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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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  • 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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Blackhawk12

Am I On The Right Track?

Question

I was hoping of some guidance to see if I was on the right track with regards to my claim. Not to rehash everything, but I filed for several items (knees, back, skin rask, PTSD) after returning from Iraq. I did a very poor job in my case and upon receiving my rating decision I was denied on all items. I take full responsibility for not using a VSO or seeking assistance, but it is in the past. A few weeks ago I submitted a NOD through a VSO, well within the one year time frame so at least I did that right.

My problem was the fact that I was seen in Iraq by medical personnel for ALL the issues that I applied for. However, I was at a very isolated base and when I was examined for the issue I was just haded some Motrin, Ambien, or a guaze pad. As far as I can tell none of the information is anywhere in my medical records. Shame on me for not making sure it was documented.

Will my post-deployment health re-assessment (PDHRA) be of any assistance in my situation (all of the issues are noted in it and it was completed 1-2 months after getting back)?

I went to a civilian chiroprator and received a diagnosis for several causes of my back pain. I also went to another doctor and was given three MRI's to my back and to my neck. I have submitted all of the information to the VA. I have received a buddy letter from a member of my unit regarding the injuries I sustained in Iraq and will be submitting that soon.

My questions:

1. Should I go to a civilian doctor and pay for them to do a more intense examination of my knees? All the VA did was an x-ray. My knees keeps popping out of place and the lateral and fore/aft stability is poor. I know that there is something medically wrong.

2. Should I have my wife right a letter relating to her observations ragarding some of my issues? She can state that I did not have the issues when I left, had them when I came home on mid-tour leave, talked about them in e-mail and phone conversations, and still have the issues after coming home from Iraq. Will the VA give any weight to a letter from a spouse?

3. I have pictures from Iraq that shows injuries my leg/knee while deployed...should I include those to verify my claims.

4. There are some other members of my unit that I could get to write letters verifying my statements regarding my injuries occurring in Iraq...should I get as many as I can?

5. Should I write a statement to the VA explaining each issue I was denied service connection for and address (with other evidence--buddy letter, photographs etc.) why I believe that their initial decision was incorrect?

6. Last question. Should I send all this information in at once or as I get it? Will it slow the process down if I send things in piece mail?

Thanks.

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Do you have a VSO who can help you?

Have you issued a NOD to the VA for the denials?

You may want to go ahead and get representation. An Attorney will be better at this stage.

Here is a link. http://www.vetlawyers.com/

These folks are extremely intelligent in the areas of VA law and can help you.

J

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I keep seeing signs at the VA Hospital that combat Vets receive a few years of free care at the VA, go to the local VA Hospital/ Regional office, go to Member Services, sign up and start seeing doctors..

=====

I was hoping of some guidance to see if I was on the right track with regards to my claim. Not to rehash everything, but I filed for several items (knees, back, skin rask, PTSD) after returning from Iraq. I did a very poor job in my case and upon receiving my rating decision I was denied on all items. I take full responsibility for not using a VSO or seeking assistance, but it is in the past. A few weeks ago I submitted a NOD through a VSO, well within the one year time frame so at least I did that right.

My problem was the fact that I was seen in Iraq by medical personnel for ALL the issues that I applied for. However, I was at a very isolated base and when I was examined for the issue I was just haded some Motrin, Ambien, or a guaze pad. As far as I can tell none of the information is anywhere in my medical records. Shame on me for not making sure it was documented.

Will my post-deployment health re-assessment (PDHRA) be of any assistance in my situation (all of the issues are noted in it and it was completed 1-2 months after getting back)?

I went to a civilian chiroprator and received a diagnosis for several causes of my back pain. I also went to another doctor and was given three MRI's to my back and to my neck. I have submitted all of the information to the VA. I have received a buddy letter from a member of my unit regarding the injuries I sustained in Iraq and will be submitting that soon.

My questions:

1. Should I go to a civilian doctor and pay for them to do a more intense examination of my knees? All the VA did was an x-ray. My knees keeps popping out of place and the lateral and fore/aft stability is poor. I know that there is something medically wrong.

2. Should I have my wife right a letter relating to her observations ragarding some of my issues? She can state that I did not have the issues when I left, had them when I came home on mid-tour leave, talked about them in e-mail and phone conversations, and still have the issues after coming home from Iraq. Will the VA give any weight to a letter from a spouse?

3. I have pictures from Iraq that shows injuries my leg/knee while deployed...should I include those to verify my claims.

4. There are some other members of my unit that I could get to write letters verifying my statements regarding my injuries occurring in Iraq...should I get as many as I can?

5. Should I write a statement to the VA explaining each issue I was denied service connection for and address (with other evidence--buddy letter, photographs etc.) why I believe that their initial decision was incorrect?

6. Last question. Should I send all this information in at once or as I get it? Will it slow the process down if I send things in piece mail?

Thanks.

Edited by retiredat44

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Blackhawk,

Thank you for your service.

IMO, you should do everything that you have posted.......once you get those ducks in a row, go through everything with a VSO or lawyer to make sure you cross your T's and dot your I's.

Make sure you use Board certified doctors that Specialize in their field....ie, Orthopedics for the knees, Neuro for the Back, this will be money well spent. You will need a copy of your SMR's, regardless of whether they contain the medical info.

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Blackhawk,

This situation is not your fault.

You shouldn't have to ensure medical documentation is being kept while you are performing your mission.

You shouldn't have to become an amateur attorney to get the benefits to which you are entitled.

You're doing the right thing now - all the best! :smile:

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You should do all the things you listed but the most critical is an Independent Medical Opinion that links your service to the injury with a diagnosis and possibility the Doctors opinion of the affect of your injuries on your future and ability to work

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