr. who’s specialty is the musculoskeletal system which of course she keeps saying throughout her opinion that I was first diagnosed with impingement syndrome in 2015 when it is actually 1993 so now I have to again write and state that they need to change that date to the correct one which is 1993. I can’t believe that people will go through so much effort to not acknowledge a date the changes everything. Its tooo funny and sad at the same time. What’s really funny is that somehow they found the connection in 2014 but can’t seem to find it now.
  14. Back in May 2015 had a IME/IMO exam and was told I should put in a claim for deviated septum cause I had surgery for same while on active duty and again the same exact surgery in 2009 at VA. I had no intention of applying for it until it was brought up. I went ahead and submitted and it got denied, did an NOD and still sitting in Appeal now. I have not had any additional deviated septum surgeries since filing (2015) and no more clinical indications another surgery is needed therefore MY QUESTION: (1) Does the fact I have had two surgeries mean anything as far as service connection goes or.... (2) is this just a lame duck I should cut loose since no more surgeries have occurred since 2009. Final question, if still sitting and waiting on multiple Appeals does dropping one of those Appeals speed the others along any faster or does it even matter? Can those on Appeal be processed individually at any point in time that RO decides to overturn same..... or do they wait until all of the Appeals made and filed together are fully decided one way or another? Just seeking some opinion on this from more seasoned folks in Forum.
  15. In July of '15, I appealed a denial of service connection for a R shoulder condition. I submitted actual copies of a shoulder injury from my Navy medical record, along with evidence of surgeries in 200 and 2015 done by non-VA doctors. At the same time, I filed for an increase in my cervical spine condition. Of course, nothing has happened yet, but it appears that the VA has lumped the two together as one "appeal." I submitted the paperwork under the direction of my NSO. I'm sure this question has been addressed here periodically, but I'd like a fresh opinion: As time goes by, I continue to be treated, tested, injected, etc. for both of these conditions; they are getting worse and worse and the NSO is encouraging me to go for and IU claim, but I still want to try to work. Also recently lost my wife to cancer so i'm the only income anymore. I've been told that submitting additional evidence causes your claim or appeal to go back to the beginning of the process. Is this true? Also, does the VA, when they do get around to looking at my appeal, automatically go through my record and look for information pertaining to my claim? I began using the VA system exclusively last fall, so the new information should be readily at hand. Do I have to go through and pick it out and submit it to them as supporting documentation, or will they find it on their own? If I need to submit, then it goes back to my question above; am I just moving my appeal father away from being considered? Aside from that, I recently got a favorable 10% for tinnitus. I was already at 90% and the new award doesn't push me to 100, but i guess it always helps to document it. Considering a subscription - these ads are a killer and make using the site a lot more confusing to me. Thanks for all the work you do, all of you! Jim
  16. This is a "research administration" question and how to include it in my NOD. I'm completing my NOD, I have physician reports, etc. I will also rely on articles published in medical journals. When I quote from the journal, I will always state the reference, (of course). But do I need to attach the entire paper in my attachments? Sounds silly? But my concern is that if I attach only the pertinent page, the evidence will be "disqualified" as being incomplete. The NOD will be about 3 pages, but with "complete" articles about 40 pages.
  17. Filed a claim for Esophageal Stricture (DC 7203) Secondary to SC GERD. Below is result of C&P Exam. Seems pretty straight forward. VSRO asks if Stricture is at least as likely as not due to GERD. Examiner responds in the affirmative. Decision letter mentions nothing about esophageal stricture and continues disability rating for GERD for 30%. Viewed many BVA decisions where 7203 can be rated separately and is not considered pyramiding. Filed for Stricture Secondary to GERD after recent EGD Exam diagnosed me with Schatzki ring and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Both of which cause narrowing of the esophagus. MMEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY ----------------------- DBQ GI Esophageal (including GERD & hiatal hernia): TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection. The Veteran's esophageal condition is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of GERD, currently rated as hiatal hernia. RATIONALE: EGD Report dated 9/8/17 supports esophagitis which has been linked to chronic reflux of GERD/hiatal hernia. Veteran has no other documented condition to which it could be related. supplemental data: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/hiatal-hernia RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: DBQ GI Esophageal (including GERD & hiatal hernia): TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION REQUESTED: Secondary Service connection. Is the Veteran's esophageal condition, stricture at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of GERD? POTENTIALLY RELEVANT INFORMATION: TAB A: Bedford VAMC Treatment Records, 02/06/2013 to present TAB B: EGD Report b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: GI TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR SECONDARY SERVICE CONNECTION ] a. The condition claimed is at least as likely as not (50% or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of the Veteran's service connected condition. c. Rationale: Recent EGD with biopsies supports esophagitis which is mediaclly accepted as having a link to hiatal hernia. TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ OPINION REGARDING CONFLICTING MEDICAL EVIDENCE ] I have reviewed the conflicting medical evidence and am providing the following opinion: The Veteran's esophageal condition is at least as likely as not (50 percent or greater probability) proximately due to or the result of GERD, currently rated as hiatal hernia.
