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First I'd like to thank all of you for the great assistance you provide! I'm a long time lurker but finally created an account to post this question to the experts today.
- Discharged from active duty in September 2000
- Participated in a "VA Pilot Program" where you sat with a VA clerk during out-processing to determine any potential disability claims, which were then submitted by the clerk for you.
- In Jan 2001, received a decision letter with the following rating, back dated to my date of discharge: "Service connection for degenerative disease of low back has been established as directly related to military service. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned under diagnostic code 5293. An evaluation of 10 percent is assigned if there are mild symptoms associated with intervertebral disc syndrome."
Fast forward to 2018. I experienced a herniated L4-L5 disc and had a (mostly unsuccessful) discectomy . I applied for an increase for my Degenerative Disease of the lower back and for radiculopathy of the sciatic nerve in both legs. My claim was closed in October 2019 with no increase for the Degenerative Disc Disease (a story for another time, but a bad C&P was involved and I've already filed a supplemental), and new secondary ratings for the radiculopathy: 10% Left Leg and 10% Right Leg back dated to my 2018 surgery and the right leg increased for some unknown reason to 20% on the date of my (bad) C&P exam in August 2019.
In reviewing my original 2000 claim decision letter today, I found this statement listed under FACTS: "MRI findings have revealed degenerative changes and degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. EMG studies have revealed mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation."
Keep in mind, at the time of discharge I was only rated for the Degenerative Disc Disease, not any leg/nerve issues, though it is clear from my Service Medical Records I also had recurring leg pain and numbness.
Is it odd that they literally called out the EMG results in my rating decision but did not grant an award for Sciatic Paralysis/Neuralgia/Radiculopathy back in 2000? Based on the current schedule (http://www.militarydisabilitymadeeasy.com/lowernerves.html) I think the "mild chronic recurrent L-4 root irritation" would have granted a rating of 10% for incomplete partial paralysis (8520) and/or neuralgia (8720). But...did these codes even exist back in 2000? I certainly was not aware or told that the nerve/leg pain was a separate rating. How would I even go about finding out if these diagnostic codes existed in 2000?
In the event there was a rating available for this back in 2000, would this be something that would be eligible for a CUE? Obviously after almost 20 years I'm well outside the window to appeal the decision, but I feel the clear unmistakable evidence is right in the VA's own decision letter, and 20 years of an additional 10% rating makes this worth my time and energy.
Thanks again for all you do!
Hello fellow Vets!
I recognize it’s a lot to read... It’s my first time making a blog post and I want to be clear and get solid and knowledgable responses from y’all. Thanks in advance!!
History... Filed a claim for VA disability benefits April 2013. Hand delivered over 200 documents in support of my claim to the Houston VA office in January 2014 (prior to a decision letter on my claim). Decision letter received in March 2014. Failed to achieve a rating above zero percent on any of the disabilities claimed and no service connection for Major Depressive Disorder(MDD).
The documents I filed at the VA were date stamped Jan 8, 2014 and included the only records I had in support of this claim, especially for the MDD.
Fast forward... Intent to File submitted in August 1, 2018 (at my attorneys direction). His office then submitted a supplemental (including 16 pages of the very same supporting documents that I submitted to the VA in 2014) on the 364th day.
Well, that supplemental got me appointments with two different C&P professionals and resulted in a combined rating of 70% (10% knee and 70% MDD) effective July 30, 2019. The same VA documents filed by me in 2014 and (fewer) mailed with the supplemental were recently reviewed at my C&P exam by the psychologist conducting the interview. He asked for my help to show him any document in my file that made it clear and unmistakable that my MDD was/is service connected. It took all of thirty seconds to search his computer with my VA records on it to locate a document from my psychiatrist and head of psychiatry at my last duty station. These are the very same documents which were in the VA’s possession prior to my initial claim attempted in 2013/2014. Meaning there is NO new or compelling evidence!
Question 1 - So why did they schedule (allow) these appointments and the case to be reopened with no new and/or relevant evidence?
