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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims

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    When a Veteran starts considering whether or not to file a VA Disability Claim, there are a lot of questions that he or she tends to ask. Over the last 10 years, the following are the 14 most common basic questions I am asked about ...
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  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

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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

Question

Posted (edited)

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to post here to get some advice.  I went to my latest C&P this past Friday May 17th, 2019 for an increase to my original condition of Lumbosacral strain as well as secondary NSAID induced GERD because of taking NSAIDS for years of treating the pain from my back and legs.  Here are the issues that I had and am wondering should I submit an additional document to my claim to let the RO know of my concerns before they make a decision or should I wait for decision and then go for higher-level, supplemental, appeal road.

  • Examiner did not use Goniometer to measure ROM on my back (indicated that I was up to 70 degrees and 20 degrees on everything else)
  • Examiner noted pain during ROM testing but did not indicate at what point in ROM that the pain started so that the accurate ROM could be determined
  • Examiner did not fully review my records as indicated by:
    • they did not note spinal stenosis as a diagnosis which is clearly indicated on my MRI results
    • they indicated that they did a straight leg test with negative results when in fact they never did that test.  I never layed down.
    • they indicated that I had not sought treatment for my back since 2017 which is completely false. I have documented treatment records at the VA beginning back in Nov 2018 through this month.
    • they referenced a 2 year old MRI result instead of my MRI from 2 weeks ago
    • they indicated that I was taking pain medication for non-service-connected conditions (neck/knees) which are actually service connected conditions in my file.
    • they didn't record my specific statements about flare-ups and the functional impact saying that I didn't report any at all.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by RBrogen

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23 minutes ago, vetquest said:

Personally I would file this straight to the HLR with this explanation that you gave.  If it is denied at the higher level of denial I would then appeal to the BVA.  It is a lengthy process but at least they know how to read evidence.  If you could get an IMO at the BVA level they might grant outright without you having to go to a remand.

Why not skip the HLR and go straight to the NOD at the BVA? It's just as fast as the HLR and you get real lawyers looking at it-not illiterate GS=10 VSRs. Without new and material evidence to submit to change the decision (assuming no CUE)  in a HLR, you might as well go straight to DC. If you lose, the Judge will tell you why and you can turn around and go back to the supplemental lane and submit more evidence to win with. You still keep your effective filing date too.

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1 minute ago, asknod said:

Why not skip the HLR and go straight to the NOD at the BVA? It's just as fast as the HLR and you get real lawyers looking at it-not illiterate GS=10 VSRs. Without new and material evidence to submit to change the decision (assuming no CUE)  in a HLR, you might as well go straight to DC. If you lose, the Judge will tell you why and you can turn around and go back to the supplemental lane and submit more evidence to win with. You still keep your effective filing date too.

I originally filed this claim myself (had done one before with no issues at all).  Since I have had so many issues, I reached out and just started working with a VSO ... supposedly best in the state ... I think that is what she mentioned before if this happened we'd do.  I am going to be speaking with her again tomorrow since the decision is done now.

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