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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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Navy4life

Claiming secondary to IBS

Question

I am currently s/c for IBS, Anemia and an Eating Disorder. All of these have attributed to my issues I have to this day regarding my hemorrhoids and anal fissure.  I have filed for secondary s/c for anal fissures.  Since one of the known causes for this is chornic diarrhea, which is noted in my prior C&P exam for IBS s/c, I feel this warrants a secondary s/c.

 

I have progress notes from two doctors indicating I have the anal fissure.  I had surgery (twice) to remove my hemorrhoids and repair the anal fissure in one surgery.  The anal fissure is still an issue and will be for the rest of my life.  My current doctor states that Chronic Diarrhea is one of the causes.  I am due to see my doctor this week for post op discussions from my surgery in July.

Prior to filing, I read up on anal fissures and the causes for it, and one of the causes is the Chronic Diarrhea, and I also read that symptoms for anal fissure are commonly mistaken for hemorrhoids.  I have suffered with hemorrhoids for years never realizing that they were associated or potential associated to my issues with IBS.  Anemia, although rare from blood loss due to hemorrhoids, I have Anemia from my Gastro issues due to my Eating Disorder (also S/C for).

I filed an FDC claim on July 20th, 2016 for anal fissure to be secondary s/c to my curent s/c IBS.  I am sure it will turn into a traditional claim since my NOD is still in the "decision" stage but I was moderately surprised to see that I have a C&P exam ordered so quickly.  On Ebennies I happened to be looking at my upcoming doctor's appointments and happened to check the calendar for C&P exams and boom there it was!  That is super fast!

I do not have any secondary s/c contentions so I have a few questions.  When you file for a contention to be secondary to the already s/c contention do you need to bring up the prior evidence that s/c you in the first place?  Meaning, I am s/c for IBS, do I need to bring that up?  I did state in my FDC claim (VA21-4138) why I felt it should be secondary to IBS.

CODE 7336: Hemorrhoids large are swollen veins inside or outside the body near the anus. They are created from a lot of pressure being used to pass feces and can be very painful. If the hemorrhoids cause constant bleeding that leads to significant blood loss and anemia, a decrease in the number of red blood cells, or f they cause fissures, it is rated 20%. If there are blood clots inside the swollen veins, the swelling can’t go down, and there is a lot of redundant tissue, it is rated 10%. If they are only moderate with occasional bleeding, it is rated 0%. 

If I stated that it should be secondary to IBS but maybe it should be secondary to Anemia or my Eating Disorder, do I need to add those comments to ensure that the secondary contention doesn't get denied? Obviously the secondary contention was not in-service related but is aggravated by the current s/c contention.

Also, anyone who has had a C&P exam for this type of claim, can you tell me your experience with this exam?  It's a bit embarrassing already but understand I have to go through it.

Anyone with knowledge on secondary contentions?

UPDATE: I filed for secondary to my IBS but I have since found documentation in my SMR's that I had medical notes indicating I had hemorrhoids in-service as well.  I also had colonoscopies in-service that discovered hemorrhoids internal/external. I did not provide that evidence to the VA b/c I am going under the assumption it should be secondary to IBS.  Now I am wondering if I should submit that SMR's evidence showing I also had hemorrhoids?  All my SMR's for many years show chronic diarrhea and issues relating to all of this.  I know I don't need to supply those SMR's b/c I am already s/c for Chronic diarrhea/IBS.  I filed an FDC claim, but since I am under a DRO decision, I was told that it wouldn't be an FDC claim anyways, but rather a traditional claim so what do I have to lose right?  I think I would rather submit the concrete evidence sooner than later.

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On 8/7/2016 at 8:24 AM, Navy4life said:

...

Anyone with knowledge on secondary contentions?

UPDATE: I filed for secondary to my IBS but I have since found documentation in my SMR's that I had medical notes indicating I had hemorrhoids in-service as well.  I also had colonoscopies in-service that discovered hemorrhoids internal/external. I did not provide that evidence to the VA b/c I am going under the assumption it should be secondary to IBS.  Now I am wondering if I should submit that SMR's evidence showing I also had hemorrhoids?  All my SMR's for many years show chronic diarrhea and issues relating to all of this.  I know I don't need to supply those SMR's b/c I am already s/c for Chronic diarrhea/IBS.  I filed an FDC claim, but since I am under a DRO decision, I was told that it wouldn't be an FDC claim anyways, but rather a traditional claim so what do I have to lose right?  I think I would rather submit the concrete evidence sooner than later.

Hey Navy4life,
Once a claim becomes SC, secondary claims can be filed, even if the SC condition is itself a secondary SC issue.

Having hemorrhoids in-service could result in direct SC or as secondary SC to your existing IBS. I guess it would be up to the C&P examiner to decide which one. I don't think you have anything to lose.

I hope this helps.

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UPDATE!!!

I received 20% today for hemorrhoids/anal fissure securing my overall 90% rating.   

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

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