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clark l namias


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You hae some options here, if I understand what you are asking. Your options are:

1. File a new claim for service connection on a new issue. You will have to have a "nexus"..a connection to military service. A doctor can supply a Nexus if he states something like: "Veterans condition of ...... at least as likely as not due to military service"

2. File a new clanim for SC secondary to another SC condition. You wont have to provide that nexus, but you will have to demonstrate that it is secondary, usually, again by a doctors stating to the effect something like: "Veterans ......... was at least as likely as not due to

........condition (SC condition

3. File for an increase.

4. Appeal your old claim by filing a Notice of Disagreement if your decision was within one year.

5. If your last decision was more than a year ago, and you feel the Va violated one or more regulations, then you can file a Clear unmistakable error claim.

6. If you have "new and material evidence" you can so state.

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It's going to depend on what the other conditions are. First thing is that the rating criteria changed back around 2002. I don't know how old your rating is, but if you put in for a increase you will likely be rated under the new criteria. I personally feel like the new criteria is much more fair to the vet because it gets rid of the mild, moderate, severe language. The second thing is that DDD falls under the Intervertebral Disc Syndrome (IVDS) rating criteria. This means that you can be rated in two different ways: range of motion or incapacitating episodes. Incapacitating episodes boils down to doctor prescribed bed rest. Since 99% of vets never get this, most are rated on range of motion. The third thing is that the VA combines the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine into one category called thoracolumbar. What this means for you is that the DDD spreading from the lumbar region all the way up to the thoracic region of your spine will make no difference in the rating you will get.

Now, for the secondary conditions, we need to know what they are to point you in the right direction. If you have conditions such as sciatica, foot drop, loss of bladder control, etc., you will need to get a concrete diagnosis of each condition, with a nexus that links each one to your service connected DDD. All of that information needs to be in your medical records. After you have all of this evidence, then you will want to file a VA Form 21-4138 requesting a increase in your service connected DDD, because it has gotten worse, and you will also request to be service connected for all the other conditions as secondary to the service connected DDD.

I have a series of blogs on this site that will help walk you through most of the process, and I have posted a Spine Claim Repository thread here that has a ton of information in it. The thread is pinned in this part of the forum.

Good luck.

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