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Do I have another claim?


Ebenezer

Question

Hello, 

I really appreciate any help I can get. In 2005 I was rated 30% disability (10% Left Foot achilles tendonitis, 10% Right Foot achilles tendonitis, and 10% for my left knee RPPS). 

I am going to appeal after 13 years because my legs are now in very bad shape. I can barely walk more than 2 blocks. 

I recently spoke with a Vet, where I stated I was told I had bone spurs back in 2009 as I listed off my achilles tendon issues. He told me I should put in a claim. 

No documentation about bone spurs while on active duty, but in 2009 a VA doctor sent me in for X-rays because I was still complaining (four years) about my ankles.

On my medical report in 2009 it states:

"Examination of the left foot was done. "A small size bony spur at the posterior aspect of the calcaneus at the attachment of the achilles' tendon There is a small calcified densities seen in the soft tissue at the attachment of the achilles' tendon, findings may represent a calcific tendentious. " 

Question 1:  I was honorably discharged in 2005. The bone spurs were not discovered until 2009. Can I still put this in as a secondary claim or an additional claim?  Again, I have a long record of VA doctors and active duty doctors looking at my feet. 

Question 2: if I bring this to light. Can this effect my 30% disability rating I literally can not afford to loose this. 

Question 3:  In 2019 a specialist agreed about my achilles tendon issue, but stated I now have plantar fasciitis. This is 14 years after my discharge. Is that a claim or is it too far apart? 

I loved my time in the Army and wished I could have done the 20. I have to say, my feet got messed up and I am angry because this has limited activities with my kids, like going downtown or to a theme park. So, whatever happens with my feet. I want to be put it in. 

 

Thank you for any help you can give. 

 

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1.  Yes.  File.  You want to have all the caluza elements documented:  Current diagnosis, in service event or aggravation, and nexus.  Time since service is irrelevant, except it can get you an earlier effective date if you file within a year of exit from service. 

2.  Contrary to what many VSO's or VA employees tell you, a request for increase DOES NOT mean you will be reduced.  The VA has specific rules for reductions of ratings, and "whenever the Veteran files for an increase" is NOT one of them.  If your condition has IMPROVED since the c and p exam, you are in danger of a reduction, otherwise, sleep well at night as you should not be reduced whether or not you put in for an increase.  Filing for increase and reductions are independent and seperate from each other.  Its like wearing a blue ball cap.  It has nothing to do with your current disabity rating, whether you wear a red ball cap, a blue ball cap, or if you file for an increase or not.  

3.  See my answer to question 1, above.  If you have the Caluza elements documented, you should be awarded benfits.  

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Yes, put in for the claims. If you have a "long list of doctors looking at you feet", get copies of their exams/diagnosis from ebennies. You should request all your medical records also, and more than likely get a new medical opinion that is favorable by documenting with a dbq. If your new condition/claim is secondary to your original disability, a good nexus letter from an outside specialist is going to have a great bearing on your new claim. And no, I agree with Bronc, if your disability has indeed gotten worse, not better since your last C&P exam, you don't have anything to fear about a reduction. You might even be lucky and if it has gotten worse, you could get an increase. First step is to get hold of you medical evidence and see what you got.

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