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Traumatic Brain Injury-Not Service Connected


bh1981

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I just got my decision back from the VA and they determined that my TBI was not related to my time in service....even though I am currently being treated for it at the VA for concussions due to parachute jumps and mortar fire while on deployment. How is that possible? Any advice on what to do now would be extremely appreciative.

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bh1981,

Do your service medical records show you suffered concussions due to parachute jumps and mortar fire while on deployment?

If yes, did you submit your service medical records to your VA regional office as evidence to support your disability claims?

If no, what evidence did you submit to support your claims?

Being treated at the VA for a condition you reported was caused by parachute jumps and mortar fire would not prove a nexus or connection of that condition to your military service. If you submitted only VA records, they may have confirmed a diagnosis of concussions but this alone would not be enough to substantiate your claim.

Please post the reasons the VA denied your claim and also provide a list of the evidence you submitted with your claim. The more info you provide, the easier it will be for Hadit members to offer suggestions or give opinions. Do not post your personal identifying info.

GP

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bh1981,

Do your service medical records show you suffered concussions due to parachute jumps and mortar fire while on deployment?

If yes, did you submit your service medical records to your VA regional office as evidence to support your disability claims?

If no, what evidence did you submit to support your claims?

Being treated at the VA for a condition you reported was caused by parachute jumps and mortar fire would not prove a nexus or connection of that condition to your military service. If you submitted only VA records, they may have confirmed a diagnosis of concussions but this alone would not be enough to substantiate your claim.

Please post the reasons the VA denied your claim and also provide a list of the evidence you submitted with your claim. The more info you provide, the easier it will be for Hadit members to offer suggestions or give opinions. Do not post your personal identifying info.

GP

GP,

Thanks for your reply and insight. Unfortunately none of that stuff was in my medical records. The concussions, although they occurred, were not listed. I pluralized parachute jumps when in actuality that only happened once when I got tangled in the trees. I popped my reserve parachute after I came t (about 10-15 minutes later) and drove on with the mission. The couple times in Afghanistan that we were hit, we were in a tiny outpost in the Kunar Province and didn't have any kind of support other than the bare bones staff, that did include a medic, but did not show up in my records. So it looks as though there really, truly isn't a link that the VA can make with my current troubles that mainly include migraine headaches, memory recall, and dizziness. Do you think a buddy statement would help? Also, by decision, I mean by what is on my computer screen by way of ebenefits, not snail-mail decision letter the VA sends out, so I have no idea what the specifics were behind their decision.

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I just got my decision back from the VA and they determined that my TBI was not related to my time in service....even though I am currently being treated for it at the VA for concussions due to parachute jumps and mortar fire while on deployment. How is that possible? Any advice on what to do now would be extremely appreciative.

Please post the Reasons and Bases Section of the decision when you get

it in the mail.

Your profile here shows you SC'd at 100%.

What conditions are you currently SC'd for ?

If you are currently SC'd at 100% what is the additional benefit goal of getting

your TBI SC'd - possible SMC ?

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Please post the Reasons and Bases Section of the decision when you get

it in the mail.

Your profile here shows you SC'd at 100%.

What conditions are you currently SC'd for ?

If you are currently SC'd at 100% what is the additional benefit goal of getting

your TBI SC'd - possible SMC ?

Hi Carlie,

Thanks for your reply. My service connection at 100% is due to I/U and my total percentage is 90. The reason why I am pursuing service connection for TBI is because I have TBI. To not have the VA acknowledge that this occurred to me would be, what I consider, a grave injustice. Nobody truly knows the full and total list and symptoms of having TBI and so far I have had horrible memory recall, poor balance, and some poor trouble associated with migraines and balance. Plus, at 33, I was diagnosed as having severely low testosterone. I already have it diagnosed and am being treated for it so it doesn't really make much sense as to why it isn't service connected, aside from not having a proper link to it from being in the military.

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Wow.. we have the same similarities.. i have not filed for TBI because the DAV says migraines is almost same or more or.. well i am just confused about what they tell me.

I have sleep apnea, i have low t being treated, i am 30% for migraines and i have finally been able to put the VA on notice to my 9 foot fall on head that a DR i tracked down wrote a letter about. I should file for TBI as well, but not sure what to do.

