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Fast One


Jmgonzales1966
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Question

The VA pulled a fast one. When I applied for a increase for all items I am receiving compensation for they sent me for a appointment for back only. I went to the appointment and when I looked in Ebenefits and new claim was put in with a different effective date. It show claim and closed. I barely received the decision letter yesterday and they called it a recent VA examination instead of a claim. I know for a fact that it was a new claim. The good thing is they added on 20% for another back rating but the bad thing is it did not increase overall rating. Also they tried to say my back has improved through recent evidence , sustained improvement has not been definitvely established- So they are leaving that rating at 40%. But on the bottom it says since there is likelihhod of improvement the assigned evaluation is not considered permanent and is is subject to future review...

Very interesting when I just saw a VA Dr who said there is no cure for my back or surgery. The only thing that will help with extreme pain is physical therapy which wil take years.

And on the new rating instead of giving me right and left extremities they only gave me right. I did not say my right leg only hurts.... They did this Because I have a 0 rating for flat foot and I would have gotten extra points.... and my rating would have went up

I sent in my NOD today...

By the way does anyone know how to get transportation paid when you are going to a VA contracted physician? I can't seem to get mine paid!

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For travel pay if you did not request at the time of your appointment you can submit VHA 10-3542

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-3542-fill.pdf

The above link is the form - fill it out and submit to the VA

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Jmgonzales 1966,

When you applied for an increase did you submit any supporting evidence to justify your request or did you just depend on the VA to gather your medical records?

Did you believe the VA would conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of your current service connected conditions and grant your increase requests?

I am only asking these questions so we can give you suggestions on how you can get the ratings you deserve.

If you did not submit any supporting evidence, I assume you thought the VA would comply with their "duty to assist" requirement and gather all of your relevant medical records including the report from your VA doctor who said there is no cure for your back. Veterans should never depend on the VA to gather evidence on their behalf. Gather your own evidence, make copies of the evidence for your own records and hand carry the evidence to your RO or send it by certified mail return receipt requested.

Regarding my second question as to whether you thought the VA would provide you with a fair and thorough evaluation, a lot of veterans go into a C & P exam with the belief they will receive a fair exam. Sometimes vets do receive a fair exam but often vets are examined by a non-specialist doctor or a NP or PA. Since they are not actually competent to conduct the C & P exam, the VA examiners are provided with a computerized check list or "go by" sheet to guide them through the exam. When I went for my C & P exam for my Cancer I assumed an oncologist/hematologist would conduct the exam. When I went for my exam for peripheral neuropathy I assumed a neurologist or physiatrist would perform the exam. I actually had a NP (nurse practitioner) perform both exams using a computerized question list. When I went to my C & P exams I brought copies of my medical records with me and provided them to the NP. She used them to respond to the questions on her computerized checklist. As a result, both of her C & P reports supported my contentions.

Prior to submitting my evidence to the VA, I also obtained IMOs from my oncologist and neurologist to countermand any bad C & P exams and also support my claims. If you can afford to do so, always try to get an IMO from a private doctor, who specializes in diagnosing and treating your condition, to support your new claims or requests for increase.

If you provided good supporting evidence for your rating increase and submitted an IMO, please disregard my suggestions as they would not apply in your situation.

Good luck to you.

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