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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Mike77

Question On Ratings

Question

I am new to this whole VA thing but have been watching and learning from you all and this is the best site I have found, so thanks for all of the help so far. I currently have a 10% rating with the VA for dizziness and have filed a NOD on a few other items on Gulf War Illness (GWI). I understand that the VA will not rate you twice for the same thing, but something like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), has multiple issue and I assume the VA makes the decision that these are all part of the CFS. IE sleeping problems, chronic headaches, etc.

So my question is this. Is it better to have all of this issues rated individual, (which in all likely hood would not be rated higher then the 40%, if I'm lucky I would get from the VA) or am I stuck going with the CFS, or can I go with the CFS and treat some of these issue as other issues?

Hope that all makes since if not just let me know and I will try and clarify this some more.

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4 answers to this question

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I am new to this whole VA thing but have been watching and learning from you all and this is the best site I have found, so thanks for all of the help so far. I currently have a 10% rating with the VA for dizziness and have filed a NOD on a few other items on Gulf War Illness (GWI). I understand that the VA will not rate you twice for the same thing, but something like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), has multiple issue and I assume the VA makes the decision that these are all part of the CFS. IE sleeping problems, chronic headaches, etc.

So my question is this. Is it better to have all of this issues rated individual, (which in all likely hood would not be rated higher then the 40%, if I'm lucky I would get from the VA) or am I stuck going with the CFS, or can I go with the CFS and treat some of these issue as other issues?

Hope that all makes since if not just let me know and I will try and clarify this some more.

To file for something like CFS you have to first have a diagnosis. In the diagnosis it will list your symptoms and you can go from there. It is not enough to think you desreve a higher rating, you have to prove that you meet the criteria for the higher rating. I don't agree that you should just file and let the VA decide, because that decision is usually a denial or low rating. You have to develope your claim in such a way so it answer all questions that the VA could ask in your favor and even then you have to be prepared for denial.

JMO,

Bergie

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You are better off to have a diagnois. From an experience standpoint, a Veteran is resonsible for the information regarding a claim. How the Veteran pursues it and how the evidence is placed goes a very long way.

You can still file but you should seek medical advice to support the claim. Filing only preserves the date.

J

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I agree with Bergie-

one cannot assume anything the VA might do.

I also think your CFS claim might be depend on the claim you filed NOD on.

This is part of a BVA decision on CFS:

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The Veteran contends that he has chronic fatigue syndrome and

that service connection for such disability should be granted

on a presumptive basis under 38 C.F.R. § 3.317.

Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 4.88a, a diagnosis of chronic fatigue

syndrome for VA purposes requires: (1) new onset of

debilitating fatigue severe enough to reduce daily activity

to less than 50 percent of the usual level for at least six

months; (2) the exclusion, by history, physical examination,

and laboratory tests, of all other clinical conditions that

may produce similar symptoms; and (3) six or more of the

following: (i) acute onset of the condition, (ii) low grade

fever, (iii) non- exudative pharyngitis, (iv) palpable or

tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes, (v) generalized

muscle aches or weakness, (vi) fatigue lasting 24 hours or

longer after exercise, (vii) headaches (of a type, severity,

or pattern that is different from headaches in the pre-morbid

state), (viii) migratory joint pains, (ix) neuropsychologic

symptoms, and (x) sleep disturbance. 38 C.F.R. § 4.88a. The

use of the conjunction and in this regulation indicates that

all three numbered criteria must be met.

With respect to undiagnosed illnesses, the Board again notes

that several elements must be met. There must not only be

evidence that the claimant is a "Persian Gulf Veteran," as in

this case, but the evidence must also show that his

disability, manifested by one or more signs or symptoms, is

chronic and became manifest either during active service in

the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian

Gulf War, or to a degree of 10 percent or more not later than

December 31, 2011. Finally, as here, the disability must not

be attributed to any known clinical diagnosis. 38 C.F.R.

§ 3.317."

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp09/files5/0941722.txt

There could be something there to help you-and in other CFS claims at the BVA web site but you have been apparently already been denied for Gulf War Illness related disabilities.

"so my question is this. Is it better to have all of this issues rated individual, (which in all likely hood would not be rated higher then the 40%, if I'm lucky I would get from the VA) or am I stuck going with the CFS, or can I go with the CFS and treat some of these issue as other issues?"

I think the best bet here is to focus on why they denied the GWS claim and if you raise the CFS issue, try to show it is secondary to the Gulf war illnesses.

The Gulf War presumptives are very complex as to having a qualifying undiagnosed disability as well as CFS.

All Gulf War regs are here in the Gulf War forum.This included the 9 new presumptives.

If you can scan and attach here their reasons for denial of the claim you Nodded, maybe we can help more.Cover personal stuff.

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This BVA case is a better example of what I mean:

(The CFS in this veteran's case was part of the medically unexplained cluster of symptoms that qualifies as a qualifying chronic undiagnosed illness for claims under 38 USC 1117.

If your SMRs reveal CFS then that would be basis for direct service connection but it seems to me you are seeking presumptive SC under the Gulf War Vet presumptives. ?

"The law defines a qualifying chronic disability as that which

results from an undiagnosed illness, a medically unexplained

chronic multi-symptom illness that is defined by a cluster of

signs or symptoms (such as chronic fatigue syndrome,

fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome), or any diagnosed

illness that VA determines in regulations warrants a presumption

of service connection. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1117. This statute also

provides that signs or symptoms that may be manifestations of an

undiagnosed illness or a chronic multi- symptom illness include:

(1) fatigue; (2) unexplained rashes or other dermatological signs

or symptoms; (3) headache; (4) muscle pain; (5) joint pain; (6)

neurological signs and symptoms; (7) neuropsychological signs or

symptoms; (8) signs or symptoms involving the upper or lower

respiratory system; (9) sleep disturbances; (10) gastrointestinal

signs or symptoms; (11) cardiovascular signs or symptoms; (12)

abnormal weight loss; and (13) menstrual disorders."

http://www4.va.gov/vetapp10/files4/1039601.txt

This is why I suggested to focus on why they denied the other claim and to let us know why they denied it.

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