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  • 14 Questions about VA 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 ...
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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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OEF n' Home Again

Thoracic Strain...chronic Back Pain


Thanks, my friends, for all your advice.

For several years I have had documented back pain due to MVA in Afghanistan. I finally got a CT scan which revealed scoliosis. This back pain has limited my function and mobility and made me depend on medications in order to manage it.

Do you have ANY advice for me as I prepare to make a claim later this month?

How can I maximize the chance for just compensation? I just want to be able to make a powerful claim that justly represents my chronic situation.



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I would get an independent medical opinion to document your true level of disability. If you are trying to establish service connection for the first time there are examples of the kinds of letters you want from your doctor here on Hadit. Do you have a copy of your service medical records? You should also have copies of your VA medical records to show to your own doctor. I would never want to depend only on a VA examination for a rating. They will probably low ball you or deny it. How long have you been out of the service? If it has been less than a year that will be good.

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Thanks, John999.

I am getting out in 2 weeks. I have all my records for this problem dating back to 2006. I'm meeting with my military doc on Wednesday for a final physical. I wont take any pain pills so he can get an accurate idea of what I am dealing with, even though he's been prescribing me stuff for almost 4 yrs.

I'm just a bit worried that "Thoracic Strain & mild Scoliosis" or maybe "Chronic Back Pain" is not something that is even in the rating system for disability compensation..... I don't know what to expect. I hear so many horror stories about filing a claim with the VA.........

I just want to make it work for me. This all happened while serving in OEF doing my job.

Thanks again for your reply. I really do appreciate it.

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This will be noted on your discharge physical and best if they use a medical term instead of back pain.(it better be noted on the discharge physical-you can make sure that it is!)

Have you had any muster out briefings yet with VA people and vet reps that advised to how to file a claim even before your discharge?

Is this a medical discharge?

The complete schedule of ratings is in a topic under this one and it will help you determine the proper level of rating the VA should award to you.

As long as the claim is filed within the first year after your discharge-the retro benefits-if they award-will be paid back to the date of your discharge.

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This is the BVA web site and if you click on decisions under the BVA, and put the terms in as to your disability if could give you some idea of how they handle and rate these claims.

I cannot determine if your disability would even fall at a ratable level at this point but even with a "0" % SC now, and if it gets worse in the future, you have already established service connection by filing now.

When you file the claim this is the time to claim any other possible disability you have due to your service.And to try to get it noted on the discharge physical.

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Did you have adolescent scoliosis? This will come up some where in the claims process.

Was there an injury stressor that you can relate your claims too?

Do you have spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease of the spine?

Look at your neurologist and radiologist reports of this condition. You are fortunate enough to still be in a position to get these questions answered and Documented before you get out. The key is documentation.

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