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Knees


pete

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Good morning, I'm going to file a claim for problems in my right knee that I think are due to imbedded shrapnel-it's sore all of the time. I went to VA Doc and he gave me Vicodin which says on the label "Don't drive" while taking. I also have arthritis issues with both knees. Any suggestions on filing this claim? Thanks.

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Pete- welcome aboard-

You should certainly file on the knee problem and also add the arthritis as secondary as I imagine it is affecting that knee.

Since this might be your first claim- do you have your service med recs to prove the injury in service-like X rays-or treatment notes. If the PH is on your DD 214 that would do it without those records.

If you still have a visible and painful scar put that in the claim too.

Veteran- now is the time to consider something else - schrapnel comes from the known stressor of receiving incoming- if you believe you might have PTSD from that or anything else in service put that into your claim too.

Thank you for your service!

Edited by Berta
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Hi Berta, thanks for the reply. I've been on this board before about my PTSD claim and have had some dialogue with you. Your knowledge is amazing. Anyway, my previous SO never suggested I file a claim for the knees. My scars (10-12 of them) are only about an inch long. Should I file this claim while my ptsd claim is pending? It supposedly is at the RO's desk. Supposedly being the key word. Berta, back in October you posted that although your time is limited, I could contact you for advice for a NOD on my ptsd claim when it comes. May I still do that? Thanks.

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Sorry about that Pete- some of you look different to me on the new board.

I certainly would add the scars to the knee claim-if they are tender scars put that in too-

and email me or post at my message thing here at hadit- if you need NOD help-

It is a shame that we always have to anticipate filing a NOD-even if we have a solid claim- one never knows what the VA will do.

But a denial under Reasons and Bases,will state exactly what the VA needs in order to award the claim.

If the veteran can satisfy what they want with additional evidence, they cannot come up with more reasons and bases.

Also the List of evidence used could be leaving something out that is critical.

And an assignment of the wrong diagnostic code could get a rating lower than it should be.

I was just talking to a VARO employee- they are under so much pressure that they are skimming through some of the claims-

One of my vets had a 6 page statement he was going to submit as NOD-

all he needed to send was the evidence they wanted-which he had obtained.

His NOD was reduced to one brief page referring to attached copies of VA medical evidence.

I should talk- I had sent them a lot for my present claim-17 submissions of medical evidence and 2 IMOS-

that has all been reduced significantly-

but it all lent to a preponderance of evidence. I know they will never read it all.

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Hi Berta, on my c&p report the VA Psychiatrist (resident) put on axis I that I had ptsd AND major depression. The RO asked for a second opinion to see if the ptsd and mdd were related or separate. The addendum report said he (the second resident psychiatrist) couldn't separate the two and that the mdd was "as least as likely as not" related to the ptsd. The first va doc also said in he report that i had no friends and significant problems with relationships. Then she gave me a GAF score of 69. I looked that score up and it says with a score of 69 a person is functioning well and has good interpersonal relationships. What's up with all that? While I'm at it they gave me Vicodin for my knee pain-8 a day- it says don't drive-how do th

ey expect you to function? Thanks. P.S. I'm particularly interested in your opinion of my first question about the ptsd and mdd.

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Pete, I read of your current situation(s) with my deepest regrets. A lot of what you're going through is where I'm at right now. Many of you fellas and gals always seem to ask the questions I have, so thankfully you don't have to hear of my ongoing woes too. So many of you rate higher than me on the pain threshold and my heart goes out to you. Many of you are really even an inspiration to me.

Anyway the point of my submission this morning is Berta. I have to throw in my admiration too, Pete.

I'm not sucking up to her mind you B) but I gotta offer another Thank You for us ALL.

Lady, you are not only an encyclopedia of knowledge about our common adversary, The Veterans Administration, but you've been offering more than that. MUCH more than that. YOU GIVE US HOPE .

Carry On and

Semper Fi

Edited by BobG
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And please, anyone else with advice or an opinion, feel free to join in. My anxiety level with the VA is over the top. I used to call the 800# to see how my claim was coming along, but I think each person I talked to just made stuff up. In the beginning I thought the VA was on my side. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Pete:

You are going through stuff that many of us had to deal with. As maddinging as it is it will eventually be resolved. Don't give up.

