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marine0816

Multiple Applications Filed For Same Claim On Same Night Ebenifits

Question

I served in the Marine Corps from 200-2004, was in servere cold weather for over six months and received frostbite on my hands, feet, ears and nose..when I left the USMC I was unaware that I could recieve benifits for frostbite.. I have frostbite on both hands but is more pronounced on my right hand (right handed)and do to fact that I use it more, I just claimed my right hand not knowing I should of claimed all extretimites.

So last year I put in a claim for my right hand and about a year later got awarded 20% for obvious color discoloration and cold sensitivity.. So after getting more educated with the VA I decided to claim my other extremities. Being unfamiliar with ebenifits I filled four FDC claims in one night for my feet and nose ears as "secondary" claim linking them to my service connected right hand. After research on secondary claims I decided to make them all "new" claims and filed my feet, ears and nose as a separate "new" claim. So as a result I have multiple applications for the same claim. How does VA treat this and will this delay my decision time? thank you

Semper Fi

Edited by marine0816

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IMO - you yourself, have created a cluster F of your issues.

Hopefully someone at VBA will straighten it all out and consolidate

your issues.

Also, if you did not also submit your evidence for these issues -

they will be pulled out of the FDC line.

JMHO

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I called VA 800 number and they said they will let the regional office know to consolidate them.. Should I still be concerned?

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I sure would be concerned.

Many of us hardcore VA claimants here would never depend on a 800# rep to let the RO know of anything.

I suggest that you send the VARO a 21-4138 asking them to consolidate your issues,previously claimed on (date) to state clearly what you seek:

(you could possibly request a higher rating on what is already SCed and also ratings on the newly claimed conditions.)

I am not sure if that would be considered a FDC but others here (hopefully Meg) will chime in here on that.

To claim higher ratings for the SC frostbite,you would need new and material evidence (medical documentation) that fits you into the higher rating category. But the 20% you have now might well be still correct."So last year I put in a claim for my right hand and about a year later got awarded 20% for obvious color discoloration and cold sensitivity."

You might still be in the appeal period for that decision if you feel it as gotten worse via medical evidence.

For the new issues you will need a diagnosis of the frostbite in the additional extremities.

I assume you sent in strong medical evidence with the FDC claims?

This BVA case has the Frostbite rating Schedule (you are covered under 7122, as amended in Jan 1998.)

With respect to the period on and subsequent to January 12, 
1998, the amended Diagnostic Code 7122 provides for 
separately evaluating each affected hand in rating cold 
injury residuals.  Under amended Diagnostic Code 7122, 
effective January 12, 1998, cold injury residuals with 
arthralgia or other pain, numbness or cold sensitivity in the 
affected parts may be assigned a 10 percent evaluation.  A 20 
percent evaluation requires arthralgia or other pain, 
numbness, or cold sensitivity plus tissue loss, nail 
abnormalities, color changes, locally impaired sensation, 
hyperhidrosis, or X-ray abnormalities (osteoporosis, 
subarticular punched out lesions, or osteoarthritis) in the 
affected parts.  A 30 percent evaluation requires arthralgia 
or other pain, numbness, or cold sensitivity plus two or more 
of the following:  tissue loss, nail abnormalities, color 
changes, locally impaired sensation, hyperhidrosis, X-ray 
abnormalities (osteoporosis, subarticular punched out 
lesions, or osteoarthritis) in the affected parts.  38 C.F.R. 
§ 4.104, Diagnostic Code 7122 (2002).  NOTE (1):  Separately 
evaluate amputations of finger or toes, and complications 
such as squamous cell carcinoma at the site of a cold injury 
scar or peripheral neuropathy, under other diagnostic codes.  
Separately evaluate other disabilities that have been 
diagnosed as the residual effects of cold injury, such as 
Raynaud's phenomenon, muscle atrophy, etc., unless they are 
used to support an evaluation under Diagnostic Code 7122.  
NOTE (2):  Evaluate each affected part (e.g. hand, foot, ear, 
nose) separately and combine the ratings in accordance with 
§§ 4.25 and 4.26. 
http://www.va.gov/vetapp03/files/0305184.txt

Do you have a vet rep who can help you straighten out the claim?

If you do send a 21-4138,make sure you get a Proof of mailing receipt.

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PS here is link to the 21-4138

http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-4138-ARE.pdf

This can be fixed Marine. And Others here might have a better idea.and will let you know.

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I assume you sent in strong medical evidence with the FDC claims?.

I didn't send in any new evidence. I have visible frostbite on all my extremities, Im hoping the fact that I received frostbite SC on my hand that it will be a obvious link to all my other extremities. Am I being to optimistic? wouldn't the claims doctor identify the obvious Frost bite and grant my other claims as before? Or is it not that easy? I'm really banking on my exam should I be focused on something else? Please some input, thanks so much for the replies.

Edited by marine0816

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