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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



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    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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Question

Hello,

I am new to this site and am happy to see that there are a lot of folks on here who know the ins and outs of filing claims with the VA. Hopefully someone will be able to offer me advice on how I should proceed. I did not know until recently the issues I've been dealing with were covered by the VA, otherwise I would've started this years ago. I'll try to provide adequate detail.

Background: Navy; Honorable discharge in 2003; Persian Gulf; did just about every job imaginable on the boat.

Claims and questions:

  • Scarring/pain: service medical record contains detailed record of surgery for removal of Basal Cell skin cancer on my face, including drawing, measurement and procedure details. The nexus seems very clear.
    • Question: How does the VA actually measure scars, and what rating should apply? My t-shaped scar runs from the inside of my right eye down the side of my nose (about 2 inches), and across under my eye (about 1 inch). My right nostril is now asymmetrical as a result of the skin pulling and settling after the surgery, and there is a small scar "pocket" on the side of my nostril. Also, the skin changes color with hot/cold, becomes irritated by sweat, tingles/throbs and is prone to sores and infections.
  • Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder: Nexus: Record contains one instance of gastroenteritis (vomiting/diarrhea), along with "sea sickness". I have civilian medical records for multiple gastro events after leaving service, including hospitalization and surgery (the doc mistakenly diagnosed appendicitis) for gastro and non-specific gastro problems. Not in my records is that I constantly have gastro issues including dyspepsia, frequent vomiting, and bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Also, I am by definition a Gulf War vet, and I understand that this condition falls under "Special Gulf War Rules" as a "Qualifying Chronic Disability".
    • Question: Is this adequate for nexus, or do I need an IMO? How do "Special Gulf War Rules" come into play vs. a standard claim for gastro issues? And, what rating does this condition entail?
  • Tinnitus/hearing loss: my service record contains evidence that I was qualified in multiple weapons, and was a sonar tech. The sonar I worked on was I believe one of the loudest man-made noises on earth, and I had my bell rung more than few times when that thing went active.
    • Question: There is no mention of tinnitus in my medical records, but is there enough evidence to establish nexus? My ears ring 24/7 and it drives me nuts to be in silence.
  • Question: Will the VA most likely require me to take more tests? What if I'm in good shape the day of the tests? Do they understand the "flare up" nature of certain illnesses?

I've obtained copies of all of my military and civilian medical records (and made more copies), and plan to meet with a VSO before submitting. I hope I have enough documentation and evidence to satisfy what the VA is looking for. I have a few other claims as well, but didn't want to post too much.

I greatly appreciate any feedback on the items above, as well as any other advice that can help make my claims as painless as possible. Thank you all for your service.

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Gulf War Service in the Persia Gulf will get you a GW Gen Med for all your contentions. If you have a link to service in your records annotate it with a current diagnosis and treatment and submit with your claim for a direct service connection opinion. Hearing Loss and tinnitus is typically based on MOS or if there's a shift in hearing from pre service to post service hearing exams or if there's any annotations in your records or otherwise to bypass this just write a lay statement on on a 4138 describing your exposure to noise.

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Thanks for the information. Should I get IMOs from civilian doctors on top of existing medical records, or are the records and GW connection adequate?

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Hello,

I am new to this site and am happy to see that there are a lot of folks on here who know the ins and outs of filing claims with the VA. Hopefully someone will be able to offer me advice on how I should proceed. I did not know until recently the issues I've been dealing with were covered by the VA, otherwise I would've started this years ago. I'll try to provide adequate detail.

Background: Navy; Honorable discharge in 2003; Persian Gulf; did just about every job imaginable on the boat.

Claims and questions:

  • Scarring/pain: service medical record contains detailed record of surgery for removal of Basal Cell skin cancer on my face, including drawing, measurement and procedure details. The nexus seems very clear.
    • Question: How does the VA actually measure scars, and what rating should apply? My t-shaped scar runs from the inside of my right eye down the side of my nose (about 2 inches), and across under my eye (about 1 inch). My right nostril is now asymmetrical as a result of the skin pulling and settling after the surgery, and there is a small scar "pocket" on the side of my nostril. Also, the skin changes color with hot/cold, becomes irritated by sweat, tingles/throbs and is prone to sores and infections.
  • Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder: Nexus: Record contains one instance of gastroenteritis (vomiting/diarrhea), along with "sea sickness". I have civilian medical records for multiple gastro events after leaving service, including hospitalization and surgery (the doc mistakenly diagnosed appendicitis) for gastro and non-specific gastro problems. Not in my records is that I constantly have gastro issues including dyspepsia, frequent vomiting, and bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Also, I am by definition a Gulf War vet, and I understand that this condition falls under "Special Gulf War Rules" as a "Qualifying Chronic Disability".
    • Question: Is this adequate for nexus, or do I need an IMO? How do "Special Gulf War Rules" come into play vs. a standard claim for gastro issues? And, what rating does this condition entail?
  • Tinnitus/hearing loss: my service record contains evidence that I was qualified in multiple weapons, and was a sonar tech. The sonar I worked on was I believe one of the loudest man-made noises on earth, and I had my bell rung more than few times when that thing went active.
    • Question: There is no mention of tinnitus in my medical records, but is there enough evidence to establish nexus? My ears ring 24/7 and it drives me nuts to be in silence.
  • Question: Will the VA most likely require me to take more tests? What if I'm in good shape the day of the tests? Do they understand the "flare up" nature of certain illnesses?

