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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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  • 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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dittybopper

Low Balled By The Va

Question

hey all,

Just got the word from my DAV Rep decixion was as follows 10% both knees (same as initial award in 2001) and a additional 10% each hip due to degenerative joint disease. I was denied on ankles and back as they feel back is due to arthritis and therefore not their issue. I know I have to file a NOD the question is How do I support the NOD as I know my knees are worse than they were years ago when I recieved my initial award. I am now in braces and a cane and have not worked since September as my Orthopedic Doctor feels I cannot do my job as a Mail Man with the conditions as they are. He believes that all issues including my back and ankles are associated with my knees. I need advice on which way to proceed. I know I will not be 100% as I am not in totally incapacitaed state however not being able to work tells me it iss more than a 10% each knee issue. My Orthopedic Doctor wants to do surgery but states success is 70% likely to be sucessful and 30% will do no good or make it worse. ANy suggestions how to proceede from here. I thank anyone in advance for their advice.

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hey all,

Just got the word from my DAV Rep decixion was as follows 10% both knees (same as initial award in 2001) and a additional 10% each hip due to degenerative joint disease. I was denied on ankles and back as they feel back is due to arthritis and therefore not their issue. I know I have to file a NOD the question is How do I support the NOD as I know my knees are worse than they were years ago when I recieved my initial award. I am now in braces and a cane and have not worked since September as my Orthopedic Doctor feels I cannot do my job as a Mail Man with the conditions as they are. He believes that all issues including my back and ankles are associated with my knees. I need advice on which way to proceed. I know I will not be 100% as I am not in totally incapacitaed state however not being able to work tells me it iss more than a 10% each knee issue. My Orthopedic Doctor wants to do surgery but states success is 70% likely to be sucessful and 30% will do no good or make it worse. ANy suggestions how to proceede from here. I thank anyone in advance for their advice.

Did your orthopedic doctor write you an IMO/nexus letter? Was this submitted as part of your claim? Sometimes the VA will disregard a nexus letter unless it has specific airtight wording.

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You need your own doctor to write a letter to connect all those conditions to in-service events or as secondary to in-service events. The VA is probably always going to low ball you without your having more evidence from your own specialists. The VA goes out of their way to not connect the dots.

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"have not worked since September as my Orthopedic Doctor feels I cannot do my job as a Mail Man with the conditions as they are. He believes that all issues including my back and ankles are associated with my knees. I need advice on which way to proceed. I know I will not be 100% as I am not in totally incapacitaed"

Did the VA have this information from the ortho doc when they adjudicated your claim?

Are you getting SSA or temporary disability benefits from somewhere?

Would the ortho doc be willing to prepare a formal IMO-the IMO criteria is here at hadit.

VA rejects private medical opinions if they dont conform to this criteria.

John beat me to it!

He is correct-

The arthritis could even possibly be secondary to these problems.

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Also, remember the golden rule. The VA does not recognize common sense. You can have a mile long list of problems in your service treatment records, but the VA often will come back and tell you that the very same problem is not service connected. This happens even if it is painfully obvious.

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The VA may try and say that your problems are work related due to being a mailman. At the same time the USPS will blame your pre-existing service connected problems for not being able to do your job. It is a tightrope, but you can walk it to your advantage if you are careful.

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