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So, awaiting my hearing - filed in April 2019 - originally went through PEB/MEB - then filed my "first" claim in 2015
This is something that has been sitting in the back of my mind about my claim (4 contentions in appeal, TBI, back, bilateral neuropathy, etc.) that has me puzzled.
When my VSO and I sat down an looked over the paperwork for filing, I took note that my other issues on appeal are being claimed as secondary to tbi. I feel as if trying to SC on secondary may be in question, though the SC is not.
I'm wondering if this may hurt my claim or not because it wasn't until recently that I was SC'd for PTSD(after 3 years and several denials) (Claimed as MST/PTSD - however, there is also evidence of other personal assault(s)...)
I'm focused particularly on my Nexus statements, all of which are from VA Doc's, (and 3 Nexus' in particular) - the Nexus(s) im referring to for tbi does not include a rationale that speaks about the ptsd, but instead notes some other "significant" events leading to tbi.
I have a diagnosis for TBI, but on the last denial it stated that it wasn't a "conclusive" diagnosis.
...what are they talking about???
It says outright on the page(s).
First - the IME/IMO done by the VA specialist - an MD -
"Based on my initial evaluation, and his medical records, I am treating him for symptoms related to a traumatic brain injury resulting from trauma that occurred during his military service."
As if this quote wasn't enough, the next one says (my local VA doc, also an MD),
"I concur with the diagnosis of TBI caused by ..."This was confirmed on 2 separate visits to XXX" .... on active duty" - "It is my medical opinion that it is more likely than not that the current symptoms of TBI .... are a direct consequence of the injury(ies) he sustained on active duty."
I noted that the narrative also changed on the reasons and basis between the SOC and the Denial letter.
Ramp decision for denial ( Jan 2019 ) - "You were previously denied SC because the evidence at the time did not show an event, disease, or injury, nothing in STR's, and no current Diagnosis.
STR's show a consult from (Neuro 2012) which you reported a syncope episode (Blackout) with no history of a head injury or trauma (WHAAATTT!?!? - Red flag here..when you combine with the details from lay evidence - it was witnessed my head struck first, this was also reported to this particular doctor (again 2012) but for some unknown reason, he failed to list it as such) I wish this record could be amended, but instead I'm just using other evidence so they just toss it out. - Ironically this was also noted as a favorable finding because when the good doctor quoted me, he did put in his report that I had an episode of syncope.
"In support of your claim you submitted a lay statement from X which indicates a personal knowledge or observation of etc etc. The lay evidence, however, was not found to be competent and sufficient in this case to establish a link, or to establish that such a link has been found by a medical professional. ----( Not anymore! )
I re-filed in 2017 but they basically threw it out again for "VA treatment records from x to x show that you were seen for symptoms that possibly were due to a TBI. However, CONCLUSIVE findings did not show a Dx of TBI" (To which I had submitted evidence stating otherwise)
"RD dated...denies for no STR's with complaints, treatment, or diagnosis"...Here it says "You stated on your NOD the the injury occurred prior to your deployment....you also submitted a lay statement that you injured your head in XXX, however on XXX You told Dr. X - that you suffered a head injury during deployment. ---- If it happened on active duty, it happened during service right? What are they getting at here? Injuries that could have caused TBI occurred both BEFORE and DURING deployment, I feel like this is them trying to attack credibility.
"On XX your were treated for your vision symptoms by Dr. X - There YOU reported and Dr. X recorded that you denied a history of head trauma and head injury. Your STR's from 2012 list a history of health problems and complaints that you had in service. Head trauma, brain injury, or falling is not listed. Dr. X statement, recording what you stated while receiving medical treatment for a different issue is contemporaneous to your military service and convincing evidence that you most likely did not incur a head injury or TBI in service. Service connection remains denied. -- (hold up, did they just Opine this via SOC? LOL, didn't know that was a thing)
The Nexus for my back injuries and the latter came from my PCP that opined that my back injury was DIRECTLY service connected. - What's your thoughts here on this with regard to what was mentioned above?
I don't know how the VA will eventually connect these contentions, and can only assume how this may pan out.
Anything else that could help me here in preparing for BVA that I'm missing?
A Veteran gave me permission to "Screencast" his Statement of the Case (SOC), so I could explain to y'all how to read and understand this form.
Take a look at this Screencast video, and tell me if it is helpful - if so, I will make a ton more of them for y'all.
Screencast Video: How to Read a VA Statement of the Case (SOC)
Veterans Law Blog
I just looked on my e-benifits and it said Decision & claims file dispatched and mailed my decision to me and sent to progress office amc on 1/6/2014. This appeal is over 7 years old. Dose this mean a remand? I went thru that with one of my other appeal and it took over 1 year to approve that remand. Is it possible that it was approved by the bva law judge? Thanks for your help.
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,