  18. When you file a NOD how long does it generally take on the average to hear back from a DRO?. I filed a NOD form last week with Waco, TX. Regional Office and also asked for a DRO Hearing right up front to get that part out of the way without further delays asking me what kind of DRO I wanted... Never done a NOD before so any input on average time frame of initial response is helpful. Just curious. Wayne.
  19. I have submitted a NOD and I am soon to have a face to face with a DRO. Can anyone tell me what to expect? Is this a formal meeting; is there a dress code, etc?
  20. US Army Veteran 1978-1984 Rocky Mountain Arsenal I filed my initial claim 11/2008. It took me 7 years to go before a judge, so in 2015 I was awarded exposure to Mustard Gas, which was in my records. I was awarded 40% mustard gas exposure for prostate, 0% for sinus, 0% for headaches, 10% lumbar, 30% cervical, 10% tinnitus, 0% hearing loss , SMC-K, so 8 service connected disabilities. I have been unable to work for 4 years now, due to chronic problems from those service connected injuries. I filed my notice of disagreement, as well as unemployable and an increase for my chronic migraines, which I'm being treated for by the VA, and have been being treated for several decades. I filed within the 1 year timeline, the proper forms, and it shows 2 pending appeals. One for Unemployability, and the other for the increase for the chronic migraines, E Benefits doesn't show anytime line or where my appeal currently stands. So I called the number and was told the average here in Colorado was 238 days for appeals. Mine is at 10 months now, over 300 days and I'm starting to lose hope and getting desperate watching my home fall into disrepair, which I no longer have the financial means to fix. Any advise would be helpful. Anyone else going through long wait times on NOD in Colorado? Thanks in advance, SargeBD
  21. I filed a NOD for being granted 0% for a foot condition on 3/07/2017 and opted to not have a disposition instead I provided medical evidence. I provided this evidence and was required to have a C&P exam. I went to this exam on 07/21/2017 and the doctor went through the DBQ. Today I check eBenifits to see that my appeal went from Appeal received to Appeal Pending - Statement of the Case (SOC) "VA has received your Form 9 and will begin completing final actions regarding your appeal before it is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals." and I have now have an open claim that gives the status of Pending decision approval. I know SOCs are not always the best thing to get, am I getting denied again?
  22. Per VA WACO RO......does anyone know of a source link or phone number to find out the average processing time currently to get a DRO Hearing date in Waco?
