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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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HvyGns38

Just Looking For A Second Opinion/set Of Eyes

Question

I am posting exactly what the VA denial letter says and what my current IMO states and just want to get everyone's opinion on my chances of my NOD for my disability. Thank you for your help.

2. Service connection for Meniere's disease.

Service connection may be established where the facts established that a particular disease or injury resulting in the claimed disability was incurred in or agravated during active military service or manifested to a compensable level during the presumptive period. Disabilities proximately due to or the result of military service connected disease or injury shall also be service connected.

Your service treatement records, reviewed and herein considered, show repeated instances of care administered for right ear hearing loss which has been awarded service connection by previous rating activity. On August 3, 1995, however, an attending medical officer noted symptoms consistent with right ear eustachian tube dysfunction and such as provisional diagnosis. The issue of eustachian tube dysfunction was likewise noted at the time of your separation examiniation cinducted July 31, 1995.

The cited treatment reports from XXXXX XXXXXX hospital, considered in conjunction with previous rating action, verify that on November 14, 1997, you underwent an exploratory tympanotomy following complaints of vertigo. A postoperative diagnosis of probable Meniere's disease, right ear was assigned. Nonetheless, it is imperative to note that the records presently in our custody include no eveidence of more recent treatment or establishment of a current diagnosis.

As of the date of this Rating Decision, you have failed to provide medical evidence showing that you currently have Meniere's disease due to military service. All available medical evidence has been reviewd and considered. However, in the absence of objective, medical documentation demonstrating the existence of a current disability incurred in or related to military service, cervice connection for Meniere's disease is denied.

I have documentation from my current ENT noting that Meniere's disease more likely than not started during military service with the onset of my hearing loss. He put the medications I am on to combat the vertigo episodes. Also, when I had my hearing checked a little over a year and a half ago, the Dr. from QTC noted in my examination that my hearing loss was caused from my MOS (infantry) and Meniere's disease. Of course, Meniere's disease was not considered in that examiniation because it was only for my right ear hearing loss, not Meniere's. I had to file for that separately.

Will this be sufficient for my NOD, or do I need more? I am doing exactly as the VA denial letter says need, I just hope it is enough.

Thanks again!!!!

Edited by HvyGns38

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I am 100% meniere's. I fought the same battle you are fighting. My claim also should have been granted on my original claim. I was sent for a c&p, performed by a Nurse practitioner who decided I had the disease as bad as it gets. Her opinion outweighed all the specialist who had diagnosed my condition and service connection.

I had gone to an Audiologist with all my smc's and she wrote an IMO service connecting the meniere's. This piece of evidence was not mentioned in the ros denial. I ended up appealing to the BVA. Believe it or not it was this IMO that the Judge awarded me service connection, and it was sent back to the RO and they had to rate me with the evidence they had,which was a hundred percent. I THINK THIS WHAT WAS MEANT BY SOME REAL MEAT ON THE BONE. Those folks at the RO don't like to admit they were wrong, and once they make a decision they don't like to change it.

At this point I would drive directly to the RO and talk to my representative taking all of my documentation with me and see if he could get my NOD reversed and request a reconsideration. I know this is a little unorthodox but it is exactly what I did. For whatever reason the VA does not like to award Meniere's Disease.

PS. Josephine, it has been a long time since I have talked to you and we both know each others conditions so I want to pass on something that seems to have helped me. I was at the point I could no longer walk without the aide of my wife or canes so my ENT decided to try something new. He inserted a tube into my affected ear and injected one of the mycin drugs directly into it once a week for six weeks. This helped to the point that I could walk by myself again so he decided to do a second series. I am happy to say that I can now walk by myself. I still stagger and still stay dizzy and sick but am self sufficient again. You might want to talk to your ENT.

Hope this helps, Jim 501st

Thank you soooo much for the help, Jim.

I have a surgical report from an IMO from 1997, and a diagnosis from an IMO done last month and he opined what was diagnosed in 1997 of Meniere's. Additionally, the VA QTC examiner opined that my hearing loss was from Meniere's.

Will this be enough??

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HvyGns38

I went back and read your original post and the ROs reason for denial. It seems to me they are denying service connection and that you have Meniere's at this time. This is completely ludicrous and as I said before for whatever reason the VA does not like to award a claim for Meniere's.

From my experience with the VA, you have to take all the loose ends in your claim and organize them so that a third grader can understand them. The way I did this is I took all the information that you have described in your claim along with my service medical records to a private audiologist and she tied it all together for me. I think the most important thing she said in her IMO is this veteran has a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease and I have examined thoroughly his service medical records and concluded that his hearing loss while in service (documented), dizziness while in service (documented) was the early stages of Meniere's Disease and has progressed to full Meniere's to date. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THIS IMO IS I HAVE EXAMINED HIS SERVICE MEDICAL RECORDS. I am not that good with words but you get the jest of what I am saying. Maybe someone else can explain it better.

