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New Guy Looking For A Point In The Right Direction


cvsp
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Well here it goes. I am looking for some advice and will try to keep my details short.

Iraq Vet that left the service in 97. At that time it was seriously advised that I file for disability. My medical records only contained injuries or illness due to my service (operated on knee, gunshot, chronic fatigue syndrome). Being stubborn at the time I refused. Continued on with civilian life albeit a struggle mostly due to the CFS and not so much an issue with the physical disabilities. The CFS has along with the normal symptoms also caused a miscarriage with my wife as well as resulted in numerous bouts of serious depression.

Fast forward to Sep 2006 and I gave in and filed for my disability. Went through the normal BS until I got a letter stating my AD medical records were destroyed in a fire in 1973 (I was 8 years old then). I sent them a copy of the one I had, yet they never received it. Numerous phone calls to the local VA were a nightmare. They continually asked me to send in a copy of the medical records. I sent in three copies and none were received. Last time I called the VA on this matter I was called a "clown" by a VA phone rep. This set me back and I shy'ed away from the VA. Of course I received a letter of denial due to no AD medical records available a little over a year later.

In Dec of 2007 I decided to contact a VA attorney. I was promptly told that I need to move ASAP as my deadline for appeal was approaching. Long story short it was a nightmare. I sent all the paperwork requested within two days. Then heard nothing. I called and called and was handed more excuses each time. Five months later this attorney had done nothing. I then sent a letter stating that I no longer required his services and requested my file be returned to me. I received the file and a letter of apology. Thanks to this attorney my appeal date had been passed over.

In June of 2008 I decided to use one of local outreach programs. Found a real nice rep who started a new claim and sent in all relevant documents This got the ball rolling. She even acquired all medical documents from three hospitals and sent them in along with a copy of the AD medical records. Things where going good until earlier this year. I walked into the VA outreach program and was told she no longer worked there and I was not able to use the program's services anymore as I was in the next town over (rural area), even though the sign on the wall said different. Astonished I left only to return the next day demanding my folder and records that were on file as I needed them. It was a terrible hassle but yet I got them.

In this file I found out I had an appointment for a "Compensation and pension exam". I went yesterday and found out the doctor had none of the medical records that were previously sent in. Luckily I had copies of all of them and presented them to her. The main focus was on the CFS which was reported on numerous occasions within my AD records, even a hospital stay with numerous tests while on AD. The meeting went well and I got the impression that the doctor fully agreed with the CFS diagnosis as it was rampant in my records.

Here are the problems:

The original claim filed in Sep 2006 was for CFS and PTSD (both documented via medical records). This was the one that was denied and never appealed.thanks to the jackass attorney who dropped the ball (Not sure what the policy is in this forum, but I will refrain from posting his name for now).

The second claim, filed by the outreach coordinator, I now learn was filed for depression and void of the CFS or any other claim. Doctor yesterday seemed positive that the claim for CFS was obvious and no real discussion in regards to depression took place/

I left with a pretty good feeling yesterday. Now I am concerned that the second claim for being for depression and not CFS will screw me over. The original claim was for CFS but not the second. I have a strong feeling that the lawyer that screwed me over with the delay and excuses and missing my appeal is really going to screw me over.

So that sums it up. I am trying hard to be more proactive at this and would like any advice as to where or what I should do next. I think I need to attack this from two angles. One regarding the effective date ? Two amending my current claim?

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Hi and welcome to your Answer --its Hadit and You --

You are going to have to do the research and take it into your own hands

Reps will come and Go and you will be the one still working your claim.

It took me 13 years to find My SMRs and get connected just a little and I am still workin on a fair decision.The best Advice I think that you could be given is To Tell you Your the Guy that s going to make this happen..Get a copy of your C-file and start Learning.You are at the right place Here ..You are the best Rep You will ever get Cause its Your Claim... Its a lot of work and its a big Pain in the A$$ and a wait .But if you want it done you will be the one to do it..Knowledge is the best thing you can have to Win... and this is the place to get it..

Good Luck...

Edited by macool
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Welcome to hadit.

There's a lot of experience here and willingness to help navigate the rats nest.

Hope you find a few answer here that gets you on the right track.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I do not see any specific reason from what you have said that the depression will interfere with a CFS claim. However, the best thing to do is go to this link and type in chronic fatigue syndrome into the search option. You can also put "chronic fatigue syndrome" with the quotes. Start reading cases and see how the winners are represented in the desisions. The medical evidence is very important.

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.html

What happened to PTSD. Refile the PTSD if you feel it is an issue. The depression might be related to the PTSD. What do your doctors say about the depression? Are there any issues why the stressor is being questioned by the VA?

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cvsp

Need to get a little personal but not too personal. What was your C & P for?, was it for depression or CFS? Just want to be sure. Did you get a copy of it from release of information (ROI)? I suggest that from time to time when you go to the VAMC you go to the ROI office and request a copy of your records and treatment if you were treated. Since you went to a C & P, VA should have sent you a letter asking for more evidence and stated that they were going to send you to a C & P and for what, if you never received a letter it should be in the file you got from the local office informing you of the C & P. The good part is you have a copy of your SMRs, make sure you keep a copy of them. Have you went to the VA to see what is actually in your C-File? Do you have a current diagnosis of depression and CFS? Have your recently been treated for depression and CFS by a VA doctor or a private doctor? have you called the 1 800 827 1000 number to ask, what is the effective date of your claim and what claims do you have pending? I have more questions but these will start.

Pete992

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If you were denied based on "Fire Related Case" your rating should have told you that if your SMRs were found you case would be reopened. There is no time limit on locating the SMRs and reopening the case. They should still go back to your original claim. Check your original rating.

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CVSP,

Let's be clear here, there is no way your file could have been destroyed in the fire of 1973. I Hope you have this denial. Check the reason for the decision. They may have your SMRs because they sent you to a C & P. Understand that you will have to go through a lot of BS but it is up to you, if you give up, they win.

Pete992

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