I've obtained copies of all of my military and civilian medical records (and made more copies), and plan to meet with a VSO before submitting. I hope I have enough documentation and evidence to satisfy what the VA is looking for. I have a few other claims as well, but didn't want to post too much.

I greatly appreciate any feedback on the items above, as well as any other advice that can help make my claims as painless as possible. Thank you all for your service.

as USN noted Tinnitus is usually based on MOS, that meaning if your MOS was say artilleryman it is probably easier to get than say if you were worked in the DFAS office. That being said its not imposisble to get it if your MOS was not based around loud noises. If you can prove that you were regularly (or even rarely in some cases) around loud noises such as MRAP, HMMV, or something of that sort, or your barracks were right near where the mortar section was on base then you could make a case. In that case you will want to fill out sworn affidavits (See end of post)

Sworn affidavits hold more weight with the VA because with a normal Statement in Support of Claim (VA FORM 21-4138) these are just statements, but if you lie on them you are not guilty of perjury (you could be found guilty of fraud by the VA for the claim etc if found later) but a sworn affidavit means you could be found guilty of perjury if any statements are found to be untrue and made with malicious intent when you signed them. In the affidavits have yourself and your friends only write facts. Do not write "I believe the sound of the enginges have caused my tinnitus" State just the facts "During my deployment to Iraq from 9/2006-12/2007 on a daily basis for the majority of the day (6+ hours) i rode in large MRAP vehicles which emitted large amounts of vehicle noise inside that i was exposed to. We were not issued hearing protection during this period." also include in your statement how the symptoms came about and how they affect you, such as "My symptoms of ringing in my ears started to occur during the deployment and have become more pronounced afterwards in the years since." "Currently i hear ringing in my ears all waking hours of the day and require a fan to be on to drown out the noise when i sleep. During the day It is very hard to concentrate on conversations or work that i am conducting and drives me crazy"

These are just examples, use your own words.

As far as hearing goes, bilateral hearing loss, the VA has extremely high requirements for hearing loss. the civilian doctor i went to considered me partially deaf in one ear and approaching it in the other. However the VA said that my hearing was "normal" I am fighting for a 0% service connection based on the current audiogram compared to the initial MEPS screening before i went in to show the loss has occured regardless of whether it meets a compensable limit or not. You will need to have really, really bad hearing to qualify. I wish you luck though.

Do you need a IMO for you GI issues? I would recommend it. If you have sufficient evidence to support and the doctor concurs that it is "more likely than not" related to military service that will help immensely. and get a GI SPECIALIST and not a fmaily MD to do it. if you have a MD do it and the VA has their GI specialist do it, the VA wins because hes a specialist.

Dont rely on the VSO to submit the docs. if you can apply on ebenefits do that, upload the evidence there. submit the evidence to the VSO to submit. Submit them via mail to the claims center WITH CERTIFIED MAIL and RETURN RECEIPT, then fax them to the claims intake center and finally (if you have ebenefits) go on the IRIS message system and submit a message that you wish for this message to be included in your C File and that you have submitted XX total pages of evidence via (list all other ways submitted) and that this evidence contains (list all evidence submitted and general statement about each piece of evidence) and that it is to be considered in your claims for ______.

I wrote a

SWORN DECLARATION OF YOUR NAME

STATE OF XX §

COUNTY OF XX §

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, I,XX, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct:

  1. "My name is XX. I am more than eighteen years of age, of sound mind, and fully competent to make this affidavit. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth below.
  2. Statement
  3. Statement
  4. ETC ETC

Executed on DATE

Signed:

SIGNATURE

NAME

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Appreciate the feedback USMC. The post on evidence submission was extremely helpful, as were the illustrative examples above. Good luck on the hearing loss claim. Mine is definitely degraded but not terrible, so I'll see how it plays out.

