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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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Jeff Beer

Reopen A Claim Due To Changes In Regs/law?

Question

Hello everyone,

My first post -nice to meet you all.

I'll keep this brief. I filed a claim after becoming seriously ill after servuce during Desert Storm/Shield.

I went through the VA system for about 5 years. I have about 50 lbs of medical records, and huge amounts of documentation that shows everything that is now considered a Presumptive Service Connection.

I currently have 30% for gastric, upper respiratory, and vision. All three of these are clearly documented in my active duty military service medical records.

I also claimed undiagnosed illnesses - everything from mental health issues (was diagnised at different time for every known term for depression), variable heart rate, COPD, IBS, GERD, Fibro, "lack of motility", you name it. I'm a poster boy for the majority of the various GWI symptoms. They were all denied, and by that point, I had completely "had it" (sorry) with the entire system, and I pretty much gave up.

I also filed a claim for hearing loss, and it was denied, even though my AD records clearly show it, along with an entry in my military service record saying I served in extremely high noise environments.

I'm currently living in the Philippines because the cost of living is so much cheaper. I've seen some numbers that show that claims handled here are much more likely to be approved, so that makes me pretty happy.

Now that the regs have changed (dramatically), how do I go about reopening my claim to gain consideration under the new presumptive rules, and to attempt to get a reversal on the hearing loss? It's now progressed to tinitus, and it's so bad I can't sleep at night.

Thanks for any advice!

--jeff

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4 answers to this question

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“I also claimed undiagnosed illnesses - everything from mental health issues (was diagnised at different time for every known term for depression), variable heart rate, COPD, IBS, GERD, Fibro, "lack of motility", you name it. I'm a poster boy for the majority of the various GWI symptoms. They were all denied, and by that point, I had completely "had it" (sorry) with the entire system, and I pretty much gave up.”

Geez they denied everything? And your appeal period has passed?

“Now that the regs have changed (dramatically), how do I go about reopening my claim to gain consideration under the new presumptive rules, and to attempt to get a reversal on the hearing loss? It's now progressed to tinitus, and it's so bad I can't sleep at night.”

There were 9 new GW presumptives added a few years ago but I dont know if you meant them.

I put all that info this AM in this post here in the GW forum:

But I am a little concerned that you said the presumptives have dramatically changed.

The rules for PTSD have changed but PTSD isnt a presumptive.

“I also filed a claim for hearing loss, and it was denied, even though my AD records clearly show it, along with an entry in my military service record saying I served in extremely high noise environments.”

That doesn't make sense if it was in your AD SMRs.

Have you been usng this info from the VA:

http://www.va.gov/hac/forbeneficiaries/fmp/fmp.asp

In part:

Medical Services in the Philippines

Information on how to obtain medical services in the Philippines, including procedures for filing claims, can be obtained by contacting the following offices:

Philippines

VA Outpatient Clinic - Manila
Department of Veterans Affairs
PSC 501
DPO AP 96515

Phone: 1-800-1888-8782 Or 011-632-318-8387
Fax: 011-632-310-5957
Contact via the Internet: IRIS

“Now that the regs have changed (dramatically), how do I go about reopening my claim to gain consideration under the new presumptive rules, and to attempt to get a reversal on the hearing loss? It's now progressed to tinitus, and it's so bad I can't sleep at night. “

You will need new and material evidence to reopen those claims.

New and Material means medical evidence that VA has not seen before and that is not redundant to what they had in the past.

What new presumptive rules do you mean? I seem to be missing that here.

Can you scan and attach ere uour denials as to the Evidence List and Reasons and Bases Part of it?

Unless VA has something new that could change their mind on the older denials, they will deny again.

Also if these have gotten worse, by medical eviodence ,you can as for higher ratings on them.

The Schedule of Ratings here at hadit contains the info as to how VA determines ratings for everything along wioth the diagnostic codes at the end of the Schedule.

“I currently have 30% for gastric, upper respiratory, and vision. All three of these are clearly documented in my active duty military service medical records. “

Welcomeaboard and have you attempted to get a VSO or vet rep to help with your claim?

Edited by Berta

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Greetings, Jeff Beer, and welcome aboard.
You say " I had completely "had it" (sorry) with the entire system, and I pretty much gave up." .. I understand. I gave up on the VA about two and a half decades ago.
I was also surprised how" the regs have changed (dramatically),". Glad to see Berta has responded. Thank you, Berta.
Good luck on your claim, Jeff. You are not alone.
Cmdr. Bob

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You might try reopening due to New and Material Evidence, 38CFR 3.156. If the evidence you reopen with is SERVICE medical records, 38 CFR 3.156 C, which document your disability in service, then this may just work for you and ultimately get you an earlier effective date.

Chances are very good the VA did not or does not have all your records. What was the reasons and bases for denial(s)?

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