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And please, anyone else with advice or an opinion, feel free to join in. My anxiety level with the VA is over the top. I used to call the 800# to see how my claim was coming along, but I think each person I talked to just made stuff up. In the beginning I thought the VA was on my side. B)

Hey, Pete, just a quick followup. I've applied again (3rd time in 35 years) to up my medical discharge (30%SC) as life and health deteriorate as we get older. Haven't been able to work in 18 years now, the wife is my sole support, financially, physically and most importantly emotionally. Anyway I applied again with a claim last July and also anxiously await decisions as to C&P exams, and really everything else concerned with my present claim, as I haven't heard anything either except the VA's initial response when they received it 5 months ago ... it's no wonder the public sees us as being suspicious and distrusting of the VA ... you and I have a harsher opinion of them. Outright distain. They are not here to help us. They are not our friend. It's a business to them, and their decisions are just that. Business. I might add business as usual. I can tell you of the days when I first got back from 'Nam and they had me in a straight jacket with thorazine to help me adjust ... I learned a lot then ...

Hang Tough Brother.

Edited by BobG
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Hi Berta, thanks for the reply. I've been on this board before about my PTSD claim and have had some dialogue with you. Your knowledge is amazing. Anyway, my previous SO never suggested I file a claim for the knees. My scars (10-12 of them) are only about an inch long. Hi Berta, thanks for the reply. I've been on this board before about my PTSD claim and have had some dialogue with you. Your knowledge is amazing. Anyway, my previous SO never suggested I file a claim for the knees. My scars (10-12 of them) are only about an inch long. Should I file this claim while my ptsd claim is pending? Stosedly is at the RO's desk. Supposedly being the key word. Berta, back in October you posted that although your time is limited, I could contact you for advice for a NOD on my ptsd claim when it comes. May I still do that? Thanks.sted that although your time is limited, I could contact you for advice for a NOD on my ptsd claim when it comes. May I still do that? Thanks.

********************************************

Forgive me for intruding into your message to Berta.

"Should I file this claim while my ptsd claim is pending? "

If you file another claim, while the PTSD claim is in the process, your PTSD claim will lose it's position in the adjudication process, and your file might go to the end of the long line. It would be a shame to lose all this waiting time, for a major PTSD decision, with a knee injury claim. IMHO

Johnny

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Johnny 60-

I certainly see your point but won't the newer claim get associated with the c file anyhow?

I filed one, then 5 more and they are all going to be reviewed together-but then again that is a DRO review not a regular adjudicator.

In the old days of the Prodigy veterans BBS -1980s- (Peter Sawyer and Alex at hadit were both on those boards- we had an attorney who always said to file a claim ASAP so -once granted- no benefits are lost for each month it is put off.

Hope others give opinions on this-

Bob G -thank you veteran- my only goal is to get our grateful nation to cough up for your sacrifices-via VA comp-

Pete -with a solid link to your service the PTSD with depression as secondary seems to warrant a much higher GAF-

wonder where the doc got that from- also any PTSD meds can also hinder your ability to work-did the other doc give any GAF at all or just the first doctor?

Edited by Berta
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Johnny 60-

I certainly see your point but won't the newer claim get associated with the c file anyhow?

I filed one, then 5 more and they are all going to be reviewed together-but then again that is a DRO review not a regular adjudicator.

In the old days of the Prodigy veterans BBS -1980s- (Peter Sawyer and Alex at hadit were both on those boards- we had an attorney who always said to file a claim ASAP so -once granted- no benefits are lost for each month it is put off.

Hope others give opinions on this-

Bob G -thank you veteran- my only goal is to get our grateful nation to cough up for your sacrifices-via VA comp-

Pete -with a solid link to your service the PTSD with depression as secondary seems to warrant a much higher GAF-

wonder where the doc got that from- also any PTSD meds can also hinder your ability to work-did the other doc give any GAF at all or just the first doctor?

Johnny, Pete, Berta, et al ...

