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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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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

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      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
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      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
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      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

      So could you all take a look and let me know what you think.

      Redacted VA NOD SOC 04-09-2020.pdf
      VA 2008 Denial of OSA Redacted.pdf
      VA Claim Decision Ltr 08 Nov 2018 Redacted.PDF
      • 3 replies
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zuluvictor81

Male Mst

Question

I have a few questions that I hope this site can answer.

Back in 2000 I joined the army national guard and was sent to AIT while there and living in the barracks we had what i guess is called hazing going on. I was the new guy who already had a unit patch, rank and a list of ribbons so i was already out of place in the barracks. At first stupid stuff like being called a FNG or a NUG and lifting my bunk off the ground while i was in it and slamming it to the ground, or a tossed bunk or my lock pooped and my locker tossed. Yes it pissed me off but nothing worth crying to the drill sergeants about.

After a few weeks a couple of my class mates where standing around and laughing looking at pictures and one calls me over and ask me if i knew what Tea Bagging was i honestly had no clue and said making a cup of tea. Then the kids shows me a Polaroid picture of me asleep in my bunk and another male placing his private parts on my face. I was told that this had happened many times. I went down to the office and proceeded to inform our Senior drill sergeant/acting first sergeant who tell me he will look into it. I leave think of i reported shit is going to hit the fan. Instead the Senior Drill sergeant came upstairs into our bay and tells everyone to gather round. I was thinking her we go.. Instead he yells out that he understands some teas bagging on going on and that it was just gay to let another man put his bare nuts on your face and that he better not see any of that stuff going on.

I was shocked and freaking out because I am not gay never was and never will be. After this i began getting threatened and call a blue falcon i was woken up one night to chem light being poured in my mouth and other night having actual pubic hair sprinkled over my face. Other times buckets of water would be thrown onto me in my bunk i was to hyper vigilant that if they could not get close enough to me to mess with me they would throw boots or other objects at me.

I called and talked to my home unit PSNCO and told him what was going on and refereed me to contact our home SGM in charge of all training which i did. He told me to avoid them and he was making some calls. The next day i got called over to the base national Guard liaison SGM who proceeded to yell at me to suck it up and stop whining and that if i was such a xxxxx i never should have joined the Army. Again i reported it and WTF is going on.  I left and called my home SGM and told him what had happened and he just said WTF and told me to keep my head down and avoid them at all cost that there was not much he could do from where he was.

In the middle of all this i had slipped on some heavy ice and went down a flight of stairs and was on a profile and going through rehab for my knee and lower back. One mourning i got my Sick call slip signed before the battalion went on there run at 0400. The rule was no one is allowed up in the barracks during PT period which meant i had to go into the day room until my scheduled therapy time. I was the only on a profile at the time so it was just me. I screwed up and fell asleep and over slept (at this time i was barley sleeping so i crashed hard.) I woke up and saw the time was 0800 and freaked out ran up stairs changed uniforms and caught a cab to school. A few hours later one of our Drill Sergeants came and pulled me out of class and asked me why i missed my rehab appointment and i told him the truth. The next day at lunch time i was called into the office where the SR DS handed me a counseling statement and saying that i had forged a sick call slip to get out of PT. I said i never forged a slip and he said that i had filled out a slip and had them sign it and that i did not use the slip for it intended purpose and i was getting a AR15 i asked to see JAG and was told i would be taken within 3 days.

3 days went by and i asked one of the DS when i would be going to JAG and was told opps we forgot to schedule you. That afternoon i was called over to the SGM NGB Liaisons office again. Where he proceeded to yell at me for getting into trouble and pulled out another counseling statement and began writing that i had supposedly gotten 3 AR15's and that he was chaptering me out on a chapter 14. I said that i had not even received 1 yet that the only thing i got in trouble for i have not seen JAG for so 3 was impossible. At this point tons of yelling lots of curse words and a demand to shut the hell up and just sign the document i once again asked to see JAG and was told i would be scheduled.

