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  1. I'm working on preparing my brief to the CAVC on my appeal having received the Record Before the Agency (RBA). Searching for the initial EENT consult in the RBA now. Have it in a CD sent to me by the VA Records Management Center earlier. Does anyone know the date of "liberalization" of tinnitus allowing the rating of 10% for noise induced loss instead of only as secondary to a TBI? Is there a reference? Docket 17-2990 The following is in the RBA. 1) RBA Pages 4255 & 4254; The Rating Decision of 2-25-76, RO did not do investigation of injuries medically, only for “in line of duty” determination. a) CUE: RBA page 4365 dated 4/5/65; 4/4/65. “Patient took exam to operate a forklift and was noted to have a moderate hearing deficit. Please see and evaluate.” 4/5/65, “tinnitus ® ear & vertigo.” (tinnitus subsequent to exposure to 5” naval gunnery practice in the battle dressing station under the gun mount during the USS Sperry AS-12 gunnery practice during my tour on that ship aggravating a pre service mild hearing deficit with an incident of losing most of hearing for a period of 3 days not recorded or complained about on the record as an HN E3 when told it would come back.) b) RBA page 4309, Audiogram at Guam Memorial Hospital dated 7/31/75 noting “poor speech discrimination both ears.” But without noting the claim of tinnitus which is at least partially contributing to that. And the AOJ, given the EENT consult of 4/5/65 above and the other earlier Audiograms failed to send the examination back for a clarification on whether the tinnitus had subsided or was omitted from the report. c) RBA page 476, Audiology consult dated June 18, 2013. Please include the audiology report and notes on tinnitus and word discrimination. d) RBA page 3106, Rating Decision date 1/22/92: i) “F. Service medical records show complaints of recurrent tinnitus in April 1965 and January 1968. The audiometrics done on current VA examination show average pure tone thresholds as 48 in the right ear and 63 in the left ear, with speech recognition as 88 percent and 76 percent respectively. Also shown is periodic bilateral tinnitus.” ii) D. Service connection is warranted for a separate diagnosis Of tinnitus at a compensable level with application of 38 CFR 3.114 (A). iii) 2016 38 CFR 3.114(a) “…or a liberalizing VA issue approved by the Secretary or by the Secretary's direction, the effective date of such award or increase shall be fixed in accordance with the facts found, but shall not be earlier than the effective date of the act or administrative issue.” iv) 1974 38 CFR § 3.114 Change of law or Veterans Administration issue. (1) (a) Effective date of awards. Where pension, compensation, or dependency and indemnity compensation is awarded or increased pursuant to a liberalizing law or a liberalizing Veterans Administration issue, approved by the Administrator or by his direction, the effective date of such award or increase shall be fixed in accordance with the facts found, but shall not be earlier than the effective date of the act or administrative Issue. v) 1974 38 CFR 4.84(b) 6260 Tinnitus ---------------------- 0 (See diagnostic codes 8045 and 8046.) vi) 1974 38 CFR 4.124(a) 8045 Brain disease due to trauma Purely neurological disabilities, such as hemiplegia, epileptiform seizures, facial' nerve paralysis, etc., following trauma to the brain, will be rated under the diagnostic codes specifically dealing with such disabilities, with citation of a hyphenated diagnostic code (e.g., 8045-8207). Purely subjective complaints, such as headache, dizziness, insomnia, tinnitus, etc., recognized as symptomatic of brain trauma, will be rated 10 percent and no more under diagnostic code 9304. This 10 percent rating will not be combined with any other rating for a disability due to brain trauma. Ratings in excess of 10 percent for brain disease due to trauma under diagnostic code 9304 are not assignable in the absence of a diagnosis of chronic brain syndrome associated with brain trauma. vii) RBA page 844, Periods of steady tone were greater in Japan because of the constant additional background noise but still the 20 per day of the steady high-pitched tone seems a bit exaggerated. Probably something lost in the translation to the Audiologist. However, even with the translation, this is the clearest and best history of my tinnitus reported in the record. viii) RBA pages 3149 & 3150, Audiogram dated 8/21/91, recording tinnitus but inaccurately. My tinnitus has been constant with the bird chirping, with an intermittent steady high-pitched tone that more grossly interferes with hearing especially in a circumstance like an audiogram, since it first appeared in late 1964 during my tour on the USS Sperry AS-12 following gunnery practice and a temporary hearing deficit of everyone sounding like they were down in a well which off the record, after the practice, by a physician I was told would go away in a day or two. As an HN E-3, at the time, all I was concerned about was getting my hearing back which I did except for the tinnitus interference which wasn’t too severe except when trying to intently listen to soft sounds when it becomes a high pitched steady tone. So, it is intermittent in nature of interference. Otherwise it is like a soft background noise unless competing with soft sounds. This is the way I always describe it, but it has never been recorded in the long version except on RBA 844. ix) RBA page 3202, Claim on my behalf by representative with no mention of tinnitus. Given that it was granted on the review of the record under 38 CFR 3.114(a) it should have been dated from Mar 18, 1976 per the 1976 38 CFR 4.85b and the cited, in the 1/22/92 Rating Decision, 38 CFR 3.114(a). x) RBA pages 3484 & 3485 Audiological Case History, dated 5/24/88, recording tinnitus but with errors. Not “since taking Elavil” as the record shows. Worse since taking Elavil. And not intermittent as stated above except for the difference in tone. It is there when I wake up and when I go to sleep and probably keeps me from dreaming most of the time. And it has been like that since the 1963 or 1964 USS Sperry AS-12 gunnery practice. xi) RBA pages 3955 & 3956, Audiology Case History dated 5/14/85, also reporting tinnitus but erroneously. Is the reporting of “intermittent” because that is the usual? Where did the “2 episodes come from” Perhaps 2 episodes of the change in tone to a high-pitched tone. Should be mild constant with intermittent severe. xii) RBA pages 3965 & 3966, Audiology Case History dated 7/14/83 recording tinnitus moderate with errors as above. xiii) RBA pages 3987 & 3988. Audiology Case History dated 12/13/83, tinnitus reported, correctly as not in ears, incorrectly as periodic and just in morning (louder when first awakening). Appears to include both high pitched and “birds” (high pitched; “birds.”) xiv) RBA pages 4328 & 4329, Audiogram dated 22 Jan 67, Audiologist did not fill out history on back. Similar Beltone reports back was not copied. xv) RBA page 4462, Rating Decision dated June 25, 2015; “We determined that the following condition was not related to your military service, so service connection couldn't be granted: Medical Description Tinnitus” This goes to the authenticity of the June 25, 2015 Rating Decision and its sloppiness. e) Several audiograms listing tinnitus in boxes provided on VA and Military audiogram report forms are not included in the record. Some but not all are on the CD provided to me dated 02/15/2017.
