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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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semperfam

Gulf War Registry Results-Got A Letter From Va-What Next?

Question

Hey folks-

New to the forum, here. USMC retiree, currently at 70% disability, 60% for compensation. I have not had much difficulty with claims and such after reading all the posts-it's been pretty cut and dry for me and I've gotten fantastic service @ VA.

However, I have been struggling with chronic fatigue, joint pain, rash, memory loss, etc since Persian Gulf (also did OIF). I told the Gulf War rep @ my VA, and he said I needed to do a GW Registry Exam. I did. I just got a letter back from the VA that states:

"The examination is complete. Based on this exam we found:

Following conditions which have been found to be presumptively secondary to Gulf War Service: Undiagnosed illnesses to possibly include fatigue, joint pain, rash, and shortness of breath."

My question is, what does this mean? I understand a bit about the presumptive conditions listed by the VA and I guess this falls under chronic, multisymptom undiagnosed illness (I don't have a diagnosis and have been to so many Dr's I lose count). I am assuming I need to file a claim for these presumptive conditions-but do I have to prove service connection now, or did this letter just do it for me? What happens next?

Appreciate any advice you can throw my way. I just don't want my claim to be screwed up. Thanks.

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I am assuming I need to file a claim for these presumptive
conditions-but do I have to prove service connection now, or did this
letter just do it for me? What happens next?

The letter did a lot for you! File the claim.

You said retiree? Do you mean you are a lifer or a medical retiree? If so you might be eligible for CRDP. There is a lot here on CRDP under a search at hadit. The CRDP should be automatic when your VA claim succeeds.

Here is some info:

"Following conditions which have been found to be
presumptively
secondary to Gulf War Service: Undiagnosed illnesses
to possibly include
fatigue, joint pain, rash, and shortness of
breath."





Definitely file the claim.


Try to find a vet rep to help you with it. We have lots of Gulf
War illness info here. Make sure you claim ANYTHING that could possibly be attributed to your service in GW or as a OEF vet!











From what you stated


"qualifying chronic disability" for purposes of 38 U.S.C.A. § 1117 is a chronic disability resulting from (A) an undiagnosed illness, (B) a medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illness (such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, or irritable bowel syndrome) that is defined by a cluster of signs or symptoms, or ©, any diagnosed illness that the Secretary determines in regulation prescribed under subsection (D) warrants a presumption of service connection.  38 U.S.C.A. § 1117(a)(2); 38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(2)(i)(B)(1).

Service connection may be granted for objective indications of a chronic disability resulting from an illness or combination of illnesses manifested by one or more signs or symptoms, to include, but not limited to, fatigue, signs or symptoms involving skin, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurological signs or symptoms, neuropsychologic signs or symptoms, signs or symptoms involving the respiratory system (upper or lower), sleep disturbances, gastroesophageal signs or symptoms, cardiovascular signs or symptoms, abnormal weight loss, or menstrual disorders.  38 U.S.C.A. § 1117; 38 C.F.R. § 3.317.  The undiagnosed illness must not be attributed to any known clinical diagnosis by history, physical examination, or laboratory tests.  38 C.F.R. § 3.317(a)(1)(i)).

A chronic disability for purposes of 38 U.S.C.A. § 1117 is one that has existed for 6 months or more, including disabilities that exhibit intermittent episodes.

Actually this link from VA says it better and the extended date is in it for this type pf claim:

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp
Do you have any other disabilities that could be attributed to either GW or as an OEF  vet?



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Hi Berta,

I did over 20 years active, so I guess I'm a lifer. Some days, it feels like more "life" than others. I am currently receiving CRDP and disability compensation at 60%. I am guessing that the claim I'll make will just increase my percentage. Much of my health issues I think are related to my Gulf service and they are all in my records-burning eyes, severe joint pain, severe fatigue, memory loss, weird rashes that come and go, breathing issues (I have sleep apnea also). I have young kids and my health is declining so significantly that I wonder what the future holds for me.

So far I think I've been really fortunate to have my claims adjudicated fairly and properly, but that's no reason to not inform myself about what's coming. I am concerned that I do the claim right, so I am not sure what evidence that I need to include-does the exam come into play? I am thinking that I have to claim each ailment in the letter as seperate-fatigue as one, joint pain as one, and reference them all as presumptive GW conditions?

I'm currently being 'seen' for these symptoms by both VA and private physicians, and have had multiple medical tests over 3+ years that all come back inconclusive; yet, all of my physicians agree that something is definitely wrong. For my original claim when I retired, they just looked at my service medical records.

Thank you so much for your help thus far-this community here is really helping those in the fight.

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Guest irishferguson

Berta; there is a good deal of GWI presumptives that fall under secondary conditions for other primary conditions (IE: PTSD), If you had the kind of exam and results Semperfam had would you file it under GWI or as a secondary condition to a primary condition? Case in point, I'm filing for PTSD but also have chronic fatigue, severe symptoms of IBS, headaches to name afew.

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PTSD is not presumptive to GW veterans. Or to any war vets for that matter.


A GW vet filing for PTSD needs to fall into the new PTSD criteria here in our PTSD forum and must have a PTSD diagnosis from a VA MH doctor.

Or a doctor might diagnose PTSD as secondary to an established service connected GW illness.


The other diagnoses you mentioned would possibly fall under the Gulf War presumptives, or by direct SC if they are documented in your SMRs.


We have a wealth of GWI info here




http://www.stripes.com/blogs/the-ruptured-duck/the-ruptured-duck-1.160117/va-extends-deadlines-for-undiagnosed-gulf-war-illnesses-1.164762


(extended deadlines for Gulf War Illness)



(The Gulf War Presumptives)

At some point the VA added 9 new GW presumptives in 2010.



On June 16, 2012 I did a SVR radio show on these 9 new presumptives and the show is easily downloadable from the SVR archives here

http://www.hadit.com/svr.html

and will open into any media player on your PC.




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Excuse my newness, but what is a Gulf War Exam? I served in OEF/OIF and don't think I've heard of this before today. Thanks in advance.

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