A few more days go by and i get called into the commanders office where he wants me to sign my chapter papers and i once again say i have not even seen JAG yet. He tells me it does not matter i am just being sent back to my unit with a Under Honorable Conditions and that as long as i do not get into any more trouble for 6 months it will convert to full Honorable. I get back to my unit and they place me on none reporting status and tell me to go to the VA for MH and to finish rehabbing my knee and back. I got turned away from the VA with them telling me that they had not received my medical files and that i did not have enough concurrent active duty time to qualify for services. I tell my unit and they hook me up with a civilian doc who ended up doing surgery on my knee less then a year later.

During my recovery after surgery i get a letter in the mail that i was discharged from the National Guard and in the signature box just said soldier not available. I called my unit and they were just as shocked as i was and said that there was nothing they could do about it now. Years have gone by and i was diagnosed with severe anxiety and PTSD. This is the tricky part the Doctor who diagnosed me was a civilian i saw at his private practice but he also worked full time at a VA CBOC.  I honestly tried to live in denial of what happend and began drinking and did some dumb things and that is all on me. I hit pretty low and began seeing a shrink who helped me quite drinking and helped me with some coping tools like caring a calendar around so i would stop forgetting stuff.

About a year my counselor who was also a vet told me to apply to the VA for PTSD and i told him that i had tried back in 2002 and was denied because they could not locate any of my medical files or service files. I was told by a bunch of VFW guys that because i did not complete the training that i would never get approved anyway that i was technical never a soldier. MY counselor told me things have changed and to file again. So i did on my own we don't have and VSO's out where i live and they only come through once a month and they only alot 30 mins for you anyway.

I am embarrassed that what happened to me did. I was supposed to be a soldier and stronger then that a defender to the weak how was i so weak that it happened to me. I chocked up my fear and filled out the 781 and sent it in. I submitted all my doctors and just last week got a letter in the mail telling me that what i wrote on my 781 was not enough they needed more. Also calling the 800 number they still can not find my medical file so that's a major problem. So i sit down a write out a 7 page explanation of before during and after and resubmit it.

Can someone please tell me how this will work out and if denied then what. I was told that if they can not find proof they will not even give me a comp and penn appoint and just deny me. I do not know if i am strong enough to do a appeal and have to go tell my story in a court room... Can some please walk me through this process and help turn the crazy down in my brain a little bit please?

 

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Do you have any records of your active duty service?  I kept paperwork for the longest time after I got out.

When you were referred to the outside MD for knee issues, did you get any bills, did the NG pay for anything, do you have records?

Go to the unit you were in, get copies of everything they have.

If you were hurt during training, you should be covered.  The NG unit you were with should have records of that, the medical records would be part of the National Guard files.

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Thats part of the problem a few years ago they moved the medical record file center to a supposed more secure location and lost about a 2/3rd of my files. I have proof of service and submitted it several times over the years but they couldn't verify them even though the DOD acknowledged my service the VA would not... We have over come that hurdle because now the VA admits to my service but still can not find treatment records not even my entrance physical.

Actually i always assumed the Guard payed the bill for my knee since i never got one but they say no they did not... Either way the doctor who worked on my knee retired back in 2004 and closed the office and i cant find any way to get those records because of it... the best i can hope for is i did find at my old unit 2 pages out of 7 of my out physical from active duty that mentions my knee and lacerations/scars on my face which were from that injury. so i am hoping that if i get a comp and penn they can see the scars on my knee from the surgery and infer that it did happen...

Edited by zuluvictor81

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This NARA link says to contact the Adjutant General in your state for NG medical records:

https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/locations/

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Male on Male MST (the "other" MST)  is the "not talked about" sexual harassment where the cover up goes all the way up to the president.  I experienced it, too, tho I wont go into the details at this time but I am very pleased you did.  IMHO its worse, much worse than Male on Female Sexual harassment, because its universally regarded as a "joke".   While I was in the females were treated with respect and dignity, it was the men who were harassed by other men.   One word from the female about an unwanted "look" and the world would come tumbling down, while a much worse sexual harassment from same sex was viewed as "boys will be boys".  

