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Long time reader, looking for advice/help - I may have screwed up, but last Sept I filed what I was convinced was a slam-dunk CUE. In short, back in 1992 I was rated at 30% for - "Hypertension was diagnosed from 1983 with persistently high blood pressure reading.... Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure." ... "[Arthrosclerotic] cardiovascular disease with myocardial infarction, four vessel coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension." Later ratings in 2008 and 2012 used the same language "coronary artery bypass grafting and hypertension." I included copies of my SMR showing several instances (5 shown) where I had multiple readings where I was above the levels authorizing both 10% and 20% ratings and also Note 3 from the VA's rating criteria where it states that "Evaluate hypertension separately from hypertensive heart disease and other types of heart disease." Looked like a shoo-in. In Mar of this year I received the following response - "The Rating Criteria prior to 1998 prohibited granting a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. Hypertension was part of the evaluation criteria for the heart. so it would have been pyramiding to give a separate for the heart and hypertension. While service treatment records show you had a compensable elevated blood pressure readings at the time of the 1992 Rating we were unable to grant a separate compensable evaluation for hypertension and heart disease. The law was changed in 1998 and a separate evaluation for hypertension and heart was allowed. Rating Decision dated January 5. 2012 explained that a separate evaluation for hypertension wasn't warranted unless your symptoms were compensable." OK, I get it, HPT wasn't rated separately until 1998 so I couldn't receive any additional rating until after 1998. The part I don't get is the last sentence. I have to show current symptoms? I was always under the impression that while a rating could and would change due to on-going symptom changes/deteriorations, but that the intitlement had to originally show in the SMR. I definately had not only sufficient symptoms in my records, but also a diagnosis that "Continuous medication is required for control of blood pressure" (this alone should equal a 10% rating.) I haven't been able to address this for the last couple of months due to on-going personal/family issues, but I would like to file a NOD as soon as possible if my reasoning is correct. Am I missing something here? Or are there other factors that I'm missing? Thanks for any help/advice.
I'm new to the boards but have been stalking and gleaning all the wonderful information here for quite some time. First I'd like to say that I have searched and I have not found an answer to this question, but if there is another answer out there, please point me in that direction and I apologize for missing it. I recently had my Claim denied by the VA again. Under "Evidence Considered" there is no mention of my SMR or Service Treatment Records, I was wondering if that was normal. The other elephant in the room is that my electronic medical records from my time in the service cannot be found. I've contacted NPRC, the hospital I was treated at (Heidelberg Army Hospital, which is no longer around), and I've sat with one of the coolest docs in my dealings with the VA and he and I couldn't find any electronic medical records from my time in the Army. Paper medical records, I have those. However, all dealings with my primary care and most doctors in Germany at the time were recorded electronically. When I ETSd I never received a copy of the electronic records and I was told that they would automatically be sent to the VA. I know I'm going to have a hell of a time getting any kind of service connected decision going my way without those records. Are there any other resources or places I should look to see if I can find those records? Any suggestions would be helpful. I'm really struggling here. If I knew what I know now, I would have gotten copies of my records after each appointment. Thanks for your time.
Folks: I need advice on a possible service connection or status? I was injured while in the Army with a Tank Main Gun Blast 105mm Accident in 1985 but a Line of Duty was never done or initiated in my case/or for the incident. However, it was reported to the Range Safety Officer who was in charge at the time? I have the SMRs that show I was clearly injured and treated for the injuries for the blast while in service. Consequently, an inexperienced mechanic from the battalion maintenance crew working on my M60 A3 Tank Firing System, caused the accident in the first place. The battalion maintenance crew was supposed to remove the firing pin before they started troubleshooting the secondary firing system that eventually malfunctioned causing the tank to fire unexpectedly? Also if there was an investigation, the Range Safety Officer would most likely have been the one held responsible for the incident? Unfortunately, I ended being in the front of the tank by the front end of the main gun barrel when a hang-fire 105 MM round went off which put me at the wrong place at the right time. I was injured significantly almost 30 years ago by the blast and it also ruptured my right eardrum, damaged my hearing and injured my head, neck and back. Also, it was clearly an accident an no willful intent to do anything wrong by anyone at the time? So, again if there was never a LOD conducted by my chain of command and no investigations, either formal or informal at the time but the accident and the treatment clearly happened with good SMR evidence in my files. So does anyone have experience with seeing this type of thing before being classified as service connected or not in the past ? Today I saw something in the internet from a Legal Firm that supports Vet Claims that said if there was never an LOD and a soldier was clearly injured while in service, that there's a presumption that and incident like this "was in the Line of Duty then? From what I have found, it was not uncommon for LODs to have not ben initiated like this one.
Folks: Back in Feb 2015, I had what looks like my final CP Exams for this first ever FDC Claim. Consequently, 98%of my SMR evidence was turned in originally with the first claim as well. So, during the exams I handed the SMRS and some other CT/MRI Evidence that I had gotte just after I turned my intial claim in to the Docs and they both said, Do you want this added to your claim and I said.."absolutley!". Anyway, this week I found out that the records were not scanned into the VBMS system and no one at the CBOC or RO can confirn that they received the hard-copies at the RO? When I asked the CBOC what their SOP for this kind of action was, to ship the CP exam record to the RO- andthey were not sure? Also, I can see the actual CP electronic exams in "MyhealthyVet" Bluse Button so at least that got done? Anyway, since, I'm close to a decision now on this claim, should I just ride it out and hope for the best at this stage of the game? The other option is to make an issue of it which with the RO which may delay my claim substantially? I'm already very concerned because as soon as I had the CP exams and submitted the 5103 waiver, my claim quickly jumped from gathering evidence to the Decision Approval Stage...and I know that fast is not always better--but we'll see???