  2. Thank You in advance! (First question after reviewing this book I wrote here should probably be, do i need to separate all of these questions into the different subject forums or is this OK ?) I've been procrastinating now for almost 10 years (mainly because of denial, I volunteered, tough guy, I know guys that seen/did worse and horror stories with the VA) and have just this year decided to attack this VA Claims Process. Putting it off for too long and ready to get the information needed to hopefully (fingers crossed) have a smooth process. I have not filed for anything, have no medical records or injuries documented while active or since (I have just requested my military records from the right place after all these years, because I assumed the VA would have them and keep them safe, so I didn't need a copy. MISTAKE #1, Naive I know) and have not been to see a private doctor for anything. I medicate with over the counter and always have, but have never been officially diagnosed with anything. Just last month I made an appointment with advice from an amazing local veteran group with a psychologist outside of the VA and she diagnosed me with PTSD. It was extremely hard to even talk to her, I've never talked to anyone about it just denied it or pushed it back. (I know I'll still need a VA exam). I was also seen by an outside, but VA referred hearing specialist and was diagnosed with tinnitus in the 3k range and hearing loss. 6 months after release from active duty in 2007 I was seen at the local VA for hemorrhoids and treated. I have had issues with roids, constipation, diarrhea etc ever since. This is also the only thing I have ever been seen for at the VA. My wife has also complained for years about sleep apnea and me startling her in the middle of the night when I sleep, should I get an evaluation for sleep apnea. She doesn't remember ifI did it when active or not, but does that matter for service connection ? I have already made the intent to file as of last month and am wondering how I should proceed from the above mentioned. I have not been seen for IBS, by any professional but it reads like that is a high possibility, so do I need a diagnosis from outside of the VA or should I get one prior to filing? Should I file IBS, if diagnosed under "presumptive illness" (BALAD IRAQ 2005-2006) ? Should I get on the Burn Pit or Gulf War Registry (Is there anything I should know prior to going to these registry appts) ? Should I file for PTSD with just an outside evaluation (How are stressors confirmed, all mine are personal accounts and encounters) ? Should I file for hearing loss or tinnitus or both I served as a firefighter and have read that as being on some list hearing related jobs ? And finally, Should I file for all of these now at one time or should I wait and do them individually ? My main concern is going into this and not being fully prepared, if there is anything you believe would aid in the above filings please let me know. I know there is a long road ahead, but I don't see any point in going alone and appreciate you all. Thanks again!
  3. Noise and Military Service; Implications for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus (2006) is the Institute of Medicines findings and presentation to the VA Secretary which deals with a lot of history throughout the DOD, addressing such things as "whisper exams" that fail to register the upper frequency ranges or loss thereof which is what Bilateral SNHL is all about. Lack of documentation, and a wealth of other information. Did you know that prior to 1978 a bonafide DOD Hearing Conservation Program to safeguard hearing loss did not exist. One exception the USAF did in fact conduct audiograms on select personnel from the late 50s forward. Do not be surprised in your VA Denial letters to find those serving prior to 1978 to have had an audiogram during their induction physical, but a whisper exam upon separation. The VA C&P examiners frequently refer to your hearing being normal upon separation, therefore the military did not cause your hearing loss. The VARO will concede your traumatic acoustic events and further noise environments, but will side with the medical evidence (by law) each and every time. Solution? Private Audiology Medical Opinions, the doctor will review all information in your VA Claims folder, and list the items they reviewed on their office letterhead, with the statement they have reviewed, then have the doctor remark as to "as least as likely as not" (equal to or greater than 50%) or "more likely than not" (greater than 50%) due to traumatic acoustic events endured during his/her military service, followed by medical reasoning as to why. The doctor will date and sign their letter and insert their credentials behind their name. (You may want to request copies of your military treatment records if you don't already have copies in order to challenge the VARO decision) Today I get the private medical opinions before submitting the claims. That way if the VA C&P Examiner determines the military didn't cause your hearing loss (negative opinion), I have the Private Medical Opinion (positive) and they cancel each other out. Then the RVSR within VARO is left with reviewing the remaining positive evidence in your claims folder, if available, and provide the veteran the benefit of doubt. 38 U.S. Code § 5107 - Claimant responsibility; benefit of the doubt Hearing protection devices; there are various designs, based on noise levels in your work environment; that have what are referred to as Noise Reduction Ratings to preclude hearing loss. These did not exist, in my case prior to 1979. Years ago, while in the Navy, I noticed engineers would wear what we called Mickey Mouse ears, to help attenuate the noise in their work space. These items were shared, gaskets wore out after extensive use and personnel continued wearing them without a proper seal. Their workspace would require at least a double flange and ideally a triple flange hearing protection device along with the ear muffs to preclude hearing loss. Problem being, they had to be removed in order to communicate, receive orders in conventional engineering spaces due to noise levels. News flash! There is no test for Tinnitus. VA will attempt to state otherwise, but the American Tinnitus Association and their very own DOVA JRRD Vol 46, number 5, 2009 pages 619-632 states "Special audiological tests are effective in detecting deliberate exaggeration of hearing loss, but no documented test exists that is capable of detecting the presence or absence of tinnitus." Furthermore, you are authorized to diagnose Tinnitus; for this very reason. Define the traumatic acoustic event you were exposed to that caused your Tinnitus since military service. 105mm Howitzers 185dB, M-16 156dB, flight deck on aircraft carriers 136dB are but just a few areas of impulse noise levels that exceed OSHA 90dB exposure in an eight hour period. Here is a further recommendation by Veterans Law Blog: Draft a Sworn Declaration – do not use VA Form 21-4138 – with the following information: (I've used the 21-4138 with success) List each and every incident of significant noise exposure you can remember – and give enough detail to show that the exposure was significant and credible Grenade blasts, artillery rounds, simulators, constant machine-gun fire, years around loud jet or tank engines, you get the idea. Don’t OVERDO it…1-3 sentences should suffice, but identify if you can the approximate month and year of the noise exposure. State approximately when you remember the tinnitus starting. If it started in service, explain why you didn’t seek medical treatment in service (for most Veterans, explaining the reality of military service to bureaucrats will suffice: no soldier, sailor, or airmen is going to stop a mission or training to seek treatment for a condition that everybody has and that there is no cure for. True Story). Identify the chronicity of your tinnitus – has it been continuous since exposure to the noise? If yes, explain that you have had this ringing since the exposure to noise. Identify the frequency of your tinnitus – how often do you have ringing in the ears? Every day? Twice a week? 4 times a month? Identify the severity of your tinnitus. I think you need only do this if your tinnitus is so severe that it is debilitating, prevents you from working, or in very rare cases, is “objective tinnitus”, meaning it can be heard by other people standing next to you. In these cases, you might be able to seek an extra-schedular rating for the tinnitus in excess of the 10% limit in the Schedule of Impairment Ratings.
