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Received Soc, Preparing Va Form 21-0958 And Va Form-9: Feedback Please!


OEF 21B

Question

Finally got a response from my NOD that I sent in on 21 November 2010. I'm working on preparing my NOD for the SOC and would like some feedback on the format before I finish my other contentions.

Thanks in advance!!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VA FORM-21-0958, Part III – SPECIFIC ISSUES OF DISAGREEMENT, 11A.

1. Hypertension continue 0% Rating. I disagree with the continuation of my service-connected 0 % rating for hypertension and request a higher rating of 10%-20% for hypertension be granted.

a. References:

  • Statement of Case (SOC) dated April 9, 2015, Reference 123/456B, CSS 123 45 678, XXXX, XXXX X.
  • MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5 Evaluating Evidence and Making a Decision
  • 38 U.S.C. § 5107(b)Lay Evidence
  • 38 CFR 4.3§ Resolution of reasonable doubt.
  • 38 CFR 4.23§ Attitude of rating officer.
  • 38 CFR 4.104§ 7101 Cardiovascular System Ratings.
  • VA Training Letter 00-07, Cardiovascular disabilities.

b. (SOC) Reason and Basis:

  1. I fully disagree with the continued 0 percent rating for my service-connected hypertension.

Evaluation of hypertension currently evaluated as 0 percent disabling. The reason and basis for denial was “no objective medical evidence confirming that your diastolic pressure was predominantly 100 or more or that your systolic pressure was predominantly 160 or more at any time during your military service. “ The SOC does reference my submitted blood pressure readings with a 3-day average of 180.55/110.34 in July 2008. The SOC also referenced Blood Pressure (BP) readings taken at the VA in 2011 – 2013 that did not meet the threshold as stated previously.

  1. Facts not listed in SOC.
    1. SOC did not state a review of the notes showing that the hand written blood pressure readings were taken at the Camp Eggers Troop Medical Clinic (TMC) in Kabul, Afghanistan on 16-18 July 2008 as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
    2. SOC did not mention any consideration of the note on page 3/5 noting “start BP meds 25mg HCTZ & 10mg Lisinopril” as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
    3. SOC did not mention any consideration of the note on page 4/5 & 5/5 noting three each BP readings AFTER starting BP medications prescribed in ( ii ) above. These follow up readings were taken by the military personnel at the Camp Eggers TMC in order to verify that the BP medications prescribed in ( ii ) above were at the proper dosage as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
    4. SOC did not discuss the signed VBA-21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim signed by LTC XXXX XXXXXX dated 29 AUG 12 stating that I did, in fact, seek medical treatment at the Camp Eggers TMC in Kabul, Afghanistan as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
    5. SOC did not discuss letter from Dr. XXXXXX XXXXXX dated 12-17-10 where he stated that I did NOT show any signs of high blood pressure prior to my first deployment in 2004, and that my military physician started my BP medications as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
    6. SOC did not discuss the fact that the Veterans Administration has continued to prescribe the same BP medications from my military physician in July 2008 and that my blood pressure is currently controlled by medications as mentioned in the SOC where ‘normal’ readings from the VA from May 2011 through May 2013 as required in MR21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 5, 1.a Note: Evaluate all the evidence, including oral testimony given under oath and certified statements submitted by claimants.
  1. My rating should be at least 10% to 20% for hypertension based on the average BP ratings taken at the Camp Eggers TMC in Kabul, Afghanistan in July 2008 showing an average systolic pressure of 180.55 and an average diastolic pressure of 110.34 as stated in 38 CFR 4.104§ 7101 Cardiovascular Systems Ratings and VA Training Letter 00-07 Cardiovascular disabilities.

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Trying to play catchup here. You filed NOD 11/21/2010, what type of Review or Hearing did you request? It appears to me that you may have gone with a DRO Review of your original denial, right. 1 of 2 things could have initiated your recent SSOC and continuation of your denial. The automatic Denial Review due to N & M Evidence or your actual DRO Review Request. You didn't mention if you had asked for a personal hearing.

But 1st , did you supply New & Material Medical Evedence with or shortly after filing your NOD? If a DRO recently Reviewed your original Denial per your NOD request with out N & Mat. Evidence, your virtually assured of a continuence of the original Denial even though no deference is given to the original Denial Decision. Now if at some point your VARO received N & M evidence, it should have triggered the VARO Automatic Review of your Denial with deference given to the original decision by a SR VARO Rater or actual DRO.

At 1st read it appears that there is a major problem with your evidence. VA has the duty to assist but it always ends up being your responsiblity to see that "ALL your Evidence OF Record" past and current is in their hot little hands. You've lost on the evidence twice and your on your way to the BVA, think about a Vidio Hearing, speed wise should be less than 3 yrs.

Are you reped by a VSO, what do they say?

Semper Fi

Gastone

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Yes, I requested a DRO on my original denial with my first NOD on 11/21/2010. I provided new evidence with my first NOD, but it wasn't "New & Material Medical Evidence" (pages from my deployment notebook that documented three blood pressure readings over three days. I also provided a buddy statement verifying that I was treated for high blood pressure while in Afghanistan.)

The main reason for denying a higher rating in the SOC is that the blood pressure readings that I took in July 2008 while on active duty are not included in my service treatment records. My service treatment records do not have ANY records from my two deployments. We were told that all of our treatment records were entered into some system and that they could be printed out at any time after we re-deployed. Dummy me believed them and didn't think to ask for a hard copy. (I know, my fault :sad: ) My intent in providing the notebook pages and buddy statement was to show a link between the diagnosis of hypertension while on active duty (in lieu of military medical records) and the fact that my civilian doctor continued my BP Meds that were started in Afghanistan, and the VA has continued the same BP Meds since I've been in the VA system.

What do I need to do to request a Video Hearing? Do I just ask for it with this NOD? Or do I ask for it on the VA Form-9?

I am "represented" by the DVA, but the only assistance they have provided me is to hand carry documents that I fax them and get confirmation from the VA that they recieved them. I also send Request Recipt copies to the DVA and the VA in order to have additional records that the VA got them. I've asked the DVA to review my documents but they consitently say "this looks good", then they take it down the hall to the VA. I do appreciate the fact that they do provide me with an additional reciept for my documents, but as far as being helpful on the wording or issues, they haven't been helpful.

Do you have any comments regarding the "format"/order of my NOD? I want to be as short and concise as possible in order to address every issue that is required for a sucessful resolution.

Thanks for the response!

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I don't feel qualified to advise you on the content of your NOD, however, I do like the way you are presenting your case.

I finally received my SOC's and will be following this thread in the hope that other VETS will add their knowledge.

Good luck.

By the way, I had the DAV as my VSO and they did the exact same thing . . . no help at all.

Edited by toddt
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