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  • Trouble Remembering? This helped me.

    I have memory problems and as some of you may know I highly recommend Evernote and have for years. Though I've found that writing helps me remember more. I ran across Tom's videos on youtube, I'm a bit geeky and I also use an IPad so if you take notes on your IPad or you are thinking of going paperless check it out. I'm really happy with it, I use it with a program called Noteshelf 2.

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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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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

      I finally won my tdiu effective date in Feb. 2020, 18 years after I first applied!!!  

      Here is how they managed to drag mine out 18 years:

      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

      2.  I appealed, said it was not moot because it could result in an earlier effective date and SMC S under Bradley vs Peake.  The judge agreed with me, and ordered VARO consider me for extra schedular TDIU, under 4.16 b.  

      3.  The VARO piddles with  the remand for 3 years, and hoped I wouldnt notice.  I noticed and raised cane until they adjuticated it.  (denied of course).  

      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

      7.  Mr. Attig won a remand, and advised me to get another IMO.  

      8.  The board awarded my earlier effective date in Feb. 2020.  

           So, I do have advice fighting VA for TDIU, they fought and fought and I hung in there and won it all.  

      ADVICE:  Dont count on VA, they could easily throw your fax in the trash.  Follow up!  
    • "Keep in mind that due to the nature of the digestive system, VA would most likely combined your conditions and pay you at the higher rate to avoid pyramiding".    That is one of my main gripes.  They are only listing the GERD with hiatal hernia and ignoring the rest of my gastric issues such as the gastritis which I also had in service.  I included it in my 2007 request for increase and again in 2019.  The info from the civilian dr that stated I had the gastritis with H pylori was not even provided to the examiner in 2007, nor did he have my VA health records. The 2019 request was based on an EGD I had AT THE VA in Jan 2019.   I filed for an increase 6 Mar and they did an ACE on 27 Mar and downgraded to noncompensable on that date.  The only reason I was thinking CUE:  38 CFR § 3.326 - Under Examinations  it states (c) Provided that it is otherwise adequate for rating purposes, a statement from a private physician may be accepted for rating a claim without further examination".  
    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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SsgtForLife

Gulf war connection versus service connection

Question

I have been following the group for a while. My claim is currently sitting in “Pending Decision Approval”. My question is in regards to my C&P exam. In the notes section of the C&P under GW, the doctor states, “...is less likely than not”. However, directly below that under medical opinion, he states “...is at least as likely as not occurred in service”. 

Why would he have this distinction? All of my claims were for Gulf War syndrome. The C&P looks favorable for service connection, but not Gulf war. Am I missing something? Are there any thoughts on why he separated these items? 

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Wow, let me try to tackle this one.  As far as I know Service Connection is Service Connection is Service Connection.  That being said, their are certain conditions that are presumed to be automatically Service Connected if you served in the Gulf War.  As such, you do not need to provide the nexus to your condition like Veterans who did not serve in the Gulf War would have to.  If I am wrong on this someone please let me know.

Now let us talk about the doctor.  Although you do not directly state so, it is almost obvious this doctor is a VA doctor.  Doctor's out in the private world do not use the phraseology "less likely than not".  Both phrases you reference are synonymous, which means they say the same thing.  And I might point out, this is not a good thing.  (The second quote arguably is grammatically awkward, but do not think for a minute the VA will use that in your favor.)

For their to be a nexus between your condition and your military service the phrase must read, "more likely than not".  I have a recommendation for you, make an appointment with a non VA doctor.  It is preferable this doctor is one you have previously seen.  Before your appointment prepare a statement in support of your claim for this doctor to sign.  Prepare it similar to what the VA doctor opined with the exception that it is "more likely than not".  And if you are really energetic, you can refer to the VA Disability Ratings Schedule and use the terminology the VA is looking for with each condition.

That creates a conflict, and as a matter of law, a difference must be settled in favor of the veteran.  Yes it will cost money for the doctor, but that is a mere pittance to what you stand to lose if your claim is denied.  And yes, even with the difference the VA might rule against you. but if the BVA does not correct that error. the CAVC will.

Well I hope this is somewhat helpful.  And if I am wrong on the Gulf War Syndrome I hope someone let's us both know.

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It looks like you never got a reply....

I cannot answer why he separated these items.  We need to wait for the BBE (big brown envelope) which looks like it may be coming.

Please keep us apprised.

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While its true that, in theory, the VA gives the benefit of the doubt to the Veteran, in reality this only happens "some" of the time.  As Vet quest posted, I agree you will need to wait for the envelope, and appeal if necessary.  

For example the VA can choose one doctors opinion over another, but they must give a reason they did so.  Possible reasons are that Doc A did a more thorough exam, Doc B read the entire record, etc.  In this instance, the VA can choose the negative opinion over the more positive one, as long as they cited a reason for doing so.  

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It means he don't think this occurred in the GW...

You need to wait for the decision as   Vetquest & broncovet mention.

but it all depends what all this Dr mention in his report  some times the raters will read into what the  Examiner said as just being the wrong phrase and (hopefully thinking this Dr was just messed up in his/her phrase .

  if all your  evidence turns to the GW and records ect,,,ect,,,I think you may be granted.

if your evidence points to this being GW related you should be granted award...but it will be fairly easy to Appeal  but it starts your hamster wheel rolling need-less-lee

let us know how it goes./

  there's a lot of good people on here that can help you.

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So far they have granted one item for Gulf War Syndrome, which was IBS. This was rated at 30%. They also have awarded bilateral knee pain at 10% each. I was diagnosed with Asthma and that item has been deferred, along with Genitourinary condition. 

I went in for a second C&P yesterday for both conditions that were deferred. The original C&P exam had both under Medical Opinion as “At least as likely”. Both were under Gulf War as “is less than likely”.

we will see what is written up this time. 

Thanks to everyone for your replies. 

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    • So, my lawyer sent an IME w/ IMO and filed a supplemental claim solely for IU on March 20.

      It was closed on March 25, and va.gov just states claim closed and nothing more.

      Hopefully, I get good news.
    • Thanks for the responses. I am filing a new claim but will continue pushing the NOD. My new question is it stated in law or statute that if during the claims process the VA finds conditions that could possibly rate service connection that was not originally filed for, the VA will “invite” the veteran to file the claim on the claims form. Reason I ask is that my private DBQs, NEXUS letter, and even the VA nurse examiner's DBQs lists bilateral upper radiculopathy as present. If it is written in statute or official guidance it might qualify as a CUE. Just looking at all angles. 
    • Everyone needs to read our stories so they can try to avoid these screws by the va...
      Thank you, everyone contributes, good or bad, all of our stories will help others, and yes, they have been stated by others for ages, over and over, but we just get depressed, and the time turns into years as they screw us..

      Welcome to the department of Veterans Affairs!  I can honestly say, "been there, done that".  

      Even after winning my tdiu in 2017, it was back to the drawing board as VA hornswaggeld my effective date.  (but of course).  

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      1.  They never adjuticated my decison until 2009, where they called it "moot".  

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      4.  Finally, after the baord denied again, I hired a lawyer, in 2014, and appealed to CAVC.   

      5.  The lawyer won a remand, got an IMO and I won tdiu in 2017.  But at the wrong effective date, even after 15 years.  

      6.  I hired another lawyer, Chris Attig, and appealed the effective date, and he won a remand for effective date.  Trip 2 to CAVC.  

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    • Enough has been said on this topic. This forum is not the proper forum for an attorney and former client to hash out their problems. Please take this offline
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