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MEB findings different then VA decision


OldmanS2

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I'm asking this question to see if anybody else has ever run into this, and this question is pertaining to only one of the conditions I was found unfit for. I was medically discharged out of the Army National Guard through the IDES system. The MEB determined that my degenerative disc disease, "was not incurred while entitled to base pay", did not "exist prior to service" but was "permanently aggravated by service". In the MEB Board summary "this condition could be a result of military duty during deployment, with permanent injury occurring while not on duty status". I should also note that I had been seen while in AIT for back pain due to sit-ups, and also was seen by an army doctor due to back pain upon return from deployment. (all documented in the records). As is the process with the IDES system, my MEB paperwork was sent to the VA for a rating. The VA's determination was: 

"2 . Service connection for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease (claimed as back) is denied.

NIS; STR; NONEX

1. The veteran reported injuring his back in 2009 or 2010 at the beach and there is no evidence of a Nexus to active

duty service. Therefore, SC is denied."

"Your service treatment records did not contain complaints, treatments or, diagnoses for this condition."

BUT for the purpose of the PEB:

"For PEB purposes only-the evaluation for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease is 20% disabling based on ROM. 

This makes the combined evaluation for PEB referred conditions of 40% disabling (20% for right ankle and 20% for 

lumbar spine=40%)"

Now here is where it gets odd, when I received my PEB documents there was not one mention of the degenerative disc disease. It was as if it magically disappeared after the VA disagreed with the MEB determination. Other conditions that were found "fit" for duty were even included in the PEB but anything relating to my back was not mentioned.

My questions are:

Has anybody else had the VA disagree with the MEB determination without providing any sound medically analysis to over ride their decision? 

I thought that Horn v. Shinseki, 25 Vet.App. 231, 235 (2012) determined “VA may not rest on the notion that the record contains insufficient evidence of aggravation,” and the Secretary’s failure “to produce clear and unmistakable evidence of lack of aggravation” entitles a claimant to a finding of in-service aggravation of the preexisting condition).”

Has anybody else successfully appealed a VA decision similar to this one? and if so what was the approach you took when appealing the decision?

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