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Hi there, Recently actually yesterday the 21st of February the VA gave me notice that my supplemental claim had been decided and that they had sent out the letter that morning as well (meaning the decision was actually made on the 20th). This of course prompted me to check Ebenefits, where I saw no change in my rating. I'm currently rated at 40% for other issues. And in the past Ebenefits updated almost instantly leading me to believe that this supplemental claim was denied. I originally submitted my Epilepsy claim back in august, it was denied about 4 months later due to conflicting phraseology given by one of my doctors (mind you i still have a diagnoses of Epilepsy with 15 witnessed Grand Mal seizures at this point). Once i got the original decision letter I contacted my County VSO's office and set up an appointment. After they reviewed everything they we surprised that my claim was denied as it has a clear nexus and on top of that falls under the conditions; that if they manifest within a year its considered service connected (I separated 02/01/2019, first seizure onset was 05/25/2019). They did review the 112 pages of evidence from my civilian doctors and did see the conflicting phraseology. They told me that if I could get my Neurologist to just confirm my diagnoses and say i was and have been under treatment since 05/25/2019 that we could submit a supplemental claim since that's the fastest route. So that's what we did. That brings us to now. Under the standards for Epilepsy I was looking at a single rating of anything between 80%-100%. An 80% from 40% would have resulted in something Close to 90%. While i'm holding out, since in either case the retro pay (if my claim was awarded) would be greater then 20K that the additional signatures required are slowing down Ebenefits from updating, but as in most cases if the letter has sent and Ebenfits doesn't updated, 90% of the time you Claim/Supplemental/Appeal is denied. ( I mean correct me if I'm wrong). Whats the moral of the story? No matter how much evidence you have to support you the VA will be the VA. I'm lucky that I'm rated for other conditions so that I can at least have the VA help me cut down on the costs of treatment for Epilepsy, but it would have been nice to have it service connected so that I wouldn't have to wait months on months for Neurology appointments since I don't have priority. If any one has any information for me that might help moving forward, I'm all ears as once my letter is received and upon reading of the denial ill be filling an appeal.
Quick background; I injured my back severely in Kuwait in 2013(I was 22) no proper medical exam or treatment at the peek of the injury just pumped full of pain meds. Once back in the states it still took months before Someone decided I actually needed an xray just to be told I was fine. There were times where I’d experience temporary paralysis below the waist, daily pain levels above 5, numbness, pinching and burning sensations in lower back and to be told nothing was wrong made me want to give up and suffer in silence because no1 seem to take me serious. However the pain was so intense I found myself in the ER sometimes twice a week with strange knots in my back that were shrugged off as muscle spasms and just given more pain meds. I was given a 10% rating after separating in 2014. I didn’t know what that meant or why. Almost 7yrs later the pain is worse back and forth with the VA with treatment that either aggravates or just doesn’t work and I recently discovered that I was diagnosed with sciatic nerve pain BUT it stated it didn’t come from work. I couldn’t believe it. I now live in MD near DC and although terribly discouraged feel I need to fight what seems to be a system that hasn’t cared for me properly since day 1 and appeal. The question is. IS IT WORTH IT? I paid out of pocket for X-rays and made some discoveries about my back that make much more since than what the VA tells me. Has anyone experienced anything similar?
So, as some know I have been having a little war with the VA and my VSO, the American Legion, about getting my DBQ's.
So today I went to the VSO's office in the VARO building during their "walk in" hours since I could not get them to give me an appointment.
On the door was as sign saying the office was closed for the week for training and left the 800 number for Washington DC office.
I knock on the door anyway. Two ladies answer.
Tell them what I want and that I need them to do it today.
They invite me into the office.
I hand them a typed sheet with the Dates and Dr's of my C&P's and a list of documents for each one that I need.
The first lady says she doesn't know why I am there. The second lady says she will help me. The first lady says show me how we do this.
I tell them again what I want and the 2nd lady says why do you want to file a NOD, I tell her. She says you don't need these files to file an appeal.......The VA already has them. I tell her I need to know exactly what the DBQ says and what the letters to and from VA says. I also need the code sheets as they existed at each point for each approved and denied C&P.
She tells me no i don't and if I insist on filing a NOD I should just file an HLR.. I told her no, that would not work for this and the HLR results are not typically veteran friendly.
She then spends 20 minutes more telling me that I need to listen to her because veterans don't know what they want and don't know anything about the VA and how to win their claim.
She then says "We work for the VA not for you, and the VA knows what it is doing".
this of course makes me mad and I say to her " I am asking you to get me these files. nothing more. I have heard your opinion and all you need to do is get me copies of these files." She then starts in again trying to convince me not to file.
I get more insistent and tell her that i heard her but I expect her to do exactly as I requested, nothing more.
She then says "Well you don't need those files so let me file the NOD" I tell her NO. Resoundingly empathically NO>
She then tells me I know how to file a NOD. She then remembers I am filing a CUE and says "you shouldn't file a CUE because you will never win and then the VA will be mad at you"......
Just f'ing wow.
Then I tell her once again to do what I asked her to do and to stop trying to dissuade me from what I want. I tell her she is wasting her time and mine and that all I want is her to get those documents.
She then yells to the other woman to get "Bill". Man comes in and says "those are VA files you don't get to have them".
I tell him he is wrong and ask who he is. He refuses to answer. I look at woman 2 and say Please tell me your full name so I have a record. She wants to know why. I tell her point blank, that the next time I speak to AL in DC I am going to reference her and what she has said and not done. I then look at "Bill" and ask his name. He tells me 'you don't need to know that". I tell him I do because saying "Bill from AL means nothing to anyone". He snaps back 'I don't work for AL I work for VFW".
I ask him why he is sticking his nose into an AL situation? He gets mad and leaves.
She writes down her name, at least I think it is her name, date and time .
Then says all she is going to do is fill out a FOIA. At this point I decide to let her do that and get a copy to submit with my complaint to the AL.
She then asks me what I want. Types that I want my C-file and the files on the attached sheet, prints it, shoves it at me and says to Sign it. I tell her no it is not accurate and ask for a pen and write explicitly what I want.
She literally tries to argue with me.
I tell her to stop arguing and write the FOIA the way I tell her.
She writes it wrong in her own phrasing and i made her redo it.
Then I made her add Time is of the essence on the form.
When she handed it to me. I initialed before and after the typing and drew a line threw the blank space.
She gasped and asked why I did that. I said "its blank space and anyone could add words to that blank space. She then started to say, and got half way through saying
'I needed to put more stuff...." and then shut up as she realized she was admitting to falsifying a FOIA over my signature.
I am not sure which is worse, having the people with my POA try and screw me over or having the VA which is supposed to be on my side try and Screw me over.
How much can they see, how much can they tell me? I seem to get almost nothing but cryptic information from my VSO. Are they restricted from telling information to me while the claim is not yet complete? Or is it possible that she withholds the information having been burned by changes in the past?
Question: VA Form 21-526EZ page 8 section 13. Should all the items from the VA Problem list (medical records) be included on the form, including secondary problems and other items such as diabetes or ONLY the service connected problems? Post Vietnam, no AO
My spouse's condition has deteriorated in the last 10 years and we need to be re-evaluated. Last year, the VA Rep submitted a claim and the Comp&Pen Doctor asked us for an MRI. From there it gets murky trying to get assistance for documentation.
Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
Vync posted an answer to a question,I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:
2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis
2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.
"...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.
First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date.
If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues.
I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.
It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.
Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.
Does this help?
Buck52 posted an answer to a question,Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.
The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.
Picked By66 bricks,