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Least Likely As Not



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When I submitted my claim, the letter I had from my kidney doctor said that my kidney failure was "presumably" caused by my hepatitis. My VA doc (who recomended filing a claim) had noted in my record that the same was "probably" caused by... No where did the "likely" or "more likely than not" show up in my doctors notes. The C&P doc of course wrote "not likely" as his opinion. In my ignorance I failed to get the "required" Dr's statements and still managed to win. I no longer believe that the wording has to be to an exact script. There are many ways to say something. I know it is probably safer to get the "safe" words but if your Doctor doesnt use the exact words dont write off his statement.


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If you can get the good old doctor to simply say was "caused by" that is best. The "least likely than not" gives the doctor a very good way of making a statement that almost anyone could live with.

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This statement can put a claim into Benefit of Doubt criteria:

"1. The veteran should be scheduled for a

VA medical examination. The RO should

forward the veteran's claims file to the

VA examiner for review before the

veteran's examination. The examiner

should provide an opinion as to whether

it is as least likely as not (50/50) that

any current lung disability, including a

residual of pulmonary tuberculosis in the

form of pulmonary fibrosis, is related to

service. The examiner should state that

they have reviewed the veteran's claims

file. All opinions and conclusions

expressed must be supported by complete

rationale in a typewritten report."

From: http://www.va.gov/vetapp06/files2/0607728.txt

This veteran had 3 C & Ps- apparently the C & P doctors failed to state the

opinion as to whether the lung disease was related to the veteran's service.

"In September 2004, the Board remanded the case and because

certain directives were not fulfilled, the matter must be

returned to agency of original jurisdiction again for reasons

detailed below. See Stegall v. West, 11 Vet. App. 268


These remands make me angry- the veteran had the DAV on the POA- in all the years this claim has been passed around-no VA doctor stated in a C & P report any opinion at all on whether the disability was related to the veteran's service.

The DAV should have asked for reconsideration as soon as they saw the first denial or at least advised the veteran, in his NOD, to point this error out.

It looks to me that the VA never got the SMRs and the DAV never advised the veteran to.

This claim has been in the system for ten years!

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