  23. Ok folks, In the midst of researching attorneys to replace my VSO, I got a call from the VSO who was working/not working on my claims. He wanted to get a few more details to work up his Form 646. After a week of speaking back and forth with him, he came to the conclusion that the VA had not reviewed several medical reports, including some of my active duty USAF medical records. (If the VSO would have woke up years ago, and saw that, maybe I would not have had to scream from the mountain tops for the past few years.) I know that it has been my fault all along though for keeping the VSO there. Meanwhile, I get a call from the Houston VARO, who wants to discuss a couple of my FOIA requests for the curriculum vitae of the C&P nurse practitioner and family practice doctor (who from a Google search is actually a Family Practice guy who specializes in collagen and beauty cream treatments in Florida.) They also wanted to discuss my FOIA request for the complete bloodwork lab results and x-ray reports from my last QTC C&P examination (with the collagen guy). The thing they wanted to "discuss" is that they can't seem to obtain the curriculum vitae for either medical practitioner, one from Veterans Evaluation Services and the other the QTC Collagen King. They also wanted to discuss that they can't seem to find the bloodwork lab results, nor the x-rays (and x-ray report), which were all done at the same QTC location near Fort Polk, Louisiana at the same time as the C&P, even though "some of the information" is actually described in the C&P report, which was half completed, with no "rationale" filled in, and excerpts of my time in the Army, although I have never served in the Army, and have always been USAF riff raff. Meanwhile, my VSO guy calls back and says that he will send me my Form 646, and recommended a DRO hearing, and that I request one in writing, so I did. I'm also still kicking myself for still riding this VSO wave, when I should have pulled the ripcord and hired an attorney early on as about 90% of you recommended (and I'm still looking into it). I send one to Janesville in writing. I wait. I wait. I wait. Then I take a chance and call the Houston VARO back and request an update on everything. They tell me they will call me back. I wait. I wait. Then, they do call back and let me know they are still having trouble retrieving records, but that they received my request for a DRO hearing, and that they will forward the request on, warning me that it could be a year or more, and that they are still having hearings from requests from cases filed in 2008. I tell them that I filed mine in 2010, but I'll keep riding the wave. While this is happening, I get a letter from the VA stating that they have addressed one outstanding NOD regarding my dependents, siding with me. So I go back to waiting on the DRO Hearing notice. I wait. I wait. I wait. Then I call back. They say that the hearing request has been submitted, but cautioned that the wait time is still tremendous, and that if I wanted to, I could let them know that I would waive the hearing, and they would get me back on track for the BVA certification, which is still forever away also. I thought it over for about 5 seconds, and said no, I think I'll stand by my DRO hearing request. They seemed disappointed, and once again cautioned it could take months to years. I said it's already been like six and a half, so let the dice keep rolling. We parted ways with them saying that they would let "them" know that I still wanted a hearing, and that I could call back in a few months to check out the status of the request. I said thanks, and they gave me the usual sigh and "Thank you for your service." Such a tender moment. Then three....yes, THREE days later, I get a letter from the VA stating that a VA DRO Hearing has been scheduled for June 6th. I called the MIA VSO to ask him about the hearing, and to see what I needed. He was surprised, pulled me up on the computer, and acknowledged that he saw it too, still surprised, and advised that I need to wear a tie and show up an hour early to visit with him. I plan to be there, and will bring my medical records (hopefully orderly), and see what happens. Any advice on what to do? What not to do? What a ride! Mark
  24. I am considering doing my first NOD. I received 20% for peripheral neuropathy (pain and tingling in my arms and hands) secondary to Cervical Spondylosis (narrowing of the spinal openings in my neck) for both my left and right sides in February 2017. I just received a copy of my C-File that I requested back in July 2016, and it has the C&P exam that was done on me for the peripheral neuropathy. In the C&P exam, I was clearly rated for SEVERE pain on my non-dominant side and moderate numbness and tingling on my dominant side. I was given a 20% rating for mild conditions on both left and right side, but from the DBQ the doctor submitted it looks like I should have been given severe to moderate ratings, which would be 40% for my dominant side and 30% for my non-dominant side. Do I file a NOD and request a DRO review? Am I missing a reason why the VA only gave me 20% on each side? I have attached screen shots from the DBQ. Code 8710: Neuralgia of the upper radicular group. Neuralgia cannot be rated higher than moderate, even if it is severe. If the condition is moderate, it is rated 40% for the dominant and 30% for the non-dominant. If it is mild, it is rated 20% for either arm. This is the quote from my decision package: "Service connection for left upper extremity radiculopathy (peripheral neuropathy) has been established as related to the service-connected disability of cervical spondylosis. ● We have assigned a 20 percent evaluation for your left upper extremity radiculopathy (peripheral neuropathy) based on: • Mild incomplete paralysis of the minor extremity ● Although the lower radicular group and middle radicular group nerves were shown to be affected, only one evaluation is allowable in this case. This rating is based on the highest rated nerve. ● A higher evaluation of 30 percent is not warranted for paralysis of the middle radicular nerve group unless the evidence shows nerve damage is moderate. ● Service connection for left upper extremity radiculopathy (peripheral neuropathy) is granted with an evaluation of 20 percent effective May 11, 2016, the day we received your intent to file, with your completed application received on October 29, 2016. VA examination conducted in support of your claim notes that your noted radiculopathy is related to your service connected cervical spondylosis."
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