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I’ve had an appeal on file since 2013 for Fibromyalgia and bilateral knee pain. The appeal went all the way to BVA. During the process they loss my appeal. When the VSO lawyer got involved I started to see traction. As of last week the BVA remanded back to the RO. I read the letter 4 times and it sounds like BVA is scolding the RO for “overlooking” pertinent information like my STRs. The judge gave specific instruction that RO must do assist with connecting my knees to my degenerative bank at 40%. I think I need an IMO and updated DBQ.
But in addition to the above it would appear that the regional office turned around and opened 2 claims for RFE. These are unrelated to my appeal. I definitely feel being like this out of spite. What can I do.
Its been a few years since I received a decision. If my memory serves me I though the letters came from the RO. I am expecting a decision as ebenifits says notification sent on October 17. This is a regular increase decision not an appeal.
Is the letter physically sent from the RO or do all decisions come from Wisconsin or somewhere else now?
It seems like its take a bit long as I'm about 2-3 days regular mail from my RO.
I am beyond frustrated right now!!!! My claim is now preparation for decision and my fear is that it will be denied and I will have to appeal. I filed for my non-service connected Fibro as caused or aggravated by the service connected IBS and/or service connected PTSD on an as likely as not basis. See my screen shot attached of my original claim in July 2018. I had my first C&P exam in September 2018 and it was negative based on the examiner stated there was no causation of my s/c PTSD to my Fibro. See the screen shot below. I will note that he did a separate C&P exam for Fibro and agreed I had Fibro. Never looked at aggravation and never looked at the possibility of IBS. I sent a statement in support of claim pointing this out to the rater. I get another C&P exam in December 2018 BUT by now I have THREE positive medical opinions from BOTH my RA and MH doctor. Both state my Fibro is aggravated by my PTSD and my MH doctor also states my Fibro is aggravated by my IBS. SEE ATTACHED 2 of the 3 letters.
When I went to the second C&P exam, it was with the same doctor and he refused to look at the medical opinions. He also once again did not look at aggravation. Again a negative C&P exam.
Then the rater asked for clarification/review of conflicting medical opinions. Here is what the rater asked, Per III.iv.3.D.3.a. and III.iv.3.D.3.d. We need clarification/review and reconciliation of conflicting evidence for claim for fibromyalgia secondary to SC PTSD. Negative MO received on 09/28/2018 (TAB A) stated that fibromyalgia was not secondary to PTSD. Received positive MO on 12/05/2018 (TAB B) relating fibromyalgia as secondary to SC PTSD and IBS. Negative MO received on 12/05/2018 (TAB D) stated that fibromyalgia was not secondary to IBS. Examination dated 12/05/2018 (TAB C) shows a diagnosis for fibromyalgia. Per reference please request clarification of conflicting MO for fibromyalgia as secondary to PTSD and IBS with rationale.
This medical opinion was done last week w/o me present and once again the medical opinion was negative and doesn't address anything the rater asked. In fact, his statement is laughable. While he states he reviewed conflicting medical evidence, he sites PT notes and doesn't refute the positive medical opinions.
Here is what it says: I HAVE REVIEWED THE CONFLICTING MEDICAL EVIDENCE AND AM PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING OPINION:
All medical records were reviewed. Physical therapy note on 8/15/2018 by XXXXX documents diagnosis of fibromyalgia and PTSD. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is
unknown but has associations with IBS, temporomandibular joint disorder, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, and tension headaches. Literature review reveals fibromyalgia along with
its associated pain syndromes are clearly different and separable from depression and anxiety. The claimant's fibromyalgia is not secondary to the claimant's claimed PTSD
The VA continues to miss the fact that I asked in my original claim either causation or aggravation. So on Monday, when I went to PFD, I sent the attached statement and uploaded in Ebenefits pointing out once again they are not looking at aggravation.
My rep said if it comes back denied, which I am sure it will, we will file an NOD pointing out the fact that they are missing aggravation.
MH positive opinion.pdf
RA positive medical opinion.pdf
BVA granted 100% Dec 20, 2018. Filed my claim Feb 2012. It's been a long hard road. Now I am just curious how long before I here from the regional office, and back pay.
The veteran's use of opiates, cannabis, and alcohol began prior to service, thus current/recent use/abuse is not caused by an in-service related event. Given
the veteran's consistent diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, and the frequency of relapse of substance use, it is as least as likely as not that his substance use
(to include opioid use disorder) is aggravated beyond its natural progression by his PTSD symptoms.
Per 3/15/2017 initial PTSD exam the veteran was diagnosed with PTSD, alcohol use disorder, cannabis use disorder, and opioid use disorder, all of
which were in early remission. The 3/15/2017 medical opinion, the examiner opined that the veteran's opioid use disorder, and substance use in general,
was made worse by his MST. The 6/20/2017 review PTSD examination indicates that symptoms present at that time were due to PTSD and not
substance use as he had been abstinent from drug use with the exception of his opioid maintenance therapy. The veteran is service connected for the
combination of PTSD and substance use disorders however per 11/20/2017 medical opinion regarding unemployability, the examiner noted that the
veteran was service-connected only for PTSD and not substance use which is incorrect. Per rating decisions 3/27/2017 and 10/11/2017, the veteran was
service connected for "PTSD with secondary alcohol use disorder, cannabis use disorder, and opioid use disorder." They are separate disorders, and not
all symptoms are present all of the time. The examiner commented specifically on the veteran's PTSD symptoms and separated the veteran's substance
abuse disorder symptoms. The veteran's substance use predated his military service, thus it was not caused by his reported assault. It was, however,
likely aggravated by the residuals of his assault as described in treatment notes which indicate that with worsening PTSD symptoms, the veteran has
reported relapsing on substances, particularly heroin.
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,The 5, 10, 20 year rules...
Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.
Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.
Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.
If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"
At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.
NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.
Example for 2020 using the same disability rating
1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%
RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008
RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)
2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%
RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,