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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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Mark C

Former Navy Seal With Ddd Needs Help.

Question

Greetings everybody, I need a bit of advise here. I did 5 years active duty with SEAL Teams in the 80's, I got out in 88.

In 2000 I was at work and helped my boss pick up to move a heavy parts box, as I did so I felt a pop in my lower back followed by enormous pain.

I went and had an MRI done, and the pop I felt was L5-S1 herniating. But what the MRI also uncovered was a well established case of degenerative disc disease with dessication, on every single level of my lumbar spine.

I've been waiting 3 years for my appeal for service connection to be heard, and just today I get the brown envelope and they're remanding my claim to my local VA for them to make a decision, so I'm right back to where I started.

It would seem to me that the training we went through would be an obvious possible cause for degenerative disc disease (beach runs with telephone poles on shoulder ect...) but what can I do to get my VARO to see the light?

Any advice much appreciated.

Cheers,

Mark

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Did you ever see a doctor in the Navy about your back? You need a nexus between your service and the back problems. Since it has been over 20 years since discharge the VA may say that this is a result of aging process unless you have some evidence of accident or treatment in service. What appears obvious to us is not obvious to the VA. All those grunts with 80 pounds on their backs who years later have knee problems get short shrift from the VA unless they complained about knee pain in the service. They will blame it on your civilian job, you age, your genes and anything else besides your service.

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Greetings everybody, I need a bit of advise here. I did 5 years active duty with SEAL Teams in the 80's, I got out in 88.

In 2000 I was at work and helped my boss pick up to move a heavy parts box, as I did so I felt a pop in my lower back followed by enormous pain.

I went and had an MRI done, and the pop I felt was L5-S1 herniating. But what the MRI also uncovered was a well established case of degenerative disc disease with dessication, on every single level of my lumbar spine.

I've been waiting 3 years for my appeal for service connection to be heard, and just today I get the brown envelope and they're remanding my claim to my local VA for them to make a decision, so I'm right back to where I started.

It would seem to me that the training we went through would be an obvious possible cause for degenerative disc disease (beach runs with telephone poles on shoulder ect...) but what can I do to get my VARO to see the light?

Any advice much appreciated.

Cheers,

Mark

You've hd more than 20 years of wear and tear since you got out. I'm not saying being a SEAL didn't contribute to the condition, but unless you can tie this condition to your active duty career than you unfortunately have no case. A lot of us know beyond a shadow of doubt that certain injuries occurred on active duty, but we just "sucked it up." You get the picture I'm sure.

JMO,

Bergie

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I assume you have in your possission all of your C-Files(all military) records. Have you read them throughly? Is there any indication/documentation of you telling anyone you hurt/pulled/strained your back/spine inservice? Remember with all that lifting, pulling, carrying, did you ever complain/go to sick call or miss work because of back/spine discomfort? Did you seek any treatment or medical advise for any type of sore back within 1 yr post discharge? I read where you posted this injury occurred 12 yrs post exit from seal, but any hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, torso pain while in-service documented?

Also do you have any claims in for any other issues? Like tinnitus, related to the explosives and bombs you worked with? What about PTSD issues, seen any traumatic events, or involved in any? Are there any notations in your files which evidence a decrease in your activity/mobility post service vs pre?

Give us a little more info, if you can. Are you utalizing a VSO to assist you with your claim?

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I see that your 70% S/C. If you don't mind, what are the conditions that you are currently rated for? Could your back condition be secondary to the S/C conditions? Other than that I agree with the others that have posted here.

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I see that your 70% S/C. If you don't mind, what are the conditions that you are currently rated for? Could your back condition be secondary to the S/C conditions? Other than that I agree with the others that have posted here.

Thank you everybody for the replies. Yes, I'm 70% PTSD service related. I first put in for my lumbar ddd in 2005, when it was originally denied in 06 I put in for my PTSD, which I was approved for at 70%. I've been receiving that compensation for 2 years now while awaiting an appeal decision for my back from BVA.

I finally received my brown envelope from BVA, and they're remending my claim to the doctor that originally denied my service connection. I don't understand the reason for this. I live in the Philippines where I moved in 2000 to be around my wifes family to help us with our kids.

My degenerative disc disease was uncovered when I herniated a disc at work in 2000. I have MRI evidence of a severe degenerative condition with dessication on all the levels of my lumbar spine from that time (2000). That was only 12 years after I was discharged, and the only job I had in the interim was a sedentary marine electricans gig. I sure didn't get it from that, all I did was carry a cup of coffee and bag of lightbulbs.

And no, I never had back problems serious enough to see a doctor about while in the teams.

But I am sure that the ddd is from my Navy time, to be more specific, there was a period where I was involved with doing long range, open ocean high speed zodiac navigation and we used to get the shit pounded out of us sitting on that thwart of that rubber boat for hours on end. That and the marathon back flutter kicks was hell on that lower back of mine.

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