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Any Help Or Suggestions With Tdiu Or Ss Would Be Welcome



  • HadIt.com Elder

Hi Everyone,

Let me say thank you in advance for anyone who gives me any help or advice here. I will give you the quick down dirty on my history:

Currently rated 80% with mental at 50% so I meet the first requirement for VA TDIU.

Service connections:

Adjustment disorder (secondary to back) - 50% - Ativan 1mg 3 times a day, 20mg buspar 3 times a day, 200mg zoloft once a day, Ambien because I can only sleep 2-3 hours at a time - still on appeal at VARO - have another appointment 6/10 - I had one 9/1/08 and they bumped me up from 30% to 50% but acknowledged it was still on appeal - major issues are depression, panic attacks, hyperventilation attacks, anger, memory loss, guilt, and stress.

Asthma - 30% - Azmacort 4 puffs twice a day, serevent 2 slides a day, combivent 4 puffs a day, nebulizer as needed - mostly controlled except for daily wheezing and I wont be off inhaled steroids for a long time. Just saw the VA pulmonary doctor yesterday.

Back - 20% - LOL this is the insane one - 3 herniated and desiccated discs L3-S1 - 40mg oxycoytin 2 a day, 30mg roxicodone 3 times a day, 10mg Valium 4 times a day - On appeal at court down in Washington - surgery in 2000 on L3-4 and L4-5 discectomy and laminectomy which made me worse - all back surgeon prior to that surgery and after said I should not have surgery - spent 2000 - 2005 on light non-opiate pain meds, alcohol, sucking it up, etc - symptoms have always been severe back pain, severe leg pain, sometimes numbness, knees always feel like they are getting hammered, positive straight leg both sides, sharp and dull pain down the thighs to my feet, sharp and dull pains down the buttocks, can't sit for longer than 5-10 minutes, can't stand onger than 10-15 minutes, can't drive longer than 15-20 minutes (thats because I own a Lincoin with heat and massage in the seat), tried having a standing workstation and it didn't work, can't do any running, hiking, lifting over 5 lbs, long walks, bike riding, swimming, etc.

From 2006 I started taking Vicidon, percecet, and then finally OXY IR and ER. This was combined with still drinking because the pain was so severe and the panic attacks are so bad. Attended a pain clinic for 2 years (still currently go) and got 5 or 6 nerve blocks or facet shots, I did a spinal stimulator trial, went to a chiropractor for physical therapy for 2 years - I decided to have the spinal stimulator put in - I finally broke and couldn't take the daily nausea and pain anymore so even though the spinal stimulator trial was not great I went ahead anyway - when I got to the neurosurgeon who was going to implant the spinal stimulator he said he didn't I would get much relief - did a new full work-up - MRI (7th in 11 years) comes back worse than 2006 MRI - He recommends 3 level fusion with cages at L3-S1 - says surgery is about 45% I'll get relief - 45% I'll stay the same - 10% I'll be worse - Since I was going to need to stop working anyway I did it - 3-12-09.

Lower extremities - 10% - My back, both feet, and right testicle pain went to BVA - in 2008 they decided no increase for anything - they did give me 10% service connection for lower extremities do to back.

Right foot - 10% - Broke foot in boot camp - high arch feet - Pes Cavus - painful and weak feet - BVA said nope - At court.

Left foot - 0% - Broke foot in Marine Combat training - high arch - Pes Cavus - painful and weak feet - BVA said nope - At court.

High Blood Pressure 0% (secondary to back pain) - Lisinipril 10mg 1 a day - Started in service - no record prior to service - On continuous meds since 1997 - 4 readings on different days over 100 - ton of readings in the 140-158 / 90-99 since service started - VARO denied 10% because I never had consistent readings over 100 even though I've been on meds since 1997 - still at VARO - should have went to BVA - they didn't send it - I found smoking gun stating I appealed even though they say I didn't.

Right groin pain 0% - 5 or 6 doctors have said this was the first sign of my back going - first symptoms happened in 95 while in service - they are rating as prostate issue - which obviously gives me no rating - at the court.

Eczema 0% - Started in boot camp - even though there has been documentation at the VA that I had it on my hands, arms, head, and chest still no 10% - eczema is sporadic - for 10% it needs a certain coverage which I have but every time I go in I seem to only have one area under attack - on appeal at the RO - this is the 2 that should have went to the BVA with back.

Currently claims pending for GERD, erectile dysfunction, convalescent leave for fusion, SS and TDIU.

So I have the surgery and the plan was try to get back on week 8 part time. I knew this sounded insane but I said whatever. Company I worked for sucked and had no short-term disability. So I start physical therapy on week 6. I start getting worse and worse. I end up failing aquatic therapy and keep prolonging going back to work. The surgeon had told me the night of the surgery that the surgery went 100% fine and he even removed two levels of scar tissue off the nerves. However, he said I would be in for a very long and painful battle and thought if I took 1-3 of building up slowly I would see some relief. He said when he opened me up I was worse then he thought. So after work giving me two weeks of family and medical leave they fire me.

I filed SS and TDIU. The SS guy asked me how the hell I was working before the surgery. My VA psychiatrist had to fill something out for SS and when it came to the question did he feel I could work 40 hours m-f 8-5 he marked severely not which was one away from the worst rating. So I have his backing I shouldn't work. I had 2 independent medical evaluations done during this time and both times the examiner stated I should be considered for TDIU and I shouldn't be working. My current therapist wrote a killer letter stating good VA verbiage and stated I shouldn't be working. I'm going to get letters from my surgeon and pain doctor stating I can't work. I have an appointment with VA vocational rehab in about a week.

Sorry for the long story but this is my life. I also have a wife and 3 kids to support. I figure when all appeals are done I would be at 90% per the schedule.

Any advice from anyone? Thank you.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

the problem with trying to guess what the VARO is going to do is like me trying to read my crystal ball it's broke and it didn't work worth a damn before I threw it against the wall...SSD will more than likely be denied intially and the wait time for a SSD Judge is about 2 years, you already know what the appeal process is like for the VA and BVA, some VAROs will award TDIU for the back issues and others won't they make the BVA judge do it so they can say we didn't award it the judge did.

Obviously with all the drugs you take you should NOT be driving vehicles for a job or for yourself for that matter, even with it being prescription drugs there is still a charge of "driving under the influence" you should also have a claim in for sciatica nerve damage I have the same problems L3-S1 I won't do the nerve blocking shots, I am numb from the waist down, I can not even feel myself urinate anymore, my legs hurt, sharp stabbing pain that brings tears to my eyes...

You need to file for both of them and start learning where the catholic social services is, they have the best food pantry in town, churches that will help you make your utility bills, veterans groups that will help, you are in for a long strung out battle

I know you wanted to hear something different, like magical words on how to cut thru the BS, but I don't know any my claim took from Nov 2002 until the BVA Judge awarded my heart problems on April 7 2009

We got the back pay deposit this morning my wife woke me up at 330 am to tell me we had a large deposit to the bank 7 years after we started this road trip

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Hey Testvet,

Responded back quickly to your post. I just wanted to say I feel your pain. Although your condition is worse than mine I find myself crying at times also. I'm glad you got through the BS and have your ratings now. Sometimes I feel like no one in the world knows what I am going through. Thanks and try to enjoy life as best as you can.

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