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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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JustPLS

Blast Injury - Concussion? Tbi?

Question

Hi, everyone. I need some help with medical terminology.

I have a claim working for effects from 2 different blast injuries suffered in Vietnam (RPG, satchel charges). I think I made a mistake by referencing the injuries as TBI (I thought that was the new name for concussion), and my claim was initially denied, because there is no mention of TBI in my records. I don't know when TBI came into military medical usage, but I don't remember hearing it until about 2005.

My question now is - how do I need to re-characterize the injuries? Should I just refer to them as blast residuals, concussion, or something else? If I call it one thing, will the VA pick up on the incorrect name for the injury and rate it anyway?

My service medical records reference both injuries as due to blast, or rocket blast. Any help will be appreciated.

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I'm 17 year active duty Infantry 1SG. My docs coined my condition "Post Concussive Syndrome". Hope that helps. Need anything gimme a holla. todd.landen@us.army.mil

Hi, everyone. I need some help with medical terminology.

I have a claim working for effects from 2 different blast injuries suffered in Vietnam (RPG, satchel charges). I think I made a mistake by referencing the injuries as TBI (I thought that was the new name for concussion), and my claim was initially denied, because there is no mention of TBI in my records. I don't know when TBI came into military medical usage, but I don't remember hearing it until about 2005.

My question now is - how do I need to re-characterize the injuries? Should I just refer to them as blast residuals, concussion, or something else? If I call it one thing, will the VA pick up on the incorrect name for the injury and rate it anyway?

My service medical records reference both injuries as due to blast, or rocket blast. Any help will be appreciated.

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You are right-that the VA didnt recognize TBI until they decided it was the 'signature' injury of Iraq combat veterans.I would think thousands of Vietnam vets had TBI residuals- although there is information that reveals TBI due to modern weaponry is unlike in some ways- concussion injuries received in other wars. But

"My service medical records reference both injuries as due to blast, or rocket blast"

This is the nexus you need regardless of what VA calls it-

"If I call it one thing, will the VA pick up on the incorrect name for the injury and rate it anyway"

however-they dont have the capability to do that in most cases-

It looks like they denied specifically due to calling it TBI.

However- with the documentation in your SMRs you still need to show current ratable residuals of the injury(ies) that are being treated-in your medical records.This could be migraines, memory problems, visual problems etc-that can be directly attributed to the inservice events.

What stage is your claim at-did they deny and send you a VCAA letter telling you specifically what you need to send to them?

I feel you must clarify to them right away exactly what the injury is.

Are they waiting for a reply from you on the denial?

Do you have your complete SMRS and also copies of your copmplete VA medical records?

Did the VA itself in the denial refer to the exact post concussion terminology that the doctor stated?

Do you have a vet rep holding you POA?

The claim has to be 're characterized' as you said- but if you tell us the exact status and what they last sent to you in the mail- we can better determine what you should do.and if you have time to correct this claim or would have to re-file it.

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You are right-that the VA didnt recognize TBI until they decided it was the 'signature' injury of Iraq combat veterans.I would think thousands of Vietnam vets had TBI residuals- although there is information that reveals TBI due to modern weaponry is unlike in some ways- concussion injuries received in other wars. But

"My service medical records reference both injuries as due to blast, or rocket blast"

This is the nexus you need regardless of what VA calls it-

"If I call it one thing, will the VA pick up on the incorrect name for the injury and rate it anyway"

however-they dont have the capability to do that in most cases-

It looks like they denied specifically due to calling it TBI.

You're right, Berta. The denial just stated "your service records are negative for any complaint of or treatment for traumatic brain injury. There is no medical evidence submitted showing treatment for or a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury which incurred in or is the result of your military service". When I filed the claim, I did not have copies of my service medical records. When I requested them, the Army told me the VA had them. I finally got copies from the VA a few months ago. All the evidence related to those injuries and the treatment for them was in the medical record. Unfortunately, I guess, the only treatments shown were for hearing related problems and tinnitus. Nothing in the records about concussion that I could see, nor did it mention that I lost consciousness in both incidents.

However- with the documentation in your SMRs you still need to show current ratable residuals of the injury(ies) that are being treated-in your medical records.This could be migraines, memory problems, visual problems etc-that can be directly attributed to the inservice events.

What stage is your claim at-did they deny and send you a VCAA letter telling you specifically what you need to send to them?

My denial was dated September 11, 2008. They told me I had one year from the date of the denial to submit evidence or to appeal. I have submitted the documents from my medical records along with statement in support, but an IRIS response to a query last week said they have no information regarding my submissions of evidence supporting this (or other) claims since the denial in September.

I feel you must clarify to them right away exactly what the injury is.

Are they waiting for a reply from you on the denial?

I don't know what they are waiting for now....looks to me like they have either lost or not yet filed anything I have sent in since September.

Do you have your complete SMRS and also copies of your copmplete VA medical records?

I have only what they sent me from the VA. Both my requests to the Army said the VA had my records checked out, and they had nothing to send.

Did the VA itself in the denial refer to the exact post concussion terminology that the doctor stated?

No. They didn't mention anything at all about the information in the medical records, they just said there was no mention of TBI.

Do you have a vet rep holding you POA?

Yes, unfortunately. I am trying to figure out how to fire them since the rep won't even return my emails, and has done absolutely nothing for me so far.

The claim has to be 're characterized' as you said- but if you tell us the exact status and what they last sent to you in the mail- we can better determine what you should do.and if you have time to correct this claim or would have to re-file it.

The claim appears to be in a denied status, pending receipt of evidence - evidence which I have sent in but they say they didn't get (which was in the medical record already). I have recently written a letter to them requesting re-consideration under the lost records special claim handling procedures they announced last November, since I believe some of my stuff hasn't been looked at.

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Oops! I'm still new at this, so I don't know all I need to know about making replies. I wanted to add thanks to Berta and Todd for their help.

Pat

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You should receive a computer generated letter with 30 days of filing a claim. Call the 800 number and make sure you have a claim pending.

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