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Another Vet $crewed


shrlee

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My brother injured his back and fractured his ankle during a fall while on manuvers in Korea 1957.

He applied for comp. in 1985. His records were one of the many they claim are missing due to the St. Louis fire. The only proof he has is a Buddy Statement and a picture that was taken while in Korea with his leg in a cast. After years of denials in 1995 he received 10% for the fractured ankle. Although the Buddy Statement stated he injured his back AND left leg they have never given him a service connection on his back.

My brother and his wife had been working his claim, she passed away last year. In April he received his letter denying an increase on the ankle ( he has had 3 knee replacements on that leg since 1999, private doctor) and a denial on SC of the back injury. After I got to talking to him I found out he never attempted to get an outside medical opinion.

His original claim is for the ankle, back and arthritis.

I want to add his knees as secondary and tinitus to his claim. Left knee is the one with replacements right knee dr says needs replaced.

When my husband filed his claim he had three fantastic service officers, although I have been lurking on this board since 1998, this is a new to me and I don't want to $crew him up anymore than he is. We went thru boxes and boxes of papers, and made copies of his medical papers and rating decision for the dr. and SO.

I made him an appt. with a dr. for an evaluation letter, there was not an opening until Sept. Should he wait until he gets the drs evaluation letter before he sends in the NOD? He has no new proof until he receives a letter hopefully connecting the knees to the ankle and stating as least likely as not the back was injured in the fall.

Should we wait to file the knees and tinitus until after there is a decision on the NOD? If we file the additional claims will they slow down the original claim? He only has one Buddy Statement would it help if the family wrote statements concerning the letters he wrote home about the injuries? We are going to contact a service officer to file the NOD but I don't know what he can do until we get more proof.

I applogize for such a long post, trying to get 20 years onto one page is difficult.

Thanks for any input, Shirley

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Good luck on the claim. A Doctor's opinion that would link his current condition to his service would help him a lot.

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The buddy statement and letters from the family might help but the actual letters he sent home would be even better-

If a family menber has his letters (hope the envelopes are with them) copies of the actual letters and envelopes he sent home woud be good evidence.

I never believe VA when they say the records are not at NARA.

He could apply himself right on line at :

http://www.archives.gov/

They could suddenly turn up.

I would not hesitate to file the NOD- my VARO is over a year behind in addressing NODs so there is time to send more evidence. The buddy statement -( I would send a copy-not original) if they have never seen this- could go with the NOD and refer to it in the NOD.

You mentioned the private doctor and his knee replacements- would this doctor be willing to give him a IMO?

Pete is correct that this is what he needs-

but then again- a service nexus usually has to be proven-

a doctor can say 'more than like due to service' but the VA could still question the nexus.

Does he possibly get SSA disability benefits for these conditions?

Also has he been in touch with his unit -they might have a web site on line if he needs additional buddy statements?

I would file the NOD ASAP - but I would also check out NARA to see if the inservice records are really non-existant.

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Thanks Carlie, Pete and Berta for your response

Carlie, I will check that site out

Pete, we have an appt. Sept. hope to connect the knees to the ankle. I made copies for

the Dr. and SO of all medical records and Rating Decisions pertaining to his back, ankle

and knees. Hopefully they can connect it all

Berta, Mom didn't keep the letters, only the picture, which was submitted to VA in 1988.

In 1995 they finally granted 10% on the ankle.

Along with the picture a notorized Buddy Statement was also submitted in 1988.

If we resubmit the Buddy Statement with the NOD will they accept it. I wonder if the buddy

statement is still being considered after so many years or if it was lost in the shuffle. Thats

the partthat confuses me, If they granted SC for the ankle due to the buddy statement why

didn't they SC the back?

The vet and his wife did try NARA to locate his records themselves with no luck.

The dr. who did the knee replacements would not be much help. The first knee replacement

was contaminated which led to a class action lawsuit, two additional replacements and a knee worst

off than before surgery. Long story

Yes he gets SSD for his back, knees and arthritis.

I don't know the last time he tried to get additional Buddy Statements, I will get his unit and other

info. and try the link Carlie posted.

Thanks for your help, Shirley

.

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  • In Memoriam

Pictures of before and after service can be helpful. A bend in the spine sometimes will show up in pictures. My spine is at 12 Degrees after service, but was straight before and during part of my service. The picture on my after service reserve ID card, as well as other service pictures, shows the shoulders tilted at 12 Degrees.

