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I Think I Need A Plan


John Purser
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Question

Hello,

I've posted here before. My details are briefly:

40% disability, service connected, parachute jump caused a back injury (herniated disk) in 1985. Surgery then a medical board out in '87 with "10% temporary" rating. Gradually increased rating as the pain rose to 40%. Today I can barely take care of myself due to back pain. Pain from the back injury keeps me in a recliner most of the day. I worked with the VFW for a couple of years before I realized they were just filing paperwork that legally couldn't be approved. Trying to fight it myself now. Can't afford a lawyer and senators all say "we'd like to help but we can't".

From the law I see that my back can only be rated at 40% under it's current classification. Since I can't get the 60% minimum I need for TDIU from the one injury I need to get other symptoms (numbness, depression, weak leg, incontinence) related to the injury and file for disability for them until I hit at least 70% even by VA math.

After reading advice on this site I asked for a copy of my "C" file a few months ago. Got a nice letter from the Seattle office telling me it would be AT LEAST next January or February before they get through the backlog and send me a copy. After my last disability exam I was given the same amount for the same thing but was denied disability for several other items, all written in medicalese, that I don't understand. I'm assuming the exam doc found categories for other issues.

Questions:

1) From what I've written does it sound like I've got the facts correct? Am I way the hell off somewhere? Deep down inside I just can't believe it "really" works this way.

2) Does my general plan (claim everything and try to get it approved as a compensable disability related to service until I qualify for TDIU) sound like the way to go? Am I missing something? I "need" 100%. Honestly I can barely shop, cook, and care for myself today and that's directly related to my military service.

3) Is there anything I can do outside of the VA that might affect the disability decision favorably? For instance, my SS lawyers suggested retraining via a State agency. If it works I can get a job and if my disability prevents it then we can take that to the judge as evidence of disability. Is there anything along those lines that might be persuasive for the VA?

4) I'm sitting here waiting months to see my C file. Any suggestions on what I can be doing now?

Thanks for the help.

John Purser

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you last claim decision and NOD was after June 2007 you can hire a lawyer. They work based on getting 20% of your retro if and when you win your claim. Since you are asking for 100% that would give the lawyers an incentive to work your claim because they will get a nice paycheck. What immediately comes to mind is a claim for depression as secondary to the chronic pain syndrome you suffer due to the back injury.

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John,

You made a statement that you "need to get other symptoms...", I have to admit that bothers me. I have to ask, do you actually have these symptoms or are you just going to "get" them??

Honestly is HUGE with filing claims. Have you been seeing a doc (either civilian or VA) since your initial rating on a regular basis? If so, those medical records would show your declining condition and be of a big help. If not, then that might be a problem.

Take care,

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I myself, would not "get" symptoms. Either u have them or u dont. I know from personal experience,that my depression is exaceberrated from my chronic back and neck problems.It could also be the reverse for some.(pain=depression) I dont believe any one here is even suggesting that you "get" them. I believe i read between the lines correctly. Please feel free to correct me, if wrong. Peace, William

Edited by william n
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You need to get out to get an IMO. You also need your DOc to precribe bed rest or incapicitate you for long periods of time.

This should increase you to 60 percent and Iu.

Also ask for extra schedular consideration if your disabilities keep you from working.

It is a long battle but you can win.

J

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John P,

To receive an increase in compensation benefits a claimant has to have Medical Evidence, statements from doctors, physical therapy, RX records, etc...

You have a long road ahead of you.

For now you could study to help understand what is needed to get an increase:

Study parts 3 & 4 here:

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-.../38cfrv1_02.tpl

Study everything here under Compensation & Pension 21

http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/TOCindex.htm

I don't know many claimants that do not want 100 % so at least your normal on that, lol.

Hope this helps a vet.

carlie

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John,

You made a statement that you "need to get other symptoms...", I have to admit that bothers me. I have to ask, do you actually have these symptoms or are you just going to "get" them??

Honestly is HUGE with filing claims. Have you been seeing a doc (either civilian or VA) since your initial rating on a regular basis? If so, those medical records would show your declining condition and be of a big help. If not, then that might be a problem.

Take care,

Sorry. Awkwardly worded. Honesty is a big deal for me as well and it's one of the reasons I'm no longer using the VFW. I did not suffer tinnitus from a jump injury! Did anyone else get REALLY out there advice from their service organization?

My intention was to say that I need to get the VA to recognize these other symptoms as related to my back injury and start working on getting the maximum rating for them in order to qualify for TDIU.

Sadly, I was seeing another doctor during the worst of the decline. I told him my back was my primary condition. He refered me to a specialist who said there was nothing to do so my doctor never recorded another word about my back condition because it wasn't treatable. Seeing a new doctor now. Having trouble finding one who doesn't just want to do a lab and push pills. None seem to understand pain or poverty.

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