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Found 6 results

  1. Okay guys and girls, gather round the fire. This is a bit of a read, but THIS is the best private doctor submitted opinion ive come across while ive been 'on the inside'. Most of the ones I see are a paragraph or two, wishy washing around about the condition, and the doctors opinion- with no WHY, other than "Im the doctor, and I examined them and this is why I think so.....". That doesn't really cut it. Yes, I know that C and P docs don't do anything this extensive, either, most of the time, and I can't defend that either, but this particular condition that they are claiming is already thorny, and its 'by way of' another caused by an SC disability. For those of you with OSA caused by obesity that have been shot down, do a word (CTRL-F) search for the word "intermediate" as in "intermediate condition". There is an interesting tidbit on that page (4) RE obesity specifically, and this was how I claimed my OSA in 2014 when I appealed, minus the VA letter, since it hadn't been written yet. This was my doctors chain of thought on my OSA as well. Read this, and give it some thought when you are constructing your claims, and writing your boilerplates for your doc to sign after examining you. I have no idea what this persons rating will be, or if they will prevail, but damn if this didn't stick out as what I would want to see, as a rater, if I was one. This resembles a few of my later claims that I filed for myself in its construction and layout, minus the calling myself a doctor. The overall layout and organization is on point, and will make it easy for whomever gets it. CAS MEdObese.pdf
  2. I submitted claims at the end of Sept of 2021. I just received, and read, the VA decision letter that I received today. The claims I submitted that were related to my already service-connected back conditions were approved. I am now at 80%. However, even though the VA confirms the diagnosis of all my secondary conditions that I submitted, all of my secondary claims (Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Hypertension, and Abdominal Hernia) that I submitted and associated to my weight gain, due to my SC back condition, were denied. I specifically stated in my veteran statements that I was connecting these secondary conditions to my SC back conditions, since I am effectively unable to exercise, using my weight gain as the "intermediate step," per the Walsh v Wilkie Decision. In my veteran statements I also referenced other VA Decisions where others have been granted service connection for the exact same medical conditions (using weight as their intermediate step) that I submitted? In their reasoning for the denials (file attached), the VA mentions nothing at all about me using my weight as the "intermediate step" for my secondary claims. After reading this I wondered if they even looked at my veteran statements, or even took the Walsh v Wilkie Decision into consideration. I emailed my VSO about this and he said that the VA raters do not use court decisions when determining ratings because they are specific to that veteran. That just doesn't sound right to me. The letter also states that my claims for Insomnia, Depression, PTSD, and TDIU have been deferred for "Additional Development." What does that mean? So I guess my main questions are: 1. Is my VSO correct, or did the VA totally ignore my veteran statements? 2. Do I have a good chance at a Higher Level Review (HLR)? 3. What would be my best way to proceed? Attorney? Thank you for your time. Any advice, replies, and opinions are greatly appreciated! OSA Denial.pdf
  3. Obesity, for example, CAN be SC. (As always, you would need the Caluza elements). The above opinion from Chris Attig.
  4. Okay guys and girls, gather round the fire. This is a bit of a read, but THIS is the best private doctor submitted opinion Ive come across while Ive been 'on the inside'. Most of the ones I see are a paragraph or two, wishy washing around about the condition, and the doctors opinion- with no WHY, other than "I'm the doctor, and I examined them and this is why I think so.....". That doesn't really cut it. Yes, I know that C and P docs don't do anything this extensive, either, most of the time, and I can't defend that either, but this particular condition that they are claiming is already thorny, and its 'by way of' another caused by an SC disability. For those of you with OSA caused by obesity that have been shot down, do a word (CTRL-F) search for the word "intermediate" as in "intermediate condition". There is an interesting tidbit on that page RE obesity specifically, and this was how I claimed my OSA in 2014 when I appealed, minus the VA letter, since it hadn't been written yet. This was my doctors chain of thought on my OSA as well. Read this, and give it some thought when you are constructing your claims, and writing your boilerplates for your doc to sign after examining you. I have no idea what this persons rating will be, or if they will prevail, but damn if this didn't stick out as what I would want to see, as a rater, if I was one. This resembles a few of my later claims that I filed for myself in its construction and layout, minus the calling myself a doctor. The overall layout and organization is on point, and will make it easy for whomever gets it. CAS MEdObese.pdf
