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By S. Bruce
I was awarded 30% service connected for sleep apnea when I left the military in 2008. In 2013, I was directed to and took another sleep study. It was found and the VA agreed that I needed to start using the CPAP. VA reviewed the evidence, agreed, paid for and I have been using the CPAP since 2013. In Sep 2019, during a review of my records, my representative informed me that using the CPAP meant that my SA rating should be 50% versus 30%. I filed an increase claim and was increased to 50% with an effective date of Sep 2019. Shouldn't the effective date be April 2013 when the diagnosis was received and approved? I checked and the 50% rating for using a CPAP was in place in 2013. I wasn't aware of the rating difference at that time, so I didn't file a claim at that time. I'm asking because I'm thinking I may be due some back pay...……….
First off, Thank you all! - for this website, your time, and your passion towards helping fellow veterans!
Started the PEB process on active duty (2012 at the time), so I'm just trying to sort this out and find where things went wrong.
The claims submitted among this process only listed 3 contentions - of which the DoD rated me unfit at 10% W/ severance pay, while the VA rated those conditions (totaled) to 40% upon exiting service.
My story - First, I don't agree with the PEB findings, but I signed off on it at the time without a full understanding of "what I could claim", so once the ball got rolling I found myself trying to correct my own mistakes along the way.
I want to particularly point out to the Experts here that signing off on my PEB, as well as false statements/misquotations made by an off base neurologist has been used against me in regard to denial for SC TBI. In one denial, they took the exam from the off base neuro i saw, and threw the (positive) other out - Denying me the benefit of the doubt, or even the 50-50 rule.... The situation now is that I have a second doctor, who wrote a Nexus concurring with the diagnosis and rationale of the specialist I was treated by. (So 2 doctors post-service vs. the 1 I saw who didn't have all the details, lay statements, and misquoted me or failed to check the appropriate boxes based on my own testimony.
TLDR - I was awarded increase for 1 contention in 2016 to (a total of) 60% - Followed by SC and increase in another (1) contention for an overall rating (total) of 80% in 2017 - Some corrections were made and a rating was re-established with the proper EED and my new total is now 90% (as of late 2019) - it is now 2020 and I have 4 contentions that never made it to SC (yet!) - I experienced narrative changes as to why the VA was denying SC for TBI and 3 other issues - such as "missing diagnosis" - I had included a document from their own specialist specifically stating I was diagnosed with TBI and 2 exams giving extensive detail as to my symptoms/history.
Again, thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do for all of us. to
Semper Fi !
Hello, I have C&P exams all in one day in January. Any advice on what to expect?
Here's a synopsis on what I'm up against/working with.
- PTSD increase is based off several years of VA mental health treatment and a Nexus letter written by my mental health doctor, which named PTSD, Depression, Chronic Pain Syndrome with depression, Panic D/O with Agoraphobia and survivor's guilt as a diagnosis (last 3 are recently added to records).
- Knee pain- VA issued me a big knee brace and my primary care (tricare) orthopedics specialist just put me an Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) brace because she says I have drop foot and weakened ankle support which tried to compensate for my weak knee/muscle strength
- Foot pain- I reviewed all of my previous C&P exams and realized my foot pain rating had dropped from 30% to 10% because the rater misquoted me (lied) on the C&P exam. I told him these insoles and stuff didn't work. that my feet hurt all the time. He wrote, I said they were not effective insoles and I have to use all kinds of feet massages equipment to get through my work days.
The primary care sent me to this foot pain doctor. All she did was cortisone shots (3 times) in my feet and tried to up-sell me on her brand of insoles.
- Migraines- Been at zero percent since retirement. Last year I was hospitalized twice and misdiagnosed with having TIA and strokes/CVA. My VA advocate put in a secondary claim to my service connected cervical damage. End result not service connected for CVA/TIA.
However, ALL TESTS revealed that I've never had a stroke. The neurologist diagnosed me with Hemiplegic Migraines. These rare migraines an mimic strokes, causing weakness on one side of the body. They can last from a few hours or in my case,first one lasted 3 months.
The neurologist provided a letter stating that all of the hospital doctors had misdiagnosed me with having CVAa. He also diagnosed me with exertional headaches.
I know I'm no more special than the millions of other veterans out here, but this "deny 'til they die" tactic is wearing me down.
Thanks for any advice.
The question is; Will I be among the less than 1% Pro Se Petitioners to SCOTUS of the 1% over all Petitioners for a Writ of Certiorari that will be heard by SCOTUS.
The Petition is Bray v United States Docket No. 18-9532 Re: "The Feres Doctrine" with 15 related constitutional questions.
The documents can be downloaded from the Supreme Court of the United States, (SCOTUS), web site here:
The answer will come sometime after the 40 copies have been distributed to the Justices and their Clerks for the November 8, 2019 Conference. Only 1% are granted a hearing before SCOTUS. Will the Feres Doctrine continue to stand up as Constitutional continuing a 69+ year old precedence that prevents you from filing a Tort case for your mistreatment and failure to be compensated for subtle but employability disabling temporal lobe seizures ignored by the military and the VA to reduce entitlements?
Some relief was granted in 2008 for TBI victims. Those who had TBI claims from 2007 on will be fully compensated. Those of us from previous wars have been stiffed until we were allowed to file our claims after receiving the 2008 letter.
By John Ward
My problem started a few months ago with the smell of cigarette smoke occasionally. Thought it was on my wife's cloths although no one in our household smokes. No visitors smoke. We do use a fire place. Totally smoke free environment. I have been to the VA Nashville, but this issue does not seem important to anyone, I can understand. For me it has taken over my life. I eat, drink, sleep, cigarettes . I do have 2 brain tumors which Vanderbilt Hospital botched the removal in 2017. The surgeon who did the pathway said the Neuro was very careless and was warned but cut a clear if branch to the frontal lobe, hemorrhage several hour, lack of oxygen caused progressive memory loss (all this document ed) now this.... I cannot get the V A to move. Tumor is leaking, vision is declining, memory, hand s shaking getting worse. Anyone else had the Phantom smell of cigarettes. The Phantom smell of Cigarette in particular seem to lead to stroke, seizure, Alzheimer's. VA doctors admit it is a brain problem, possibly streaming from the 2017 aborted surgery. Right now, I am a 66 year old proudly Retired US Army Veteran. Saw Camp Eagle in 1971 the M1 Main BattleTank for many years after. Hope to see my great grandkids. But not going to tolerate everything I eat, smell, sleep being cigarettes much longer. I will appreciate he'll more than you will ever know
Anybody else out here had this problem?
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,