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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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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
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      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
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      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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VN-Vet

AO - Prostate Cancer - ITF?

Question

I have read what threads, that would come up here, on prostate cancer and agent orange, and what is on the VA site. 

I realize that having served in Vietnam, my recently diagnosed prostate cancer should be a presumptive of agent orange by the VA, and I should get 100% disability for as long as I show active cancer, *** and I believe while I am being treated – or perhaps I must be in an approved treatment process, and then for 6 months after treatment ends. 

I had also thought I had read here that the VA does NOT recognize Watchful Waiting / Active Surveillance, as therapies that they will continue to payout on – but hopefully I am wrong, but I can’t seem to find that thread now, or it may be one of the threads I can’t get to come up now. 

My first question has to do with what ‘date’ will the VA use as the start date of compensation? I had filed an ITF, several months back, as I am also developing other claims for other conditions I have, and have had for some time. 

I believe that if I file for my ‘Agent Orange - Prostate Cancer’ before I file my other claims, that will use the placeholder my ITF provides, but what I don’t know is, if the VA will use the ITF date to start my PC compensation, or try and use the date of my biopsies or pathology reports, and I’ll just lose out on the months between those dates?

It was in the process of seeing the many doctors for the other conditions when  my prostate cancer was found, not a pleasant surprise. I don’t really have a large prostate, comparatively, and my PSA is under 10, but it is the small size and higher PSA for its size that places me at a higher risk, as well as the inclusion of ‘Perineural Invasion’ (PNI), that my private urologist wants to take more immediate action.

I am preparing myself for what is ahead, it has been a week today that I found out. I have read tons of stuff, but mostly created 5 or more years ago – and much has changed. I really like my urologist and trust him, but I also believe I need a second opinion as far as treatments are concerned, as I would hate second guessing myself for a hasty decision. (btw – my urologist is retired Army – interned at Walter Reed)

My second question is – how do I file? I tried calling the newer local VA clinic, The Regional VA hospital, and the VA 800 number. I have left my number for a return call on some, and was told by a recording that due to unavoidable circumstances my call cannot be answered, other times.

I have my dd214 showing my tours in Vietnam, I have my urologist’s diagnosis and copy of the pathology report, I have our marriage license, what else would I need if I just showed up at the clinic to file a claim? 

Third question – not as important – is there anyway I can file my other claims, not developed, before I file the PC claim, if I find out I would otherwise lose the ITF date when filing the PC claim?
 

Edited by VN-Vet

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I suggest that you make sure VA has ALL of your private medical records.

Any additional evidence should be uploaded.

I think we all worry too much! And you are dealing with a lot.

But Evidence is everything.

"I might be able to cope with everything a bit better if I was just assured that my current AO/PC would be paid back to at least back to the diagnosis date, of last week, no matter when I file for it. As of now – the latest date for that date would be 3/29/19, as my active ITF expires then."

The VA, with some exceptions, uses the date of the claim for the retro amount.

"Since I filed my claim when I still had a prostate, much has changed"

"In the past few days I recieved a call from QTC, saying I had an appointment with a PA for a C&P exam - for my 'contention' of prostate cancer, this Thursday. "

It would not hurt to bring any medical evidence you can, as to this disability.

I had my prostate out at Duke Hospital (great care btw) - however since I was being seen at the Duke Cancer Center / Prostate Cancer Center, i did not include Duke Hospital in the forms. The letter states not to send any medical records from anyone else other then those listed already listed."

I think the Duke Hospital records are critical to the claim. Do you have any of those records? If not, I assume you do have their discharge certificate, after the surgery.

"The letter states not to send any medical records from anyone else other then those listed already listed."

Regardless of what the letter says- These records are critical.

VA cannot properly determine a rating without all evidence of  the surgery and what the rating should be-

Is it possible that the Duke Cancer Center had them and that VA does have them as well, from the Cancer Center

I hope all goes well at the C & P exam for you. It should.

The reason I make this point about evidence is that we recently had a claimant here who supplied ,as new and material evidence, a document she had for 8 years.

VA was aware of  the document existed and asked her for it.When she sent it to them ,as she re opened her claim, her EED was the date they received the document.

She thought they owed her the additional 8 years as well.

The VA cannot make a proper EED finding ( Earliest Effective Date) on something, that was critical evidence, that they asked for, but never received from this claimant - for 8 years.

I feel you will certainly do OK at the C & P exam. Please let us know how it turns out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looks like everything went OK with the claim, as it shows today as 100% and dated back to the date of diagnosis  - and paperwork is supposed to be in the mail.

On eBenies  I entered my marriage info and put a checking account number in for direct deposit.

Anything else I should do now?

 

Now my question is - can I file a new 'Intent to File' for other claims? I was definitely afraid to do his until the initial claim was approved.

 

FYI - my C&P went OK with QTC - they called a few days later and wanted to let me know I may have a UTI, and that my PSA was then 0.1 - which is higher than I had hoped. I go back to my oncologist/urologist in a week or so for my first official PSA screen. 

Also - Do I call and make an appointment with VA Health to start getting my meds and pads from them?

THanks everyone - while you may not have posted here - I still used what I could glean from here.

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Yes you can file  new claims any time you want  the ITF is a good deal.

There is no limit as for as filing claims., when or how many...the limits starts after  a denial. then its Appeal time.

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Got everything rolling on the PCa - AO - 100% now - but still waiting on the USPS to deliver official notification, will be 5 business days tomorrow.

Question - will the PSA blood results, urine analysis, CBC - results from the C&P exam be in the package from the VA? I really need them to compare to my next PSA test next Tuesday?

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How do I obtain the Urine and Blood test results from the C&P exam I had back in April from contractor QTC and Lab Corp?

Is there a form (of course there is) and where do I send it?

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    • Howdy all,

      The VA DRO denied my claim for an earlier effective date for my sleep apnea. They originally denied it in 2008 but granted it in Nov 2019 secondary to my GERD. I was rated for GERD in 2001. So I had it in 2008. I have attached the 2008 denial, 2018 approval, and the NOD SOC. All of my medical files and the medical articles and VA Citations referenced were in existence in or before Jan 2008. The only new items were the NEXUS letter from Dr Bash and a few extra buddy letters. The original denial states that my medical records show no diagnosis or treatment and only isolated complaints of symptoms. The denial does not even list my wife's or my lay statements as evidence reviewed. I have symptoms listed numerous times in my SMRs:

      a. Medical visit dated 24 Feb 76 for problem sleeping and depression.
      b. Physical exam dated 24 Jan 79 listed frequent/severe headaches" dizziness, and
      nervousness.
      c. Physical exam dated 07 Nov 83 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      d. Physical exam dated 16 Jan 85 listed frequent/severe headaches.
      e. Admitted to hospital 05 Aug 86 for chest pains and anxiety.
      f. Medical visit dated 14 Jul 87 for problem sleeping and morning confusion.
      g. Physical exam dated 25 Feb 88 listed dizziness.
      h. Physical exam dated 07 Oct 91 listed frequent/severe headaches
      i. Physical exam dated 25 Aug 93 listed headache.
      j. Hernia repair surgery dated 22 Ang 94 surgeon had to insert devices of some
      kind in each of my nostrils that went down into my throat to keep rny airway
      open and stop my disruptive snoring.
      k. Physical exam dated 29 Sep 99 listed frequent/severe headaches.

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