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Wow! Thats a nice template you have there. There are templates for everything here. LOL! Reminds me of work. Submitting a lay statement on a 4138 is good as well, just as long as your submit something. Because if you have a MOS thats low for noise exposure, no shift in hearing in service, no complaints ect.... Majority of the time they will not order you an exam. Yes if it were my claim I would submit a statement regarding each of your contentions, submit a your service med recs tabbed pointing to your link to service, tx, complaints, incident. submit a current dx/tx, and a private dbq w/ nexus medical opinion from a Physician. The GW Gen Med will only get you the GW presumptive opinion. Which will cover you for pretty much everything underneath the sun that is not documented in your AD med recs. If you want direct SC you need the opinion. The reasoning for doing all of this is if you don't you are relying on someone else to do it for you. This goes for N&M evidence hell as well.

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    • By Michvetinfla
      I found your website. I have never posted anything asking anyone about this but I'm finally doing something about it and desperately need some advice. 
       
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      Also is a question that would I be getting any kind of back pay disability for all these past 30 years if the decision is in my favor?
       
      Another question is that should I contact a lawyer? Also a veteran service officer should I contact someone like the American legion or which one would someone recommend I use because I truly do not know what I'm doing and I feel if I had the right direction I'm someone who knows all the intricacies and workings of the VA if I filed this correctly the first time and knew what type of evidence to gather it would make my claim so much more positive in my favor. if I have to, I will get the money somehow,a loan from family to see the right doctor but should I be going to a doctor, a veteran Dr who will be in my corner and spend money on it before I file this claim?
       
      Thank you everyone, I'm sorry if I'm rambling, I have many questions but I've already asked too many. I am grateful for finding this forum and I really hope someone has some real answers for me that can assist me. Thank you.
       
      Happy Easter!
       
      Sincerely,
      Marine from MI living in central FL now.
    • By Wise Guy
      I submitted my supplemental claim 3 days ago for the following diagnosis with evidence:
      - Flat Feet (Primary) - Bilateral Plantar Fasciitis (Secondary) - Bilateral Pronation to mid and rear foot (Secondary)
      - Intra-articular Hip Pain (Primary) - Femoroacetabular Impingement (Secondary) - Right Adductor Groin Pain (Tertiary) - Athletic Pubalgia (Tertiary) - Osteitis Pubis (Tertiary)
      - Right Knee Pain  
      - Low Back Pain
      - Left Tennis Elbow - Bilateral Tinnitus  
      The VA updated va.gov 2 days ago with these pending diagnosis:
       
      - Impairment of femur
      - Flatfoot
      - Limitation of leg motion (flexion)
      - Lumbosacral or cervical strain
      - Limitation of forearm motion (flexion)
      - Tinnitus
       
      Through my own insurance, for all of the injuries listed in the first group of injuries above, I got doctors to diagnose me with them and they added, "More than 51% probable that the injuries occurred during military service" since the same injuries got denied in the past. I used those evidences to file my supplemental claim. I called the VA today to request for them to change what they put back to how I had it. The missing items like "Pronation", I had them annotate where to find the diagnosis on the doctors notes so that they can add it. I think they overlooked it. They also left out my right adductor pain. For the hip injury, it's not just, "Impairment of femur" as they put it. Why did they do this? Are they trying to gyp me? Why didn't they annotate the secondaries and the tertiaries like I annotated it? Instead of "Right Knee Pain" they put "Limitation of leg motion (flexion)". For "Low Back Pain" they put "Lumbosacral of Cervical Strain." For "Left Tennis Elbow" they put "Limitation of forearm motion (flexion)". Are they trying to gyp me or did I make the mistake of calling them asking them to change it back to how I had it?




