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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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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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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Re-Opening a 2016 GWI claim - Fibromyalgia DBQ


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So, before I knew much about the VA and their love for vets, I submitted my first GWI claim. I filed for symptoms (Stomach issues, sleeplessness, bi lateral arm/shoulder pain, short term memory loss). I had a forgetful C&P doc, I had no idea beforehand what the eam was for, I was nervous as shit and I didn't know enough to press him on examining other issues.

I went 26 years without touching the VA and here I was at a C&P exam. I was rated 30% for IBS, all other contentions denied because dr said I denied having any other issues.

This week I was diagnosed by a family practice NPC with fibromyalgia, they ordered bloodwork to exclede Rheumatoid Arthritis and scheduled me with a rheumatologist in February. Here is my DBQ. Thoughts?

I'm considering a re-open or reconsideration for my initial 6/2016 claim. My NOD is already in for this claim with a request for DRO review. I don't care about back pay  money, just principle, so not worried about losing my initial claim date..

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Gunny,

The lack of a diagnosis with R/A will actually work in your favor.  The lack of that condition strengthens the credence to the FM, and it gives you leverage from them writing off your condition as not SC.

Remember, GWI claims involve either:

A:  an undiagnosed illness (within the set of symptoms)

(or)

B:  a diagnosable but medically unexplainable condition.  

 

GWI is used similar to Agent Orange in that it qualifies a set or set(s) of conditions, just like your IBS.  The VA won't award you with GWI, but rather X condition, i.e IBS, FM, etc... diagnosed or not, attributable to service in the GW theater.  For GWI, you do not need a specific incident in service, so long as you were in theater, during the time frame and have either X condition or a set of symptoms that fit within their criteria.  It is not the same as say, a knee injury, that you must corroborate. You can certainly have more than one condition which impacts disparate body systems and it sure sounds to me like you do.  

 

I suggest reviewing the GWI conditions thoroughly as the VA will look at them.  Research the conditions, symptoms of both diagnosed and undiagnosed illnesses and try your best to meet each criteria with some form of evidence.  

So, this means you should present your claim as:

1.  You are a qualified vet with service in one or more of the AOR's, within the timeframes specified.

2.  You have been diagnosed with X condition, that is related to the environmental hazards of the Gulf war, (No other sound medical explanation).

3.  Backed up with whatever lay evidence you can get,  any relevant medical records and an Independent Medical Opinion (IMO).  

*If it is within your means, I would highly recommend an IMO, spelling out the lack of other conditions and connecting the FM to the Gulf war.  

 

The DBQ, in my opine, looks favorable for the FM.  I could also see you filing an additional claim after that would be for the memory, sleeplessness etc...

 

Then you have to sit and wait unfortunately.    How long really depends on the work load at the DRO.  I waited 15 months for a DRO hearing.  I've only had one but it worked in my favor, so I recommend them if at all possible. Others may feel otherwise.  Keep at them, maintaining your original date if at all possible, as it should work out the best for you in the end, imho.

 

 

 

 

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40 % is the max for Fibromyalgia, so you are good there.  You may want to look into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  There are a lot of similarities between FM and CFS, there are some key differences.  I am rate 30% for IBS, 40% for FM and 60% for CFS, all connected to Gulf War.  All you need is a diagnosis and DBQ from your provider.  You don't have to prove service connection, it is presumed.

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3 hours ago, k5one said:

40 % is the max for Fibromyalgia, so you are good there.  You may want to look into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  There are a lot of similarities between FM and CFS, there are some key differences.  I am rate 30% for IBS, 40% for FM and 60% for CFS, all connected to Gulf War.  All you need is a diagnosis and DBQ from your provider.  You don't have to prove service connection, it is presumed.

They can deny CFS for a number of reasons.  In my case, it was PTSD/MDD/Anxiety that was used to deny my CFS (Sleep apnea probably would rule it out as well).  I had a diagnosis from an MD for CFS. He was not  Rheumatologist.  He was an Environmental/Family/Forensic Dr.  They used the VA's NP C&P opinion over my MD's opinion. Yes my MD used all the verbiage, rationale, and GW presumptive in his opinion; reviewed all my records, medications, and in person interview to back it up.  He does this for a living.  Could I fight it and win? Maybe.  If I wasn't 100%, I would.  

Too get all three is quite a feat, to say the least.  

I did get the 40% Fibromyalgia.  Still waiting on the IBS appeal in which I have 3 MD's diagnosis.  Originally I didn't have the diagnosis for the first C&P.

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Go see a Rheumatologist  for Fibro and CFS

Go see a Gastroenterologist or GI doc for IBS and IBD.

Get tested for STDs, Lyme disease, Rabies, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This will rule out that it isn't one of these.

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