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  • 14 Questions about VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims


    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

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High Cholesterol and Peripheral Vascular Disease


I have been dealing with Peripheral Vascular Disease for 5 years.  When I was active duty in Naples, Italy, in 1993 during my physical exam coming back to the States, my doctor said that I had High Cholesterol.  I was discharged from active duty in Oct 1995 and during my physical when leaving the military I was still diagnosed with High Cholesterol.  I know that high cholesterol is not considered a disease but a lab finding.  My question to everyone who might have an answer, here it goes.  Can I claim my current PVD to my High Cholesterol as either a service-connection or as secondary to my High cholesterol?  I really would appreciate everyone's help! Thanks in advance.


Chacho Cvazos

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I see nothing wrong with giving a doctor a cover letter to prepare an IMO with and I did that myself for my AO DMII death claim. I referred to specifics in the medical records, blood chem reports, and autopsy ,etc etc and highlighted all of those records in the stack.

The IMO doc did not need my husband's SMRs as he was an incountry Vietnam veteran.

However, I did not write the IMO for him- and because of his excellent IMOs ( he did 2 for me) I was able to prepare the IMO/IME advice in our IMO forum, based on his 2 IMOs for me and the fact that he had been a former VA doctor.

It would be difficult for most veterans to write an IMO for a doctor to sign, and maybe most doctors would disregard it and want to see all of the pertinent records themselves.

It took me a few weeks to prepare a cover letter that was perfect and based on all of the evidence I found in the medical records.I also had studied endocrinology, enough to get up  and above  the VA Endo's level-who prepared two IMOs that denied the claim. I sent those  C & P results along with the records and also I sent Dr. Bash my rebuttal to the VA Endo's crap- one part was her using a Merck definition of an acronym that she characterized as being an acronym for something else. The C & P exam was posthumous, so the best witness was dead. I held to the Merck acronym's definition.It was a small point but I left nothing unchallenged in her opinion's and I  rebutted with documented medical evidence.

But I had studied enough Endo and Cardio that I knew how to interpret the medical records. One entry was crossed out but I managed to decifer it and the doctor who wrote it also prepared a brief IMO for me, at no charge.He was the only VA doctor at that point who knew what he was doing, and it took me many long months to find him, in private practice. He remembered my husband.He only asked for a few medical records from me.The BVA gave his short opinion as much weight as Dr Bash's, because it coorborated Dr. Bash's findings.

I also learned that she-the endo doc - had limited experience in her field, but Dr Bash, as he stated in his IMO, as a neuro-radiologist -he had read X rays and MRIs of thousands of diabetics and could support my claim with a full medical rationale,  and his medical Curriculum Vitae was outstanding.

Here is our IMO criteria:


In the part about the excerpts from well known medical texts, I had a list  and copies of them that helped me prepare the cover letter and I knew my case was solid. Dr Bash used I think excerpts from different medical texts-

maybe one or two of mine, as well. Current medical knowledge in studies or abstracts from well known good medical sites can be worth a lot to support any medical rationale a doctor will give. My daughter paid 300 bucks for a Cardio textbook-for a Christmas gift to me -(Braunwald- Harrisons Principles) the same one the VA developed their IHD regs from,   -when the AO IHD regs came out-thinking I would need it  here for those IHD claims..in 2010 ..but I never really needed it.

The internet is full of good medical treatises and abstracts etc, that can bolster a claim.They are free.

The claim was for AO DMII contributing to death. My husband -a VA PT since 1983 had never been diagnosed or treated for diabetes in his lifetime. You can imagine how much research and time that took,on my part, before contacting my IMO doctor ,andI certainly did not  want to pay thousands for any IM0 that could not support the claim. 

 I won.

NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE. It just takes a Lot of work.



Edited by Berta
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      Many veterans (and even their survivors) have succeeded in getting a disability, not on the presumptive list, service connected due to their proven exposure to AO.

      Also Secretary Wilkie is considering a few new presumptives, but we have no idea if  he will even add any to the list.

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