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I Won! Woo Hoo! But I Still Have Questions.

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I won!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got my brown envelope today!

My appeal from a DRO hearing to raise my SC knee from 10% to 20% was approved and so was

SC for my IVDS/DDD w stenosis. The IVDS/DDD was rated at 40%.

That takes me up to 90%!!!!!!!

BUT, I still have a few questions.

I was SC @ 0% for the knee since my service. VA put me at 0% because I "failed to show" for an exam in 1994. Long story short, they screwed up, I would have shown up back then, but I won't get into that.

I was also denied for "lumbar strain" in 1994 immediately post service for the same reason, "failure to show" for a C&P.

So here are my issues:

Both ratings have re-exams listed. The back is shown as having a re-exam in April 2011 because "it is expected to improve" (I had a fusion, don't know how it will improve) and the knee says 'a exam will be shceduled to see if the knee rates a higher rating".

I had a knee C&P last friday which I'm assuming was this 'exam for a higher rating", so I think that the 20% is a lock. Since the 20% is retro'ed back to Dec. 2006 is that when the 10 year rule starts or whatever that is?

The back is dated from Feb. 2007. It approves me for IVDS/DDD with stenosis. It lists that I had a fusion but doesn't rate me for that. 2011 is a long way off but not that long.

I guess I'm wondering if I can request that these ratings be made P&T since they originated (though honestly not as severely, I would say at a max 10% for the knee and back each back then) during my one year post-service time period? Like I said, the knee looks like it might be P&T since they only wanted to increase above the 20%, but the back still has IVDS/DDD at the next level below my fusion and a spinal fusion is a separate listing under the DX codes. I know that Rentalguy and I have chatted on here that for a fusion DX rating it "looks" like you need an entire segment of the back fused (not just 2 or 3 vertebre), but we weren't sure.

My final issue is the temp. convalesant rating. They approved me for 3 months at 100%. I have been out of work post-fusion surgery for 4 months and will be out until June 22nd which would put me at 5 months and 15 days post-op. Should I fight this and request the 100% for the entire time?

Also, without pushing it too much, after my DRO hearing the service rep I had suggested that if I get the 20% for the knee that I should then fight to get the 0% from 1994-2006 changed to a 10% from 1994-2006 as the VA used the supposed "failure to appear" as the only reason for rating me 0% even though my SMR's showed that I had long term knee problems for 5 of the 6 years I was in the Marines and if it is currently 20% , it HAD to have been 10% before.

I meet with my service rep tomorrow.

So, I'm happy. I have no clue how to figure my retro out since I got the 10% for the knee, then 70% for PTSD 14 months later and the knee increase and back both fall inbetween the two claims.

For what it's worth, I have been down on Dr. Bash before for the service I got from him. The claim does list him, along with all of the other back docs but doesn't specifically list his opinions as the one that made the claim stick. As for my knee, it doesn't even mention that Dr. Bash was involved in that claim. So, was he worth it? I don't know and I will leave it at that.

I can say, without a doubt, that HadIt helped me. Period. Without this site I would be another 'casualty" in the VA's war against Vets. I wish I had known about this site when my step-dad was still alive and fighting the VA for Agent Orange issues. He might have at least been able to die in his own house instead of losing everything.

Thank you, thank you all for everything. I'm actually getting choked up as I type this because I was going down a path of destruction before I found this site.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Congratulations jason! I am not really qualified to give advice on your questions, I'll leave that to other members. But, it is good to see the excitment in vets when they succeed on their claims. Go buy yourself a good bottle of wine and steak if your into that.


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Congratulations Jason! That makes two of us that won this week and I am just a happy for you as I can possibly be.

You are right about hadit veterans being such a great help to those of us who have to navigate this difficult road called VA claims....hadit has been the wind in my sails the entire trip and I praise God for them all.

Glad to hear your good news.


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  • HadIt.com Elder

Congrats but on the issue of trying to get back fated claims to 1994 that have been closed and had no action on them for the period 1994 - 2007 every BVA appeal I have read uses the claims was closed and final since there was no action for such a long period. Like my claim I filed in Nov 2002 I never had a period longer than 6 months that I wasn't either filing a NOD or asking for a DRO hearing so in August last year when my lawyer asked for the BVA hearing they agreed the Effective date would be Dec 2002 since it has been actively appealed despite their attempts to close the file out in 2006 which I NOD'd and wrote Senators about their BS games.

Someone else may know something more than I do, but I have yet to see someone starta claim drop it and then start it again 10-20 years later and get an EED back to the original date

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  • HadIt.com Elder


You should definitely get more 100% and in fact prolly should get 100% TDIU until you are working. I am afraid that you have to ask or they won't do it.

Good Luck

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