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What Should I Expect From The Va?


jesse(ss)

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About five years ago while underway I had a backwards fall and landed my head on steel door lip.

I got an awesome scar across the back of my head and about ten staples to close up the gash.

I was medivac of the boat, not because of the head injury but because I had neck pain.

The first year after my injury was absolutely horrible and my Docs attitude towards my complaints and request for treatment was at best apathetic. (not looking for sympathy just illustrating that I received no follow up care) I never even heard of the term TBI until a few months ago.

In 2005 I separated (HON) and went to see a DAV rep for help with filling a claim. The VSO advised me that it would not be good thing to have a rating while pursuing a career in law enforcement and that I could file the claim at a later date. Obviously I took his advice, and I even kind of guessed on my own it would not be a good idea to seek treatment from my personal physician lest it be documented.

Im not criticizing the VSO, he didnt pressure me not to file the claim.

Fast forward to today, with the prodding of a fellow vet and being fed up with the ailments that are still present I have decided to file a claim. (Well maybe not)

Currently I have these symptoms they are in order of "most annoying" i.e. driving me nuts. Everything has pretty much been stabilized for past 2 ½ years

Insomnia (almost every night)

Headaches (wake up with massive ones 3-5 times a month) + dull ones all the time

Tinnitus (both ears comes and goes daily sometimes it actually hurts(I don't know if anyone has ever heard of painful tinnitus?))

Memory- try selling a car to someone whose name you can't remember (I can't remember all the things I can't remember)

Concentrating + Learning things for work (It's like I forget what I'm doing)

Scar and back of my head still somewhat painful. (I think I remember my chief nicknaming me divot but, I don't trust my memory anymore I could be imagining that.)

So anyway, as I mentioned I did not receive follow up care and I'm pretty sure that my CoremaN didn't document very much (before separating I got my hands on my med rec., wasn't very thick), the only thing I am sure of is that on my separation medical I listed the accident, headaches and some of the other incidentals too.

My question is, (drum roll) without any further documentation/ treatment is my claim doomed? I would almost rather not pursue this, than to have a 10% rating and bottle of Motrin thrown at me. Not worth my time or the insult to injury and stigma of a tbi. From reading these boards I am worried that by the end of the claim process I will have to add anger issues to the form.

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Your VSO showed negligence in telling you not to file a claim. If you had filed a claim within one year it would have been treated as being in the presumptive period. Now you have to prove that your current problems are related to the head and neck injury after 2.5 years have passed since you were discharged. You should be able to do this, but it will be harder. I don't think your claim is doomed, but it makes it harder since you did not get continual care since discharge, and no follow-up. I would file now. You need to get a doctor to look over your medical records, and state that your present symptoms are, in his opinion, the result of your injury in service. Even if you got 0% rating it is very important that you get your injury service connected now. What will your condition be in 20 years? If you wait it will be ten times as hard to prove your claim. The longer you wait the more chance for some intervening injury to occur that the VA will use to deny your claim. If you have a traffic accident and bump your head the VA will probably say that is the cause of your problems. Injuries tend to get worse over time just due to age. What is a pain in the ass now could become incapacitating 20 years from now. File the claim, and get into treatment at the VA right away.

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First of all welcome to Hadit.

As to your question your claim will need development. Since the injury was documented in your records you need to prove that it has gotten worse for you. The only way that you will develop this claim is to make it.

Good Luck

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About five years ago while underway I had a backwards fall and landed my head on steel door lip.

I got an awesome scar across the back of my head and about ten staples to close up the gash.

I was medivac of the boat, not because of the head injury but because I had neck pain.

The first year after my injury was absolutely horrible and my Docs attitude towards my complaints and request for treatment was at best apathetic. (not looking for sympathy just illustrating that I received no follow up care) I never even heard of the term TBI until a few months ago.

In 2005 I separated (HON) and went to see a DAV rep for help with filling a claim. The VSO advised me that it would not be good thing to have a rating while pursuing a career in law enforcement and that I could file the claim at a later date. Obviously I took his advice, and I even kind of guessed on my own it would not be a good idea to seek treatment from my personal physician lest it be documented.

Im not criticizing the VSO, he didnt pressure me not to file the claim.

Fast forward to today, with the prodding of a fellow vet and being fed up with the ailments that are still present I have decided to file a claim. (Well maybe not)

Currently I have these symptoms they are in order of "most annoying" i.e. driving me nuts. Everything has pretty much been stabilized for past 2 ½ years

Insomnia (almost every night)

Headaches (wake up with massive ones 3-5 times a month) + dull ones all the time

Tinnitus (both ears comes and goes daily sometimes it actually hurts(I don't know if anyone has ever heard of painful tinnitus?))

Memory- try selling a car to someone whose name you can't remember (I can't remember all the things I can't remember)

Concentrating + Learning things for work (It's like I forget what I'm doing)

Scar and back of my head still somewhat painful. (I think I remember my chief nicknaming me divot but, I don't trust my memory anymore I could be imagining that.)

So anyway, as I mentioned I did not receive follow up care and I'm pretty sure that my CoremaN didn't document very much (before separating I got my hands on my med rec., wasn't very thick), the only thing I am sure of is that on my separation medical I listed the accident, headaches and some of the other incidentals too.

My question is, (drum roll) without any further documentation/ treatment is my claim doomed? I would almost rather not pursue this, than to have a 10% rating and bottle of Motrin thrown at me. Not worth my time or the insult to injury and stigma of a tbi. From reading these boards I am worried that by the end of the claim process I will have to add anger issues to the form.

Hey Shipmate:

Welcome to Hadit. If the conditions you state are on your retirement physical and you have record of it in your SMRs, you should be able to get your conditions service connected. Sounds like you did get bad advice, but doesn't sound like you were very proactive. 10% for unmarried without child is $123. Nothing to really sneeze at. Headaches, tender scar depending on size, tinnitus (what was your rate?) If you worked on a flight deck or around jets/noise, tinnitus is easy to prove. You need to do a lot on your own and coming to Hadit was you first good move. I would say you are looking at something around 30% without even seeing all of the particulars. You can search the appeals cases and the 38 CFR part 4 VA rating instructions for different conditions you think you might have. Good luck!

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Welcome to Hadit.

John gave a very good answer. It can be very important to get SC now for future developments. As a TBI sufferer, I can tell you I have had my symptoms get worse over time.

Pete is also correct. If you have in service records of a head injury, a claim will need to be developed. This means geting a diagnoses and likely cause for the condition.

You may want to read this http://tbiguide.com/. It may give you insight about your symtoms.

Your claim is not doomed, you can still get the medical evidence needed. A 0% rating and bottle of motrin could help you considerably in the future. As for the stigma, I am the way I am with or without a diagnoses and the only people that know of it are the ones I tell. The claims proccess is not fun but neither is picking dog doo off the lawn. It sure beats stepping in it though.

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