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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:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
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      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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TALON II FE

C & P Notes, seem fishy?

Question

This was noted in one of my C & P's, aren't most if not all of my diagnosed issues he lists associated with GWI?  They slid this into my initial claim post-retirement C&P for general medicine.  I had plenty of exposure incidences, besides the daily issues we all dealt with living of there...I think they are already covering things up, there is no other reason for this to be there, other than for them to manipulate it at a later date. 

"The Veteran's diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, headaches, chronic sinusitis, joint pain, nerve pain, skin condition, muscle pain and irritable bowel syndrome represents conditions with a clear and specific etiology and diagnosis. They have not been associated with exposure to environmental hazards such as burn pits exposure, inhalation of fine grain sand, fuel or solvent fumes, insecticides or pesticides or multiple vaccines. Therefore, it is less likely as not (less than 50 percent probability) that these diagnosed conditions are related to a specific exposure event experienced by the Veteran during service in Southwest Asia."

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I also saw where he (PA 'specialist') overrode my old AD Navy Fellowship-Trained Hand Surgeon on multiple diagnoses.  Craziness abounds in the World of the VA...

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"The Veteran's diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, headaches, chronic sinusitis, joint pain, nerve pain, skin condition, muscle pain and irritable bowel syndrome represents conditions with a clear and specific etiology and diagnosis. They have not been associated with exposure to environmental hazards such as burn pits exposure, inhalation of fine grain sand, fuel or solvent fumes, insecticides or pesticides or multiple vaccines. Therefore, it is less likely as not (less than 50 percent probability) that these diagnosed conditions are related to a specific exposure event experienced by the Veteran during service in Southwest Asia."

I believe that the highlighted areas are presumptive to service in Iraq (Assuming you were in Iraq). I am not sure how much weight his final statement about not being related to a specific exposure holds. I would like to believe that a rater would dismiss his final statements since these issues are presumed to be caused by service in Iraq but we all know how the V.A. does things. Its hard to say which way that will go. But also it would nice to know what the diagnosis is that he is claiming??? I don't believe nerve pain, skin condition, and muscle pain is a diagnosis but I could be wrong. I think it is a symptom caused by something that may or may not be diagnosed.

One issue I see it that Sleep Apnea can cause headaches, pain, and fatigue so I can see the rater using that against you unless you have documentation from doctors that say otherwise.

One thing with issues from gulf war service is that your symptoms can not be caused by anything else. 

Search for my post about WRIISC in Palo Alto and read through the details. If you have not been there yet it might be worth trying to get your PCP to send you there. 

One more thing. Not knowing where you were stationed in Southwest Asia make sure that the presumptives cover where you were and that you have the time needed in that area. If they don't then I do believe that you have to prove a cause for your conditions such as exposure to chemicals. 

 

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I am rated 100%.  I was a C-130 Flight Engineer, both on traditional C-130's and Special Operations variants.  I did multiple deployments to both theatres, as well as participating in Bosnia and OIF-P (Philippines) and many, many JCETs and other 'trips' as a Special Operations Aviator.  I helped breakdown K2 in Uzbekistan when we closed it (known old, Soviet nuclear waste dump), lived in Balad in both 2005 and 2007, with the burn pits blowing directly across our tents and later on our trailer quarters under the prevailing winds.  I inhaled aircraft hydraulic fluid during an aircraft emergency, bathed in JP-8 Jet Fuel in Al Assad,  during a fuel truck malfunction while refueling the aircraft, ate more terrible food in terrible places than I could remember as well as environmental exposures all across Asia 'proper' as a special operator.  I was medavac'ed twice while stationed in Asia based off of issues that could not be easily diagnosed with numerous abnormal EMGs, imagery, etc.  The end result was being medically disqualified from flight, and that was prior to at least 1/2 my surgeries.  I have about 2000 pages of SMR's, so there is the documentation available, I guess they just need me to hold their hands and point out the mistakes.

