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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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blackbird

Intervertrbral Disc Syndrome?

Question

Hello fellow vets,

I'm supposed to be having a second c&p exam soon for Degen. Disc Disease. Since being disgnosed in 1996 I often have flare-ups of severe pain that may last from 3 to 7 days each episode, caused by inflamation to a damaged nerve. When these happen I have to go to bed and take pain meds, usually dilaudid, to get any relief until the damaged nerve settles down. Over the past year I have been in bed with this problem between 8 to 12 weeks, combined, taking the meds that the surgeon prescribed for these flare-ups.

My question#1 Can anyone tell me if the examiner, after hearing the above, is the one that changes the code to Intervertebral Disc Syn. or do I have to request to be rated that way? I have searched but haven't been able to answer this.

#2 If he does change the code to IDS, would the five cervical disc surgeries I've had since 2001 to fuse 5 discs come into the rating since they are from Degen. Disc Disease? The cervical problems started 5 years after the initial injury to my back that started the DDD.

Thanks for your help!

blackbird

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Hello blackbird. Was you neck injury inservice? IVDS is and can be interchangably used with back injuries.(cervical, thoracic, lumbar etc). It may be possible to achieve another diagnosis depends on dr, mri's, examinations, treatments, etc. Rentalguy1 is our very versed SPINE guy here at hadit. If he does't see your post, you might send him a private message to see what advice or thoughts he may offer. Good luck with your claim. You have not been granted any disability % thus yet right? Didn't notice any listed on your profile/picture area.

Hello fellow vets,

I'm supposed to be having a second c&p exam soon for Degen. Disc Disease. Since being disgnosed in 1996 I often have flare-ups of severe pain that may last from 3 to 7 days each episode, caused by inflamation to a damaged nerve. When these happen I have to go to bed and take pain meds, usually dilaudid, to get any relief until the damaged nerve settles down. Over the past year I have been in bed with this problem between 8 to 12 weeks, combined, taking the meds that the surgeon prescribed for these flare-ups.

My question#1 Can anyone tell me if the examiner, after hearing the above, is the one that changes the code to Intervertebral Disc Syn. or do I have to request to be rated that way? I have searched but haven't been able to answer this.

#2 If he does change the code to IDS, would the five cervical disc surgeries I've had since 2001 to fuse 5 discs come into the rating since they are from Degen. Disc Disease? The cervical problems started 5 years after the initial injury to my back that started the DDD.

Thanks for your help!

blackbird

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Hello blackbird. Was you neck injury inservice? IVDS is and can be interchangably used with back injuries.(cervical, thoracic, lumbar etc). It may be possible to achieve another diagnosis depends on dr, mri's, examinations, treatments, etc. Rentalguy1 is our very versed SPINE guy here at hadit. If he does't see your post, you might send him a private message to see what advice or thoughts he may offer. Good luck with your claim. You have not been granted any disability % thus yet right? Didn't notice any listed on your profile/picture area.

Thanks for the reply Halos2,

No, my neck wasn't injured in service only my back. I had back surgery by private physician 2 months later in Jan of 1996. Was discharged in Jan 97. Had fusion surgery on same joint in 1998.

Then starting in 2001 the degenerative disc disease caused by the injury to my lower back had spread to the cervical spine, resulting in 5 cervical fusions.

I'm not service connected yet. I sent in IMO to Appeals Center last week through DVA. Seems promising. I'm just trying to get ready for the exam that is part of the remand by the BVA.

blackbird

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If you haven't been rated yet, then there is nothing to change to IVDS. When you get rated, it should be under the IVDS dx code. The rater that actually rates your claim is the one assigns the proper (hopefully) dx code, and then assigns a rating percentage based on that codes criteria. Not sure what you claimed, and what they have denied. What needs to happen is to get rated for the area of your back that was injured while on active duty. Once that is accomplished, gather the evidence necessary and then file a claim for c-spine IVDS as secondary to the service connected spine issue.

Post what you claimed and why they denied if you can. Also which RO you use. If you had back surgery while on active duty I'd love to see how they weaseled out of awarding you compensation.

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If you haven't been rated yet, then there is nothing to change to IVDS. When you get rated, it should be under the IVDS dx code. The rater that actually rates your claim is the one assigns the proper (hopefully) dx code, and then assigns a rating percentage based on that codes criteria. Not sure what you claimed, and what they have denied. What needs to happen is to get rated for the area of your back that was injured while on active duty. Once that is accomplished, gather the evidence necessary and then file a claim for c-spine IVDS as secondary to the service connected spine issue.

Post what you claimed and why they denied if you can. Also which RO you use. If you had back surgery while on active duty I'd love to see how they weaseled out of awarding you compensation.

Thanks for getting back to me,

I claimed "Entitlement to service connection for lumbar disc disease, status post lumbar discectomy and lumbar fusion surgery, with residual healed scare, residual pain and limitation of motion and sensory radiaculopathy of the lower left extremity, claimed as intractable back and leg pain."

The case is currently at the Hunnington W. Va. appeals management center, remanded by BVA in May of this year. The remand states that the exam I had in 2004, when claim was filed, was no good since my file wasn't made available to the doctor before the exam. So they have ordered another exam. I filed my initial claim through the DVA rep in Winston Salem, NC.

The claim was originally denied because there was no record of the injury. When I pulled on the box of parts and felt the pain I thought I had just pulled a muscle and it would be ok. I have a very detailed paper trail of treatment since one month after the incident. Since the Remand reached Hunnington, a very strong IMO from the surgeon has been faxed to the appeals center mgr. The DAV rep has also talked with the mgr and was told that the IMO was probably all they needed. I hope so anyway.

If they award me SC, I didn't know if they go strictly by what I originally claimed for, or in view of what has been done to my spine since the initial claim, would they lump it all together from the first rating exam?

blackbird

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That claim should have never been denied since you could show treatment on active duty.

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