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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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Blessedmom

Widow Needs Help With Dic

Question

Hi Everyone

I posted this somewhere else and did not get any responds--not sure if I posted in the right place. Please forgive me if I have not posted this in the right place or I am posting wrong. I have been lurking for quite a while and join a few weeks or month ago. If it is in the wrong place, please be so kindly and let me know. I really need help.

I am a recent widow with 4 small children ranging in the ages of 11 years old to 1 years old. My husband passed away last year at the age of 33 years old. His death was sudden. There are many questions unanswered. Here is his background.

He served in the military from August 1994-August 2004. He was a dental tech and had never been deployed. He does not really have anything in his military records except for a few stomach complains (2 times), latent tb, allergic reaction to amoixicillian, and cyst on his eye. He was really never sick. For 10 years, he only has 156 medical pages.

As mentioned he was discharged from the military in August 2004. He received a VA physcial in May 2005 which is 8-9 months after discharged. His blood work was abnormal. His hematocrit was slightly elevated and he had a low white blood count. His kidneys had a creatintine level of 1.4 and eGFR of 77. In 2008, he was diagnosed with chronic stage 2 kidney disease. His blood levels mentioned above stayed the same in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He was never on any medication for blood disorders. In 2009, he began to complain about stomach pain. He went numberous times to the VA hospital and they kept sending him back home telling him that nothing was wrong. When they finally admitted him into the hospital a day or so later, he had to be rushed into the emergency room. They found 2 feet of his intestines was dead. He was placed into a coma induced state by the doctors. Upon waking him up a week later,he had passed away. Listed on his death certificate is

1. Immediate cause Pulmonary Embolism

2. Hypercoaguable state (btw on set and death) is listed as years. Meaning he had the hyperocoaguable state (blood clotting disorder for years)

3. Superior Mesenteric Venous Throbolism.

4. Ischemic bowel.

Listed on the autopsy also is infarct of kidneys and cardiomegaly.

In summary, he died 4 years and 9 months of getting out of the military.

Questions:

1. Isn't there a way I can connect his blood disorder to the abnormal blood work which was conducted 8-9 months after service?

2. What about the kidneys?

3. Also in his autopsy, his spleen weighed 430 grams which is double the size.

I know all what happen to him did not happen over night. Please help me.

Thanks

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You need Berta's and, possibly, Hoppy's help on this one. Them and, probably, a good lawyer!!

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"He received a VA physcial in May 2005 which is 8-9 months after discharged. His blood work was abnormal. His hematocrit was slightly elevated and he had a low white blood count. His kidneys had a creatintine level of 1.4 and eGFR of 77. In 2008, he was diagnosed with chronic stage 2 kidney disease. His blood levels mentioned above stayed the same in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He was never on any medication for blood disorders. In 2009, he began to complain about stomach pain."

Do you have his VA medical records? If not you should request a copy of them ASAP.

Then AFTER you get them I strongly suggest you try to obtain an Independent Medical Opinion on whether he was malpracticed on and did the level of malpractice cause his death?

c

Also I feel you should file a DIC claim under direct SC as well as under Section 1151 SC.

Did he had any rating at all from VA?

Do you have copies of his SMRs?

"He went numberous times to the VA hospital and they kept sending him back home telling him that nothing was wrong."

We have considerable informtion in our FTCA forum on malpractice claims and Section 1151 claims.

If the VA fails to diafnose and treat any illness they have ample cause to diagnose and treat-and the veteran gets further disabled by these medical errors, or dies from them -that is malpractice and it will be evident in the clinical record.

I knopw it is costly to get an independent medical opinion on malpractice, but with this type of evidence it wold be easier to sue them as any good malpractice lawyer wold weant a case that has medical evidence )the IMO) the supports the case.

However you seem to have medical background yourself because you know something was drastically wrong with those blood work readings.

His death due to . Immediate cause Pulmonary Embolism was an obvious fatal consequence of the blood clotting disorder.

You need a good vet rep who can help with the Sec 1151 claim.

Just send them a letter or a 21-4138 stating that this is a claim under Section 1151, 38 USC and that you believe the veteran's medical records will reveal that VA caused his death by substandard care and their complete failure to properly diagnose and treat his disabilities which ultimately caused his untimely death.

You can enclose copy of his death certificate and copies of any med recs highlighted as to the tests results above if you wish.

FTCA claims are more involved and explained in the FTCA forum.

If you succeed on both claims their is a offset from any settlement you get to any 1151 DIC award.

Have you applied for Survivors SSA benefits for you and the children?

Make sure when you file the formal 21-534 form ( list as claiming both direct SC death and 1151 death on it as his medical records could reveal a possible nexus to his death as well ), keep a copy of it and send it to the VARO with proof of mailing.

Make sure you file out the REPS SSA form at the back of the 21-534.My former rep didnt even know what that form was for.

If you and yor children are eligible for SSA survivor benefits, this REPS form-if you could prove Direct SC death-will be important to you.

I know how you feel. My husband filed a 1151 claim 6 months before he died. He asked me to make sure I continued all his claims if he died and then he died a few hours later- it was very sudden.I thought he was getting better.