One guy who was kicked out for being a homosexual was named "Mike".  His "friend"/partner was "George".  George was always getting large "gifts" from others in the military, it was well known that some unidentified people paid George's rent for him.  So why did "Mike" get kicked out of the military when "George" did not, and they were "partners" even tho George was a promiscuous homosexual?  It was a "rumor" that George did not deny that George was a male prostitute, and I think he had "friends" in "high" places.   This sex scandal was a big distraction for most of us, kept tightly under cover, but that everyone knew about. 

    I think that "Mike" was the fall guy, and George continued his "business" after Mike was kicked out.  Mike got what he wanted, he did not want to be in the military.   The military was a very different place.  We did not have a volunteer military, there was a draft.  This meant many did not want to be there.  Like the classic "Klinger" on mash, either "faking" or "revealing"  homosexuality was seen as a good way to get out of the military, and many wanted out, some wanted out very badly. 

Edited by broncovet
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Berta Thank you for the information but i have already been through every channel and every request and FOIA 5 times. I have went through the NGB unit records both old and new locatons to include a talk with the IG that revealed that during the move they lost considerably more records they they admitted to ... not just mine many other soldiers as well. I have been through NPRC who swears the VA has them... The VA swears they do not and have gotten pissy with me more then once because i hit them with papers to force them to search there record rooms more then once. I have forced records searches at the base i was at and they swear they sent them to the VA.

The one VSO i talked to years ago in another state told me the biggest problem i am running into is the VA does not want to admit they "Lost my records" because everything becomes presumptive in the laws eyes and they don't want that. i dont know how true that is.

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      What does this all mean to me and my ability for a VA claim?
       
      So move forward to current day unfortunately since I left the Marine corps I never have had any health insurance had a plethora of problems. In 2017 after years and years of back pain lower back pain ( as well as my feet and lower legs the entire time since I left the Marine corps) I finally went to a doctor and complained I was in so much pain something had to be done and he ordered an MRI.  I do have an MRI establishing my s1 – l5 lower back an S5 through s1 does have sacral nerve damage bulging and deteriorating disc etc enough to meet the classification for social security disability. The MRI was in 2017 and my lower back pain has been with me since I was in the Marines. I may have had three or four emergency visits and some urgent Care but there has not been any paper trail or evidence that a normal person would have 20 to 30 years of it I have almost nothing because I never went to the doctor or hospital.
       
      The catalyst that started this was in August 2019 I had a bicycle accident I broke my scapula in five places. I had no insurance I went to the emergency room they x-rayed it said yes it's a terrible break and gave me the number of a doctor who sees patients without insurance or money. As it turns out the man retired and no one replaced him. I called every resource clinic site et cetera… they had no one to look at my shoulder for without having insurance. I never had any follow up. After being out of work 9 months and realizing it's going to be a full year I will meet the requirement for SSI disability then upon seeing the one piece of medical evidence I possessed my MRI and its prognosis I asked a doctor and yes, it appears I do meet the listing for that with my 2017 MRI, not even taking into account the new injury and the further damage it has done. The point is that it is now 2020 and I have never had a follow-up appointment for the shoulder and obviously the shoulder is horrible but the back is even much worse now after the accident than before my 2017 MRI. With this knowledge and the fact that I do not have barely any evidence I knew if I filed for SSI disability they will send me to a local doctor to verify my injury and give me a NEW MRI which should show that is is even worse now than in 2017, which was physically bad enough to qualify then, it should be more than bad enough in nature to qualify for disability now. My research into SSI disability I kept seeing about veterans and that is how I return to my discharge papers and looked at them, and am planning and filing for VA disability.
       
      I have read about obviously I need documentation to prove any of this, VA especially and I have almost none, that is my main concern.
       
      I have read a little about pyramiding and primary injury secondary at cetera.
       
      My end result of filing for VA disability in this case will be to try and achieve 100% disability. In my research it may be possible but I will put down what I am thinking now.
       
