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By Gordon D
Hello my name`s Gordon. I`m a retired in 2007 as a Hospital Corpsman. My active duty time was split between the Marines, and shipboard.
In 2008 the VA service connected me for many different ailments. The total was 50%, however also I was connected for right ear hearing loss but
at zero%. Now I have been diagnosed with Meniere`s Disease which has landed me in the hospital twice since June 2019. My doctor believes
it`s not gonna get better. I`m suffering from cerebral gait and drop attacks. My nexus was during the tank battle of khafji my right tm was
blown out by U.S. artillery. Never thought much of because three days later I injured my right ankle. I`ve suffered migraines and trap strains
tied to the disease while AD. However not until now was the reason understood. I`ve been in for 100% disability. Any advice to what`s next. My
claim was submitted on 29 May 2019.
I submitted my claim 9/24, I had the C&P exams on 11/6, and I am still waiting. I talked to my VSO today and she said I was "Awaiting adjudication" and that it could be several more months and I may need more exams. I know the VA is a long process, but it has been 10 months already and I am not sure what "awaiting adjudication" means. The VSO seemed a little annoyed, I call about 1 time a month, it just is frustrating. I don't know why a claim should take 10 months, I know I have read about appeals taking years so I shouldn't complain. I just feel that 10 months is an unreasonable amount of time to be "months away"
Hey all I have been out of here for a while dealing with issues and am now in a wheelchair from leg surgery which just happens to coincide with my latest C&P results finally showing up. Before this latest I was at 100% plus few miscellaneous 10 and 0 %'s.
The situation is complicated and I need to figure out my options in light of the changes between the legacy system, ramp and AMP (?).
The first hurdle, is my original award in 2013 did not show evidence they evaluated my OSA even though it was documented, diagnosed in May 2013 and should have been in my medical records by the time they did the award. VAMC New Orleans claims to have "lost" those records but Tulane Hospital has provided them to me and I have notes in my record that I had one, that the records were annotated in my file (supposedly in my file) and that a CPAP was issued.
I was never notified this was a compensable condition or that a C&P should be requested. I did not find this out until Aug 2018.
There is also my tests done for Vertigo, including being waterboarded through the ear and having MRI's performed to find out if I had tumors causing the vertigo. VAMC New Orleans says they don't have these records but the same issue arises as with the OSA. I have the MRI, and my record has notes that the VNG was done. The award letter is silent on this issue.
I have sent the VAMC FOIA requests on both issues multiple times and they don't even bother to answer me. When I call they just say there are no records and hang up on me.
How can I reopen that original claim, and would it keep the original dates?
To add complexity the original award denied me for hearing loss. The C&P examiner failed to look at my entire service record, instead she only looked at my first enlistment. I informed her of the Vertigo also but she made no mention of it in the report. On this particular issue, and the vertigo, the VA just rated me for 30% on vertigo and 0 for hearing loss. The dates for both were August 2108. At a minimum I want the hearing loss to be corrected back to the original date. It would also set up the argument for failing in their Duty to Assist and Notify on the Vertigo.
I have my c-file and the notes and exams from external providers (sleep study and MRI).
I believe this all constitutes New and Relevant (I guess that is the new term) Information.
I just need to know how I process this under the new system? Is it a supplemental claim? will I get an EED?
I will be filing a NOD on the recent 30% rating for Vertigo, the award letter has not yet arrived, it is over due, but the C&P doc was incompetent and my medical file shows that I am more in line with a rating of 60 or 100% for Meniures. I have VA treatment records recording my "drunk gait", nystagmus, and passing out from the vertigo. In 2013 time frame I would experience this 3 to 4 times a month in the worst months. Now it is 4 to 6 times a week, every time I roll over quickly or have any type of rapid head movement.
So on the NOD, since it was for the August, 2018 claim, am I supposed to just file a typical NOD?
can I ask for backdate (EED) based on the previous VNG and MRI from 2013 where they lost the records and failed to Notify or Assist me in filing a claim? My Vertigo has gone untreated and unassisted by the VA until 2018. It has grown significantly worse. This seems to constitute harm to me from their negligence.
I want to note again in the decision about the August 2018 claim they did grant me SC for the hearing loss. Their error is clear and unmistakable. It is also tied to the Vertigo so the EED hearing would also seem to affect that; The VA does not send us for MRI's and VNG's (waterboarding) just for hearing loss, so they knew and started the process, they just dropped the ball in getting that info to the raters.
Thanks for any help on the new processes.
I was rated at 10% for tinnitus last year by the VA. I went to my private doctor yesterday and I described to him the problems that I have been having with my sense of balance. Any sudden movement of my head or movement while sitting in my desk chair causes me to lose my balance and become nauseous. Also when seeing TV if there are certain scenes,such as movement across or up and down the screen my balance is affected. The doctor said that what is causing the problem is Meniere's Disease. Does any know if this could be secondary to tinnitus and if it would be rated separately from the tinnitus? If I am already rated at 10% for tinnitus and I could filed for Meniere's does any one know what it might be rated at? Thanks for your help. 68mustang
Student Loan Disability Forgiveness for Disability (Changes)
Please check out HR1, the new Tax Law just signed by President Trump. It appears, that if you have your student loans forgiven for being permanently disabled, the income tax liability has been removed.
