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Found 13 results

  1. first question to mods here and @Tbird: can we add a section for burn pit under the specialized cases? i posted in "gulf war" cuz i didn't know where else to put my question. please move this post/question to the appropriate spot if a desginated "burn pit" cant be created. thanks in advance. ok so i submitted a claim when i first got out back in 2008...below is the denial from the VA. if i reopen this claim based on the new law, will i be awarded SC back to 2008(along with back pay?)??? i have lots of medical records showing sinus issues to support SC but i don't even think i need that with the presumptive conditions related to burn pits added, right? https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/burnpits/index.asp thanks guys and gals! 6. Service connection for allergic rhinitis (claimed as sinuses). Service connection may be granted for a disability which began in military service or was caused by some event or experience in service. Your service treatment records were reviewed and considered with your claim for allergic rhinitis; however, they failed to show evidence of this conditon. Please note that your service treatment records appear incomplete. We have requested them from the Records Management Center, St. Louis; however, they replied negatively. We also requested them form your last unit of assignment; however, they failed to reply. If you have a copy of them, please submit them to us and we will reevaluate your claim. Your VA examination revealed the examiner's diagnosis of allergic rhinitis; however, there was no evidence found relating this condition to your active military service. Service connection for allergic rhinitis (claimed as sinuses) is denied since this condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.
  2. A MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY Toxic Exposures Announcement Today, I announced two very important decisions that will affect millions of Veterans who served in the Vietnam War and in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. It is important to note that the process by which these decisions were made is just the first step; this will be an iterative, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-driven process to identify potential presumptions of service connection. Many of our Nation’s Veterans have waited a long time for changes to presumptions of service connection for benefits, and I look forward to working with the VA Toxic Exposure team to implement changes such as the following as swiftly as possible. The first decision concerns the addition of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism to the list of those conditions presumptively associated with exposure to Agent Orange. This implements provisions of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (P.L. 116-283), and VA will apply the provisions of court orders related to Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which may result in an earlier date for entitlement to benefits for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. Vietnam era Veterans and their survivors, who previously filed and were denied benefits for one of these three new presumptive conditions, will have their cases automatically reviewed without the need to refile a claim and will receive a letter from VA on the status of their claim. The second decision involves Veterans who served in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War and after September 11, 2001. After a thorough review of the scientific evidence around toxic exposures, including the report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, I am directing initiation of rulemaking to consider creating presumptions of service connection for chronic respiratory conditions associated with exposure to airborne hazards during military service in Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during the covered periods of conflict, which may include asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis. Our approach to this process will be holistic, and we will base our decision on science, in fulfilling our responsibility to Veterans who may have suffered disability due to their service. These decisions will affect millions of Veterans and families, and I encourage everyone in VA to always keep in mind the tremendous impact that we will be making in their health and quality of life as we go through these processes. I look forward to working with you as we further our goal of improving the lives of all Veterans. For more information, please go here: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures - Public Health (va.gov). Denis McDonough
  3. I tired to research this here but I did not find this question so here goes. I retired in 2011, i was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in 2019. GW and burn pits 2006 and 2008. On the Burn Pit registry. I'll file a disability claim but will they just boot it since i'm filing almost 10 years after retirement? . I've read a lot of material, some on VA.gov websites, and I'm not clear if RA/autoimmune diseases have an established presumptive cause with GW service/burn put exposure. One article would make it sound like it was in the works, another like it was a done deal. I can think back and recall joint pain over and above as far back as 2007 (my 50th birthday) but I chalked up to aging, wear and tear and an active lifestyle. it started as occasional pain and stiffness in my hands, then progressed to my feet, continued to progress to shoulders, knees and hips and the episodes of pain became more severe, lasted longer and happened more often. By 2019 I complained to my civilian doctor saying this is not normal, referred t a Rheumatologist and diagnosed late 2019. Unfortunately blew a lumbar disk, fusion in April 2020, so i just got back to the rheumatologist, I've also read about the correlation of RA with PTSD and I've got a 70% rating for PTSD. Do i file for RA as a new claim with the nexus as burn pit exposure or as RA secondary to PTS. Multiple joints are affected but hands and feet without a doubt the worst. I can't write a sentence longhand that someone could read and I can't pull the tabbed metal lid off a can of soup or walk down the stairs without two handrails because the achilles area of my heels are so tight. IT loosens up with activity , but sit in a chair for 20 minutes and get up and its like i never loosened up. by the way, i mentioned to the Doc that I might be asking for a letter and shared that an important statement from a doctor might be something like it as more likely than not likely that my RA was caused buy my service/burn pit exposure and she was like, sure, no problem. Sorry for running on, grilla
  4. I have had hand tremors for a few years now (i don't remember exactly when they started). I was recently told by a doctor to see a neurologist, which I did last month. I was told that she believes they are physiologic tremor. With no known history tremors in my family and no abnormalities in my blood work, I am curious if this is a condition that I could apply for as presumptive to service in the gulf war? I did 3 deployments to Iraq (2005,2006, 2007), I am also already presumptively service for IBS from gulf war service. Has anyone had experience with this?