  4. First post... I read some posts recommending Dr. Nash to do an opinion letter. For just a medical opinion letter for hearing loss/tinnitus appeal... any other recommendations on who to contact. THANKS.
  5. Hello, Army OIF/OEF vet here. In 10/2015 I initially filed for claims with little/no evidence. Most were of course denied. Through appeals I am now at 40% SC for IBS and tinnitus. I appealed my anxiety denial and was given a C&P exam in 06/2016, fast forward to 01/2017 and the VA sends me an SOC along with the VA form 9. I hired Vet Comp and Pen to help me gather supporting documents. (I think they did an excellent job) and submitted my VA for 9 along with new documents (02/2017) and waived my hearing before the BVA to help expedite things. Much to my surprise I was told I should still expect to wait about a year or so for the BVA's decision. In the meantime I have been developing a FDC for sleep apnea. Should I go ahead and file it even though the BVA currently has my anxiety claim or should I wait until it is decided? Thanks, and hopefully my post wasn't too lengthy.
  6. Hello, Background information: 35 Years old, 70% SC for Anxiety and Depression as well as 10% for tinnitus, no other medical issues. Living in Japan. I have recently been diagnosed with chronic prostatitis. I did not have the problem when I was in, it is a recent development with a high anxiety/stress load. The doctor told me it was likely caused by stress. I asked for a written diagnosis but the Doctor would not opine as to the cause, only diagnosis what was wrong. This is not unusual in Japan I think it has to do with insurance laws, because I experienced the same thing a few years ago with a another matter for the Foreign Medical Program. If I understand the process right I need to get a diagnosis that says something to the effect of likely being caused by stress and anxiety. I have a couple of options I can talk to my primary care physician who consults for Veteran Evaluation Services (CnP exam for those who dont live near a VA), and he might provide me with the diagnosis since he is familiar with my anxiety. Option two I could see if the Navy Hospital has a urologist and try to get a diagnosis there but I do not like going there. Or should I just file the claim with the diagnosis I have, along with statements from my wife and people who know me and hope? Since the Chronic Prostatitis I have erectile dysfunction or rather a painful climax which is common from this. How do I incorporate this into my claim?
  7. Back in1961 I was pushed backwards and fell on the frozen ground. Records showed "concussion", Infirmary and Hospitalized with loss of consciousness. Had C&P and got 40% for TBI and 30% for chronic headaches. My neck has been acting up for years. Can I ask for an MRI or Xray to find out what it is? If it's osteoarthritis neck or some other thing can I claim it as secondary to the TBI? Also have 10% for tinnitus for a total of their math at 60%.
  8. Sorry all. I previously started a thread but couldnt edit it to include my C&Ps. This claim was for an increase on my Left Knee and Back and Right Knee secondary to my left knee. Anyone care to give a guess at percentages? Im already at 10% for tinnitus and 0% for left knee. Provide description and/or etiology: Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional limitation in terms of additional ROM loss as this cannot be objectively quantified. Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional limitation in terms of additional ROM loss as this cannot be objectively quantified. Loss of normal lordotic curve Guarding: [ ] None [ ] Resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [X] Not resulting in abnormal gait or abnormal spinal contour [ ] Unable to evaluate, describe below: Provide description and/or etiology: Loss of normal lordotic curve f. Additional factors contributing to disability In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: Disturbance of locomotion, Interference with sitting, Interference with standing 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Normal strength Hip flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Page 30 of 109 Knee extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle plantar flexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Ankle dorsiflexion: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Great toe extension: Right: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 Left: [X] 5/5 [ ] 4/5 [ ] 3/5 [ ] 2/5 [ ] 1/5 [ ] 0/5 b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? [ ] Yes [X] No 5. Reflex exam -------------- Rate deep tendon reflexes (DTRs) according to the following scale: 0 Absent 1+ Hypoactive 2+ Normal 3+ Hyperactive without clonus 4+ Hyperactive with clonus Knee: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Ankle: Right: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ Left: [ ] 0 [ ] 1+ [X] 2+ [ ] 3+ [ ] 4+ 6. Sensory exam --------------- Provide results for sensation to light touch (dermatome) testing: Upper anterior thigh (L2): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Thigh/knee (L3/4): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Lower leg/ankle (L4/L5/S1): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Page 31 of 109 Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Foot/toes (L5): Right: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent Left: [X] Normal [ ] Decreased [ ] Absent 7. Straight leg raising test ---------------------------- Provide straight leg raising test results: Right: [X] Negative [ ] Positive [ ] Unable to perform Left: [X] Negative [ ] Positive [ ] Unable to perform 8. Radiculopathy ---------------- Does the Veteran have radicular pain or any other signs or symptoms due to radiculopathy? [X] Yes [ ] No a. Indicate symptoms' location and severity (check all that apply): Constant pain (may be excruciating at times) Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Intermittent pain (usually dull) Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Paresthesias and/or dysesthesias Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Numbness Right lower extremity: [ ] None [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left lower extremity: [X] None [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe b. Does the Veteran have any other signs or symptoms of radiculopathy? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Indicate nerve roots involved: (check all that apply) [X] Involvement of L2/L3L/L4 nerve roots (femoral nerve) d. Indicate severity of radiculopathy and side affected: Right: [ ] Not affected [X] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [X] Not affected [ ] Mild [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe 9. Ankylosis Page 32 of 109 ------------ Is there ankylosis of the spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 10. Other neurologic abnormalities ---------------------------------- Does the Veteran have any other neurologic abnormalities or findings related to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition (such as bowel or bladder problems/pathologic reflexes)? [ ] Yes [X] No 11. Intervertebral disc syndrome (IVDS) and episodes requiring bed rest ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Does the Veteran have IVDS of the thoracolumbar spine? [ ] Yes [X] No 12. Assistive devices --------------------- a. Does the Veteran use any assistive device(s) as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, identify assistive device(s) used (check all that apply and indicate frequency): Assistive Device: Frequency of use: ----------------- ----------------- [X] Cane(s) [X] Occasional [ ] Regular [ ] Constant b. If the Veteran uses any assistive devices, specify the condition and identify the assistive device used for each condition: Cane is used for both knee pain and low back pain 13. Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- Due to a thoracolumbar spine (back) condition, is there functional impairment of an extremity such that no effective function remains other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? (Functions of the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc.; functions of the lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.) [X] No 14. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, symptoms and scars ------------------------------------------------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? Page 33 of 109 [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Comments, if any: No response provided 15. Diagnostic testing ---------------------- a. Have imaging studies of the thoracolumbar spine been performed and are the results available? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, is arthritis documented? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Does the Veteran have a thoracic vertebral fracture with loss of 50 percent or more of height? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Are there any other significant diagnostic test findings and/or results? [X] Yes [ ] No 16. Functional impact --------------------- Does the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) condition impact on his or her ability to work? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes describe the impact of each of the Veteran's thoracolumbar spine (back) conditions providing one or more examples: The veteran states the pain in both his RIGHT and LEFT knees creates a functional limitation of inability to complete his recurrent PT testing that may cause the veteran to lose his employed postion as a police officer at DSCC. 17. Remarks, if any: -------------------- The veteran's claim file was reviewed in VBMS, CPRS, Vista Web, and Vista Imaging. Previous C&P history and physical exam records from 9-21-2016 were reviewed. The veteran served active duty United States Army from 2008 - 2014. The veteran earned a combat badge while serving on active duty. In January 2010 Knee and Lower Leg Conditions Disability Benefits Questionnaire Name of patient/Veteran: Is this DBQ being completed in conjunction with a VA 21-2507, C&P Examination Request? [X] Yes [ ] No ACE and Evidence Review ----------------------- Indicate method used to obtain medical information to complete this document: [X] In-person examination Evidence Review --------------- Evidence reviewed (check all that apply): [X] VA e-folder (VBMS or Virtual VA) [X] CPRS 1. Diagnosis ------------ a. List the claimed condition(s) that pertain to this DBQ: RIGHT KNEE CONDITION SECONDARY TO LEFT KNEE STATUS POST LEFT MEDIAL MENISCECTOMY AND CHONDROPLASTY, LEFT PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT b. Select diagnoses associated with the claimed condition(s) (Check all that apply): [X] Knee meniscal tear Side affected: [ ] Right [X] Left [ ] Both ICD Code: M23 Date of diagnosis: Left SC [X] Patellofemoral pain syndrome Side affected: [ ] Right [X] Left [ ] Both ICD Code: M22 Date of diagnosis: Left SC c. Comments (if any): Page 36 of 109 No response provided d. Was an opinion requested about this condition (internal VA only)? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] N/A 2. Medical history ------------------ a. Describe the history (including onset and course) of the Veteran's knee and/or lower leg condition (brief summary): The veteran's claim file was reviewed in VBMS, CPRS, Vista Web, and Vista Imaging. Previous C&P history and physical exam records from 9-21-2016 were reviewed and it was noted that the range of motion testing for the veteran's LEFT knee could not be completed during that C&P exam. The veteran served active duty United States Army from 2008 - 2014. The veteran earned a combat badge while serving on active duty. In January 2010 the veteran sustained an injury to his LEFT KNEE while taking mortar fire during combat while serving in Iraq and this injury is documented in the veteran's STRS as well as prior C&P exams. Ultimately, the veteran was placed on light duty while still serving on active duty several times due to LEFT knee pain and instability. The veteran eventually underwent a second LEFT knee surgery to correct a meniscus tear and also repair arthritic changes (the first LEFT knee surgery occurred prior to the veteran's active duty service). b. Does the Veteran report flare-ups of the knee and/or lower leg? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of the flare-ups in his or her own words: The veteran states he has continued to have pain since the LEFT KNEE injury on active duty occurred. The veteran states he has at least DAILY flare-ups of pain in his LEFT knee which he describes as a "sharp pain" that severely limits his range of motion. The veteran ALSO states he has at least WEEKLY flare-ups of pain in his RIGHT knee which he describes as a "sharp and throbbing pain in two different spots" that limits his range of motion. c. Does the Veteran report having any functional loss or functional impairment of the joint or extremity being evaluated on this DBQ, including but not Page 37 of 109 limited to repeated use over time? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, document the Veteran's description of functional loss or functional impairment in his or her own words: The veteran states the flare-ups in both his RIGHT and LEFT knee make it difficult to stand for long periods and walking for long distances becomes difficult. 3. Range of motion (ROM) and functional limitation -------------------------------------------------- a. Initial range of motion Right Knee ---------- [ ] All normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain) Flexion (0 to 140): 0 to 130 degrees Extension (140 to 0): 130 to 0 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to functional loss? [X] Yes (please explain) [ ] No If yes, please explain: Limited ROM as described above Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam and causes functional loss If noted on exam, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Flexion, Extension Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joint or associated soft tissue? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe including location, severity and relationship to condition(s): Mild soft tissue tenderness to palpation diffusely over knee joint but no redness or warmth Is there objective evidence of crepitus? [X] Yes [ ] No Left Knee --------- [ ] All normal Page 38 of 109 [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain) Flexion (0 to 140): 15 to 110 degrees Extension (140 to 0): 110 to 15 degrees If abnormal, does the range of motion itself contribute to functional loss? [X] Yes (please explain) [ ] No If yes, please explain: Limited ROM as described above Description of pain (select best response): Pain noted on exam and causes functional loss If noted on exam, which ROM exhibited pain (select all that apply)? Flexion, Extension Is there evidence of pain with weight bearing? