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david walker

Question

I got my letter from the VA:

DDD C-spine 20%

Anxiety disorder 10%

gastris/reflux 10%

DDD L-spine 10%

Headaches 0%

Scar 0%

Cervical radiculopathy - not SC

Tendonitis/arthritis of wrist - deferred - pending C&P

I think I should file a NOD, if I do that can they take away what they have already awarded? I know its normal to think your rating should be higher. But how can they SC the headaches & give 0%. I submitted documents from doctors showing I have had migraines for years since my accident and at present I am have 1-2 a month. The VA give me my migraine meds. The out was they called them occipital, related to my neck and to receive a precentage I had to have 1 in 2 months over several months, duh. The not SC for C radiculopathy- I have a fusion C3,4,5 disk C2 & 7 are herniated, facets disease, arthritis and spurrs, and they say it's not the cause of my arm pain. All this was on my MRI I had at the VA. I've submitted all the med doc's I have. They have just not taken it all into consideration. Any ideals on how to prepare the NOD and what to send is greatly appreciated.

Also, at my last visit I tested positive for PTSD - Berta said I should file for & I agree, how should I proceed.

Guys I'm sorry this is so long I wanted to check with you all before I called my SO to see what she advises.

Thanks (PS- I am very greatful for the 40%)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

what do you mean on your last visit you tested positive for PTSD? did the doctor write in your medical file you HAVE PTSD, was it a MD a mental health dr who gave you the positive test? Did you take any of the written tests, mental health interviews etc, or was this someone saying they think you need to be sent to mental health to rule out PTSD? But if you think you have it, file before the end of the month, and lock oin for January claim date get a date stamped copy of the letter for claim, make an informal claim on apiece of paper and take it yourself to the VARO and get a copy right then and there, if you wait for your SO to do it you might end up like me I told my (old) SO that I wanted to file for PTSD in July 2003, he never filed it, I found out in Dec 03 and I went to the VARO the next day and revoked his POA and filed all my own claims, just make sure you get the diagnosis and have mental health reatment records from either a civilian doc or the VA mental health without them you will be like a fireman with a limp hose

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When I went to see the PC doc at teh VA, I was asked some questions, I was told I tested positive for PTSD screening. He wrote on the report positive for PTSD and positive for depression. He scheduled me for an appointment at mental health. I was given a test (it was not the MMPI) the psychologist told me I scored in the range where he recommended treatment (counseling) for PTSD. He referred me to a mental health group(45 minutes from where I live). That was in Nov, I've not been able to go. I am the primary care give for my son. Between me being sick, him being sick, b-Day, Christmas, school and work, I'm over run. The only record I have is the initial recommendation from the PC doc. I don't know if the VA kept a record of my test. I am wondering if this is worth pursuing. I am already rated at 10% for anxiety.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I would pursue it go get into treatment and build a case file, does your town have a vet center so you won;t have to drive 45 minutes away? If you have a verifiable stressor that you can show the VA to show SC and nexus there a lot of issues besides PTSD that vets are diagnosed with in addition to PTSD I am also OCD, but I am rated 50% for PTSD and I feel my treatment records show I should either be at 70% TDIU P&T or 100% schedular so I have appealed my award it took me from Dec 2003 until May 2005 before I finally got that approved I had to find copies of the court martials of the men who tried to kill me, the VARO wouldn't do it, but I did. They could not argue with 4 men going to Leavenworth as a stressor. Yes by all means pursue it it is worth it.

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David- one thing is for sure -the VA LOVES paper!

You need a paper trail- obviously the 10% is probably actually PTSD-

If you are being medicated specifically for one or both of these conditions- PTSD and Depression- that is some evidence of these conditions-the 10%-

But if a doctor tells you you have PTSD, Depression or anything similiar-and you have no paper trail, like vet center stuff, shrink appointments, medication profile records, no GAF yet , no MMPI yet - (I sure dont know what test this possibly could have been- do you have a copy of it? )

then the VA could say that you do not have a current disability of PTSD and/or depression and they will deny the claim.

If this is the same 10% anxiety disorder, you can certainly ask for a higher rating- but you will need the paper trail to show that it is higher than 10% in its manifestation ( proven by continuous medical care)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

That is why I go to the VAMC to document every complaint I have. If you don't document it and complain about it then it can't help you when you make your claim. You never know what little piece of paper is going to win a claim. If you are using VA medications be sure to document the side effects.

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David you need a nerve conduction study on the effected arm. This should tell you th extent of the radiculpathy fom your neck. Ask for a VA neurology appt because of the symptoms you have been having. Then obtain a copy of the report. The report should isolate the nerve groups. Also get your OR record from your Fusion, any Meylograms you had. The OR report will explain in detail what was found. You should be looking for anything that compresses a nerve root. The VARO told me that with surgury a compressed nerve root eases the symptoms. I had a Top neuro doc tell me that there is always the possibility for permanent damage from a nerve being compressed. Concerning your NOD, Also ask for a separate rating for the headaches.

DOes the award state your range of motion c spine?

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Talked with my SO, he looked at my documentatio I submitted with my claim for migraines. He disagreed with the Headaches 0%. He siad to get my stuff on headaches together and he would send I in and ask them to take another look. What is your all opinion. He said since I had an exam pending I should wait to file NOD. He also said if I filed NOD they could reduce my percentage.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Until you have had a rating for 20 years they can always take it away or reduce but they need a good reason like fraud, or if in the I think it's the first ten years if there is improvement in the medical problem they can reduce it or even take it down to 0%SC a lot of SO's use the they might lower your current rating is you ask for more, you ought to be happy with what you got and shut up, lot's of vets don;'t get what you are getting, be happy. If it isn';t what you think is right then appeal it

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