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    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Gredge

Turned Down For Chronic Fatigue

Question

Hello, everybody.

My name is Greg. This is my first post. I'm 28, an was deployed to Iraq/Kuwait in 2005-2006. Shortly after coming home, I started noticing a lot of trouble with funning, and general energy issues. I went to a doctor (I was on active duty, but at a reserve post, so I had Tricare Remote), and I was diagnosed with depression. That didn't fit, because I'm generally happy. I can't really explain why I feel this way, but I have always felt this was a physical issues. Literally, within a span of a week, I went from running a 12-minute two-mile to failing my PT test. Ever since then, I struggled with feeling weak, fatigued, and just not 100%. I also have pain. I ache quite a bit, and sometimes it feels like I have a persistent, under the skin sunburn.

So, after I got off active duty (i'm still in the reserves), I started seeing my own doctor. She put me on a few anti-depressants that didn't do anything to help me. I asked for her to do some blood work, and it came back with slightly lowered T-levels, as one would expect from somebody who doesn't feel like exercising anymore. Finally, after testing my heart, lungs, thyroid, and blood tests, she diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She said that fibromyalgia also fits some of my symptoms, but she didn't diagnose me with that.

Anyways, I submitted my CFS to the VA for a disability after reading that it fell under the category of presumptive illness. I filed for a few other things (bursitis in my shoulder, broken wrist, nothing major), and was turned down for everything. The wrist and shoulder were issues I was in physical therapy for while I was on active duty. I do not have a LOD on them. For CFS, they said that my slightly decreased Testosterone levels accounted for all of my symptoms. They did not conduct an exam. I had one appointment with the VA where I went in and they read of the items I was filing for and asked me to confirm that was it. I confirmed and left. It was literally less than 5 minutes.

I work a regular job. My condition does affect my performance (I feel hazy quite a bit and have trouble concentrating, I am often late for work because I have trouble getting out of bed, ect.) Luckily, my job has flex scheduling and generous time off, or I'd have been fired. I don't know how I'm going to convince the VA to recognize my conditions. I am not out for money or anything (its nice, but I have a job), but I want the recognition that I'm not crazy. I'm also fairly young, and I feel like crap all the time. I'm afraid this issue is going to get worse when I'm older, and I want the VA support system there in case things become too much for me and my family to handle.

I posted here because CFS/FM symptoms are more closely related with Gulf War Illness than the OIF/OEF stuff, and figured I might get more insight from these forms. If you guys have some advice on how to approach this situation, I'd greatly appreciate it. I recently got in contact with a VFW VSO, and am working on filing my NOD. I got my denial in January, and I should have been working harder on fixing this sooner...I just kind of got depressed and didn't feel like dealing with it for a bit.

Thanks for any help you guys offer.

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have they checked you for fibro my algea?

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Not specifically. As my doctor understood it, there isn't a real test for FM. From the description of my pain, she felt it was more in line with CFS than FM. Though, she is not specialist. My main point of concern is trying to explain to the VA that my symptoms are not a result of Low Testosterone, rather the Low T is probably a result of the symptoms I have.

I forgot to mention that the Army has also diagnosed me with CFS (based on my doctor's tests) and has given me a permanent profile to walk instead of run. I included that in my packet, but it didn't seem to help.

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I read somewhere that the VA denies upward of 70% of initial claims. I just finished a claim recently, I was initially denied and had overwhelming evidence. It was overturned and the condition was serious enough that it came back rated 70%.

Your condition sounds serious. Perhaps you should seek an attorney seeing how your disability robs you of focus and motivation. You need both to beat these people. Woods and Woods veterans attorney firm I hear is top notch.

Good luck and thank you for your service my friend.

Edited by Philgrenier
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I would do as you are with a NOD.

Second, I would try going to a rheumatologist with the condition. Research the symptoms of fibromyalgia and you will notice they are very similar to CFS. Very often the two will go hand and hand. The rheumatologist will also have a second set of blood work drawn to rule out any other problems that may exist. Your T level will very each time you are tested and at this point it may stabilize with your condition and be at an acceptable level. This is what you want. With that you can present that with your NOD. State specifically that your T levels are up and your condition still exists and is chronic and is to the point it is becoming debilitating.

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia that would be an additional claim by itself.

Both are covered under Qualifying chronic disabilities under 38CFR 3.317.

As for Gulf War or OIF/OEF veteran. They are all considered Gulf War Veterans and would use this statement when addressing the conditions. Presumptive service connected disability due to service in the Gulf War per section 3.317 of title 38 of CFR.

Gulf War Veteran refers to any veteran who served in South West Asia during operations; Desert Shield/Storm, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom or any other operations with dates August 1990 until present.

Here is a link to help with your disabilities and a guide to follow.

www.ngwrc.org/guide/ngwrc-guide.html#2

Remember their are numerous CMI' listed in the guide relating to your condition. Look at them and go from there. I hope this helps.

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Thanks for your responses, especially the link to the NGWRC. Very helpful information there.

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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