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carolina52

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A new nurse from the VA asked me today why I don't go ahead a file a claim for COPD as I have documented having broncitis numerous times in the military. She said that is one of the main cause. Of course I smoked for 20 years,also, so I am not sure when I get the official diagnosis whether this claim would go anywhere. And if so, what I would be rated as.

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Hello Cool,

I think the nurse is right. At least I agree that if its in your record it will be one of the things that the VA will see to service connect it.

First off , are you having trouble now with Pulmonary issues and have you had your Pulmonary function test so as to acess the damage to your lungs. You will also need a C and P exam and results.

I can tell you that I too had a history of Respiratory Infections from Fort Greely, as well as most of those members here at Hadit who were stationed at that Hellhole. It was documented .

The claim was initially denied by the RO after I had been to Pulmonary Dept. 4 times and test showed Restricted lung disease and possibly COPD.

I then appealed to the DRO on Notice of Disagreement and the C an P exams followed. The Examiner knew that I did not smoke, thought the record said "former" heavy smoker but that was incorrect as it was talking about my mother and what she died from anwers just above the question. It did not pertain to me. The C and P Examiner told me that according to his testing , he believed I have both Restricted lung disease and COPD and wrote it up this way. I told him I did not smoke and he said that COPD does not mean you smoked and that the General Public thinks that if you have COPD that you must be a smoker. NOT TRUE AT ALL. I would not worry about the smoking issue at this point.

It must have satisfied the DRO because on the NOD issue because I was rated for it at 30 percent according to the 38 CFRs. You could maybe get up to 60 percent on some issues but it would get your foot back in the door . Yes , I know that most of us get so frustrated with the ROs because normally it is a waste of time and we have to go to the BVA with the appeal process but I did get my award from the Regional Office level, so it sometimes happens. I believe that it was what was in the record during service and the Pulmonary Test results that did it.

I want to bring up one more important thing. If you get ANY service connection for the lung issue and you end up either on Oxygen, be diagnosed with Cardio Pulmonale , or get Pulmonary Hypertension it is AUTOMATIC 100% P and T rating on that service connected disease.

I am awaiting that decision for increase in my claim. Now please understand ,,,I hope you do NOT have any of these 3 because of its seriousness but I do want to point out that you probably have a 10-30 percent rating that may be service connected waiting for your filing and the proper decision coming in.

Maybe you can fill in alittle more information as I would like to be able to stand more on the evidence you have and correlate it to my statements and the regulations that are in effect. Above all though, please remember to NEVER GIVE UP. God Bless, C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate
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I told him I did not smoke and he said that COPD does not mean you smoked and that the General Public thinks that if you have COPD that you must be a smoker. NOT TRUE AT ALL. I would not worry about the smoking issue at this point.

I have had COPD since I was 32 and I know while it is true not all COPD is because of smoking ... Up to 90% of COPD is due to smoking, less than ten percent of cases is due to 0ther causes, such as secondhand smoke. A very small percentage is due to alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Alpha1 is a generic condition and is usually diagnosed when a person is in their 30's -40's. It takes a simple blood gas test to determine if alpha 1 is the cause of COPD.

If you have smoked and if you were not diagnosed with COPD in your 30-40 years.. I would be concerned about getting a rating for COPD since it is against the law to award disability based on tabacco use.

Also contrary to populair belief, just because you go on oxygen does not always make for an automatic P/T rating. I know of many people that have been placed on oxygen for a period of time and then taken off because they no longer needed it. Don Imus comes to mind as a good example. With my history of asthma/copd I was never placed on permanent oxygen until 2007, prior to that I had been on oxygen for seperate periods of time, once up to six months. A 100% rating is automatic when you go on oxygen but , a P/T rating is not automatic just because you end up on oxygen.

While I believe you should not give up on your claim, I also think you need to be realistic and consider that if you smoked and if the medical records show you smoked.. it is very unlikely that you will be awarded service connection for COPD... you can thank congress for the cheap cigarettes while in the military, as well as the law that says you will not be compensated for your smoking habit.

I think one day we will see a case of COPD in the federal court system and I honestly believe that the courts will decide against congress, Congress allowed for cheap cigarettes in the military and the military promoted smoking even to the point of putting them in our c-rations. The government was and still is in bed with the cigarette makers and the US government should be held libel just like anyone else.

Edited by Teac
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I will have all the testing done in May. Then once I get the results back I will have a better idea on what they find. Thanks for your comments-I appreciate them-

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CB,

I am a smoker but my respiratory conditions are SC'd.

Questions: what specifically are your respiratory conditions and are they directly service connected or secondary.. and

were they granted sc before or after the law that changed the rules.. Just interested to know...

