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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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demeat

Pending Voice Hearing Help Please

Question

Hello fellow vets,

I am a little excited as well as nervous about an upcoming appeal hearing board I have on March 8th. I have been waiting for over 3 years now for so I guess time has come. I am not sure what section that I should put this question in but here is a little bit about my case.

I went into the Navy and was given a waiver to go in for having flat feet from a VA approved doctor for my entrance exam. Right after boot camp, I went to my a school and started to have physical therapy for my knees and feet due my flat feet and knee condition. While at my primary duty station I had physical therapy off and on throughout my 4 year duty. Since I have been out of the Navy I have had knee surgery, and reconstructive surgery on my foot and surgery on an Achilles.

I filed for service connected disabilities for the both of my knees and my feet. I am currently receiving 10% for each knee and nothing for my feet. I have appealed the original rating for my knees due to the increase immobility that I am experiencing as well as the arthritis in my knees

I am not sure what is needed, but I was told by my service organization that all I really to bring is myself and any new documents that I would like to present to the panel. I have a couple of questions if anyone can help me out as well as give me some advice on what I can do.

1. Are video conference hearings good or bad?

2. What are the next steps after the hearing?

3. Will it take a long time after the hearing to get word back from the VA on the outcome?

Thanks in advance and any help is greatly appreciated

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5 answers to this question

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Is this a Regional Office hearing or a traveling BVA board hearing?

"I am not sure what is needed, but I was told by my service organization
that all I really to bring is myself and any new documents that I would
like to present to the panel. "

Yes I agree but I strongly suggest

1. List all of the new evidence documents and put your name, address, and C file number on this sheet of paper and make sure it goes into the record by holding it up to the camera.

2. consider possibly holding up your feet to the camera too...as evidence , .in a way the VA can see the extent of the flat feet.I have the same condition and it is visible when I take my socks off.

3.Do you have medical evidence from a real doctor (hopefully a podiatrist) tht your inservice flat feet ( I assume they did give you a "0" SC rating and not a "0" NSC rating) as to the extent of the flat feet disability and how it has caused the knee disability to get worse.

(Unless the knee disability has a different etiology)

4. do you have medical evidence that the arthritis is secondary to the knee disability?

5. "While at my primary duty station I had physical therapy off and on
throughout my 4 year duty. Since I have been out of the Navy I have had
knee surgery, and reconstructive surgery on my foot and surgery on an
Achilles."

Is VA fully aware of the foot surgery ?

Are you able to scan and attach here (cover personal stuff) the actual decision you are appealing , as to the Reasons and BAses for the decision? I

Is the evidence list in that decision lacking critical med info or records?

If so make sure you bring those points up in the video conference.

Have a game plan...... write a brief talking points memo to your self an keep it handy during the hearing Make sure the DRO or HO sticks to the points and the evidence.

Can you have someone else with you? If so, you can put your evidence in tabbed manila folders and ask them to hand you what you need,when you resent the evidence ,unless there will be a table in front of the camera for you to get your stuff organized .

A picture is worth a thousand words....so is a video conference.

There might even be a way (like a web cam) that you could walk a few steps by adjusting the camera ,to show the HO how your gait is affected by these problems.

Flat feet and pronation due to flat feet can affect knees, hips, and back. If you have prescribed orthonics ,and prescribed ankle braces, hold them up to the camera too.

That might even be better then showing them your feet.Unless the surgical scar is big....you might be able to claim the scar too.

Did you claim the surgical stuff as due to Service?

No need to be nervous...the hearing officer is probably more nervous than you would be.They work for the VA all day so

they already are dealing with a lot.

Edited by Berta

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demeat,

Not trying to be nit-picky but I highly doubt the Doctor you saw for an entrance waiver was a VA approved doctor. I would indicate that the Navy sent you to a doctor for an additional exam on entrance for your flat feet, or doctor XXXX completed an assement of my flat feet that was provided to and accepted by the Navy during my in-processing. If you don't know for a fact that doctor was VA approved, don't go there.

Usually the VA has no involvement with entrance or recruiting exams.

I mention this, because you don't want to give someone reviewing your file an easy way to question your credibility.

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Berta thanks for the information that you have provided and I am definitely going to take your advice.

4. do you have medical evidence that the arthritis is secondary to the knee disability?

I have been seen by a ba doctor and the sattelite locations for the past couple of years and they are the one who have diagnosed me as having arthritis as well as prescribing me medications for it. Hopefully that will work in my favor.

Is VA fully aware of the foot surgery ?

They are aware of my foot surgery after my initial denial for service connection claim. I then appealed that decision and sent in the information and I am not sure but I am thinking that will be part of my hearing evidence but I will bring the medical docs just in case.

I am not sure where to scan my documents to show you but can you guide me on where to send the files to?

Thanks again

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71M10,

Thanks for responding. I will keep that in mind not to divulge any information that I am unclear on. Do you think that it would be good for me to show them the entrance information from the doctor that saw me on my entrance exam or should I leave that alone?

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The presumption is that you were in sound medical condition prior to enlistment. without the pysicals done for your enlistment and if they fail to look at them or use them as evidence then you didn't have flat fleet when you joined. If you have provided these items to them once I wouldnt keep sending them copies. The key thing that you need to ensure is in evidence is medical information that shows/links your current problems to the existing flat feet or evidence that they increased in severity (beyond normal progression).

Best regards,

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