Berta made me aware of this idea a few years back. Pictures don't lie. I never noticed the results of the accidents in the pictures of before or after until it was mentioned here on Hadit.

Good luck.

Oh ya, Thanks again Berta.

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Guest frank
My brother injured his back and fractured his ankle during a fall while on manuvers in Korea 1957.

He applied for comp. in 1985. His records were one of the many they claim are missing due to the St. Louis fire. The only proof he has is a Buddy Statement and a picture that was taken while in Korea with his leg in a cast. After years of denials in 1995 he received 10% for the fractured ankle. Although the Buddy Statement stated he injured his back AND left leg they have never given him a service connection on his back.

My brother and his wife had been working his claim, she passed away last year. In April he received his letter denying an increase on the ankle ( he has had 3 knee replacements on that leg since 1999, private doctor) and a denial on SC of the back injury. After I got to talking to him I found out he never attempted to get an outside medical opinion.

His original claim is for the ankle, back and arthritis.

I want to add his knees as secondary and tinitus to his claim. Left knee is the one with replacements right knee dr says needs replaced.

When my husband filed his claim he had three fantastic service officers, although I have been lurking on this board since 1998, this is a new to me and I don't want to $crew him up anymore than he is. We went thru boxes and boxes of papers, and made copies of his medical papers and rating decision for the dr. and SO.

I made him an appt. with a dr. for an evaluation letter, there was not an opening until Sept. Should he wait until he gets the drs evaluation letter before he sends in the NOD? He has no new proof until he receives a letter hopefully connecting the knees to the ankle and stating as least likely as not the back was injured in the fall.

Should we wait to file the knees and tinitus until after there is a decision on the NOD? If we file the additional claims will they slow down the original claim? He only has one Buddy Statement would it help if the family wrote statements concerning the letters he wrote home about the injuries? We are going to contact a service officer to file the NOD but I don't know what he can do until we get more proof.

I applogize for such a long post, trying to get 20 years onto one page is difficult.

Thanks for any input, Shirley

GO TO A WEB PAGE CALLED AGENDA,YOU WILL FIND ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS,MEDICAL RECORDS WERE NEVER BURNTED IN FIRE, PLUS YOU CAN WRITE A LETTER ANYYONE CAN, WHAT YOU HAVE JUST WROTE WOULD BE ACCEPTIAL, AS EVENIDENCE READ THE AGENDA PAGE IT WILL EXPLAINE IN MORE DETAIL, I THINK IF YOU WENT TO CHAPTER 38,UNDER EVENIDENCE YOU,LL FIND ANSWER THERE AS WELE HOPE THIS HELPS FRANK
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Shirley-it is possible that the SSA office where he filed his claim still has his SSA files- possible,

I say this because we went to the local SSA years ago as my husband was getting SSA for a stroke and we were filing for a reconsideration on his SC PTSD (which resulted in a better EED and retro)

Those SSA files might have your husband's SMR info in them-always worth a try-

Years ago I needed to find SSA laws for reconsideration of claims and how they handle disabiltiies like PTSD.

They let me search the SSA regulatory manuals and then use their xerox machine. We also asked if we could see his SSA file there too-(we had an appointment to do all of this).

I was quite shocked- old Newark VAMC records that they (VARO as well as Newark VAMC) said were not in existence were in his SSA files, and copies of his SMRs and SRBs from the two branches of service he was in,too. The VA had told us they could not get his SSA files at all-as well as much of what the SSA office had.

And here they are , a great big stack, many medical reports -etc etc-I had used the xerox machine for quite some time and they would not let me xerox any more but now I had enough info to raise hell with the VARO on the stuff they said they couldn't get.(and which they told my Congressman and 2 senators they couldnt get)

This could be a wild goose chase though- for you- hard to say-

I think the woman at SSA told me the files would remain there at their local office as long as Rod was getting SSA.

I dont know. After I made a big fuss the next day the VA promptly got these records which supported Rod's 100% PTSD.

When SSA determines the monthly benefit for a disabled worker , they have to check the military pay records, as this is all part of a worker's lifetime income.They have to access their military records for that.

In the denial letter under Reason and bases this is what he needs to fulfill- whatever reason they denied on.

Actually it is all he needs to concentrate on -for each disability they denied.

If they never mentioned the buddy statement as evidence, it sure is time to make sure they consider that.

Edited by Berta
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