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Common VA Disabilities


14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

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 when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.

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I separated from the Marines December of 2003, OIF Vet, was there at the kickoff of that event. September of 2008 I noticed swollen lymph nodes in my neck/jaw area. After a biopsy that lead to a collapsed lung I was notified by the VA (I had to contact them to find out) that I have sarcoidosis. The doctor told me that she was seeing an increase in cases of sarcoidosis in servicemembers coming back from Iraq. My question is: Even though 5 years had passed since I separated from the military, can my sarcoidosis be considered service connected? I did a little research on this site and noticed something about it being considered "presumptive." Can someone please break this down to me in something other than just a lot of medical jargon. I have a difficult time sometimes trying to understand what things mean. Any help is appreciated.


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10 answers to this question

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I read it as presumptive conditions is 1 year.And the disease must be compensable.

There are also time limits on service.


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Did you have any symptoms in service? Is there anything in your SMR's to suggest you had health problems?

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The closest thing I have to anything respitory is that I am SC rated 10% for sinusitis/rhinitis.

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The longer you wait to file a claim after service the harder it gets in most cases except if there is a presumption like AO claims. If you don't have evidence in your SMR's it gets even harder. The VA is great at saying " vets SMR's are silent on this issue". The VA is an adversarial system. You have to prove by medical evidence that your disability is connected to your service.

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This claim might help you deternmine what the VA will need as evidence-- were you exposed to any type of burn pits in Iraq? ANy other types of chemicals? What was your MOS?


This was a PGW vet but still -if you can prove exposure to anything in service that could have caused your sarcoidosis-

along with the respiratory condition you also have documented now- your claim could be granted.It probably wont be easy-but NOTHING is impossible -

would the doc you mentioned be willing to write an IMO for you?

"In May 2006, the veteran underwent a VA Respiratory

Examination. The examiner noted that his findings were

suggestive of sarcoidosis, but a definite diagnosis would

require observation over time and possible invasive testing.

He added that the etiology of sarcoidosis is unknown, but the

contents of smoke from burning oil wells could contain

factors responsible for this condition. In September 2006,

the examiner provided further clarification noting that the

veteran's respiratory signs and symptoms are more likely than

not due to exposure to burning oil, suffered in Iraq, which

contained numerous, noxious chemicals capable of causing

permanent respiratory damage. He added that this was true

whether or not the definitive diagnosis is sarcoidosis and

that such exposure may well initiate the inflammatory cascade

that creates sarcoidosis and may also do direct damage to

lung parenchyma and airway mucosa so as to result in the same

symptoms. Based on the examiner's opinion, service

connection for a respiratory disability, to include

sarcoidosis, is warranted. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107; Gilbert, 1

Vet. App. at 54.

Duties to Notify and Assist

The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (VCAA) describes

VA's duty to notify and assist claimants in substantiating a

claim for VA benefits. 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5100, 5102, 5103,

5103A, 5107, 5126; 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.156(a), 3.159,

3.326(a). Because of the favorable outcome in this case, any

failure of VA to fully comply with the VCAA is harmless



Entitlement to service connection for a respiratory

disability, to include sarcoidosis, is granted."

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I was told by my primary care and mental health doctors at the VA that they no longer could do IMO's. I assume it's the same with the doc that was telling me about sarcoidosis. I believe I have an appointment coming up and hopefully I will be able to ask her then about the IMO.

I DID come across a journal that I kept covering the time from when we were on ship, up to us being in Baghdad. In this journal is an entry specifically talking about burning of feces and animal carcasses in our immediate area. I wrote it as sort of a poem. There's a lot of unmentionable stuff in there. Do you think that it may help in any way? Thanks for your help.

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