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Hello, I have C&P exams all in one day in January. Any advice on what to expect?
Here's a synopsis on what I'm up against/working with.
- PTSD increase is based off several years of VA mental health treatment and a Nexus letter written by my mental health doctor, which named PTSD, Depression, Chronic Pain Syndrome with depression, Panic D/O with Agoraphobia and survivor's guilt as a diagnosis (last 3 are recently added to records).
- Knee pain- VA issued me a big knee brace and my primary care (tricare) orthopedics specialist just put me an Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) brace because she says I have drop foot and weakened ankle support which tried to compensate for my weak knee/muscle strength
- Foot pain- I reviewed all of my previous C&P exams and realized my foot pain rating had dropped from 30% to 10% because the rater misquoted me (lied) on the C&P exam. I told him these insoles and stuff didn't work. that my feet hurt all the time. He wrote, I said they were not effective insoles and I have to use all kinds of feet massages equipment to get through my work days.
The primary care sent me to this foot pain doctor. All she did was cortisone shots (3 times) in my feet and tried to up-sell me on her brand of insoles.
- Migraines- Been at zero percent since retirement. Last year I was hospitalized twice and misdiagnosed with having TIA and strokes/CVA. My VA advocate put in a secondary claim to my service connected cervical damage. End result not service connected for CVA/TIA.
However, ALL TESTS revealed that I've never had a stroke. The neurologist diagnosed me with Hemiplegic Migraines. These rare migraines an mimic strokes, causing weakness on one side of the body. They can last from a few hours or in my case,first one lasted 3 months.
The neurologist provided a letter stating that all of the hospital doctors had misdiagnosed me with having CVAa. He also diagnosed me with exertional headaches.
I know I'm no more special than the millions of other veterans out here, but this "deny 'til they die" tactic is wearing me down.
Thanks for any advice.
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!
I currently have 20% for arthritis in my upper back.
When I use my arms in such a manner like swinging a hammer or holding them up above my head for long periods, it causes pain in my back.
Do I have to have pain in my arm or joints in my arm to have a claim? Can I get this service-connected as a secondary disability?
Does claiming a new condition void possible entitlement to an earlier effective date? The new condition (migraines) isn't actually new because it was combined into one 10% rating for TBI to include migraine headaches.By chibears3531
I’m on the verge of filing a large VA claim to include migraines, erectile dysfunction, obstructive sleep apnea, and a few other conditions.
However, I think I may be eligible for an earlier effective date going back to 2008 for the migraines and ED. I’m hesitant to file for the migraines and ED in this claim because I do not want it to nullify my chance at an earlier effective date.
Background (long read, sorry!):
After reviewing my C-File, I'm pretty sure VA underrated and possibly clearly and unmistakably erred (CUE) 11 years ago in their decision based on the detailed evidence from their c&p examination.
Essentially, the VA decision said that I don't have prostrating migraines because I don't have emergency room or sick call visits. They conceded I have cognition issues from all the concussions and awarded 10% for:
“traumatic brain injury with post concussive syndrome (also claimed as migraine headaches)”
This was despite having an in service migraine diagnosis (which was in their possession at the time and in my C-File) and the fact that their C&P examiner said that I have “prostrating migraines 4x per week”.
Unless I’m mistaken, if the VA had in their possession evidence that would warrant a higher rating of the migraines at time of the decision 11 years ago, they violated 38 CFR 4.6.
Additionally, while I did not claim erectile dysfunction, I think this may have been an “inferred claim” seeing as the c&p examiner noted:
“Q22. Sexual functioning?
A22. Yes, problems with achieving and maintaining erection. The veteran has started to use Levitra, which helps. He mentions he has been taking Celexa, had been discontinued, and has less of sex.”
“DIAGNOSIS: Traumatic brain injury with post concussion syndrome and migraine headaches, and erectile dysfunction (with etiology as least as likely as not related to the TBI).”
I've heard that the VA stopped honoring claims to re-open so I'm unsure as to the best way to proceed for establishing an earlier effective date for a migraine rating. I also suspect that it's too late for them to honor the special TBI re-processing rules if the exam was not conducted by a neurologist (he was an internal medicine MD).
Finally, just to re-iterate, I’m hesitant to file a claim for migraines and ed in this new claim because I don’t want to possibly lose my earlier effective date by doing so. My tentative plan is to include them in the new claim anyway and in a statement ask that the “TBI with PCS (also claimed as migraine headaches) be split into “8045 TBI residuals” and “8100 Migraines” with each condition being rated separately.
Then after the decision is rendered, file a supplemental claim with the 2008 c&p exam notes appealing for an effective date to 8/31/2008. If that fails, that’s when I would look toward filing for a CUE.
Does this sound like a solid plan of attack?
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.