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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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  • 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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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ArNG11

Gerd & Ibs Considered Pyramiding ?

Question

I'm not trying to be ungrateful here but I am having a hard time understanding how these two would be considered that. By physical locations they have to do with two different ends. :blush: GERD has to do with the esophagus and hiatus. The dyspepsia (diarrhea) has to do with the bowels, the lower intestines and anus. So if there are two independent systems how is it considered pyramiding ? Yes it is part of the whole digestive tract however, and I misreading the regs. As of right now it has been proposed to raise the GERD up to 10% and IBS remain at 0%, even though from reading the CFR and matching my symptoms, regardless of the recent surgery, the GERD could arguably have warranted a 30% with the hiatal hernia, dyspaghia, medication,vomiting, no arm pain though and at current be a proposed 10%. The IBS, chronic runs 6-10 times a day with a raw butt and chronic abdominal distress should net a 10% on its own but will return a 0% due to pyramiding. No decisions yet, but this is the information that my rainmaker has given me. Am I missing something? :unsure:

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I totally understand bud. I am 30% for Crohns, GERD and Barretts Disease, even though I am going to have my Colon removed soon. Total different conditions with separate medications, and I have a small hiatal hernia in that area too. I have also had 2 blood transfusion due to my Crohns and just diagnosed with severe internal and external Hemorroids. Just like my TBI rated 30% with Migraines. That is just how the VA formula works my friend. Atleast you got to Vent on here.


By the way I just had my Crohns review, and it looks like the VA will make my 30% permanent now for the Crohns.

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I'm in the same boat with small bowel resection and cholecystectomy. I am on 20 for both. thanks to good ol pyramiding. 20 for small bowel and 10 gallbladder

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/4.14

§ 4.14 Avoidance of pyramiding.

The evaluation of the same disability under various diagnoses is to be avoided. Disability from injuries to the muscles, nerves, and joints of an extremity may overlap to a great extent, so that special rules are included in the appropriate bodily system for their evaluation. Dyspnea, tachycardia, nervousness, fatigability, etc., may result from many causes; some may be service connected, others, not. Both the use of manifestations not resulting from service-connected disease or injury in establishing the service-connected evaluation, and the evaluation of the same manifestation under different diagnoses are to be avoided.

Edited by JT24usn

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I don't have a gall bladder either. I had mine removed when it nearly ruptured. That was back in 1998. I've been dealing with a modified diet since then. I was fine until, I guess about mid tour in Iraq. I knew I should have stayed away from food from Iraq. Oh well things happen. There's a lot of co existing factors. Diet, stress, medications, and so on. You kind of have to experiment with different things. For me diet changes helped, they still help. I just got tired of the high cost meds and fiery throat. After so long you have to go for more aggressive treatments.

Anyways, I would just like to find a clear cut references in the CFR's that refers to these conditions.

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38 CFR Book C, Schedule for Rating Disabilities

4.114-​§4.114Schedule of ratingsdigestive system​ 4.114-

§4.114 Schedule of ratingsdigestive system.

​Ratings under diagnostic codes 7301 to 7329, inclusive, 7331, 7342, and 7345 to 7348 inclusive will not be combined with each other. A single evaluation will be assigned under the diagnostic code which reflects the predominant disability picture, with elevation to the next higher evaluation where the severity of the overall disability warrants such elevation.

7346 ​Hernia hiatal:

​Symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and hematemesis or

​melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations

​productive of severe impairment of health​60

​Persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, pyrosis, and

​regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain,

​productive of considerable impairment of health​30

​With two or more of the symptoms for the 30 percent evaluation of

​less severity​10

7319 ​Irritable colon syndrome (spastic colitis, mucous colitis, etc.):

​Severe; diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation, with more

​or less constant abdominal distress​30

​Moderate; frequent episodes of bowel disturbance with abdominal

​distress​10

​Mild, disturbances of bowel function with occasional episodes of

​abdominal distress​0

Edited by JT24usn

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Thats what I read as well so I don't understand how it would be pyramiding. Except the description here is Irritable Colon Syndrome. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is really just another name for the disease. The kicker is with my case is that they are calling 6-8 times a day mild. I can assure you it is not mild. Of course I know that they are not going to reference my private medical records. It states it there both in 2010-2014. The reason they are calling it mild is because there are notations in my SMR of having diarrhea. Never mind that a Gastro-entronnologist opinions and records should far outweigh a Gynecologists' opinion. Ahh that is the funny part. I actually have a log with pictures that I will be bringing with me to the DRO hearing. I'm still debating it, yes it is gross, but another hadit member had a good result with that tactic so I may just give it a try. On a good day 6 times is normal for me. Ahh the things we must do. I've seriously thought about having the VA pay for my toilet paper. I don't think I would get very far but I would love to see the raters face on that one. : )

:biggrin: Here's mud in your eye" :huh::blink::excl:

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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