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SamNezzer

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I posted this somewhere else and am not sure about all the jargon, or initials or really how to get around this site yet, and I can't sit at the computer too long, my back hurts and feet go numb (literally).

I don't want to post a ton of information if this is not where I need to be, so let me sum up:

I enlisted 12/6/1994 and was medically discharged 12/12/1995 with a 10% disability and given a lump sum of $2,112 for Bilateral Plantar Facitis. I Filed a claim upon leaving the military (as I was told) moved to California and assigned the American Legion reps to handle my stuff. On 4/16/1997 I was denied all other claims (I submitted 10 in all) except Anemia and given 0% for that and my original disability was dropped to 0% as well. I appealed and received a letter on 9/30/1997 to submit another form 21-526 which I had originally used in the first place on 11/24/1995 and 8/26/1996. I have no records or recolection after that and basically gave up because I didn't have new information and my marriage was going sour. I never heard back from the American Legion (they weren't very helpful to begin with). Nearly 10 years later, I am having some serious nerve damage in my neck which shows up in my arms as loss of sensation (one of my original claims that was denied). I've discovered that I have osteo arthritis in my neck and many of the 10 things I originally claimed are connected symptoms. I also claimed chronic UTI's and recently had to have a sling placed over my bladder for this issue in November of 2004. My grandfather, Conrad Holsomback, told me about this site and to reopen my claim. I know this isn't short, but my main questions are:

1-How can they reduce a % that was the cause to kick me out of the military and I was told is not reversable? I have to pay a higher co-pay if I am less that 10%.

2-Is there anyway to get my claim retroactive or do I really have to start all over?

3-How can they start paying from the date the claim is filed, yet when they dropped my % they made it retroactive to the day I was discharged?

4-In their denial letter, the findings state that certain test results "were not available for review and will be requested for consideration"; "the VA exam noted this condition by history only"; "this condition was not noted on the VA exam"; reports three episodes during April, July and September 1995, but "there is no evidence of chronic condition" and finally with my current issues "the diagnosis showed a history of symptomatic paresthesias with prolonged use of the hands"

How is that any basis for an answer and how can I appeal this now, nearly 9 years later?

I really need help and am furious that I didn't stick this out before, but I was nearly 22 and had other issues to deal with. I still have issues, but this is now a persistent problem and I am so frustrated that they treat people like this when they are unknowing of how to "use" the system.

I didn't pursue it because I didn't have any new evidence and they didn't use the evidence they got or search for the problem that related to the symptom.

I claimed for a heart murmur they found while in; chronic UTI's that still persist enough to have had surgery 11/2004; chronic ear infections; chest pains (I think these are related to my current problem); allergies (these are a big time problem now); nerve damage in my Left wrist (major issue); a misscarriage; and rashes (still persistent). I mentioned above they were all denied but the original feet thing (although it was decreased) and Anemia. Now I think many are symptamatic to my neck and I have blood tests that say I have rhumatoid arthritis as well, but I am not sure where, as I have knee (previous condition from prior military) and wrist issues. I am currently in a lot of pain and loosing my mobility and dealing with other things.

I am mostly angry and how I was dooped with my original claim and want to see if they can really get away with that and just grant me what they grant me from this point forward or if the insufficient information they provided can be cause for a mis- something on their part and make my claims retroactive to 12/13/1995.

PLEASE HELP DIRECT ME

I am going to the VA clinic tomorrow to get re-registered and see if I can get in for my "non-service connnected" ailments.

THANK YOU

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SamNezzer welcome to Hadit. After reviewing your post I have a couple of questions.

What disability do you have Service connected is it PF.

After 9 years the only to recoup back pay from original date is to prove the VA made clear and unmistakeable error in reducting the percentage and denying the other issues. You have Cervical Arthritis and Radiocular symptoms. Did you have a neck injury in service and if you did is it documented in the service record.

This information is beneficial to advise you of the claim you can file for example you may not have had as severe of symptoms 10 years ago and now you have severe symptoms. Any claim can be re-opened as long as there is NEW and material evidence. This means that there must be efidence that has not been previously considered and is so significant it would change the outcome of the claim.

I would suggest you obtain a copy of your service medical records, Any records since separation from service from, Private Physicians. Also get a copy of the claims folder from the VA. Examine all of the information and proceed from there. You can file for an increase of the original claim. from 0 to current severity.

