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Intro, Mustard Gas, And Make Them (Va) Believe!

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KDave

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Fellow Vets,

First, thank you for your service and this wonderful forum. I have mostly been lurking, but finally created an account due to some questions I have.

I have very clear medical records from civilians, military, Vet Center, and the VA itself. Yet, the Claims area of the VA seems to over look the most obvious documents. Question 1 - How do I make the VA Claims see the exact area needed for service connection? I have clear documents from the military on the "Line of Duty" service connection forms showing the exact issue with the military medical doctor, an LTC, and the commander at the time signatures along with supporting docs. Somehow these were missed even though they show in the VA as evidence supported/submitted. The VA agreed that I have the various medical disabilities, but they state I have no service connection as the reason for my denial even with the LODs showing direct verified service connection.

I pride myself on being well informed and able to write a good case. I have just under 9 years working with the CFRs from a medical law enforcement position to include writing federal medical policy for EMTs/LEOs. Somehow I failed here. I did use a VSO from the DAV. They were helpful, but it seemed I had to guide them as they were factually incorrect on many topics based on clear cases and federal regulation.

As an example, I purchased a house and a rental home under one VA home loan. During my first year living in the home my VA disability rating was approved at 70%. I asked my VSO/DAV if I could get a return on the 'VA fee' that can be waived if one rates a VA disability. He said no, and that maybe in the future when I refinance it could be returned to me. If you are not familiar, there is no PMI (mortgage insurance) when one takes out a 100% VA loan. Really there is. The VA just hides it and titles it as a 'Fee' that varies depending on your situation. Mine was about $6000 of additional debt added to my total. I did not take no for an answer and kept reading and calling until I got it removed from my mortgage. I believe the DAV person made an honest mistake, but it can cost a Vet very much. Always research yourself especially when told no.

I was lucky a bit, but also worked hard earning a rating of 70% combined on my first go. It was based on my time in the ARNG OIF/OEF (2009-2010) as an EOD Tech. Recently I was approved to release that I was exposed and burned by mustard gas during a forensic investigation of a secondary IED. Question 2 - How do I verify that the VA will consider me under the 'Presumptive' category for the medical issues related to Mustard Gas Exposure and Gulf War Illness? I read endless regulation showing that the VA must use 'Presumption' when considering these issues. I do not believe that the VSO/DAV filed them as I asked, but I am not sure. For information the Mustard Gas Exposure now shows in both my military and VA medical files. One of my VA docs wrote in my file that she reviewed my records stating that I have had Mustard Gas Exposure and all sequelae (everything medically related) as a diagnosis. I have this in print and can easily find it on MyHealthyVet. I was lucky again in that from the time of disclosure to it appearing in both medical files was only 3 weeks. It did come with lots of work and daily phone calls, meetings, interviews, and medical reviews.

My last question stems from the same VA doc who diagnosed me with Mustard Gas related issues. She told me that because I was not allowed to disclose this and that it was covered up, that I will get a back date to the date of incident less military working days paid. Question 3 - Is it true that I will get a back date to the date of incident in 2009? Everything I can find and everything that I have been told otherwise shows that I will only be backdated to the date I made the claim related to these issues as normal. If you believe I will get reversed all the way to 2009, would you please point me to the regulation or court cases?

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and help me. I really do appreciate it.

Respectfully,

Dave

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Mustard Gas. My deceased Army husband ( not my deceased USMC husband) had been exposed to Mustard gas twice.
It was in his SMRs.

I am very familar with the mustard gas regulations.

Can you prove, by medical evidence that your disability resulted directly from mustard gas?

Was it field or chamber MG?

Do you have specific entries from the medic team that had to occurr after MG exposures....I am assuming this was a MG test?

Can you prove fully body exposure...Full body exposure is searchable here and at the VA and BVA web site.

Or was this due to the wrist test?

"My last question stems from the same VA doc who diagnosed me with Mustard Gas related issues. She told me that because I was not allowed to disclose this and that it was covered up, that I will get a back date to the date of incident less military working days paid. Question 3 - Is it true that I will get a back date to the date of incident in 2009? Everything I can find and everything that I have been told otherwise shows that I will only be backdated to the date I made the claim related to these issues as normal. If you believe I will get reversed all the way to 2009, would you please point me to the regulation or court cases?"

This VA doctor does not have a clue on the claims process nor on the VA MG regulations.

Here they are briefly described.
http://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-exposures-mustard.asp

"Somehow these were missed even though they show in the VA as evidence"

Can you scan and post the Reasons and BAses part of the decision and the Evidence list?

Cover the C file number, name, address prior to scanning.

I wont be here for a few days but others can help......and if I have time I will check back to your post.

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to add
This vet was granted SC for MG for one MG disability he claimed:

Service connection for squamous cell carcinoma as due to in-service exposure to mustard gas is granted.
http://www.va.gov/vetapp14/Files6/1452290.txt



But many MG claims are denied and the denials can be valuable as a source to help you understand what evidence they VA needs.

Just go to http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva.jsp

and after 'find these words' put Mustard Gas into their search browser.

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Here's an interesting little tidbit for your reading...in the mid-80s, while stationed at Augsburg, DE, my father had a few jr troops he had to run to the hospital. Seems that the weekend ending, they had been touristing the WWI memorial sites in France. All 4 of them sat on the same large log, along the path, at one of the sites. All 4 of them ended up with Mustard Gas burns on their sitters and back of their legs! 65 years later!

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