  5. Hi, Berta (everyone), I am curious if there’s any instructions on how to go about: DIC is granted & accrued / death pension benefits are denied. My VA rep (Colorado VA office), recently explained to me that my mom was awarded DIC benefits ( I filed on her behalf ), effective the day of his death (my dad died Dec.30, 2017) of... 1-Pneumonia 2-COPD 3-CAD but, we (she) was denied accrued because the Army / VA did not owe him any money, since he never filed for benefits while alive. While that part is true, he never filed because he was told he did not have agent orange, he was told he “wasn’t in the right theater”, course that “theater” explanation is false. Vietnam establishes theater now, period. My dad was on ground (in air) for a year. Further my dad’s records I received from archives (medals included) do not have a lot of information in them. I have a hard time understanding what they do say. My dad was 191st Military Intellegence, not sure if that is why I have trouble making sense of the records they gave me or if that has anything to do with why I had such a trouble free approval on DIC portion of our claim (approved first time & expedited approval within 3 months)..to which we are grateful. However, I have an original document from 1989 that reads, “ In regards to YOU’RE request to be tested for agent orange...Donald L. Welch...” (my dad)..you’re appointment is scheduled for ...1989 at ... etc. then written in red pen on the top of the document is written “6-8 weeks”. I prusume his “testing” (set for an entire day 8am-6pm) did not inform my dad he had exposure, because he then would have filed! Yet, clearly he did (death certificate reads CAD) & DIC awarded for presumptive CAD! Throughout his lengthy medical history of: Arteries blocked (multiple), Surgical stents, cardiac-arrest, COPD, bronchitis-chronic, lung problems, etc. He believed he did not qualify for benefits. Months before his death he went to VA medical at his brothers insistence & on the way home from getting RX (for the first time ever from the VA) he told his brother he was told he wasn’t in the “theater” for agent orange benefits. By the time he got his first RX delivered through the mail...he was dead....of CAD. How do I prove establish that he would have filed for benefits (as far back as 1989, document attached), if they had not told him he didn’t qualify & wasn’t exposed? How do I get addditional records when he was military intelligence? I can’t even find out what battles, his medal citations are even from. I also know his helicopter crashed while he was in Vietnam and his back had either whipping marks or shrapnel scarred all over it...I want to know why. No records if him being a POW. Can anyone link me in the right direction? I’ll have to figure out how to attach documents to post- will follow through.
  6. In March I filed a presumptive claim for GWI for fibromyalgia. I know that C&P exams are not always required and so was wondering if anyone knows if they are usually required or not for a presumptive claim. I also wondered if it matters to the VA that my diagnosis was given by a military doctor at a major military hospital versus a civilian doctor. I included a letter in my documentation clearly stating this was a presumptive claim quoting the 38 CFR § 3.317 reg for fibromyalgia.
  7. 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.
