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32 Year Old Cue

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WYnWn

Question

Hi,

These are the facts (documented, not alleged) of my situation:

1. Medical discharge under honorable conditions (after 4 yrs. 9 mo. active duty service, USN) in 1979.

2. Injury to right knee certified as qualified service two years prior to commencement of enlistment in 1975. Two separate injuries to each knee with aggravation to both knees documented in medical records. Injuries and aggravation documented to right knee were separate injuries not related to surgically repaired and well healed right knee (previous to enlistment) that sustained two injuries during active duty.

3. PEB rating 20% (bilateral knee-chondromalasia patella, arthritis).

4. Applied for rehab. educ. benefits while working on masters degree under GI Bill in Colorado. Denied by VA. Rating of 20% was dropped to 0% total. No physical examination; records from the pre-enlistment physical qualifying me for enlistment were copied into assessment verbatim as "evidence" justifying denial and reduction. No mention of USN medical record entries which contradicted these statements and provided chonological documentation of injuries and aggravation specifically stated in clinical records while on active duty.

5. Timely filed Notice of Disagreement. Denied again.

6. Was told by college VA rep that I "need not bother to appeal", "appeal would be denied" especially because I was" female" and "the guys needed it more than I did".

7. Two years ago I tried to re-open the claim. VA insisted I file a new claim, but I insisted it should be a continuation of the original claim in 1979.

8. I contacted state senator's office; was assigned a VA rep (not employed by VA).

9. Filed CUE. Granted because of no record of problems with left knee prior to service. VA essentially made it a new claim by requiring C&P exam and treating it as a new claim. VA continually ignores any mention of right knee except for their residuals denials.

10. First decision: service connected for left knee only with 0% disability rating, effective date 1979 because I filed within a year of separation. Right knee denied on basis of 1979 denial: residuals to right knee surgery.

11. All medical records are distinctly clear of any problems with right knee for five years prior to injury to rt. knee during active duty service.

12. C&P exam at VA (not terribly impressive exam in terms of comprehensiveness, example: Dr. stated no problems with gait observed despite the fact that he walked ahead of me entering and exiting the tiny exam room).

13. Second decision: 10% rating restored for left knee; effective date changed to 2010 because the VA's exam was the "first evidence" of problems. Same denial and reason on rt. knee. After recoup of separation pay, benefits to begin in 2014.

14. Last disagreement submitted about a month ago, citing VA regs, Congressional mandates, etc. Told by rep this was last before I would (likely) need to hire an attorney and appeal.

15. Was enrolled as Priority Group 3.

I hate to think of having to hire an attorney who would share in whatever I'm entitled to receive. Yet, despite all the research I've done, I also realize, not being an attorney, that things can/could be brought up that I would have no knowledge of or clue about how to handle.

Any thoughts, recommendations, ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

You should contact Bergmann and More and talk to Carrie. (877) 838-2889

Also you should listen to the SVR archive we had for the last SVR show as it was Carrie from Bergmann and Moore as she explained CUE.

I advice all Hadit members to listen to that show.

Basser

A Veteran is a person who served this country. Treat them with respect.

A Disabled Veteran is a person who served this country and bears the scars of that service regardless of when or where they served.

Treat them with the upmost respect. I do. Rejection is not a sign of failure. Failure is not an option, Medical opinions and evidence wins claims. Trust in others is a virtue but you take the T out of Trust and you are left with Rust so be wise about who you are dealing with.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'd pursue it as a CUE. Whether you'll win is another matter. As for an atty, you may need one eventually and it's better to have them do all the work than just some of it. They'll probably get the same fee. You'll probably need one for the court, if and when it gets there but why not start w/one. So you give up a little money - you may win sooner!! jmo

pr

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Thanks. I've been reading through archived comments and found some very interesting information. I will check those out, too.

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I hear you on the 'winning'; it's a little like playing a card game and only having a couple of low trump cards. Ever time I've gotten a decision back, the same question comes up in my mind: Can't these people r e a d?

Please excuse my lack of knowledge, but I don't know who the people mentioned are. I'm assuming Bergmann and More is a law firm? Is Carrie one of their attorneys?

Hey, and thanks for the quick responses.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I'd file a CUE back to when they reduced you to "0%." I think you've got them right there, based on what you've stated, assuming you are correct in your statement and w/o seeing your evidence. I feel they'll deny and you'll need to appeal, appeal, appeal, but I think you'll win a nice retro claim/check. jmo

pr

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It seems like a zero sum game: they grant one aspect and at the same time change another important aspect, to that the sum total is always zero.

I studied the decisions I received and noticed their referrals to laws, sections, items, etc. Then I researched all the ones they cited and related citations, including appeals decisions. Then because I realize my rep doesn't have the time available, I wrote the text of the last argument, along with citations to back up the facts in the records and the precedents that support a favorable decision. He elected to send my response.

Everything I stated is documented by the medical records and chronology of events. There is some information I don't have, for example, any discussion of matters used by the VA in their decisions. I only have the decisions they sent me. But, what I presented is in the medical records I received prior to starting this process.

How can I find the SVR archive? I got a no results message when I tried to search for it.

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