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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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    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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    • https://community.hadit.com/searching-for-va-claims-information-on-hadit.com/

       

      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



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    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
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DonH

Monomelic Amyotrophy

Question

ALS Variant?

 

I'm a Vet Wife. I post on behalf of my husband, I'm his note taker at doctor's appointments and consults.  I'm his support system and all around cheerleader. Lord knows we have had our VA battles. All these years after Vietnam, the onset of my husband's emerging illnesses, obviously percolating internally has emerged  one after another. We've seen subtle signs and some not so subtle. But didn't; know what those sign meant. The VA didn't do a very good job of educating the older veterans about what to be aware of regarding SC disabilities,

My veteran husband's a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran  served in US Marine Corps. My husband  has several service connected disabilities. My husband diagnosed with Monomelic Amyotrophy recently; it is a Motor neuron (MND) disease that is the umbrella covering all type Motor neuron diseases and variants. To which ALS/ Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and variants falling under the same umbrella as being classified as Motor Neuron Disease (MND). As exhibited in cases of muscle loss: Monomelic Atrophy.

ALS causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that leads to muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, and spontaneous muscle activity. The VA Doctors pondered whether my husband had ALS or MS. Yet, the Neuromuscular Head Physician conceded that my husband's illnesses was an ALS variant because his illness fell under the umbrella of Motor Neuron Diseases as did ALS......is a Motor Neuron disease. ???? We don't know how VA will decide.

Other complicating issues:

*Spinal issue (S Curve of spine)

*Multi focal motor neuropathy associate with Diabetes 2 is a part of the mix/entwined as well. 

 

However, most severely is the inability of identifying the exact reason for the monomelic atrophy.

Although it was hoped a more exact finding will be determined when all results of updated blood tests were in.

On May 2017: *Blood test are in; determination that no immune diseases are present

Possible treatment of an intravenous treatment once every three months or medications with steroids would be beneficial. No effective treatment available.

 

MMA

Diagnosis. 

Inflammatory Arthritis is Part of the neuropathy (Special kind of neuropathy)

As well as severe spine problems. Very rare complicated illnesses intersecting and exacerbating primary and/or secondary with veteran's service connected disabilities.

 

Monomeric atrophy......Veteran has lost the use of his right hand and right forearm weakened and wasting away.

One limb atrophy

See notes…..described as one limb muscle atrophy

 

Spinal cord (S curve of spinal cord) compression on top on addition the monomeric

 

Toxic agent like Agent Orange could more likely than not" a contributor for neuropathy.

 

Immune diseases (no)

 

Deterioration. Of bones on vertebra

Spondylosis...inflammatory arthritis 

Acts like spinal cord injury 

 

(Findings of EMG) EMG to confirm the diagnosis ( Neuromuscular VA Physician at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas)

Table of Rated Disabilities

Disability

Rating

Decision

Related To

Peripheral Neuropathy, Left Lower Extremity

 

Not Service Connected

Denied as…. early as 2011… Yet, D to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued.

Peripheral Neuropathy, Right Lower Extremity

 

Not Service Connected

Denied as…. early as 2011…  Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued

Agent Orange - Vietnam

Neuropathy, Left Upper Extremity

 

Not Service Connected

Denied as…. early as 2011…  Yet, ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued

Bilateral Hearing Loss (claimed as diminished hearing)

0%

Service Connected

 

Tinnitus (claimed as ringing in both ears)

10%

Service Connected

 

headaches

 

Not Service Connected

 

depression

 

Not Service Connected

 

skeletal arthritis aching of the joints (unspecified)

 

Not Service Connected

Arthritis denied as…. early as 2015…  Yet, ID to pinpoint as being symptomatic complexity of Monomelic Amyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued

post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, also claimed as depression and anxiety)

30%

Service Connected

PTSD - Combat

Hypertension

0%

Service Connected

 

Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity

 

 

Rectal carcinoma claimed as rectal cancer, a soft tissue cancer)

 

Not Service Connected

Agent Orange - Vietnam

Still on since  12/11/14 appeal

Remand 5/15

scar, shrapnel right knee

10%

Service Connected

 

09/18/2013

diabetes mellitus type II

10%

Service Connected

Agent Orange - Vietnam

07/06/2015

prostate cancer

100%

Service Connected

Agent Orange - Vietnam

07/06/2015

erectile dysfunction

0%

Service Connected

 

07/06/2015

 

Neuropathy, Right Upper Extremity Denied as…. early as 2011…  Yet.ID to pinpoint as severe symptomatic complexities of MonomelicAmyotrophy variant of ALS in 2017….should be cued Agent Orange – Vietnam

 

Edited by DonH
adding more details

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"We are dunbstruck that the VA doctors"

Nuff said,

Hamslice

 

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Obviously his prostate cancer residuals will remain at 100%.(in my opinion)Thanks for this info.