  I receive 30% "headaches"(Migraines), 50% "sinusitis", 10% seborrheic dermatitis ("skin condition")...I guess joint pain, nerve pain and muscle pain all were tied into my spine, a few dead nerves and other injuries without really addressing the fact that those were individual diagnoses in addition to the others awarded and were almost all diagnoses were made by Fellowship Docs. They denied my IBS off of a lack of evidence, since they did not have all of my most current records, supposedly, so I will NOD that as well as many other incongruities once I receive my C-File or I hit 11 months from my decision, whichever comes first.  Too many 0% and 10%'s, tbh, and lowballs in general and I believe I should be P&T not just T.

To me, they rated me on many of the items, but are saying it is not related, even though they don't say what caused any of it. I believe they are stacking the deck against later claims and trying to keep the "statistics" down.  I believe that this is probably the standard rather than the exception, unfortunately.  They are covering their bases to avoid another AO type issue with the public and their purse strings.  "we had a registry".  "we gave them the opportunity to come forward".  And on-and-on...

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I am still sticking with my original response since several of your issues are presumptive based on your time at Balad at a minimum let alone other areas.

Have you received your denial letter? I can't tell if these notes were from the C&P or from the denial? I think they were the C&P. 

Presumptive means that you do not need to have specific exposures. Time is country is your exposure.  I am guessing that the C&P doc did not know that time in country is considered your exposure!?!!? You do not need to prove that you drank biological agents anything else. ( Make sure you have proof of time in country) Make sure its on your DD214 or some other official document.

The only exception that I know is that you can not have any other medical condition that is causing your problems.  

From your list I would conclude that sinusitis, headaches, joint pain, nerve pain, muscle pain and IBS MAY all be presumptive as long as the are not caused by Sleep apnea or anything other problem.

What I have done in the past that seemed to work and maybe some one else can chime in if its a good idea but when I read something that is major such as C&P doc concluded that he did not have a clue what presumptive meant then I would go on Ebenefits and upload a statement to the rater that asks them to consider the V.A. position on presumptive illness caused by service in Iraq. I include the V.A. letter that explains the guidelines.

Again I have done this in the past with MAJOR things. I personally don't want to bring attention to small things that may or not become and issue. It has worked for me. Maybe its right to do this and maybe its not but I have had positive outcomes bringing attention to major errors in C&P exams while my claims are still open. 

Any thoughts from other people on whether this is a good technique or not would be great.

I am currently pending decision approval for several things that you have listed here. Although my C&P went different then yours from the sounds of it.

Lots of luck my friend.

Doc

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On 4/14/2016 at 0:53 AM, TALON II FE said:

This was noted in one of my C & P's, aren't most if not all of my diagnosed issues he lists associated with GWI?  They slid this into my initial claim post-retirement C&P for general medicine.  I had plenty of exposure incidences, besides the daily issues we all dealt with living of there...I think they are already covering things up,   there is no other reason for this to be there, other than for them to manipulate it at a later date. 

"The Veteran's diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, headaches, chronic sinusitis, joint pain, nerve pain, skin condition, muscle pain and irritable bowel syndrome represents conditions with a clear and specific etiology and diagnosis. Thesuch as burn pits exposure, inhalation of fine grain sand, y have not been associated with exposure to environmental hazards fuel or solvent fumes, insecticides or pesticides or multiple vaccines. Therefore, it is less likely as not (less than 50 percent probability) that these diagnosed conditions are related to a specific exposure event experienced by the Veteran during service in Southwest Asia."

Unfortunately the VA Believes the C&P Examiner...and this will probably be denied or low balled

Fortunately   you can NOD this decision if you don't agree....but you need to have records putting you there with the  burn pits and exposure for your evidence. if you need to get a IMO and have the Dr to give his/her impression  to these elements/conditions  that its likely as not(more than 50%) the cause of your current diagnoses/ disability from your prior military service

your correct some time we need to hold there hands and spoon feed & kiss ass....but that's the VA.

JMO

............Buck

 

Edited by Buck52
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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:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
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