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In The Midst Of An Appeal

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Hi, I current get 40 percent for lumbarsacral strain, I have bad spasms and most of the time can't function my back pain is so intense. I was denied upper back and neck pain service connection because it wasn't actually noted in the medical records on file. I filed an appeal over a year ago, MY VFW representative told me it's like a 2 year process before there is a decision on my case. I have since gotten my current doctor to write me a NEXUS letter stating that I had no issues with my upper back and he feels that my upper back and neck issues are subsequent from the accident, and he recommends me to appeal the decision which was denied (all of this is on the letter he wrote. When I was on active duty the doctor just told me to take ibuprofen and I would be ok, but the neck and upper back wasn't mentioned.. I've sent this to the DRO, and to my VFW Rep. She said she thinks its good evidence, (The Nexus Letter) When I call the 1-800 number to check the status of my claim the rep. said she can see where "HE" is still working on it, but no decision has been made on it. Then I call other times and they just say, ohhh well its just depending on where you are in the stack. This case was originally opened April of 2006. Is there anything else I can do to move this along or just patiently wait, is that a bad/good sign that the DRO is still working on it??? Someone please help

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Are you waiting for a DRO review r a DRO hearing?

"I have since gotten my current doctor to write me a NEXUS letter stating"....

Did the doc follow the IMO format here in our IMO forum?

Did the doc tie in medically the current problems to the SC condition-as secondary conditions and then give a full medical rationale?

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Hi Berta,

I received a response from VCAA Response, asking if I would prefer to go in front of a review board or if I wanted them to make a decsion on my case. I chose to go before the decision board, but when I call and speak to anyone about my case/claim, they say that its just going to be decided by a decision review officer.

As far as the format, where would I find the IMO Format for in which the doctor should have written the letter. He was very hesitant about writing me a letter as I am new to seeing him as I moved from Atlanta, GA. He just simply wrote in my progress notes that my upper back and neck issues are subsequent of the Motor Vehicle Accident I was in, and that I was 29 years of age and there is no other reason as to why I would have these severe chronic pains in those areas mentioned. Then he went on to say that he recommended me appealing the VA's decision on this matter. Thanks for all that you do Berta, this is really a big help. The nexus letter I gave to my VFW representative and I also faxed and mailed the information to the VA to add to my appeal claim, as i felt this was substansial evidence to assist my claim. Any other help, tips or ideas, would be greatly appreciated.


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That is the IMO criteria.

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forgot to add-one of my IMos was 2 sentences in email from a former VA Neuro who treated my husband.It took me 8 months to even find him as he had left the VA.

The VA gave it equal weight as my 2 IMOs from Dr. Bash.I sought this doctor based on one sole entry he had made in the mec recs.

Dr. Bash was very surprised I had gotten this email when I first contacted him and he incorporated it into his IMOs and asked the Neuro to send it to him on his practice letterhead.

An IMO doesn't have to be lengthy but you might need one that is more detailed than the doctor's entries, However those entries will be significant if a IMO doc corroborates them with a full medical rationale as in my case.

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Thanks a million Berta,

You dont know how much this means to me, i've been fighting this case since February of 2007. Ok one more question, I went to a chiropractor several times for help as I was in so much pain right after up to a few years after I got out of the military. He wrote a letter stating that I came into the office for a consult as I had severe pain due to the a military related accident, and upon examination its subjective that this is the cause of my injury as there was no other recent trauma, could that letter be considered my IMO. or should I go find my own doctor for such? And how would you find a doctor that would be willing to agree. I know I would take all my medical records, and he'd prolly order some test. any ideas.


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Unless the Chiro made a diagnosis and made a clear nexus statement backed up by medical facts I am not sure it will help you. It might hurt you if the Chiro is speculating after a few visits. You are saying the Chiro said it was "subjective" regarding the causes of your pain. That is very weak and falls under the heading of being speculation.

My question would be this: Did you continue to get treatment for your pain after the first few visits? All good evidence helps, but be sure it won't hurt. The VA jumps on medical statements that use words like "subjective", "perhaps", "might or may be".

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