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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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semperfam

Dumb Question about SC

Question

Hi all,

I have a dumb question about service connection.  Backstory: Apparently, I did not do myself any favors upon my retirement and initial VA claim-I did not claim several conditions (just choosing the worst ones) and the VA rated me pretty fairly (60%) in my first claim.  I then did nothing for 9 years as my health deteriorated-put simply, I just felt like it was too much to ask.  After having a Gulf War exam with a letter of admission for presumptive conditions from the examiner, and then having double knee replacements and needing both hips, I am finally ready to go after what I feel I deserve. It is unfortunate, since all of this compensation won't be effective till my intent to file date. However, I have learned a few things and am telling my fellow vets to go through their records with a fine tooth comb, consider ALL issues when doing their VA medical exam after retirement, and document, document, document.  

As an example, I am SC for my right knee and hip, but never filed a claim on my left knee and hip.  They ARE in my service medical records as issues, with statements such as "increased instability and pain in L knee" and "audible grinding bilateral".  These notes pale in comparison to the records for my right knee, which had 3 surgeries while active duty.  There are several issues that are like this-documented in my record, but I did not claim them as issues originally.

So my question is: if it is in my military medical records as an issue that I sought treatment for or as a peripheral "current issue" listed, does this give the VA sufficient evidence for service connection? These are current medical issues for me as well, ones that I am being treated for in the civilian sector, and I have provided those records to VA via eBenefits.

Thanks in advance. 

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I think you are asking about a possible effective date, if awarded.  We really can not determine that without reviewing your file.  However, I suggest you apply and file a nod disputing the effective date, if awarded at an incorrect effective date. 

Sadly, tho, its rare when you can get an effective date earlier than when you applied, and it takes special circumstances, such as a Nehmer class Vet (Vietnam) or if you applied within a year of service.  

Its still possible tho, you have an informal claim, and we wont know that unless your records are reviewed.  

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"So my question is: if it is in my military medical records as an issue that I sought treatment for or as a peripheral "current issue" listed, does this give the VA sufficient evidence for service connection? These are current medical issues for me as well, ones that I am being treated for in the civilian sector, and I have provided those records to VA via eBenefits."

You do have the inservice "nexus" , the cause of these disabilities- but VA will need the private records to determine continuous treatment and current disability and give you a C & P exam and will determine the residuals of the right knee after your discharge.Hopefully they will  SC the left knee and hip.

Also it is possible that any  knee, hip condition can cause disability in both knees and hips.

You said something SO IMPORTANT I need to repeat it:

"It is unfortunate, since all of this compensation won't be effective till my intent to file date." Correct

"However, I have learned a few things and am telling my fellow vets to go through their records with a fine tooth comb, consider ALL issues when doing their VA medical exam after retirement, and document, document, document. " INDEED!   You are so right!

 

 

 

Edited by Berta
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Thank you, BroncoVet and Berta.

I am not as concerned with my effective date as trying to determine "what" to claim.  I understand that they need to be current issues (I have many), but was curious about what constituted "nexus".  

Appreciate you.

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This is nearly an impossible question to answer because it all depends on who you have to deal with.  Lack of consistency is rampant within the VA.  

But I have a suggestion.  As soon as practical make an appointment with a Private Physician.  Take your records and prepare a Nexus statement for the doctor to sign.  Most private doctors will gladly sign the document.  The verbiage within this statement should tie in the condition and/or event in service with your current diagnosis.  The most important words are "X caused more likely than not from Y service diagnosis'", which is a fairly innocuous standard for the doctor to sign. (I am assuming these are real problems the doctor can see documented.)

Get that in ASAP.  

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