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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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  • 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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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

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      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
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OutOfOptionsVet

Really Need Help

Question

Going to start with some background information because I really don't have any idea if I am missing the obvious solution; or where I am suppose to go from here.

Never had back problems prior to Bootcamp.

60 days into Marine training I'm at medical and told I have a pre-exsisting condition known as Kyphosis. (My spine curves out too far in the middle)

I found out months later I wasn't suppose to be allowed into the military with this kind of a condition.

I graduated Bootcamp and earned my title, spent a month in rehab.

Went to SOI training, made it a week befor I was again in medical. Was told to be put on 3 days light duty reccomended by the Doctor there.

They told me I was going to train anyways. One day later Im back in medical again after falling out on a hike and blacking out from pain.

3 months light duty and droped to Medical rehab platoon. After a few weeks, the doctors decided I was to be discharged.

I recieved a Erronous Uncharacterized Enlistment Discharge at 179 1/2 days of service.

I have had Chronic back pain that fluctuates in pain levels from day to day ever since. I can't sit or stand for very long without the pain increasing until its unbearable.

I went to the VA and went thru the process of evaluation to see what im disibility rating would be. They asked alot of questions and eventually my doctor decided it would be best to get an MRI which came back negative.

I recieved a 10% disability rating. I was advised by my Doctor to not appeal my case. I didn't think the rating was as high as it should be.

Not for the pain I suffer on a daily basis. Theres on average 4 days a month where Im bedridden because of the pain I suffer due to my condition.

I tried attending college after my discharge. After a week I was in bed for 3 days on my back and could hardly move. I had to withdraw due to the attendance contract.

I needed more help. So I tried going thru the Revocation Rehabilitation program that the VA offers. I was given a personal tens unit to use. I decided I would try attending college thru their program.

I attended classes for a week. My pain was minimal when I started attending classes. After about 4 days of full time school I wasn't able to make my classes and again had to withdraw from college and also (after talking to my counselor) the Revocation Rehabilitation program until my pain was managed better.

Without my familys support I would be on the streets with nothing to eat. I've moved from my Mothers house, to my Fathers, back to my Mothers, and now back to my Fathers again within the past 2 years I've been struggling since being discharged.

I tried to apply for SSDI and sent the paper work to my Doctor at the VA. He denied my claim and said I should be able to work full time 40 hours a week with no problems. I was so angry and frustrated with him about that I haven't been back to the VA since.

I decided I would try going thru a Civilian doctor and begin the process of determining the level of my disability again all over. Due to the fact my Doctor doesn't recognize the extent of my impairment to function as a regular civilian due to my disability.

The state I live in has a 2 year waiting list to recieve Medical Insurance coverage thru the State. I am unemployed and have no other income than the 123$ a month I recieve for my 10% disability.

Im having a hard time dealing with all of this and I just don't know where to go from here. My VA case worker literally told me to "suck it up". I no longer communicate with her either.

I've become depressed and no longer have a social life. I've tried to find work, I have even gotten a few interviews; during which I explain my disability to them and they never call me back.

I thought I would post this and maybe get some advice that might start me in the right direction.

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I would file for an increase and file for depression due to chronic pain. I would go back to the VA and make them treat you. I would ask to be seen at the Pain Management Clinic. They granted you 10% so they admit you were hurt in service. If you can't work due to these service connected problems file for TDIU. I would really keep posting here and insist on treatment. Ask to see a psychiatrist. Do you have an appointment with your PCP?

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Going to start with some background information because I really don't have any idea if I am missing the obvious solution; or where I am suppose to go from here.

Welcome to Hadit.com

Never had back problems prior to Bootcamp.

60 days into Marine training I'm at medical and told I have a pre-exsisting condition known as Kyphosis. (My spine curves out too far in the middle)

I found out months later I wasn't suppose to be allowed into the military with this kind of a condition.

I graduated Bootcamp and earned my title, spent a month in rehab.

Went to SOI training, made it a week befor I was again in medical. Was told to be put on 3 days light duty reccomended by the Doctor there.

They told me I was going to train anyways. One day later Im back in medical again after falling out on a hike and blacking out from pain.

3 months light duty and droped to Medical rehab platoon. After a few weeks, the doctors decided I was to be discharged.

I recieved a Erronous Uncharacterized Enlistment Discharge at 179 1/2 days of service.

In my opinion, your type of discharge has been OK'd for purposes of Veteran's benefits, and is no longer relevant

to your receipt of benefits. This is supported by the fact that you state you are currently in receipt of the

10 percent, disability rating.

I have had Chronic back pain that fluctuates in pain levels from day to day ever since. I can't sit or stand for very long without the pain increasing until its unbearable.

I went to the VA and went thru the process of evaluation to see what im disibility rating would be. They asked alot of questions and eventually my doctor decided it would be best to get an MRI which came back negative.

I recieved a 10% disability rating. I was advised by my Doctor to not appeal my case. I didn't think the rating was as high as it should be.

The evaluation percentage for current level of disability depends on the medical evidence of record and the rating criteria for

the Diagnostic Code the disability is rated under.