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there objective evidence of localized tenderness or pain on palpation of the joint or associated soft tissue? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, describe including location, severity and relationship to condition(s): Mild soft tissue tenderness to palpation diffusely over knee joint but no redness or warmth Is there objective evidence of crepitus? [X] Yes [ ] No b. Observed repetitive use Right Knee ---------- Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional functional loss or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No Left Knee --------- Is the Veteran able to perform repetitive use testing with at least three repetitions? [X] Yes [ ] No Is there additional functional loss or range of motion after three repetitions? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Repeated use over time Right Knee ---------- Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? Page 39 of 109 [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted immediately after repetitive use over time: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with repeated use over a period of time? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional limitation in terms of additional ROM loss during repeated use over time as this cannot be objectively quantified. Left Knee --------- Is the Veteran being examined immediately after repetitive use over time? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted immediately after repetitive use over time: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent Page 40 of 109 with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss with repetitive use over time. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with repeated use over a period of time? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional limitation in terms of additional ROM loss during repeated use over time as this cannot be objectively quantified. d. Flare-ups Right Knee ---------- Is the exam being conducted during a flare-up? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted during a flare-up: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with flare-ups? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional Page 41 of 109 limitation in terms of additional ROM loss as this cannot be objectively quantified. Left Knee --------- Is the exam being conducted during a flare-up? [ ] Yes [X] No If the examination is not being conducted during a flare-up: [ ] The examination is medically consistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. [ ] The examination is medically inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Please explain. [X] The examination is neither medically consistent or inconsistent with the Veteran's statements describing functional loss during flare-ups. Does pain, weakness, fatigability or incoordination significantly limit functional ability with flare-ups? [ ] Yes [ ] No [X] Unable to say w/o mere speculation If unable to say w/o mere speculation, please explain: Pain is the functional limitation impacting the veteran's abilities during flare-ups. The exam today WAS NOT DURING A FLARE-UP and the veteran was able to perform repetitive range of motion maneuvers. In summary, it is not practical or feasible to express additional limitation in terms of additional ROM loss as this cannot be objectively quantified. e. Additional factors contributing to disability Right Knee ---------- In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: Disturbance of locomotion, Interference with sitting, Interference with standing Left Knee --------- In addition to those addressed above, are there additional contributing factors of disability? Please select all that apply and describe: Page 42 of 109 Disturbance of locomotion, Interference with sitting, Interference with standing 4. Muscle strength testing -------------------------- a. Muscle strength - Rate strength according to the following scale: 0/5 No muscle movement 1/5 Palpable or visible muscle contraction, but no joint movement 2/5 Active movement with gravity eliminated 3/5 Active movement against gravity 4/5 Active movement against some resistance 5/5 Normal strength Right Knee: Rate Strength: Flexion: 5/5 Extension: 5/5 Is there a reduction in muscle strength? [ ] Yes [X] No Left Knee: Rate Strength: Flexion: 5/5 Extension: 5/5 Is there a reduction in muscle strength? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have muscle atrophy? [ ] Yes [X] No c. Comments, if any: No response provided 5. Ankylosis ------------ Complete this section if the Veteran has ankylosis of the knee and/or lower leg. a. Indicate severity of ankylosis and side affected (check all that apply): Right Side: [ ] Favorable angle in full extension or in slight flexion between 0 and 10 degrees [ ] In flexion between 10 and 20 degrees [ ] In flexion between 20 and 45 degrees [ ] Extremely unfavorable, in flexion at an angle of 45 degrees or more [X] No ankylosis Left Side: [ ] Favorable angle in full extension or in slight flexion between 0 and 10 degrees [ ] In flexion between 10 and 20 degrees [ ] In flexion between 20 and 45 degrees [ ] Extremely unfavorable, in flexion at an angle of 45 degrees or more [X] No ankylosis b. Indicate angle of ankylosis in degrees: No response provided c. Comments, if any: No response provided 6. Joint stability tests ------------------------ a. Is there a history of recurrent subluxation? Right: [X] None [ ] Slight [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [X] None [ ] Slight [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe b. Is there a history of lateral instability? Right: [ ] None [X] Slight [ ] Moderate [ ] Severe Left: [ ] None [ ] Slight [X] Moderate [ ] Severe c. Is there a history of recurrent effusion? [ ] Yes [X] No d. Performance of joint stability testing Right Knee: Was joint stability testing performed? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not indicated [ ] Indicated, but not able to perform If joint stability testing was performed is there joint instability? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes (joint stability testing was performed), complete the section below: - Anterior instability (Lachman test) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Posterior instability (Posterior drawer test) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) Page 44 of 109 [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Medial instability (Apply valgus pressure to knee in extension and with 30 degrees of flexion) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Lateral instability (Apply varus pressure to knee in extension and with 30 degrees of flexion) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) Left Knee: Was joint stability testing performed? [X] Yes [ ] No [ ] Not indicated [ ] Indicated, but not able to perform If joint stability testing was performed is there joint instability? [ ] Yes [X] No If yes (joint stability testing was performed), complete the section below: - Anterior instability (Lachman test) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Posterior instability (Posterior drawer test) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Medial instability (Apply valgus pressure to knee in extension and with 30 degrees of flexion) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) - Lateral instability (Apply varus pressure to knee in extension and with 30 degrees of flexion) [X] Normal [ ] 1+ (0-5 millimeters) [ ] 2+ (5-10 millimeters) [ ] 3+ (10-15 millimeters) Page 45 of 109 e. Comments, if any: No response provided 7. Additional conditions ------------------------ a. Does the Veteran now have or has he or she ever had recurrent patellar dislocation, "shin splints" (medial tibial stress syndrome), stress fractures, chronic exertional compartment syndrome or any other tibial and/or fibular impairment? