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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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Lorraine

Thank You Berta And Chuck

Question

Thanks so much, Berta and Chuck. I have copied off the information you provided for our growing VA file.

Berta, you asked some specific questions so will attempt to answer them

No, my spouse was never "treated" for hypertension while in the service. He was diagnosed with borderline hypertension and monitored for that, but rec'd no treatment. It evidenced on his retirement physical also and it was recommended he file a VA claim at that time to get it "on record" The claim was denied as his "numbers" did not meet their criteria for hypertension. (Too bad somebody didn't do something at that time, but told he was fine and sent him out the door. 14 months later he had three cardiac arrests and four by-passes at age 39!)

Yes - we do have all of his service medical records, but his "numbers" weren't real

high then, just a warning of things to come.

ALL of his medical treatment has been through private civilian sources and his cardiologist has stated that his hypertension is related to his IHD. But, whether or not he'd be willing to put that into writing is another case. He was pissy when he found out my husband was filing for IHD/AO - doesn't believe "for one minute" that it's a presumptive disease for agent orange. We'd gone to him to ask if it was safe for my hubby to have the stress test req'd for the C and P. He blew us off and said - "it's your choice, I suppose it depends on how much money VA would pay you for a disability - you could always give that up!"

Fortunately, the C & P doc rescinded the request for the stress test after reviewing his records(he's had another five by-passes) and ordered an echo instead and his ejection fraction was rated at 50%.

I totally agree with you, Berta, about there being no "nexus" for the hypertension. We'd filed the claim BEFORE I found this site and learned all of those things.

Here's my thinking now. I'm thinking we should wait until the deferred decision on IHD comes in and if that's a "go", then attempt to obtain an IMO from his cardiologist regarding the hypertension being caused by his IHD and then proceed per your advice from there. IF you don't concur, let me know which direction we should be heading in.

I really appreciate all that you elders provide in the way of information. I know the kind of time it takes and want you to know how much you are appreciated. You spend hours of your time helping others so I'm hoping that only good things come your way for all of your efforts.

Lorraine

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That sounds like a good idea as- if the IHD claim succeeds- there would be some retro if you need to pay for an IMO from a doctor who is not so 'pissy' ( gee -what an attitude - a doc like that could GIVE a AO vet HBP!)

BUT

"his cardiologist has stated that his hypertension is related to his IHD" and if that is clearly documented in his private records I would file now for the HBP as due to the IHD.

Thanks for complimenting us here.

Everyone here is smart and battle hardened (by fighting the VA) and everyone who posts helps someone else out there I am sure.

The 50% Ejection fraction should warrant a 60 % rating.

That sounds like a good idea as- if the IHD claim succeeds- there would be some retro if you need to pay for an IMO from a doctor who is not so 'pissy' ( gee -what an attitude - a doc like that could GIVE a AO vet HBP!)

BUT

"his cardiologist has stated that his hypertension is related to his IHD" and if that is clearly documented in his private records I would file now for the HBP as due to the IHD.

Thanks for complimenting us here.

Everyone here is smart and battle hardened (by fighting the VA) and everyone who posts helps someone else out there I am sure.

The 50% Ejection fraction should warrant a 60 % rating.

“A 60 percent evaluation is warranted for where there is more

than one episode of acute congestive heart failure in the

past year; or a workload of greater than 3 METs but not

greater than 5 METs results in dyspnea, fatigue, angina,

dizziness, or syncope; or with left ventricular dysfunction

with an ejection fraction of 30 to 50 percent."

38 C.F.R. § 4.104, DC 7016.

With the fopur bypasses he coulfd also claim the surgical scars if they are large enough to be rated and -does he get SSDI and if so is it solely for the heart disease?

Has he formally applied for TDIU? or is he still able to work?

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Berta,

I couldn't be more sincere in complimenting you folks that are so good to be responding to us "newbies" to this journey. I have spent hours and hours reading through info since I found this site, so have some idea of the time and effort those of you have put in to help others. You are like an encyclopedia of very detailed information-remarkable!

I'll dig through the private medical records to determine if I can find the necessary wording about hypertension being caused by the IHD. The cardiologist has SAID those words, but whether or not they are in the records remains to be seen. He's a real pistol all right. He's absolutely brilliant and well thought of in the community for his expertise, but even other docs agree he has the bedside manner of a porcupine and is as arrogant as they come. In fact, he had to move out of our local community because the old-fashioned family docs quit referring patients to him!!

But, he's kept my guy going when the prognosis sure wasn't very good, so I've had to let it be. I DO fight back tho- when he made his holier than thou statement about not believing for one minute that AO had anything to do with causing IHD, I just sarcastically said "well, aren't we lucky that it's not you making that decision since you obviously haven't even looked at the research yet, but are willing to make that judgment!" We've had several go arounds over the years.

My husband has quite severe scarring cuz he had the initial quadruple by-passes in 1980, then six yrs ago had quintuple by-passes. His chest of course is sliced up, but his legs have really been hacked on to get the veins - had to take mammary artery the last time since they are out of options. I had no idea about a rating for scars - the C & P doc did measure and document those, but we didn't do any kind of a claim for them.

After all I've learned here on this site, I realize now all the things we should have filed for - never went back to the VA after the denial in 1979, not even after his heart attack and surgery and his inability to work for three months!

We were young and naive - when VA told us he was fine, no problem with blood pressure, etc. and then denied the claim for hypertension, we thought it was a done deal. Never looked back until the AO/IHD stuff hit the press and we filed the claim.

So, even tho he had to quit working and take an early retirement at age 60 due to health issues, we also didn't do anything about Soc Sec disability - dumb, dumb. We nearly had to file for bankruptcy for the medical expenses that weren't covered by the old Champus plan and then he couldn't work! He's 69 now and it's a moot point.

Just glad to be here to be doing battle with the VA.

It looks like I've got more homework to do Berta, but you sure have provided me with lots of valuable information. If I get stuck, looks like "Hadit" is the place to get some guidance. I'll keep you all posted as to the decisions in hopes that it might help someone else starting out on this journey.

Again, I thank you.

Lorraine

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