I didnt know how they killed him until I read over the med records many many times.

I succeeded in proving malpractice in 1997.

But as I suggested file for direct DIC too and their could possibly something in his SMRs that would support that,

I recently was awarded direct SC death.My husband's malpractice had involved all of his AO disabilities.

You can certainly file the SF 95 FTCA forms yourself and try to prove that claim without an IMO-the FTCA forum contains lot of info on FTCA.

One thing about malpractice claims- the evidence is with the clinical record. It might be well hidden by odd notations or med symbols that are hard to understand.Often there is also a medical cover up when a VA doctor realizes another doctor has messed up. The cover up will be evident in the clinical record too.Hard to explain what I mean -I explained it to the OGC-they knew it too.

You need the answers to your questions and if the VA killed him with lousy medical care, they need to be held accountable.

Statute of Limits for FTCA is 2 years after knowledge of the malpractice- there is no time limit for Section 1151 claims.

Did he have any VA claim pending when he died?

I am so sorry for your loss.And it makes me very angry to see what you posted here is in my opinion Prime FAcie Malpractice by the VA.

"He received a VA physcial in May 2005 which is 8-9 months after discharged. His blood work was abnormal. His hematocrit was slightly elevated and he had a low white blood count. His kidneys had a creatintine level of 1.4 and eGFR of 77. In 2008, he was diagnosed with chronic stage 2 kidney disease. His blood levels mentioned above stayed the same in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He was never on any medication for blood disorders. In 2009, he began to complain about stomach pain."

Do you have his VA medical records? If not you should request a copy of them ASAP.

Then AFTER you get them I strongly suggest you try to obtain an Independent Medical Opinion on whether he was malpracticed on and did the level of malpractice cause his death?

c

Also I feel you should file a DIC claim under direct SC as well as under Section 1151 SC.

Did he had any rating at all from VA?

Do you have copies of his SMRs?

"He went numberous times to the VA hospital and they kept sending him back home telling him that nothing was wrong."

We have considerable informtion in our FTCA forum on malpractice claims and Section 1151 claims.

If the VA fails to diafnose and treat any illness they have ample cause to diagnose and treat-and the veteran gets further disabled by these medical errors, or dies from them -that is malpractice and it will be evident in the clinical record.

I knopw it is costly to get an independent medical opinion on malpractice, but with this type of evidence it wold be easier to sue them as any good malpractice lawyer wold weant a case that has medical evidence )the IMO) the supports the case.

However you seem to have medical background yourself because you know something was drastically wrong with those blood work readings.

His death due to . Immediate cause Pulmonary Embolism was an obvious fatal consequence of the blood clotting disorder.

You need a good vet rep who can help with the Sec 1151 claim.

Just send them a letter or a 21-4138 stating that this is a claim under Section 1151, 38 USC and that you believe the veteran's medical records will reveal that VA caused his death by substandard care and their complete failure to properly diagnose and treat his disabilities which ultimately caused his untimely death.

You can enclose copy of his death certificate and copies of any med recs highlighted as to the tests results above if you wish.

FTCA claims are more involved and explained in the FTCA forum.

If you succeed on both claims their is a offset from any settlement you get to any 1151 DIC award.

Have you applied for Survivors SSA benefits for you and the children?

Make sure when you file the formal 21-534 form ( list as claiming both direct SC death and 1151 death on it as his medical records could reveal a possible nexus to his death as well ), keep a copy of it and send it to the VARO with proof of mailing.

Make sure you file out the REPS SSA form at the back of the 21-534.My former rep didnt even know what that form was for.

If you and yor children are eligible for SSA survivor benefits, this REPS form-if you could prove Direct SC death-will be important to you.

I know how you feel. My husband filed a 1151 claim 6 months before he died. He asked me to make sure I continued all his claims if he died and then he died a few hours later- it was very sudden.I thought he was getting better.

I didnt know how they killed him until I read over the med records many many times.

I succeeded in proving malpractice in 1997.

But as I suggested file for direct DIC too and their could possibly something in his SMRs that would support that,

I recently was awarded direct SC death.My husband's malpractice had involved all of his AO disabilities.

You can certainly file the SF 95 FTCA forms yourself and try to prove that claim without an IMO-the FTCA forum contains lot of info on FTCA.

One thing about malpractice claims- the evidence is with the clinical record. It might be well hidden by odd notations or med symbols that are hard to understand.Often there is also a medical cover up when a VA doctor realizes another doctor has messed up. The cover up will be evident in the clinical record too.Hard to explain what I mean -I explained it to the OGC-they knew it too.

You need the answers to your questions and if the VA killed him with lousy medical care, they need to be held accountable.

Statute of Limits for FTCA is 2 years after knowledge of the malpractice- there is no time limit for Section 1151 claims.

Did he have any VA claim pending when he died?

I am so sorry for your loss.And it makes me very angry to see what you posted here is in my opinion Prime Facie Malpractice by the VA.

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cant get edit to work sorry for double post here ????

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Hi

1. Yes, I have all his VA medical records and Service Military Records and x-rays plus I requested another copy just in case I do not have everything.