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Comments, if any: No response provided 8. Meniscal conditions ---------------------- a. Does the Veteran now have or has he or she ever had a meniscus (semilunar cartilage) condition? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, indicate severity and frequency of symptoms, and side affected: Left Side: [X] Meniscal tear b. For all checked boxes above, describe: Surgery x 3 for left knee meniscus tears 9. Surgical procedures ---------------------- Indicate any surgical procedures that the Veteran has had performed and provide the additional information as requested (check all that apply): Left Side: [X] Meniscectomy, arthroscopic or other knee surgery not described above Type of surgery: MENISCUS REPAIR Date of surgery: 2011 [X] Residual signs or symptoms due to meniscectomy, arthroscopic or other knee surgery not described above: Describe residuals: Chronic pain with daily flare ups and limitied range of motion 10. Other pertinent physical findings, complications, conditions, signs, symptoms and scars ------------------------------------------------------------------------ a. Does the Veteran have any other pertinent physical findings, complications, Page 46 of 109 conditions, signs or symptoms related to any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [ ] Yes [X] No b. Does the Veteran have any scars (surgical or otherwise) related to any conditions or to the treatment of any conditions listed in the Diagnosis Section above? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, is there objective evidence that any of these scars are painful, unstable, have a total area equal to or greater than 39 square cm (6 square inches) or are located on the head, face or neck? (An "unstable scar" is one where, for any reason, there is frequent loss of covering of the skin over the scar.) [ ] Yes [X] No If no, provide location and measurements of scar in centimeters. Location: LEFT KNEE POST OP X 3 Measurements: length 1cm X width 0.5cm c. Comments, if any: No response provided 11. Assistive devices --------------------- a. Does the Veteran use any assistive device(s) as a normal mode of locomotion, although occasional locomotion by other methods may be possible? [X] Yes [ ] No If yes, identify assistive device(s) used (check all that apply and indicate frequency): Assistive Device: Frequency of use: ----------------- ----------------- [X] Brace(s) [ ] Occasional [X] Regular [ ] Constant [X] Cane(s) [X] Occasional [ ] Regular [ ] Constant b. If the Veteran uses any assistive devices, specify the condition and identify the assistive device used for each condition: Brace and cane are both used for chronic and pain and flare ups in the veteran's RIGHT and LEFT knee. 12. Remaining effective function of the extremities --------------------------------------------------- Due to the Veteran's knee and/or lower leg condition(s), is there functional impairment of an extremity such that no effective function remains other than that which would be equally well served by an amputation with prosthesis? Page 47 of 109 (Functions of the upper extremity include grasping, manipulation, etc., while functions for the lower extremity include balance and propulsion, etc.) [ ] Yes, functioning is so diminished that amputation with prosthesis would equally serve the Veteran. [X] No sorry for the length i couldnt figure out how to shorten it without removing information. Any and all help or guidance is appreciated. Thanks!
  9. so my claim was submitted on 12/12/2016. I submitted for bipolar/depression (reopen) and tinnitus (new). I sent it in as an FDC with all my evidence. I checked ebenefits on 12/21/2016 and the status is already showing preparation for decision. Is this normal? I haven't even gone to a c&p exam, I haven't recieved any correspondences or anything. For the bipolar depression it is a reopen because when i first filed in 2011, I missed my appointment. After I missed my appointment, the VA sent me papers (back in 2011) saying that they see that i was treated for depression during active duty. but since i failed to show up to the appointment, it was denied. So now i've sent a ton of new evidence that supports my claim and they've reopened the case. But does the speed with which this is progressing means that i am being denied? As noted below, ebennies is showing that the va rep has already made a decision, in less than two weeks. With no exams or anything... What does this mean... Is this normal? have i been denied? Is there a phone number i can call?? im freaking out. Here's what ebenefits show: Estimated Completion: 01/24/2017 - 03/04/2017 STATUS: Preparation For Decision The Veterans Service Representative has recommended a decision, and is preparing required documents detailing that decision. If more evidence is required, the claim will be sent back in the process for more information or evidence
  10. Hello, I've had positional vertigo problems in the past ever since a hand grenade exploded close to my position four years ago. One week ago I had an appointment at the V.A. and I noticed that the building was moving, I asked my case manager if she felt the movement of the building and she said no, I was about to exit the building when this happened. I drove home and woke up the next morning feeling like my house was moving but ignored it since I have had episodes of vertigo before. I got to the building where I volunteer at (voc rehab) and felt the same way so I figured that it was positional vertigo kicking in for sure, for one week straight I've felt this way and is not going away. I went to the E.R. at the V.A. and I was prescribed meclizine and it is not working. The doctor told me it might be a viral infection and I do not know what to say or do other than taking the meds because I feel so weak and confused while I'm at home this is so annoying that I cannot take it anymore. The tinnitus in my ears became stronger and sometimes I hear drums beating inside my right ear. I like to have a few beers especially when others buy it to be honest, family members brought a few bottles of wine and beers for the holidays and I haven't had a sip of it due to my dizziness, that's how bad it its. Has anyone had this before?? I would like to put this to an end and if I'm gonna be like this for the rest of my life I'll put it in my claim, like I said I've had this feeling before, but not so many days in a row and with this intensity, any inputs thanks tiredmRONW0331
  11. Opened an FDC for tinnitus and hearing loss today. 28 years of EOD, Boatswain's Mate, Engineman and deep sea diving with multiple ear squeezes should account for my messed up hearing...right?
