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Aggravation Of Pre-Existing Condition


Fat

Question

If you start a claim (service connection due to injury); however realize the claim should be Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition.

Can you change the type of claim during the NOD or the VBA.

My left knee (non service connected) was cited for problems during the entrance physical.

I had an episode of laxity, soreness, and weakness for three weeks during my military career.

Everything is documented in SMR's.

I recently had a MRI which diagnosed tendinosis (chronic breakdown of tissues, tendons, fibers etc).

Can I change the claim mid stream or do I have to identify the claim as a Aggravation of pre-existing condition in the beginning.

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Don't change the claim if it wasn't recently filed as to not lose the effective date if awarded. What I did on my aggravation claim was I submitted my entrance exam sf 88 as evidence of the pre existing condition. You can do this by sending that form sf 88 along with an va form 21-4138 stating this is for aggravation of your present claim of aggravation. Do you have what happened during military service that aggravated your condition? If so vba has an onerous burden to rebut the presumption of aggravation. Is your condition considered chronic now?

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Fat,

For info on "Rating of Disabilities Aggravated by Active Service", Google 38 CFR part 4.22.

GP

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NEVER change the claim ... just add the additional theory of service connection to the existing claim.

When you start using words like "change", the VA starts to hear "withdraw", and then your claim goes into the deep dark hole in the bottom of the Winston Salem Regional Office.

The best approach is to assert ALL bases for service connection in your original claim - there are 5 Paths to Service Connection.

Read about the 5 Paths to Service Connection on the Veterans Law Blog: Service Connection is like a Bridge....

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