Jim 501st

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Carlie,

Not sure what you mean by "meat to add to the bone". I have surgical reports from 1997, which the VA already has, a statement from the QTC Dr. from my hearing exam, and one letter from a current Dr. verifying that I still have and have a current diagnosis of this disease. What else do I need? The VA, in their denial letter, indicated that the only reason they could not grant SC'd disability is because of my lack of current diagnosis. Not sure what else I can give them. This is not a curable disease, that I know of.

Please let me know what else you think I need.

Hvy,

The way I've understood your postings, is that the VBA has denied your claim

for SC of Minere's due to a lack of current diagnosis.

"surgical reports from 1997" don't necessarily show support for a current disability.

Here's what I mean about "meat to add to the bone".

You posted that the VA hasn't considered an IMO that you have.

Did the IMO doctor (?) state they reviewed your SMR/STR's ?

What does this IMO state and what type of doctor or audiologist wrote it ?

The opinion needs to be supported with full medical rationale.

Example of full medical rationale:

I have reviewed the veteran's SMR/STR's.

It is my medical opinion that XXX's current diagnosis of XXX is more/as likely as not

related to active duty.

SMR/STR's dated XX/XX/XXXX and XX/XX/XXXX along with surgical and treatment reports

dated XX/XX/XXXX and XX/XX/XXXX clearly evidence XXXXX.

It is my medical opinion that the current diagnosis of XXXX is related to the active duty XXXX

as these conditions may at different times be referred to by different doctor's as different diagnosis.

Please do not take this as word for word - it is only an example of full medical rationale

and your doc would need to use their medical terminology to what ever disability/condition.

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Hvy,

The way I've understood your postings, is that the VBA has denied your claim

for SC of Minere's due to a lack of current diagnosis.

"surgical reports from 1997" don't necessarily show support for a current disability.

Here's what I mean about "meat to add to the bone".

You posted that the VA hasn't considered an IMO that you have.

Did the IMO doctor (?) state they reviewed your SMR/STR's ?

What does this IMO state and what type of doctor or audiologist wrote it ?

The opinion needs to be supported with full medical rationale.

Example of full medical rationale:

I have reviewed the veteran's SMR/STR's.

It is my medical opinion that XXX's current diagnosis of XXX is more/as likely as not

related to active duty.

SMR/STR's dated XX/XX/XXXX and XX/XX/XXXX along with surgical and treatment reports

dated XX/XX/XXXX and XX/XX/XXXX clearly evidence XXXXX.

It is my medical opinion that the current diagnosis of XXXX is related to the active duty XXXX

as these conditions may at different times be referred to by different doctor's as different diagnosis.

Please do not take this as word for word - it is only an example of full medical rationale

and your doc would need to use their medical terminology to what ever disability/condition.

Thanks Carlie!!

Right now my claim is still at VRO and I have only requested an NOD with a Denovo review. The IMO that I have is current and basically says everything that you have indicated except the part about reviewing my SMR's. I have not sent in the letter to the VRO yet, I wanted to get some opinions of if I need anything else. Also, he is an ENT Doctor not an audiologist. I will post tomorrow morning what the letter says exactly.

The evaluation letter from my hearing loss test that the VA did and awarded me 10% for my hearing says "The VA examiner notes that 'It is at least likely as not that the veteran's hearing loss and tinnitus are related to noise exposure as a Rifleman and Infantry Unit Leader and Meniere's Disease during his military service.' " That is word for word what the VA examiner wrote in July of 2009 regarding my hearing loss exam. I just do not understand why they did not take this into consideration when the denied my claim!!

Thanks again.

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I am 100% meniere's. I fought the same battle you are fighting. My claim also should have been granted on my original claim. I was sent for a c&p, performed by a Nurse practitioner who decided I had the disease as bad as it gets. Her opinion outweighed all the specialist who had diagnosed my condition and service connection.

I had gone to an Audiologist with all my smc's and she wrote an IMO service connecting the meniere's. This piece of evidence was not mentioned in the ros denial. I ended up appealing to the BVA. Believe it or not it was this IMO that the Judge awarded me service connection, and it was sent back to the RO and they had to rate me with the evidence they had,which was a hundred percent. I THINK THIS WHAT WAS MEANT BY SOME REAL MEAT ON THE BONE. Those folks at the RO don't like to admit they were wrong, and once they make a decision they don't like to change it.

At this point I would drive directly to the RO and talk to my representative taking all of my documentation with me and see if he could get my NOD reversed and request a reconsideration. I know this is a little unorthodox but it is exactly what I did. For whatever reason the VA does not like to award Meniere's Disease.

PS. Josephine, it has been a long time since I have talked to you and we both know each others conditions so I want to pass on something that seems to have helped me. I was at the point I could no longer walk without the aide of my wife or canes so my ENT decided to try something new. He inserted a tube into my affected ear and injected one of the mycin drugs directly into it once a week for six weeks. This helped to the point that I could walk by myself again so he decided to do a second series. I am happy to say that I can now walk by myself. I still stagger and still stay dizzy and sick but am self sufficient again. You might want to talk to your ENT.

Hope this helps, Jim 501st

Thanks a bunch, Jim, I knew nothing of this type of treatment. I will see what I can find out from my doctor.

I am so happy that you are now able to do some things for yourself.

Have a good one.

Betty

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