You can re-file a claim for the conditions you stated and the VA will re-open the Neck claim. You have a good chance of getting Service connected for it. After that claim has been decided than go after the CUE on the original claim.

Here are the ratings for the Muscles of the Feet:

5310 Group X. Function: Movements of forefoot and toes;

propulsion thrust in walking. Intrinsic muscles of the foot:

Plantar: (1) Flexor digitorum brevis; (2) abductor hallucis;

(3) abductor digiti minimi; (4) quadratus plantae; (5)

lumbricales; (6) flexor hallucis brevis; (7) adductor hallucis;

(8) flexor digiti minimi brevis; (9) dorsal and plantar

interossei. Other important plantar structures: Plantar

aponeurosis, long plantar and calcaneonavicular ligament,

tendons of posterior tibial, peroneus longus, and long flexors

of great and little toes.......................................

Severe...................................................... 30

Moderately Severe........................................... 20

Moderate.................................................... 10

Slight...................................................... 0

Dorsal: (1) Extensor hallucis brevis; (2) extensor digitorum

brevis. Other important dorsal structures: cruciate, crural,

deltoid, and other ligaments; tendons of long extensors of toes

and peronei muscles............................................

Severe...................................................... 20

Moderately Severe........................................... 10

Moderate.................................................... 10

Slight...................................................... 0

Note: Minimum rating for through-and-through wounds of the

foot_10.

5311 Group XI. Function: Propulsion, plantar flexion of foot

(1); stabilization of arch (2, 3); flexion of toes (4, 5);

Flexion of knee (6). Posterior and lateral crural muscles, and

muscles of the calf: (1) Triceps surae (gastrocnemius and

soleus); (2) tibialis posterior; (3) peroneus longus; (4)

peroneus brevis; (5) flexor hallucis longus; (6) flexor

digitorum longus; (7) popliteus; (8) plantaris.................

Severe...................................................... 30

Moderately Severe........................................... 20

Moderate.................................................... 10

Slight...................................................... 0

5312 Group XII. Function: Dorsiflexion (1); extension of toes

(2); stabilization of arch (3). Anterior muscles of the leg:

(1) Tibialis anterior; (2) extensor digitorum longus; (3)

extensor hallucis longus; (4) peroneus tertius.................

Severe...................................................... 30

Moderately Severe........................................... 20

Moderate.................................................... 10

Slight...................................................... 0

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Thanks so much for replying. I really don't understand all the technical terms and will do the requesting of VA claim and medical records (I had all the records while I filed the claim, so just need the new ones), although I can barely read and understand the doctor's writing.

I was awarded 10% disability for bilateral plantar facitis, although I am not sure how they can minimize it to 0% if it was given 10% and I was medically discharged. I don't know much about the condition other than that I am to take anti inflamitories and buy supportive shoes and deal with it for life. I was under the impression that it was permanent, therefore, I don't get how it can change for the better.

As far as the errors, my assumption was that their statements that they didn't have any notes from the VA exam and that certain VA tests were not available for review and they would be requested for consideration, make me believe that the report wasn't finalized.

There was no neck injury, but I am now finding out that the nerves that were responsible for the problems in my arm and fingers are in my neck and have recent (2 weeks old) Xrays of Phase 2 Osteo Arthritis in my neck, which produces symptoms in my arm and hand that were recorded during my time in service. It also is possible that it can account for a lowered immunie system, as well as, the rashes, migraines and other such problems. These are all symptoms and not really conditions (I don't know the difference with their wording, if any).

The only thing retro I am really angry about is the feet and the lowered disability, as well as the fact that they might have figured this out 9 years ago and I could have prevented much of this as well as the laps of jobs I had to quit each time I got pregnant and had to recoup for years after before attempting to go back to work again.

I guess I am just frustrated that this is all coming up now and I wasn't given the attention then (but Life isn't fair is it) and that they can deduce that I am 0% instead of 10% and make that effective retro and we can't get retro. Again, that is just not fair, but that's government isn't it?!

As far as reopening my claim, I am assuming I need to do that ASAP and so I am also curious since the inital final report didn't respond to several issues because they weren't in the VA examiner's report, does that count as NEW evidence?

To recap, I need to:

get medical records

get VA Claim file

File to reopen my claim?

Now will I still list it under the same conditions as before, or claim my neck condition rather than my arm? I guess what I mean is, file a new claim, or reopen my previous claim?

