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Secondary Conditions


I am attempting to help a veteran with a claim. This without this site I would not be at 100% myself. This individual is a Vietnam agent orange exposed vet with SC diabetes.

I remember in doing my claim they added diagnosis I had not claimed and requested documentation. I stated that I was not at that time claiming those particular diagnosis. I was told back then that they are "required" to assist with claims for things they are aware of even if the veteran didn't state it. The example was also given that if a veteran used an incorrect diagnosis and it was obvious that should be brought to the veteran's attention and filed correctly. My question pertains to where in the regulations can I find that? The individual I am helping was denied for several conditions that are clearly complications of his diabetes which is SC. My gut says they should have advised him to change the claim for those denied diagnosis as secondary to his SC diabetes. I have no idea where to find anything that mentions the requirement. Any help???

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There are a few possibilities.

§4.20   Analogous ratings

This allows the VA to steer toward rating criteria closely related to the claimed condition. For example, if a vet filed for "eye problems", and then it was medically determined that he had "glaucoma", then they would use rating criteria for glaucoma and change the claimed condition to match.

In some cases, the C&P examiner may have been requested to diagnose any additional conditions and determine if they are related to service.


I'm short on time right now, but here is a link to the regulations governing adjudication:



And another useful link on VA precedent opinions:



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Thank you for the info/links. Will check it out. I had no idea where to begin to look. I appreciate your direction. :smile: 

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One of the problems come when they deny you for something; you can't reopen it without New AND Material evidence-

What's the problem?

Say they added 'knee condition', then denied for lack of an in-service event. You don't appeal because, maybe you didn't notice, didn't know how or that you could-

Later, your knee condition gets worse. You have all kinds of records showing that it's worse- But that's not material to why they denied it! It's very difficult / impossible to get 'new' service records about your knee-

In effect, it bars you from ever applying for that condition again.

The other problem, is when you call to have them remove it, they then will claim you're withdrawing your entire claim.

This happened to me.

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14 Questions about Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits Claims 

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 when it comes to filing VA Disability Claims.

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