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Appeal Status Change SOC


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Hello all. I have been appealing a decision I was given on a compensation claim in 2015. Today I checked ebenefits and the message changed:

Table of Claims
Latest Progress Status Description Received
03/02/2016 Appeal Pending - Statement of the Case (SOC) VA has received your Form 9 and will begin completing final actions regarding your appeal before it is sent to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Date not available

 

This change occurred 11/26/2018. I had a C&P exam for this appeal on November 11th and mailed in all my supporting documentation. The issues are interstitial cystitis (only service records I have were for multiple visits of painful urination, but to my knowledge this disease is relatively new and unstudied..so it's not something anyone in service would have diagnosed 15 years ago) and GERD (diagnosed in service and treated since service with medication). I have been told SOC's are only for denials. So does this mean my claims have been denied again? When I requested the BVA review I don't remember if I asked for teleconference or not...I have done all of my own claims, but I recently requested representation (POA) by DAV.  Any advice about the status change in Ebenefits? My rating has not changed in there, nor have any documents...

My case was transferred from St.Pete -RO to FARGO due to backlog, and that is who ordered my C&P exam. When the examiner from Fargo called, she told me if she was unable to grant my claims she recommended I get with a VSO to represent me moving forward. So, anyone have experience with this stage of the game?

 

I am service connected:

TVT - 20%

Hyst. - 30%

Migraines - 30%

Anemia -0%

Dry eyes - 0%

Allergic rhinitis-0%

Rectocele - 0%

Restless leg syndrome - 0%

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I don't mean to sidetrack you with your question about GERD, or impose, but it's important that you're aware of Obstructive Sleep Apnea as secondary to SC Allergic Rhinitis. If your Rhinitis wors

I assume you mean Shands teaching hospital in Gainesville Fla. If so they have world class specialists on staff and if need be they can be leveraged to bolster your claim. Convince your VA specialist

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2 hours ago, AFMedic09 said:

Thank you all. I know this will be difficult to be SC'd for, but I believe I should have (and would have) been diagnosed in service if they knew anything about painful urination or painful bladder syndrome back then. They just treated me with medication and antibiotics back then. The specialist at the VA ( who had been working with Shands from a grant to study IC) told me this has likely been my issue all along. I now have to cath twice daily. I will continue the fight until I can't fight any more.

I called the 800 # today and he told me to disregard the "We have received your form 9", because he said he does not see this in his system. He advised that I continue to call back for status updates and wait on the SOC before turning it over to the DAV.

I'm calling BS on your RO.

In a previous post you mentioned:

The issues are interstitial cystitis (only service records I have were for multiple visits of painful urination, but to my knowledge this disease is relatively new and unstudied..so it's not something anyone in service would have diagnosed 15 years ago)

This was an appeal for the same condition you were diagnosed with. In1992 this veteran was rated 60% then reduced to 40%, she fought it and was increased back to 60% . You fight this thing tooth and nail and don't give up on it.  Read it and see what this veteran did to get the benefits she truly deserved and that you deserve, as well. The pain can be debilitating and can impede your ability for earning capacity.  II hope this gives you some vindication. Best wishes.

https://www.va.gov/vetapp92/files1/9205798.txt

92 Decision Citation: BVA 92-05798

 Y92 
                          BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS
                       WASHINGTON, D.C. 20420

    DOCKET NO.  91-38 183       )    DATE
                                )
                                )
                                )

                              THE ISSUE

    Entitlement to a disability rating greater than 40 percent
    for interstitial cystitis.

                           REPRESENTATION

    Appellant represented by:  AMVETS

                   WITNESSES AT HEARINGS ON APPEAL

    The veteran, J. T., and C. B.

                       ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD

    M. W. Greenstreet, Counsel

                            INTRODUCTION

    The veteran had active military service in March and April
    1975 and from June 1979 to December 1981.

    This matter comes before the Board on appeal from a March
    1990 rating decision from the Cleveland, Ohio, Department of
    Veterans Affairs (VA) regional office (RO), in which the
    disability rating for the veteran's interstitial cystitis
    was reduced from 60 percent to 40 percent.  The RO received
    the veteran's notice of disagreement in March 1990; it
    issued a statement of the case in May 1990, and it received
    the veteran's substantive appeal in May 1990.  The veteran
    offered testimony in support of her claim at a July 1990
    hearing at the RO.  This case was docketed at the Board of
    Veterans' Appeals in July 1991, and the veteran offered
    testimony before a member of the Board in February 1991.

    In June 1991, the appellant raised the additional issues of
    entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus, an
    acquired psychiatric disorder, and the residuals of a
    hysterectomy, all as secondary to her interstitial
    cystitis.  At her February 1992 hearing, she stated that the
    only issue which she wished to address as an appellate issue
    was that of entitlement to an increased rating for
    interstitial cystitis.  The issues of entitlement to service
    connection for the residuals of a hysterectomy, diabetes
    mellitus, and an acquired psychiatric disorder are referred
    to the RO for appropriate action.  The issue of entitlement
    to a disability rating greater than 10 percent for the
    veteran's low back disorder is also referred to the RO.

                 CONTENTIONS OF APPELLANT ON APPEAL

    The appellant contends that the issue in this case is her
    entitlement to restoration of a 60 percent disability rating
    for cystitis.  She avers that disorder is manifested by
    constant burning pain, hourly nocturia, daytime urinary
    frequency, and severe pain with intercourse.  She emphasizes
    that she tries to avoid taking medication for cystitis and
    that she does not seek medical help as often as she should.
    She also points out that she wears protective pants due to
    leakage and that she has been fired from a job in the past
    due to her disability.  She asks that the Board rate her
    disability under Diagnostic Code 7513 of the VA's Schedule
    for Rating Disabilities.