    • By DonaldANG
      I originally filed a claim for bilateral hearing loss for both my left and right ear, but 2 years ago was only awarded Service Connection for my Left Ear, but only at 0%. The VA said that it was at 0% due to my Right Ear being at normal hearing at the time of my hearing test. But I just now filed a claim for an increase in my Left Ear hearing loss. I went for another C&P hearing exam. I told the Hearing Doctor that now my Right Ear was getting bad too and could she test me for hearing loss in my right ear this time. When the test was all over she told me that I did have some Right Ear hearing loss this time, but it was no where near as bad as my Left Ear. So I left there thinking I would be awarded something for my Right Ear now that the Hearing Test showed Right Ear hearing loss. But on Ebenefits it still shows Not Service Connected. How can you have your left ear service connected for hearing loss and not your right ear, if you were exposed to an explosion? It doesn't make any sense. That was the whole reason they service connected my Left Ear to begin with. Now that the hearing exam shows hearing loss in my Right Ear, the VA gives the excuse that my Right Ear hearing loss isn't Service Connected, because whenever they originally tested my Ears 2 years ago for my original claim the hearing exam didn't show any Right Ear hearing loss. But everyone knows that Hearing Loss can occur many years after the fact. My Dad served in Vietnam and was exposed to explosions on a daily basis, but he didn't show any immediate signs of hearing loss for decades. It wasn't until the last few years that we've noticed his hearing getting worse, and so now he filed a VA claim and was awarded for Hearing Loss and that was from back in 1969. So Hearing Loss doesn't have to happen overnight. Just because I didn't have it 2 years ago, but I now do, doesn't mean it isn't being caused from the same explosions from whenever I was in the service and what caused my Left Ear hearing loss. Has anyone else been through anything like this before? Any suggestions as to what I might be able to do to help? Thanks.
    • By ROMAD
      I submitted a claim for Sinusitis, OSA,, and Tinnitus. My claim was denied for all 3. 
      The tinnitus they claim was neither occurred in nor was caused by service. My job on active duty exposed me to gun fire, explosions, tanks, and tracked vehicles. I submitted the Duty Noise Exposure Spreadsheet that displayed my AFSC was rated as highly likely to be exposed to loud noise. In the first Exam they claimed I said my hearing loss was from jets flying overhead. Never said that, so they scheduled a second exam. This one they acknowledged the correct job but I was still denied. The evidence listed on the second decision dd not include the MOS Noise exposure chart I included on the first claim. I never went to sick call for ringing ears because that is just silly (had I known then) and was not something you did. I have had quiet office jobs since separating from The Air Force. What am I missing?
      For the OSA claim, I submitted Lay statements from my current wife and my ex-wife as well as explained to the doctor my symptoms and  that when I was on Active Duty i had no idea sleep apnea was a thing. I assumed I just snored and was tired because I was working hard. I had a sleep study this past year and was deemed to have severe OSA.  In my claim I listed that I believed my osa was related to my cluster headache disability. They responded Cluster headaches do not cause OSA even if there are many people with cluster headaches and also OSA.  I experienced a stuffy nose during my headaches  on the left side. This was completely different from the closing of my airway when I would sleep. It was just worst if both occurred at the same time. They claimed I have other risk factors such as being male, obesity, and advancing age. Something I did not include in my claim was the fact that I was on the Fat Boy program at one point on Active Duty and my SMR made a reference to obesity. Would this help support my claim. Also in the second decision they said I was a 73 year old male and I am no where near 73 so they probably mixed my records with someone else. What can I do about this?
      And Sinusitis, I have a couple diagnosis in my SMR's specifically listing sinusitis. I have had sinus issues since I was on Active Duty. I use a Netti Pot and have been diagnosed post active duty with sinusitis. The DBQ from the QTC Medical  Doc claims I have rebound sinusitis because I mentioned using Afrin. I have always been aware of the danger of over use and in my VA records I discussed this concern whenever the VA would prescribe a nasal spray. What am I missing and how can I get this  corrected. The errors on the 2 decisions make it seem as if they are not very organized and I have to suffer from their disorganization. Are they supposed to review all of the evidence from the initial claim when you submit a supplemental, or should I have resubmitted all  the documents from the initial claim. Are the documents that contain research that supports your claim supposed to be on the evidence list as well? They were not on there and if they did not give those documents equal consideration what is my recourse. Any assistance would be appreciated Thanks for listening.
       
    • By Ledeaux
      I’m helping my MIL who refuses to call but once a month or so to check on her deceased vet husbands claim. She keeps getting conflicting information. She was told in June her claim packet would come in July and that he was going to be paid out on at least 5 claims dating back from Vietnam. He was exposed to Agent orange and ultimately passed 4 years ago from complications. He’s been fighting for this for almost 15 years. In July she was told her claim was in Demand to Pay status. Still nothing. We’ve searched all over the web and found no information about what this status means. Anyone heard of it? 
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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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    • Mere speculation in your VA C and P exam

      M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, Chapter 3, Section D – Examination Reports III.iv.3.D.2.r. Examiner Statements that an Opinion Would be Speculative Pay careful attention to any conclusion by the examiner that an opinion could not be provided without resorting to mere speculation (or any similar language to that effect). VA may only accept a medical examiner’s … Continue reading
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    • A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment...
      A favor please - just changed servers so if you have a moment go to https://www.hadit.com I'd like to see how the server handles a lot of traffic. So if you have a moment click the link and i can see how things are going on the back end.
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    • It's time to ask for help from the community. If you can help with a gift it would be very appreciated.

      Fund HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran LLC


      Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts. 
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