Anyway.. Neurologist last week did a new patient screening and put the pain score at 0 even though he or his nurse never asked me. He wrote up that my migraines are from my Sleep apnea. .the VA is still doing there injustice with trained DR who know how to write up a least likely in favor report. Good luck with your claim, what i said in prev post is on point.. and just don't give up on your fight.

Yeah, it's hard to even keep in touch with any of those guys. After getting out we all kinda spread throughout the country, like everyone does in the military I suppose. Good luck with your claim as well, and with the TBi claim. I hope it works out for you.

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bh1981,

Buddy statements (plural) from fellow soldiers who actually witnessed your in service injuries would be helpful. However, in my opinion you really need an IME and a strong IMO from a neurologist who could state your current medical issues (migraine headaches, memory recall and dizziness) were "as likely as not" caused by your in service injuries. The neurologist would need to review your relevant medical records and fully justify his/her opinion with reasonable medical rationale.

GP

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bh1981,

Buddy statements (plural) from fellow soldiers who actually witnessed your in service injuries would be helpful. However, in my opinion you really need an IME and a strong IMO from a neurologist who could state your current medical issues (migraine headaches, memory recall and dizziness) were "as likely as not" caused by your in service injuries. The neurologist would need to review your relevant medical records and fully justify his/her opinion with reasonable medical rationale.

GP

Thanks GP,

My plan is to take a printout from the 'blue button' and take it to the neurologist up the road showing all of the treatments and such that I have had at the VA and then file a NOD, when the time comes. I'm hoping that will suffice. We'll see I guess.

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Sorry to hear that the VA denied you bud. I am SC for TBI/Migraines, due to OIF/OEF, and I am 100%. I put in a claim back in Nov 14 for a few new conditions and secondary conditions, as I too want the Govt to admit and treat me for every issue that I came home with. Well by submitting that claim, I think the VA thought I was ungrateful or rocking the boat, and what happened next the VA gave me a ton of C&Ps in a short time period and Reviewed most of my high Conditions, which included a PTSD Review which lasted for over 2 hours and was scary as hell for me. I too will be 33 next week, and the VA will be looking over our backs for a long time. God Bless and good luck. Keep us posted bud

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Sorry to hear that the VA denied you bud. I am SC for TBI/Migraines, due to OIF/OEF, and I am 100%. I put in a claim back in Nov 14 for a few new conditions and secondary conditions, as I too want the Govt to admit and treat me for every issue that I came home with. Well by submitting that claim, I think the VA thought I was ungrateful or rocking the boat, and what happened next the VA gave me a ton of C&Ps in a short time period and Reviewed most of my high Conditions, which included a PTSD Review which lasted for over 2 hours and was scary as hell for me. I too will be 33 next week, and the VA will be looking over our backs for a long time. God Bless and good luck. Keep us posted bud

Yeah, me too man. But, I do have to say that the VA has done pretty fair by me for the most part so I can't really complain. It sucks, yes, but I'll get it done. I'm pretty confident in that.

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I have had 4 claims over the last 2 years. When the VA denied a few conditions that should have been SC, instead of filing NODs or Appeals, I just kept reopening them, and guess what when this current claim is complete, that will make 6 or 7 conditions that were denied first and approved within the 2 years. Using the same evidence, except that the VA Raters actually look at it, or I finally get a C&P Doc that actually knows what he is doing and using his or her Degree for a change. Good luck

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Okay ladies and gents...i just got back the letter of determination and findings explaining everything. The denied TBI on the basis of not having a current diagnosed disability and that I did not have any record of a TBI episode (basically a lack of treatments) while in the service. However, they did award me tinnitus and I/U. That being said, they took it upon themselves by awarding me special monthly compensation for being housebound. I'm not sure what to think about that because I did not apply for it nor did I ever state that I was housebound. But I reckon the psychiatrist and rater felt that this was the case. I'm happy about the extra monthly compensation, it'll help a bunch, but I fear that could be a mistake on their part and am wondering if I should squirrel away the extra monthly SMC. Has that happened to anyone else?

