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Retiring Soon... Did I Do Enough?


McD
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Hello all, I'm a brand new user to this board (just found it today), and I had a few questions. I have been ADAF since Nov 88 and will have 26 years of Service by the time I retire this Dec. I've been in contact with an American Legion VSO that has been assiting me, however I know there's prob something I'm missing and turned here to hopefully get more information.

I have been diagnosed (and in my SMR's) with the following:

PTSD (Axis I)

Major Depression Disorder (Axis I)

Chronic Allergic Rhinitis

Sinusitis (not sure if the two are considered the same/one better than the other, etc)

Sleep Apnea (w/CPAP)

Arthritic Knee

Chronic Conjunctivitis/BLEPHARITIS/Dry eye

Chronic Fatigue

Scars/disfigurement (Not sure if this is ratable)

Upper back issues

Lower back issues/LUMBAGO

Deviated septum (w/2 septioplasties while in service). One nasal passage is still almost completely blocked.0

Limited range of motion in Left shoulder due to vehicular accident (surgery to repair broken clavicle w/metal plate installed)

Direct Inguinal Hernias (X2) Both while deployed due to FOB hopping with loads of gear (although I doubt I'll recieve any compensation for this)

I have a few other issues as well, but again I don't think they'll be rated (who know's though?)

I also have DBQ's filled out for (PTSD, MDD, Chronic Allergic Rhinitis/Sinusitis, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Conjunctivitis/BLEPHARITIS/Dry eye, Chronic Fatigue, Scars/disfigurement. I have them for my back too, but they're range of motion details and I'm sure I'll have to see a VA Doc for that.

All of this will be turned into the VSO to help me with my FDC, and that will be turned in prior to my retirement... Did I do enough? Is there more I need to have as far as documented diagnoses and/or medical support? Any additional forms or advice you can pass on so I can be better prepared?

Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

McD

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I'm sure others will chime in but it sounds to me that you have all your bases covered. Proper documentation is the main thing and you seem to have all you need. Make sure that when you have your final physical that you have everything on there as well. Don't leave anything out because you don't want to have to go through all the trouble of proving anything to be service related later. Your final exam is your last big chance to have every issue properly annotated. Hope this helps.

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Thanks... I've already had my "final" exam before I retire, or do you mean for the VA? I'm still being seen for issues at the base clinic and private physicians as well until my actual retirement date. I just wasn't sure if there was anything else I needed to do. Seems like there are a lot of people on this board that have had issues with their paperwork/claims filing. I'm sure I'll think I have all my ducks in a row and something will still prresent a problem.

Thanks for the reply... hoping to hear from more people and their thoughts/experiences.

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That is superb advise from Godelocs....

And now is the time to begin to familiarize yourself with the CRDP/CRSC programs.

http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay/special-pay/comparing-crsc-and-crdp.html

CRDP, if eligible, is automatic, but CRSC has to be applied for.

Lots info here on them as well under a hadit search for CRDP and CRSC.

Thank you for those LONG years of service to the great US of A and welcome aboard!

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Scars caused by a service connected condition or surgery can be service connected depending on their location on the body, type of scar and their size. Make sure your doctor measures all of your scars and accurately describes the scar, scar size and location of scar when he/she completes Scars/Disfigurement DBQ.

Review all of your DBQs as soon as they are completed to make sure they are properly completed and no sections are left blank. Some doctors allow their PAs or NPs to complete the DBQs and the doctors do not review them carefully before signing off on them. I had this happen to me when my cardiologist allowed her NP to complete the DBQ and my cardiologist signed off on it without reviewing it. When I pointed out the DBQ was not properly filled out, my cardiologist apologized and properly completed the form herself. Better to catch it early than to try to get it corrected later.

The same holds true for your SMRs. Get copies of your SMRs prior to your retirement, review them carefully and make a list of any omissions or inaccuracies and get them corrected before you retire. Too many veterans, often many years later, discover their service connected medical conditions were not properly documented in their SMRs when they go to file a disability claim.

It also would not hurt to get "statements in support of claims" from your buddies, supervisors, family members who can verify the circumstances resulting in injuries or illnesses you incurred while in the military. You want to overwhelm the VA with your claims evidence and win the first time around and not have to go through the appeals process. Since you are filing a FDC, you want to make sure all your evidence goes in at one time. JMO

Good luck to you and thank you for your service.

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VBA provides only one rating evaluation for mental health.

They will most likely see your depression as co-morbid (part of your PTSD)

and are supposed to provide the highest evaluation, per the medical evidence of record.

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Thank you all for your assistance! I've found a few errors/ommissions today while going over my DBQ's. I have to make another appt with my physician to get them cleared, but I think they should be done fairly quickly. My records (two volumes) are pretty well documented, so I don't know if a buddy making a statement about my tweaking my knee 20 years ago is necessary, but I can see the validity in it. So I hope to have that all done and submitted prior to my retirement date and then wait to see if the VA wants to see me for any of my conditions.

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