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Denied Service Connection For Hypertension


Jundie

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Currently Service Connected at 40% for Degenerative Joint Disease L4-5 and L5-S1. I have never reopened, appealed or made any new claims since I was originally discharged in 2004. I am looking to reopen a denied claim for hypertension. I am currently prescribed medication to control my hypertension and have been for roughly 8 years. I do not think I meet the requirement for a disability rating above 0%. However, I do not understand why I was denied for service connection in the first place.

This is the what the Rating Decision dated on March 3rd, 2005 states:

Service connection for hypertension is denied.

The previous rating decision revealed you failed to report for VA examination scheduled at VAMC. We have received your current VA examination which notes your blood pressure has remained Normal since your discharge from military service. Your blood pressure readings during the examination are as follows: 138/90, 120/80 and 120/80. The examiner mentioned your blood pressure has been normal and does not require any medication. The prior rating decision established service connection for hypertension at a noncompensable evaluation based on your service medical records. However, the current VA exam findings do not support a diagnosis of hypertension. Service connection is not established for hypertension because no current disability exists.

A claim for service connection requires evidence of a current disability, evidence of incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury in service, and evidence of a nexus, or link, between the in-service injury or disease and the current disability. Evidence received in connection with this claim fails to establish any relationship between the claimed disability(ies) and any disease or injury during military service.

A couple of notes:

1) I lived overseas the 2 years after my discharge. I had my VA appointment rescheduled for my Christmas vacation to visit home. I had 4 claims. I was evaluated for all 4 claims on the same day. Two of the four claims do not state that I missed an appointment. I assume that either my new appointment was not entered correctly or it was just easier for somebody to click no show.

2) How does the examiner know my blood pressure has been normal? This was my first time to a VA facility. I lived overseas. My last day in service was April 2nd, 2004. This examine didn't take place until December 20, 2004

3) My military medical clearly states episodes of headaches for 3 days without improvement from OTC pain killers. By the way, I am 24-25 years old at the time of these readings. The year prior to my discharge my Military Medical file has the following BP measurements:

Date Systolic Diastolic Notes July 18, 2003 139 93 October 31, 2003 146 93 November 4, 2003 147 95 January 2, 2004 146 91 February 11, 2004 143 91 February 23, 2004 151 99 * Right Arm, Found on 5 Day blood pressure check worksheet February 24, 2004 142 92 * Right Arm, Found on 5 Day blood pressure check worksheet February 25, 2004 139 97 * Right Arm, Found on 5 Day blood pressure check worksheet February 27, 2004 150 90 * Right Arm, Found on 5 Day blood pressure check worksheet February 27, 2004 150 90

Clearly, I met the requirement to be diagnosed with hypertension while in service since I have 3 different readings on 3 different days with a diastolic reading above 90mm. My understanding is that to get a rating over 0% is between 90-100.

So really my questions are:

Is reopening the claim the best (or only) approach?

How do you write a Nexus for this particular issue? Specifically, do I have to prove something happened to me to give me hypertension. It is easy to point to a incident where you rolled your ankle or fell off a tank and were treated for minor injuries at a clinic. Is my question clear?

Do I have a shot at making my hypertension service connected?

Thank you for your assistance.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

When did you get the decision? has it been over a year?

J

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you can scan that desision here and If you have the supporing evidence then you may have a CUE claim. It depends if you meet the legal definition of cue and the issue caused you harm (Cost you Money). The CUE guru's here will jump in.

Basser

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Judie, I have the same issue. My reading were similar to yours when I was on active duty, but I didn't file a claim until years later, 20 to be exact. Which was last year and I was told by my DAV rep that I need a IMO for my Hypertension. I have been on medication since about 4 years after getting off of active duty. Im now in the process of finding a Dr. for the IMO.

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