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_09/38cfr4_09.html

Not for the pain I suffer on a daily basis. Theres on average 4 days a month where Im bedridden because of the pain I suffer due to my condition.

I tried attending college after my discharge. After a week I was in bed for 3 days on my back and could hardly move. I had to withdraw due to the attendance contract.

I needed more help. So I tried going thru the Revocation Rehabilitation program that the VA offers. I was given a personal tens unit to use. I decided I would try attending college thru their program.

I attended classes for a week. My pain was minimal when I started attending classes. After about 4 days of full time school I wasn't able to make my classes and again had to withdraw from college and also (after talking to my counselor) the Revocation Rehabilitation program until my pain was managed better.

Without my familys support I would be on the streets with nothing to eat. I've moved from my Mothers house, to my Fathers, back to my Mothers, and now back to my Fathers again within the past 2 years I've been struggling since being discharged.

I tried to apply for SSDI and sent the paper work to my Doctor at the VA. He denied my claim and said I should be able to work full time 40 hours a week with no problems. I was so angry and frustrated with him about that I haven't been back to the VA since.

The "Doctor at the VA" did not deny your claim for SSDI benefits.

The VA doctor provided their opinion on your ability "to work full time 40 hours a week with no problems."

Did you go to any other medical provider's, including a SSA medical provider and if so, what did they state ?

The SSA adjudicator is who denied your claim for SSDI.

I decided I would try going thru a Civilian doctor and begin the process of determining the level of my disability again all over. Due to the fact my Doctor doesn't recognize the extent of my impairment to function as a regular civilian due to my disability.

The state I live in has a 2 year waiting list to recieve Medical Insurance coverage thru the State. I am unemployed and have no other income than the 123$ a month I recieve for my 10% disability.

Im having a hard time dealing with all of this and I just don't know where to go from here. My VA case worker literally told me to "suck it up". I no longer communicate with her either.

I've become depressed and no longer have a social life. I've tried to find work, I have even gotten a few interviews; during which I explain my disability to them and they never call me back.

I thought I would post this and maybe get some advice that might start me in the right direction.

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PCP = Personal Care Physician? I have an appointment next week to see a civilian Doctor next week... its going to cost me 71$ just to walk in the door. The nearest VA is 45 min away 1hour and 30 min round trip from where I live. The Doctor im going to see is 20 min away. I acatually found this website trying to Google information about how to get my VA medical insurance to cover my appointments with a Civilian Doctor. I don't have an income and just recently moved in with my father so I became a WI resident a couple weeks ago. Have been considering switching VA's and trying to get a new PCP at the VA. The one I have now I've seen 3 times in the past 2 years. Just driving in a car for 45 min puts me in extreme pain and I don't like to drive on the meds.

No I haven't had other medical coverage so the only Doctor I have seen was the Civilian Doctor I saw after being discharged who agreed to renew my Service prescriptions. Who I paid for out of my own pocket. She didn't have anything to do with my rating or evaluating my disability.

I don't know what an SSA is. I was trying to cooperate with a lawyer firm that specializes in SSDI cases. After my PCP at the VA gave the lawyers at the firm his opinion I was told they didn't have a case. My Doctor isn't listening to me, and frankly I really just feel like a number to him, someone to just brush aside and move onto the next patient.

Edited by OutOfOptionsVet

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You may hate going to the VA but that is the place to document all your complaints. You want to complain your head off about your problems and get referrals to specialists inside the VA. If your PCP won't do it go to the patient advocate and complain that your doctor is ignoring your requests for referrals. I would try to be nice but you must insist on treatment. Your civilian records are good too, and when you ask for increases you have to tell the VA where to get those records. You get milage for trips to the VA. Can you get someone to drive you there? Your PCP is your primary care doctor at the VA. This is where it all starts. If they ask you if you are depressed tell them "YES". If they want you to rate your pain then rate it as high as it has ever been.

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You may hate going to the VA but that is the place to document all your complaints. You want to complain your head off about your problems and get referrals to specialists inside the VA. If your PCP won't do it go to the patient advocate and complain that your doctor is ignoring your requests for referrals. I would try to be nice but you must insist on treatment. Your civilian records are good too, and when you ask for increases you have to tell the VA where to get those records. You get milage for trips to the VA. Can you get someone to drive you there? Your PCP is your primary care doctor at the VA. This is where it all starts. If they ask you if you are depressed tell them "YES". If they want you to rate your pain then rate it as high as it has ever been.

Thanks for the advice I will do just that. Guess Im going to have to see if my girlfriend will come with me. If I make an appointment to see my PCP do they pay for mileage? I'm not sure they do unless its an appointment based off a referral? Either way I will make an appointment and get this started. 2 years of doing nothing else it really is time they realize that my condition isn't improving and my life isn't going to be anything close to what a normal non disabled person can accomplish. I don't know of any job that would keep an employee that consistantly misses work or has to leave early because they're in so much pain they can't focus to do their job. It is depressing and sad that my life has come to this. I just really hope they hear me this time. I will go and talk to the patient advocate when I am there.

Is there any other referrals I should request that you can think of for a person dealing with severe chronic back pain, moderate to severe depression, and can't work due to these?

I appriciate your help, God bless you!

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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
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