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First off let me start by saying thanks to all that take the time to share their experiences and 1st hand knowledge of the VA system on this site.

I am currently 0% service connected for a thumb injury I got while in the Navy from 95-99 so I've somewhat been through this process before. Anyways, I was on active duty in the Army from 03-07. I had a knee injury while playing basketball during PT. I wasn't discharged because of the injury so I didn't have to go through any boards or what not. Once I got out I applied for Benefits and had all the paperwork needed to submit (so I thought) a claim. Well about 6 months later I get the denial saying that I hadn't shown that it was service connected. SO they told me I had a year from that day to get the paperwork to them. I then track down the form that the doctor signs saying your injury is indeed service connected. I send it in via VONAAP online because apparently I'm a glutton for punishment. Well a few months later I get a letter stating that they received my appeal form but no supporting documentation and inform me that I once again have a year from that day to get them what they need.

That brings me to today. I've called and verified that they have indeed received the form. All in all this process is in it's 25th month. I had no idea about all these codes and their rating %'s when I filed. I simply told them of the 3 conditions that were documented in all of the medical records and sent it off. Thanks to this website I am more informed but still a little in the dark. I've read the knee codes and the three are all in there and almost word for word in my medical records.

1st - 5261 - 10% leg etension...verbatum...so that's 10 %

2nd - 5258 - "Locking" and Effusion...also verbatum...says 20%

3rd - 5257 - Laxity and instability...almost exactly the same...10%

Now I know from reading on here that that doesn't mean I would receive 40%...but if my math is right round up to 30%

My questions are these. Did I put myself into a bad situation by not doing this research beforehand? Will a rater look through the records and do the legwork to pick this out (read the form). They don't honestly expect you to know these codes when you apply do they? And last should I have filed multiple claims instead of lumping all of my problems onto one?

Who would think that the simple act of jumping in the air would result in a torn ACL, torn Meniscus, and a partially torn MCL.

Thanks in advance for any replies or insight.

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