  8. Hello,I am filing for presumptive SC for hypertension; working with VSO and my readings and diagnosis fit within the criteria for disabling (at least 10%) within 1 year of discharge from active duty, but the medical opinion from my c&p states there is no "direct service connection". Has anyone experienced this before? Will the VSR ask for another medical opinion based on presumptive SC or is this how the medical opinions are always worded regardless? Here is verbiage directly from the physician's medical opinion strictly for hypertension: SC:MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY-----------------------RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION: a. Opinion from general remarks: Veteran claims hypertension due to illness or event on active duty b. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: hypertensionTYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICECONNECTION ] b. The condition claimed was less likely than not (less than 50%probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness. c. Rationale: Review of the STR shows no evidence of the diagnosis ortreatment for hypertension while on a period of active duty. The veteranwasdiagnosed in December 2004 with CHF due to valvular heart disease along with hypertension. MEDICAL OPINION SUMMARY-----------------------RESTATEMENT OF REQUESTED OPINION:a. Opinion from general remarks: Veteran claims hypertension due to illness or event on active dutyb. Indicate type of exam for which opinion has been requested: hypertension TYPE OF MEDICAL OPINION PROVIDED: [ MEDICAL OPINION FOR DIRECT SERVICE CONNECTION ]b. The condition claimed was less likely than not (less than 50% probability) incurred in or caused by the claimed in-service injury, event or illness.c. Rationale: Review of the STR shows no evidence of the diagnosis or treatment for hypertension while on a period of active duty. The veteran was diagnosed in December 2004 with CHF due to valvular heart disease along withhypertension.*******************************************************************
  9. 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.
  10. Who actually decides or who would need to be contacted regarding changes in agent orange presumptives. I especially wonder about neuropathy which according to VA has to have been manifested to at least 10% within one year of discharge. But, according to multiple sources, this is a disease that was not even diagnosable until recently. That makes it impossible to meet the requirements for presumptive. So, who could actually introduce a change? Thanks Kate
  11. Long time no see, y'all. First the important bit: http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/includes/viewPDF.cfm?id=2743 If it works like ALS did, then effective dates will be from the date the regulation goes into effect. Meaning, if you've been fighting an appeal for years, they may grant on a presumptive basis effective the date of the new regulation,. Hopefully, however, you can get the right evidence and medical opinion so that you can win on DIRECT though. Now, the other thing. I used to be a VA adjudicator, and from time to time I would poke my nose in here, trying to help where I could. I got super busy with work as I tried like hell to help as many Veterans as possible, as well as trying to carve out a career path from RVSR to DRO to BVA judge. VA "declined" to help me with my law school student loans ($130k worth!) even though they have a program just for that, and the certs kept busting on USAJOBS, and I had lay people telling me, a licensed attorney, that I was wrong because their policy newsletter somehow outweighs a judge and the US Code. So I split after five and a half years. A very large plaintiff's law firm (mostly personal injury, workers comp, med malpractice) has decided to get involved in a ton of practice areas, and they expanded the Social Security section to include VA benefits. So, I get to be on the ground floor of a new practice area at a major law firm (un-named for now because I don't' want to look like I'm trolling for clients). Also, this isn't my real name, because I didn't want the VA coming after me when I worked there. I'm still super busy as I try to handle an enormous caseload, and help design our workflow so that we don't wind up in the same boat the VA is in. I won't have time to spend all day on Hadit. I wish I could though. I eat sleep and breathe this stuff, and I'm really passionate about it. I will try to become more active and help out where I can with some advice. (edit: spelling)
  12. There are 5 ways of obtaining Service connection, and not 2 like most VSO's state. The ones most VSO's often state are Direct and presumptive. However, there are 5: 1. Direct 2. Presumptive (this means there was an "act of law" which means you get service connection if you meet the criteria for the law). 3. Secondary. This means your service connected condition somehow caused another illness/injury. 4. Aggravation. This means you while you may have already had an injury in service, your military service "aggravated" and made worse your condition. 5. 1151. This means you sought medical treatment and one or more of your VA treatments caused an injury or illness. If you like, please give your example of how you won your claim with one of these. For example, I think Berta won an 1151 claim as the Va apparently caused her late husband's illness or even death.
  13. On the presumptive diseases listed her, what are the requirements? For instance, do they need to be diagnosed within a year of discharge, etc.? §3.309 Disease subject to presumptive service connection http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?type=simple;c=ecfr;cc=ecfr;rgn=div8;idno=38;q1=3.309;sid=8810eabd3a17b04d69a91436c1460478;view=text;node=38%3A1. Thanks, Kate
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