Also, my veterans benefit letter in eBenefits does not state that it is permanent or not. Should I assume that exclusion serves to state that it is, in fact, permanent? This is what it says:

You have one or more service-connected disabilities: Yes Your combined service-connected evaluation is: 90% You are being paid at the 100 percent rate because you are unemployable due to your service-connected disabilities: Yes

Edited by bh1981 (see edit history)
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Great news, but I hope that I am P&T and might get another SMC too. It looks like the VA actually did their job, and I am so happy for you. Just save the SMC as you stated for a few months. As far as the Permanent thing, my bud just got his % awarded last week, and his letter still does not say Perm or Temporary. So just give it a bit.

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bh1981,

Did you check to see if you have an AB3 or "Commissary Letter" under the "Downloadable VA Letters?" The "Commissary Letter" I have on ebenefits shows my status as "Permanent & Total Disability" and "No Future Exams Scheduled."

Congratulations on the IU and the SMC award. Good luck to you.

GP

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bh1981,

Did you check to see if you have an AB3 or "Commissary Letter" under the "Downloadable VA Letters?" The "Commissary Letter" I have on ebenefits shows my status as "Permanent & Total Disability" and "No Future Exams Scheduled."

Congratulations on the IU and the SMC award. Good luck to you.

GP

GP,

No, the only letter I have does not say anything like 'permanent and total disability' and 'no future exams scheduled'. However, it doesn't say that exams ARE scheduled either.

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Great news, but I hope that I am P&T and might get another SMC too. It looks like the VA actually did their job, and I am so happy for you. Just save the SMC as you stated for a few months. As far as the Permanent thing, my bud just got his % awarded last week, and his letter still does not say Perm or Temporary. So just give it a bit.

Sounds good. Patience is unfortunately not one of my good traits.

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Srisatta,

If you feel your fair shake it to be service connected for TBI, and you honestly feel you have it, then you need to fight it. Other than that I would continue to work closely with your VSO or go to a private physician and have them fill out a DBQ for migraines, etc. I was also denied TBI recently but have decided not to pursue it. After numerous tests and examinations it has been determined that it doesn't really exist and my migraines are more likely than not related to PTSD than anything. Migraines will be the next claim as I have about 4-6 prostrating attacks per month which requires me to have my wife call out of work to watch the children. Good luck to you.

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I am having an ongoing fight with VA over TBI as well. My story is actually pretty embarrassing. Back in 2007, I was at drill weekend and for PT s bunch of us decided to play football. Everything was fine, and we were all having a great time. At some point in the game our quarterback threw a pass which I leapt in the air to grab. As I was coming down one of my fellow NCO's slammed into me, causing my neck to snap back and my head smash into the ground. I'm not sure if I was knocked out or not, but I was majorly concussed.

I laid on the field for a while, got up and stumbled around. My vision was blurry. I had a headache that was unlike anything I had ever experienced. A female NCO took me to the Clinic on post, and she receptionist turned me away because I did not have an ID card. I had an NCO with me, in BDU's (I'm in PT's) but because I had left my ID in my car, I was told to leave.

I went into my car and sat there until my vision cleared up enough to drive home, and called my platoon sergeant. He told me just to take the day off.

I got home, took a shower, and laid on the couch, then I passed out. I guess I slept for like 3 hours. I've never been the same since. My Military career was derailed. I had just been accepted as a Warrant Officer and was scheduled to attend the 250N Course. I never made it. I have a hard time articulating, I am moody, I can't sleep. And the migraines...oh my god. I get them all the time, I can't see when I get them, the pain is unbearable. I am on Lamictal which is anti-seizure to hold them back to once or twice a week.

VA treats me for it, but denies my claim saying its not "service connected". Even though, it happened during training, and I was turned away from urgent care which is by definition medical malpractice (Head and Heart issues have to be addressed by a hospital). I have several statements from witnesses stating what happened. A Colonel called me at my unit, and apologized profusely for the incident. The woman was fired, Yet all this, medical bills and marital problems; employment issues, all stemming from this incident...VA says it isn't service connected.

I just finally grabbed a lawyer. I suggest everyone else do the same.

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