  12. OMG, I just spent an hour plus typing this up and it vanished. Guess I should have copied it to a Word doc before trying to post. What a pisser… In 2011 I was given a SC rating of 50% for occupational and social impairment with reduced reliability and productivity…. It was tied to a SC disability of degenerative spine disease of C5-C7. Since that time my neck has gotten worse and with more pain. My mood has turned pretty dark as I find my thoughts drifting off to being dead and therefore out of pain, now on a daily basis. So far the only thing that has kept me from doing anything drastic has been the stigma it would attach to my family. I fear my temper has deteriorated as well and I basically lost my last real friend a month or two ago. I was last seen (medically) at the VA in 2011 as well. Now that I want to return for counseling, they tell me that since greater than 2 years have gone by I need to reestablish myself and go through cattle call again…. That’s in mid-November. They also gave me a 0% SC for muscle tensions headaches. Looks like their biggest beef with my claim is that I did not use the term Prostrating Episode. I did however describe my 2-3 severe headaches a month that requited me to take Imitrex, NorCal, and lay down in a quiet dark room for 2-3 hours… was that not enough for a 30% rating here? Seems to me that I described a “prostrating episode”, but you tell me please. My headaches have increased in frequency to up to 5 a month – despite the occipital injections, and Botox shots (30+ per visit). Botox injections were so bad that I tensed up during the procedure and ended up with shooting neck pain. I quit the Botox after 2 tries. They weren’t very effective either. Other than sleeping them off in a quiet dark room for 2-3 hours, nothing helps much. In order to quell the neck pain, I have tried facet injections (helped some but lasted no more than a week) and on 30 June I had radio frequency nerve ablation in the C-spine. That hurt me so bad…. I had no idea how much pain I would be in as the nerves “died” until I read on why I was hurting so bad 2 weeks post procedure – turns out it’s real common. Pain went away after 7 whole weeks. See, though I have tried just about everything thrown I me. Now I am just tired of trying. BTW: I was rated at 20% for my neck issues… The crux of everything else I have, except Tinnitus. Something I have not, until now, wondered about is my sleep issues. I have been on sleeping meds for 5 years. Got off the Ambien to something less harsh. But I have trouble sleeping due to the pain I am in. Either falling asleep or staying asleep – or both. Is this something the VA would look at? All this had added up to me fearing for my job. I am a federal employee with 10 years in (post retirement from the USAF. I recently had to drop down 2 grades as previously a Contracting Officer (GS-1102) to something less in the critical thinking arena. Still, I have missed a ton of work over the past several years. I stayed up typing this as the sharp pain in my neck makes it impossible to sleep right now and I am on track to missing one more day of work. I fear I will lose my job due to absenteeism. The whole point of this post is my asking you all for “what you think” – I feel I may have left somethings on the table. It took me 5 years after I retired from the Air Force to file and that got me 80%. Another 5 has gone my and I feel much worse for the wear. I would appreciate to hear from you all. I have laid it all out there for you to see. My candor has never been an issue. Gratefully, Geo
  13. I'm kind of confused and concerned about this one... I submitted my VA Disability claim for multiple items way back in 2011. I got a very bad CP exam doc who denied everything despite nearly 20 years of treatment by civilian docs for some of the issues. In 2012 I appealed with a notice of disagreement. In the meantime a doctor at the VA was willing to help with the paperwork for the TBI and filled it out which sped up that portion - I ended up getting 10% for tinnitus, 40% for the TBI residuals (memory and concentration) and 30% for migraines/headaches. What is still on the original appeal is my feet/ankles & knees from an injury as well as left hand from putting a screwdriver through it. It's been sitting in the 1st stage appeal limbo basket for nearly 5 years. Fast forward to 2016 - suddenly I find out that my original disability claim has been sent to Washington DC to the Board of Veteran Appeals. Wow - what a shocker as I was expecting at least another exam. They said it will go before a judge. What concerns me is that it's my original claim, including the TBI issues. Will everything be reviewed and is it possible to lose what I have? I thought it should have been only for the items still in appeal. Is this whole " straight to the board of Veteran Appeals" right from the initial C/P disagreement a normal thing? Thanks for any insight.
  14. I have a friend who is rated 20% 10% Tinnitus 10% GERD He just went in the hospital for a heart valve replacements. The surgeon gave him a referral for 100% temporary application. Does the 100% only apply for service connected conditions? Can he explore GERD exacerbating the heart condition and replacement? He has an intent to file open for 2 months before the surgery... can that be used to connect the heart condition. The main concern at the moment is applying and receiving the temporary 100% as he has no short term disability. Any thoughts/help would be appreciated.
