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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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Shotlife

New. Nervous. Trying to fix past mistakes.

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Good evening everyone.

Unfortunately I have always gotten in my own way when it comes to my VA stuff.  Now since I am a little bit older and falling apart at a pace that does not seem right for my age (30) I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again I would.

I am currently rated at 40% and it is mostly my own fault.

30%- Anxiety with depressive features, I was originally filed for PTSD and was denied for personality disorders, after messing my life up for a few years and a inpatient hospitalization in the a dual diagnoses program I was given this rating (I appealed while there).  As I read through the forums I know I meet the standard for anxiety at 50%.

10% Tinnitus- the first time I made claims this was the only one that went through.  I currently where hearing aids to manage this.

0% Testicular Trauma- originally it was 0% for TB of the Testicle, appealed and they got me 10%.  After a testicular surgery they dropped it to 0% because my testicular pain was improved- by improved.  When they dropped it to 0% it didn't effect my pay and like an idiot I did not appeal this, my window closed in October.

0% Scarring- in relation to the testicular surgery.  The area is numb.  

0% Hypertension- I always thought if you were on medications for it it was 10% rating.  However, it is well controlled and I am on and off medications for it.  More concerning is my irregular stress test from 12/2015, on the Bruce Protocol I got a 3, which is 10 METS I believed.  I pushed 58% of my blood out.  I also had a severe reaction to vaccines administered by the VA and spent a stay at Mayo Clinic where they had a cardiologist come visit my quite a bit, I think he said I had an enlarged heart.

Denied

Hearing Loss- I did not meet the threshold.  I was an artilleryman so I dont think as I get older this will be an issue.  I have mild hearing loss diagnosed in my left ear, normal hearing in my right.  I wear hearing aid mostly for my tinnitus although they do bring my slight hearing loss to normal.

Erectile Dysfunction- I was slow to report this after my testicular surgery.  As I read the DBQ they only considered it in relation to the testicular surgery, would it be possible to have it looked at in relation to my hypertension or mental health?

Shoulder- This one is my fault.  I hurt it right before my final physical but they were putting everyone on med hold.  I got into a car crash shortly after getting out.  The VA decided the crash caused it, not Golfing in Camp Pendleton, CA.  My cousin was with me (also a Marine), I don't think they gave much weight to his buddy note.

Psoriasis- This is the one I am going to fight tooth and nail. My legs are sore from the Humira I just injected.  I was denied reenlistment into the National Guard 9 months after I got out of the Marine Corps over this.  The VA recognized that, but psoriasis isn't on the presumptive list.  At the time I had buddy letters from my old corpsman, coworker and ex-wife stating it was effecting me before my enlistment was up.  It was denied.  And I did not appeal. I let it go by, being happy that I was getting it treated.  Probably would have left it that way too.  But twp weeks ago I could not shoot anymore, because my hands hurt to bad.  My two year old son holding my hand hurt to bad.  They were massively swollen, cracked and bleeding like normal.  I had a follow up appointment on the Monday for Dermatology, and they had a Rheumatologist with him.  I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.  The only way I can think of opening this claim back up with new evidenced is by going through my old pictures and hoping somewhere along the line we can see dry skin.  If that fails I don't know what to do.

The worse part is, it never even occurred to me to appeal it at the time.  I was blinded by the 30% back I got for the anxiety.

 

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Lots here- I will focus on this:

"More concerning is my irregular stress test from 12/2015, on the Bruce Protocol I got a 3, which is 10 METS I believed.  I pushed 58% of my blood out.  I also had a severe reaction to vaccines administered by the VA and spent a stay at Mayo Clinic where they had a cardiologist come visit my quite a bit, I think he said I had an enlarged heart."

Did the Mayo cardio doc say it was due to the VA  vaccines? Do you have copies of all of the medical records from Mayo? and from the VA?

What vaccines did they give you? What was the recorded severe reaction?

Why did they give you these vaccinations?

If the VA causes a veteran to have an additional disability at a ratable level, due to improper health care, they can file a claim under Section 1151, 38 USC and be paid for the extent of the  negligence.

And/or they can file a FTCA case. But this all takes a lot of proof and I always recommend getting a IMO/IME to prove malpractice.

Sometimes bad reactions are unforeseen events and VA is not at fault.

Then again, the statistics on what they pay out every year for malpractice is absolutely unconscionable.

W e have considerable info on 1151 claims and FTCA cases in those forums here.

 

 

Edited by Berta
added more

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Short answer is to re apply.  If you get these benefits, then you can fight them for an earlier effective date.  

Get your ducks in a row by making sure you have elements necessary for SC:  diagnosis, in service event or aggravation, and nexus.  

Oh, and I noticed Berta replied so take her advice over mine.  Re applying wont hurt you..and you may just get your benefits, and maybe even at the correct effective date after appeals.  

1151/FTCA claims are also possible, as Berta pointed out,  but it wont hurt to go the "regular" route first.  Maybe you can even do both of these at once..I dont think its forbidden.  

Edited by broncovet

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Great point Broncovet-1151 and claims for SC or % SC increase are separate issues.

Mine were , under 1151 and higher posthuous SC PTSD rating, both  pending when my husband died.

The VA saves lives every day. But if they cause more disability ( or death) through negligence, it has to be proven and they will have to pay for it.

I have no idea what happened to this vet as to the vaccines and a potential reaction that might have affected his heart. But I would be remiss ( as an experienced 1151 and FTCA claimant, not to mention those types of claims when something like this turns up.)

FTCA has a 2 year Statute of limits and is handled either by the Regional VA cousel in your locale or by the OGC in DC. I filed both FTCA and 1151-( which is handled at the regional level, unless it is appealed to the BVA.)

Not only do your ducks have to in a row,they have to be well armed with evidencefor these types of claims.I found all of the evidence of malpractice in my husband's VA medical records. Some was very difficult to read- and I had to buy many medical texts to understand some of the medical acronyms and MRI etc.His autopsy ,as well, supported the claim.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Berta

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It'll be 3 years in June since the incident.  Another thing I wish I would have done different. 

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