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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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rk4435

Back C&P Question

Question

I was rated over a decade ago at 10% for a Lumbar Strain.  About 5 years ago the rating was increased to 20% for lumbar strain with an additional (secondary) rating of 10% for radiculapothy, sorry spell check won't touch that, numbness of the left extremity. 

I finally filed an appeal tied in with another issue that included a full diagnosis by a real doctor.  It included multiple issues, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and on and on. 

Does the VA rate those independently through the combined rating table, or do they simply grant the highest rating of all the issues?  I always felt like "lumbar strain" sounded rather temporary.  My doc says I will need 2-3 fusions, I'm just terrified to do it and can't afford to stay out of work for a couple of months. 

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lumbar strain was a catch all i think they used before MRI's...

Im 40% for lumbar strain, but also claimed as ddd, scoliosis, stenosis and a few other things, its rated based on how far you bend forward now

they dont prescribe bed rest anymore

I ended up w/4 level fusion s1 to l3, 4 months off,, but they give you temp 100% during that time you cannot work...3k per month downtime plus if you have kids

make sure you get reevaluated at the end, you should get to higher % after surgery because you can not bend like you used to 

radiculopathy is from nerve damage to the legs from spine problems and is rated secondary, so in addition to the spine and you should be rated for each leg, both count

I ended up w.60% left leg because I ended up with foot drop, a lot of nerve damage in other words, the right leg is mostly sensory deficite 

i fell and tore the labrum in my shoulder, left leg gave out on me and injury was from the fall, so its secondary in addition to spine also

literally everything that is tied to the SC injury is secondary, including arthritis of the hips and knees and ankles if you are affected as bad as I am

as soon as symptoms start to manifest, get to the VA and document them, then once you have it documented, start a new claim 

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    • By WomanMarine
      Sorry for the 'wall of text' ... 

      First off I would like to thank everyone for their service. Whether you served in one of the honorable branches or are just a contributor to this wonderful forum I have been lurking on, commitment to Veterans is valued. I am a female, Vietnam era, USMC vet. There are not many of us, as during those days they trained the women as the men, resulting in a high attrition rate. I believe it was due to this intense training that I am, in my old age, starting to feel the burn. 


      I was never as proud as the day that my Eagle, Globe and Anchor were pinned on me. It was a lot of work to become a Marine and, sadly, it took its toll. During Boot I started having problems with my R knee giving way. I had this happen to me in high school from running track, but never did my knee cap totally dislocate nor tear my meniscus, as it did that night in the Leather Neck Lanes @ MCRDSD. I was seen the next day in Ortho and subsequently diagnosed with a Sublexing Patella (7244 EPTE) and awarded 10% disability.


      This was 1975. Within six months after I was discharged, I got a good job with the railroad. The job only lasted a few months, as my knee went out on me while at work. I was seen at the V.A. in Los Angeles. They put a full leg cast on me, which I was to wear for six months. I applied for my disability then, but was denied. I do not recall the exact reason I was denied, but I do recall that there was an issue with my DD214. I had gone in initially as a Reserve, but later went Active. My last period of service was on my final DD214 but not my first. This required a correction and a  DD215 was issued. Finally the DoD did get my paperwork corrected. 


      After a few months in the cast my boyfriend  removed it, as it was causing me back pain. We were both totally amazed to see my leg that had been hidden for over four months, as it was practically non-existent! It had atrophied beyond belief and took quite a bit of work to regain the muscle. However my knee did not act up for some time. The V.A. had stated they rated me at 0% and gave me a card that stated that I was service-connected. In 1980 my knee decided to go out on me again. And again I applied to the V.A. for my service-connected disability. Again I was turned down. And this time they wanted my V.A. service-connected card, stating I was not V.A. rated.