An copy of the law from the text of the new law is provided below. I do not claim to be an attorney, so please interpret it for yourself.
PART IV—EDUCATION SEC. 11031. TREATMENT OF STUDENT LOANS DISCHARGED ON ACCOUNT OF DEATH OR DISABILITY.
(a) In General.—Section 108(f) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
“(5) DISCHARGES ON ACCOUNT OF DEATH OR DISABILITY.—
“(A) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an individual, gross income does not include any amount which (but for this subsection) would be includible in gross income for such taxable year by reasons of the discharge (in whole or in part) of any loan described in subparagraph (B) after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, if such discharge was—
“(i) pursuant to subsection (a) or (d) of section 437 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or the parallel benefit under part D of title IV of such Act (relating to the repayment of loan liability),
“(ii) pursuant to section 464(c)(1)(F) of such Act, or
“(iii) otherwise discharged on account of the death or total and permanent disability of the student.
“(B) LOANS DESCRIBED.—A loan is described in this subparagraph if such loan is—
“(i) a student loan (as defined in paragraph (2)), or
“(ii) a private education loan (as defined in section 140(7) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1650(7))).”.
(b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by this section shall apply to discharges of indebtedness after December 31, 2017.
Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?Peggy toll free 1000 last week, told me that, my claim or case BVA Granted is at the RO waiting on someone to sign off ,She said your in step 5 going into step 6 . That's good, right.?
Vync posted an answer to a question,I took a look at your documents and am trying to interpret what happened. A summary of what happened would have helped, but I hope I am interpreting your intentions correctly:
2003 asthma denied because they said you didn't have 'chronic' asthma diagnosis
2018 Asthma/COPD granted 30% effective Feb 2015 based on FEV-1 of 60% and inhalational anti-inflamatory medication.
"...granted SC for your asthma with COPD w/dypsnea because your STRs show you were diagnosed with asthma during your military service in 1995.
First, check the date of your 2018 award letter. If it is WITHIN one year, file a notice of disagreement about the effective date.
If it is AFTER one year, that means your claim has became final. If you would like to try to get an earlier effective date, then CUE or new and material evidence are possible avenues.
I assume your 2003 denial was due to not finding "chronic" or continued symptoms noted per 38 CFR 3.303(b). In 2013, the Federal Circuit court (Walker v. Shinseki) changed they way they use the term "chronic" and requires the VA to use 3.303(a) for anything not listed under 3.307 and 3.309. You probably had a nexus and benefit of the doubt on your side when you won SC.
It might be possible for you to CUE the effective date back to 2003 or earlier. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the restrictions of CUE. It has to be based on the evidence in the record and laws in effect at the time the decision was made. Avoid trying to argue on how they weighed a decision, but instead focus on the evidence/laws to prove they were not followed or the evidence was never considered. It's an uphill fight. I would start by recommending you look carefully at your service treatment records and locate every instance where you reported breathing issues, asthma diagnosis, or respiratory treatment (albuterol, steroids, etc...). CUE is not easy and it helps to do your homework before you file.
Another option would be to file for an increased rating, but to do that you would need to meet the criteria for 60%. If you don't meet criteria for a 60% rating, just ensure you still meet the criteria for 30% (using daily inhaled steroid inhalers is adequate) because they are likely to deny your request for increase. You could attempt to request an earlier effective date that way.
Does this help?
Buck52 posted an answer to a question,Tinnitus comes in two forms: subjective and objective. In subjective tinnitus, only the sufferer will hear the ringing in their own ears. In objective tinnitus, the sound can be heard by a doctor who is examining the ear canals. Objective tinnitus is extremely rare, while subjective tinnitus is by far the most common form of the disorder.
The sounds of tinnitus may vary with the person experiencing it. Some will hear a ringing, while others will hear a buzzing. At times people may hear a chirping or whistling sound. These sounds may be constant or intermittent. They may also vary in volume and are generally more obtrusive when the sufferer is in a quiet environment. Many tinnitus sufferers find their symptoms are at their worst when they’re trying to fall asleep.
Picked By66 bricks,
JKWilliamsSr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,A couple months back before I received my decision I started preparing for the appeal I knew I would be filing. That is how little faith I had in the VA caring about we the veteran.
One of the things I did is I went through the entire M21-1 and documented every CAVC precedent case that the VA cited. I did this because I wanted to see what the rater was seeing. I could not understand for the life of me why so many obviously bad decisions were being handed down. I think the bottom line is that the wrong type of people are hired as raters. I think raters should have some kind of legal background. They do not need to be lawyers but I think paralegals would be a good idea.
There have been more than 3500 precedent setting decisions from the CAVC since 1989. Now we need to concede that all of them are not favorable to the veteran but I have learned that in a lot of cases even though the veteran lost a case it some rules were established that assisted other veterans.
The document I created has about 200 or so decisions cited in the M21-1. Considering the fact that there are more than 3500 precedent cases out there I think it is safe to assume the VA purposely left out decisions that would make it almost impossible to deny veteran claims. Case in point. I know of 14 precedent setting decisions that state the VA cannot ignore or give no weight to outside doctors without providing valid medical reasons as to why. Most of these decision are not cited by the M21.
It is important that we do our due diligence to make sure we do not get screwed. I think the M21-1 is incomplete because there is too much information we veterans are finding on our own to get the benefits we deserve
M21-1 Precedent setting decisions .docx