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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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2W1_Socal

Complications due to previous surgery?

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Hello, I have submitted my secondary claim due to a recent surgery that was service connected. And now I am wondering if I could open another claim due to complications from a discectomy I had while in service.  I recently underwent a spinal fusion and was it supposed to be a routine surgery (2 hours), but the Doctor ran into complications due to my previous surgery and the surgery ended up taking a total of 6 hours and with a longer hospital stay and recovery time. On top of that, I now have permanent nerve damage.

 How would I approach this from a claims perspective? Should, I wait until my claim is finished for my increase (awaiting decision), or speak with a VA Lawyer on how to pursue? I have all the documentation from my doctor's surgical report. And included it in my initial rating increase. But would like to file separately?      Thanks again for all the helpful advice  

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First off, get the Drs orders telling you not to go back to work for (x) months. 3 is standard, 6 can be authorized...as temporary total disability (100%).

Dont wait to put in secondary claim. They have to have the certification that gives you the increase, you get paid from the date there is medical evidence of the condition, or if you put in the claim right after the surgery they will use the date of the surgery as an effective date. Peripheral nerve damage has to be evaluated in light of the rating schedule so put that in same time you put in for temp total disability and the increase, dont make separate claims. If you can get the surgeons office to do your DBQ for both peripheral nerves and spine, so much the better. Just make sure  they measure your ROM correctly.

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Do the new claims you are considiring filing for have symptoms, other than the ones you have already been compensated for?    Remember you are compensated for current disabilities, not pain and suffering from previous surgeries.  Go back to basics, do you have these three things:

1.  Current disgnosis which includes current symptoms.  Asymptomatic disabilities are non compensable.  

2.  In service event/aggravation.  

3.  Nexus or link between one and two.  

    If you dont have these caluza elements, you need to be able to get them, that is, you have to have documentation from a doctor of the above.  

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