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Getting ready to file


I have been gathering my evidence and records to get ready to file for Gulf War Illness, trying to get it done before my year from retiring. Im trying to do a FDCI think Im pretty covered. My question is, should I file for Gulf War Illness and put the other conditions as secondary, such as IBS, etc...or should I file each diagnoses separately and hit the box that says it was caused by a Gulf War hazard?

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PlumbBob: Do NOT claim "Gulf War Illness" as your disease. You need to claim each issue separately, but say they were connected to the Gulf War, so something like "IBS as a presumptive condition for exposures during my Gulf War service" or something like that. My very best advice is to take the time to do it right the first time, and take a look at the Self-Help Guide on the website for the National Gulf War Resource Center. It is the very best and most updated guide to getting claims done for GWI. You can find it here: http://www.ngwrc.org/guide/ngwrc-guide.html

Best of luck.

Dr. Dave

Edited by Dr_Dave
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Also here are some additional tips to help you out:

Do not turn down medical, dental, or MH examinations when preparing to leave the service.

If you have not already done so, get/request copies of your entire medical and dental records. Sometimes they become lost in part or whole, but you need a backup. Go through them and identify any conditions which were caused or aggravated by service.

There are more to secondary conditions than people realize. If a directly SC disability causes another disability -or- the medication/treatment of a directly SC disability causes another disability, then both can be considered secondary. For example, if you were given psych medications for treatment of PTSD, depression, etc..., and it negatively impacted you in the bedroom...

Familiarize yourself with the VA claims process. VA.gov has some decent info, but this site contains fantastic resources beyond the forums themselves..

Don't expect the VA to get your claims right the first time. Many of us won our claims on appeal, often due to VA human error.

In terms of VA math, 10% + 10% equals 19%, not 20%. Learn about how combined ratings are calculated.

Good luck!

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Just list them all and claim primary for all of them that come to light during active duty or the first year post discharge.  Since you retired you should claim everything, if you sneezed claim it. If you twisted an ankle 18 years ago, claim it.  Things get rated 0 because they dont cause pain yet, and everything that happened during active duty should be primary service connection. Go to the VAMC, get them to put every ache and pain in the medical record because the minimum rating you can get with pain on movement is 10%. When they send you for a C&P, if you didnt document a condition, claim it and amend your claim later. The key is just get it on paper.

Make a note at the end stating that if any of these are not considered primary, that they should be considered secondary to any of the other conditions that are found to be primary.  That way you dont give them an out because you make an additional inferred claim. An "inferred" claim is one not specifically identified by a claimant, but supported by the evidence.

The real key is that if it is documented w/in 1 year of discharge, and you claim it they should give it to you. The part where you spent 20 years and retired means that they have to give you what you can document.  After that 1st year is gone, its much more difficult because then you have the burden of proof of SC to jump through. Right now, before the 1 year expires, you have an open door and should throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, even if it only results in a 0% compensation because in 15 years, that could change.

Edited by pwrslm
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