I think there is a potential basis here for a Section 1151 claim.

These 2 BVA cases contain the provisions of 38 USC 1151.

Something seems wrong here----but only an independent oncologist could determine that.

Has the Agent suggested any IMO/IME doctors and the need for an IMO/IME based on the AO STS claim as well as for input into this surgical procedure?

 

"Upon further reflection my husband remembers feeling a premonition that something was not going to go well because the operating doctor had become extremely upset because the operating room had not been preped timely for the surgery that morning so surgery was late getting started. My husband stated he almost asked the surgeon for a rain check a postponement due the surgeon's angered upset mood."

I know that feeling well.

I asked a VA cardiologist why-(after he had told me not to tell my husband he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and I might have to consider a nursing facility)

why he had said ' because of his PTSD and his heart----he would be too upset'...I said 

I was going to tell him anyhow and the doc said it was going against his professional recommendation, but then I asked what about his heart? The VA had never mentioned any heart disease at all and he had just had an ECHO.." There was a long pause from the doctor....

Finally he said "Nothing, nothing is wrong with his heart."

After a brief battle the VA gave him a few weeks of  rehabilitation and sent him home after he could walk 3 steps without falling. He taught himself how to walk again.No wheelchair, no nursing home.

That pause bothered me but I didnt know why....after my husband died, I got his VA medical records and proved this was part of a cover up at the Syracuse VAMC of the malpractice (6 years of it) that VA had done at the local Bath NY VAMC.

The medical records revealed heart disease that progressed as untreated for 6 years ,the ECHO showed the extent and 2 EKGS and his autopsy revealed significant damage to his heart and brain due to the VA's failure to properly diagnose and treat his IHD, CVA, and then I re opened and they awarded for malpracticed DMI to his death as well. FTCA settlement 1997, 1151 award 1998, DMII award (AO 2009) AO IHD award 2012, HBP 1151 award 2015 contributing to his death.

My point is your husband had a bad feeling, a 'premonition' about this surgery and I think the VA made medical errors when they did it. It was the same feeling I had when I talked to the cardio doc.

If you obtain an IME for this claim (which I think  you will need) ,there doctor should also consider whether or not malpractice occurred. I am sure your Agent thought of that as well.

Have they advised your husband to file a Section 1151 claim?

Do you have a complete copy of all of his VA medical records?

There is more info on FTCA and Section 1151 claims in our FTCA /1151 forum here.

If the radiation treatment had worked I dont know why they even performed the surgery on your husband .....then again I am not a doctor, just the surviving spouse of a Vietnam vet the VA killed, and I know how low the VA can go to cover up malpractice...and their public malpractice statistics are manipulated to be  lower than the public and Congress thinks. I told the Secretary where to find those hidden stats.

 

 

 

 

https://www.va.gov/vetapp97/files4/9735546.txt

In part:

"ORDER

Compensation benefits under 38 U.S.C.A. § 1151 for bladder 
disability due to prostate surgery are granted.  

Evidence of a well grounded claim not having been submitted, 
the appeal for compensation benefits under 38 U.S.C.A. § 1151 
for prostatectomy, claimed as prostate disability due to 
prostate surgery, is denied."  

https://www.va.gov/vetapp05/files5/0530337.txt

6.  The criteria for entitlement to disability compensation 
under the provisions of 38 U.S.C.A. § 1151 (West 2002) for 
urinary incontinence, residuals of radiation treatment, post-
prostatectomy, furnished by VA in 1987, are met.  38 U.S.C.A. 
§ 1151 (West 2002); 38 C.F.R. § 3.361 (2005).
Edited by Berta

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I am sorry I have more questions here- the same ones the Agent should have asked you----

Did the VA make a statement as to how they considered SMC (Special Monthly Compensation) in their 100% decision?

Was that a 100% Permanent and Total decision?

Does your husband receive SSDI solely for the SC conditions?

I got a friend 100% P & T with SMC under 1151 for surgery that required a colonostomy bag.

