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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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BFR

Gulf War Illness Links

Question



This is a list of links and information that I've compiled while researching GWI for my claim. All those included in this post come from the VA, so one would assume that the information they contain is accurate. Always verify that the page you're looking at is up-to-date!

Please add or correct any information in this thread.



General Info from VA on GWI:
Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses: Illnesses Associated with Gulf War ServicePresumptive period extended to December 31, 2011Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables - Effective 12/1/09 (From what I see this is still accurate in 2011.)Gulf War Registry Health Exam



CFS:
VA's Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Examination worksheetVA Rating chart (from CFR):6354 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Debilitating fatigue, cognitive impairments (such as inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, confusion), or a combination of other signs and symptoms:100% Which are nearly constant and so severe as to restrict routine daily activities almost completely and which may occasionally preclude self-care60% Which are nearly constant and restrict routine daily activities to less than 50 percent of the pre-illness level, or; which wax and wane, resulting in periods of incapacitation of at least six weeks total duration per year40% Which are nearly constant and restrict routine daily activities to 50 to 75 percent of the pre-illness level, or; which wax and wane, resulting in periods of incapacitation of at least four but less than six weeks total duration per year20% Which are nearly constant and restrict routine daily activities by less than 25 percent of the pre-illness level, or; which wax and wane, resulting in periods of incapacitation of at least two but less than four weeks total duration per year10% Which wax and wane but result in periods of incapacitation of at least one but less than two weeks total duration per year, or; symptoms controlled by continuous medicationNote: For the purpose of evaluating this disability, the condition will be considered incapacitating only while it requires bed rest and treatment by a physician.




Fibromyalgia:
VA's Fibromyalgia Examination worksheetVA Rating Chart (from CFR):5025 Fibromyalgia (fibrositis, primary fibromyalgia syndrome): With widespread musculoskeletal pain and tender points, with or without associated fatigue, sleep disturbance, stiffness, paresthesias, headache, irritable bowel symptoms, depression, anxiety, or Raynaud's-like symptoms:40% That are constant, or nearly so, and refractory to therapy20% That are episodic, with exacerbations often precipitated by environmental or emotional stress or by overexertion, but that are present more than one-third of the time10% That require continuous medication for controlNote: Widespread pain means pain in both the left and right sides of the body, that is both above and below the waist, and that affects both the axial skeleton (i.e. , cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine, or low back) and the extremities.



IBS
(***NOTE: I could not find an examination worksheet or a section in the rating table listed as "irritable bowel syndrome." This information may or may not be accurate!)
VA's Intestines (Large and Small) Examination Worksheet
7319 Irritable colon syndrome (spastic colitis, mucous colitis, etc.):30% Severe; diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation, with more or less constant abdominal distress10% Moderate; frequent episodes of bowel disturbance with abdominal distress0% Mild; disturbances of bowel function with occasional episodes of abdominal distress

. Edited by BFR

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Got Edit ability (Thanks Tbird!), fixed links.

Edited by BFR

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Here are some interesting excerpts from the April 14, 2011 edition of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations). The wording is typically dry, but there are some good nuggets of information about the rules that VBA follows--or fails to follow when making decisions. (The red text for emphasis is mine.)

§ 4.2 Interpretation of examination reports.

Different examiners, at different times, will not describe the same disability in the same language. Features of the disability which must have persisted unchanged may be overlooked or a change for the better or worse may not be accurately appreciated or described. It is the responsibility of the rating specialist to interpret reports of examination in the light of the whole recorded history, reconciling the various reports into a consistent picture so that the current rating may accurately reflect the elements of disability present.
Each disability must be considered from the point of view of the veteran working or seeking work
. If a diagnosis is not supported by the findings on the examination report or if the report does not contain sufficient detail, it is incumbent upon the rating board to return the report as inadequate for evaluation purposes.

§ 4.3 Resolution of reasonable doubt.

It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation, consistent, however, with the facts shown in every case.
When after careful consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding the degree of disability such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant.
See §3.102 of this chapter

§ 4.10 Functional impairment.

The basis of disability evaluations is the ability of the body as a whole, or of the psyche, or of a system or organ of the body to function under the ordinary conditions of daily life including employment. Whether the upper or lower extremities, the back or abdominal wall, the eyes or ears, or the cardiovascular, digestive, or other system, or psyche are affected, evaluations are based upon lack of usefulness, of these parts or systems, especially in self-support. This imposes upon the medical examiner the responsibility of furnishing, in addition to the etiological, anatomical, pathological, laboratory and prognostic data required for ordinary medical classification, full description of the effects of disability upon the person's ordinary activity.
In this connection, it will be remembered that a person may be too disabled to engage in employment although he or she is up and about and fairly comfortable at home or upon limited activity.

§ 4.15 Total disability ratings.

The ability to overcome the handicap of disability varies widely among individuals. The rating, however, is based primarily upon the average impairment in earning capacity, that is, upon the economic or industrial handicap which must be overcome and not from individual success in overcoming it.
However, full consideration must be given to unusual physical or mental effects in individual cases, to peculiar effects of occupational activities, to defects in physical or mental endowment preventing the usual amount of success in overcoming the handicap of disability and to the effect of combinations of disability. Total disability will be considered to exist when there is present any impairment of mind or body which is sufficient to render it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation; Provided, That permanent total disability shall be taken to exist when the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person. The following will be considered to be permanent total disability: the permanent loss of the use of both hands, or of both feet, or of one hand and one foot, or of the sight of both eyes, or becoming permanently helpless or permanently bedridden. Other total disability ratings are scheduled in the various bodily systems of this schedule.

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BFR

Thank you for posting this valuable information.

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Bumping this up

and referring all to

More info here on the new presumptives and link to the Show we did at SVR radio available via our SVR link here.

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