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Cobra4v

My C&P Results and why i'm disturbed

Question

In 2012 I EAS from the USMC and began a career in Law Enforcement. Like many of us I started the process of VA disability claims where I had issues which nagged me. Shoulder, knee, and back. I had 2 shoulder surgeries while active on my left shoulder and have been babying my right shoulder due to inflammation issues and restricted ROM. 

 

I met with the VA in Dec 2013 for my initial C&P examination where I explained the symptoms of my issues and conducted a ROM examination. I was provided with a 10% rating for Patello Femoral Syndrome in my Left and Right knee. 10% for my right shoulder and 10% for c-spine bulging disc. This is the minimum rating for pain. 

 

I just recently started a new claim for an increase and was examined a couple of days ago. My initial exam was as follows

Knee  Date 2013

a. Right knee flexion Select where flexion ends (normal endpoint is 140 degrees):  [X] 100

Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion  [X] 80

b. Right knee extension Select where extension ends: [X] 0 or any degree of hyperextension (check this box if there is no limitation of extension)

Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [X] No objective evidence of painful motion

No limitation of extension

c. Left knee flexion Select where flexion ends  [X] 90

Select where objective evidence of painful motion begins: [ ] No objective evidence of painful motion [X] 90

No limitation of extension

Shoulder

a. Right shoulder flexion Select where flexion ends (normal endpoint is 180 degrees):[X] 60 

b. Right shoulder abduction Select where abduction ends (normal endpoint is 180 degrees): [ ] 0 [X] 5

Based on the above, I should be at a higher rating for both shoulder and knee. But, I was provided the minimum of 10% for pain. My most recent exam is as follows. 

 

Knee Date 2016

Left Knee --------- [ ] All normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain)

Flexion (0 to 140): 40 to 55 degrees

Extension (140 to 0): 55 to 40 degrees

 

Shoulder 

a. Initial range of motion Right Shoulder -------------- [ ] All Normal [X] Abnormal or outside of normal range [ ] Unable to test (please explain) [ ] Not indicated (please explain)

Flexion (0 to 180): 0 to 70 degrees

Abduction (0 to 180): 0 to 40 degrees External rotation

 

I don't know why I was provided the bare minimum. But it is extremely disturbing. I hope they make things right by increasing my percentage this time around. I may have to stop working because I am constantly out due to issues with my knees and shoulder. 

 

Edited by Cobra4v

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Based on your post, this should be good news, as far as compensation goes.  Once service connected, the VA uses symptoms, and ROM is a key factor.  

If you do get to where you can no longer work, then you should apply for TDIU.  However, it may not be necessary if your increases are sufficient to get you to 100 percent without TDIU.  

90%, however, is a tough place to be at.  

It takes an additonal 50 percent rating to go from 90 percent to 100 percent, because of the fuzzy math.  This, however, may vary depending on how you got your 90 percent.   If you had a combined 94 percent, rounded to 90, then it will take less than if you had a combined 86% rounded up to 90.  

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Absolutely correct. 90 is very hard to be at. I'm at 90 even right now for my cumulative. I just completed an increase C&P exam for my Bil knees, right shoulder, and cervical spine. Hoping for 100% because my days OTJ are limited at best. But I definitely want to continue working. (My wife drives me crazy)

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Cobra4v:

Yes; I'm at 90% also and got low-balled and denied on several of my contentions. I was hoping to get this corrected via my NOD but although I ordered my C-File 11 Months ago, it will be at least another 6-8 months before I see it. A few Vets on this Forum Suggested that I go to VA Secretary McDonald but we should not have to do that. I was not able to get new exams but it's really unfair that folks with NODs and other actions should be given priority for their C-Files. Frankly, FOIA says that the government has only 20 days to answer FOIA requests within that time period and then they are in violation of the law. I'm not a fan of lawsuits but VA needs to either meet these legal suspense's for FOIAs and C-Field or pay a penalty to Vets that are unable to meet their own suspense's and the VBA required suspense's for NOD's and Appeals. That said, like most Vets we just need to keep chipping away like ASKNOD over years to get what most vets deserved in the first place.

Good Luck and Godspeed on your endeavors -Rootbeer22 

 

 

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Best of luck to you rootbeer. Just goes to show you never know what you're gonna get. Or if its going to be fairly rated. 

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Cobra4v:

That's why I admire the folks that started "Hadit.com" and the countless numbers of longtime contributors to this forum. Frankly, without those folks, I would have not learned what I know now about the disability process now which gave me a fighting chance. At least when I get a biased or unfair CP exam, that I know that it's a very common occurrence and know how to deal with it. Like many Vets, I worked hard to provided a good claim and got pretty good results from the start. Even if a vet learns the rules and basics about the disability process, there are a lot of unknown variables when you walk into a contractor's office for a CP exam.  Frankly, before I had my first CP Exam, I got my hands on the most current VA Exam Guide. With that guide, it instructs the examiner not to show bias in any element of the exam. However, in my case, the examiner made some comments that should have disqualified her from the exam to start. Checking me for hypertension, she said, "your blood pressure is really high, did you not take your meds today? Just reacting, I said, "why would I risk a stroke" and I was really insulted by her comment and innuendo? 

Also, one of the most important aspects of an exam is the ROM or Range of Motion as you know and how pain affects the accuracy of the correct measurements. But, still we hear stories time and time again where the proper exam techniques and/or equipment was not used during the exam with regard to ROM. Personally, I believe that the VBA and Raters are good people doing a very tough job and good evidence is the key to a successful claim. But, the stories show that there's a weakness in CP exams and how they are conducted. As for evidence, one of my issues is that over 50% of my service medical records are hand-written, it was clear that most of my contentions that were denied, the evidence was contained within those records. I'm told that they all get reviewed but if you studied my case closely, you'd see that handwritten SMR's don't seem to be considered properly?

Anyway, Good Luck and Godspeed...

 

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