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Bigr1959

Appeal And Information

Question

Looking for some advice. Retired Navy MM (SW/AW)

I finally file for disability April of this year. Filed for joint pain (knees,back,ankles, Hearing loss and right hand (crushed by 2 ton motor on sub) and radiation exposure.

The hearing test came back as 88% hearing/speech impaired. 0% awarded though admitted my hearing has gotten worst every year.

Hand has limited functions and will get worst, Pain 3 to 5 times a week, cannot write well or type without pain. Hard to work on anything with hand. They gave me 10% for pain.

Joint pains cannot be verified, They say I must prove ?? Worked on subs for 5.5 years as a mech . Always crunched up somewhere turning a wrench etc. I was 6'1 so you can imagine. It has taken its toll on my body.

Raditation exposure not in record. The training I did is not either (special job). How much info must I tell them. The information I can tell you was purged. We did some work in a reactor and it went south (it was overseas.) Do not want to get detailed on this as it is or was a embarrasment to them and not in best interest to say.

I want to know if I can appeal the 10%. I have waited a long time as I felt there were more important Vets out there for need but now getting older and starting to bother me really bad.

Any information or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Mark

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3 answers to this question

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Looking for some advice. Retired Navy MM (SW/AW)

I finally file for disability April of this year. Filed for joint pain (knees,back,ankles, Hearing loss and right hand (crushed by 2 ton motor on sub) and radiation exposure.

The hearing test came back as 88% hearing/speech impaired. 0% awarded though admitted my hearing has gotten worst every year.

Hand has limited functions and will get worst, Pain 3 to 5 times a week, cannot write well or type without pain. Hard to work on anything with hand. They gave me 10% for pain.

Joint pains cannot be verified, They say I must prove ?? Worked on subs for 5.5 years as a mech . Always crunched up somewhere turning a wrench etc. I was 6'1 so you can imagine. It has taken its toll on my body.

Raditation exposure not in record. The training I did is not either (special job). How much info must I tell them. The information I can tell you was purged. We did some work in a reactor and it went south (it was overseas.) Do not want to get detailed on this as it is or was a embarrasment to them and not in best interest to say.

I want to know if I can appeal the 10%. I have waited a long time as I felt there were more important Vets out there for need but now getting older and starting to bother me really bad.

Any information or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Mark

Mark,

Welcome to Hadit.

Regarding your part I've underlined above - You're going to need to "tell them" absolutely everything you know.

As far as it being an "embarrasment to them" , well that really needs to be no concern to you - because

1) I'm sure it's not something not already known about if it happened

2) All your being concerned about that will do is get your claim denied.

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You certainly can appeal this decision as to the hearing loss and hand disability.The VA should have inclded the Schedle of Ratings for both disabilities and you can appeal with medical evidence that would warrant a higher rating.

The radiogenic regulations are here:

http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/3-311-based-exposure-ionizing-radiation-19773997

This recent BVA decision contains a critical aspect of radiation claims:

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp10/files3/1026612.txt

In part the decision states:

“By rating action of March 2002, the RO denied service connection

for cataracts as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation on

the grounds that the amount of the veteran's radiation exposure

was insufficient to establish service connection under the

provisions of 38 C.F.R. § 3.311.

An independent review of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's

(DTRA) reconstructed radiation doses accomplished by the National

Research Council (NRC) in a report issued on 8 May 2003

determined that radiation doses provided by the DTRA might have

underestimated the amount of radiation to which some veterans

were exposed.

In October 2003, the RO took the initiative to review the

veteran's claim for service connection for cataracts as a result

of exposure to ionizing radiation pursuant to new information

that indicated that a revised radiation dose estimate was

required in his case. The RO requested the DTRA to review the

radiation dose previously provided in the veteran's case to

determine whether or not it should be increased or otherwise

recomputed. Based on the DTRA's March 2007 revised radiation

dose estimate in the veteran's case, a May 2007 radiation review

and medical opinion from the VA Chief Public Health and

Environmental Hazards Officer, and a June 2007 advisory opinion

and radiation review under the provisions of 38 C.F.R. § 3.311

from Director of the VA Compensation and Pension Service, the RO,

by rating action of August 2007, granted service connection for

cataracts as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation effective

8 May 2003, the date of issuance of the abovementioned NRC

report. “

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Radiation claims depend on documented dosage estimates that would support levels of dosage that could cause a radiation risk disability.

Also they require strong medical evidence of the nexus of the veteran's exposure to their present disability.

"Raditation exposure not in record. The training I did is not either (special job). How much info must I tell them. The information I can tell you was purged. We did some work in a reactor and it went south (it was overseas.) Do not want to get detailed on this as it is or was a embarrasment to them and not in best interest to say."

If it was classified job,they can declassify for VA claims purposes.

Do you have copies of your copy SMRs and service personnel records?

"We did some work in a reactor and it went south"

Have you googled this sub for any info?

A vet here at hadit recently won a radiation claim. That isnt easy to do-

Do your SMRs support any inservice joiht pain problems?

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Are you in contact with any of the others that served next to you? You can get them to write "buddie letters" to help validate your working conditions. For the joint pain you need to get a doctor to write you an independant medical opinion stating that the work you did in the service directly contributed to your joint pain. Even though for most of us it is common sense that mechanic work and having to work on your knees and in akward positions will take it's toll on our bodies...the VA doesn't care about common sense, they only care about medical evidence. So get it in writing from your doc and submit it to help support your claim.

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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

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      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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