I just called my SO about a claim for tinnitus. I was with an arty battery as an FO. With something I read here last week, my SO said I would definitely be looked at as a tinnitus claimant, so I mailed him back this additional claim yesterday and read this post today about submitting a (more minor) claim while my PTSD claim submitted last July is still under review. Asked him if this newer claim would put me back at the end of line for the more serious claim. He said it would not. It would be added to the original and the additional claim for TDIU I submitted to them 2 months ago ... look I figure the more I throw at them, the more should stick, whenever they review any and all of it ... I got nuthin' to lose, some back pay to gain. They can't take away the (insufficient) 35 year old 30%SC ...

Hope this is some support, Pete ... B)

and I again try to always remember Joseph Heller's Catch 22 in times of frustration, looking for some humor in any of this.

Carry on Troops ...

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I belong to the group that feels a new claim will hold an older claim back. I guess that you could request that they defer the new claim till your old one is ruled on?

Good Luck

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I belong to the group that feels a new claim will hold an older claim back. I guess that you could request that they defer the new claim till your old one is ruled on?

Good Luck

I concur with you. Too many SO's, and too many years of hearing other veteran's tales, have shown me that a new claim placed after an existing claim, starts the ball game from the 1st inning.

The VA is not our friend. Any excuse, will be used to prevent acknowledgement of your disability to slow the compensation process.

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Hi Berta, I never saw the 2nd Doc-his opinion came from reviewing the c&p Doc's notes. So, he didn't give a GAF score. However, I had a intake interview at the VA Mental Health section by a psychologist or a master degree social worker and in his report he gave me a GAF score of 50. I don't know if his opinion carries any weight, though. In your post did you mean a LOWER GAF score? Thanks, all, for your posts-they have helped settle me down. My heart goes out to all with PTSD. I sometimes think I was better off before I started this whole process. I filed my claim, had all my ducks in a row, 11B, PH, verifiable stressors, many jobs, etc. My infantry duty in Viet Nam chose me--I didn't choose it. Yet, my claim drags on nd on. Go figure.

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Pete- did you submit that report with the 50 GAF to the VARO?

The lower the score the better-(I even think that is ,the 50 is too high- maybe I said that wrong in my last post)

Regardless of the GAF- with good evidence and the stressors- they have to consider the whole picture-

my husband had a GAF of either 26 or 34 (or both-I forget) yet his claim took almost 5 years to go from 30 % to 100% PTSD- even though he had SSA solely due to PTSD and took a battery of shrink tests.

One problem he had was he was VA employee and had to see the VA employee shrink who didnt have a clue about Vietnam-Even after he left the VA they still continued him with the employee shrink-It took Congressional intervention to get him to the real VAMC PTSD doctor.

The VA employee shrink did not document anything either- and of course could not prescribe medication-

WHen he got the real PTSD doc, suddenly there was a wealth of documentation, hynosis sessions, medication, group therapy, stressor details, etc etc----BUT- the VA failed to get any of these records-I had to get them from the PTSD doc and submit them myself.

A prior PTSD C & P doc had given him a 50 GAF. I called the doctor and raised hell- I also wrote to the VA and told them not to use this- because the whole time we were there (the C & P was at a different VAMC)

the employees searched for his c file and could not find it-

the doctor really had nothing to base his report on and only asked the veteran a few questions.

They didn't use it in the SOC.

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Hi Berta, I never saw the 2nd Doc-his opinion came from reviewing the c&p Doc's notes. So, he didn't give a GAF score. However, I had a intake interview at the VA Mental Health section by a psychologist or a master degree social worker and in his report he gave me a GAF score of 50. I don't know if his opinion carries any weight, though. In your post did you mean a LOWER GAF score? Thanks, all, for your posts-they have helped settle me down. My heart goes out to all with PTSD. I sometimes think I was better off before I started this whole process. I filed my claim, had all my ducks in a row, 11B, PH, verifiable stressors, many jobs, etc. My infantry duty in Viet Nam chose me--I didn't choose it. Yet, my claim drags on nd on. Go figure.

me too, Pete (....and on and on and on ....)

