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Vocation Rebab, Workers Comp And Va Ratings



question about a claim, workers comp and vocation rehab. I just received my package to fill out for my voc rehab appointment in a few weeks and they look like they are looking into tdiu with some of the information they are requesting my records. During my workers comp and talking with my jobs insurance people, I did tell them of my lumbar strain and that but they did not seem to concerned with it but I'm not sure how the VA is about these things, I did even tell my VA MH people and my regular PCM oh and VA PCM. Maybe I'm just a mess because I'm worried about everything.

I am currently rated 50%.......one of my ratings is "lumbar strain" this was done in 2005. A concern is I hurt my back in 2010 and was on workers comp, would the VA do something about this or would this cause a problem if they see those medical records, physical rehab and etc.?

Another thing I've been wanting to re-open my original claim from 2004 for what I claimed as Lumbar DDD and sciatica. I was denied this due to a "negative" straight leg test, this and a Xray were the only tests I remember being given, I do know there was no VA MRI or CT. MY SMR has a note in 2002 "+ sciatica" and treatments for it. I have complaints of left leg numbness, tingling and other but I never remember them doing a lumbar MRI but I've had cervical ones and rated for that. However, I do have a note in my after retirement medical record from the MTF and it says.....

XXX 2006

"Chief complaint is: pain just below L PSIS for many years, recurrs. Pain radiates to L foot. Paresthias

...........Straight leg test negative


1. Lumbago

2. Backache

3. Sacrolitis

4. Lumbar Radiculopathy L4

Radiology(ies): -MRI, L-SPINE (W/Contrast)(routine) Impression; H/o recurring low back pain with radiculopathy and aresthesias in his

LLE. Prior MRI 2000.

5. Lumbar Radiculopathy L5"

With number 4. is he saying this is new or this is the same or worse since the 2000 MRI? I was never given any pain meds of any sort during this visit. I'm just kind of confused. I've had complaints about my left leg and all while on active duty.

I've been wanting to re-open my 2003 claim for this but just never did. Now I don't know if my W/C case has any kind of impact on this claim or my current benefits. Unsure if I should just let them have all records, my w/c doctor was a butt and since I did not want surgery he gave me restrictions for a while then returned me to "full duty" but rated me 10% for workers comp. My job was a butt and told me to file W/C but then I wasn't paid for a month, the local office wasn't helpful, so I really did not know what to do and ended up with a not so good lawyer and not any good doctor.

As my chances for tdiu I'm only being treated with a TENS for my neck/back pain, nothing for my carpal tunnel which is at zero percent but I have been given braces. I do see mental health for depression which I'm still awaiting my records.....been one month from ROI and two weeks from the MH section. I'm not sure why they have not given them to me yet, so I don't know what exactly has been put down. I've had bad experiences with a doctor saying one thing and writing another.

Thanks in advance,


Edited by yelloownumber5

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4 answers to this question

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If your W/C case is settled and done then I would forget mentioning it to the VA. You are SC for your back and if you give the VA records regarding a job related injury to your back the VA may dispute any claim for an increase for your back. Does the VA know anything about your W/C injury? I would keep these issues completely separate. When you have a job related aggravation of an existing SC injury it gets a bit messy. Did you work for a private company or the government? I worked for the postal service and aggravated a SC injury. I had to sort it out between the VA and W/C and it did cause me some trouble because I used the worker's compensation doctor's report to help me get TDIU. This was a mistake.

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In ref to my post does it seem right to get denied for the sciatica versus get a zero percent rating for it when it is documents in SMR, this was part of my original claim? Can I be rated for "lumbar strain" and sciatica, or radiculpathy at the same time? Maybe I just don't know how to word the claim for sciatica but the claim is long dead but my back is getting worse and worse.

I mean I had a test showing carpal tunnel but got a zero percent rating because I failed the palen's (spelling) test and the other one.

Edited by yelloownumber5

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I have my vocational rehab appointment in the morning.

I'm not giving them an authorization for release of information about my work, or other medical records. Is this a bad idea?

But the forms do ask about substance abuse, why is this and what kind of impact might this have on voc rehab. While on active duty I was in Level I and Level II rehab. I'm not sure if they should be told this or not.

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My appointment went well from what I see.

I did authorize them access to my records.

They are ensuring my VA PCM and Mental Health state I'm able to work and 8 hours, then I was told I could fill a position at the VAMC temp 4 months and if all goes well they will convert to perm position for me. Has anyone heard of this?

While working at the local VA I will receive chapter 33?

Hopefully my doctors will sign off on the plan.

Edited by yelloownumber5

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