  5. Seems the VA can on occasion consider obesity merely as a "symptom"* and perhaps even the type of symptom that the VA alleges is caused by the Veteran's own willful misconduct of overeating or being inactive so it can deny the claim. However, since the American Medical Association ( AMA ) recently in June of 2013 has officially declared that "obesity is a disease", might that allow disabled veterans whose service connected condition(s) led to excessive weight gain to now find more success claiming obesity as a ratable secondary medical condition or a disease aggravated by the Veteran's service connected condition(s)? *"Obesity Service connection is not warranted for obesity. Claiming service connection for obesity amounts to claiming service connection for a symptom, rather than for an underlying disease or injury which may have caused the symptom. In this respect, obesity, in and of itself, is not a disability for which service connection may be granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) has defined "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force." See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003), citing Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary 901 (29th Ed. 2000). Thus, obesity caused by overeating or lack of exercise is the result of the veteran's own behavior, and as such is not an "injury" as defined for VA purposes. See Terry v. Principi, 340 F.3d 1378, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (defining "injury" as "damage inflicted on the body by an external force"). The Federal Circuit also defined "disease" as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ, or system of the body." Terry, 340 F.3d at 1384, citing Dorland's at 511. Obesity that is not due to an underlying pathology cannot be considered to be due to "disease," defined as "any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of a part, organ or system of the body." Id. The body's normal storage of calories for future use represents the body working at what it is designed to do. It is well settled that symptoms alone, without a finding of an underlying disorder, cannot be service-connected. See Sanchez-Benitez v. Principi, 259 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001)." - from a BVA 2009 Decision ---and--- "Obesity or being overweight, a particularity of body type, alone, is not considered a disability for which service connection may be granted. See generally 38 C.F.R. Part 4 (VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities) (2009) (does not contemplate a separate disability rating for obesity). Rather, applicable VA regulations use the term "disability" to refer to the average impairment in earning capacity resulting from diseases or injuries encountered as a result of or incident to military service. Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995); Hunt v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 292, 296 (1991); 38 C.F.R. § 4.1 (2009). The question is thus whether the current obesity is a disability-i.e. a condition causing impairment in earning capacity. In this case, there is no such evidence. The veteran has not asserted that obesity causes impairment of earning capacity; instead he asserts that his obesity has caused other disabilities to manifest. There is also no other evidence that the claimed obesity is a disability. Inasmuch as the Veteran does not have a disability manifested by obesity and obesity is not a disease or disability for which service connection may be granted, the Board concludes that obesity was not incurred in or aggravated by service and may not be presumed to have been so incurred. This claim is not in relative equipoise; therefore, the Veteran may not be afforded the benefit of the doubt in the resolution thereof. Rather, as a preponderance of the evidence is against the claim, it must be denied. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(b) (West 2002)" - from a 2010 BVA Decision But didn't the VA as early as 2006 already characterize obesity as a disease? "Obesity is a complex and chronic disease that develops from an interaction between the individual’s genotype and the environment." - http://www.healthquality.va.gov/obesity/obe06_final1.pdf "The AMA's decision essentially makes diagnosis and treatment of obesity a physician's professional obligation." - Los Angeles Times http://www.today.com/health/obesity-disease-doctors-group-says-6C10371394
  6. While this isn't particularly new news, there is a large story in USA Today 07/23/2014 page 6B by reporter Nanci Helmich mentioning solid medical research that links sleep deprivation to weight gain: "Losing sleep doesn't just leave you tired--- it can make you fat." This is due to how sleep deprivation affects certain hormones namely increasing ghrelin and decreasing leptin. Therefore, the connection of sleep apnea causing weight gain and even diabetes should be a no brainer and service-connecting weight gain/obesity or perhaps diabetes and hypertension as secondary conditions to a sleep disorder could be claimed. I realize that this is sort of a what came first issue: the chicken or the egg? However, if you started out thin/normal weight and then developed sleep apnea which led to weight gain, it would seem that there may be the basis for a well-grounded claim in the absence of other weight causing factors. Remember, not all sleep apnea is OSA / obstructive...there are also central or complex/mixed types as well. More info on this issue at: http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/sleep-apnea.htm Also see slide #19: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.stanford.edu%2F~davesv%2FWeight%2520%26%2520OSA.ppt&ei=-krQU9ydIs6iyATHiIHwCg&usg=AFQjCNFnDNcnaMb34bJh1yZoccIA9kQB7Q&bvm=bv.71667212,d.aWw
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