The local VA was treating him for hemorrhoids. He was sent to a different VAMC and found out he had rectal cancer. I didnt have his medical records when I prepared the claim for him.

I just stated that the VA medical records, in their entirety would reveal the malpractice, specifically those generated with his recent hospitalization at Buffalo NY VAMC  It is one way to begin a Section 1151 claim, when a claimant fully believes the VA gave them inadequate care. but they do not have a copy of the medical records yet.

In this case, the VA made a fairly fast decision.All they really needed to look at were the reason he had been sent to the other VAMC , ( bleeding from chronic hemmoroids) and the discharge certificate from Buffalo VAMC.....surgery for colon cancer.  I am sure they poured over the whole med rec stack ,though, to try to find a way out of the claim and they failed.

 

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I spoke with the Agent last week.....in summary of overall claims presently and previously. I mentioned BVA Appeal due to the Agent having specified at a prior point that the BVA Appeal/Remand are age sensitive upon the approach of a 75th birthday. My husband turns 75 on July 19. Accorded E-Benefits, the BVA Appeal case was remanded May 2015 to the Regional Office or to the Mangement Center (vague language not exactly specifying which). On the Hadit Podcast, I heard John Dorley state Houston Regional Office is 5 years behind with appeals and remands. Although remands should be prioritized....,but, it's not happening.

Our Agent has done well. Yet because my husband is,now, 100%.....seemingly, there appears to be no necessitated urgency. That's why recently I sent

(a) documentsrion outlining the new diagnosis:

Monomelic Amyotrophy

(b) On one hand Noting successes already accomplished. Only the other hand reminding about issues needing to be revisited....that were previously denied....

(c) the BVA Appeal....

and (d) the 1151 and/or FTCA claim...

(e) I did also mention the possibility of needing a IMO because in reading over BVA cases, the cases winning most often were those having an IMO. For instance the colorectal/rectal cancer cases when veterans or veterans' widows challenge that it is a presumptive soft tissue resultant of AO Exposure; or is direct resultant of AO Exposure; or because it was equipoised to some other presumptive AO cancer suffered by the Veteran. I've read BVA decisions granting the claim. However, I've read BVA decisions denied  with the same set of circumstances of those granted. The difference hinged on the IMO....the cases granted affirmatively were those having IMO's. It doesn't seem fair, but obviously the IMO makes the difference. I expressed my observations in reading I've BVA cases. 

Waiting to hear back from the Agent 

p.s. I heard AskNod on the Hadit podcast mention the inconsistency of BVA decisions so I know, now, somes cases won and some cases lost on the same body of circumstances is true and not my imagination.

Edited by DonH
Adding clarification

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That is true but, as a BVA claimant myself, I know the BVA does not always mention all of the critical evidence that prompted their grants of awards. We get basically a summary ,even though some are very long summaries.

BVA cases are not  accepted as evidence to support a similar case. I used a BVA decision I got , (a moot issue because I won at the level and never withdrew the appeal) however, as

evidence to prove a subsequent BVA case I won. It contained a legal statement as to my subsequent claim.

My VARO cant read. The OGC explained it to them.Then they sent me the cash.

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      This came up in the above thread and although the info on Nehmer is a signifiant amount here in the AO forum, this had to be clarified as it could be hard to find under a search.
      Nehmer class action members who are the survivors of a AO veteran, under the 2010 Nehmer Court Order (which  service connects IHD, Hairy Cell B, and Parkinsons in all incountry Vietnam veterans, do not have to file for substitution or accrued benefits when they file their AO DIC claim.
      All other surviving spouses of vets who had claims pending at death must file as substituted claimant or for accrued benefits within one year of the veteran's death. Accrued benefits are defined in detail here under a search.
      I took this definition from a BVA case, which made it easier for me to find:
      This is the regulation regarding Nehmer claims, which is defined as a retroactive payment, not an accrued payment::
       
      “I.  Retroactive Benefits
       
      The appellant contends that the Veteran's heart disease was due to Agent Orange exposure and, therefore,  retroactive benefits are warranted pursuant to the Nehmer decision. 
       
      This is not a claim for accrued benefits.  The RO, on its own initiative, sent the appellant a letter in March 2011 explaining that it was going to review the matter pursuant to Nehmer v. Veterans Administration of the Gov't of the U.S., 284 F. 3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2002).  The provisions of 38 U.S.C. 5121(c) and §3.1000(c), which require survivors to file claims for accrued benefits, do not apply to payments under 38 C.F.R. § 3.816, regarding awards under the Nehmer Court Orders for disability or death caused by a condition presumptively associated with herbicide exposure.  See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(f)(2) (2015).
       