Question 2 - Why was it right (or was it) for my attorney to file a supplemental (vs. just filing for a new claim)? At least with a new claim I may have been able to receive (the 11 or so months of) backpay from the Intent to File date.
It seems the supplemental has NO benefit over just requesting to open a new claim. Or is it not allowed for veterans to file a new claim for any previously claimed ailment(s)?
Question 3 - Is it a fact that the VA made a clear and unmistakable error with regard to no service connection for MDD?
... by not reviewing those documents which were right in front of them? And if the documents prove the date they were filed, isn’t it undeniable? And if I am now rated at 70%....
Question 4 - Shouldn’t this be one of those CUE cases that should/could be potentially won for backpay to April 2013?
This is the first time they scheduled me for ANY C&P appointments for any reason ever. Yet, this is at least the third attempt at filing a VA disability claim.
Question 5 - What makes the VA decide for or against these C&P exam appointments?
By J McB
Note: My claim(s) are under Legacy Appeals
I received a Rating Decision where the VA acknowledges CUE, though I didn't claim CUE, but the decision admits CUE...
I did write in my NOD supporting statement, "NYCRO committed unmistakable egregious errors when they closed my 2016 claims," but nothing about claiming 'Clear and Unmistakable Error(s)'.
So then, I'm feeling like this CUE claim by the VA is some...thing they've done to put a halt on that component of my claim...which is retroactive for TDIU...
In my SOC appeal I took the route of "I dunno" 🙃 lay person filing appeal and posed the question under footnote noting something along the lines that 38CFR doesn't say (or least I couldn't find anything) about a CUE itself being a CUE...
1. I didn't claim CUE but the VA did, how do I respond accordingly?
2. Are they trying to put the kabash/narrow my options for their not processing TDIU retroactive?
I have been chewing on this one for quite a while and believe this final draft CUE is ready to be submitted to the VA. The decision maker failed to follow the laws in effect at the time. No judgement call factors.
Please feel free to tear it apart and offer any suggestions. I wanted to keep it down to about two pages, explain the error, include excerpts from evidence, and include laws in effect at the time.
I was all set to use the 21-0958 for for my NOD when I happened to notice the decision I am disagreeing with said to use 21-0995. I looked up 21-0995 and it said it's the "new and improved" faster response form. If there is such a thing as a "faster response" form, I'd like to use it. The 20-0995 makes it sound as if it can be used for both CUE and NOD. I need to submit multiple of both and I don't want to screw it up. Have any of you use this form? thanks
Tbird posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,if you have been thinking about subscribing to an ad-free forum or buying a mug now would a very helpful time to do that.
Thank you for your support
70%&sfsystem posted an answer to a question,OK everyone thanks for all the advice I need your help I called VSO complained about length of time on Wednesday of this week today I checked my E benefits and my ratings are in for my ankles that they were denying me 10% for each bilateral which makes 21% I was originally 80% now they’re still saying I’m 80%
I’m 50% pes planus 30% migraine headaches 20% lumbar 10% tinnitus and now bilateral 21% so 10% left and right ankle Can someone else please do the math because I come up with 86% which makes me 90 what am I missing please help and thank you
I was denied SC for IBS and GERD IN 2011. In 2019 I was awarded SC for GERD. This CUE is for 2011, both GERD and IBS. There are some odd aspects regarding the 2011 decision, the way it was written and the C&P report and the way it was written. I've tried to present this as clearly as I can. Note: the decision contradicts itself. the decision also contradicts the C&P Report. Honestly, I think the rater just got confused because the C&P was so poorly written. *THIS CUE HAS NOT YET BEEN SUBMITTED*Please let me know what you think. Appreciate all comments and suggestions. Thanks.
VA RATING DECISION MARCH 23 2011 GERD IBS.pdf C P REPORT 7312010 GERD IBS.pdf GERD IBS CUE 2011(1).pdf
C P ADDENDUM REQUEST RE DIAGNOSIS 7232010.pdf
When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a Veterans Affairs 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 when it comes to filing Veterans Affairs Disability Claims. [Reprinted here with permission from Veterans Law Blog]
A disabled veteran in Alabama may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service and has a net annual income of $12,000 or less.