      Because of the presumption of soundness and I had no waivers they cannot deny that the mild pes planus and bunions and the other damage listed in the X-rays I had for my medical board could not have existed previous to my service in the Marine corps or else it would have to have been noted at m e p s or I would have had to have had a waiver.
       
      My VA Claim thought process?
       
       The rating for mild pes planus is 0%, after review, mine is pronounced bilateral pes planus a 50% rating (my feet have gotten terribly worse over the years, my feet truly are flat as a pancake now pronating inward and very painful, has changed my gate, this is not official as I've never been to a doctor, but this is my honest opinion). Since this had to have happened in service this will be a primary injury I believe as well as the bunions or hallux valgus deformity. They are noted in my 1991 medical x-rays so as a primary I can safely say they have gotten much worse and both toes are affected now not just the right. The rating for bilateral hallux valgus is 10% each foot or a total of 20%. Bringing the total to 70% rating. Of course that is if I am awarded the  maximum for the bilateral pes planus and both feet hallux valgus.
       
      Now this is where I have some more questions?
       
      I also have all the symptoms and am very positive I have peripheral neuropathy which I'm very familiar with as my mother has it but, but the rating for that looks like it can be deemed secondary cause from my pes planus. If correct shouldn't I receive x% for bilateral peripheral neuropathy as a secondary result from my primary injury?
       
      Next,is tying in the primary pes planus to my SSI disability case that my lower back secondary (sacral nerve, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease) is aggravated and hurt from my primary bilateral pes planus as well as my bilateral neuropathy affects it as well. The listing for lower back pain is x percent up to a 100%
       
      And lastly the whole affair has caused me PTSD and that rating is 0% to 100% rating. I don't want to go into how I have it or not but I have read all the symptoms and can present a very strong case that I definitely have had PTSD since the day I was told I was being discharged. And with no insurance I have never gotten it treated but I have definite evidence of it in my life.
       
      I filed the SSI disability last week and am awaiting them to call me and set up a doctors appointment. I also called the veterans administration about filing disability. I called my local VA and ask about a veteran's service officer who could help me with filing questions.
      I started to go over some basics in my case and when PTSD was brought up he inquired how I could have it without being in combat and only in the service six months and I immediately shut down and felt that it was horrible a veteran service officer would make me feel as though I don't have valid reason to have PTSD. So that is why I searched the internet and found this forum.
       
      So another question since how do I establish PTSD?
       With no insurance can't really get a counseling thing even as a veteran I tried and since I was not in 2 years I did not qualify for any health benefits. I guess should I call the veterans hotline PTSD number and tell them I am suicidal just in order to get this documented and at least someone would have a file then from the VA about whatever I tell them my story?
       
       Also should I be trying to find my own doctors who would be favorable to my situation, and to further explore the tibia stress fractures and if I can associate that injury to another rating?
       
       I don't have insurance but I might be able to find a clinic, and my thought process is a podiatrist who will substantiate my pes planus condition. Should I be actively looking for a civilian doctor who will know the whole story I just recited and work with me to try to get my VA disability? 
       
      Or should I just file my claim with just the limited information (presumption of soundness) the x-rays that I have from 1991 and prognosis and hopefully my SSI disability case once I see the doctor who will also have some more evidence, hopefully providing more evidence of my infirmaries?
          
      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 nckingmatt
      Recently I have finally decided to seek help for my PTSD. Since I got out of service almost 10 years ago I have seen the shrink on the civilian side twice. I was diagnosed with PTSD but stopped going. I was even prescribed meds but never took  them out of fear. Today, I finally decided to get real help this time. During my PTSD with the VA PA. She told me that I scored really high on the PTSD screening and that she would set up a C and P exam for me. That someone would call to set up the appointment. I checked my health summary on myhealthevet a day after my phone screening. She Added "Acute stress reaction ICD10 F43.0 with Provider Comments: Acute Stress Reaction" 
      Can someone tell me what this means? Ive been diagnosed by civilian doctors for PTSD and she writes "Acute Stress reaction".. 
      She said she could not diagnose PTSD but she was a counselor. I am confused by this. Is she basically saying Im lying or is this normal?
       
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