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Need To Service Connect Recent Diagnosis



I have been receiving 40% for lower and upper back pain and ringing in the ears since my discharge in 1997. I have a claim pending for PTSD, the VA tells me my claim is in review (they are awaiting records) from somewhere to prove I was in Somalia.

Anyways, back in May 06, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure with ejection fraction of 20%, my civilian doctor placed me on 7 different meds and last month, I had an I.C.D./Pacemaker implanted. If I can get this condition service connected, it is automatic 100% according to the schedule of ratings.

Should I wait on my ruling for PTSD, or submit a claim for CHF right away? I'm concerned that if I mail my CHF claim to the VA in Nashville, they will stop proceedings on my PTSD claim? I'm sort of confused and would like some advise from the more seasoned members.


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Jim- good question - however- the sooner you file the additional claim, then you will get the best Effective date on it-

It is more than likely that they would finish the PTSD claim before even addressing the CHF claim.

You will need a medical nexus- a strong medical statement that the heart disease is connected to your service-or a strong medical statement that it could be due to your PTSD- that has been done but it is not easy.

Somalia-doesn't your DD 214 reflect that you were there? Certain decorations listed on your DD 214 could denote combat if you claim stressors due to combat ops.

I suggest too that you go to NARA:

http://www.archives.gov/ click on Military Records-

You can fil out the SF 180 right on line, you will need a printer to print out the bar coded thing that you sign and then mail to where it says-

Ask them for your complete service records to include all medical records.

There could well be a nexus (link) to your disabilities in those records if you exhibited any symptoms of CHF in service-this will be the hardest part of the CHF claim- proving the link to your service.

Have you ever had malaria in service? or beri beri? anemia documented in service?

I tried to find a link and this unusual report popped up:


And this med report shows what I mean too:


This is a Somalia vet- whose PTSD claim was denied -

"As a result, the analysis of stressor verification is not so

much bisected by whether the event is "combat" or

"noncombat," but whether there is "conclusive evidence" of a

combat stressor, or "credible supporting evidence from any

source" of a combat or noncombat stressor. The veteran has

been requested to identify events in service that he believes

are the stressor or stressors that caused PTSD. His asserted

stressors were listed in his stressor letter and other

correspondence, but the contemporaneous service records do

not corroborate the claimed death of a Marine after a search

of the specified unit records. There is no corroboration of

his recollection that he was confronted with a threat to his

life or serious injury or that his response involved intense

fear, horror or helplessness in recalling the rules of

engagement or circumstances of his military experience in

Somalia. The existence of a stressor, but not its

sufficiency, is an adjudication determination" BVA

The VA will be looking for combat awards as proof of stressors or then they will acquire your mil records to corroborate your stressors-

Have you have a PTSD C & P yet and filled out the PTSD questionnaire?

Have you actually been diagnosed with PTSD yet?

Have you been in touch with your unit if you should need a buddy statement?

Since you are SCed already I am surprised that they dont have the Somalia info already but then again----

I also suggest that you send the VARO a request in writing for a complete copy of your c file-

that too will hold up your claim a little but it is always best to know what they have and the Somalia service is probably verified right in the c file? But maybe not-

Edited by Berta
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Welcome Tim!!

Berta is a wealth of information!! :)

I wanted to also add, while you where on active duty, where you ever diagnosed as having hypertension? Because that could be a nexus to the CHF. I would get a copy of your SMR and look at all the B/P readings, take them to you doctor and see if he would provide the nexus. You could have been borderline hypertensive for a while and didn't know it...or you could have had some high readings over a period of time and the military doctors never picked up on it.

Edited by EODMOMMY
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