I have figured recently, we CAN'T live like this ... waiting for the VA to help us ... waiting for the mail man every day. Submit as much as you can, and forget the claim(s) as best you can. They'll get around to you whenevr they feel like it (no rhyme nor reason when) and when (and if) they get back to you, we know that the odds of them entering a decision in our favor appears to be 50/50 at best. So hold your ground Trooper (take note of whatever ya got going for ya now) and be thankful you and I are still here and haven't ended up in skid row, under a bridge, with only that last bullet left. You and I have known too many Brothers from Nam that have had no choice, thanks to the VA and this non-caring government, and have accepted this last resort.

I assume you've given it your best shot to date, so unless you have the enemy in sight, settle down with a c-rat of beenies and weenies (like we used to do in the bunkers of Khe Sanh) and become numb watching the History Channel. The mail will get here sometime today. No use in watching the mailbox ... or you can sit here reading the posts on Hadit, and really see how lucky some of us are ... hahHAHhaaaaaa

Carry On.

Cpl Bob

B)

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Pete- did you submit that report with the 50 GAF to the VARO?

The lower the score the better-(I even think that is ,the 50 is too high- maybe I said that wrong in my last post)

Regardless of the GAF- with good evidence and the stressors- they have to consider the whole picture-

my husband had a GAF of either 26 or 34 (or both-I forget) yet his claim took almost 5 years to go from 30 % to 100% PTSD- even though he had SSA solely due to PTSD and took a battery of shrink tests.

One problem he had was he was VA employee and had to see the VA employee shrink who didnt have a clue about Vietnam-Even after he left the VA they still continued him with the employee shrink-It took Congressional intervention to get him to the real VAMC PTSD doctor.

The VA employee shrink did not document anything either- and of course could not prescribe medication-

WHen he got the real PTSD doc, suddenly there was a wealth of documentation, hynosis sessions, medication, group therapy, stressor details, etc etc----BUT- the VA failed to get any of these records-I had to get them from the PTSD doc and submit them myself.

A prior PTSD C & P doc had given him a 50 GAF. I called the doctor and raised hell- I also wrote to the VA and told them not to use this- because the whole time we were there (the C & P was at a different VAMC)

the employees searched for his c file and could not find it-

the doctor really had nothing to base his report on and only asked the veteran a few questions.

They didn't use it in the SOC.

I am mentioning all this because they need to have your c file present for these C & Ps to develop a GAF-

they should go through the files but they usually dont .

I do not see how the VA can use this opinion:

"never saw the 2nd Doc-his opinion came from reviewing the c&p Doc's notes" to go against the claim- if they do you could sure question that-

If that is the case they can get a weak or negative opinion on any claim, then get another VA doctor -without a real examination of the veteran- to corroborate it and then say the preponderance of evidence (2 negative opinions) goes against the claim.

(Then again if the second opinion helps the claim-that would make it OK.)

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Guest VetWife Advocate
Good morning, I'm going to file a claim for problems in my right knee that I think are due to imbedded shrapnel-it's sore all of the time. I went to VA Doc and he gave me Vicodin which says on the label "Don't drive" while taking. I also have arthritis issues with both knees. Any suggestions on filing this claim? Thanks.

Pete,

How does your PTSD/MDD effect you in your daily life? Do you have people close to you that can supply your letters stating the differences they see in you? Are you still working? If not, why? Can you get a letter from your last employer if your PTSD was a reason for leaving?

Have you read the VARO ratings on the PTSD and where do YOU think you come in 50/70/100?

The lower the GAF, the higher the rating.

Do you have outside insurance?

Have you gone to the ratings on the knees? And where to you fall in this rating? Was it S/C? Why?

Got some homework, if you think your knees are going to be low? Wait, if not, file and tell them to Waive the 60 day waiting period. More likely, they will order a C&P for you.

Anything else? When do you get out? Do you have your SMR's? You need to get a copy of ALL of your records, xrays, blood work, etc.

Brenda

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  • In Memoriam

Knee ratings are usually for limitations in side to side laxity or limitations, but, if there is arthritis-limited back-to-forward limitations, you can get two ratings for that.

Alex

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