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Gwi Claim


dlove74us

Question

I really wish I had come across this site a lot sooner. Thanks for the support.

I applied for compensation because I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. I deployed to the Gulf War for 9 months. It has been a yr since I submitted my claim. I am just now at prep for a decision phase. I really want to know if I stand a chance with getting an approval. Or should I prepare for an appeal?

Army Strong!

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I do have the qualifying GW service. It is also noted in my service records. I also was stationed at Ft McClellan Alabama and read that they were a toxic dump site back in the 80's. I wonder if I could tie this in with my claim? I am in the process of gathering buddies for the other 2 claims that were denied. I am nervous , I don't want to miss my filing deadline.

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dlove74us,

Without more info, it is difficult for Hadit members to offer an opinion.

When were you discharged?

When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?

If you were not diagnosed during your military service, what evidence did you submit with your claim that connected your breast cancer to your military service?

The more info you provide, the easier it will be to answer your questions.

GP

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I was discharged in 1998. I was diagnosed in 2013. They only information I submitted was my DD 214 and my medical documentation from the hospital that treated me. Unfortunately I was not aware I could file a claim until I went to the VA's Women Health Clinic and they suggested that I submit a claim because I was in the Gulf War.

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Dlove74us,

Did you have a C & P exam and do you have a myhealthevet premium account? If so, check the notes under the blue button. You can get an idea of how you were rated by the examiner. Once ebennies goes to prep for notification check your VA letters for the AB8 letter, it will tell you if you were SC'd or not and at what percentage.

Good Luck

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dlove74us,

In your records from the VA Women's Health Clinic, did any of the doctors state they believed your breast cancer was caused by your Gulf War service?

The reason I ask is because I could not find any info where breast cancer is recognized by the VA as a Gulf War presumptive disease. If breast cancer was recognized as a VA presumptive disease, you would only need to show proof of your service in the Gulf War and a confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer.

Unless your VA doctors provided reasonable medical rationale in your medical records connecting your breast cancer to your Gulf War service, I do not believe you will be service connected and awarded disability compensation by the VA. To service connect your breast cancer, you would need a strong IMO (Independent Medical Opinion) from a doctor, preferably an oncologist, stating they believe it is "as likely as not" your breast cancer was caused by your exposure to toxin agents during your Gulf War service. The IMO would have to include reasonable medical rationale supporting the opinion of the doctor. Info on IMOs can be found on this website.

I hope I am wrong and you win your claim but be prepared in the event you do not. I am a Vietnam veteran and currently have three Agent Orange presumptive diseases so I sympathize with your situation. It took the VA decades to recognize most of the Agent Orange presumptive diseases and the VA will probably eventually recognize other diseases as Gulf War presumptive diseases.

If your claim is denied, do not give up. Please keep us posted.

Good luck.

GP

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great info from georgiapapa!

.................Buck

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I had a C&P exam. They only measured my scars and asked was I still going through treatment. I reviewed some cases that were appealed due to being denied for cancer and if I looked them correctly those cases were won on appeal.

If I am denied should I automatically appeal?

Thanks for the excellent feedback.

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dlove74us,

If you are denied, post the reasons given by the VA for the denial. This will make it easier for Hadit members to give you suggestions on appeal strategy before you submit an appeal.

As soon as your Ebenefits status changes to "preparation for notification," start checking your "Benefits Summary Letter" under "Downloadable VA Letters." If you receive an award, it usually shows up there before you receive the actual VA notification.

GP

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All claims were denied by VA- Not Service Connected.

I am so bummed right now. I don't know what my next steps should be. I don't want to give up but emotinally I am exhausted!

Should I just hire a lawyer for the appeal or not appeal at all.

Incidentally I just read an article about PCB exposure in Ft McClellan Alabama, I did my basic there. Wonder if this had an impact on my cancer.

Any advise would be appreciated.

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As previously reported my claim was denied... (Not Service Connected.) I am going to speak with my oncologist however I am not sure how much he can help. I spoke with a Veterans Service Rep and they suggested that I write my congressman. Anyone have any thoughts on going this route? Or suggestions on where I shouod go from here?

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dlove74us,

It sounds like your veterans service rep believes you have solid evidence supporting your claim for service connection of your breast cancer to your exposure to Gulf War toxins. I hope you do. However, in your previous post, you stated you submitted your DD-214 and your medical records. Unless there was a statement by your oncologist in your medical records showing a nexus between your breast cancer and your exposure to Gulf War toxins, and the statement was supported by reasonable medical rationale, I am not surprised your claim was denied.

I may be wrong, and I hope I am, but hiring an attorney or contacting your congressman is not going to do you any good unless you can come up with strong evidence connecting your breast cancer to your exposure to Gulf War toxins. You need more than a diagnosis of breast cancer to win your claim. As I stated in my previous post, you need a strong IMO supported by reasonable medical rationale. JMO

Good luck to you.

GP

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If you submitted evidence of active cancer your claim will be processed alot faster. They could potentially rate you at Temp 100 until your claim and exams are completed. Where did you serve in the Gulf? No don't appeal yet, if you are denied then we need to figure out why and go from there. I think its best to try to keep it on the RO level and fulfill whatever requirements are missing like a link to service, nexus, dx etc....

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Always keep in mind to be awarded service connection your medical records must show three things.

1. An in-service injury or disease

2. A current diagnosis

3. A nexus that relates 1 and 2 with a good medical rationale.

Or a pre-service injury or disease that was aggravated by military service.

Your medical doctor must say that he/she has reviewed your medical records and it is their professional opinion that your current cancer is at least likely or not related to your military service.

The problem you are facing is that you got out in 1998 and you were not diagnosed with cancer until 2013 which you say is an aggressive type disorder. If and I say if your doctor can find symptoms of the cancer in your military records this may help with a nexus. Also keep in mind that you must have some type of residual disorder to be compensated. Sorry that you are going through this.

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Exactly what Pete said.

Let us know if you have the qualifying GW War service so we can get the GW Gen Med exam and possibly get you connected on a presumptive basis and if you have a link to service current dx/tx we can submit that all at once and get a direct SC opinion all on one exam to increase your chances if getting connected. Keep us posted.

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I am not trying to discourage you but you will still need a medical opinion. A medical doctor saying that your condition is at least likely related to your military service.

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/infectious_diseases.asp

http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp

Currently I do not think Cancer is one of the conditions on the presumptive list.

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