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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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diegogarcia67

Psoratic Arthritis

Question

Hello, I have Psoriasis and have a 60% disability rating for this. I recently filed a secondary claim for Psoriatic Arthritis. The problem is I am not always in lot of pain because I am taking Enbrel. I notice when I run out of the drug my joints hurt so bad that I can't hardly walk, but as long as I am taking Enbrel, I still feel the pain but it is tolerable. My question is Enbrel is a drug that controls Psoriatic Arthritis. Will the C&P examiner take this into consideration? Also, I heard x-rays doesn't always show that someone has this type of arthritis. Has anybody experienced this situation?

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4 answers to this question

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If you are not working you should be able to get 100%. My brother had it and my research more or less indicated that it should be at least 70% and if not working TDIU. Good Luck and be glad that you are seeing someone who gave you proper medication. VA did not give my brother Embrel and he did not do as well as you and Phil Milkenson

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X-ray may reveal some damage to the joints, but not nearly what an MRI will reveal, and again, a nuclear bone scan will reveal more than either of those. I don't know if you have medical insurance, but if you do it would be a good time to use it.

Since you have already been diagnosed with the condition, the C&P examiner may not require X-ray's or other testing if there imaging studies in your records. Have you received all records to include copies of X-ray and other imaging studies and provided them to the VA? iF NOT I WOULD DO SO QUICKLY, and keep a copy for yourself to take to the C&P exam

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I'm in the same boat (both conditions - SUX!), have tried several biologics (Enbrel was one that didn't work). When I first developed the PsA symptoms, I was told by my dermatologist that they would only prescribe topical medications, and let the Rheum work with me on the biologics, steroids, pain, etc. This is important as when you're asked as the examiner needs to note that whoever treats the psoriasis is aware and engaged in the treatment of the PsA.

>>>> I would not claim the PsA as secondary. <<<<

I'm rated for both on their own - two separate conditions, even though they're both auto-immune based and the treatment(s) over-lap. Don't assume your examiner knows this - educate him/her. When you go to your C&P, you need to make a point of your conditions being treated by separate doctors (if in fact they are). In addition, you need to mention any of the side-effects you've experienced from the treatment. It wouldn't hurt to take the fact sheet from the medication(s) with you. Don't assume the person conducting the C&P is a specialist. I ended up with asthma and several upper respiratory infections a year. Also, I ended up with several opportunistic fungal infections in some of the plaque areas - confirmed by a scrape test conducted by the dermatologist and again, a side-effect of the Enbrel.

Over the years, when I've filed for increases in either condition, I mention the other and it's treatment, but the C&P usually focused on the condition at hand. I agree that detection and degree of degradation of the joints is critical; for your treatment and the C&P. More importantly, you need to stay on top of the progression of the disease, document flare-ups that cause decrease in your quality of life, etc.

During the C&P, make sure you describe your worst days. I have flare-ups that last for weeks, and am either on steroids plus the other meds to keep it under control or pain killers and warm baths. I document every day, so that when I'm re-evaluated or meet with the rheum I can communicate what's working and what's not. Also, since the condition tends to put a lot of tension on the muscles in the effected areas, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. You might want to have someone check you for this.

Last, have you been tested for Rheumatoid, Ostio and Lupus? If not, and if you have access request these tests be done. Since you've hit the slim percentage of those that have psoriasis developing psoriatic arthritis, you are in the range that also develop these other conditions as well.

IM me if you want to chat about these conditions. I've worked through them for years and am more than happy to share....

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Hello, I have Psoriasis and have a 60% disability rating for this. I recently filed a secondary claim for Psoriatic Arthritis. The problem is I am not always in lot of pain because I am taking Enbrel. I notice when I run out of the drug my joints hurt so bad that I can't hardly walk, but as long as I am taking Enbrel, I still feel the pain but it is tolerable. My question is Enbrel is a drug that controls Psoriatic Arthritis. Will the C&P examiner take this into consideration? Also, I heard x-rays doesn't always show that someone has this type of arthritis. Has anybody experienced this situation?

i have rheumatoid and my orthopedic doctor told me years ago, it is impossible to look at an xray and determine what has been caused by rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.that was when i filed for an increase for my back. the va still only gave me 40 percent based on their dang range of motion.

Edited by iceturkee

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