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Bva Remand-persumptive Connection



While participating in a training exercise in Egypt during October ’95, I pulled on a metal parts box and felt a sharp pain in my back, down in my left leg. At the time I thought I had just pulled a muscle in my lower back that wasn’t serious so I didn’t report it. I only had a couple weeks to go before returning home and I really thought I would be okay by then. However when I got home in early November it had only gotten worse. I tried heat treatments, anti-inflammatory meds and bed rest but nothing helped. On 12/11/1995 I went to my family doctor who initially prescribed muscle relaxers, pain meds and bed rest. He asked how I hurt my back and I told him that I hurt it while training with the USAF in Egypt in October, two months earlier. This is in his notes. I was referred to a neurosurgeon in January 1996 and had surgery for herniated disc at L4-L5 in March 1996. I had surgery again in 1998 to fuse the joint due to continued pain in left leg. Joint was stabilized but pain persisted. Surgeon determined that the left ganglion nerve root was permanently damaged at the time the disc ruptured. Have been totally disabled since 6/16/2000 due to inability to walk or sit for any length of time since the damaged nerve is aggravated by activity. I was awarded SSID in 2002 due to unemployability. I had surgery again on L3-L4 in 2007 to correct another herniated disc. Have also had five cervical disc surgeries with all levels fused from C2-T1. Severe DDD diagnosed.

Filed for service connected compensation 2004, had a VA examine in March of 2005. Of course I was turned down several times and eventually appealed to BVA. They remanded the case back to the RO stating that the VA doctor made his decision without looking at my case file and that I was to be given another exam after the doctor performing the exam had reviewed the complete file. Also that he was to give an opinion as to whether he thought it was as likely as not that my back problem could have been caused as a result of what I claimed. My surgeon has stated that he felt the way I described the injury by pulling on the box was more than likely what caused the initial disc herniation in my back..

I’m currently waiting for the exam date that the BVA requested. Does anyone have any advice, I’m new to the “VA Battlefield”. Do you think I have a shot at Compensation thru presumptive connection?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Welcome to Hadit.

If you can prove that your industry has caused you to be service connected you can win.

You need a diagnosis, a nexus and proof that you injured yourslef while serving.

Good Luck

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Thanks for the reply Peter53,

I'm not really sure what should be included in a "Nexus Statement".

Also on the summary sheet from my exit exam by the USAF it states that patient developed back pain in November 1995 that radiated into the left leg. October thru first week of November was when I was in Egypt training, and I wasn't discharged until Jan 1997. Wouldn't this help any in proving presumptive service connection? This is included in material I've already submitted. Should I resubmit this at the next exam?

I also plan to get an IMO from the surgeon that has operated on my spine 8 times since March 1996 due to continued DDD.

Thanks again for your help!


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I'm not really sure what should be included in a "Nexus Statement".

Example of a GOOD nexus statement includes :

I am Dr. XXXX Speciality fields XXXXX

I have treated veteran XXXX for conditions of XXX,XXX,XXXX.

The veteran is currently diagnosed with XXX,XXX,XXX.

The veteran is receiving physical therapy, RX's,etc....

I have reviewed the veteran's SMR's, this is a very important statement to add !

TMC's notes dated XX/XX/XXXX, stating veteran had injury of XXX, illness of, XXX, etc...

Military exit physical states, XXX,XXX,XXX.

It is my medical opinion that the veterans current diagnosis of XXX,XXX,XXX

test and surgeries dated XX,XX,XXXX, and XX/XX/XXXX, showing XXX,XXX,XXX

is as likely as not related to their military service as supported by the current diagnosis

and the medical evidence listed above.

(blackbird - the above shows the doctor's nexus statement and it is being supported with

medical rationale).

If filing for IU, it would be great for the doc to add:

Due solely to the medical evidence listed, it is my medical opinion the veteran's

disabilities are static in nature and unable the veteran is not able to hold employment

due to XXX,XXX,XXX.

I also plan to get an IMO from the surgeon that has operated on my spine 8 times since March 1996 due to continued DDD.

See above.

Hope this helps a vet.



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  • HadIt.com Elder
Thanks for the reply Peter53,

"............Wouldn't this help any in proving presumptive service connection? This is included in material I've already submitted. Should I resubmit this at the next exam?..............."

Hi Blackbird, First your back condition is not a presumptive condition. The VBA has a list of presumptive conditions and I don't see your claim falling under such. One example would be if you had service in Vietnam and had your "boots on the ground" and now many years later you have a specific type of cancer, then the VBA by law has to presume that your cancer is service connected.

However, the medical evidence as you have presented it seems to be pretty solid. The only evidence I'd seek if I were in your shoes is a buddy statement from a witness that may have observe your injury and/or complaints of pain shortly thereafter.

Edited by poolguy11550
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