2. Do you think I will be able to prove direct service connection since he did not file for anything? Can I used the presumptive rule (within a year). There is nothing that I could find in his military service records.

3. Please help me to understand. If I file both (direct service connection and 1151), and if both is proven, do you get both? Or do you file both, just in case one is not proven? I just thought of something. Direct service connection and presumptive is not the same thing. Am I correct?

4. He did not have any ratings from the VA. He never filed for anything.

5. "If the VA fails to diagnose and treat any illness they have ample cause to diagnose and treat and the veteran gets further disabled y these medical errors, or dies from them-that is malpractice and it will be evident in the clinical record."

-----I spoke to a VA doctor about the findings I had found --they tried to basically tell me that the readings were not high enough--for example, his readings for hematocrit (deals with the red blood cells and clotting factors) was 46.9 (H). It is listed in his medical records as being high but they said it was not really high since his range (max) was 46. I tried to point this out to them that it was like this they every year. Will this be considered "ample cause?"

Thank you. I have been doing a lot of research and learning and disecting every piece of info and praying for understanding of what happend. I don't understand why if I could find this out with a click of a button--they could not.

6. I do not really have a good rep here. I tried to get help and they just tell me that since he did not file I was not entitled to anything. I knew she was wrong because the info from the VA and hadit said otherwise so I just left them alone and trying my best with the help of hadit.com to figure this out.

7. So I should file for direct service connection and 1151. Correct?

8. I am trying to get an Indpendent medical opinion. Should I also let him check for malpractice?

9. Is Survivors SSA benefits--the Social Security that I would receive for us? If so , yes.

---"If you and your children are eligible for SSA survivor benefits, the REPS form, if you could prove direct sc death-will be important to you"

---------please explain. I do not understand?

10. Sorry for your lost also. On the day my husband passed, we thought he was going to survive. The doctors thought the same thing. So I left and ran some errands while they continue to wake him up, then I got the phone call.....

11. My mom is always telling me to put the records away, but every time I read them --I find something.

12. No, unfortuantly, he did not have any claims pending.

I am stressed to the max with everything with no help from VA reps. I am trying to get a VA doctor, who worked with his doctor, to write a nexus letter and also I am trying to find a good IMO. I do have a lawyer looking into the case. I am still waiting on his response. In the meantime, I am trying to figure the VA. I have already asked for many extensions.

13. Is my next step to wait on the doctors? I tried to get his kidney doctor to help me, but he just .....well you know. I think I might tried again-- What do you think?

Thanks for all your help and support

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"Do you think I will be able to prove direct service connection since he did not file for anything? Can I used the presumptive rule (within a year). There is nothing that I could find in his military service records"

I felt it is always a good idea to claim direct SC as well as any other potential type of SC.

The new AO IHD reg is a reason.One never knows what presumptives will happen in the future.

However it seems there was nothing of any medical concern in his SMRs so maybe best not to claim anything.

A single word in the SMRs of a local vet helped me get him a SC award after over a decade of no one picking up on the word and its meaning.It there is nothing there- regarding any problems at all inservbice than I would still fill out the 21-534 and claim his death was due to VA negligence.

Re Direct SC death DIC and Section 1151 DIC -"if both is proven, do you get both?" No.

"it is listed in his medical records as being high but they said it was not really high since his range (max) was 46. I tried to point this out to them that it was like this they every year. Will this be considered "ample cause?"

Yes if you can prove to them that the high readings should have prompted medical care.I dealt with the same thing but it involved glucose readings.

"So I should file for direct service connection and 1151. Correct?" If yo feel there is no possibility of a direct SC death then just file for DIC under Section 1151.

"8. I am trying to get an Indpendent medical opinion. Should I also let him check for malpractice?"

That would be the purpose of this IMO- since there was no pendng claims.

"Is Survivors SSA benefits--the Social Security that I would receive for us? If so , yes.

---"If you and your children are eligible for SSA survivor benefits, the REPS form, if you could prove direct sc death-will be important to you"

---------please explain. I do not understand?"

You might be eligible for SSA survivor Benefits. They have a web site and toll free numbers.

An eligible SSA survivor receives a SSA benefit for any child under 16.They also receive their own SSA survivor benefit.

The REPS program is for any direct SC death and will pay the surviving parent the equivalent of this benefit for 2 additional years.

There is more info here under a search for REPS the Restored Entitlement Program.

No time limit-they recently paid me a retroactive 2 years of SSA REPS benefits.15 years after they my DIC application with the REPS part,But I had proven after getting the 1151 award, that my husband's death was in fact directly service connected.

Ths is why I suggested if there was any possibility-based on hs SMRs-to file for direct SC death too.

Your local SSA office or their web site can determine if you and the children are eligible for SSA survivors benefits.

"I do have a lawyer looking into the case. I am still waiting on his response" Good - I hope he is a malpractice lawyer.

20 lawyers here in NY told me I had no case under FTCA.In those days pre internet- they could not advertise their expertise so I probably was asking the wrong type of lawyers.

So I did the FTCA myself and I won.

"In the meantime, I am trying to figure the VA. I have already asked for many extensions."

I dont understand- extensions for what?

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