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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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rway

What Are My Chances

Question

I was previously rated 20% for Left knee (ACL Repair and 3 left knee orthoscopic surgeries)and 10% for arthritis in the left knee, now after getting the results of my claim for my left knee and many other items, They gave me 0 for arthritis in left knee and 0 for left knee. I went over 10 years as of April 2008 but they back dated it, to the date I put the claim in "2006". That would make it 8 yrs 11 months What are my chance of clearing this matter up.

I put in for an increase on many items and for TDIU. I had only 1 exam that covered all my claims (TDIU). She did not measure my knee's bending radius and nothing was stated in the results about bending radius. She sent me to have x-rays on my back and knees. Other than that, I have had no other CP's. I did qualify for TDIU with my other items claimed. My knees have not gotten any worse, and they definitely have not improved at all. My knees have not been able to perform for a long time. They are pretty much stable in the degree of disability. Therefore, I have not seen anyone for them, but have taken my medicine, Ibruprofin and have worn my brace religiously, non-stop for now over 10 years. I have been to the doctors many times for other ailments (mainly Meneires) and everytime it has been written by the nurse's station that I have a left knee brace and throughtout the 10 years. I am definely NOD'ing it. But not sure about the plan of attack. My problem is I walk fine (when I do not have active meneires) My problems are bending, climbing stairs, and when ANY added weight is given to me. (EI. 5 lbs. groceries will cause me to limp and ache.) Any advice is welcomed! I am able to walk about 1/4 of a mile, then my knee swells like a balloon and aches for a day or so.

Thank you,

rway

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rway,

This sounds very unusuall. Get a GOOD SO and go over the rating schedule and try to figure out what it takes to keep your ratings. This is primarily an issue with medical evidence and what the rating schedule says.

If you posted some of the medical evidence and excerpts from the rating schedule maybe it would be easier to focus. There might be someone here that really knows knee disabilities who will jump in.

I have been SC'd at 10% for my knee for 26 years. I was re-evaluated about 10 years ago and my 10% was continued.

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Every thing written in CAPS was not in letter just a note from Me. My letter states...

Evaluation of chondromalacia and ligament repair, left knee, which is currenly 20 percent disabling, is decreased to 0 percent effective Dec. 2006 which is the date we received your claim. Due process proposal to reduce procedures were not necessary in this case, as reduction of this disability does not decrease your total evaluation.

A statement from ---------,----------,-----------,---------- recieved April 2007, noted that they all felt that this disability was increasing in severity. (ALL LETTERS WERE FROM FAMILY AND CO-WORKERS)

Your statement that accompanied your unemployability claim noted that your knee osteroarthritis cause severe pain and you have had to leave work early. You provided a list of medications taken for thes conditions. (MEDICATIONS I LISTED WERE... METHYLPREDNISOLONE, IBUPROFEN, GABAPENTIN, GLUCOSAMINE, MOTRIN, ICE-PAK)

Medical Evidence received for VA, noted that your told the doctor that you hurt your knee in a fall. You complained of left knee pain. The doctor noted a history of left knee arthritis.

Compensation and Pension joints examination completed at VA, noted that you had a left knee ACL reconstruction in 1994 and left knee arthroscopy in 2000. You claim increased pain with difficulty bending. You claim your left knee pops out when you walk. You state that you wear a knee brace for stability. Your functinal limitations on standing aare to 15-30 minutes, and on walking limited to 1/4 mile. The exam noted that your left knee ws stabe in the medial and lateral ligaments (varus/vlgus in 30 degree of flexion) (varus/valgus in extention) and in the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (Lachman and anterior drawer). The left knee Mc murray's test negative. Your gait was antalgic. There is no evidence of lateral instability. The doctor stated that your range of motion or joint function is not additionally limity by pain, fatigue, lack of coordination, instability, weakness, or lack of endurance following repetitive use. The doctor diagnoed chondromalacia, status post ligament repair, left knee.

As the evidence showed no instability in any direction on examination, a noncompensable evaluation is assigned for Dec 2006

A noncompensable evaluation is assigned unless there is recurrent subluxation or lateral instability of the knee whis is slight.

THAT IS EVERYTHING, WRITTEN IN STATEMENT ABOUT MY KNEE. I AM HIGHLY UPSET WITH THE UNDERLINED PART OF THIS, BECAUSE IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. I CAN BE STANDING, AND ALL THE SUDDEN MY KNEE WILL GIVE RIGHT OUT. MY KNEE HYPEREXTENDS SO OFTEN, CAUSING ME GREAT PAIN AND TO FALL, THAT IS WHY I WEAR THE BRACE. IT IS ADJUSTED FOR MY KNEE NOT TO HYPER EXTEND.

SEEN MY SERVICE OFFICER, HE DID NOT WANT ME TO NOD, BECAUSE I WAS RATED TDIU. BUT IF THEY DID NOT TAKE AWAY 20 PERCENT ON MY KNEE, I WOULD BE 100 PERCENT WITHOUT TDIU. HE HAD ME FILE A WHOLE NEW CLAIM, FOR AN INCREASE FOR MY LEFT KNEE.

ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

RWAY

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what are you TDIU for?

Also-I am a little baffled at the SO's approach here-

is the left knee affecting the right knee? Do you have to compensate for it in balance on your right leg?

do you have any secondary back or hips problems that also could be medically related top the SC knee?

Could this decision ultimately cause the VA to screw around with the reason you get TDIU?

If so-if I were you-I sure would get an independent medical opinion on this.

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Letter states....

entitlement to individual unemployability is granted effective Dec. 2006 whis is the date you met the criteria and the evidence showed that you were unemployed.

Compensation and Pension examination completed at, VA noted that on joints exam, your knees improved in stability but remainded painful, with non-compesable decreased range of motion. The spine exam noted a decrease in range of motion and painful motion. The ear disease exam noted Meniere's disease symptoms continued to cause vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss. Your rosacea is under control as noted on the skin exam. The neurological exam and VA evidence showed you have severe and prostrating migraines which affected your ability to work. This was confirmed by your employer.

As the evidence shows severe migraines and PTSD symptoms that , with Meniere' disease symtoms, would make it unlikely that you could find and keep substantially gainful employment, individual unemployability is granted.

I RCVD... 70% FOR PTSD (NEW CLAIM), 50% FOR MIGRAINES (INCREASED FROM 10%), 20% FOR BACK (INCREASED FROM 10%), 30% MENIERE'S (STAYED THE SAME), 10% MILD DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE, LEFT KNEE (STAYED THE SAME-just noticed this on back side of last page. This is for arthritis of the left knee), and Lost the 20% for chondromalacia and ligament repair left knee. AND ALSO I HAD 10% FOR REOCCURING TINNITIS, WHICH HAS SOMEHOW DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY AND NEVER MENTIONED.

My new claim, put in yesterday, asks for an increase in left knee, a claim for cerebellar gait secondary to Menieres Disease and request Total and Permanent status.

I wanted to NOD Meneires and Left Knee, but SO said it was best to go this route.???

RWAY

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if you were granted IU, then you should now be rated at 100% right? why file another claim asking for more? just curious.

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