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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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Advice On A Nod

Question

I had applied for disability compensation for tinnitus back in 2011. During the C&P exam, the audiologist began asking about if it caused "social and occupational impairment". Having tinnitus is just as bad as chronic pain. We spoke about the anxiety, depression, and insomnia that the tinnitus causes. He told me that if the VA needed further testing they would let me know. I later received a letter denying the claim, saying they did not think it was service connected. I appealed the decision through the DRO process and was awarded ten percent for tinnitus, there was no hearing, they just reviewed the paperwork. When I found out that the secondary effects weren't addressed, I filed a new FDC claim for them and was awarded an additional thirty percent. Presently I just filed a NOD for an EED, stating that the secondary effects date should be the same as the tinnitus date. When I originally filed the tinnitus claim, although the secondary effects were present, I didn't list them on the original paperwork, figuring the VA had a "duty to assist" and "to develop any and all claims that the veteran may have."

Having said all of this, my question is am I going down the right road by filing the NOD and can you offer any advice.

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I had applied for disability compensation for tinnitus back in 2011. During the C&P exam, the audiologist began asking about if it caused "social and occupational impairment". Having tinnitus is just as bad as chronic pain. We spoke about the anxiety, depression, and insomnia that the tinnitus causes. He told me that if the VA needed further testing they would let me know. I later received a letter denying the claim, saying they did not think it was service connected. I appealed the decision through the DRO process and was awarded ten percent for tinnitus, there was no hearing, they just reviewed the paperwork. When I found out that the secondary effects weren't addressed, I filed a new FDC claim for them and was awarded an additional thirty percent. Presently I just filed a NOD for an EED, stating that the secondary effects date should be the same as the tinnitus date. When I originally filed the tinnitus claim, although the secondary effects were present, I didn't list them on the original paperwork, figuring the VA had a "duty to assist" and "to develop any and all claims that the veteran may have."

Having said all of this, my question is am I going down the right road by filing the NOD and can you offer any advice.

Welcome.

If you are asking if vba will award secondary SC compensation for 'anxiety,depression, and insomnia'

back to the date of the original claim for SC of Tinnitus, personally I do not think so.

Other's will probably chime in.

It would be of importance to post all of and the exact wording from the rating decision's

Reasons and Bases Section, from when you were awarded an additional thirty percent.

FWIW - the duty to assist does have it's limitations.

jmho

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I agree with Carlie that it seems unlikely they would Set an effective date on your secondary conditions to be the same date as the tinnitus claim without you ever filing for those secondary conditions at that time.

Perhaps an exception would be if you had a current diagnosis for those secondary conditions on the date you filed the tinnitus claim AND Either you or your doctor mentioned that during the C&P exam AND The doctor would have to give you a nexus statement saying that the mental health issues were caused by the tinnitus. Without those three things how would the rater know to rate you for those secondary conditions on the date of the tinnitus claim? Have you looked at the C&P of the tinnitus exam to see what exactly the doctor wrote down? If not you should.

You are right, they do have a duty to assist, But they can only go off of what is in the record in front of them.

That being said, you never know what the heck VA will do, so it's good that you filed the NOD for an EED. Let us know what happens.

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Carlie and NavyWife,

Are on the money bud. You would have had to have a current diagnoses of all those conditions, and the Docs would have to say that those were secondary to the Tinnitus.

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Thank you so much for your advice. I do appreciate it. From what I've read here, unfortunately, I'm missing the nexus statement. I'll let you know how it all turns out in the appeal.

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Funny how all these folks seem to get this far and sometimes farther before they discover the need for a nexus. As many times as you see the reference to Caluza, Hickson, Shedden et al., it never arises. The Big six VSOs still haven't received the email either. Oh thank Heaven for Hadit.

a

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