  15. Hey Vets. Monthly troll here. Currently 0% Service Connected for ADHD. My 2nd go-round I got a bit smarter and claimed MDD, Tinnitus, I/U, ADD with bipolar disorder (2ndary), and Anxiety Disorder. Claim submitted May 15 2016. Just did C&P on July 23 2016. The following is going to be info from my VA records, and I'm scared I did it wrong again - currently in a homeless vet program and sick of being broke/retarded at life. As of today: Active Problems: Cannabis dependence in remission (SCT 191839003) Schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type (SCT 38368003) Legal problem (SCT 22268004) Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (SCT 444613000) Recurrent major depression (SCT 66344007) Homeless single person (SCT 160700001) Active Medications: ---- SERTRALINE HCL 100MG TAB - (ACTIVE) FLUTICASONE PROP 50MCG 120D NASAL INHL - (ACTIVE) QUETIAPINE FUMARATE 50MG TAB - (ACTIVE) AMOXICILLIN 500MG CAP - (ACTIVE) SODIUM FLUORIDE 1.1% (FL 0.5%) DENT GEL - (ACTIVE/SUSP) Old Meds -- Dextroamphetamine for ADHD Clonidine(Blood Pressure) Trazadone(Sleep) METHYLPHENIDATE (ADD) CITALOPRAM HYDROBROMIDE HYDROMORPHONE 2MG/ML INJ 1M : DIATRIZOATE MEGL ALBUTEROL 90MCG 2007-TRAZODONE (depression/mood/sleep) 2007-MIRTAZAPINE 2007: Last year of active duty service. No combat tours. Assigned to a recruiting station, a decade younger than every other Marine in my office. Was often critized for mistakes in job performance. Sometimes I would take breaks and cry in my car because I was so unhappy with that present situation. Sept 2007: Talk to a psych once 2 months before discharge about my emotional issues and depressed state. No diagnosis. Sept 2008: Diagnosed with Depression. Was taking a med called Citalopram or something. 5 days later had a suicide attempt and was in the VA ward for 3 days. Was officially diagnosed with MDD less than 1 month after I left service. Now: Went for my C&P for Tinnitus. She said I had high frequency hearing loss. They didnt provide me hearing protection (ran out) during grenade throwing which was initial issue. It effects my sleeping and sometimes have to have people repeat things. C&P for MDD: Explained what I have above about my final duty station, my suicide attempt. Also added: 10 years of not being able to hold a job, quit/get fired for stupid reasons, dont show up cause I dont feel right. I lay in bed for weeks at a time not feeling like doing anything. I DO take care of my appearance. Feel hopeless and useless to society Cannot make functional relationships with others. Distrust others automatically. Avoid others at all costs. Hear voices saying 'its ok to die, the world doesnt need you,'. Will continue updated once I re-log on this library computer. What do you guys think/predict/belief?
  16. I know I have seen this either in MHV or Ebenefits, however I can't seem to find the letter that details my disabilities? In my case, it would look sort of like this: MyName US Army Bla Bla Bla Tinnitus : 10% Bilateral Hearing Loss: 50% Combined Service connected disability: 60% Signed Uncle Sam Thank you for your service... Yada Dada.......
  17. So hypothetically if I came in the military with perfect hearing, and on my seperation hearing exam it showed a severe hearing loss, and so did my hearing c&p, would that be enough to be s/c even if I didn't have a typically loud mos? Would those tests prove and s/c tinnitus?
  18. My claim closed on eBenefits and the C&P doctor is responsible for denial. In other posts, I explained that the C&P doctor had said that my BILATERAL lower extremity radiculopathy was due to my RIGHT foot fracture. They rated me 10% for the fracture (metatarsal malunion) and 10% for RIGHT foot and leg nerve damage. Also 10% tinnitus. They denied left leg and foot nerve damage secondary to service connected lumbar spine. Even though she screwed up the DBQ, I submitted an MRI report showing bilateral serve impingement, physician notes saying that I have sciatica (primarily LEFT leg and foot), and notes from a physical examination at the pain clinic done before an epidural injection but apparently none of that was looked at. I know I have to wait for the decision letter before I can do anything but is there something I can do without having to wait years for a DRO review? I have an appointment for another epidural injection tomorrow...will the notes from that visit be enough for reconsideration?
  19. If you are less than a year out, would any issue you have automatically be service connected? For example if I tell the doctor I have ringing in my ears, but theres no documented record of that while in service, and they put it down as tinnitus, would it be service connected?
  20. I am currently rated at 10% for tinnitus. I filed for SC for an ankle injury, bad knees and hearing loss in April, 2010. I was SC for hearing loss and pain in knees in 2012 at 0%. I filed my NOD within two weeks of the decision and have been waiting on appeal since. I just had had my C&P for ankles, knees, and hearing on April 14th. I was told by the C&P doc to expect a letter from them by June 14th (60 days). I am not holding my breath. I have a torn meniscus, effusion in the knee, and pain. I have been issued a hinged knee brace for each knee as well as hearing aids. So I feel strongly that I should end up with at least 30% combined, hopefully 40%. My understanding of the retro pay is I should see retro for the difference in what ever combined rating percentage I end up with minus the 10% I already received, going back to the original filing date (4/2010). As I was married in 2009, but can not add my dependents until I am rated 30% or more, will I get retro for the higher amount of spouse and dependents in a second retro payment going back to the original filing date? I get that it will be the final dollar amount with dependents, minus the single amount at the new percentage - the 10% already paid. If my research is correct I should see a first payment of at least $18,671.44, granted I get at least 30%. I got this from: $407.75 (30%) - $133.17(10%) = $274.58 x 68 (months) = $18,671.44 Once my dependents are added there should be second payment of $12,240.00 I got this from: $587.75 (with spouse and 5 kids) - $407.75 = $180 x 68 (months) = $12,240.00 Any information that I am missing would be greatly appreciated.
  21. I got a DBQ done I was awarded zero percent for migrane/headaches on jan 2016. I applied for claim in aug of 2015, since then I saw how they never put in my data from the Montrose VA that diagnosed me with the Migrane in Sept of 2015 so I asked for an up grade in March 20 2016 for an upgrade with a DBQ by my medical provider stating I have three prostrating attacks a month, have what called a Migraine with an aura that also in the doctors words affects my tinnitus, I also have missed work etc..I filef this as a FDC and I am a homeless vet the claim is in NewJersey how long will that take. I filed this upgrade along with other contentions I will list shortly will this migrane with Auro /Headaches that I am zero percent connected for be upgraded first or will they make me wait until the other contentions are done?
  22. Hello I had a ear test done last week for bilateral ear tinnitus this is my ear doctor results how can I get it SC if I never complain about it in the Army. Can I say from Combat in Afghanistan. I just found out about ringing in the ears that is why I never complain about it plus the Macho Military Mentality of don't be soft (or suck it up and drive on). I have attachment of the report if anyone wants to look at it Ear disabilites.docx
  23. Hello I had a ear test done last week for bilateral ear tinnitus this is my ear doctor results how can I get it SC if I never complain about it in the Army. Can I say from Combat in Afghanistan. I just found out about ringing in the ears that is why I never complain about it plus the Macho Military Mentality of don't be soft (or suck it up and drive on). Ear disabilites.docx