                          FINDINGS OF FACT

    1.  All relevant evidence necessary for an equitable
    disposition of the veteran's appeal has been obtained by the
    RO.

    2.  The veteran has interstitial cystitis characterized by
    incontinence, urinary frequency and pain.

                          CONCLUSION OF LAW

    The schedular criteria for a disability rating of 60 percent
    for interstitial cystitis have been met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1155,
    5107(a) (1989) (formerly §§ 355, 3007(a), renumbered in
    1991); 38 C.F.R. Part 4, Codes 7512, 7513.

           REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

    The Board finds that the veteran's claim is plausible;
    therefore, it is well grounded within the meaning of
    38 U.S.C. § 5107(a).  There are a number of urologic
    examination and treatment reports of record, and we are
    satisfied that all relevant facts have been properly
    developed.

    The record shows that the appellant has twice testified that
    she experiences a number of debilitating symptoms caused by
    interstitial cystitis, such as extensive urinary frequency,
    near constant pain, a degree of incontinence, and severe
    pain on intercourse.  Recent examinations and an August 1990
    cystoscopy have confirmed a diagnosis of interstitial
    cystitis, and the record supports the manifestations
    reported by her.  Based on these facts, we find that she is
    entitled to a 60 percent disability rating under either
    Diagnostic Code 7512 or 7513.

    38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)(1) provides that in exceptional cases
    where schedular evaluations are inadequate the VA can assign
    an extraschedular evaluation which is commensurate
    with the average earning capacity impairment due to the
    service-connected disability.  This section further provides
    that the governing norm in those exceptional cases is a
    finding that there such an exceptional or unusual disability
    picture, with related factors such as marked interference
    with employment or frequent periods of hospitalization, as
    would make the application of the regular schedular
    standards impractical.  While the appellant has reported
    that she has lost considerable time from work and, in fact,
    lost a job due to interstitial cystitis, she stated at her
    last hearing that she continues to work as an accountant.
    On this basis, we do not find that the rating codes utilized
    in this case are inadequate so as to render the application
    of those codes impractical.  Although we are cognizant of
    the many social and family problems resulting from her
    disability, we would emphasize that the rating schedule is
    based on the average degree of industrial impairment or loss
    of earning capacity resulting from the disability.

                                ORDER

    A 60 percent disability rating for interstitial cystitis is
    granted, subject to the regulations governing the
    disbursement of monetary benefits.

                     BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS
                       WASHINGTON, D.C. 20420

       WARREN W. RICE, JR.             ROBERT D. PHILIPP

                   *

    *38 U.S.C. § 7102(a)(2)(A) (1991) permits a Board of
    Veterans' Appeals Section, upon direction of the Chairman of
    the Board, to proceed with the transaction of business
    without awaiting assignment of an additional Member to the
    Section when the Section is composed of fewer than three
    Members due to absence of a Member, vacancy on the Board or
    inability of the Member assigned to the Section to serve on
    the panel.  The Chairman has directed that the Section
    proceed with the transaction of business, including the
    issuance of decisions, without awaiting the assignment of a
    third Member.

    NOTICE OF APPELLATE RIGHTS:  Under 38 U.S.C. § 7266 (1991),
    a decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals granting less
    than the complete benefit, or benefits, sought on appeal is
    appealable to the United States Court of Veterans Appeals
    within 120 days from the date of mailing of notice of the
    decision, provided that a notice of disagreement concerning
    an issue which was before the Board was filed with the
    agency of original jurisdiction on or after November 18,
    1988.  Veterans' Judicial Review Act, Pub. L. No. 100-687,
    § 402 (1988).  The date which appears on the face of this
    decision constitutes the date of mailing and the copy of
    this decision which you have received is your notice of the
    action taken on your appeal by the Board of Veterans'
    Appeals.



Code 7512: Chronic Cystitis is the swelling of the bladder most often due to infections, but it can be caused by other things as well. If it is caused by a urinary tract infection, then it is rated as described for that condition. All other causes of this condition are rated under this code.

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12 hours ago, AFMedic09 said:

The specialist at the VA ( who had been working with Shands from a grant to study IC

I assume you mean Shands teaching hospital in Gainesville Fla. If so they have world class specialists on staff and if need be they can be leveraged to bolster your claim. Convince your VA specialist to help you make the connections to the Shands specialists in this area and get access to any published research or papers they have done on this subject. Also see if they will help you find papers on any connection to military service that might be out there.

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Doc25, I will keep fighting. Ebenefits changed to Appeal complete with no change in my status (IC and GERD still show "not service connected"). I am guessing I was denied again. I will have to file the form 9 and keep pushing on.

The GERD I have no idea how they can deny, because I have EGD results and medical records of visits for this condition and proof of history of medications, plus been treated from VA since separating from service in 2009.

The IC, I have service records for painful urination and incontinence. I had a cystoscopy in service just prior to my TVT bladder sling (which I am SC'd for), but I do not have those results in my records. It really makes zero sense what the VA chooses to deny and grants. I am 0% for restless leg syndrome, which the VA happened to find in my service records and added to my initial claim in 2009 (it was not one I was petitioning for at the time).

Thank you for your input and encouragement. This process is truly disheartening. I have recently given POA to the local DAV, and will set up a meeting with them once I get the SOC.

 

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Yes, the system is disheartening and frustrating.  The only thing we can do is fight to get to the BVA where they read all of the records and make mostly informed decisions.  Unfortunately if the BVA decides your case was not handled correctly they will remand.  This just ties your case up for many months as the RO gets the remand completed.  The good news is that if your case is remanded and denied you will go back to the front of the line at the BVA after a remand.  The most important parts of my case have been decided at the BVA level.  The RO's just make it take years though.  You will get backpay if you win but this does not get your car or house back if you lost it in the meantime.

 

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