I am kicking myself in the butt because I didn't stick to fightin in 1998, since the one year period has now expired and from what my grandfather has told me, if I win a claim it will be retroactive from this filing date and not 12/13/1995, so I will loose more than 10 years of compensation.

I am currently seeking treatment and diagnosis of my neck and arms and back and will be going to the VA for most treatment or my private doctors.

Will they reimburse my VA co-pays if I win the claim?

Also, is there anything I should be mentioning at the doctor's? Either VA or private?

Thanks again so much.

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Sam: Your best approach as I see it, is to get your current Service Connected (SC) disability re-evaluated for an increase in severity. This means that you will need a current diagnosis of your Foot problem as being More Likely As Not related to your SC disability and evidence showing the severity of the disability has increased to 10% or more.

For this you will need to get a copy of the C&P Guide that covers your foot. You can locate that by going to our old sight and looking through the listed exam guides at.( http://hadit.com/ )and under © find

(Compensation and Pension Exams Things to do at a Veterans Affairs C & P exam) You will also find a lot of information you may find helpfull in filing for an increase.

You can, at the same time of filing for an increase of your foot problem, reopen your claim for all the other disabilities you were denied previous. First you would want to show that you either incurred the ingury during service and was treated and/or diagnosed for them. Then you will need an Endependent Medical Opinion, that they were SC and/or were disabling in severity to at least 10% during the first year after discharge or presumptive time period for the disability.

To do just this part, you should at least have your service medical records and medical records since leaving service. Then see what you were treated for and/or diadnosied for and as above, get a current diagnosis and a nexus that shows it to be related to the SC disabiltiy.

Your going to have to do a lot of leg work or reading on your part and using what you learn hear and on our old sight, you stand a better chance at getting an increase and SC for your other disabilities.

Just remember once you file this time, do not let any time limits go by without new evidence or requesting an appeal. Keep hitting them with evidence and you should win out in the end.

If you need any specific question answered don't hesitate to ask and someone is sure to have the answer you need.

Jim S. B)

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  • HadIt.com Elder

To get good advice, you need to provide good information - here are some questions you should provide answers to.

Which branch of the service were you in?

What is the most likely Service Conected (SC) cause of your foot problems?

Was there anything on your induction physical about your feet?

Or about Osteoarthritis(OA)?

Did you experience any trauma or repetitive stress injury to your neck while in service?

If so, does it show in your Service Medical Records (SMRs)?

What does your discharge physical show, with regards to feet and neck?

With this information, you can get more specific answers. Those you have been given are fine, but not specific.

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Welcome aboard veteran-

you just got superb advise from some of our vets here-

I have one question- the reduction of the initial SC condition-

why did they reduce?

Did you miss a C & P exam or did they say it was not currently disabling at a 10 % rating?

"As far as the errors, my assumption was that their statements that they didn't have any notes from the VA exam and that certain VA tests were not available for review and they would be requested for consideration, make me believe that the report wasn't finalized"

This would show up in the Evidence they listed on the reduction and also in the Narrative-

Do you have all the paperwork you received from the when they proposed to reduce?

They were supposed to 'propose' the reduction- then allow you to submit anything you had to stave off the reduction-and show this condition was still at least at 10% and required some treatment-

I dont know about the other conditions- each one needs a nexus to your service or a link as a secondary condition to anything else they might service connect-

A CUE- clear and unmistakable error-is the only way- as others posted here-to get back any earlier date on the foot condition-

the CUE (which is a legal error on VA's part) might well be found within the way they attempted to reduce your comp.

Do you have the letters you received on this reduction?

How long was the actual 10% rating in affect?

This is from M21-1, the VA's controlling schematics that they use to provide 38 CFR criteria to adjudicate claims-

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:eYG21_...k&cd=2&ie=UTF-8

Scroll down and see if they, in fact, took the proper steps to reduce your comp-

if they didn't that could become basis for a CUE claim-which we can help you state.

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Guest Namvet6567

You stated "In their denial letter, the findings state that certain test results "were not available for review and will be requested for consideration"

The VA's failure to get those test results and issue a subsequent decision leaves that aspect of the claim open. This is due to the VA's error. The VA was required to get those results and issue another decision. Even if the decision may have remained the same, the VA needed to notify you of the decision and of your appeal rights. Most important, for you, is to get complete copies of your claims file and VA medical records.

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