       
      1) Applicable Law
       
      Retroactive benefits may be paid under Nehmer if a Nehmer class member is entitled to disability compensation for a covered herbicide disease.  See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816. 
       
      Nehmer class member means: (i) a Vietnam veteran who has a covered herbicide disease; or (ii) a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a deceased Vietnam veteran who died from a covered herbicide disease.  38 C.F.R. § 3.816(b)(1).  If the class member's claim for disability compensation for the covered herbicide disease was either pending before VA on May 3, 1989, or was received by VA between that date and the effective date of the statute or regulation establishing a presumption of service connection for the covered disease, the effective date of the award will be the later of the date such claim was received by VA or the date the disability arose, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.  38 C.F.R. § 3.816(c)(2). 
       
      The covered herbicide diseases are listed in 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e).  See 38 C.F.R. § 3.816(b)(2).  This list includes ischemic heart disease, which was added to the list of covered herbicide diseases effective from August 31, 2010.  See 38 C.F.R. § 3.309(e); 75 Fed. Reg. 53202 (Aug. 31, 2010). “
      https://www.va.gov/vetapp16/files2/1609942.txt
      (this BVA claim for DIC was denied but still held the exact regulation regarding Retroactive Benefits which made it far easier for survivors to attain than trying to claim accrued if over a year had passed after the veteran's death)
      I recall here over the past 2 decades that we never dreamed the VA would ever compensate IHD for AO exposure.
      Certainly many and probably ALL  widows with a AO IHD death claim never could have filed for accrued benefits anyhow for AO IHD because there was no regulation for AO IHD prior to August 2010.
      The above claim was denied thus:
      "FINDINGS OF FACT 1. The Veteran did not have service in the Republic of Vietnam and is, therefore, not a Nehmer class member. 2. The current effective date of November 1, 2008, represents the first day of the month in which the Veteran's death occurred where the appellant's claim was received within one year after the date of his death."
      But it did contain a good explanation of Retro payments instead of "accrued" benefits, that Nehmer Class action members, as survivors, could expect even if an accrued claim had never been filed for AO IHD. 
      And just to add....many of us Nehmer Class action survivors were also Footnote One claimants.
      I have explained Footnote One here Many times since 2010 and added Rick Spataro's emails to me on it ( NVLSP Head AO lawyer) and all of that that is easily searchable here ( I hope) and was the most important and  unique aspect of Nehmer 2010.
      Agent Orange is still harming and killing our nation's veterans. But only those vets or their survivors as defined in the above citation from the BVA and in the  the Nehmer Court Orders are Nehmer class action members.
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Andyman73
      Got some good news to share.  Some of you may know, or recall, that I had written elsewhere on here, that my Dad(Nam combat, 24 yr career retired, 60% SCD) and I don't exactly communicate very well.  The grapevine tells me that it's my own lack of communication skills are the problem.  Anyway, while updating my folks after yesterday's 6 month foster child case review court session, Dad went off topic to let me know that the VA has opened an AO claim for/on him.  Said they initiated it(???)and that he has a bunch of appointments scheduled over the next few months.  I was quite surprised that he wanted to tell me about that...since I'm usually the last to know, and my wife is usually the one telling me.
      So...is there anything I should tell him to tell them?  I don't know too much about his overall health, beyond his Nam related back injury.  Thanks.
      Andy
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      Your question has probably been asked before so the fastest way to find the information you need is to search for it.
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    • How to get your questions answered...


      All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. Read the forums without registering, to post you must register it’s free. Register for a free account.

      Tips on posting on the forums.

      Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question’.


      Knowledgable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.


      Use paragraphs instead of one huge, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.


      Leading to:

      Post clear questions and then give background info on them.

      Examples:

      A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?


      I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine but claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?



      B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?

      I was involved in traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?



      This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

      Note:

      Your firsts posts on the board may be delayed before they show up, as they are reviewed, this process does not take long and the review requirement will be removed usually by the 6th post, though we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.

      This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before they hit the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims and this helps us do that.
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    • Exams that were being sent strictly to contractors before, due to VAMCs not being open, are starting to be routed back to VAMCs. This is going forward from last Friday- not sure if prior scheduled exams will be re-created for VAMC vs vendor.
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