      In 1993 I got involved in a new 'fad' called the Internet. I started building small networks. It was a great job, sitting behind a computer, watching my business flourish. In 2000 'dial-up' came to an end, with the prolific growth in wireless comms. My job changed from sitting behind a computer to climbing towers and high rises to install wireless systems.   In 2006 my darn 'Marine Corps' knee returned. It was not the sublexion I had experienced in years past, but more of a 'giving way' that caused me to fall down some stairs and injur my shoulder. By this time I had given up on the V.A. ever recognizing my 'service-connected' injury, so I just started wearing a soft knee brace. In 2012 I was climbing a tower and was 80' in the air when my knee decided to 'give way' ... That was a harrowing experience. If not for my safety harness I would have been 'splat' on the deck. I decided because of this I could not climb anymore. And because of this it cost me more to run my business. In 2014 I sold my business, as I was no longer capable of the physical aspect. I took a loss and now live on a small SS Survivors pension. 


      The last two winters have been hell for me, as my knee has now developed arthritis and is causing me sever problems with my back. In 2009 I was diagnosed by the V.A. with DDD of the Lumbar. I am sure that my knee has contributed to this. Also I am now developing arthritis in my left knee. Last summer I tried to be seen for my back in V.A. emergency care, as I had a sever sciatica attack. I waited over four hours and finally checked back in with the ER only to learn that there was only one DR to see the backlog of patients. I left the V.A., once again disgusted.  


      I decided last year if Trump was elected that I would re-apply to the V.A., as he made promises to clean-up the V.A. system. I reapplied the day of his Inauguration. I had my C&P last month. The C&P exam I found in MyHealthyVet and stated that my R knee was recognized by the examiner as:
      'Recurrent subluxation R, Date of diagnosis: Right 1970.
      Knee joint osteoarthritis, both knees, Date of diagnosis: Right 2017.

      Comments:

      1. Very mild lateral subluxation of the patella.2. Degenerative change involving the patellofemoral joint.3. Very mild degenerative change involving the knee joint.4. Very small knee joint effusion.5. Small popliteal cyst.6. Degenerative change involving the lateral meniscus.7. Degenerative change involving the medial meniscus and a tear involving theposterior horn of the medial meniscus cannot be excluded.Initial ROM R: Flexion: 5 to 110* Extension: 110 to 5*ROM L: Flexion: 0 to 115* Extension: 115 to 0*

      No ankylosis shown in either knee. The examiner noted that my recurrent subluxation and lateral insability of my R knee are both Severe with recurrent effusion. The examiner also noted: Crepitus bilaterally with right more pronounced than left. Atalgic gait with increased weight bearing to the left extremity. Also noted was a recent X-Ray that showed degenerative changes and was noted as Mild degenerative arthritis. The examiner scheduled an MRI and X-Ray of my L knee. The MRI indicated a small effusion.  The X-Ray indicated Mild degenerative skeletal change.  Under 'Functional Impact' it was stated that I "must be afforded opportunity to walk on smooth even surfaces. Must avoid repetitive walking inclines/declines, stairs and the use of ladders. Unable to tolerate prolonged standing or walking. Unable to participate in moderate to high impact aerobics. Unable to tolarate kneeeling or squatting. Also noted in the C&P: Veteran had CT Scan 2012 Lumbar spine indicating L4-L5 vacuum phenoma, DJD with recurrent cronic back pain/right radiculopathy s/s. She is requesting consideration for a MRI of lumbar spine. Veteran has positive history of MST but "does not want to deal with it at this time".


      After I read the report and saw that my status had changed from "Gather Evidence" to pending decision with a due date of 9/28/17, I became 'hopeful' that the V.A. was actually finally going to grant my service-connected disability. However yesterday that changed and hence the 'wall of text' I am dumping on your doorstep, in need of help. From my understanding they have sent in a request for 'clarification' from my examiner. As well they have not located my records from 1976 that shows when I initially applied and the course of action. They are now stating that my completion date is 1/18/18. I am well aware that the V.A. is like the military, hurry up just to wait. 

      Is this normal that they would bump the date back this far?
      AND is there any indication that the V.A. is going to finally do right by this ole vet?  

      If you made it this far, thanks! 
      Semper Fi!
      WM
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