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Hello Teac and Cool,

Though I do not totally agree with everything you said , I do partly agree. However My service connection was for restrictive and obstructive lung disease (claimed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and upper respiratory infections) . I am aware of the second hand smoke situation POSSIBILITY and also that many people do get COPD from smoking but this is not the only cause nor the genetic strains. I do not believe nor have seen anything that has kept a smoking veteran from obtaining an award on COPD. I being one of them and I have no history of smoking. Without going in to detail but I have the claim of another Veteran that was a smoker and was still awarded 40 percent on service connection for COPD and the appeal probably will yield the 100 percent rating. He is a scientist and would be able to argue effectively and has. I really can't say anymore on this. I am also not saying that O2 will get you anything permanent but with proper documentation and continuence it will prevail. Many lung diseases with Cardio Pulmonale or Pulmonary Hypertension even rated at 0 percent service connection is 100 P and T according to the regulations. There also may develope the need for daily use of cortosoids steroids and immune defiency drugs which can also trigger 100 percent P and T. Once my case is settled with the Pulmonary Hypertension issue which should be, hopefully, shortly and then I will try and post my extensive evidentiary file to help others. All I can say is it will be precedence setting and is also using both extensive medical and scientific nexuses specific to my claim.

General Rating Formula for Restrictive Lung Disease (diagnostic codes 6840 through 6845):

FEV-1 less than 40 percent of predicted value, or; the ratio of Forced Expiratory Volume in one second to Forced Vital Capacity (FEV-1/FVC) less than 40 percent, or; Diffusion Capacity of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide by the Single Breath Method (DLCO (SB)) less than 40-percent predicted, or; maximum exercise capacity less than 15 ml/kg/min oxygen consumption (with cardiac or respiratory limitation), or; cor pulmonale (right heart failure), or; right ventricular hypertrophy, or; pulmonary hypertension (shown by Echo or cardiac catheterization), or; episode(s) of acute respiratory failure, or; requires outpatient oxygen therapy

100 6600Bronchitis, chronic: FEV-1 less than 40 percent of predicted value, or; the ratio of Forced Expiratory Volume in one second to Forced Vital Capacity (FEV-1/FVC) less than 40 percent, or; Diffusion Capacity of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide by the Single Breath Method (DLCO (SB)) less than 40-percent predicted, or; maximum exercise capacity less than 15 ml/kg/min oxygen consumption (with cardiac or respiratory limitation), or; cor pulmonale (right heart failure), or; right ventricular hypertrophy, or; pulmonary hypertension (shown by Echo or cardiac catheterization), or; episode(s) of acute respiratory failure, or; requires outpatient oxygen therapy 100

6604Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: FEV-1 less than 40 percent of predicted value, or; the ratio of Forced Expiratory Volume in one second to Forced Vital Capacity (FEV-1/FVC) less than 40 percent, or; Diffusion Capacity of the Lung for Carbon Monoxide by the Single Breath Method (DLCO (SB)) less than 40-percent predicted, or; maximum exercise capacity less than 15 ml/kg/min oxygen consumption (with cardiac or respiratory limitation), or; cor pulmonale (right heart failure), or; right ventricular hypertrophy, or; pulmonary hypertension (shown by Echo or cardiac catheterization), or; episode(s) of acute respiratory failure, or; requires outpatient oxygen therapy. 100

Cool I hope you can divulge your service records and what else may involve your exposure issues,,,,if any. As it will help to see any underlying causes. Therefore I do not feel that a comment can sufficiently address your situation until we know more on it. And if you can get further testing to help you get some much needed answers, we may then be able to explore more and further help.

The establishment of those contaminated and places they served ,form the basis of health issues far reaching and not just with COPD. I am still suspcious to lung diseases , smoking or not.

It is the same type of argument that has Agent Orange listed as being a presumptive cause of DMII with PN as secondary to it. However it is NOT necessary to have DMII with PN to be awarded and I have posted the Cases where PN was caused by AO without any DMII diagnosis and many years later and awarded. This really upsets the VA and they use the regulations to argue it down but have lost in several cases that I have archived here. I am in this group. I will also hammer the VA at the BVA on this issue. Service Connected with no DMII but with severe PN all 4 extremeties. Smokers can be awarded COPD service connected. Also the Acute and subacute rule is moot concerning AO and DMII with PN secondary.

Cool , I am very interested as to more information on you. Where did you serve , time and period, MOS , though it may not be needed? There is always a suspect cause to chemical exposures and though the VA hates it and tries to keep this off the table , it is now being dealt with as better science and testing and monitoring continues. Please keep this in mind as you research.

Anyway Teac thank you for your efforts and help with so many Veterans. We all need to work together to put the VA at bay when one of our own is facing some dark waters.

Above all , Cool, diligence and study , coupled with a good attitude such as NEVER GIVE UP will win in the end. God Bless,,,,,C.C.

Edited by Capt.Contaminate
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