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Denied Rating For Upper Extremity


chiefhouse00

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Greetings

After a long wait (since 30 Nov 2004), I received a 10% rating for each leg/foot numbness problem but nothing for my left arm/hand...here are the results (short version):

Lower Extremity: Service connection for right and left lower extremity neuropathy with decreased sensation as secondary to the service-connected disability of low back pain with mild degenerative changes. The decision is based on information obtained from my VA examination in which examiner opined the neuropathy of the feet and legs is due to degenerative joint disease, foraminal stenosis with secondary radiculopathy. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned for incomplete paralysys below the knee which is mild.

Upper Extremity: Denied because evidence didn't show the numbness and weakness in hands and arms was related to the service-connected condition of low back pain, nor is there any evidence of this disability during military service. The VA examiner opined that the hand numbness was not due to the low back but due to local neuropathies with median neuorlia noted on EMG.

Question: I'm currently rated 10% for nerve problem with my right arm and denied for neck pain. I have military medical records of arm/hand numbness and neck pain, and MRI showing C2 thru C6 disk problems. How should I word or work an appeal for not rating my neck pain and hand/arm nerve problem.

Best Regards

Chiefhouse

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Chiefhouse00,

I'm not a doctor, but generally the lower back doesn't cause radiopathy in the upper extremities. Somethings such as DMII will. That being said, you stated that while you were in the service you had an MRI done showing cervical spine abnormalities, this area of the spnie does cause radiopathy in the upper extremities.

Have you ever applied for service-connection for the cervical spine? If not, that should be looked into. If you do so, you'll have to show some type of continuity of treatment from time of discharge to the present, or if this isn't the case, you should get a good IMO linking the inservice MRI to your current condition. You should also apply for radiopathy of the upper extremities as secondary to the cervical spine condition at the same time. You should keep in mind that, if you are already rated for a nerve problem in your right arm at 10%, the VA might not be able to assign a seperate rating for radiopathy of that extremity due to pyrmiading.

One thing that stikes me about this is the reason the VA awarded service-connection for your right arm on? Take a look at the original rating decision, was the right arm granted service-connection for a completely seperate issue, or was it granted service-connection based on your cervical spine?

Vike 17

Edited by Vike17
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Chiefhouse

I bet if you got service connection for the neck it would be pretty easy to get the numbness SC'ed for the upper extremities. You have to be really disabled to get more than 10% per limb. I got all four limbs but that was for DMII. I got it for peripheral neuropathy secondary to DMII. I suffer pretty bad pain but only got 10% per limb. You have to have definite physical abnormalities to get more. You would think that someone who takes Lyrica and morphine would get more than 10% but that's it. My upper PN was also denied the first time round so don't give up if you have SMR's that show neck problems.

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Chiefhouse

I bet if you got service connection for the neck it would be pretty easy to get the numbness SC'ed for the upper extremities. You have to be really disabled to get more than 10% per limb. I got all four limbs but that was for DMII. I got it for peripheral neuropathy secondary to DMII. I suffer pretty bad pain but only got 10% per limb. You have to have definite physical abnormalities to get more. You would think that someone who takes Lyrica and morphine would get more than 10% but that's it. My upper PN was also denied the first time round so don't give up if you have SMR's that show neck problems.

I got 10% service connection for each arm after my GI bleed which was caused by naproxen. My whole upper body is numb to pinprick, pain, fatigue, muscle atrophy, I expected TDIU and got 20% additional for a total of 50%. So I appealed since I lost my P.O. job, I did get SSDI and disability retirement. From everything I've seen here, I should get TDIU if you loose your job. I'm waiting and checking the mail every morning and I only get word that there working on it. I can't take pain killers since pain killers are what caused the bleed. There sure don't seem to be many people winning there claims lately.

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More than likely your upper extremity problems are coming from C2 thru C6 disk problems. Be very detailed in how your file you claim, if you file for neck pain thats all they will look at. Remember with the spine ROM is the key. You should also ask nerve conduction study. It probally wouldn't hurt to have another MRI depending on how long ago the last one was. I started a simular claim 2 years ago and still fighting. Good luck!!

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Chiefhouse-

I hope you made formal application for the TDIU- I will attach the form-

Be sure to check Yes under Question # 18 and then under Reamrks refer them to a separate sheet -put your name, address, C file number on it and tell them that you receive SSDI.

"From everything I've seen here, I should get TDIU if you loose your job. I'm waiting and checking the"

If a veteran's service connected disabilities prevent them for being employed they should receive TDIU at the 100% comp rate.

In the Remarks attachment also tell them the meds you take and what side they have that render you unemployable.

Any good drug web site can help you determine what side affects each med has and then tell them how this affects you- like causes confusion or causes drowsiness, or do not take and drive- stuff like that.

"There sure don't seem to be many people winning there claims lately."

Yeah- over the last 7-8 months I have noticed that VAROs are perpetuating what I call a scam-

they are taking work credit on claims that they have not even sent VCAA letters on and have not read the evidence at all-

in over 20 years dealing with the VA I have never seen so many remands at the BVA of claims back to the VARO that should have been worked on there in the first place.

I have been writing to the Senate Committee on Vets Affairs , the Inspector General, and the Disability Commission on this.

Certain claims are picked and worked on -others are not.

If a veteran does not receive a formal VCAA letter before they are denied, this is a legal error on the VA's part.

The R0s dont seem to care-unless the veteran makes a stink-we have to stay on top of them all the time-

The BVA will remand any valid claim that has not received a VCAA notification.

This is NOT the blah blah SOC rendition- this is a formal VCAA notice that should tell the claimant specifically what they need.

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*&^%$%$# Forgot to attach the 21-8940! Damn!

TDIU_form.pdf

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